As the Penn State hierarchy puts together a search committee to locate a new coach, many candidates who would have once jumped at the chance to coach the Nittany Lions, like Miami's Al Golden and Rutger's Greg Schiano, are instead turning away in embarrassment.
For there is now an asterisk so large attached to the job, and indeed the entire program, that it makes Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Pete Carroll, Terrelle Pryor and Reggie Bush look like heroes.
The well-documented child sex scandal, involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, does not need to be revisited here. But Penn State's once iconic navy blue and white uniforms are now forever linked to the disgusting perversions of an alleged monstrous sexual predator. Their once legendary coach, his tattered legacy now forever gone, exited stage left cloaked in shame.
Some have suggested that the Penn State program should permanently defer to Division II, not as a punishment, but to render their gridiron fortunes so inconsequential that it needn't be necessary for a coach to sacrifice the well being of kids so that his football machine, along with his precious win-loss record, could be protected instead.
No one wants to touch this nuclear mess with a fifty foot crossbar. For it is now a demanding and thankless job to be the coach of the Nittany Lepers.
The main problem is that football pales in comparison to the heinous nature of Sandusky's alleged lecherous offenses. No one at Penn State has any right to be worried about winning a football game. Not after so many innocent children were allegedly brutalized by a man protected by their institution and their king of kings football coach, the ultimate Nittany Liar: Joe Paterno.
The Big Ten championship game, which no longer has Paterno's name attached to its illustrious trophy, breathed a sigh of relief when Penn State was bludgeoned by Wisconsin, 45-7, therefore eliminating them from championship contention.
No one wants to see the white Penn State uniforms at this juncture. No one wants to be reminded of how low people will go to see their school, their team and their coach aspire so high. Turning down any available bowl bid, if indeed they are any extended, would be a good start.
Winning puts a team in the spotlight, which is the absolute last place the Penn State program wants to be right now. They would be much better off at the bottom of the Big Ten standings for a few years. Out of sight, out of mind. Every man, woman and child who is not a Penn State grad wants to see them get their brains beat in anyway.
Let the wretched stink of the horrid, stomach turning Sandusky scandal drift away for awhile. Although that smell will never be fully gone, at least give the public a chance to breathe in some air freshener.
Hire a low profile or even Division II coach for the interim of a few years to absorb what is sure to be some record setting beatings on the field. Chances are, the high profile coaches like Mississippi State's Dan Mullen will continue to flee from their pawing advances anyway.
But the problem may take care of itself, as the bulk of the Nittany Lions' blue chip recruits continue to jump from their sinking ship. It's difficult to have your manhood called into question while staring into the eyes of a 285-pound offensive lineman, and these frosh are obviously not up to that task.
Without an influx of 4- and 5-star players coming in, Penn State's ship will sink. The only question now is whether it should be trying to sail at all.
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