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LaVar Arrington Puts A Beatdown On Jay Paterno For Campaign Against James Franklin

Lost in the shuffle this week was the 20-minute beatdown former Penn State two-time All-American LaVar Arrington put on PSU trustee Jay Paterno over a facilities upgrade ‘no’ vote that Arrington thinks has shenanigans written all over it.

University trustees recently voted 27-6 in favor of a plan to invest $48.3 million into facility upgrades, but there was a suspicious ‘no’ vote from Paterno, who said the school has spent enough on upgrades.

Arrington, who played for Jay’s father, wasn’t having it.

“It was a deflection by Jay Paterno, and I didn’t like it. It was a power play by Jay Paterno, and I didn’t like it,” Arrington said on Fox Sports’ ‘Up On Game: Bonus Content’ podcast. “Because you know what? Right now, we have a coach who saved our program basically. He saved our program, and we’re basically saying we’re not giving him anymore resources to be able to try to build the program.

“But if you were the head coach, which you tried to be the head coach, you would want all of the resources possible for you to have success so that you could build that program and keep your job and try to rebuild the brand and the legacy that was built there by your dad.

“I feel like this was the start of a campaign to create cracks to actually, possibly, get James Franklin out of coaching at Penn State, and I didn’t like it. I don’t fool with it. I don’t think his reasoning was sound and I had a problem with it.”

The university will move forward with the investment of the $48.3 million, but Jay Paterno told fellow trustees the school has just spent too much money on this football program.

“Now we are being asked to borrow and allocate $48 million to make additions to a football building that has already undergone $36 million in renovations that included the desired recruiting updates — a new lobby, locker room, player lounge and academic support center,” Jay Paterno said about these upgrades. “And by the time the next phase is done, we will have spent $105 million on this building. Some have advocated spending even more.

“At the same time, we have students sleeping in the [Hetzel Union Building] at night, we have students who are hungry. We battle to make Penn State more affordable. We have a moral obligation to do that. How do we look the people we are asking to make sacrifices in the eye and then borrow and spend this money?”

Keep in mind Jay once sued the school for firing him after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. By 2017, Paterno was voted into a trustee role at the school where he spent 17 years as an assistant, mostly at the quarterback position, under his father. Minus some sort stints getting his feet wet in the coaching industry, Jay’s been tied to this school his entire life via the football program.

While the $105 million referenced by Paterno is serious money to invest into facilities, alumni like Arrington and his old linebacking corps buddy Brandon Short, who’s a school trustee, see the $48 million as what it’s going to take to keep pace with Ohio State and will provide James Franklin with the shiny toy that will be used to seal the deal with recruits who will also be making visits to Columbus.

The new guard got their money while the old guard, led by Jay, will have to figure out a new way to chisel away at a program that’s 60-28 under Franklin. With the new investment made by the school, things aren’t looking good if Jay’s masterplan is to run Franklin out of town.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

21 Comments

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  1. PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY (undergraduate) CLASS of 2000 here.

    I stand firmly with LA on this topic.

    I don’t trust JAY PATERNO as far as I could pitch him (spoiler alert: NOT VERY FAR).

    @ERIC SANTO: I totally agree with your statement supporting the concept of ‘a trustee of a state school asking for fiscal responsibility.’

    In reality, the true financial story is somewhat complex.

    First, PENN STATE stands as a quasi-public institution. I don’t have the figures in front of me, but I’m willing to bet that the splits for ‘public/private’ funding for PSU is close to 50/50. PSU may even receive more funds from private sourcing than from the Commonwealth of PA (quite likely given the number of fundraising solicitations I receive from PSU’s OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT on a yearly basis).

    Second, the athletic department (just like an athletic department at ANY institution of higher learning) maintains a budget independent of the budget for the university (covering the cost of teachers & professors, facility maintenance, student services…ANYTHING not related to the athletic department).

    THAT SAID, the board of trustees (just like at any other institution) has final say over funding for the athletic department. Side note, think of the trustees as a governing body similar to Congress – a democratically-elected group that manages the university, whilst hiring & appointing the university’s president to serve as the ‘head of state’ (not totally dissimilar to the functionality of our own Federal government, minus the part about Congress selecting the President of the United States — wouldn’t some people like THAT to be possible!).

    I fully support the trustees’ decision to approve the funding because, as Joe Kinsey sagely implies (and I’ll say it explicitly), Ohio State runs the *top* athletic department in the country; and, obviously, for decades, the Buckeyes have maintained a TOP-THREE gridiron football program in FBS. Competing with, and attempting to defeat the Buckeyes, from the Nittany Lions’ viewpoint, is a BIG F*CKING DEAL (in the words of Sleepy Joe) for all involved: the coaches, the players, (most of the) students, alums, staff and fans. The states of PA and OH have been sibling rivals in all aspects of American culture & commerce for time immemorial, and no other competition highlights this underrated rivalry more than Nittany Lions v Buckeyes on the football pitch (Yes, I called the field a pitch. Sue me.).

    I don’t have any firsthand knowledge regarding Jay Paterno’s claim of PSU students having to sleep in the HUB (the HETZEL UNION BUILDING, the University Park campus student center) nor going hungry. Neither of those travesties should ever take place at Penn State, nor at any other college/university in this country (be it community college, liberal arts school, Ivy League or Land-Grant flagship major research campus, or any & all in-between).

    I do have to take such a claim with a ‘grain of salt,’ though. During my years in State College (August 1996 thru December 2000) I never knew of any undergrad nor grad students to have gone hungry nor have a roof over their heads. The university can be justifiably accused of many non-complimentary actions, but the bursar’s office will GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to make sure you have housing and food (Yes, I understand many people – myself included – will have to take out loans to cover housing and food [and tuition] costs…but I find the claim of homeless/starving students tough to fully believe).

    In short, I agree with LA. Jay Paterno thinks he’s being slick. He’s going to claim that he acted prudently by voting against the funding (Don’t get me wrong, I want Penn State to be AFFORDABLE for all students who would like to attend…It currently IS NOT affordable for everyone, unfortunately); and then if Coach Franklin takes a new coaching position at another school/in a pro league or somehow gets dismissed by our AD or the trustees, JP will announce to the board/our AD: ‘Here I am, you lucky people!’

    Jay’s plan isn’t going to work. Jay isn’t his dad, and he (along with everyone else) knows it.

    Joe Paterno, warts and all, will always occupy a revered place in the hearts of many Penn Staters. But the Paterno era has been over for a decade. Our university has, thankfully, moved on (sometimes kicking & screaming) from that era and (mostly) thrived because of the decision to move in a different direction.

    Jay Paterno should not be allowed to work in either our football program nor for the university.

    I think LA, if he wanted, has the potential to serve as head football coach some day. Heck, he may even have the potential to serve as President of the University’s Board of Trustees. He’s that talented.

    #WEARE #PENNSTATE #NITTANY #LIONS #FIGHTONSTATE

    • Great perspective. Reading Paterno’s thoughts seems rational at first blush, but it struck me that his position was out voted 27-6. Apparently the board disagreed, clearly has faith in Franklin, were convinced there’s a need, and want to invest more to compete with OSU. If they have the money and it’s allocated like you say, I guess they can blow it on juice bars if they think that what will compete with OSU. I thought PSU had top 10 facilities already, sounds like they’ve been pouring in cash already, so I get Jay’s point that facilities may not be what’s holding back the program. Trying to be objective.

      Still, I don’t understand all the behind the scenes politics and bad blood between Arrington and Paterno. You seem to indicate Jay has a bad reputation around the program with some history. Can you Shed any light on why your trust in him is low? Has he done things in the past to raise suspicion? For example, Did he oppose Franklin’s hire? Does he have a beef with the athletic department or Franklin over something? Thanks for the inside scoop!

  2. There is not some Master Plan by Jay to oust Franklin. LA might think otherwise, and he is entitled as anyone is, BUT the real story with Jay is that, unlike his brother, he is as big a Lefty as they come. He sincerely would like to have more money spent on programs for regular students.

    He is also completely delusional because the days that he dreams of have LOOOONG departed. This is now a Big Money game, from start to finish.

    So, thanks for the memories Jay, but no sale.

    Signed,
    Penn State Alum, twice over.

    • LOL.. Lavar Arrington is a former Penn St linebacker (circa: 2003ish) who played for Joe Paterno and went to the NFL to play most of his career for the team formerly known as the Redskins. He played about 10 years in the NFL. Jay Paterno I guess is the son of Joe Paterno. Jay apparently is still with the school. Joe Paterno (the father) was the dude who turned a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky, a position coach or coordinator with Penn St who buttf****d kids in the locker room in the 90’s.

      Think I covered it all.

  3. Jay Paterno only had a football job at Penn State because of his father. Jay was a mediocre, at best, QB coach. You’ll notice no other program in the country hired him after the Paterno regime ended.

  4. whats the Over Under on the number of racist topics on Lavar’s Street Sports Radio show today.

    depending on the segments in each hour, i say the over under is 3 racist topics per hour.

    street lingo by lavar from penn state, the most overrated state U in history.

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