Post-Paterno Era: Ferentz and Schiano

Quietly, over the last week or so, a little light was cast on the Post-Paterno Era.  Not all of it was good news, but it was news none the less and things must be discussed.

Ferentz.  The Iowa Saga has been well documented at this point.  In an apparent effort to ease the PR impact of rape allegations, the Iowa administration fell into a classic FAIL that may end up with all of them being dismissed.  Seeing as the accused were on Ferentz's football team, he appears to have at least something to do with the disturbing news.

Regardless of the outcome here, it's clear that Penn State isn't touching this with the proverbial ten foot poll.

Schiano.  His rejection of two legitimate offers has been widely misunderstood.  Miami was a total disaster.  The idea of throwing away everything you've worked for at Rutgers (bowls, rankings, etc.) for a Everything Is Broken version of the Hurricanes seem foolish no matter how long you held the DC position there.

As for the pass on the Michigan job, this all depends on who you ask.  It's further complicated by the amount of ego involved: who was actually rejected in this situation, and for what suitor?  And so goes the message board banter.

So to get back to biased analysis, no one would actually turn down the "Job Up North" for Rutgers, would they?  It seems unlikely, even for the most loyal of leaders.  Yet it happened, maybe.  Unless he turned them down for Penn State.

So in light of some reasonably reliable evidence that Schiano was this close being issued an M block polo shirt, how does one Penn State fan fit that into their current paradigm?

Facilities and buyouts.   And of course the recent buzz (thanks to Jesse for the Fanshot):

A clause in Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano's contract allows him to leave without financial penalty if the university does not complete the 14,000-seat expansion of Rutgers Stadium by 2009, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported Wednesday.

...

Rutgers officials say the first phase of the $102 million stadium renovation, which will add about 1,000 "premium" seats, will be completed by the Sept. 1 home opener against Fresno State,. But officials said earlier this month bids on the second phase -- adding another 13,000 seats to the stadium -- came in $18 million higher than anticipated, the newspaper reported

Penn State's facilities are infinitely better than those currently in Rutgers, and while they are trying, it's going to take a lot of time, money, and bureaucratic nonsense to get them up to the level Penn State.

The money.  This news comes after the accounting sidestep that allows RU to guarantee their coach an additional $250k without having to report it.  That original side deal also included a $500k buyout, the one that would be voided if the above mentioned stadium upgrade isn't completed.  So in one hand you have the additional compensation that would be turned down if he decides to jump ship, but he also potentially saves himself the buyout.

What's important to note, I think, is that we aren't actually talking about very much money.  Not for Penn State, Rutgers, or even Schiano.

The connections, exposure, etc.  So we are actually left asking the same old questions.  For a quick review of the pro's I'll defer to Mandel:

1) Schiano spent six seasons at Penn State learning from Joe Paterno during the early, formative stages of his career, as opposed to two seasons at Miami under Butch Davis following a stint in the NFL. Which do you think he has stronger ties to?

2) At Penn State, Schiano would likely be able to maintain his hold on New Jersey talent while also tapping into the far-richer Ohio and Pennsylvania pools. He would likely help restore the school's national cachet as well.

3) In 2006, Rutgers went 10-2 and wound up in the Texas Bowl. The same result at Penn State gets you an invite to a BCS game. Last season, the Scarlet Knights went 7-5 and ended their season in Toronto. At Penn State, 7-5 still earns you a trip to Orlando.

4) Most importantly: Penn State can likely afford to pay Schiano nearly triple what Rutgers does (especially with all the money it's saved by not having to pay Joe Paterno market value these past 40 years). [debatable --ed]

 The biggest counter point I keep reading is that Schiano would be foolish to leave a potentially easy run at multiple BCS games for a Penn State team that hasn't been able to get over the hump in two years. Now that RichRod is out, why give up wide open spaces for the crowded and juggernaut heavy Big Ten.

I don't quite get it. Playing against crappier teams doesn't make you any better at your job, and it doesn't make your team any more talented. It sounds like a situation where you let fear of failure trump increased opportunity. That doesn't sound attractive to me. Being afraid to lose is what got us here in the first place.

The way I see it, this is working out either way. When Paterno finally does step down, Schiano will be one of the first outside hire interviews (although not necessarily the number one interview). If he is up for the challenge, great, that makes him a good option. If it makes more sense to him to remain in a weak conference, at a school with sub-par facilities and substantially less national exposure, all because the Big Ten is too scary, that's fine too. That isn't the kind of coach the program needs anyway.

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