Someone had to talk about it; the elephant in the room. In all the tributes paid to Joe Paterno these past few days, a few talked about his recent dismissal. Little to none discussed it in a substantive sense. Nike CEO Phil Knight at least touched upon it; but ended up doing little more than Paterno/Penn State cheerleading.
Maybe it would have been better if he had just kept his mouth shut.
Thursday’s memorial event ended the public mourning period for Paterno. Public viewings were held Tuesday and Wednesday morning at a campus followed by a funeral Mass, procession and burial for Paterno that afternoon.
From the AP:
Knight said, “it turns out (Paterno) gave full disclosure to his superiors, information that went up the chains to the head of the campus police and the president of the school. The matter was in the hands of a world-class university, and by a president with an outstanding national reputation.”
Knight added, “…this much is clear to me. If there is a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation and not in Joe Paterno.”
The remark drew a standing ovation from the crowd of 12,000 at the Bryce Jordan Center – with Paterno’s widow, Sue, and former defensive coordinator, Tom Bradley, among those rising to their feet.
“Who is the real trustee at Penn State University?” Knight asked.
In the lionizing of Paterno, Knight took a subtle (or not so subtle, depending on your threshold of subtlety) swipe at the University trustees who fired Paterno. Phil Knight derided the Jerry Sandusky investigation. In opening his mouth, and saying such things this quadrillion dollar master-of-the-universe, captain-of-industry lowered himself to that of an average meathead moron. Someone who should set an example sounded about as ignorant as the Harrisburg, PA PSU alumni club.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.Follow paulmbanks