Thursday, November 10, 2011

Top Of The Heap -- IU Signs Powerhouse Basketball Class; Paterno Is Out

“The Movement” has come to Indiana basketball.

Hoosier coach Tom Crean has signed potentially the best class since Bob Knight landed the late 1980s group led by Calbert Cheaney. All those guys did was win a couple of Big Ten titles, reach a Final Four and earn a No. 1 ranking.

What will point guard Yogie Ferrell, combo guard Ron Patterson, small forward Jeremy Hollowell, power forward Hanner Perea and center Peter Jurkin do?

In time, we’ll know. For now, there’s hope and potential, and after three years of sanction-caused misery, that’s enough.

“We want to rebuild Indiana back to the No. 1 program in the nation,” Ferrell said.

Patterson said that the term, “The Movement,” is about hanging up banners and winning championships, that it means, “hard work, never let down, never give up.”

“We all know each other,” he said. “We know the good and the bad.”

Patterson has built a defensive reputation during his time at Indianapolis Broad Ripple. He said he will, “work hard, get quicker and the things I was doing bad, make them better.”

His high school coach, Scott Hicks, said, “Ron has done a great job and he’s reaping his rewards. He’s a treat to coach. IU is getting a great player and a quality young man.”

The key to the class is Ferrell because of his point guard position. It’s been years since IU has had a true point guard and that will be crucial, in these guard-driven times, to produce a championship team.

Ferrell said he is working on his leadership skills and being more vocal.

“Coach Crean wants me to take over the team,” he said. “That’s what he told me.”

Crean is set to talk later today about the class and what it means for a program on the rise. What does it mean?

One hell of a lot.


How did good men let this happen?

Joe Paterno was a football coaching legend. Tim Curley was one of the nation’s most respected athletic directors. Yet, somehow, their judgment was so clouded, so distorted, they allowed an alleged pedophile to have free reign in the athletic complex for years, even when they knew, or should have known, what he was capable of.

Yes, it speaks of moral failing, corrupted values or just plain stupidity. The Paterno camp suggested the coach didn’t really understand exactly what had happened a decade earlier, that he really did think it was just horsing around and not something far worse.

But maybe it more reflects the power of Jerry Sandusky, that he could seduce grown men with charm and lies just as he, allegedly, did young boys.

Sandusky destroyed lives. The innocent couldn’t have known or understood what he was doing. But Paterno and Curley had to know.

It made no sense to allow Sandusky to have access to Penn State facilities, given what had been seen and reported, and yet, they did, for years. At worst, it was a cover-up and a crime. At best, well, there is no best.

In time, perhaps, we’ll understand.

Perhaps we’ll understand why a graduate assistant, when stumbling upon what was, in essence, a rape in a shower, did not stop it, did not run to the police. Instead, he ran to his father, and then to Paterno and then let it go, becoming an assistant coach where he surely ran into Sandusky on occasion, and did nothing.

Paterno went to Curley, and then let it go.

Curley went to, well, he basically just let it go.

Evil seduces, manipulates, corrupts. It gets good people to do bad, and in a way so they don’t realize what they have done until it it too late.

Evil is not ugly like Voldemort but attractive like Ted Bundy, the serial killer who charmed his to multiple murders.

So Paterno is out, Curley is out, the Penn State president is out. A proud university is disgraced, a football program is gutted, a Hall of Fame reputation is tarnished.

Students rioted in State College in the aftermath of Paterno’s firing, which reportedly came with a messenger arriving at Paterno’s house, bearing a note that told the coach to call a number. He did and got a pair of Penn State board of trustee members who told him that after 46 years and 409 victories, he was no longer the Nittany Lions coach.

But through the sadness of it all, remember this -- it's about the children. Let the healing begin.


  1. Deep Throat was correct about Harris. Send him out on the recruiting trail.

  2. I guess I appreciate the confidence of "The Movement" but would rather see their performance on the court do the talking. Remember Lebron James last summer?

  3. Paterno is a pawn in this sad tale. No one can convince me that the trustees were not aware of this situation, but feared that the bomb would go off before it could be defused. Time will tell, but my gut feeling is that JoePa will be cleared of any wrongdoing.