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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: If Penn State had a choice …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column reminds the Pirates’ front office that participation isn’t optional.

>> Totally serious question: If you were Rodney Erickson, president at Penn State, and the NCAA gave you a choice between long-lasting forfeiture of bowls and scholarships or canceling the upcoming season — one or the other, plain and simple — which would you take?

OK, now which would you take if you were just you?

I really wonder if the community as a whole wouldn’t rather just have football at any cost rather than deal with missing an entire season. Even if that means having a very hard time competing in the Big 10 for a decade or longer.

I’ll stay out of it this morning and hear what you have to say.

Should be an interesting morning either way. The NCAA announcement is at 9 a.m.

>> Back to baseball and a small slice of Neal Huntington on Starling Marte from yesterday …


Yeah, and here’s Marte’s box from last night (after the clip above).

>> This was my appearance on KDKA-TV’s ‘Showdown’ late last night. We start out with a lot of Penn State but eventually get to some Pirates and Steelers.

>> I’ll make my weekly visit with the online-only TribLIVE Radio today at noon.


  1. manny _sanguine says:

    I wish my rough patches were like Starling’s rough patches.

    DK: Shhhhh … he’s working on his bunting.

  2. Skip says:

    Mr Kovacevic,

    If I had to choose between your two options, I would choose to cancel the upcoming season. But this is a false choice.

    In my opinion, your entire premise is seriously flawed. But i realize you will never change your viewpoint that having the NCAA punish the current players and coaching staff (and everyone else directly or indirectly harmed by shutting down the football program) is the one and only true path to redemption for Penn State.

    But this isn’t a matter for the highly dysfunctional NCAA. The University leaders should handle this themselves. If you think they are incapable of doing this, then we might as well shut down the entire University.

    But my questions for you are, why is a one year cancellation of the PSU football season satisfactory for you? And what does it actually accomplish? This just doesn’t seem like a serious, reasoned position to take. If I were to use your logic, then why not shut the program down permanently? Why is one year the right number? Why not two years, three years, ten years? Or forever?

    DK: I’m only laying out two possibilities for NCAA punishment. The positions I’ve taken are in previous columns, not in this question.

  3. Dave says:


    Where do you feel the Pirates need help most of all at the deadline?

    I know people have been looking for a solid bat since the beginning of the season. The thing is we’ve got Marte in AAA who appears MLB ready and could possibly be just as good or better than a rent a vet. Mercer has barely played this year and has just 11 fewer extra base hits and only 3 fewer walks than Barmes, oh and that Sutton guy has looked alright in his time. Granted I’m not saying Mercer is the answer because he hasn’t been given enough playing time, but Barmes isn’t the answer unless he can at least outslug his terrible OBP.

    I personally would prefer the Pirates go after a solid inning eating SP for the stretch drive because I feel that if someone in the rotation goes down that the combination of Lincoln (seems more productive in the pen), Owens, Locke, and Wilson isn’t going to be the answer.

    DK: Check the column, Dave. It wasn’t up there when you typed this, but it is now. All that’s in there.

  4. twentytwo22 says:

    If the NCAA uses this situation as an opportunity to steal tens of millions of dollars people should be outraged.

    So, the NCAA president trying to portray unilateral nobility to the rousing approval of the rabble seeks money? That is not noble it is predatory.

  5. twentytwo22 says:

    When I got on to read the MLB scoreboard I read about this

    I was like ‘Oh, I see what this is about. Someone’s mistress is getting a new house. Maybe’s there’s a woman who gets an abortion paid for plus hush money.’

    Sodomy State doesn’t live there anymore. If a $60,000.000 heist goes down tomorrow to loud applause I will find both the beginning and the ending of this sordid affair equally sickening.

    DK: The entire fine will go to national children’s programs. Not exactly your standard “heist.” Chances are excellent Penn State was going to do something like this, anyway.

  6. Woomer says:

    I live in State College and know many small business owners (stores, restaurants, etc). The 6 or 7 football weekends in conjunction with Arts Fest and Graduation account for a majority (yes, majority) of their annual revenue. And as such, even a 1-year death penalty would put many of them out of business and leave many of their employees with no way to support their families (as jobs aren’t plentiful in the Centre region).

    So even though I don’t attend football games, and don’t go downtown on football weekends because of the traffic and crowds…I would still hate to see the hurt that a death penalty would inflict on my neighbors (the most vulnerable of whom are not even affiliated with that “university”).

    DK: I’d welcome hearing one example of a business that would go under because of losing eight days of revenue a year.

  7. twentytwo22 says:

    Moving on…
    The Pirates are playing good ball right now. Pitching + defense all weekend for the sweep. Good offense in Colorado netted a series win. Better defense in Milwaukee gets another win. Not clicking on all cylinders but getting a solid 2 of 3 or a great 1.

    Marte is playing LF a lot more. I have a problem with what was said. As rookies, Alvarez was great in September, Tabata hit .299, and Presley hit .298. A lot of sophomore players struggle. If Marte OPS’s .800 as a rookie that would be huge. I want to see what he can do.

  8. Dave says:


    I just read your article. I notice you mention Victorino in the article as a possible spark plug. I’m a fan of Victorino especially after seeing him play for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in 2005. My question is would it be better for the Pirates in the long term if they were to target a guy like Victorino’s teammate Juan Pierre to be a table setter due to a possibly lower asking price from the Phils instead of going after a Phillie fan favorite in Victorino or an OF similar to Victorino?

    DK: No thanks on Pierre.

  9. twentytwo22 says:

    I should tell you what the noble thing for the NCAA to do – give PSU football the death penalty and take the consequences as they come. Penn State could go off on their own and splinter off colleges into a new and better organization for intercollegiate athletics and the NCAA could disenegrate. They would have fallen on the sword. That would be noble.

    That’s why we aren’t a theocracy. Intelligent people should want to live by a moral code and choose to do so by free will and not forced. Therefore people are free to destroy the Christian values that formed the foundation that guaranteed our liberty. That is how we know we are free.

    The only thing the NCAA stands for is its own existence, power, and money.

  10. Dan1283 says:

    Who wants to bet the entire fine that PSU has to pay is raised back by donors within a year?

    Writing checks is not an acceptable punishment nor is it an act of contrition. You are right, DK, that entire community would rather have football, even if it’s crappy football, than cleanse their souls. All they care about is WE ARE and tailgates and JoePa (did you SEE that photo with the “we love you JoePa, truth will come out!” sign at the base of the statue???) and preserving their air of superiority. They’d rather collectively tough it out with football so in 5 years they can say “See? Those bullies at the NCAA thought they could push us around, but WE ARE!” They think the media and everyone that’s not an alum is on one side and they’re on another. What they forget is they’re still on the side with Paterno and Sandusky and Spanier and everyone.

    I really, really think canceling football is the only way to go this year. It’s the only thing anyone there even cares about, which has become crystal clear when you talk about punishments up there, and with that being the case it’s the only appropriate punishment. They’re fine writing checks (we can always make more money!), they’re fine being shamed in the paper (it’s just the bully media out for a story, they don’t know anything!), they’re fine with taking down the statue (maybe they’ll let us keep football!) and heck I’d venture to guess they’d be fine with shutting down the law school, science buildings, and literature departments too. Just as long as football stays. It’s insane and it has to go.

    If the WE ARE (above the law!) culture that led to the cover-up in order to preserve football and the reputations of a few men is actually allowed to remain, then the door is wide open for more cover-ups in the future at PSU or anywhere else. Because it is painfully obvious that they will allow absolutely nothing will get in the way of their god d*&% football games.

    If they play this year then they are the most selfish institution in the country and I’ll hope they lose every game in a stampeding blowout. Because I think it is dead wrong that the real victims will be pushed out of the papers and forgotten while the fans PLAY the victim.

    Woomer, I’d hate to see the financial damage the death penalty would inflict on your neighbors too (though they would doubtlessly be fine by this time next year) but it really needs to happen in that town. Grown men lighting candles at a statue of a disgraced football coach? You sound like the rare individual up there with an actual level head on their shoulders, but that place is sick and no football in 2012, be it by death penalty or self-imposed act, is the medicine that State College needs to take.

  11. Dan1283 says:

    I apologize for the lengthy rant but the in-your-face corruptness of college football, and not just at PSU, really gets me fired up. I read a story today about rampant sexual assaults at Notre Dame involving football players and the same kind of look the other way crap is going on there because it could hurt the football program.

    Not only is it insulting that all the men at these universities sell their souls, break the rules, lie to the public’s face and pass the buck when trouble comes knocking, it’s apparently incredibly common to just say screw it and become completely corrupt. And then to make it worse there’s always thousands of indoctrinated, delusional fans there to make excuses for their actions. It’s like nothing else in sports.

    I really think the country would be a better place if there was no such thing as college football. I mean, just look at how far these moralless, spineless creeps will go to protect an incredibly material handful of games. I love Pitt, I love going to games, and I love following it closely, but man, it seems like only a matter of time until it’s their turn for some horrible scandal too. Just like everywhere else.

  12. Skip says:

    @ Dan 1283 #10

    Why is having the NCAA suspend PSU football for the 2012 season (and presumably having it return again in 2013) some sort of special solution for you? Won’t all of your grievances about Penn State still exit in 2013 when they start playing football again? What will have been accomplished?

  13. Woomer says:

    If you don’t want to believe me DK, then read this:

    This was the TOP headline on the front page of the Centre Daily Times last Friday.

  14. Woomer says:

    @ Dan — you write:
    “Woomer, I’d hate to see the financial damage the death penalty would inflict on your neighbors too (though they would doubtlessly be fine by this time next year) but it really needs to happen in that town. Grown men lighting candles at a statue of a disgraced football coach? You sound like the rare individual up there with an actual level head on their shoulders, but that place is sick and no football in 2012, be it by death penalty or self-imposed act, is the medicine that State College needs to take.”

    My reply is —
    I don’t care what you say about the university….
    But DON”T CRITICIZE MY COMMUNITY (especially with your derogatory language) when you’ve obviously never even lived here !!!!!!!!!!

  15. Dan1283 says:

    “Why is having the NCAA suspend PSU football for the 2012 season (and presumably having it return again in 2013) some sort of special solution for you? Won’t all of your grievances about Penn State still exit in 2013 when they start playing football again? What will have been accomplished?”

    Hopefully the eradication of a culture that allowed the coverup to occur and the realization that football is not worth absolutely anything. PSU fans think they’re martyrs right now. Come back in a year and still try to act like it was such an awful thing for the NCAA to do.

  16. Dan1283 says:


    The article you link is full of nothing more than speculation and people crying foul before anything’s even happened to them so someone might show some mercy. They’ll be fine.

    No I haven’t lived there but I have family and friends that went there and still go there. Quit being so defensive. Grown men shedding tears and holding vigil at the statue of a disgraced MAN (NOT a god) IS sick.

  17. Woomer says:

    @Dan —

    You DISMISS what I (who’ve lived here 16 years) say…
    You DISMISS what professional journalists (who’ve researched the situation) say..

    And then…
    you decide that (somehow) YOU (who’ve neither lived here 16 years NOR researched the situation as a professional) KNOW MORE than anyone AND you proclaim that — “They’ll be fine”.

    How incredibly arrogant is it to do that, huh????

  18. Dan1283 says:


    When the local two-bit paper writes a piece directly slanted to evoke sympathy from it’s readers because it is in the best interest of the town it covers, I don’t really care WHAT the article says, though I did read it and say nothing more than a bunch of hyperbolic quotes.

    When the New York Times or USA Today or some outside newspaper swoops in and presents the same case, I’ll give it more validity.

    But I still won’t care. It’s no one’s fault but that of Sandusky, Schultz, Spanier, Curley, and the man who has a tear-soaked statue currently in the cellar of Beaver Stadium.

  19. Ryan76 says:

    “It’s no one’s fault but that of Sanduaky, Schultz, Spanier and the man who has a tear-soaked statue currently in the cellar…”

    Yet the ENTIRE place is “sick” and needs to take it’s medicine??

    Dan1283 – get over yourself…seriously. Your so-called righteousness is laughable.

    And DK – you’d be surprised how few key dates affect sales and revenue in most mon-destination (and some destination) markets. 8 key dates in State College sounds about right. I wouldn’t be surprised if 35-50% of a lot of businesses revenues are during those specific days/weekends.

    But, the community deserves it right? Thanks for clearing that up for us fellas….

  20. twentytwo22 says:

    Drew Sutton was an upgrade. Sorry had to. You and Ron Cook have dueling columns. I agree with yours. I am enjoying the ride but would welcome additions that put them over the top. I think we can have both.

  21. pghboyinca says:

    There is nohting disloyal or destroying chemistry by upgrading this team and and bench. Gorky’s, Mercer, and Pressly have no business being on a pennant contenders MLB roster. The time is now, go get some help.

  22. NDfanatPSU says:

    ” I’d welcome hearing one example of a business that would go under because of losing eight days of revenue a year.”

    I can’t speak for businesses at large, but as an example, someone I know runs a bread route in State College, and says that without those 7 or 8 home football weekends a year, he stands to lose up to a third of his income for the year. That is just one example. I know I couldn’t afford to lose a third of my income, how about you, D.K.?

  23. Drew71 says:

    ND, you beat me to it.

    Dejan, do you honestly believe that the revenue from THOSE eight days is equivalent to other days? Dan’s 33% sounds reasonable. But even if it is “just” 25%, I’d welcome hearing one example of a business that WOULDN’T go under because of losing 25% of its revenue.

    I assure you that taking a quarter of my company’s revenue would collapse it. And my firm is a 1.7 billion dollar revenue organization. Which means it has more reserves and bigger safety nets than small businesses, many of which live according to that paycheck to paycheck cliche.

  24. scapper says:

    Thank god something funny has come out of this sordid affair. I’m talking about so many people’s touching concern for the plight of State College-area business owners should there be no PSU football for a year or two. The disingenuousness of those sentiments is hilarious.

  25. NDfanatPSU says:


    If it was your business, or livelihood, it would not be so funny. Being worried about continuing to have the ability to pay your bills is hardly disingenuous.

  26. Drew71 says:

    I wonder if a Brit winning the Tour de France has about the same emotional impact on the French nation as AJ’s Pittsburgh success has on Yankee nation.

    I can’t believe I just posted ANYTHING about the Tour de France.

  27. Drew71 says:

    Scrapper. Your mind reading abilities need work. I couldn’t care less about PSU football, as I’ve recently and repetitively posted.

    I’m a business person. That is my context. I was reacting to what I saw as a naive business statement by Dejan. Business. Revenue. That’s it.

  28. JAL says:

    JAL’s Wild Horses Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Karstens Getting Back to Last Season’s Form

    Evan Meek Feels Like He’s Back to 2010 Form

    Morales’ Homer Gives Indians A Come-From-Behind Win

    Prospect Watch: Marte Hits 12th Homer, Grossman Has Four Hit Day

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Yawn, Pirates Win Again. Sweep Marlins. Now 14 Over .500

    6 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Facing Crucial 13 Game Stretch

    7 McEffect

    7/22 Recap | Pirates 3 Marlins 0

    8 The Green Weenie

    Karstens Brooms Marlins 3-0

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Breaking out the brooms…again!

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 93: Pirates 5 Marlins 1

  29. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Cubs Game Preview

    12 Palm Beach Post

    Marlins give Anibal Sanchez no support, fall 3-0 to Pirates for fifth straight loss

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,6854816.story

    Cubs don’t play like superheroes, but dress the part–20120723,0,1682995.story

    14Miami Herald

    Miami Marlins left speechless after another listless loss to the Pirates

    15 Examiner

    Long ball pacing Pirates this season

    16 Boston Globe

    MLB trades may involve sticker shock

    17 Beaver County times

    Pirates finish sweep of Marlins


    18 PBC Site

    Karstens goes deep again, secures sweep of Marlins

    Notebook: At long last, Meek participating in pennant race

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Conundrum of Pitcher Roles

    20 Bleacher Report

    Where Will the Pittsburgh Pirates Find a Power Outfielder?

  30. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Football Outsiders: ‘Antonio Brown Absolutely, Positively Should Have Been the No. 1 Prospect’

    Battle of the AFC North, continued: Tight Ends

    22 Steelers Depot

    -New deal with Mike Wallace Can Be Both Cap Friendly and Lucrative

    23 Steelers Gab

    Report Says Steelers and Wallace Making Progress in Talks

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Burke Not Impressed With Steelers Offseason, Dom Not Impressed With Grade

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Football Rivalry History Review

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Jay Bilas As Big East Commissioner?

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Making A Staten On Offense

    28 WV Illustrated

    Jorge Wright Understanding His Role in WVU’s New Defensive Scheme


    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger admits that he is prepared to sell ‘in demand’ striker Robin van Persie

    31 World Soccer Daily
    10 Ten stories you need to read, July 20th, 2012

  31. JAL says:

    Theme this week is animals. Wild Horses – The Flying Burrito Brothers. 1970 Although written by Richards and Jagger, the Flying Burrito Brothers released the first recording in 1970. The song has since been covered by over 30 artists.

  32. Drew71 says:

    And, by the way, Scapper, if Dejan is correct with the projection that the pending penalties mean that Penn State football will have a “very hard time competing…for a decade or longer”…I am perfectly ok with that.

    – disingenuous drew

  33. NDfanatPSU says:


    I am in complete agreement.

  34. Curt says:

    Great article DK on Pirates front office.
    Team has different feel than last year, however the front office dragging their feet and making excuses has the same feel.
    Victorino would be a great fit. I still say get a quality SP, but almost all the rumors have Pirates connected to bats. We need one more SP.

    I know the concept of bunting is a rough patch for Marte and needs more work in Indy. Right. He can help up us right now and so he needs called up right now!

    As for Penn State, I say let them be punished long term. Make it very difficult to put a winning team on the field for several years. After all most just want to PLAY FOOTBALL. Couldn’t resist. Lol.

  35. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    I’m all aboard with a victorino pickup. I think Rob Biertempfel tweeted that the pirates view him as the perfect fit for the outfield or something.

    If somebody like Victorino is picked up, wouldn’t it be a good idea to keep Marte down this season and keep giving Jones and Mcgehee their ABs?

    If Huntington fails to get an outfielder, i absolutely agree about bringing Marte up for the stretch run. Presley just isn’t getting it done as a leadoff hitter. The chance would have to be taken to try Marte out there. If he succeeds and gets an outfielder, bring him up next June, barring injuries of course. But i’m not the GM. sooooo yea.

  36. Justin says:

    I don’t see how the program stays even if the NCAA does not impose the death penalty. Can you imagine what the current players are going to have to deal with at opposing team stadiums? I like to think of people as being kind and compassionate but you know there is going to be a lot of heckling and abusive behavior/language aimed toward these kids who were not even in the institution when these crimes took place. Let’s face it, they can talk up as much as they want that they can handle the abuse, but the University has to protect these kids better than they have in the past, and that means not having a football season.

  37. bdubb says:

    I have to think it is at least time for Marte to come up and replace Pressley. For those who worry about a rookie coming up and helping in the middle of a pennant race just look back to last year when Desmond Jennings came up at Tampa and not only contributed in the last 3 months but was huge for them. It can and it has happened.

    For those who were happy the Pirates took on $5m in salary last year in Lee and Ludwig I just have to say if the Pirates can’t take on $5m – or even $7 – this year then they have no business running a MLB team.

    To Mr Coonley – sure looks like the fans are out in force every night. You mentioned last year that when the fans show up you will spend. This is the second year in a row where they have shown up. Now show us the money.

    Now let’s go sweet the SCrubs

    Oh – What is this new rule MLB has to offer a 2nd round pick to low spending or small market teams? If you have to add a pick to make things fair then you have a really bad system to start with.

    The PSU question depends on the amount of bowl games missed and scholarships lost. If you are talking 30 scholarships and 10 years of bowls then I have to take a 1-year forfeiture. I don’t think the bowl issue is a big one – outside now playing in a few years for the National Championship but if you start taking away massive scholarships the rest of your recruiting suffers and you become Temple. But a 1-year ban would be totally unfair to the current players.

  38. jefft says:

    I’ve been in your camp on the death penalty fairly solidly until this morning, when I heard one convincing argument against it (Mike Prisuta was making it on WDVE):
    The NCAA is supposed to be concerned with making and keeping a level playing field. Because this is essentially a legal matter, maybe the NCAA shouldn’t do anything at all.
    Don’t know…I guess it should be all or nothing. I still believe that, if the NCAA does anything, it should be taking away the season; if not, not sure what else would make sense.
    Don’t pretend to know the answer, just a simple thought. Would like to hear the thoughts of the community.

  39. Ryan says:

    Wow, since when is going 3-5, 2 RBIs and 1 HR a “rough patch”?

  40. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    last night wasn’t the rough patch. the last week or so was the rough patch.

    I feel like last night’s performance shouldnt be a reason to be angry for Marte not being up. i mean… it was just 12 hours ago.

  41. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    or 18 hours ago. whenever the game was.

  42. David says:

    I have to disagree with your column. You called the NL Central down? Look again. The 2nd and 3rd best records in the National League are in the Central. The division has the 3rd and 4th place teams with the best records in the National League. Their 3rd place team is a mere 1.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. If you had to bet on one of the National League divisions producing 3 playoff teams you, I and nearly everybody else (save a huge Diamonback, or Met fan) would bet on the Central.

    This division is not down by any stretch. It looks like the best division in the National League right now and is the host to 3 of the top 7 teams in the league. If this is a down year I shudder to think about what you think this division is capable of (Three 100 win teams?).

  43. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Fine column. Love the term Yankee-nomics. I’d like to add this column to DK’s “right” list some day.

    1. Walker will be OK
    2. Don’t worry about Karstens
    3. Front office must also be “all in” (pending 7-31 deadline)

    Time will tell.

  44. JMB says:

    I can see the Flyin’ Hawaiian fitting in fine with this team, but I still only want him if the price is prospect cheap.

    The Phils should be happy for the salary relief, so they need to get their expectations in line w. reality.

  45. NMR says:

    Thank god Dan is here to make wide ranging moral judgements. Just think of all the money he saves from not having to buy air fresheners for his bathroom.

    If I’m the school, I take the punishment as is. They need to show that they can run a program correctly. It’s not that hard.

    Personally, again, I’d rather cancel the season.

  46. radio wave says:

    at skip #2
    The University leaders should handle this themselves.
    The University leaders handling this is the reason why they are in this position to start with.

  47. Naje says:


    I very much respect your perspective, especially on what your eyes tell you about a ball player. Always have. And I don’t doubt what your eyes tell you about Marte.

    But you’re a bit of stats guy, too. And where does Marte’s 1K every 4 at bats fit into this lineup… in a pennant race? Would you want to plug him in at leadoff and LF right now? In a perfect world, he comes up and plays LF or RF and you plug him into the No. 2 spot v. lefties and No. 7 spot v righties.

    Again, do you really want an untested rookie in the leadoff spot in a pennant race? A rookie as prized and gifted as this after only 370 at bats in AAA? Not wise.

    And honestly, so many have ridiculed management and their 5 year plan, but it’s working. I’ll trust their judgement about Marte. The last thing he needs is a year and a half long setback a la Alvarez, especially if he’s going to be the answer in CF or a corner OF spot for years to come.

    You could plug in a Barry Bonds in the leadoff spot when the PBC was terrible. You could bring up rookie after rookie in ’09, ’10 and ’11 and hand them a job without much pressure to deal with because the team was so awful. This a unique situation. You’ve been critical of this management and you’ve been complimentary… but the 5 year plan seems to be working. Not that the team is devoid of issues or could use an injection of an arm or a bat, but I’ll trust what they see about this situation.

    I don’t want another Alvarez here

  48. pants-n-at says:

    I live on the Gulf Coast and this economy was hit really hard by the BP oil spill. What did people do? They filed claims against BP to show the loss of income when the tourists stayed away. If the people of happy valley are concerned about losing their livelihood over a season being cancelled (which by the way, I’m in favor of a “death penalty” for PSU….and more) then sue! It’s the American way! Go after PSU for any lost revenue. The boosters got the cash….why not get yours? That’s what this is all about anyway.

  49. JMB says:

    The one quibble I have with the concept of the article is that it is “now time to step to the plate.” The FO has always been adverse to answering the “when is now” question. I would love to know what year NH really expected to compete. I still think he had 2014 circled in his day-planner, so he wasn’t as aggressive last deadline/off-season as he could have been.

    If we had made a nice run at Trumbo this off-season, the Angels might have been willing to trade him based on numerous reports, but it would take take Cutch to get him 1for1 now.

    If we had gotten Pence or Bourn last year, this team might have won a few more games in April and May, and we could have a firm hold on first place.

  50. pants-n-at says:

    JMB…good point. I always felt we should’ve gone harder after Pence last year when he knew the ‘Stros were shopping him.

  51. Naje says:


    To get players like Trumbo or Pence or Bourn I’m sure you realize that the team has to give up something… and not just spare parts. This team would look a whole lot different today with any of those players added to the roster…

  52. pants-n-at says:

    sorry…”we (Pirates) knew”

  53. scapper says:

    Okay, perhaps I should have been more specific. I’m referring to the hardcore PSU football fans who have recently developed a touching altruistic streak for the businesses that would have been affected by a year or two of no football. I’m not talking about anyone who has a detached, analytical and purely business-related view of the hit these businesses would take.

    And hey now, easy on the Tour bashing! Perhaps that’s why I’m so grumpy and depressed today. It’s the annual Tour withdrawal. I watch religiously for three weeks every year, and the day after it ends is always one of the worst days of the entire year. Greatest sporting event on the planet.

  54. Joe says:

    I just read the article “Pirates’ Alvarez: Don’t thinker witha good thing” and it sounds like Alvarez doesn’t feel the need to make any changes to the team. Not exactly agreeing with Resop on that subject.

  55. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Couldn’t agree with you more about Pence. He was all we needed at the time–talent, youth, long-term part, proven multi-tool ability. Maybe he could still be had.

  56. RobertoForever says:

    Here’s what Emmert will say in a few minutes

    Rabble rabble rabble, hypocritical reasoning. Rabble rabble rabble, judgemental power grab. Rabble rabble rabble PLAY FOOTBALL

    Oh, and the Pirates Fo already IS all-in. On their plan. And its working. I don’t believe any column, written now or in early May will put any pressure on them to do anything. If they had believed columnists, Alvarez and his 20+ HR’s would be in Indy along with other knee-jerk and pitchfork moves.

  57. JMB says:

    I wonder if El Toro has read the Headley rumors, and he doesn’t want to move to 1B.

    I know fielding stats are often panned, but these stats imply Headley is the better 3B fielder. UZR/150 Pedro 2.4 / Headley 10.2.

  58. Joey Mellons says:

    Penn State’s punishment should be to join the Big East.

  59. Bizrow says:

    You know, NH is going to have to overpay to get something of real value. I’m not sure if that is the best way to go.

    I know, its hard to stand pat, but I’d sure like to see what Marte and Clement could bring to the 25 man roster.

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Everybody that wanted Pedro in Indy or Altoona is glad they’re wrong and have expressed that here and other places, but that’s hardly knee-jerk. Last season’s stats should prove that. 4 HR, RBI’s in the teens and a below Mendoza-line BA for the season are hardly knee-jerk. Even El Toro would consider that a lost season and he looked headed that way in April. He wasn’t even making contact.

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    Initial reaction to the actions taken by the “baddies,” power hungry NCAA? Seems about right.

  62. tmp444 says:

    Without opining as to whether the “death penalty” was appropriate punishment or not, because the death penalty has not been given here, is there ever a circumstance where the death penalty could be appropriate ever again? Emmert said something to the effect that the death penalty would punish individuals not involved in the actions of the football team/athletic department. I can only imagine that this is a statement towards the current coach (O’Brien) and the State College community as a whole; and, in my view, would be applicable to many, if not all, collegiate athletic programs and the tangental effects thereof.

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    Including the timing.

  64. JMB says:

    We always hear that “they can’t take this away from you” regarding games, championships, and awards.

    But they basically just took the last thirteen years away from PSU; every player officially lost every game they ever played in during that time.

    In the end, it’s just a game esp. compared to the real life tragedy, but I do feel for the players.

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    For those that feel Penn State football has been wronged by an overreaching NCAA, just look the other way and pretend it’s not happening.

  66. Thundercrack says:

    What may be lost in all this “I don’t agree with the FO, and they need to bring Marte up now”, is that the Pittsburgh Pirates are WINNING.

    They have won 5 in a row. Would Marte allow them to somehow win 6 out of the last 5 games? Is he someone going to be able to stop the Reds from continuing to get wins?

    I mean honestly, I get the feeling that if Huntington hoists the World Series Trophy a certain columnist will stick his hand-held camera in his face and say “Congratulations Neal, I knew you were going to win this. But do you think you waited too long to bring up Starling Marte?”

  67. tmp444 says:

    TC — they are winning now — against some of the worst in the National League. The question is can this lineup compete regularly with the Nationals, St. Louis, Dodgers, etc. And then if it gets that far…the Yankees or Rangers?

  68. Bizrow says:

    TC, I’d just like to see Marte get his feet wet, and while they are playing well would be much better than if the PBC was struggling when he came up.

    Re – Death Penalty – I read that the DP is used only for repeat events? Of course, the NCAA is in uncharted waters right now.

  69. Thundercrack says:

    tmp444, I am not convinced that Starling Marte will allow them to “compete regularly with the Nationals, St Louis, Dodgers, etc.”

    And I want Marte brought up.

  70. bman says:

    @ Milo

    Very well said!

  71. Kevin Leary says:

    Props to the NCAA for getting it right.

    This is more fair, and honestly, more effective than a 1 or 2 year hiatus.

  72. tmp444 says:

    TC — I don’t disagree with you. I wasn’t referring to Marte specifically — I’m referring to the general consensus to DO SOMETHING, as, IMO, this team as currently built needs one or two more pieces to win in the playoffs, assuming it gets there at all.

    Again, Kudos to NH for getting it to this point. But, again, it needs one arm and one bat minimum.

  73. Joe says:

    Not sure what vacating all of Penn State’s wins dating back to 1998 has anything to do with this… other than knocking JoePa off the all time win list.

  74. JMB says:

    The Padres have asked the Pirates for a significant package of prospects for Chase Headley, as they have with all teams.

  75. Scott says:

    Dan1283, you defeated your own argument by showing that the WE ARE! culture that you despise also exists at Notre Dame. The fact is, it exists at every major institution that has a perennially successful football team. Taking away football from Penn State for a year would not have made that go away. Nor should it. As long as the administrators will never again allow the football program and its coaches to become more important than basic morality, then things have changed for the better. Fans are free to continue to worship the program if they like, just like they do everywhere else.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    Knocking the wins off back to 1998 goes back to when the evidence showed they started covering up for Sandusky. Actually makes perfect sense.

  77. Bizrow says:

    Whats the maximum allowed scholarships for a team 100? Thats based on 25 per year. So if PSU is limited to 15 per season, does that mean their max scholarships are 60 over the 4 years? That doesn’t jive with the stated 20 scholarships lost.

    It will be interesting to see how many recruits they lose that are already committed or already in school over this.

  78. Scott says:

    Also, DK’s argument that taking away football would have only hurt the economy for “8 days of the year” is easily the weakest argument of any kind he’s ever made on this site.

    DK: I’m listening. I posed a question, and you came back with the answer that I made a weak argument. So far, the only real response I’ve gotten to the question is to attack the question.

  79. RobertoForever says:


    What cover-up occurred in 1998? Please cite sources for the basis for a 1998 cover-up.

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto–rabble, rabble, rabble, hypocritical, judgmental power grab, rabble, rabble rabble. Read the Freeh Report, buddy. I’m not your secretary.

  81. tmp444 says:

    RF – See Freeh Report, Chapter 2, Part IV.

  82. Thundercrack says:

    Ahhh, but Scott that isn’t exactly what DK said. He didn’t say it would only hurt the economy. This is weak argument that he made:

    DK: I’d welcome hearing one example of a business that would go under because of losing eight days of revenue a year.

  83. RobertoForever says:


    I see what you did there. Rather than engage me in dialogue to debate the issue, you choose deflection. Interesting.

    And in case you try to explain it by what I posted, obviously Mark Emmert is not here to discuss and debate. Hence the rabble, rabble.

  84. RobertoForever says:


    Skimmed that section of the report again. Still missing the cover-up. Care to enlighten?

  85. Kevin Leary says:

    RF – don’t get indignant. First off, this is an online blog. Don’t start expecting everyone on here to be Edward R. Murrow. Secondly, it’s been pretty well reported upon that Paterno followed what happened in 1998, when the University first became aware of the transgressions. Stop being petulant just because you’re unaware.


  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto–cool, you posted the rabble, rabble before Emmert spoke a word. Real tricky reasoning (that’s sarcasm). Deflection? That’s deflection. Referencing the report that the sanctions were based on is hardly deflection. But you are correct I don’t care to debate this issue with you, but it has nothing to do with my confidence in my understanding of the facts. I also don’t care to debate it with Dan1283.

  87. RobertoForever says:

    For those who believe a cover-up existed in 1998-2001, then you must believe the cover-up continues to this day. Here’s a quote from the Freeh report, page 61

    “On August 31, 1999, Rodney Erickson, who had been Provost since July 1, 1999, honored Spanier’s promise to grant Sandusky emeritus rank given the President’s broad discretion under the policy. He told the staff member that he hoped that “not too many others take that careful notice.” In an interview with the Special Investigative Counsel, Erickson describer deeling “uneasiness” about the decision on Sandusky because of Sandusky’s low academic title and the prior history of who was granted emeritus rank.”

    So the CURRENT President of Penn State was aware of the situation in 1999 and he granted Emeritus status to Sandusky. Then we must concluded that he knew all about the situation, and did not stand up for what his right. And we must further conclude that Erickson is rushing to sign this consent decree with the NCAA to accept all these punishments, because he is trying to avoid negative publicity and save his job.

    The cover-up continues….

  88. Thundercrack says:

    Holy crap, I think I agree with Ron Cook!

  89. Dan1283 says:

    ” Dan1283, you defeated your own argument by showing that the WE ARE! culture that you despise also exists at Notre Dame. The fact is, it exists at every major institution that has a perennially successful football team. Taking away football from Penn State for a year would not have made that go away. Nor should it. As long as the administrators will never again allow the football program and its coaches to become more important than basic morality, then things have changed for the better. Fans are free to continue to worship the program if they like, just like they do everywhere else.”

    I don’t think it’s the same but it’s a good comparison. I don’t think the entire town of South Bend is sick. I think if a scandal like this broke at Notre Dame the fans would be angrier at the university than the NCAA. They’d probably blame it on the relaxed academic standards ND has employed over the last few decades to attract better athletes. They would probably welcome a cleansing of the program, not cry victim about it.

    Hopefully the punishments handed down today discourage ND from going down the same road PSU did.

  90. RobertoForever says:


    There was no indignation involved in my post. Its funny, because Dan Wetzel of Yahoo, a well-respected journalist, asked the same question I did.

    Its a valid question. What cover-up occurred from 1998-2001?

    The article you linked me to, says the alleged cover-up occured in 2001, not 1998. And it questioned Joe Paterno’s answers to the Grand Jury, which occurred in 2011.

    Again I ask. What cover-up in 1998? How can there be a cover-up, when the State Police, Child Welfare Services and the District Attorney all investigated. Is it a cover-up because the general public didn’t know? Because there was no a press conference held to tell reporters?

  91. Bizrow says:

    New thread up on PSU

  92. Kevin Leary says:

    Jeez dude. Read on…

    “But emails published in the Freeh report suggest Paterno closely followed a 1998 police investigation of Sandusky that ended without charges. In an email captioned “Jerry,” Curley asked Schultz: “Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.”

    Paterno, “were he alive, he would probably be scrutinized right now, as we speak, by a grand jury,” said Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who represents a young man suing Sandusky, Penn State and Sandusky’s charity over claims of sexual abuse. “When he did give testimony, now revealed to have been dubious at best and false on its face, that is illegal perjury because it was given under oath. So he is exposed.”

    Perjury, though, is rarely charged and is famously difficult to prove at trial. A jury has to find corroborating evidence of the falsehood, and the lie has to be intentional, not a simple misstatement. In Paterno’s case, prosecutors would have had to prove that Paterno had not simply forgotten about the 1998 investigation, according to University of Pennsylvania law professor Chris Sanchirico.”

    If this isn’t enough for you, read the first 8 paragraphs under “Is this Pandora’s Box?”

  93. Thundercrack says:


    Removing 8 days of football may or may not cause businesses to go under, as you stated. But those 8 days of football bring a lot of people to that area.

    So just to use one example, the hotels are packed to capacity those days. If you take that away the hotel then doesn’t need the extra people in house cleaning, bell hop, front desk, or the hotel restaurant.
    Just a small example. And the hotel might not ‘go under’, but those employees don’t get those wages during those 8 days. Do you not recognize that side of the argument?

    If the Trib said to you “we’re going to have you write 8 less columns a year and we’re going to reduce your pay by that amount”. You might not go under, but you would feel it in your wallet. And so might the local Starbucks.

    DK: I’ve written time and again here, Tony, that I acknowledge there would be an impact. What I’ve questioned are these extreme accounts of “thousands of jobs lost” and “businesses going under.” You are completely mis-portraying my point.

  94. RobertoForever says:


    Gosh man, didn’t you read my post????

    Phrasing things like that dismissively, Kevin, makes you look ‘tough’ and ‘smarter’ in the eyes of the people who support your argument, but petty and dismissive in the eyes of people who are objective.

    My comment was that if Paterno lied to the grand jury in 2011, that doesn’t mean there was a cover-up in 1998. If you take the reverse, that Paterno would have said, “I recall some incident in 1998, but I didn’t have specific details, nor was I asked to take action”, then there is no allegation of cover-up?

    There was no cover-up in 1998-2001. If you believe the allegations of cover-up, they relate to 2001, when a new incident arose that Child Welfare Services and the Police were not aware of, and the University did not report.

    By the way, if you read the reporting policy in the appendices of the Freeh report (which are crafted very closely to the federal reporting law), Paterno’s position is not identified as one that must report suspected child abuse. So therefore, him not reporting to the Child Welfare Services or Police is not a cover-up, nor is it required under law. Only Schultz, Curley and possibly Spanier were required to report.

    Again, still no evidence or allegation of cover-up during 1998.

  95. Kevin Leary says:

    Alright, bud.


  96. JMB says:

    #Phillies and #Dodgers have discussed Shane Victorino, source says. No momentum toward deal at this point.

    The Dodgers don’t want to give any prime pieces for a two month rental either (e.g. Dempster). The staring contest will go on until the last minute.

  97. Jandy says:

    So, RF, that Paterno wasn’t required to report suspected abuse makes it ok that he did nothing? Shame on Paterno.

  98. RobertoForever says:


    Not what I said. Feel free to reach whatever conclusion you want. Nowhere did I comment on whether what Joe Paterno did was ok or not.

    My question is related to this mistaken concept of a cover-up in 1998. There are many mistakes that have been pushed forward by media and then repeated over and over as fact. This is one of those.

    One could argue he perjured himself in 2011 in front of the grand jury. But I haven’t seen his testimony, so it is hard to make a judgement on that.

    Even Paterno said he should have done more. So he is the only one in all of this so far that has acknowledge his mistakes.

  99. Jandy says:

    RF, that was meant as a broad statement, not a personal attack. Not at any time did Paterno come forward to attempt to rein in Sandusky. I don’t care if it was 1998, 2001, 2005 or whatever. He did nothing. I also am not just blaming him. There are multiple parties for that.

    Too many men in power did nothing, and now innocent parties will suffer for it.

  100. DemonDachshund says:

    PLAY BASEBALL! says that the Pirates may not have to face Dempster on Wednesday, as he might be a Brave by then.

    Dempster has no trade rights though, so he could still veto the deal.

  101. Mike Shigley says:

    The reason people can argue that no coverup occurred between 1998 and 2001 is because the DA declined to prosecute, probably because the State Child Welfare office did not find credible evidence of abuse. Still, saying no coverup occurred does not excuse a lack of further investigation and non-legal actions that responsible officials should have taken.

  102. cmat0829 says:

    RE: Penn State… as I’m not an alumni nor fan, I feel like I can be objective. Penn St is a member of the NCAA and should abide by whatever level of ethical tenets the organization believes should be in place. This scandal, no matter how much Penn St fans/apologists are trying to spin this, just absolutely reaks and there can be no question that this football culture produced an environment that enabled unethical and illegal (and abhorrant) behavior.

    As to the punishment? The only thing the NCAA can do is to enact sanctions that are by defniition “after the fact”…they don’t have a time machine to go back and punish the scum (yes Joe Pa, you earned the title) that were involved. So these comments that this punishment “punishes young people and coaches and fans and businesses” that did no harm are just a bunch of BS.

    Penn St is hardly a power in football anyway, they are a decent Big 10 squad, been a loooong time since they’ve realistically competed for a national title.

    Personally, I’d prefer they do a 1-year death penalty AND a $60M fine (why should the public pay that fine vis a vis football profits this year vs. Penn St. actually digging into their coffers)?

    But already, get over it.

  103. Bill says:

    Losing 8 days of revenue can be crippling to any business, any size. Joe the car salesman sold 20 vehicles last month. He goes in to pick up his paycheck at the beginning of the next month. He finds out that his 8 most profitable deals were not included. Think that might cause him to go under? I do.

  104. Reagan's Dad says:

    I’ve heard that on game day State College becomes the 3rd largest city in PA. That is a huge infusion of people, 8 times a year, with money to spend. It’s not unreasonable to expect a business to make the bulk of it’s money in a particular season…how much do you think H&R Block make each year after April 15? Or a roofer from Nov to April? Zambelli Fireworks after the 4th of July? A retailer during the Holiday Shopping season? So those 8 days of business during football season could be the difference between success and failure.

    DK: Still waiting for an example.

    In the interim, let’s think about it. Most of the 100,000 fans live in Pennsylvania. How many would be active students or people already in State College area?

    From there, ask how many — regardless where they’re for
    — work regular jobs on a Friday. Assuming they don’t commute on game day — traffic would indicate otherwise — they’d drive in the previous night.

    So, no dinner at a restaurant on Friday. That leaves hotels, which — as I know from asking while up there — explode in rates up to $400 a night.

    Next morning, they’re part of the sea of tailgating outside Beaver Stadium, then go in to watch the game, then most likely head out to go back home that night.

    So far, I’ve got an over-sized hotel bill and probably a stop at a gas station. The tailgating food invariably is homemade.

    Tickets, parking all go directly to Penn State. Same with all food inside the stadium.

    Hotel bill and a stop at the gas station.

    What am I missing?

  105. Mike Shigley says:

    What you are missing is what actually goes on. People don’t just come in, go to the game, and leave. They walk around town. I quote, “In 2009, Penn State football brought more than $90 million to the county, according to a study done by the Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach firm for the university. A decade before, another study calculated football’s annual windfall to be about $83 million.” Further, certain stores (e.g.,memorabilia)receive more than half of their annual revenues during football weekends. It is akin to many big box retailers, whose annual profit or loss comes from how well it does between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    DK: So, according to that report, each Penn State football game produces about $10 million for the county. Does the report distinguish between Beaver Stadium revenues (including tickets) and spending in the actual community? Because that’s been our topic. There’s never been ANY question the football program was profitable. Made $53 million last year.

  106. Mike Shigley says:


    The quoted portion of the report does not distinguish the source of the economic impact. All I had access to was a newspaper summary. All I can further go on were the quoted statements of local merchants who said that their profitability depends on how well they do football weekends. Last, the wire story I read said that the annual football revenues were $53M, that that was the net profit.

    DK: All I can add is that EVERY economic impact study I’ve seen in Pittsburgh included ticket sales and other event-specific, on-site revenues. If that’s the case here, that $90M figure would be massively bloated by Beaver Stadium revenues.

  107. Dan1283 says:

    Mom and Pop’s diner will not go under because they don’t do business on football weekends.

    The bars won’t.

    The shops won’t.

    If they can survive the summer break, they can survive one day a week for 8 weeks. They’re just wailing about how devastating it would be because their profits may take a little bit of a hit. But it’s not a death blow unless they’re the world’s worst business owner.

    Ever since my post last night I’ve asked for an example. I got a speculating headline with the word “COULD” in it.

    Why don’t Mom and Pop open their books to a newspaper that isn’t based out of Centre County? Go on CNN and cry bankruptcy. The sympathy money would pour in.

  108. Mike Shigley says:

    @DK and @Dan1283
    My point is not to quibble about the numbers, but to address the effects on individual businesses. There were over 1700 jobs at risk. Individual shop owners would see their profits potentially disappear (quite possible when over 50% of your annual sales take place those 8 weekends). No, the bars and most eateries would not fold, but even large restaurants would have to lay off wait staff.

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