Tom Bradley proved today there will be no redemption at Penn State as long as he remains head coach of its football team.
In remarks to the media after the game, he seemed to remain as committed as ever to Joe Paterno, displaying the same allegiance to almighty Penn State football that led Paterno to allegedly shield Jerry Sandusky from justice.
Bradley began the press conference by saying he vacated the first seat on "bus one" during the team's ride to the stadium this morning because, "that's where coach usually sits."
The symbolism is both rich and telling. Not even in a metaphorical sense can Bradley displace the man he still calls "coach." He dares not tread on that sacred ground.
It was the opening act of an eight-minute loyalist barrage, with Bradley sealing his tried-and-true, white-and-blue bonafides at every turn.
He talked with welling emotion of seeing Penn State football alums gathered on the sidelines during the game, about guys who "drove all night" because they "just wanted to be a part of it."
A part of what, Coach Bradley?
The assembled alum seemed merely to represent a football program that refuses to accept the coming tidal wave of change. Their presence was one last stand by the past against the future, their abiding loyalty a reminder that loyalty was one resource never in short supply at Joe Paterno's Penn State.
Today, more than ever, I'm convinced: As long as Tom Bradley remains head coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno remains head coach at Penn State.
This is not an attack on Bradley's qualifications or character, only at what he represents. He is Penn State, or at least everything that it was.
We can't pretend the three decades he spent under Joe Paterno never happened. Moreover, Bradley doesn't want us to forget.
Bradley told the media today, "I felt today that just maybe the healing process started to begin."
It hasn't, Coach Bradley, and it won't until Penn State finally gives up the ghost sitting in the first seat of bus one.