Lessons for Education via Penn State, the Need to Hire a Real Coach



Horrific events indicate it’s time for Penn State and all universities to hire the right kind of coach.

Students and all of America deserve leadership role models. As it is, businesses are not satisfied with the productivity of higher education.

By now, you probably know the story. A former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was sentenced to prison for illicit behavior with boys as young as 10 during a 15-year period.

Penn State Nittany Lions (2005 - Pres)Even worse, a grand jury learned that law enforcement was not contacted. The late iconic coach Joe Paterno and the university’s president, Graham B. Spanier, were fired over questions on how they handled the issue.

Dr. Spanier was convicted of child endangerment charges in March 2017.

We’re left with the impression the university was concerned with its reputation and winning football games at the expense of young boys.

Following the investigation into the root causes of the child sex abuse case against the school’s former assistant football coach, big changes are warranted. Only the right kind of coach will do.

It’s obvious big changes are needed at Penn State and at schools nationwide. Such abuse must end, and be replaced with honesty and integrity in athletic programs to restore trust.

Universities must rescind the power they give coaches, and stop paying them too much money.

The issues stem from money

Money was the catalyst for Penn State’s problems.

It’s indicative why tuition is out of reach for many deserving American kids. As a result, the onerous burdens of high student loans and predatory habits of some lenders are the No. 1 concern of this portal’s educated readers who can’t keep up their payments.

Over the years, in my interviews with university faculty members, I’ve learned firsthand how much resentment they have against athletic departments. Too much deference is given to athletic programs and the pay is astronomical.

In the Harvard Business Review, Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economics professor, revealed that some coaches are paid as much as 10 times more than university presidents. Fittingly, he proposes pay changes.

Ironically, money is the root cause, which put Penn State at-risk, financially.

At risk: The school’s Aa1 bond rating by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. from the possibility of declining enrollment, decrease in donations, resulting civil lawsuits, criminal action, and tarnished academic image.

In addition, Bloomberg reported “Six Advertisers Are Said to Drop Penn State Game on ESPN.”

The school and all other institutions in higher education should adopt accountability standards.

To Penn State and other institutions, start the ball rolling and hire the right coach – someone at reasonable pay with a moral compass. But that entails leadership and probably new policies, doesn’t it?

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks for good reading:

Is the U.S. in Danger of Becoming Second-Rate in High Tech? — An entrepreneurial scholar, Scott Shane, Ph.D., believes the United States has surrendered its global lead in technology. Dr. Shane is a professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. It’s true that certain people are identified and groomed for promotion.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

-Peter Drucker


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.