Smerconish: How did McQueary get hired?

Updated
 

By Michael Smerconish
Follow @smerconish 

Let me finish tonight with this.

Penn State and Jerry Sandusky were back in the news this weekend amid reports that emails show that top Penn State administrators, including President Graham Spanier, weighed whether to report Sandusky to authorities back in 2001 after Mike McQueary’s report of a shower incident.  

Then, says one of the emails, after one of them men spoke to Joe Paterno, they changed course, and decided not to make the report while worrying that their new plan could leave them “vulnerable.”  

Jo Becker had a tidbit in one of the final paragraphs of her latest coverage in the New York Times yesterday. She said that former FBI director Louis Freeh, as part of his independent investigation, is exploring the circumstances surrounding Paterno’s hiring of Mike McQueary.  

I think I know why that hiring might be of interest.  I find it curious that McQueary was hired as the receiver’s coach four years after he reported the Sandusky episode.   

McQueary played quarterback for Penn State. Then, after an unsuccessful attempt at pro ball, he returned to his alma mater in 2000 to pursue a career in coaching. At the time of the shower incident, he was a graduate assistant. Then he became an administrative assistant. Then he was hired to coach the receivers.

But in 2005, Paterno could have invited someone else to return to the wide receiver coaching position: Kenny Jackson. Jackson was the school’s first All-American receiver and an important part of a national championship team. He played pro ball as a wide receiver. Then coached wide receivers at Penn State, and then for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was available at the time when McQueary was hired.

So why in 2005 didnt Joe Paterno ask the 42 year-old former All-American receiver to return to Penn State instead of hiring a 29-year-old former college quarterback with very limited coaching experience?

Maybe because McQueary’s resume included one thing Kenny Jackson’s was lacking: a report to Paterno about what he’d seen in the showers in 2001.

Hardball Let Me Finish

Smerconish: How did McQueary get hired?

Updated