Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Removing the Joe Paterno Statue Should Be Just The First Step For Penn State 0

Posted on July 22, 2012 by Dean Hybl

The statue of Joe Paterno was removed from Beaver Stadium on Sunday morning.

During the recent debate about whether the statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium at Penn State University should be removed, there have been passionate and legitimate arguments on both sides. Now that it has been made and the statue removed, my hope is that the decision represents a real willingness to change the culture of the school, rather than just another decision made to appease outside interests and to save face for a tarnished program.

Had the culture at Penn State been different over the last two decades it would not have changed the fact that Jerry Sandusky is a sick individual. However, if Paterno and other university leaders had been more concerned about doing the right thing and protecting innocent children, rather than protecting Sandusky and the reputations of the university and football program, the number of children whose lives were forever altered would be much smaller.

Since the story first became public in early November, it seems that most of the focus within the national media has been on the impact to Paterno, Penn State and the universities vaunted football program. I think one reason some believe the NCAA should levy harsh penalties against Penn State (which according to reports is going to happen as early as Monday) is that perhaps by punishing the football program it will help the university regain their perspective.

First off, I do not personally think the NCAA has any jurisdiction or legitimate reason to punish the Penn State football program. I do not believe that you can punish a program just because it has been given far greater magnitude to an athletic program than would seem logical. Heck, if you did that, then I think you could very much argue that any university that pays an athletic coach significantly more than the university president and spends more on athletics than on some academic programs could be lumped into that category. Read the rest of this entry →

Death of Joe Paterno is Another Sad Twist to Penn State Story 33

Posted on January 22, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Joe Paterno became an assistant coach at Penn State in 1950 and head coach in 1965.

News of the death of former Penn State head football coach is a reminder of just how quickly things can change.

It was less than three months ago (October 29, 2011) that Paterno led Penn State to a 10-7 victory over the University of Illinois to become the winningest coach in all of Division I football history and I wrote an article with the title “Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions Keep on Ticking.”

No one could have imagined that Paterno would be fired from the school less than two weeks later without coaching another game and then less than three months later the iconic 85-year-old football coach would be dead following complications from lung cancer that was diagnosed just days following his dismissal.

Paterno now joins one of the men he passed on the way to the all-time wins record, Paul ‘Bear” Bryant, as an all-time iconic coach who passed away just months after the end of his coaching career.

However, thanks to the scandal that has engulfed Penn State football over the last two and a half months, unlike Bryant, who is still a legendary figure in college football, Paterno’s final legacy will likely be a combination of respect and disappointment. Read the rest of this entry →

Joe Paterno Still Has An Opportunity To Leave a Powerful Legacy 24

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Joe Paterno's tenure as head football coach at Penn State is over after 46 years.

The firing of Joe Paterno as head football coach at Penn State is a sad and in some ways shocking twist to a story that has rocked the college football world over the last week and that will perhaps serve as the tipping point for regaining perspective on where college athletics fit within the overall landscape.

Ironically, Paterno is the one coach that many thought already understood the role of college athletics.

Paterno became a legendary figure at Penn State and across college football not just because he was a successful coach on the field, but because it was generally perceived that he and his program “did things the right way.”

From the beginning of his tenure in 1966, Paterno emphasized having his players integrated as part of the educational institution. His players had to not only perform on the field, but also in the classroom. The result is a graduation rate of 78% of football players that ranks well above the national average.

For much of his tenure, it was generally felt that Paterno wasn’t coaching to create a legacy, but instead to provide young men with the tools to be successful well after their football careers were over.

He clearly recognized that a successful college had much more than just a good football team. Paterno and his wife donated millions of dollars to programs around the campus and were instrumental in raising the money for a library extension, which was named in their honor.

However, at some point things started to turn. Maybe it was around the time when Paterno and then-Florida State coach Bobby Bowden started to compete for the honor of having the most wins in Division I-A college football. Maybe it was when Penn State suffered back-to-back losing seasons for the first time ever during his tenure during the 2000 and 2001 campaigns and whispers started as to whether the game had passed him by.

Though the graduation rate of the players never wavered, suddenly Penn State players started piling up as many off the field incidents as they were scoring points on the field. A 2008 investigation revealed 46 Penn State players faced a total of 163 criminal charges. Read the rest of this entry →

Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions Keep On Ticking 257

Posted on October 30, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Joe Paterno received a plaque following his record setting win over Illinois, but you can guarantee he is already thinking about their next game against Nebraska.

Though he watched the game from the cozy confines of the press box rather than the cold sidelines at Beaver Stadium, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno reached another milestone Saturday when his Nittany Lions overcame a shaky offensive performance to defeat Illinois 10-7. The victory was the 409th for Paterno, eclipsing the Division I record previously held by Eddie Robinson.

In case you hadn’t been paying attention, Paterno’s team that most expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten is suddenly has the best record in the Big Ten (8-1) and is the only team without a conference loss.

Granted their three toughest games of the season will come on consecutive weekends beginning with their final home game on November 12th against 14th ranked Nebraska, but if they can manage even just one more league victory either against the Cornhuskers or on the road at Ohio State or Wisconsin, it is likely that the Nittany Lions will be playing in the first-ever Big Ten championship game.

That is quite a turnaround for a team that many thought would struggle just to be bowl eligible and that still hasn’t found a consistent starting quarterback. Read the rest of this entry →

Ranking Big Ten Football’s Most Intense Coaching Rivalries in the New Alignment 7

Posted on February 23, 2011 by JA Allen

The New Big Ten Divisions for 2011.

The Big Ten expansion to twelve teams and two divisions will set the stage for more intense coaching rivalries as Division races settle into place and the terrain becomes more familiar.

The Big Ten race slid into unknown territory as the teams realigned and faced new scheduling rigors.

Obviously, greater emphasis will be placed on intra-divisional contests.

For example, it’s more important—in terms of the Big Ten race—for new coach Kevin Wilson and his Hoosiers to defeat Purdue than it does for Indiana to defeat Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes since Iowa plays in another division.

How this all plays out is yet to be seen, but there will undoubtedly be familiar rivalries lighting up Saturday afternoons with new faces leading the troops on the sidelines.

It will be an exciting new beginning for all Big Ten football teams and their fans.

Legends: Teams and Head Coaches

Iowa-Kirk Ferentz; Michigan-Brady Hoke; Michigan State-Mark Dantonio; Minnesota-Jerry Kill; Nebraska-Bo Pelini; Northwestern-Pat Fitzgerald

Leaders: Teams and Head Coaches

Illinois-Ron Zook; Indiana-Kevin Wilson; Ohio State-Jim Tressel; Penn State-Joe Paterno; Purdue-Danny Hope; Wisconsin-Bret Bielema.

This is the first time since 1993 that the Big Ten has enlarged its line-up.

Each Big Ten team plays eight conference contests which includes every team in their respective division, plus three conference games outside their division called crossover contests.

In total, every Big Ten team plays twelve regular season games beginning on September 3, 2011.

Big Ten football division play concludes with the Big Ten Championship game on December 3, 2011, in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

A true Big Ten champion will be crowned with the best in each Division vying for the title.

Read the rest of this entry →

2010 Sports Year in Review: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 0

Posted on December 30, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The Saints winning the Super Bowl was one of the good sports moments of 2010.

2010 has been an interesting year in the world of sports. As is typically the case, there have been some wonderful and memorable moments, but also some that we all wish could be erased from the memory banks.

Below is a look at some of the good, bad and ugly from 2010:

The Good:

New Orleans Saints Win the Super Bowl: For nearly 40 years the New Orleans Saints were the NFL’s epitome of the phrase “Nice guys always finish last.”

From the time the Saints entered the NFL in 1967 the franchise seemed to spend more time on the blooper reels than in the highlight films. It took 20 years before they posted a winning season and another 13 years before claiming their first playoff victory.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the region in 2005 there were some who believed that New Orleans could no longer support an NFL franchise. Yet, when the Superdome reopened in 2006 the people of New Orleans completely embraced their team and the players did the same for the city.

They reached the NFC Championship Game that year, but lost to the Bears and over the next two seasons slipped back into mediocrity and out of the national conscious.

After posting an 8-8 season in 2008 there was little expectation that the Saints would be a serious championship contender during the 2009 campaign. However, under the direction of quarterback Drew Brees the Saints came out firing on all cylinders and reeled off 13 straight victories to start the season and earn homefield advantage throughout the NFL playoffs.

Hosting the Minnesota Vikings in what would end up being one of the most exciting NFC Championship games ever, the Saints won 31-28 and advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Original Patriot: Gino Cappelletti
      September 3, 2017 | 6:54 pm
      Gino Cappelletti

      Gino Cappelletti

      In recognition of the start of football season, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is one of the original stars for the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

      In many ways, Gino Cappelletti epitomized the early years of the American Football League. While the NFL was becoming more specialized and tougher to break into, the AFL provided former college stars with a new place to play and its “wild west” mentality allowed players to contribute in a wide variety of ways.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Which 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee is Less Deserving of Enshrinement?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top