Just last week, Missouri football head coach Gary Pinkel made some waves during his introductory press conference at the 2012 SEC Media Days when asked about Joe Paterno and the ongoing child abuse scandal at Penn State. Pinkel backed Paterno's legacy with comments that earned scorn from all over, including a Missouri State Representative. Today as the Penn State punishment is doled out, however, Pinkel reversed course when giving an interview with ESPN.
Pinkel on ESPNU on Penn St: "My thoughts and focus is the victims and their families and the horrific things they've been through."— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) July 23, 2012
Pinkel has clearly adjusted his stance on Penn State. Never mentioned Paterno's name, focused on victims and learning lessons.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) July 23, 2012
It's not that Pinkel didn't care about the victims before, but it was clear during the SEC Media Days that Pinkel was frustrated by how quickly everyone seemed to turn on Paterno's coaching legacy. Now, however, it's clear that someone told Pinkel what public position to take, no matter his personal feelings. It's not a statement about Pinkel as much as it is about just how incendiary this entire Penn State scandal is. Anyone remotely touching it with anything but vitriol is playing with dynamite.