Penn State Removes Paterno Statue

Earlier this morning, equipment and a construction crew arrived at Beaver Stadium to remove the statue of Joe Paterno. For the first time since it was put into place in 2001, the image of Joe Paterno leading the Nittany Lions onto the field is no longer there. Penn State president, Rodney Erickson, released the following statement describing the rationale for the statue’s removal and the continuation of Paterno’s name on the University Library.

“Since we learned of the Grand Jury presentment and the charges against Jerry Sandusky and University officials last November, members of the Penn State community and the public have been made much more acutely aware of the tragedy of child sexual abuse. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse. I assure you that Penn State will take a national leadership role in the detection and prevention of child maltreatment in the months and years ahead.

With the release of Judge Freeh’s Report of the Special Investigative Counsel, we as a community have had to confront a failure of leadership at many levels. The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. The Freeh Report has given us a great deal to reflect upon and to consider, including Coach Paterno’s legacy.

Throughout Penn State, the two most visible memorials to Coach Paterno are the statue at Beaver Stadium and the Paterno Library. The future of these two landmarks has been the topic of heated debate and many messages have been received in various University offices, including my own. We have heard from numerous segments of the Penn State community and others, many of whom have differing opinions. These are particularly important decisions when considering things that memorialize such a revered figure.

I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.

On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.

Coach Paterno’s positive impact over the years and everything he did for this University predate his statue. At the same time it is true that our institution’s excellence cannot be attributed to any one person or to athletics. Rather, Penn State is defined by our actions and accomplishments as a learning community. Penn State has long been an outstanding academic institution and we will continue to be.

The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner.

I fully realize that my decision will not be popular in some Penn State circles, but I am certain it is the right and principled decision. I believe we have chosen a course that both recognizes the many contributions that Joe Paterno made to the academic life of our University, while taking seriously the conclusions of the Freeh Report and the national issue of child sexual abuse. Today, as every day, our hearts go out to the victims.”

[box type=”shadow”]Photo credit, Kristin Camplese[/box]

Community Profile: Tom McGuire

A cluttered desk scattered with weeks of mail, invoices, receipts and numerous other materials, would make it seem like an organizational mess to an outsider. However, beyond the desk, covering the walls and lining cabinets and bookshelves are numerous magazines, awards, and other sports memorabilia that portray the successes of a distinguished man. Behind the desk sits a man who seems to have all the time in the world, and is always sporting a smile on his face.

Tom McGuire has been involved with Sports Information at Bloomsburg University for more than 23 years, and is in his 14th year as Director of Sports Information. McGuire oversees the 20 varsity sports in the Huskies arsenal as well as performing duties as the Athletic Marketing and Promotion director. During McGuire’s tenure at Bloomsburg University, sponsorships have increased from $7,500 to nearly $50,000 per year, and overall he raised over $200,000 toward athletic scholarships across all athletic teams.

McGuire has been a sports enthusiast all of his life, since the age of five. He began competing in sports in 4th grade, and participated in high school cross country and basketball all four years. After high school McGuire attended Wilkes University, competing on the cross country team for four years, being named the team’s MVP as a sophomore.

After receiving a communications degree, McGuire worked as a disc jockey at a local radio station in the Wilkes-Barre area. After a few months, he received a phone call from the athletic director at Wilkes University asking him to become the cross country coach. He accepted the position and while coaching, McGuire fine-tuned his publicity skills promoting the cross country team in local newspaper write-ups. Within a year, the position of Sports Information Director at Wilkes became available, and McGuire submitted his resume and application with virtually no experience in the field.

Once hired as the information director at Wilkes, McGuire began a nine and a half year stint with his Alma Mater. In this role, McGuire’s primary duties were promotion and publicity for the school’s 13 varsity athletic teams. McGuire also hosted the television show Colonel’s Corner, which highlighted all of Wilkes athletic events and programs.

After his tenure at Wilkes, McGuire became the Sports Information Director at Bloomsburg, along with being a contributor to the Bloomsburg University Magazine.

“I always wanted to stay involved with athletics in some way,” said McGuire. “Being involved with Wilkes and Bloomsburg as a Sports Information Director has kept it in my life.”

Throughout the 14 years which McGuire has been associated with Bloomsburg University, he accomplished many feats. In 2006, McGuire promoted former BU running back Jamar Brittingham for the Harlon Hill Award and the D2 Player of the Year Award—taking the formerly unknown athlete to a third place finish in final voting.

McGuire repeated his accomplishments in 2010 by taking freshman running back Franklyn Quiteh to a sixth place finish in balloting.

Also in 2006, McGuire promoted head football coach Danny Hale which culminated in a top 10 finish in the first ever Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award. Hale and the Huskies were featured in a national television presentation hosted by Keith Jackson on ABC Sports.

As if the list of accomplishments was not long enough, McGuire also has mentored nine students in sports publicity, opening many doors for different careers. Students who shadowed under McGuire now work with the likes of the New Orleans Hornets, University of Alabama Birmingham, Georgia Tech, and IUP.

Sophomore mass communication major Enrique Josephs was recently employed by McGuire to announce the Huskies sporting events. In just one semester, Josephs has covered matches for the Huskies including men’s and women’s basketball, lacrosse, softball and baseball, and has high aspirations for the upcoming years.

“Thus far it has been great working with Tom,” said Josephs. “He has given me a great opportunity to kick start my possibility of one day becoming a sports announcer.”

In his capacity, McGuire’s position calls for countless work hours as well as a hectic work environment. McGuire holds two things important to his success very closely, his organizational skills and not being afraid to delegate some work to his undergraduate students. “You can’t survive in my line of work wanting to do everything,” said McGuire. “Many people have quit the job because they simply had too much to do.”

In the field of Sports Information, those involved have to stand out from the rest of the crowd. McGuire believes that his ability to take on extra work with sponsorships promotions and marketing differentiates him from others in his line of work. “The fact that I do both promotions and marketing, as well as hold the title of Sports Information Director makes me very unique in the PSAC conference,” said McGuire. “Not many people are able to do it all.”

However, success does not come easy for McGuire; there are many challenges in his line of work. Supervising 20 varsity athletic sports allows him to be involved with many different people, but there are some drawbacks. “Keeping everyone involved happy is very difficult sometimes,” said McGuire. “I just do my best to give each team equal share in publicity and give it my all every day I come into the office.”

McGuire’s motto of giving each team equal share certainly pays off. He sees that the most satisfying part of his job is giving publicity back for student athletes in their hometown newspapers or local television. “Sometimes whenever a student athlete graduates from Bloomsburg, I receive a thank-you note for getting their name out there,” said McGuire. “And that’s what makes this job worthwhile—seeing all the work I do pay off”.

McGuire draws most of his inspiration from his parents, who taught him to be a driven individual he was growing up. He has taken much of their advice into his personal life, and his professional life. “My parents gave me valuable advice when I was growing up,” said McGuire. “Whatever they did, they did it well. They taught me to do everything as best as I can, and to work as hard as I can.”

McGuire also received professional advice from Pete Nevins, former East Stroudsburg Sports Information Director. Nevins served as the director from 1969-2002, until losing his battle with brain cancer at the age of 68. McGuire holds Nevins advice very close to him as he comes into the office every morning. “He always had great advice, and he has been doing my job since the time I was born,” said McGuire. “He was a guru, pretty much everyone around the country knew him.”

Being involved with athletics his entire life; McGuire does not plan to stop now. He has many personal and professional goals that have yet to be attained, but one thing holds true—he is making collegiate sports a better all-around experience for all student athletes affiliated with him. The accolades that McGuire holds are only the beginning in a career that will soon blossom with more success.

[box type=”bio”]By Bloomsburg University Student, Dylan Spangler. Dylan is a Junior majoring in Mass Communications.[/box]

Saturday Morning Sports Links

We have three great local football match-ups on tap for today.

The rain may have postponed the Bloomsburg High School Panthers’ game versus Hughesville yesterday, but it gives us all a second chance to get to Hughesville and support the Panthers tonight.  The game is at Hughesville Junior/Senior High School at 7:00 PM. Also, you should definitely take a few minutes and read about quarterback Blake Rankin and the Panthers overcoming the adversity of the flood in this great Reading Eagle article.

The disastrous flood which moved foundations and canceled the traditional Bloomsburg Fair, hasn’t derailed a Panthers squad which has stuck together like a family and suffered just their first loss of the season Friday night to Southern Columbia. That’s a miracle of sorts for a team that was displaced from their practice facility at Bloomsburg High School, losing most of its equipment and its field house.  The Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets as well as area high schools have made donations to the Bloomsburg football program. The Jets donated 300 boxes of cleats. “Very difficult time for people in our area and we were very fortunate as a football team that only two kids were affected,” Rankin said. Underneath the mud and water that ravaged Bloomsburg is a Division-I bound quarterback. Earlier this year, Rankin gave a verbal commitment to play quarterback at Rutgers University.

At the college level, the number three Bloomsburg University Huskies will play the Shippensburg Red Raiders at 1 p.m., with pregame coverage starting at 12:45 p.m.  If you can’t make  it to Redman Stadium, watch the game via Bloomsburg University’s Live Streaming Channel.

Also, we have homecoming in Happy Valley today as the Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Purdue Boilermakers  at 12:00 PM.  If you aren’t in State College tailgating or can’t catch the game on the Big Ten Network, check out GoPSUsports.com or follow Onward State on Twitter for live tweets of the play-by-play action.

Photo Courtesy of Anderson Mancini
 

Huskies Ready for Homecoming as #2 in the Nation

The Bloomsburg University football team made a big leap in this week’s American Football Coaches Association national Division II poll moving to number two in the country, up from fifth a week ago.

The Huskies, 5-0, are coming off a 32-20, come-from-behind win over PSAC East-rival East Stroudsburg this past Saturday. In the game tailback Franklyn Quiteh (Tobyhanna/Pocono Mountain West) scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to help the Huskies overcome an early 10-point deficit, while kicker Dan Fisher (Liverpool/Central Dauphin) connected on four field goals to set a new school record for career field goals. The sophomore now has 31 on the year.

For Bloomsburg the number two national ranking equals their best-ever positioning in the poll. Previously the Huskies had been number two on Nov. 8, 2005 and Dec. 12, 2000 (following the team’s loss in the NCAA Division II title game).

This coming Saturday the Huskies will be back at Redman Stadium taking on Cheyney with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. at Redman Stadium. The game will be part of the school’s annual Homecoming celebration. Head coach Danny Hale will also be aiming for win number 200 in his career. He is looking to become the fifth active D2 coach to reach 200 career wins.

The shakeup in the poll came after three of the top four teams from last week went down to defeat. North Alabama moves up to the top spot this week after then-No. 1 Northwest Missouri State lost to new No. 8 Pittsburg State (Kan.), 38-35, in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead Stadium. This is the fourth time North Alabama has been ranked No. 1 in the Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, with their last No. 1 ranking occurring on November 2, 2009. The Huskies at number two are followed by No. 3 Delta State (Miss.), No. 4 Nebraska-Kearney and No. 5 Washburn (Kan.). Nebraska-Kearney’s No. 4 ranking is their highest ever in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll.

Shepherd (W.Va.) had the biggest fall, dropping 11 spots to No. 14 after its 28-14 loss to Concord (W.Va.). Valdosta State (Ga.) also fell out of the Top 5, falling to No. 13 after losing to Arkansas-Monticello, 23-9. Pittsburg State (Kan.) made the biggest jump in the poll this week, moving up seven spots to No. 8 after its victory over then-No. 1 Northwest Missouri State. The Bearcats don’t have long to recover as they travel to No. 19 Central Missouri this week in the only Top 25 matchup of the AFCA Coaches’ Poll.

(Article Courtesy of BU Sports Information)

(Photo Courtesy of Anderson Mancini, via a Creative Commons license)