Lack Of Communication

29 Nov

Penn State recently underwent a tremendous change in their college football program when they decided to fire the legendary Joe Paterno. Joe Paterno is the winningest coach in all of college football history, but because of a lack of communication Penn State fired him and terminated his historic 46-year run as head coach. One of Joe’s former defensive coordinators, Jerry Sandusky, allegedly committed felonies of child abuse spanning 15 years. Throughout these 15 years, Paterno allegedly saw at least one of these incidents happen and failed to report it to the proper authorities. When Paterno witnessed these events he told Penn State’s athletic director but not the police, and since he did not alert the correct people his reputation and icon is tarnished.

This example is something that can happen to an everyday person because of a lack of communication. Paterno was a coach for 46 years and he was fired unjustly and quickly once the news of the scandal spread. He was partially blamed for wrongdoing since he did not alert the police. If he properly communicated to the police, he would not be in this predicament and would still have his reputation intact. It is a shame since he is one of the most respected college football figures in all its history. If he communicated and acted when it was necessary, everything for him would be as it was. This example shows the need for communication whenever it’s relevant because one never knows the repercussions they may or may not face for not communicating properly. Whether this is an issue regarding the law or regarding an opinion or belief, communicating and talking will prevent any mishaps from occurring and help inform the public of what is really happening.

by Adam Kurtz


3 Responses to “Lack Of Communication”

  1. Gregory Porter November 30, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    I think your post brings up a great point — the importance of always communicating well cannot be understated. To take your point in another direction, it is also always a good idea to communicate well with your peers and treat everyone with respect. One never knows when he/she will need to contact a colleague or when someone he/she once knew will have the chance to impact his/her life. For instance, often with recruiting, peers already hired will comment on new hires. It is very possible that someone you once knew may have to vouch for you. Having always communicated well and making sure to not make enemies, one will have a better chance of getting the job.


  2. Michael Cohen December 1, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    I wonder if the problem here is his willingness or his ability to communicate. I’m assuming the answer is the former. The highest winning college football coach must have had very advanced communication skills to get through so well to his players for 40+ years. Willingness seems to be a bigger problem here than ability.

  3. Daniel Duggal December 5, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Greg: Your point is very true. A friend of mine at Olin did not make it to the interview stage of an internship application process because someone he knew – who did not think highly of him – reportedly prevented it. He had reached out to alumni across multiple offices and they all said his cover letter and resume was very strong. However, one alumni who had a negative experience with them in the past was very involved in the recruiting process at the firm and put their foot down that he was not a good applicant. Moral of the story: be careful because you never know who will one day control your destiny.

    Michael: I think another issue is in the case of Joe Paterno is the issue of responsibility. I am not a sports fan – so I have a different perspective than most – but Bob Costas on the Daily Show remarked how the expectation today is higher for someone with such knowledge. In cases where there is so much at stake, one must see to it that the information, and therefore justice, is carried out as far as possible, transcending traditional roles and bureaucratic structures. I think this example corroborates that.

    -Daniel Duggal

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