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Stadium and Main: Paterno loves to talk recruiting, and that’s a problem

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Paterno loves to talk recruiting, and that’s a problem

While the average fan probably doesn’t care, some Michigan die-hards are a bit upset that Joe Paterno keeps saying that Chad Henne committed to Penn State before deciding to go to Michigan.
"We tried to recruit him and, in fact, he had committed to us verbally and then he changed his mind, which he certainly was entitled to."
Don’t get me wrong – maybe Henne did privately commit to Penn State. Maybe he sat in Paterno’s office and told him, or called him up one day during the summer. But why bring this up, JoePa? I follow recruiting like a mad man, and I can assure you that Henne never publicly announced any intentions to go to Penn State. So what good can possibly come out of a comment like this? Does Paterno like taking cheap shots at Henne? Are the grapes really that sour?

In the recent past, Paterno made some statements about USC WR Dwayne Jarrett that irked Trojan fans, as well:
”There is a great wideout in the country now playing for one of the best football teams in the country, if not the best football team in the country, New Jersey, we never even looked at because of the academics and things like that. We could take a step backwards, but that is not what I wanted to do for Penn State and I am not going to do it for Penn State.”
As one USC fan commented:
“Paterno has absolutely no business singling out USC receiver Dwayne Jarrett (that, "New Jersey receiver") or Michigan's Tim Massaquoi as being liars and academically questionable. That is flat out nobody's business. And Joe made it public. What did they do to him? Anyone? Nothing! I have no problem with his criticism of programs, but leave the kids out of it, plain and simple. This wasn't some tiny error, it was WAY out of the line for Joe, or anyone to say the things he did. That's my problem. He hasn't apologized yet, and luckily Carroll and Carr respect him too much to basically bring the noose out and critcize (sp) him, they're classy guys, going above his lack of class in this specific pair of examples. But it was wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong what he said. Someone apologize, please. How about Joe?”
While I don’t necessarily consider Pete Carroll “classy,” nor remember Paterno specifically questioning Massaquoi’s ethical or academic integrity (it was more of a veiled shot at Michigan’s recruiting practices (i.e. PSU was honest with Massaquoi about his future position (TE), Michigan wasn’t), I agree with the gist of the above quote. Why does Paterno think it’s OK to keep blabbing about former recruits, especially when his comments are negative, controversial, or (at best) back-handed compliments?

Memo to JoePa: Stop bringing up sour grapes involving 18-year-old kids. Stop singling out players that don’t play on your team. Mind your own business.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Mike said...

I think you're reading too much into the Henne comment. I think in his own way Joe was trying to pay the kid a compliment by saying they tried to recruit him.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Mike - you might be right. Maybe I am overreacting a bit. But where you (as a Penn State fan) view it as a compliment, I (as a Michigan fan) view it as a "back-handed compliment," or more likely a slap in the face. It isn't "he's a good player and we really wanted him." It's "he broke his word to us - he's a liar."

I don't expect PSU fans to see eye-to-eye with me on this one, and that's OK. I just wish JoePa would know when to NOT say certain things, or politely say "no comment." I respect JoePa. I don't want to see a "Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine" type of situation with him. And with his recent controversial comments about former recruits, and "a cute girl knocks on the door, what do you do?"... well, he needs to learn to clam up sometimes.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

I think the point is that most coaches would say "we recruited him and really thought he was a great talent. I really thought he would come to PSU but he has done a great job for Michigan" but instead we get that he verbally committed to us and changed his mind - for which our fanbase was outraged until our current QB Morelli decided to change his public commitment to our big in-state rival leaving them without a QB recruit. (OK, yes I added in that last part!)

4:29 PM  
Blogger Run Up The Score said...

Seems that you're getting upset over nothing here. It was a compliment. Actually, it's much more complimentary than I thought Paterno would've been about Henne.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Run up the score: I would suggest you read the article in the State College newspaper regarding Henne's recruiting. The writer criticizes Henne throughout for not having the courtesy to phone Paterno about his choice of UM. The writer certainly didn't take Paterno's comments as being complimentary, and he echos the negative tone.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Lichty said...

Look, I'm not saying Joe Paterno is incontenant, but . . .

11:27 AM  
Anonymous TriFloyd said...

It seems to me that Lloyd's approach (from his post-MSU presser) is the proper way to talk about a player you didn't get. It communicates that the player is good; after all, we would have wanted him for our team.

"They also have a great tailback, Tony Hunt. We tried to recruit him here. I thought for a minute we were going to get him, but he's having a great year.”

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose he was also complimenting Dwayne Jarrett as well.

11:49 AM  

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