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CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

Penn State and the postseason: Readers react

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football.

November 18, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • Dejected students still show their support for Penn State after a 17-14 loss to Nebraska last week.
Dejected students still show their support for Penn State after a 17-14… (Nabil K. Mark / McClatchy-Tribune )

Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: Who are you to decide whether or not Penn State should be allowed to play in the postseason? Report the news and keep your opinions to yourself.

Boyd R. Zumwalt III

Answer: It is not my decision to decide on Penn State's bowl fate. I have merely stated my opinion after talking with bowl representatives who indicated they would be uncomfortable having to host Penn State. And what about potential opposition from corporate sponsors?

I wish there was some way for this not to have affected innocent players. Then again, I wish this regrettable chapter in collegiate sports history had never happened. But that's just my opinion.

Q: You've done a great job in putting the Penn State situation into perspective. Thank you. The football team is accountable. I only hope it's not as ugly as it looks.

Robert Lyell

A: "As" ugly as it looks? My fear is that it's uglier than it looks.

Q: I believe you are wrong to insist Penn State turn down a bowl invitation. Would you also want the NFL to pass on any of these kids because of the strain on their school?

Dick Templeton

A: Of course not. In fact, the sooner these kids can get away from Penn State to the NFL the better. I wish they could all be first-round draft picks.

Q: I agree. Let The Tournament of Roses be proactive and cancel the football portion of the program, thus sending its own message to Penn State (and the NCAA).

Bill Mendell

A: Whoa there, Bill. Cancel the football game? I wouldn't go that far, although I know people on the parade side of the Rose Bowl view the game as a nuisance to the greater glory of floats.

Q: Why should all the kids who have played their hearts out this year to get this far and who devoted years of hard work and commitment to getting to this point have to bypass an opportunity they deserve when they have done nothing wrong?

Your suggestion is ridiculous.

John Reitano

A: I feel terrible for the players, but what kind of bowl experience are they going to have with this cloud hanging over the entire program?

Penn State would earn the Rose Bowl bid on Dec. 3 but not play the game until Jan. 2. (The Rose Bowl is not played Jan. 1 when it falls on a Sunday.)

What happens if something major breaks in the case in the interim?

How much fun would Penn State players and fans have at a bowl site?

Q: Did you ever suggest the Lakers should forfeit their postseason when Kobe Bryant was accused of rape in Colorado? Jerry Sandusky is on trial here, let's not forget that. Not some 20-year-old kid who plays guard for Penn State now.

Todd Prochko

A: The Kobe Bryant case was one woman with one charge. Sandusky is charged with 40 counts on eight boys, and there appear to be others willing to come forward. It's a lot different than the Bryant case.

And it's not just Sandusky on trial. The athletic director and vice president have been charged with lying to a grand jury. The school president was asked to step down, and the legendary coach was fired by the board of trustees.

Q: I am a Penn Stater and have lived in Southern California since 1991. Your insight is spot on. I believe the university would have been better served by forfeiting the remaining three games of the season when this nightmare broke and definitely not play in a bowl game. If PSU stands for honor, it must honor this tragedy and clean house and not play more games.

Konrad

A: Well stated. I was against forfeiting the games only because it would affect the other teams and the competitive integrity of the Big Ten Conference race. Bowl games are postseason bonuses, and Penn State's spot could be filled by another team.

Q: Did you ask team members and students there if they think it's proper to go to a bowl game, or if they want to?

Mark Alberici

A: I didn't need to ask team members and students what they think. This is my opinion. What I wrote won't stop the Rose Bowl from accepting Penn State if the Nittany Lions are eligible. So you need not waste one more minute worrying about what I think.

Q: Are you sure you don't work for the NCAA? I typically enjoy your column, but this time it's you who is flat wrong.

Jeff Hubbard

Tustin

A: And I typically enjoy your mailbag questions. I have worked for the CIA, the FBI, the NAACP, the ACLU, the AFL-CIO, the AFC, the NFC, AARP, OPEC and NAFTA, but never the NCAA. That's a pretty low blow.

I have also, many times, been flat wrong. I have also been round wrong, sideways wrong, rectangle wrong and hypotenuse triangle wrong — but not this time.

Q: There is compassion for the victims as there should be, but there is no consideration for Joe — where would that get you?

Joe Paterno deserved better. The L.A. Times deserves better.

Robert Alston

A: It was Penn State's board of trustees, not me, that did not show "consideration" for Paterno.

I wish he would have been able to retire gracefully on his own terms. But that's not how it happened, and it's not the media's fault.

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