Posts Tagged ‘Big Ten Conference’

The Dangers of Awarding Honors Prematurely

November 15, 2011

Current events interrupt the scheduled blog for today. The Big Ten Conference announced that they are removing Joe Paterno’s name from the conference championship trophy. I haven’t made my mind up regarding Paterno’s involvement, if any, in Penn State’s cover up of the crimes committed on its premises to young boys, but I do see the folly in bestowing honors on coaches still in the midst of their careers. If the evidence eventually exonerates Paterno, will the Big Ten return his name to the trophy? What will Penn State do about the statue of Joe Paterno that stands in front of Beaver Stadium.? Penn State would not have to make a decision regarding the statue if they had waited to put up a monument dedicated to him.

A few years ago, the National Football Foundation (NFF) interrupted the counting of votes on ballots submitted by voting members of the NFF to determine which coaches would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame to select two coaches for induction who were not on the ballot because they were not eligible for induction because of the rules in place at that time. The NFF quickly changed the rules in a tortured way to make Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno eligible, disregarded the ballots that had been cast, and selected Bowden and Paterno for the upcoming induction. That might have been Lone Star Dietz’s chance to be inducted but we will never know that because all the votes for him and the other candidates on the ballot were ignored.

Because of their premature action, the NFF now has to decide to strip Paterno of their honor as has the Big Ten Conference or to let him remain in the hall in spite of what happened while he was actively coaching. If the NFF had simply followed their own rules, the NFF would not have a decision to make.

Fielding Yost Offered Carlisle Job

September 8, 2009

As always, when I search for information on one topic, I find unrelated, but interesting information on something else. This time I came across an article in the January 14, 1907 edition of The Lake County Times about the state of Michigan athletics—the University of Michigan, that is. The article, dateline Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 13, discussed the University’s dissatisfaction with conference rule changes. The changes apparently dealt with eligibility and would hurt its track team. “Michigan appears to be hit the hardest by this rule for she will lose five of last year’s conference point winners. These five men took no less than forty-two points In the last meet, and now that they are out It looks as though Michigan will not shine very brightly in the conference this spring”

 “The blow has been dealt and if Michigan remains in the conference to be dictated to by such colleges as Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota and Indiana, with whom she has, absolutely no athletic relations except during the one-day general conference track meet, there will be the sorest bunch of collegians in Ann Arbor that ever was collected together.” As the reporter expected, Michigan dropped out of the conference and stayed out for about a decade. However, the article included a tidbit of more interest to me.

“Yost, Fitzpatrick and Baird have ambitions. Fielding Yost draws $3,500. He had an offer of $5,000 to go as coach for the Carlisle Indian School and turned it down because things were agreeable here.” The last statement may or may not have been true. Had Carlisle offered Yost the job, the offer had to have been tendered much earlier. Articles were printed in late December, 1906 announcing that Warner was leaving Cornell and returning to Carlisle. Also, Albert Exendine wrote that he had been informed late in the 1906 season that Warner would be returning. This was before Fielding Yost officiated the Carlisle-Vanderbilt game. I wouldn’t say that Yost and Warner feuded but it is clear that Yost did not like Warner. Whether this incident factored into that any way is not known.