The PG's Bob Smizik takes Penn State to task for allowing Portland to ride roughshod over university standards, policies and common decency.
It's not like the Harris incident was the first against Portland. She had a long and documented history on the subject. As far back as 1986, Portland was quoted making an anti-lesbian statement. In such a comparatively unenlightened era, such behavior might be understandable. But to maintain such an attitude over some 20 years speaks to the ignorance of a closed mind — something that should not be tolerated among leaders at a major university.
And what does the big mac-Daddy of PSU sports himself have to say about the whole thing (he hired Portland back in the day when he was athletic director)?
“She is doing what she wants to do,” said Paterno, who hired Portland in 1980 when he was athletic director. “I hired Rene and have always been fond of Rene. I think she has done a great job. If she wants to get out of it, then that is up to her.”
Uh huh. Well, fortunately, he won't be hiring the next coach. Rumor has it that Pittsburgh's own Suzie McConnell-Serio is at the top of the consideration list. Now that would be very romantic, but I'd suggest PSU take a moment to ensure that McConnell-Serio “gets” it on LGBTQ issues. She's on the record as stating that sexual orientation is a “personal choice” and that she'll respect personal choices. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for affirming lesbian players, but a far cry from the Portland-menace approach. If McConnell-Serio can keep her attention on the game and the players' behavior related to the game, more power to her.
But wouldn't it be cool if Penn State hired an openly lesbian coach?