Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel defends Paterno at SEC Media Days

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Pinkel is likely wishing he had some help from the booth yesterday.
  • Midwest Sports Fans
  • Pinkel is likely wishing he had some help from the booth yesterday.
In a day meant to be about rivalries, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel's decision to try and play the statesman ended up generating headlines. The Columbia Daily Tribune noted that Pinkel spoke to reporters at Southeast Conference Media Days yesterday about the late Joe Paterno, saying "to sit there and blame him for all this, I think is wrong."

For a coach that knows all too well about the scrutiny of the media, Pinkel was attempting to make a point about how our culture is quick to condemn someone based on the latest news. His statement is after the jump.

As the Trib reports, here's what Pinkel told the assembled media when asked about the former head coach of the Nittany Lions:

Joe Paterno’s a friend that I got to know professionally, and you can’t take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man. However you analyze this, you can’t erase all that this guy’s done. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that. I think when you come out of such a tragic situation, certainly involving children and the magnitude of this in our country from a media standpoint, I anticipated really what happened. I anticipated that they would do this. You’re not going to sit back there and say, 'Well, just things happen.’ You’re not going to do that. They’re going to be firing, and people, they’re going to make statements and they’re going to point fingers, and that’s what I anticipated a little bit. But he was a great man, a good man. I’m sure he would, maybe if he could do it over again, he would have followed up a few things. But don’t take away all this guy did, and to sit there and blame him for all this, I think is wrong.

And so Missouri is making news off the field before the school has even played a down in the SEC.

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