Your regular Big Ten lunch links will be served a bit later, but in light of what happened in State College, Pa., on Wednesday night, here are some Penn State/Joe Paterno links.
Colleague Mark Schlabach: "Finally, adults with backbones and courage made a prudent decision at Penn State. Paterno was fired because he failed miserably while making the biggest decision of his life."
Colleagues Brian Bennett and Wayne Drehs: "A man near the front of the room repeatedly yelled "The campus is going to burn!" while Surma attempted to give answers. The school was not in fact torched, at least not as of about 1 a.m. Thursday, but students took to the streets of downtown State College to protest the decision."
Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde: "It’s the way some employers would treat a middle manager, not a legend. But in the end, maybe that’s heartlessly fitting – after all, Paterno abdicated his powerful role and played the part of a mid-level employee in passing the buck up the ladder when informed in 2002 that an alleged pedophile had raped a boy in the showers of his football complex. The crucial lack of leadership in a moment of dire crisis led to the end of his leadership at Penn State."
SI.com's Andy Staples: "Now, the university community needs to repair itself. Wednesday's board of trustees meeting was a good start."
The Patriot-News' Bob Flounders: "It was a run for the record books. Just two weeks ago, Paterno became college football’s all-time leader in Division I victories with his 409th win. And now the run is suddenly, stunningly over."
USA Today's Steve Wieberg and Jack Carey: "His players graduated -- 87 percent of them by the NCAA's most recent count -- and his program was one of the few in college football's upper tier to have escaped the taint of NCAA rules violations and sanctions. Paterno and his wife, Sue, have donated millions of dollars to Penn State's academic side, and the family name is affixed to a school library. The circumstances of his exit won't obliterate the achievements of a lifetime. But neither will they be swept away."
CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd: "What we're left with is the Big Take Back. Let's hope this is the moment when it begins, a movement to take back college athletics from the current stakeholders. They have failed miserably -- the bloated athletic departments; the overpaid, out-of-touch coaches; the apparel companies; the networks; maybe even the NCAA. This is where the excess has to stop. This has to be the point when universities quit bowing down to King Football, quit drooling over the prospect of colorful uniforms, stop being beholden to ratings."
The Altoona Mirror's Neil Rudel: "Paterno's loyalty was returned by Penn State in full, and only when it was justifiably left with no choice - in the wake of the most embarrassing scandal ever to hit a college sports program - did it pull the plug. The end for Paterno, as ugly as it became, will not be overshadowed by his extraordinary body of work."
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bill Lyon: "The irony is, the tragedy is, in trying to keep his beloved school from suffering harm, Paterno had a hand in causing that very harm. When the scandal was brought before him, he reacted, but it was only the bare minimum, superficial, a shocking cover-up that flew in the face of all that he, and Penn State, had come to stand for."
The Patriot-News' David Jones: "Only a public figure of supernova magnitude can generate this sort of attention. And when that figure disappears, the vacuum is of black-hole proportions. Which, if we can permit ourselves to look ahead to the future of what ever is left of the Penn State football program, is what awaits."
Ron Musselman on Penn State's new acting coach Tom Bradley.
A man near the front of the room repeatedly yelled "The campus is going to burn!" while Surma attempted to give answers. The school was not in fact torched, at least not as of about 1 a.m. Thursday, but students took to the streets of downtown State College to protest the decision. A man near the front of the room repeatedly yelled "The campus is going to burn!" while Surma attempted to give answers. The school was not in fact torched, at least not as of about 1 a.m. Thursday, but students took to the streets of downtown State College to protest the decision.