Pinkel defends Paterno, embarrasses MU
The Kansas City Star
MU football coach Gary Pinkel looked Tuesday as if he had totally missed the most recent damning report about former legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
Pinkel essentially defended Paterno as a great football coach, while sweeping under the rug the monstrous accusations of how Paterno essentially allowed child abuse to continue for years by ignoring the actions of his former assistant, Jerry Sandusky.
Pinkel’s exact words: “I don’t read a lot about it, but there’s certainly lessons to be learned by everybody.”
For a national football program to be led by someone who doesn’t “read a lot” about Paterno’s egregious behavior is embarrassing to Mizzou nation but also to residents of Missouri, who have to see a person saying such ignorant things.
Pinkel was speaking at the SEC media days, so his words went out nationally. It was not a good introduction for Missouri to the football-crazy conference.
Here’s The Star’s longer version of what Pinkel said, including other people being tougher on Paterno’s actions.
And here’s exactly what much of the national media are reporting today; this clip is on the Huffington Post and other outlets.
Worse, the words “Pinkel defends Paterno…” are part of the headlines in a few cases:
HOOVER, Ala. — Missouri coach Gary Pinkel says he thinks it is “wrong” to place sole blame for the Penn State tragedy on former coach Joe Paterno. Talking with reporters at Southeastern Conference Media Days on Tuesday, Pinkel was quoted as saying “you can’t take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man, and you can’t, however you analyze this, all of a sudden erase all that this guy’s done. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that.” Pinkel said Paterno was a friend who he got to know professionally. He added that it was a “tragic situation … involving children” and that “I’m sure maybe if (Paterno) could do it over again he would (have) followed up a few things.”
“Maybe” if Paterno could do it again, he would do something different?
Hell, yes, let’s hope so.
And maybe Pinkel will be more aware of how his words hurt the sexual abuse victims of Jerry Sandusky the next time, rather than trying to protect the football legend of Joe Paterno.