Franco Harris Fired as Casino Spokesman for Supporting Joe Paterno
Slowly but surely, people will begin to get the hint. Defending someone at Penn State or anyone with a connection to the Penn State scandal is not going to get you anywhere. In fact, you could lose your job over it. Just ask former Penn State linebacker Franco Harris, who was fired from his job as spokesman for The Meadows Race Track and Casino in Pennsylvania after he went to bat for Joe Paterno.
“I feel that the board made a bad decision in letting Joe Paterno go,” the Hall of Famer said last week according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m very disappointed in their decision. I thought they showed no courage, not to back someone who really needed it at the time. They were saying the football program under Joe was at fault.
“They really wouldn’t give a reason. They’re linking the football program to the scandal and, possibly, the cover up. That’s very disturbing to me. … I think there should be no connection to the football program, only in the case that it happened at the football building with an ex-coach. I’m still trying to find out who gave him access to the building, who signed that contract.”
On Tuesday, Harris was dismissed with the following explanation from the Meadows:
“In light of the recent developments with Franco Harris regarding Joe Paterno’s dismissal, Franco and The Meadows have mutually decided to put their business relationship on hold at this time, while these matters are looked into further.”
The moral of the story is we are dealing with an issue of child molestation here. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fun-loving celebrity or a widely-respected coach, you had better think long and hard before defending Paterno or anyone within the Penn State program. As Harris’ individual case has shown us, speaking out about such a sensitive issue can cost you more than just a reputation.
H/T to Off the Bench for sharing the story with us.