Growing up Saturdays in the fall meant Dad and Mom would go to the University of Oklahoma football games. They had end zone seats – the South I think. Occasionally one of us got to tag along. After Patty and I began to date, we attended a game together. The parking was crazy.
Barry Switzer was the coach, The Coach. He and my Dad are the same age.Barry was an athlete at the University of Arkansas and my Dad at the University of Oklahoma. Switzer played football. Dad wrestled. That may be as far as the parallels go except they both share and interest in helping people. Still do. Barry’s generosity landed him in hot water from time to time as he may have helped out a player or two in ways that violated the NCAA rules.
Today I wonder about the Joe Paterno quote that infuriated we Sooner fans those years ago. Asked if when he might retire, Joe Paterno made an off the record comment at a party at his house. He could not retire and leave college football to the Jackie Sherrills and Barry Switzers of the world. The reported comment in jest made the rounds and I did not like it then and today in light of the recent scandal at Penn State it seems quite the irony.
Where is the NCAA rule that penalizes a coach for continuing to allow access to a school’s facility when he knows a former coach is a pedophile? Consider this timeline and tell me how the iconic coach could not have known more? Much is being made of keeping JoPa’s reputation in tact. Lesser figures would get no deal to testify against a former friend.
Give me a choice between enforcing rules that prohibit helping college football players in need and turning an eye to ongoing trouble of the sort under Paterno’s watch, and I would as soon the Barry Switzers of the world still held sway in college football.
Maybe it is time Joe retires.