Mizzou Coach Pinkel's Defense of Joe Paterno: Sincere or Stupid?

Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel defended Joe Paterno and called him a great man during his SEC media day availability. What do you think of his remarks?

Remarks that University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel made defending the now disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno have at least one Missouri lawmaker at arms.

Pinkel, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, called Paterno a "great man." That comment came just days after an investigative report concluded that top Penn State officials, including Paterno, had for more than a decade known of child sexual abuse allegations made against Jerry Sandusky and said nothing.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Pinkel called Paterno a great friend and said the "greatness of this man" should not be erased. 

From the report

“You know, it's such a tragedy,” he began. “Joe Paterno was a friend I got to know professionally. You can't take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man, and you can't, however you analyze this, all of a sudden erase all that this guy's done. You can't do that. Nobody can do that.

“I think when you come out of such a tragic situation .. involving children, and the magnitude of this in our country from a media standpoint, I anticipated really what happened, to be honest with you, I anticipated that (the media) would do this.

“Now (the media isn't) going to just sit back there and say, `Well, just things happen.' You're not going to do that. They're going to be firing, and, people, they're going to get people who are going to make statements and they're going to point fingers."

On Thursday, Missouri lawmaker and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Sara Lampe released a statement condemning Pinkel, saying Paterno may have been a great coach, but failed at being a man.

From the statement

"University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel on Tuesday called the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno a 'great football coach' and a 'great man.' Paterno may have been a great coach, but as a man he failed at what mattered - protecting children from a sexual predator.

"As the exhaustive investigation into the Penn State scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to all but the most sycophantic of Paterno worshipers, Coach Paterno protected and covered up for a serial child rapist and in doing so enabled him to keep raping children for another decade. A great man never would have done such a foul thing. That a great football coach did should be disturbing to everyone.

"Coach Pinkel's defense of the indefensible indicates that he holds the same attitude that allowed the reprehensible situation at Penn State to occur; the attitude that building a successful football program is more important than everything else, including protecting innocent children from rapists."


What do you think? Were Pinkel's remarks just ill-timed given the circumstances or is Joe Paterno's alleged ignorance indefensible? 

What about Lampe's remarks? Just a campaign tactic to get her name in the news cycle or a legitimate stance on the issue?

Jjones July 21, 2012 at 03:15 AM
You need to read Louis Freeh's report about the complicity of Paterno and many others in the U. Penn system in order to fully dismiss your idea that a witch hunt occurred or that somehow we have succumbed to a mob mentality. Children were molested. Adults knew about it. They chose not to risk damage to a sports team and covered it up. There is no nuance here.
mormit July 21, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Pinkel is a knucklehead. Whining about the media only makes him sound more pathetic. Yes, blame the media because your buddy didn't do the right thing. How many accusers does somebody need before you have to say "Talk to the cops and clear this up"? Paterno even fought school administrators when his team members broke school rules. So much for a great coach/teacher. I give Sara Lampe more man cred than Pinkel and Paterno put together. Strike that thought, such a combination is just a effervescent mix of excuses, whining, and neglecting to do right.
Gene Vogt July 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Pinkkel IS a good freind, This is what freindss do.
Rahib August 02, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Benedict Arnold was a great general before his treason, but he is remembered only as a traitor. Once one does something as bad a Paterno, the other memories naturally fade. If turning a blind eye to child molestation is not enough to lose a friendship, I wonder what would.
James bommarito November 05, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Coach, i went to rice u on a football scholarship. I was the the number one recruit at stanford that year. Brad muster took my spot. Long story... parents and California..... u r a helluva coach. Like ur style. Ty willingham was my position coach at rice then. Good man. Coach i am well connected in stl. If u need some help recruiting.... I'm not a Mizzou grad. But i have sta te pride. I obviously know talent... that was the best football conference then. The old SWC. James bommarito 3144227727


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