Greg Schiano, Joe Paterno, and the Bloggers Who Cried “Wolf”

Ed JackoCorrespondent IJune 16, 2008

“The architect must be a prophet... a prophet in the true sense of the term... if he can't see at least ten years ahead don't call him an architect." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Greg Schiano is an architect of sorts. I think we can all agree that the project he took on at Rutgers University in December of 2000 qualifies him as such.

And that, my good readers, brings me to the point of this article—Greg Schiano will not be leaving the Scarlet Knights to become the head football coach at Penn State.

An architect’s job does not end at the drawing board. It does not end as the foundation is laid on a building of his design. No, the architect stays with a project until the last brick is placed, and, usually, long after that.

You see, a building, to an architect, is like a child. Do we abandon our child when they take their first step? When they learn to drive? When they leave the comfort of the nest for college? Obviously, the answer to all these questions is a resounding, “no!”

Greg Schiano has laid the groundwork at Rutgers, but, in his eyes, the work has just begun. Penn State is his dream job? Where exactly did this rumor start? Okay, he admires what Joe Paterno has done for the world of College Football.

Who doesn’t? I think Paterno’s name is synonymous with the sport. Does that mean there is an assistant coaching position waiting for me in Happy Valley? Hardly.

Every article or blog regarding the subject always mention “sources close to the situation” that indicate Greg Schiano is the man destined to take over for Joe Paterno. If we are looking for sources, how about the two men themselves?

I have yet to hear Mr. Paterno mention Schiano as a replacement. As for coach Schiano, he has stated time and again that Rutgers is his dream job.

Now, you may be thinking that he has to say that, since he is, after all, currently employed by the State University of New Jersey. The fact is, however, that he spoke of coming home, and creating a champion at Rutgers, long before the job was his.

I can understand loyalty to your current employer, but loyalty to someone who hasn’t offered you a job yet? To a football team that had gone 131 years, mostly ignominiously, without a championship of any sort? It doesn’t make sense.

Yes, Joe Paterno is nearing the end of a remarkable career at Penn State. And, yes, Greg Schiano is a talented, young, hungry coach who has a tie to Penn State (graduate assistant from 1990-91, backfield coach from 1991-95). But he also was a graduate assistant at Rutgers, and built a dominating defense at the University of Miami prior to his arrival on The Banks.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Greg Schiano is a man of integrity. We have all been impressed with the young men who have recently cast their lot to become members of the 2009 Rutgers recruiting class.

Don’t you think that sitting in the living rooms of those young men, with their anxious parents close by, the question of Schiano’s future at Rutgers has not been brought up? Scholar athletes today are an intelligent group.

The boys who hope to become men while at Rutgers have done their homework. They read the blogs, they listen to the rumors. I trust that while Greg Schiano addressed those rumors, he spoke from his heart.

 Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t design homes for others, then move into one designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Likewise, Greg Schiano is not looking to move into the “home” built by Joe Paterno. He will stay with Rutgers until the project is completed. In the eyes of most architects, that day never comes.

“Rutgers is where I am going to be, and Rutgers is where I want to be." - Greg Schiano