published Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

5 at 10: Paterno fallout, Harvey Updyke and Four Mr. Football finalists

Now from the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...

  • photo
    In this Jan. 1, 2003 file photo, Joe Paterno, Oenn State head football coach, walks along the sideline during the Capital One Bowl against Auburn, in Orlando. Auburn won, 13-9. Penn State administrators on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 canceled Paterno's weekly news conference, in which he was expected to field questions about a sex-abuse scandal involving former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack, File)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Paterno fallout continues

The fallout from the arrest of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky on child sexual abuse charges continue to consume the sports news. It's a tragic story that has grabbed the nation's attention and has continue to grow after Penn State cancelled coach Joe Paterno's regular Tuesday news conference.

The 5-at-10 has said repeatedly that Joe Pa should have resigned Tuesday and he should have been fired today rather than allowed to announce he's going to retire at the end of the season. Paterno should not be allowed to leave on his terms after this mess.

Joe Pa is one of six known adults — assistant coach Mike McQueary, McQueary's dad, former AD Tim Curley, former vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and a custodian — who heard of Sandusky's actions no later than 2002. None of them took measures beyond telling each other about the heinous acts of Sandusky.

Our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer nailed the sitaution in today's column here (Wiedmer: Nowhere for Paterno to go but away from his PSU job).

Sandusky is obviously the villain here. No one is debating that, except for Sandusky who has said he is innocent. And he'll have his day in court.

As for the rest of the members of the Penn State cover-up crew, well unless there is some unforeseen revelation, they are all complicit in allowing Sandusky to continue to prey on children. And of that six, none have embraced the "Success with Honor" mantra like Paterno. His silence in this horror story destroys the foundation of of the program he spent a lifetime building. It's all rubbish, because at its core, Paterno cared more about the reputation of his program than the welfare of children. Read that sentence again.

And if you're stance is, "Well, let's wait and hear what Paterno has to say about the matter," that's fine. And in most matters that's very reasonable, but this is not most matters. Joe Pa is easily the most powerful person in State College and arguably the most powerful person in Pennsylvania, so if Joe Pa wanted to get anything done or have anything stopped it would have been done. Instantly. In a lot of scenarios, a cover-up operates from the top down, so maybe a president or CEO would order silence for whatever reason. But regardless of the chain of command, Joe Pa is Penn State.

No, Joe Pa and the rest of them did the very minimum that was required in this matter because he hoped this would go away. Joe Pa's silence is deafening and criminal. He wanted to protect his program instead of protecting the children Sandusky terrorized. In the end, his silenced destroyed both.

And among the twisted dark questions and the crushed feelings and emotions and the unknowns about so much surrounding this murky, seedy situation, there is no doubt what should happen at Penn State.

Fire them all. Now.


Talking with Dr. B (he's a doctor after all), Quake and Cowboy Joe on SportTalk on Tuesday, we were able to speak briefly about the Tennessee Vols' trip to Arkansas this weekend. The Good Doctor believes that the Hogs only laying 14 points is a gift from the Gambling Gods.

And in truth it's hard to argue with that point considering the painful mismatch that appears to be the Hogs' passing game against the up-and-down Vols secondary.

But as we get closer to the game, it's getting harder to live with our pledge that The 5-at-10 is going to take a glass half-full/glass half-empty approach to our daily Vols breakdowns.Today's topic: Scoring with the Hogs.

It's tough picturing a scenario in which the Vols stop Arkansas from scoring 30 points, so for the Vols to notch their first SEC win, that means they will have to find a way to score 31 (or more).

Is that possible? With a full roster, maybe. With Justin Worley (who spoke with the media as our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown reports here (UT: Justin Worley footwork a focus), though, that seems like a tall order.

Trying to think positive, trying to think positive... OK, how's this? Now that these Vols are on a one-game winning streak (is there such a thing as a one-game winning streak?) the overflowing confidence coming from the Vols offense will allow UT to take the next step. Nope, we're not buying that either. OK, what about this one? UT's assortment of walk-on running backs and frat boy kickers are going to have the Hogs so overconfident, half the team will not show up on time. Doubtful.

We do know this: For these Vols to score enough to keep pace with Arkansas, Da'Rick Rogers will be next week's SEC offensive player of the week and Worley will be SEC freshman of the week.

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    An undated photo provided by the Auburn Public Safety Department shows Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr., 62, of Dadeville. Updyke Jr. was arrested early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011 and charged with one count of first-degree criminal mischief in connection with the poisoning of the historic Toomer's Corner oak trees at Auburn University. (AP Photo/Auburn Public Safety Department)

College football blitz

The 5-at-10 has been a huge, Huge, HUGE fan of ESPN's 30-in-30 documentary series. There have been some outstanding installments in the series, including the ones on Miami, SMU, Steve Bartman, Len Bias, the OJ chase and the Raiders/rap.

So we watched with high excitement the latest installment last night — "Roll Tide/War Eagle" — with high hopes. We were left flat.

It was like they let Jerry Springer edit the script with the goal of playing to the lowest common denominator.

Someone watching from a far got 25 minutes of history of the rivalry (which was entertaining if not all that informative because of some great interviews with among others Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Cam Newton, Gene Stallings and Mark Ingram). Then it was 10 minutes on the Cam Newton situation (which was obviously shot long before the NCAA cleared Auburn in the allegations involving Newton's recruitment, which begs the question that if that much of your film is on Newton and then the NCAA rules on it, shouldn't you reshoot that part rather than just add a date of the interview when Cam appears on screen and an editor's note at the end?). And the last 25 minutes were filled with Harvey Updyke and Paul Finebaum, and saying that Al from Dadeville and the sports radio equivalent of Howard Stern deserve almost half of nationally televised show about the Iron Bowl is embarrassing, short-sighted and uninformed.

There were some very good parts, and as a general rule, the 5-at-10 is a fan of the work of Wright Thompson, who was one of the writers and the narrator of the show.

But focusing on Updyke and Finebaum as central pieces to a rivalry like that is the easy way out and an ignorant attempt to play to a national perception. Focusing on those two buffoons in an Iron Bowl rivalry would be like spending 20 minutes of an hour-long special on the New York Yankees on Derek Jeter's long list of A-list girlfriends and A-Rod's steroid use.

Hey, we watched the whole thing and there were some entertaining parts — Barkley accurately stating that Auburn fans have always had a chip on their shoulders, the Gene Jelks stuff, every scene with Gene Stallings, who is an awesome guy — and maybe we had higher hopes, but all in all, we were disappointed. Put it this way, we've watched several of the 30-in-30 films mentioned above multiple times, but we won't watch "Roll Tide/War Eagle" again.

  • photo
    Baylor offensive lineman Barrett Gouger participates in practice at Baylor in this file photo. Gouger, along with teammate Henrique Ribeiro and South Pittsburg's Coltin Blevins and Jajuan Lankford, are finalists for the TSSAA's Mr. Football awards.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

This and that

— Here's prep ace Stephen Hargis's story about four Tennessee area high school players who were named Mr. Football finalists in their respective categories Tuesday (Area four honored by TSSAA). Here's saying will have at least three winners from that group, too.

— The New England Patriots cut Albert Haynesworth on Tuesday. Haynesworth, the former UT and Tennessee Titans star, if you recall left the Titans via free agency for a nine-figure deal with Washington a few years ago. Now he has washed out with another team. The Titans decision not to resign him may be the organization's second-best decision ever, right behind drafting Steve McNair. As for bad Titans decisions, well, that list is long and distinguished.

— Jeffrey Kessler, one of the lawyers for the NBA's players union, tossed out this beautiful quote — "Instead of treating the players like partners, they're treating them like plantation workers." Uh, gang, can we stop comparing a group of people that are getting millions of dollars per year to play a kid's game to slaves. It's dishonest, disingenuous and disturbing. Stop.

Today's question

The alleged crimes of Jerry Sandusky are unspeakable, and if he's guilty, here's hoping they put him in GenPop and let the fellas in the yard have their way with him. In fact, there are some reports out there that the number of victims has climbed to 20, and in truth, it will only go up.

That said, of all the scandals and tragic stories in the sports world, has there ever been a situation more surprising, disgusting and image-changing than the apparent cover-up at Penn State?

Is there anything that Joe Pa can say or evidence anyone can produce that some how could offer a tiny shred of an explanation?

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Some of your best work Jay.

November 9, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
jgreeson said...



We're pretty sure this is the single worst sports story we can ever remember.

— 5-at-10

November 9, 2011 at 11:26 a.m.
compspeed said...

Although I think they spent too much time on Finebaum, showing the vitriol that comes across on that show did help convey the craziness attached with this rivalry. Also, they failed to mention the fact that Updyke most likely beat himself up and then claimed he was jumped outside an Opelika gas station after his first court date. Nutjob. They should have focused more on some of the classic games and players, but if someone knew nothing about the rivalry, it was, ehhhh, just OK.

November 9, 2011 at 11:27 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From the e-mails from McPell

I too was disappointed in the ESPN special, in fact I turned it off when Finebum & the nut from Dadeville. Joe Pa needs to go and he needs to apologize to those boys and their families. I can't think of a worse cover-up in college sports today.

November 9, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.
chas9 said...

5er--good job by Weeds, as usual.

ESPN just announced JoePa steps down at the end of the season. You're right, immediate firing is the best course, and it could yet happen.

Caught you on Sport Talk yesterday, and was impressed with your incisive thought and wisdom. While the 5@10 and Sport Talk usually strike a light tone, which we enjoy, it's good to know you are balanced enough to know this is a time to be very serious.

When a caller yesterday confused homosexuality with sex abuse/rape, Cowboy Joe saved the show by distancing himself from that ghastly view. KUDOS, Joe. And SHAME on the old guys (Quake and The Doctor) for demurring from Joe's statement. Very necessary statement.

One of the old guys even said Joe "shouldn't get into politics." Huh? Most days the hosts would be right to avoid serious, controversial discussion. But this show was one for honesty and education. Joe's statement has nothing to do with politics. It's important to stand against bigotry, and misinformation about sexuality only makes further atrocities more likely. It's time to take away The Doctor's license to practice. If they can't live in the 21st, century, at least get out of the 19th.

November 9, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.
fechancellor said...


There's no equivalent to this story in college sports, although equivalent national outrage my be found in the 1919 Chicago White Soxs fixing the world series.

As for Jo Pa, nothing mitigates his involvement. When he did not hear from AD and staff after personally informing them of the eye witness report of Sandusky's depraved behavior toward a minor, the coach should have called the AD down to his office to get to the bottom of it. Such was the true chain of command at PSU.

What angers me the most about the cover up is it allowed Sandusky to remain a sexual predator assaulting/corrupting another Second Mile boy in 2006. In 2007, Sandusky through his capacity as a high school volunteer plys another student with computer and various other gifts including--believe it or not--golf clubs.

For Joe Pa and the Penn State Athletic Department not to face up Sandusky's eye witnessed sex crime performed on a minor in their very own locker room allowed the sexual predator Sandusky to strike twice later in 2006 and 2007 when finally the preponderance of the evidence could no longer be ignored or denied.

As for Jo Pa's long husbanded $1 billion athletic fund, large recompense will eventually find its way to the families that can help in getting their lives back. For sure, at least three victims including the two final kids Sandusky voilated should have never happened if the Penn State Athletic Department did the right thing, the courageous thing at the right time in 2002.

November 9, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Time spent on Finebaum is time wasted. By anybody and everybody.

The 5 at 10 is well aware where the BIspy4 stands on the vast, overwhelming majority of sports talk radio. As a medium, it's rare if it's well done (thank you, thank you very much, you've been a great audience. My CDs are available in the lobby).

That Penn State knew of Sandusky's actions and did nothing to stop them, allowing more and more young boys to become victims to that predator, is appalling at the least. Joe Pa doesn't need to be allowed to retire with grace and dignity because there is none left. Our lack of shame spreads even to this case and there should be shame heaped upon Joe Pa and all those who swept this under the rug or thought it was somebody else's mess to clean up.

November 9, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.
memphisexile said...

I was glad to see Coach Paterno decided to retire. The thing I do not understand is why the grad assistant who witnessed the shower incident did not immeidately call the police? Why did he not stop Sandusky right then and there? "Hey get away from that kid!" would have been a more appropriate response than, "Hmmmm, maybe I should tell my dad about this?". Of everyone, he seems the most complicit to me.

On a lighter note, the Tennessee fans need to have a little faith. Arkansas struggled against Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Troy, their awful defense may give Tennessee a chance.

November 9, 2011 at 1:26 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Compspeed —

The best comparison we can draw to that special is it felt like some New Year's Eves from days gone by — those celebrations that you are so excited about and then they turn out ot be OK, but OK feels worse than OK because you were expecting so much more.

Does that make any sense?

9er —

Thanks for the kind words. The caller that made the needless reference was way off base.

The tone of that show was very different than normal, no doubt. It was unusual.

FE to the C —

The Black Sox scandal is an interesting spin. Granted it has no where near the destruction on the victims, but it was such a national news story then. And think about if that happened now with the InterWebs. would implode if word hit the streets that the Texas Rangers had thrown the Series.

And you're spot on that the cowardice at Penn State has allowed Sandusky to continue to do unspeakable acts and that's unforgivable. It's the reason that Paterno's lasting for us will forever be this scandal. Not the 409 wins. Not the two national titles. None of it matters because he allowed Sandusky to continue.

And you best believe the civil suits headed to State College are well into the nine figures.

Spy —

Finebaum is a clown, and we all know how the 5-at-10 feels about clowns (clowns and cole slaw rank atop our list of everyday things we simply can not stand).

We're blessed here in Chatt-Vegas to have some pretty good sports talk radio shows. (But we did see what you did there — well-played indeed.)

That they are planning to let Joe Pa finish the season is yet another way of washing their hands of this entire situation.

We're still waiting for one plausible reason why any of the six adults who had knowledge of Sandusky's actions did not report it to authorities.

As Jay Bilas said on Mike & Mike this morning, if you hear the words "60-year-old man, 10-year-old boy and shower," what else do you need? You have to investigate that or report it to the authorities.

— 5-at-10

November 9, 2011 at 1:46 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Memphis —

Concur 100-percent. McQueary should be fired, too. Like yesterday. How can you see that and not act or scream or do anything but wait 24 hours to tell your boss.

Here's something else that needs to be answered and we discussed this one SportTalk on Tuesday: McQueary told the Grand Jury the graphic details about the scene in the shower and said he told Paterno; Paterno said McQueary told him little more than that something and he was very upset. Well, McQueary's dad was apparently at the meeting between McQueary and Paterno, let's hear what he has to say.

Of course, at this point, we'd like to hear what any one of the six have to say or any of the leaders at PSU have to say.

This is sickening.

— 5-at-10

November 9, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.
fechancellor said...

The Official 2011 Penn State Pedifile Enabler Tour

11/12 Nebraska @ Home

11/19 Ohio State @ Columbus

11/26 Wisconsin @ Madison

Get your tickets as well as a selection of your favorite half-pint bottles today!

November 9, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

If PETA protested Mike Vick returning to the NFL after his dogfighting, then there needs to be a whole slew of protesters lined up outside Happy Valley, the Horse Shoe and at Camp Randall if Paterno and McQueary are allowed to finish the season.

— 5-at-10

November 9, 2011 at 2:33 p.m.
eljefe said...

Five at 10,

I apologize for beating this horse but the documentary was just crud. Is that too strong for family based? I know "stink pants" is sort of the industry standard in these discussions but I wnated to express something stinkier.

How can a group with the collective talent level at ESPN 30 by 30 have decided that production was worthy of their efforts? In my humble (yet always right) opinion the biggest failure was their angle for the story. Sure the rivalry is crazy and should not be ignored. The fierce rivalry is the back drop for the real story.

The story, however, is everyone coming together after the storm and working together as human beings and Alabamanians. The story is not anything to do with that nutjob that had "too much "Bama" in him." Oh, if this were not family based ...

November 9, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
BOOBOO99 said...

6 KNOWN ADULTS KNEW OF WHAT HAPPEN TO THIS BOY AND THEY ALL IGNORED IT. SO ALL 6 INCLUDING Joe Paterno the head Pedo.should be fired.If they step forward when this happened they could of prevent other boys from being raped by Sandusky.But they didnt because they are cowards.They all should be charged in the rapes of all the boys involved. This is the worst thing ive heard of in Sports history. As a sports fan i will never watch a Penn State game again and the school should be called PEDO U.

November 9, 2011 at 2:52 p.m.
chas9 said...

CNN is reporting that some students left class and cried when they learned that JoePa would resign at season's end. If they took it as confirming that the atrocities did in fact happen, or if they had hoped (against reports) that he was innocent of the whole deal and that the "resignation" implied that he was complicit, then the tears make sense. We know he was popular with the students (and PA citizens), but nobody (even young people) should make the mistake of worshipping any human being to the point they think their downfall matters more than truth and justice. Wouldn't matter if it had been Fulmer, Bryant, Neyland, Saban, Rupp, or even Wooden. Yes, it would be sad if any had been involved in anything like this, but his departure for wrongdoing isn't itself sad.

November 9, 2011 at 3 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Jefe —

Crud is within the bounds of a family-oriented, Web-based, sports column. Although if there ever was going to be a time the 5-at-10 would allow harsher language, this would be it.

And yes, the second half of the ESPN was rotten. It would be like telling the suffering of Red Sox Nation for the 86 years before 2004 and spending 20 minutes on that awful movie with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.

BooBoo99 —

Welcome to the show. They are cowards. And if they let Paterno and McQueary coach this weekend, we're fully behind the P(edo)SU boycott.

9er —

Great point about hero worship. It's great to have people you look up to and if you're lucky those people will never let you down. But they are people and when they make mistakes, it stinks but you have to evaluate and move forward.

Joe Pa's departure at the end of the season isn't sad, it's tardy. And hopefully those people shedding tears at State College are crying for the victims or even somewhat selfishly that is going to leave a huge mark on the school and the football program for years to come.

— 5-at-10

November 9, 2011 at 3:26 p.m.
BOOBOO99 said...

Well the students should weep for the young boys who got raped. Not for the Pedophile who allowed this to happen.Joe Paterno knew about this and covered it up. Only person that would cover up the pedophile Sandusky would be other Pedophiles like Joe Paterno.This man should be in jail with the other 5 who knew about all this...THESE PEOPLE ARE SICKOS!

November 9, 2011 at 3:27 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

I couldn't agree more about "Roll Tide/War Eagle!" And to think I was really looking forward to seeing that one before I started watching it. Oh well... ROLL TIDE!

November 9, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.
Walden said...

For anyone reading these comments that doesn't share the level of rage being expressed herein, I suggest you read the 23-page indictment. It is one of the most horrific things I have ever read. Sandusky is a sad, pathetic little man, and he deserves the worst that society can level upon him.

November 9, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BooBoo —

Concur. The level of support for Joe Pa should be magnified tenfold for the victims. And for Joe Pa to say he is "devastated," makes our stomach turn a little bit.

Musicaman375 —

It was underwhelming, right? There's so much passion and pageantry and purpose in that rivalry and they spend 20 minutes on a clown fool (Finebaum) and his puppet (Al from Dadeville).

It would have been more interesting spending that time looking at the relationships (husband/wife or parent/child or siblings) that go on hold for the Iron Bowl. Or go more into the tornados. Or even the arms race that causes each school to spend tens of millions to keep pace with the other.

The last thing we need more of is some goof ball Al from Dadeville that is the worst example of fandom anywhere.

Walden —

Well said. Have you noticed that through all of this, there has not been a whole lot of explanations? You know why? Because there is no explanation for this.

Good night gang. Headed to the house and to hug my 4-year-old son. And to say a prayer.

— 5-at-10

November 9, 2011 at 5:17 p.m.
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