Good morning, Omaha. I needed some rest after a long vacation, so I'm back to work. Anything happening?
• You know, if the NCAA wanted to really punish Penn State, it would have made school officials, the team and PSU fans travel to Penn State for a game.
• I applaud the NCAA and Mark Emmert for taking action. This absolutely falls under the NCAA's umbrella. The cover-up was in the name of football and saving the legacy of a coach and program.
And it had everything to do with securing a competitive advantage. If the Jerry Sandusky crimes got out, Joe Paterno would have been replaced and recruiting would have been severely damaged.
NCAA rules don't have to be broken for NCAA penalties to be applied. If a school embarrasses college athletics, to a despicable extreme like this, the NCAA not only has the right to weigh in, it has an obligation. That's why there's an NCAA. Don't like it? Start your own NCAA.
But let's be honest here: There were other agendas at work as Emperor Emmert flexed his muscles. The expediency was to take care of this thing ASAP and move on. Meanwhile, Joelier-than-thou Penn State and its Great Experiment made for an easy target, a good example for all of the would-be football factories out there. And nobody could argue, except the Paterno family, which just issued another media statement.
Guess what? This won't deter future cheating or covering-up. This won't change the culture of college football.
What about Miami and its booster run amok? What about Oregon and its middleman? What about all of the others? Emmert won't be back down this road again. It's got double standard written all over it, but again, this was a chance for the NCAA's head man to make a statement. What bigger one than to take down the coaching record, the legend of JoePa?
I'm glad the NCAA is letting Penn State players transfer without penalty. I bet new coach Bill O'Brien wishes he had the same clause.
Of all the penalties, the one that struck me the most was taking away all of the wins from 1998 to 2011. Congrats to Frank Solich for beating Paterno in 2002. Now, what about 1982?
What that told me is that the NCAA was hellbent on destroying the Paterno legacy. But did it order the statue removed on Sunday?
That was the right thing, too. There are statues of coaches everywhere erected for winning football games. Paterno's bronze likeness was more about an image, hence the words “humanitarian” and “educator.” There was no reason to glorify that image anymore. Moreover, keeping the statue would have been an insult to all of the Sandusky victims.
• Don't kick Penn State out of the Big Ten. Kick PSU off Nebraska's schedule.
It's time for the Big Ten to call off the Nebraska-Penn State crossover rivalry. The idea here was to celebrate the Tom Osborne-Paterno legacies, the legends, the memories. Suddenly that doesn't sound like such a good idea anymore.
Time to make Wisconsin the Huskers' every-year rival. The NU-Penn State rivalry will be flat. Bad Big Ten TV. And, really, neither fan base cares about the other. Huskers and Badgers would be great fun and a better game for Big Ten football every year.
Somehow, I don't think that NU coach Bo Pelini agrees. Not with the Nittany Lions about to become declawed over the next several years.
• I watched the U.S. Senior Open last week and couldn't help but wonder how the galleries will look next July at Omaha Country Club. The USGA will be overwhelmed by Omaha passion and hospitality. Not to mention the temperatures.
• What a great thing to see Ron Santo inducted into the Hall of Fame. It's better late than never, but it would have been better to have done it years ago, when No. 10 would have been here to see it.
• Had big fun going through Dirk Chatelain's Big Red Bracket on Omaha.com. My Final Four: “In The Deed The Glory,” “Tunnel Walk,” “Game of the Century” and “Osborne Going for 2.” In the championship game, I had “In the Deed the Glory” edging out “Game of the Century,” as Jeff Kinney ran into a concrete wall at the goal line.
• So the UFL is coming back? Perfect. It's a fun alternative and it knocks the cobwebs off TD Ameritrade Park. I'm still nominating Bobby Petrino as Omaha head coach. Offensive genius and he's not doing anything at the moment. Nighthawks fans like motorcycles. And they don't care who's riding on the back.
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