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Harty: Penn St. players don’t deserve scrutiny

[ 1 ] July 25, 2012 |

Call me a softy, but I’m glad the three football players from Penn State won’t be attending the Big Ten media days in Chicago.

I’m glad for them mostly because why should they have to spend the better part today and Friday answering for the horrible sins of others.

Why should they be fodder for reporters looking to feed off this despicable chapter in sports history?

Why should they have to be asked over and over about their former coach when right now they might not know what to think about Joe Paterno?

There is plenty of time to advance the scandal at Penn State and to gain more perspective on Paterno’s shattered legacy. So why throw three athletes to the wolves after the NCAA hammer came down less than a week ago under unprecedented circumstances?

Let Penn State coach Bill O’Brien deal with the media blitz this week. He’s already been proactive with his Wednesday morning appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike Show” in which he confirmed that Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz had contacted him about possible Penn State transfers.

Speaking of transfers, running back Silas Redd was among the three Penn State players scheduled to represent the Nittany Lions at the Big Ten event. The others were defensive lineman Jordan Hill and offensive lineman John Urschel.

No offense to the other two players, but this would’ve been Redd’s show in Chicago, much like it’s his show during games in the fall.

Redd is one of the top running backs in the country and is rumored to be considering transferring to the University of Southern California, whose coach conveniently has made it known that his star-studded team still needs a running back.

The absence of the Penn State players will mean more questions being asked about the scandal to the other 33 Big Ten players that’ll be on hand.

It’ll be interesting to hear the players respond if they get asked whether they think a child abuser like Jerry Sandusky could’ve thrived within their community.

One story that came out today tells how Illinois sent a group of coaches — it’s been reported as many as six — to the Penn State campus to initiate contact with Penn State players.

It’ll be interesting to hear how new Illinois coach Tim Beckman responds to questions about that.

The NCAA wants to change the culture in big-time college football, but with coaches behaving more like vultures, it seems like more of the same.

From a news angle, we’ll get by without the three Penn State players. And they’ll sure get by without us.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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