Joe Paterno has done it again. At an alumni function on Monday, the Penn State coach announced his punishment for those members of the team who were involved, either directly, peripherally, or not at all, in a "little skirmish downtown" that has two players in legal trouble.
The entire team will be required to clean out Beaver Stadium after every game.
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Ron Bracken of the Centre Daily Times sees right through this one.
"If you peel back the warm and fuzzy blanket, it's as much a preemptive strike at the University's Office of Judicial Affairs as it is corporal punishment for the players.
"Consider the timing of the announcement. It comes before the Judicial Affairs folks begin their hearings into the incident."
Bracken continues: "In the pecking order of justice, the legal system is first, then Judicial Affairs and finally, Paterno's court.
Bracken says Paterno has made "a calculated move to undercut the Judicial Affairs office by taking matters into his own hands and meting out his own punishment. That will make anything Judicial Affairs decides to do look like overkill and further advance the perception that Judicial Affairs has some vendetta against the football team.
Bracken closes by saying, "This appears to be designed to subvert Judicial Affairs and prevent them from performing the function they're charged with in an effort to save his football team and the season. If that's the case, then it's not nearly as noble as it appears on the surface."