Years ago, when current University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban was coaching Louisiana State University, an unexpected loss to a supposedly much weaker team–Louisiana State–Monroe—during the regular season so outraged Saban that he made an analogy to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Not literally the same, he acknowledged after even Crimson Tide fans were taken aback, but similar in igniting the team’s fighting spirit and comeback, just like the USA. With the recent remembrance of the 75th anniversary of that December 7th “day of infamy” still fresh in many minds, I wonder what analogy Saban will invoke for the admittedly more major loss to Clemson for the national football championship this past Monday night.
Meanwhile the cost to Penn State stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal has now reached at least $237 million. The school has settled with 33 people who claimed sexual abuse by the former assistant head coach. According to the family of late head coach and role model Joe Paterno, Joe knew nothing and so can’t be faulted for not pushing Penn State’s top administrators to investigate years before those allegations became public. Many Penn State fans and former players still admire Paterno and want to see his statue returned to its place in front of the football stadium.
Let me note that while Baton Rouge and other campuses of the LSU System are an embarrassment and even a joke–starting with endless budgetary cuts and endless mismanagement–the University of Alabama’s main campus at Tuscaloosa is thriving, with ever more high quality out of state students seeking admission. The University of Alabama is evolving into one of America’s top public universities.
It is possible to have excellence in both athletics and academics, as other schools have demonstrated over the years.
So for 2018, “Roll Tide.”