This is an interesting sidebar to the Penn State scandal fallout.
Former Penn State running back and NFL star Franco Harris has attracted a lot of attention the past couple of days for his strong defense of his college coach Joe Paterno. And while all might not agree with it, Mr. Harris is certainly entitled to voice that opinion.
However, the mayor of Pittsburgh, Luke Ravenstahl doesn't necessarily like it.
The reason he doesn't like it has to do with Harris's statement criticizing the Penn State trustees for not backing Paterno, but rather firing him. Harris also believes that Paterno did nothing wrong by not following up on the allegations brought to him about former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Those comments got Harris fired from the Meadows Race Track and Casino on Tuesday. And it is those comments that have Mayor Ravenstahl calling for Harris to step down in his role as board chairman of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program.
However, the groups executive director defended Harris to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You can read the story RIGHT HERE
As we said earlier, Harris has a right to his opinion. And he has a right to voice it. He doesn't have to be correct and we don't have to agree with him (for the record--we don't). But he is entitled to say it. What he said doesn't endorse Sandusky and isn't criminal. It may not be politically correct and many have interpreted it as support for what happens and callous disregard for the victims. It isn't, but again, he is entitled to say it.
We hope that politicians such as Ravenstahl stay out of this. It isn't his or any other politicians battle to fight.
As for Mr. Harris. Like we said, you are entitled to your opinion, you feel what you feel for your former coach and mentor, we get that. Just keep in mind that right now, there are very few people following what is going on who are going to like it...or take it very well.