Thursday, February 23, 2006

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Doing it Right

Tom Dienhart over at the Sporting News goes off on Penn State today, or more specifically, he goes off on people who say Penn States resurgence to national prominence is good for the sport of college football. Here is some of what he says:

I shake my head every time I hear it.

"It's good for college football when Penn State is good."

No, instead of the TV foofs saying, "It's good for college football when Penn State is good," they should say "It's good for the TV networks and Penn State when Penn State is good."

I disagree. It is good for college football when Penn State is good. In this day and age when most of the powerhouse teams struggle to graduate fifty percent of their players, it's good to see a school like Penn State, who routinely graduates over eighty percent of its players, do well. In this day and age when head coaches come and go with the wind, it's good to see Penn State, who has had the same head coach for forty years, do well. In this day and age when major programs are under black clouds for recruiting violations, it's good to see Penn State, a school that does it by the book, do well. In this day and age when college football players look like gangsters and hip hop stars, it's good to see Penn State, a program that makes their players wear business casual and be clean cut, do well.

Myles Brand, President of the NCAA, said Penn State is a model institution which all other schools should model themselves after. I didn't hear him say that about Notre Dame, or Michigan, or Ohio State, or Miami. He certainly didn't say it about Dienhart's beloved Boilermakers. In fact there is only one school Brand called a model institution. Penn State. When other institutions, coaches, fans and athletes see Penn State doing well, it tells them it is possible to do it right. And that, Mr. Dienhart, is why college football benefits when Penn State is good.

Hat Tip: 50 Yard Lion

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Whole Vidal Thing...

At first I was excited to hear Vidal Hazelton was thinking of attending PSU. Now I'm not so sure.

Vidal originally committed to USC. But his dad refused to sign his letter of intent saying Penn State is a better fit for his son. Now there is a huge saga going on with people speculating which school he is going to sign with. Penn State made a play at Vidal last weekend by showing him the red carpet during his official visit to Happy Valley.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to see Vidal suiting up in the Blue and White on those brisk autumn Saturdays, but I think we have to let this kid go. I'm afraid his dad would be too much of a distraction to the program. Any time over bearing parents get involved in their kid's career, it gets ugly. Look at what Eric Lindros' dad did for him. And Eli Mannings' dad got his son's NFL career off to a less than classy start.

The point is, whenever over bearing parents get involved in their kid's career, people get hurt, fans get angry, and things get ugly. PSU fans should ask themselves, do you think Dexter Hazelton is going away after his son signs with a program? How do you think Dexter will react the first time his son complains about having to share playing time with Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood, and Chris Bell? Will he tell his son to be patient and work harder? Or will he go to the Philadelphia Inquirer and tell them his son made a mistake going to PSU? An article like that could potentially damage recruiting for years to come. I don't know what he would do, but I would rather not take the chance. We've got a pretty good wide receiving crew. I say let's just take our chances with what we've got.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

PSU Anti-Bias?

I, for one, do believe there is a bias against Penn State by the Big Ten officials. It just seems like the Nitts never get a call down the stretch while opponents get some pretty crazy calls in their favor. This article by David Jones does not dispell my suspicions.

Hat Tip: The Nittany Notebook and The Nittany Turkey

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Build Me Up So You Can Break Me Down

Ugh. Just when I thought the mens basketball program had turned the corner in beating Illinois on the road, they turned around and lost to Minnesota at home. The Nitts have six more games to go. They need to win three of them to qualify for the NIT. In the words of Thomas Paine, "These are the times that try mens souls."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Recruiting Review

So far my PSU blog is slow getting out of the blocks. Probably not smart for me to start a football blog in the offseason. But at least we have some recruiting news.

This year's class is without a doubt one of the best I have every seen come to PSU. Here is my take on some of the key players:

Quarterback: Devlin kid is the total package. The only thing that could make landing this kid sweeter would be taking him away from another program at the midnight hour of recruiting. Sorry Miami...not really. Hopefully Joe will redshirt this kid his first year. I would rather he do that than get some garbage time in the fourth quarter of the Youngstown State game. Let him back up Morelli in 2007, and then he can start through 2010.

Defensive Backs: The stud in the group is A.J. Wallace. Along with Justin King, PSU will have another pair of shutdown corners for the next few years.

Linebacker: PSU landed another solid LB class with Navarro Bowman and Bani Gbadyu. The Linebacker U tradition lives on.

Running Backs: Brent Carter is the stud of the group. It will be interesting to see if he lives up to his potential. If not, Evan Royster is a solid player who will be waiting in the wings.

Wide Recievers: The additions of Chris Bell and Cedric Jefferies give PSU even more depth than they had. Look for Deon Butler to move over to CB until A.J. Wallace gets up to speed with the defense.

Defensive Line: It's almost unbelievable how much talent Larry Johnson has build on the defensive line. In all PSU signed 9 defensive linemen highlighted by Maurice Evans and Aaron Maybin. Look for some of these kids to shift over to offense to give the offensive line some depth.

Offensive Line: We got some major talent with Antonio Logan-El, J.B. Walton, and Lou Eliades. These kids are going to dominate the big ten in the years to come.

Overall, I have to give the coaches an A+ on this class. Changes in recent years are really paying off. Replacing Jay Paterno with Mike McQuery as recruiting coordinator was a brilliant move. And Larry Johnson is well deserving of Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year award. Thanks to these coaches, Penn State Football is going to be fun to watch the next four years.