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On Tuesday former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced for his child abuse crimes. Sandusky's lawyer said Monday his client will likely speak to the judge at the sentencing hearing.
Penn State may not be able to play in bowl games or compete in the Big Ten Championship game for the next four seasons, but they are still eligible to receive divisional championship titles and trophies. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN reported on Wednesday that PSU will still be acknowledged as the Leaders division champ even if they're not representing the division in the conference title game. It's a matter of semantics and labeling but it is still some small measure of consolation for the Nittany Lions players who play through the grind of a conference schedule.
Both Penn State and Ohio State are ineligible for the conference championship this season, leaving only four teams to represent that side of the conference. Wisconsin is the expected favorite to reach the title game with both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions out of contention this year. PSU will begin the conference schedule at the end of September, traveling to Illinois on the 29th.
Legendary running back Franco Harris plans on visiting the entire NCAA board in hopes they reconsider their decision to strip his former coach Joe Paterno of over 100 wins in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky trial.
Joe Posnanski's timing of the research and release of his biography of Joe Paterno was surely unfortunate, but the book will top the New York Times bestseller list in its first week of sales.
"Paterno," which Posnanski began to write before the Jerry Sandusky scandal, is the No. 1 book on the Times' hardcover non-fiction listing. There had been talk of delaying the book's release amid the scandal, but Paterno's death prompted Simon and Schuster to go on with its original plans for releasing and printing 100,000 copies of the book.
Posnanski has received criticism from some for his coverage of the late coach's controversy-filled final year, but the book also includes many previously unreleased facts and comments from Paterno with relation to the scandal and the fallout from it. The author had shied away from commenting on the project after he felt comments he made as a guest speaker at Penn State were taken out of context, but he will appear at Penn State on Sept. 14.
The NCAA has requested that Penn State University return the six bowl trophies that the school won during the years spanning 1998-2011, according to a report by whptv.com.
In July, the association vacated 111 wins from former head coach Joe Paterno and the university in association with sanctions handed down from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Now, the NCAA wants the trophies that correspond with those wins, as well.
Over that span, Penn State won the Outback Bowl (1999, 2007) and Alamo Bowl (2000, 2008) on two separate occasions in addition to wins in the 2006 Orange Bowl and most recently in the 2010 Capital One Bowl.
It is unknown at this time when Penn State plans to honor the request.
As of last week, the six trophies had been removed from the Lasch Building Lobby where they had previously been on display.
Joe Posnanski, the author of "Paterno" a recent release that profiles the life of former Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno, will make an appearance on Costas Tonight on Wednesday to promote the book.
During the course of the interview, host Bob Costas brings up the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the role Paterno played in it. According to Posnanski, he believes that the Freeh Report published by former FBI Director Louis Freeh (which was the basis for the heavy NCAA sanctions brought upon Paterno and Penn State), jumped to conclusions in profiling Paterno's role in the cover up.
I have many of the same facts that I reported on my own that are in the Freeh report - he jumped to conclusions that I cannot jump to. [...] there was a sense that Joe Paterno knew more than he suggested; there's definitely a sense that Joe Paterno should have done more. But the cover up, the idea that he was actively following it, these sorts of things, I think [...] they're still up in the air."
Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys, and now one of those boys is filing a lawsuit against Penn State University in the wake of the scandal. Via the Associated Press:
The young man whose 2009 allegations of sexual abuse led to the Penn State scandal and criminal convictions of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is asking a court to find the university also at fault.
A lawsuit, filed Friday by the person known as Victim 1 at Sandusky's trial, said university officials made deliberate decisions not to report Sandusky to authorities.
Shortly after the Sandusky conviction, many began to wonder if, and when, the University would be facing lawsuits in the aftermath of the case. It appears the first shoe has dropped, and now the school will have to wait and what other lawsuits may follow.
Six Penn State players are on the 2013 Senior Bowl watch list, which was released Thursday. The Nittany Lions defense was well represented on the list with defensive end Pete Massaro, defensive tackle Jordan Hill, and linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti all making the cut. Offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch and fullback Michael Zordich were the representatives for the offensive side of the team.
Nebraska placed the most players in the Big Ten with nine, and Ohio State was second with eight selections. Michigan also placed six players on the watch list.
The Senior Bowl selects what it deems to be the top 100 college football players in the nation for the game. The 2013 edition will be played on Jan. 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. This year marks the first time that the Senior Bowl has ever released a watch list, though being named isn't necessary for selection.
Former Penn State University President Graham Spanier told the Patriot-News Thursday that is was his choice to resign from PSU and there was no pressure from the Board of Trustees. Spanier relinquished his post after Penn State became embroiled in the controversy surrounding sexual crimes committed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier claims that the Penn State Board of Trustees were first looking to handle Joe Paterno's situation before looking into his case, and he submitted his resignation before they could make a decision. This does not corroborate with the recollections given from the Board of Trustee members earlier in the year.
The scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky continues to loom over the Penn State and Spanier, who returned to the public eye recently after his name came up repeatedly in the Freeh Report.
Nine months after he was ousted as president of Penn State University, Graham Spanier has gone on record citing bouts of child abuse he experienced growing up.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Josh Elliott scheduled to air Wednesday night, Spanier chronicled the extensive abuse he suffered at his father's hands, which required four surgeries to correct breathing problems and injuries to his head.
"It resulted in, of course, some emotional scarring, but also some substantial physical damage," Spanier told Elliott.
While Spanier was never charged with anything in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, the subsequent independent investigation of the matter dubbed the Freeh report depicted Spanier as a man who essentially turned a blind eye to Sandusky's horrid acts.
In the ABC News interview, seen by some as part of a character rehabilitation effort, Spanier gives his side of the story and denies some of the accusations documented in the Freeh report.
Spanier told Elliott that he only actually met Sandusky once during his tenure as school president, and was only told once that Sandusky had engaged in "horseplay" with a child.
For more on the Penn State scandal, please be sure to check out our blog Black Shoe Diaries.
In the latest news on the Penn State scandal that has engulfed the school, Graham Spanier's lawyers are disputing the Freeh Report with vigor.
At a press conference on Wednesday, lawyer Tim Lewis went after the Freeh Report, more so than defending his client, per Laura Nichols.
According to a litany of tweets by Nichols, the ex-PSU president is waiting and watching as his group of lawyers rebuke allegations made against him.
In Lewis' remarks, he spoke about Spanier's lack of knowledge when it came to Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuses of children, saying he was completely unaware of what was taking place.
Lewis says Spanier has always said and maintains he never knew there was 'anything of a sexual nature' going on re: Sandusky on campus.
Again, more form Nichols:
Penn State, Graham Spanier "deserved better," Lewis said. "Not this unfortunate rush to judgement."
It will be very interesting to see how this all shakes out for Spanier, who has been vilified by many people in and around Happy Valley for his alleged role in the cover-up.
Paterno, the biography of former Penn St. Nittany Lions head football coach Joe Paterno written by acclaimed sportswriter Joe Posnanski, hit shelves on Tuesday and has already risen to No. 15 on Amazon.com's best-sellers list.
Posnanski was hired by Simon & Schuster to write (and, indeed, he did start writing) the 416-page book well in advance of the Jerry Sandusky scandal becoming public. However, Paterno's view on the scandal until his death is dealt with in the book. In a statement about the book, Posnanski said:
"My goal for the book is that people will give it a fair read as an honest and accurate portrayal so that people can decide for themselves who this man really was," Posnanski said in a statement provided to ESPN through Welsh.
ESPN reported that The Student Bookstore near Penn State sold out of the first 40 copies of "Paterno" on Tuesday.
For more on Penn State football, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
Lancaster's WLPA-FM 1490 will not air Penn State football or men's basketball games in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.
Lancaster is in Penn State country - just about two and a half hours from State College - but the Fox Sports Radio Network affiliate won't air PSU athletic games this upcoming season due to difficulty finding advertisers to buy slots during the games.
"It was a hard sell, and now with the situation that they found themselves with, it just made our decision make even more sense," WLPA program coordinator Sue Sensenig told NewsWorks, adding the station had yet to hear any complaints from listeners.
We've heard about fallout in PSU's programs from the Sandusky scandal in just about every way: firings, sanctions, potential fan disinterest, and the like. But we hadn't yet heard about media deciding not to cover Penn State football. This decision appears to be financially motivated with advertisers not wanting to put their name next to PSU - it's unclear whether there are more media outlets preparing to drop the Nittany Lions. For now, listeners in the Lancaster area will still be able to listen to PSU via a variety of radio outlets.
For more on Penn State football, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
Linebacker Gary Wooten out Florida has reportedly committed to Penn State for the 2012 recruiting class. Defections have given the Nittany Lions plenty of scholarship room to work with, giving Wooten the opportunity to join the team beginning this weekend with less than two weeks to go until the start of the regular season.
Wooten actually graduated from Hialeah High School in 2011 and was set to choose between Eastern Michigan and Massachusetts on signing day before his family convinced him to take a year off and spend time closer to home. He was ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, and garnered offers from the likes of Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Florida International, New Mexico and Washington State, among others.
Though Wooten played mostly defensive end in high school, he was projected to linebacker by all of the major recruiting services. As an effect, he brings capable pass-rushing skills to the table though he will need to add some bulk if his listed heigh/weight of 6-foot-2, 190 pounds is still accurate.
Fagnano's brother, Jacob Fagnano, is a senior safety for the Nittany Lions. Fagnano, a preferred walk-on, initially thought about transferring early from Akron in August when he was not invited to preseason camp. He said about his decision to transfer to Penn State:
"I wouldn't say it was an easy decision because I liked Akron, I fit up there," Jared said. "But it was an easy decision in the sense I could play at Penn State and play with my brother. That's always kind of been a dream for me, just to be on Penn State. I was real excited when I found out I had that opportunity."
Fagnano will have to sit out a season before he is eligible to play for Penn State. He will not have a scholarship this season but will have three seasons of eligibility remaining. Many players have transferred from Penn State after the program was hit with sanctions due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but now that scandal has opened a possible opportunity for Jared Fagnano. Of course, it would be the mark of an enormous change at Penn State if they were to actually use a player who didn't make it at Akron. This isn't a scholarship situation, though, so it might just be a favor.
For more on Penn State football, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
Joe Posnanski's upcoming biography on former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is already one of the most anticipated book releases about a sports figure in recent memory, and Thursday the author wrote about the challenging process in a guest column for USA Today.
Anyway, to everyone he was Penn State. And so, on Nov. 5, Joe Paterno became perhaps the most despised man in American sports.
And I was there in the middle of it all.
Posnanski, in a way he only knows how, explains what his reasoning was for wanting to do a book on Paterno, the football coach, and also what it was like being in the middle of one of the biggest college sports scandals in history.
No, after Nov. 5 I found myself in the middle of something surreal. I was staying in a small apartment in State College, connected to my wife and daughters through the magic of Skype, and it felt like the ground was unstable. Every few minutes, it seemed, there were new details, rumors, accusations, defenses, truths, lies, so many it was hard to see straight. The media surrounded Joe Paterno's home. Facts emerged and retreated. No charge was dismissed; no allegation was too sinister for discussion.
According to Posnanski, he talked to Paterno many times in the last months of his life and was granted access to his many personal notes.
I talked to some of the people closest to him and also some of his harshest critics. I also talked with child sex abuse experts and legal experts to offer background and context. I read anything and everything that might give me some insight into who Joe Paterno really was.
All-in-all, Posnanski believes his book will reveal the complex personality of the former Nittany Lion head coach and, hopefully, will allow readers to form their own opinion on him.
No, I don't feel about Joe Paterno the same way I did when I started writing the book. But I don't feel about him the way his most blistering critics feel. He was a human being, filled with ideals and flaws, honesty and hypocrisy, charity and selfishness, modesty and the refusal to abdicate his throne. There was little simple about him. I chased the complicated story of a man and his long life. I hope that is the story I wrote.
For more on Penn State football, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has warned Penn State about the status of its accreditation, due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The commission has instructed the university to turn in a report by September 30, after which it will investigate and create its own report. The commission could then decide to issue a punishment of probation, and Penn State's accreditation would then come into question.
At least outwardly, Penn State doesn't sound particularly concerned.
"It is critical to emphasize that Middle States does not issue a warning unless the commission believes that an institution has the capacity to make appropriate improvements within a reasonable period and then sustain itself to stay in compliance," Blannie Bowen, vice provost for academic affairs, said in a press release. "This certainly is true for Penn State. We're confident that our monitoring report and the site visit will confirm this to the commission."
I haven't been strongly opposed to many of the ways Penn State and its football program have already been punished, but losing its accreditation would seem to be unfair to the enormous number of Penn State students who have nothing to do with the scandal. It's hard to believe the commission would try to punish the university that way.
For more on Penn State, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal that ultimately led the former Penn State football coach to spending the rest of his natural life behind bars, the NCAA handed down unprecedented sanctions in the form of a $60 million dollar fine, a four-year postseason ban, a loss of scholarships and stripping the football program of 112 wins.
Penn State's Board of Trustees have decided to support university President Rodney Erickson's decision to accept and sign the NCAA's ruling and won't take legal action to appeal -- according to an SI.com report -- in what is a clear attempt to try and put the situation behind the university and move forward:
Member after member then spoke in support of the president's decision, many saying he faced an impossible choice and acted in the best interests of the university, and many said it was time for board members to unite and move on.
Although he has been placed behind bars for the rest of his life, Jerry Sandusky continues to find himself in more and more trouble, as a report by CBS News claims that a federal probe conducted by U.S. Postal Inspectors may find that Jerry Sandusky shared child pornography with others.
The investigation began to see if Sandusky sent his infamous 'love letters' to victims across state lines. Leads on that point to a possible child pornography ring in which Sandusky shared lewd content with others.
But that's not all. A report by Radar Online discovered that the investigation has also discovered that Sandusky may have shared a victim with another pedophile.
Investigators have interviewed at least one man who claims to have knowledge of Sandusky and a very prominent man, with strong ties to Penn State, both sexually abusing a boy," a source familiar with the situation told RadarOnline.com.
With the investigation continuing, it appears that this cloud hanging over Penn State is not going anywhere quickly.
Penn State lost another big recruit on Tuesday night as reports surfaced that 2013 offensive tackle prospect Dorian Johnson had decommitted from the Nittany Lions. Johnson was a key four-star recruit expected to anchor the offensive front for Bill O'Brien's once burgeoning 2013 class. Jeremy Sellew of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review first spread the news on Twitter:
— Jeremy Sellew (@jsellew10) August 8, 2012
@pantherlairBelle Vernon Area's Dorian Johnson announces decommitment from Penn State. Pitt back in running along with Ohio St. and VaTech
As the Trib's Scott Brown noted, Pitt could emerge as the likely landing spot for the Belle Vernon product. The Panthers' offensive coordinator, Joe Rudolph, is a Belle Vernon alum and will continue to work that angle with Johnson. Pitt was originally in Johnson's top two with the Nittany Lions before he made his initial commitment to PSU at the end of June.
The Penn St. Nittany Lions are announcing changes to their iconic uniforms for the first time in nearly 50 years. While the uniforms will stay the same color for now, a name plate will be added to the back of the uniform. The uniforms will also be adorned with a blue ribbon symbolizing child abuse victims.
Penn State jerseys will have blue ribbon on them to support victims of child abuse. Jerseys will also feature player names.— CBSSportsBigTen (@CBSSportsBigTen) August 7, 2012
The Penn State uniforms had remained unchanged throughout the entire tenure of deceased head coach Joe Paterno. Obviously, in light of the Freeh Report, the football program is trying to distance itself from that era. Another part of the uniform that will most likely be changed soon will be the helmets.
Yet another player has chosen to leave and/or avoid playing for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, as multiple reports indicate that Zach Bradshaw has decommitted from the university.
Bradshaw's departure represents the fourth recruit to decommit from Penn State in light of a sex scandal that resulted in former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky found guilty on over 40 counts of sexual abuse against young boys. The Nittany Lions have also lost nine players to transfers.
A high school wide receiver/linebacker for Damascus High School in Rockville, MD reportedly chose Penn State over Virginia, South Carolina and Northwestern in June. Now he'll reportedly add Michigan State among the potential schools in his future.
Penn State lost another player Sunday, as Brett McMurphy is reporting that freshman defensive tackle Jamil Pollard is going to transfer to Rutgers.
Pollard, a New Jersey native, was a four-star recruit on many recruiting services and ranked in the top-20 nationally for his position. He originally committed to Penn State in late December of 2011, but much has changed since then including the sanctions the NCAA placed on the football program.
Pollard had offers from numerous other schools, including Alabama and Florida.
The transfer is a huge upgrade for Rutgers, which now has a young defensive lineman with plenty of potential for the next four years. Rutgers originally offered him a scholarship, but he never truly considered going there during his initial recruitment period.
Players continue to trickle out of the Penn State football program, as 2013 recruit Will Fuller announced that he is now planning on attending Notre Dame, according to CBS Sports.
The wide receiver took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame over the weekend, and shortly after switched his verbal commitment from the Nittany Lions to the Fighting Irish. He is the 19th player to sign with Notre Dame for 2013.
He measures in at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, and was one of the top players in the 7-on-7 National Championship earlier this season. He had other offers from Rutgers and Boston College before Penn State offered him a scholarship.
He is now the third player from the 2013 Penn State recruiting class to decommit. The class now stands at 11 players.
Another player is leaving State College.
Penn State senior wide receiver Justin Brown will transfer to Oklahoma, eligible to play immediately, according to a report from ESPN's Joe Schad Saturday night. He plans to arrive in Norman, Okla., on Monday to join the Sooners.
Penn State Sr WR Justin Brown has told Oklahoma coaches he will transfer there. Plans to arrive Monday.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) August 5, 2012
Brown, a 6-foot-3, 209-pound wideout, would become the ninth Nittany Lions' player to transfer in the wake of sanctions levied by the NCAA in July, allowing all returners to transfer to other programs without the usual penalty of sitting out a season.
The Delaware native finished with 35 receptions for 517 yards and two touchdowns and should provide a boost for the Oklahoma passing game, which is coping with the dismissal of wide receiver Kameel Jackson.
A season ago, the Sooners finished with a 10-3 overall record. Heading into 2012, they're ranked No. 4 in the USA Today coaches poll and are considered a serious candidate to win a program-second BCS national title.
Three key contributors reaffirmed their commitment to Penn State's football program on Friday night in a nice boost for coach Bill O'Brien. Touted freshman Akeel Lynch figures to play a role in the PSU backfield with Silas Redd now at USC. Lynch was considering a potential switch within the conference to Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes, but he sent out a tweet saying he'll be donning a PSU uniform this fall. Via @ALynch_22:
Along with Lynch, senior Curtis Dukes is expected to get time in the backfield to make up for Redd's departure. Dukes was considering a transfer to Syracuse but he also confirmed to OrangeFizz.net that he will be staying in Happy Valley. Lastly, outside linebacker Mike Hull also decided against a transfer to Pitt in favor of staying on board with the Nittany Lions.
Earlier Friday, the Paterno family announced their plans to appeal the punishment that the NCAA handed down in which every win Joe Paterno earned as head coach of the Penn State football program between 1998 and 2011.
The catch? These measures taken by the NCAA cannot be overturned.
In a brief tweet released Friday afternoon, The NCAA VP of Communication Bob Williams said
The reasoning behind this is the fact that Penn State agreed to the penalties in an effort to avoid the "Death Penalty."
Of course, nothing to this point has stopped the Paterno family's crusade to have Joe's name wiped away from anything having to do with Jerry Sandusky's serial pedophilia, but for now, it looks like Paterno's wins will be taken away for the foreseeable future.
The family of late Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno have officially filed an appeal against the sanctions levied by the NCAA over the sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
The family is filing the appeal on the grounds that Paterno was an "involved individual" because he was mentioned in both the NCAA consent decree and the Freeh Report. The letter that was sent to the NCAA criticizes the association for failing to use due process in the punishment process. The family hopes that it can get a chance for some public hearings on the subject.
This appeal is obviously an effort by the family to restore Paterno's credibility and possibly regain the wins that were taken away from him because of the punishment by the NCAA. The family will written response from the NCAA within 30 days.
Here is the appeal letter in its entirety.
To Whom It May Concern:
On behalf of my clients, the Paterno family, who are the living representatives of Joseph V. Paterno and his estate, we file this notice of intent to appeal the NCAA's consent decree entered against The Pennsylvania State University. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 32.10.1, the Paterno Family notes that the consent decree was publicly released on July 23, 2012. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaws 32.1.5 and 184.108.40.206, Mr. Paterno qualifies as an involved individual because he is named in the NCAA's consent decree as well as the Freeh report, which provided the alleged factual basis for the consent decree. Finally, pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 32.10.1, the Paterno family requests the opportunity to submit its appeal in writing, and it requests an in-person oral argument before the Infractions Appeals Committee.
The estate undertakes this appeal to redress the enormous damage done to Penn State, the State College community, former, current and future student and student athletes, Joe Paterno and certain others involved, as a result of the unprecedented actions taken by the NCAA.
As will become evident in a thorough and impartial review, the NCAA acted hastily and without any regard for due process. Furthermore, the NCAA and Penn State's Board Chair and President entirely ignored the fact that the Freeh Report, on which these extraordinary penalties are based, is deeply flawed because it is incomplete, rife with unsupported opinions and unquestionably one-sided. The NCAA and Penn State's leadership, by accepting and adopting the conclusions of the Freeh report, have maligned all of the above without soliciting contrary opinions or challenging a single finding of the Freeh report. Given the extraordinary penalty handed out, prudence and justice require that scrupulous adherence to due process be observed and not completely ignored.
Both the University leadership and the NCAA have said that they had to take extreme and immediate measures to demonstrate respect for the victims and minimize the chance of any similar misconduct from occurring again. These goals are the right ones, and they embody objectives we fully endorse. But those objectives cannot be achieved by a truncated process that wrongly assigns blame by substituting opinion for fact.
If there is culpabability in this case, a hearing will help expose it. Due process will not hide the truth and will only illuminate the facts and allow for thoughtful, substantiated conclusions, not extreme and unfounded opinions, such as those offered in the Freeh Report and relied upon by the NCAA.
This matter may be the most important disciplinary action in the history of the NCAA, and it has been handled in a fundamentally inappropriate and unprecedented manner. To severely punish a University and its community and to condemn a great educator, philanthropist and coach without any public review or hearing is unfair on its face and a violation of NCAA guidelines.
Accordingly, we submit this appeal in pursuit, finally, of due process. A fair hearing on the merits is in the interests of justice and fairness for all involved.
We look forward to your acknowledgement of receipt of this timely appeal. In your acknowledgement, we would appreciate confirmation of the exact date triggering the 30-day period for us to submit a written response in support of our appeal.
J. Sedwick Sollers III
The eighth player to leave the Penn State program after the NCAA's punishments were handed down. Offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki has elected to leave the Nittany Lions to go play with the Illinois Fighting Illini this fall.
@azc_obert: OL Ryan Nowicki just told Illinois coaches he'll be playing for them, leaving Penn State
The loss shouldn't be that big for the Nittany Lions considering that Nowicki didn't even make Penn State's depth chart during spring practice, according to StateCollege.com's Ben Jones. It's also odd seeing a player transfer from one Big 10 school to another.
The dominoes are likely to keep falling for the Penn State football team. However, the fact that only eight players have transferred out this close to the beginning of the academic year suggests how much these players are committed to staying and trying to help begin the healing process.
Another player has elected to leave Penn State University to complete their collegiate football careers elsewhere, as kicker Anthony Fera has reportedly elected to join the Texas Longhorns for the 2012 NCAA season. ESPN's Joe Schad first reported the decision by Fera on Twitter.
After finishing No. 17 in the nation in field goal accuracy, Fera will make a nice addition to the Texas roster while leaving the Nittany Lions with a hole on special teams. Fera also leaves a hole at the punter position, where he finished No. 37 in the country in average distance.
Fera is the second starter to announce a decision to leave PSU after Silas Redd announced his choice to transfer to USC on Tuesday. Also choosing to leave the Nittany Lions is incoming freshman Jamil Pollard who has reportedly decided to attend Rutgers in the fall instead.
The count for players leaving Penn State has reached eight, with one additional recruit decommitting from the University.
Penn State has lost a handful of players to transfers already, including star running back Silas Redd, and some other players are still considering transferring. Senior wide receiver Justin Brown is one of those players still considering a move, according to a report by ESPN's Josh Moyer.
"I haven't made a decision yet," he said in a brief telephone interview. "I just don't know."
Brown said he doesn't have a timetable for his decision, although preseason practice starts Monday. His high school coach, George Kosanovich of Concord (Del.), said Brown fielded calls from about three or four schools, including Cincinnati, Illinois and Oklahoma.
Penn State has had a surprising number of upper classmen decide to transfer to other schools, as most expected the exodus would come from younger players who have yet to see the field or were buried on the depth chart.
With the sanctions place on Penn State for the school leadership's involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the school will also need to maintain certain integrity standards in their athletic department. On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that former United States Senator George Mitchell will be the one to monitor the university.
The NCAA today selected former U.S. Senator George Mitchell as the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor at Penn State.
Mitchell's five-year appointment begins immediately.
As Athletics Integrity Monitor, Mitchell will evaluate Penn State's compliance with NCAA sanctions and the Athletics Integrity Agreement it will execute with the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.
Mitchell will file quarterly "progress reports" on Penn State for the NCAA, Penn State Board of Trustees, and the Big Ten Conference. Mitchell led the investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball and helped investigate improper betting involving the Olympics.
Joe Amendola, the lawyer representing convicted pedophile and former Penn St. Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, says that the convict is 'distraught' over the penalties the NCAA levied against the Penn State for its handling of the child sex abuse scandal.
According to the Associated Press, Amendola says Sandusky told him that even if people think he's guilty, the thought of the school's administrators participating in a cover-up is "ridiculous."
"He said, `To do what they're doing to Penn State is so unjust.' He loves the program and he loves the university."
The fact that Sandusky evidently still asserts that he is innocent, despite all of the evidence to the contrary as well as his conviction, really proves how delusional people can be. Penn State football has a long road to recovery after this scandal and the penalties that were handed down, and that road does not include Sandusky.
Former Penn State running back Silas Redd issued a lengthy text statement surrounding the announcement of his intent to transfer to USC. The star running back indicated how tough the past week has been, as he went back-and-forth on his decision to stay in Happy Valley or head to Los Angeles. Lane Kiffin and the Trojans' coaching staff clearly put the full-court press on Redd, and in the end he decided that a move to USC was the right decision for his future.
In his statement, Redd was effusive in his praise for the Nittany Lion football family and fan base, expressing his deep gratitude as he fulfilled a lifetime dream to play for PSU. Here's another snippet of his statement, which cited some of his reasoning for transferring, via Dave Ruden of the Stamford Advocate:
We have weighed the pros and cons of staying at Penn State and leaving Penn State, attending USC and not attending USC, and I can honestly say that, ultimately, this decision is about so much more than football. I continue to have aspirations for my life, and as my family and I considered the bigger picture - both on and off the field - it became clearer to me that USC will be the best fit for my academic, athletic, and personal needs over the next two years. I look forward to future successes, and to the continued support of everyone around me.
You can read the complete statement here.
Coming on the heels of Silas Redd's decision to transfer to USC, Penn State reportedly lost another player on the offensive side of the ball on Tuesday night when word came down that tight end Kevin Haplea had decided to transfer. Rich Scarcella reported the news for the Reading Eagle:
Kevin Haplea, the most experienced tight end on the Penn State roster, has decided to transfer, a source told the Reading Eagle.
Haplea visited Florida State last week, but it was unclear to where he will transfer.
Haplea played in every game the past two seasons but entered fall camp as the No. 2 "F" tight end of the depth chart. While it's not a major loss for the Lions, Haplea joins Rob Bolden and Redd as three offensive players exiting Happy Valley in the past two days.
Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden had been trying to leave the Nittany Lions since he was a freshman playing under the late Joe Paterno. Now a junior, and in the wake of the recent Penn State football scandal, Bolden has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer after reportedly visiting LSU in Baton Rouge over the weekend.
By Sunday evening, Bolden's name was removed from the Penn State roster.
The Altoona Mirror has more on Bolden's time in Happy Valley:
In 2010, the highly touted recruit became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener at PSU in 100 years. He suffered a concussion midway through the season and started one more game before losing his job to Matt McGloin.
Bolden's play was frequently frustrating, but he'll now get a chance to see if he can do better under different circumstances.
While many Penn State players are standing by commitments to play for the Nittany Lions, others are exploring their options including quarterback Rob Bolden.
According to The Times-Picayune, Bolden made an official visit with LSU over the weekend. If he were to transfer there, he would not have to sit out the 2012 season.
Bolden, a junior, has made 16 starts in his career at Penn State but his numbers haven't exactly been eye-popping. He has completed 165-of-328 passes for 2,045 yards while throwing seven touchdowns while losing 14 interceptions.
This move appears to be puzzling from LSU's perspective, but the Tigers may be willing to give him a chance. He was once rated the fourth-best quarterback prospect out of high school and was a four-star recruit.
Bolden showed interest in transferring before the 2012 season.
The NCAA recently levied sanctions on the Penn State football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky ordeal, which include a $60 million fine and a four year postseason ban. Bill O'Brien and his staff will also have their available number of scholarships cut from 85 to 65 over that time, which, as Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror points out, is a huge chunk of a roster:
The big change, the one that could be a major blow to the Nittany Lions' ability to compete on the field, will come in 2014 when the scholarship limit drops from 85 to 65.
It will remain at that heavily reduced number for four years because of NCAA sanctions, and so every time PSU takes the field against a Division I opponent, it will do so with 23.5 percent fewer scholarship players.
With fewer scholarships to offer, Penn State will need to not only convince walk-ons to attend Penn State, but once those players arrive coach them up into on-field performers or at least viable practice players for the program to tread water over this next half decade.
It wasn't exactly the best week for the Penn State football program. On the heels of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, Penn State was hit with a $60 million fine to go to children's charities, a four-year postseason ban and a vacation of wins since 1998, among other penalties.
To support the players and coaches who have pledged to remain with the program, an informal rally has been scheduled for Tuesday at 7 a.m. at Holuba Hall, the team's indoor practice facility, to "support the football team." Players will be arriving at the facility for a preseason workout.
Per Onward State:
The idea came about on "The Goon Show" with with Keith Conlin and Dave Richards, and now local businesses - including Nittany Bank and Old State Clothing - are spearheading the initiative.
Free donuts and coffee will be handed out started at 6 a.m, and @NittanyStrong will be there to give out free t-shirts. Fans are encouraged to show up early, since the workout starts at 7 a.m.
The NCAA used the Freeh Report as the basis of its sanctions against Penn State for covering up the child sex abuse crimes of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, with NCAA president Mark Emmert defending the NCAA's use of the report by pointing out its comprehensiveness. But a member of the team that wrote the report now says it should not have been used for that purpose.
"That document was not meant to be used as the sole piece, or the large piece, of the NCAA's decision making," a source familiar with the investigation told The Chronicle on Thursday. "It was meant to be a mechanism to help Penn State move forward. To be used otherwise creates an obstacle to the institution changing."
The article in which this is being reported is very vague about the exact status of the person taking issue with the NCAA, but it's not surprising that someone would have questions about the NCAA's decision-making process. The Freeh report, after all, was commissioned by Penn State.
"The sanctions against Penn State were really overwhelming, and no one imagined the report being used to do that," this person said. "People thought it would help others draw conclusions about what happened and provide a guide for leaders to be able to identify minefields and navigate through them.
"Instead, Emmert took the report and used Penn State's own resources to do them in," the person said. "The institution is made of people, too. And they don't deserve this."
It's hard to comment further on this without knowing exactly who said it. But we surely haven't heard the last of these kinds of questions.
Via Jason Kirk.
For more on Penn State football, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
Kline, a redshirt freshman, had reportedly been contacted and recruited by Arizona, Arizona State and Purdue, among others, while Baublitz, a redshirt sophomore, was supposedly recruited by several top programs, including West Virginia, Boston College and Texas Tech.
After receiving harsh sanctions from the NCAA, many believed that the logical step for most athletes, that would be forced to miss the opportunity to go to a bowl game, would be to leave. However, the Nittany Lions have held together relatively well so far.
Via Derek Levarse of the Times Leader, Bill O'Brien says he is under the impression that the punishments against the Nittany Lions could be reduced in the future if the Nittany Lions comply strongly with them.
O'Brien stepped in to quite the firestorm when he accepted the Penn State head coaching job on January 7, 2012. The news regarding the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and the involvement of high ranking PSU officials continued to get worse daily and questions arose about whether or not O'Brien made a mistake accepting the position.
Those questions were further validated when the NCAA handed down unprecedented sanctions against the football program that have the potential to cripple the program for much of the near future.
Penn State senior linebacker Michael Mauti called NCAA transfer rules that permit Nittany Lions players to transfer to other schools without penalty an "absolute joke" during Big Ten Media Day on Thursday in Chicago. As part of a number of penalties levied against Penn State on Monday, all players, regardless of year, can transfer to any Football Bowl Subdivision and play immediately
"There's been coaches hounding our players, 10-12 calls a day, on campus, outside of our apartments, outside of our classrooms," Mauti said. "To me it just doesn't seem right. That's the game they created so I can't blame any coaches they're playing under the rules."
According to reports out of State College this week, there were as many as eight Illinois coaches in the parking lot outside the team's football complex. Other coaches from other schools were reportedly on campus, as well.
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien, though, remained mum on the subject.
"I have no idea what schools were on campus," he added. "Nor do I care. It's like NFL free agency without the rules. I don't really have anything else to say on that."
After meting with USC coach Lane Kiffin on Thursday morning at his family's Connecticut home, it looks as if Penn State junior running back Silas Redd will also be paying the Trojans' headman a visit this weekend in Los Angeles. According to Gerard Martinez of USCFootball.com, USC's Rivals.com affiliate, Redd and his family are currently looking to visit campus.
Silas Redd and his family are in the process of setting up an visit to #USC this weekend after Trojan coaches visited with him Thursday.— Gerard Martinez (@gmartlive) July 27, 2012
Though an L.A. radio station had reported Redd had committed to USC earlier in the afternoon via telephone, the running back's plans remain a bit unclear.
After visiting with USC at his home in Connecticut, Silas Redd has not committed to the Trojans, according to his father, Silas Sr.— Nate Bauer (@NateBauerBWI) July 27, 2012
Kiffin has been fairly clear about the Trojans' need at running back, calling the position's depth the team's "No. 1 concern" during Pac-12 Media Day on Tuesday. But for now, their roster does not include Redd.
In the wake of a controversy that led to very severe sanctions against the Penn State Nittany Lions, running back Silas Redd has reportedly been considering leaving the school to go west to another football powerhouse.
Those rumors were perpetuated on Thursday when the star running back was absent from Big Ten media day and reportedly spent the morning speaking with USC head coach Lane Kiffin. In the days since the sanctions have been handed out, many Nittany Lions have been treated as "free agents" as sorts and been recruited by many coaches. Kiffin has not been so secretive about his efforts to add Redd to the Trojans.
Redd became the first Penn State running back since Curtis Enis to record five consecutive 100+ yard rushing games during his sophomore season in 2011.
Penn State's general liability insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association, has filed a motion indicating that they plan to argue against providing coverage to the University for claims arising out of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. PSU is about to get hammered with a slew of civil suits from the victims in the underlying criminal case (and potentially others who were not listed victims in that case). Their cases were bolstered by the Freeh report and PSU will very likely settle with some of the claimants who have the stronger cases.
It's expected that the damages and settlements from the civil suits would be covered, at least in part, by school's insurer. But now Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association is arguing that the University failed to disclose or warn their insurer of known sexual abuse and misconduct by Sandusky. A snippet of the motion, via Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley of CNN:
"It would be unlawful and contradictory to public policy to require PMA to provide coverage to PSU under any policy issued to PSU after May 1998 with respect to PSU's concealment of Sandusky's sexually abusive conduct ... and failure to take appropriate action to prevent Sandusky from molesting minors," the motion read.
The Penn State Board of Trustees decided to take no action on President Rodney Erickson's decision to accept the severe NCAA sanctions. The Board met Tuesday night to discuss a possible action against the school president, with some reports indicating that Trustees were irked at his decision to accept the sanctions without consultation. The decision to accept a $60 million fine was specifically called into question as a potential violation of Standing Order IV under "Matters Requiring the approval of the Board of Trustees."
In the end, however, the Board decided not to vote on Tuesday night. According to Ben Jones, they viewed the accepted sanctions as a preferred punishment to the "death penalty."
Board decided that sanctions were better than alternative death penalty. No action taken.— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) July 26, 2012
Penn State interim president Rodney Erickson accepted the sanctions levied by the NCAA against the Nittany Lions' football program on Monday. But the school's Board of Trustees isn't particularly pleased and has reportedly called for a meeting with Erickson Tuesday afternoon to determine whether he ever had authority to consent to the penalties to begin with.
In this instance, the NCAA sidestepped its normal investigative protocol to hit the school with a number of penalties, including a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban.
From the Express-Times via LehighValleyLive.com:
Some board members say Erickson broke Standing Order IV under "Matters Requiring the approval of the Board of Trustees."
Provision 2-e of Standing Order IV states the following actions must be approved by the board: Authorization to borrow money; authorization of persons to sign checks, contracts, legal documents, and other obligations, and to endorse, sell or assign securities.
(h/t College Football Talk)
In the wake of receiving a four-year postseason ban on Monday as part of NCAA sanctions, Penn State has extended head coach Bill O'Brien's contract for four years through the 2020 season, according to the Centre Daily Times.
Because of penalties levied by the NCAA, there is an "addendum" in his contract which automatically adds four years to the pre-existing five-year deal. Per the Daily Times, which obtained documents with information about O'Brien's contract on Wednesday.
The agreement, signed by O'Brien and interim athletics director David Joyner, reads: "Any sanction by the NCAA of a) loss of scholarships or b) bowl eligibility due to the actions of the previous staff or lack of institutional control prior to 2012 will immediately result in an automatic extension of coach's contract at 2016 total compensation and bonus package in years equal to the number of years of the sanctions."
O'Brien's contract pays him roughly $2.3 million per season, which includes $1 million in revenue from TV and radio.
If Penn State had not accepted the NCAA sanctions levied by President Mark Emmert on Monday, it would have faced the so-called "death penalty" over four years, according a report from ESPN's Outside the Lines.
Emmert reportedly told university president Rodney Erickson during a phone conversation on July 17 that he, along with a majority of NCAA officials, wanted to hit the school with the four-year penalty for its involvement in covering up child sexual abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, as outlined by the Freeh Report.
"Well, that's a pretty tough number to swallow," Erickson told Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com. "It's unprecedented. It's a blow to the gut, there's no doubt about that and I couldn't agree to that at all."
Erickson said Penn State then lobbied for the death penalty, which would prevent the school from fielding a football team, to be taken off the table, and instead, it was slapped with a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban, among other penalties.
Bill O'Brien, the Nittany Lions' recently-hired head coach, told ESPN on Wednesday he just wanted his team to play and told Erickson as much.
"I want to play football and I want to play football on television," he said.
Around 25 current Penn State football players stood before the media on Wednesday morning and reaffirmed their commitment to playing football for the Nittany Lions in 2012. Running back Michael Zordich and linebacker Michael Mauti stood in front of the group. Among the players who were not there was junior running back Silas Redd.
Mauti made the following declaration about the team:
"This program was not built by one man and this program is sure as hell not going to get torn down by one man."
Redd's absence was notable because he is one of the program's top players and allegedly coveted by a handful of the country's most prominent college football programs. Redd was on his way to Big Ten media days. Redd's father offered a vague commitment on behalf of his son.
"Silas Redd is a student-athlete at Penn State University, period."
That statement is sure to leave fans guessing what will happen as other programs attempt to lure him away. The NCAA sanctions allowed students to transfer without penalty from Penn State.
The NCAA imposed a bowl ban through 2015 as one of the many sanctions against Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and coverup. Despite no chance at postseason play, first-year head coach Bill O'Brien is working with the schedule to find a consolation prize.
Kevin McGuire of the Examiner reports that O'Brien is attempting to use a clause in the NCAA rule book to get an additional regular season game for his team against Hawaii in Hawaii.
The NCAA rules allow teams to schedule a 13th regular season for Hawaii, so long as they host the game. The rule also applies to Alaska and Puerto Rico.
Alabama was the last team to use the exemption, getting a 2002 road game in Hawaii during their postseason ban. Notre Dame and Michigan have done the same over the last 20 years.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin will stick around for the Nittany Lions, despite a long list of penalties from the NCAA that hit the football program hard. McGloin announced the news on Tuesday via Twitter.
In addition to reaffirming his commitment, the fifth-year senior also took a swipe at the NCAA. His statement read:
If I have learned anything from this game, it is: "tough times don't last, tough people do." This program has been through some hard times. I and many others, have stayed here out of love for this university; its academic programs, teammates, our wonderful fans and tremendous student body. We, as student-athletes, are being punished for going to class, graduating, being involved in the community and playing football. Even though these penalties are extremely harsh, I am a Nittany Lion and will remain one. I believe in the core values I have learned in this program. It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family. I encourage all players, recruits, and supporters to stay committed to the greatest football program in America. Scholarships and bowl games cannot destroy the fabric of our family. Coach O'Brien and his staff will lead us through this difficult time. All I ask is for the fans to continue to believe in us. WE ARE!
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny is a legend at Penn State, one the most well-known players to come through that program and blossom into a superstar at the pro level. On Wednesday, he spoke out about former head coach Joe Paterno and the scandal that rocked that school.
Appearing on 1010XL in Jacksonville, the former Nittany Lion had this to say about Paterno:
"Our legendary hero (Paterno) was flawed." Paul Posluszny #PennState— 1010 XL(@1010XL) July 25, 2012
"It hurts to have people we trusted the most, the leaders of the football team, the leaders of the university, make that mistake" Posluszny— 1010 XL(@1010XL) July 25, 2012
Posluszny was less philosophical about the NCAA sanctions placed on Penn State.
"NCAA penalties so much collateral damage. I think president of NCAA trying to destroy #PennState football," Posluszny— 1010 XL(@1010XL) July 25, 2012
He also expressed confidence that a number of players would stick with the program, despite the hit it suffered. Penn State fans will know more on the that front soon. A Wednesday-morning announcement is coming from players maintaining their commitment to the school.
The first report of an active Penn State football player transferring has surfaced. There have been plenty of rumors about schools expressing interest in current Nittany Lions, but Bill O'Brien had yet to experience a defection. According to John Gambadoro, a radio host in Arizona, redshirt right tackle Ryan Nowicki will be transferring, likely within the conference to Illinois. Nowicki is a Phoenix-area native and was a three-start recruit in 2011, who will now likely be moving from State College to Champaign:
Penn State Redshirt freshman Right Tackle and Cactus product Ryan Nowicki has decided to transfer and is highly likely headed to Illinois— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) July 24, 2012
Earlier on Tuesday, 2012 recruit Ross Douglas decommitted from PSU and announced his commitment to Michigan. Nowicki is the first player already in the program to leave.
In the wake of the sanctions handed down by the NCAA on Monday to the Penn State football program, Graham Spanier, the former university president who was implicated in the Freeh Report as one of the administrators who helped cover-up Jerry Sandusky's misdeeds, sent a three-page letter to the school's board of trustees on Monday, defending himself.
The letter, as reported by Yahoo! Sports asserts that Spanier didn't help "protect" Sandusky, as Spanier himself was a victim of physical abuse as a child:
"It is unfathomable and illogical to think that a respected family sociologist and family therapist, someone who personally experienced massive and persistent abuse as a child, someone who devoted a significant portion of his career to the welfare of children and youth ... would have knowingly turned a blind eye to any report of child abuse or predatory sexual acts directed at children," Spanier said in the letter.
Spanier hasn't been charged with any crime and maintains that he'd never heard of any misconduct of a sexual nature with regard to Sandusky and the young boys he was found to have abused.
Is there anyone else out there who can jump on the dog pile, or is this it? In a statement on Tuesday, State Farm spokesperson Arlene Lester said the company has pulled its sponsorship from Penn State football and will no longer advertise in the stadium at PSU home games or on the television or radio broadcasts of the school's football team.
"As a result of all the activity that's happening, we decided to pull the sponsorship to continue to show our support for the victims," Lester said. "We have decided to cancel our football sponsorship for the coming season, but will remain sponsors for all the other (Penn State) teams we support."
The statement comes on the heels of drastic sanctions against the university's football team following a sex abuse scandal that found former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse against children.
Penn State University is reeling after receiving their sanctions from the NCAA on Monday and the Big Ten Conference has been negatively affected as well, says The Columbus Dispatch. On Tuesday, Todd Jones wrote that the conference will have to deal with the damage inflicted upon a "pillar of the Big Ten brand" and featured comments made by commissioner Jim Delany. One such comment hinted at the immediate futures of some Nittany Lions.
"We'll take a very close look at the NCAA's declaration about freedom to transfer," Delany said. "Our first inclination is to allow those students to have the most amount of freedom and flexibility if they choose to transfer." That suggests that transfers to other Big Ten schools might be allowed.
In the past, the Big Ten has operated with a rule that if a player chooses to transfer within their conference that the player will have to sit out a year and will lose that year of athletic eligibility. For instance, if a player transfers from Michigan to Ohio State after his freshman year they will sit out a season and begin playing again as a junior.
However, Delany's commments, as Jones says, suggest that the conference would waive that rule and allow the students complete freedom in their pursuit of another school to finish their collegiate football career.
Coming on the heels of today's severe NCAA penalties, it was only a matter of time before rumors of potential Penn State transfers started trickling out. One of the first names to surface is star running back Silas Redd, who according to Joe Schad of ESPN, is mulling a transfer to Southern Cal. Via @SchadJoe:
PSU RB Silas Redd (1,241 yards) considering transfer to USC, per sources— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 24, 2012
Redd was certainly expected to be a face of the program on the field as it transitioned into the Bill O'Brien era. He's on the list as one of Penn State's attendees at Big Ten media day this week.
The junior has two years of eligibility remaining and rushed for over 1200 yards last season as a cornerstone of the Nittany Lions' offense. According to Schad, Redd met with head coach Bill O'Brien today. USC, however, has also notified PSU of its interest in pursuing Redd and bringing him on board in Los Angeles.
The NCAA slapped Penn State with a hefty list of punishments on Monday afternoon for the role of school officials in covering up child sex abuse acts by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Among the punishments handed down was a $60 million fine. Details about how the school plans to pay that fine were reported on Monday afternoon.
Sara Ganim of Penn Live reports that the money for that will come from the school's athletics reserve fund and the capital maintenance budget. If money from those two funds cannot cover the entire cost, Penn State would issue an internal bond.
The NCAA stipulated that the money for the fine could not come from academics, non-revenue sports or student-athlete scholarships.
Penn State has pledged not to use tuition money, tax revenue or donations to pay that cost. Because the school does not keep open records, Ganim reports that it would be "impossible" to track the money.
The $60 million fine will go toward an endowment that helps the victims of child abuse as well as prevention efforts.
For more on the NCAA sanctions, check out Black Shoe Diaries
The NCAA leveled a long list of sanctions against Penn State on Monday. On top of the $60 million fine and vacated wins came significant loss of scholarships and a lifting of the regulations for student athletes to transfer. It is expect to set off a wave of other schools poaching Penn State players and recruits. Despite the news, a pair of recruits doubled down on their commitment to the Nittany Lions on Monday.
Offensive lineman Brendan Mahon and defensive end Garrett Sickels reaffirmed that they were coming to Penn State. Ryan Snyder of Rivals.com confirmed the news via Twitter.
Confirmed with Garrett Sickels that he and Brendan Mahon are 100% committed to #PennState. Both have spoken with the coaching staff today.— Ryan Snyder (@BWISnyder) July 23, 2012
Both players were recruited by John Stollo and committed to Penn State in March of this year.
For more on the NCAA sanctions, check out Black Shoe Diaries
To the surprise of some observers, Penn State did not receive the death penalty from the NCAA for the cover up of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The school did receive an extensive list of sanctions ranging from a $60 million fine to the loss of many of their scholarships.
The narrowly avoided the death penalty, said Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
#PennState prez says NCAA originally was set to shut down football four years. Would have been DOUBLE death penalty. That’s jurisdiction.— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) July 23, 2012
Penn State president Rodney Erickson revealed that the school avoided the death penalty only because they agreed to the stiff sanctions handed down by the NCAA on Monday morning.
Erickson told the Centre Daily Times:
"We had our backs to the wall on this. We did what we thought was necessary to save the program."
For more on the NCAA sanctions, check out Black Shoe Diaries
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier wrote a letter to the Penn State board of trustees addressing what his role was in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. In the letter he blasts the Freeh report, denying several of the claims that were made in the report. Here is what the letter has to say, obtained by ESPN's Outside the Lines via Onward State. Do understand that this is a long letter to the board.
Dear Members of the Board of Trustees:
I write to you with great regret about the situation that the entire University finds itself in following the conviction of Jerry Sandusky and the release of the Freeh report. Upon release of the Grand Jury presentment last November I was shocked and continue to be deeply troubled to have learned that a child predator victimized children while associated with the University, even after his retirement. I can assure you that I hadn't the slightest inkling until reading the Grand Jury presentment that Sandusky was being investigated for more than a single incident in a shower in 2001, something that was described to me only as "horsing around."
Had I known then what we now know about Jerry Sandusky, had I received any information about a sexual act in the shower or elsewhere, or had I had some basis for a higher level of suspicion about Sandusky, I would have strongly and immediately intervened. Never would I stand by for a moment to allow a child predator to hurt children. I am personally outraged that any such abusive acts could have occurred in or around Penn State and have considerable pain that it could perhaps have been ended had we known more sooner.
You need to understand and hear from me some important facts: I was apparently copied on two emails in 1998, the first, from Gary Schultz to Tim Curley on May 6 saying that "the Public Welfare people will interview the individual Thursday." The second email, from Schultz to Curley on June 9, says "They met with Jerry on Monday and concluded that there was no criminal behavior and the matter was closed as an investigation. He was a little emotional and expressed concern as to how this might have adversely affected the child. I think the matter has been appropriately investigated and I hope it is now behind us." I have no recollection of any conversations on the topic or any other emails from that era sent to me or by me. It is public knowledge that the District Attorney decided there was no crime to pursue. I don't understand how one could conclude from such evidence "concealment" of a known child predator.
My knowledge of the 2001 incident is fully explained to the best of my recollection in the materials I provided to Mr. Freeh and that are appended to his report (enclosed again here). I never heard a word about abusive or sexual behavior, nor were there any other details presented that would have led me to think along those lines. McQueary's name was never mentioned to me, and it is clear that Curley and Schultz had not spoken to him yet when they gave me their initial heads up. I was in fact told that the witness wasn't sure what he saw, since it was around a corner. Dr. Jonathan Dranov's Grand Jury and trial testimony appear to corroborate that nothing sexual was reported to him in his meeting with McQueary on the night of the 2001 incident.
The Freeh report is also egregious in its incomplete and inaccurate reporting of my 2011 discussions with certain trustees, advice and reporting from the University's General Counsel, and the recounting of unfolding events in November, 2011. I want to be clear that the Chair of
the Board of Trustees was kept informed by me throughout 2011 to the fullest extent I was able, beginning on the Sunday after my Grand Jury appearance and in other discussions with trustee leaders.
In reporting to the Trustees, I was guided by and followed all instructions from the University's General Counsel. She told me very little about how she was handling the Grand Jury investigation. She never told me anything about the content of the interviews with athletic
department staff or the Curley and Schultz Grand Jury testimony or the interview of Curley and Schultz by the Attorney General when she was present. She did tell me on at least three occasions, however, that this was the third or fourth Grand Jury on this matter, that there appeared to be no issue for the University, and that the Attorney General did not seem to have any evidence to suggest that something happened involving Penn State. She had, she said, spoken several times to Attorney General staff. I was never told by her of any materials being
subpoenaed from the University, or even that I had been subpoenaed to testify. She told me I was going voluntarily, as I had previously agreed to do, and she accompanied me before the judge and in the Grand Jury room and sat through my testimony. I had no preparation or understanding of the context. As I was being sworn in for my Grand Jury appearance, much to my surprise she handed over to the judge a thumb drive containing my entire history of emails back to 2004.
I note that the Freeh report concluded that the General Counsel failed to seek the advice of a law firm with quality criminal experience to advise her of how to deal with the Attorney General and the Grand Jury investigation. I have learned this is a standard procedure when corporations or other large entities are served with Grand Jury subpoenas.
It is unfathomable and illogical to think that a respected family sociologist and family therapist, someone who personally experienced massive and persistent abuse as a child, someone who devoted a significant portion of his career to the welfare of children and youth, including service on the boards of four such organizations, two as chair of the board, would have knowingly turned a blind eye to any report of child abuse or predatory sexual acts directed at children. As I have stated in the clearest possible terms, at no time during my presidency did anyone ever report to me that Jerry Sandusky was observed abusing a child or youth or engaged in a sexual act with a child or youth.
This conclusion should have been abundantly clear to Mr. Freeh and his colleagues who interviewed me for five hours before their report was finished and interrogated scores of employees about me. Yet the report is full of factual errors and jumps to conclusions that are untrue and unwarranted. I have identified many errors in the report that pertain to me, which my attorneys will share confidentially with University legal counsel for your records and consideration. Moreover, I look forward to the opportunity to set the record straight with representatives of the Board of Trustees as you might desire.
As my attorneys have pointed out, another investigation of my conduct, an investigation by federal officials responsible for my national top secret security clearance, was carried out simultaneously with the Freeh investigation. This clearance required a re-review when the Sandusky matter surfaced in November. Federal investigators then conducted a four-month investigation of their own in which they interviewed many of the same individuals the Freeh Group interviewed and other relevant individuals Freeh did not interview. The investigation was significantly focused on any possible role I might have played in the Sandusky matter.
At the conclusion of the investigation, my top secret clearance was reaffirmed. Although I told Mr. Freeh directly about the federal investigation and its result, there is no mention of it anywhere in his report.
Comments from the Freeh report and some trustees about my leadership of Penn State over more than 16 years are confusing to me. I tried to keep the trustees informed of all of the most relevant issues. Following our prior tradition of "Chairpersons Meetings," I instituted a pre-board dinner with trustee leadership, Trustee Seminars, and a morning report in public session with ample time for questions on any topic. We initiated Board subcommittees, an audit committee, a governance committee, and numerous other reforms to improve governance. I also believe his report is unfairly critical of the Board of Trustees in parts.
I worked with seven board chairs, received stellar annual reviews following surveys of all board members, and four contract renewals. I had an open door policy with trustees, returned all calls and answered all board members' emails on a same-day basis. I never hesitated to bring to board leadership discussion of any sensitive issue. I believe my record as president of Penn State speaks for itself. Together, we accomplished a great deal of good during my 16-year presidency of Penn State. Yet I find myself excoriated by the Freeh report and individual trustees speaking negatively of me in public. My reputation has been profoundly damaged.
In light of my 26 years of service to Penn State, my contributions as president for more than 16 years, and my continuing service even after I left the presidency, I would ask to have an audience with representatives of the board to answer any questions you might have. I write you with sincere respect, with a heavy heart for the children who were victimized by Sandusky, and with regret for the difficult challenges ahead for this great University.
Spanier is trying to get the court of public opinion on his side, but it could be too late to get any amount of help for himself image wise. Its hard to imagine that absolutely no reports of Sandusky's abuse reached Spanier while he was still president, so its hard to take him seriously. He is obviously attempting to bare his soul out, but ouside of State College, Pa., there will probably be few people that will give him any amount of sympathy.
For more on the NCAA sanctions, check out Black Shoe Diaries
The family of deceased former Penn State coach Joe Paterno has released a statement in light of the NCAA's punishments of PSU for the university's role in covering up the crimes of child sexual abuser Jerry Sandusky. The statement is very pointed at not only the NCAA, but Penn State itself for not even fighting back on those punishments, given the fact there are other processes that have not yet been completed. Here is the full statement, courtesy of the ABC 27 website.
Sexual abuse is reprehensible, especially when it involves children, and no one starting with Joe Paterno condones or minimizes it. The horrific acts committed by Jerry Sandusky shock the conscience of every decent human being. How Sandusky was able to get away with his crimes for so long has yet to be fully understood, despite the claims and assertions of the Freeh report.
The release of the Freeh report has triggered an avalanche of vitriol, condemnation and posthumous punishment on Joe Paterno. The NCAA has now become the latest party to accept the report as the final word on the Sandusky scandal. The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.
That the President, the Athletic Director and the Board of Trustees accepted this unprecedented action by the NCAA without requiring a full due process hearing before the Committee on Infractions is an abdication of their responsibilities and a breach of their fiduciary duties to the University and the 500,000 alumni. Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky's crimes does not serve justice. This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public's understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did.
The point of due process is to protect against this sort of reflexive action. Joe Paterno was never interviewed by the University or the Freeh Group. His counsel has not been able to interview key witnesses as they are represented by counsel related to ongoing litigation. We have had no access to the records reviewed by the Freeh group. The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel. And the fact that several parties have pending trials that could produce evidence and testimony relevant to this matter has been totally discounted.
Unfortunately all of these facts have been ignored by the NCAA, the Freeh Group and the University.
The Paterno family has released similar statements in recent days about the lack of due process as it pertains to Paterno's role in the scandal. The final thought here is that Paterno protected the wrong people instead of doing what was right, and the university will have to pay a stiff penalty because of that.
For more on the NCAA sanctions, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
Hours after the NCAA took a swipe at Penn State, handing down long list of sanctions, the Big Ten Conference announced a series of punishments for the school as well. The sanctions leveled by the conference will be felt the most on the school's bottom line.
The conference announced that it will also institute a bowl ban on the Penn State program for four years. That will also include a ban on conference championships in the Big Ten. Penn State will also lose approximately $13 million per year from the Big Ten bowl money during that same four-year period. That money will go to charitable programs.
The Big Ten is also considering a measure to allow players from the Nittany Lions to transfer within the conference.
Jim Delany said that B1G is leaning toward allowing Penn State players to transfer within conference.— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) July 23, 2012
The NCAA handed down a long, tough list of punishments for Penn State on Monday morning, the result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and the related cover up efforts. The school did manage to avoid the death penalty, but the sanctions it did receive were plenty harsh and likely to have a long lasting impact on the football program there.
For fans, the reaction is naturally mixed. There is plenty of disappointment, but as Black Shoe Diaries, SB Nation's Nittany Lions blog, points out, at least they know their fate now.
Mark Emmert said that the death penalty was originally in play, but that these sanctions would be less destructive than that "blanket penalty." These sanctions, he claims, are meant to help Penn State regrow its athletic department in a more constructive form, without more undue consequences. As it is, they've still dealt a huge blow to Penn State's ability to complete. Rather than ripping the band-aid off in one swift move, the NCAA has made it very difficult for Penn State to move on for the near future.
Other indications hint that the Big Ten may be next to act. In what form, we can't say. But after this, I'm not sure if anything could possibly be a surprise.
The only positive, I suppose, is that we know what's facing us--and that the death penalty didn't apply. There's no more uncertainty, no more fear, no more wondering what the future has in store for us. As the saying goes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. And while we can be sure that, at least for the next few years, Penn State football won't be the same, at least we'll still have our Nittany Lions, even if they are just a shell of their former selves.
Penn State hired Bill O'Brien in January to replace long-time head coach Joe Paterno, who stepped down in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky revelations. Approximately seven months later, with Sandusky convicted and Paterno dead, O'Brien now heads a football program reeling under the weight of punishments merited out by the NCAA, including a bowl ban and the loss of scholarships.
O'Brien released a statement on Monday morning following the NCAA announcement. His statement reads:
"Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.
"I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."
O'Brien has no out clause in his five-year contract with Penn State, a contract he signed as the scandal brewed. If he resigns as head coach he has to pay back his base salary at the time multiplied by the number of years he has left on the deal, according to Penn Live.
His contract contains a number of bonuses that will impossible to earn because of the NCAA sanctions. For example, O'Brien would get a bonus worth 11 percent of his base salary for taking the Nittany Lions to a bowl game. His current base salary is $950,000, though it can increase after 18 months.
Penn State avoided the death penalty when the NCAA handed down a long list of sanctions for the school following the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. The punishments handed down could have a more powerful impact on the football program with a reduction of scholarships. One recruit, Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas, has already decommitted from the Nittany Lions program.
Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas has decommitted from #PennState, per Bill Greene.— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) July 23, 2012
Douglas could be the first of an exodus from the program. Along with the sanctions, the NCAA will allow Penn State players to transfer to other schools without penalty. That should unleash a wave of recruiting efforts by competing schools looking to pluck away Nittany Lions.
Rules governing permission-to-contact players on the Penn State program have also been lifted by the NCAA, putting every player on the roster up for grabs.
On top of that, Bryan Fisher of CBS reports that the NCAA is considering waiving the limit for schools to take on PSU scholarship transfers.
RT @John_Infante: NCAA releases says the NCAA is considering waiving scholarship limit for schools that accept PSU transfers.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) July 23, 2012
The NCAA handed down a long list of punishments for Penn State on Monday in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal and the efforts by the school's leadership to cover it up. Many wondered of the school would receive the so-called death penalty, i.e. banning a program from competing for a period of time.
NCAA president Mark Emmert spoke to the decision not to hand down the death penalty for Penn State at the Monday morning news conference. He described the competition ban as "unfair" to the many students and others not involved in the Sandusky scandal.
The death penalty was considered by the NCAA. Emmert went so far as to say that had they gone with the death penalty there would have been additional sanctions as well. From his press conference:
"The executive committee and I would not have agreed to just the death penalty. It would have been other penalties as well."
Though Emmert would not acknowledge it, many believe that the punishments handed down on Penn State are harsher than banning the Penn State program from competition. With a bowl ban, the loss of scholarships and other sanctions, the Nittany Lions' football team will take a long term hit to its fortunes as recruits bolt the school and shy away from signing on with the team.
The NCAA handed down its punishments for Penn State on Monday morning, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal and the efforts to cover it up. It was a long list of sanctions for Penn State, but it was not the so-called "death penalty."
The school will be forced to pay a $60 million fine, the equivalent of one year's gross revenue. That money will be placed in an endowment to support victims of child sex abuse as well as prevention initiatives throughout the country.
The football program was also hit hard by the NCAA. Penn State received a four-year bowl ban, preventing the football program from playing in any college bowl games during that time. In addition to that measure, the school will lose scholarships, 10 in the first year and 20 every year after that. Players will be allowed to transfer to another school without penalty.
Penn State will also be on probation for five years.
They did not get a television ban from the NCAA as part of the punishments.
The NCAA punishments also hit the record books. All wins from 1998 through 2011 have been vacated, dropping Joe Paterno to eighth on the list of wins for Division I head coaches. That takes 112 of Paterno's 548 career wins off the books. Bobby Bowden is now the all-time leader for wins at that level.
Officials from the school have signed off on the NCAA punishments, surrendering the opportunity to appeal.
In addition to the punishments from the NCAA, the Big Ten will announce punishments for the school later on Monday. There are also investigations and likely consequences from the U.S. Department of Education and other government agencies.
Monday morning will be a big day in college football as Penn State learns its fate with the NCAA and the punishment the governing body will impose as a result of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal.
Last month, Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse and on Sunday morning, the school removed the statue honoring legendary football coach, Joe Paterno, who was held culpable for the years of abuse that Sandusky imposed on children,
But Senator Jake Corman who is based in the same county as the university, according to a PennLive.com report, doesn't want to see have the dreaded death penalty imposed on it:
"I certainly hope it's not the 'death penalty,' but the NCAA's the jury, judge and executioner, so we'll just have to wait and see what they say."
The NCAA is expected to come down heavy on Penn State with its announcement on Monday morning of 'corrective and punitive measures' as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. And no one will be paying more attention than the high school football players with dreams of playing for the Nittany Lions.
Adam Breneman is regarded as the number one recruit in the country at the TE position, and according to PennLive.com, he has been central in trying to keep the 2013 recruiting class together.
But depending on the degree of punishment from the NCAA and also the Big 10, some of these elite prep athletes could decide to play elsewhere:
"I'm ready to get this whole thing over with and know exactly what is going to happen. I'm anxious and nervous. Tomorrow is a very big day," said Breneman, who said he spoke with several other recruits Sunday, including quarterback Christian Hackenberg. "I want to play for Coach O'Brien and Penn State. It's going to take a lot for me not to feel Penn State is the best place for me."
On Monday morning, Penn State finds out how severe the punishment will be after the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal that involved Joe Paterno and several top university administrators.
Stories have already leaked that the school will possibly have to pay a fine between $30 and $60 million, levied by the NCAA, but according to a report in USA Today, the Big 10 Conference could also punish Penn State.
"I think you can expect when the NCAA is ready to talk about what the appropriate actions are with regard to Penn State, that we'll be ready to talk about appropriate actions with regard to the conference as well," said University of Iowa president Sally Mason, chairman of the conference's powerful council of presidents and chancellors.
According to the report, possible punishments against Penn State could include suspending the program, bowl bans, scholarship reduction and redistribution of the school's conference revenue.
Details of what kind of "unprecedented" penalties for the Penn State football program could be facing have begun to be unveiled, as CBS Sports is reporting that Penn State University is facing a hefty fine as a part of the punishment.
The report says that the NCAA will fine the university in the range of $30 to $60 million, with the money going toward an endowment for children-related causes.
There has not been specifics as to what other penalties the university and program will face, but all reports indicate that there will be large scholarship penalties and post-season bans. Reports earlier in the day suggested that the NCAA is not going to use the "Death Penalty", nor will there be any cancellations of games.
The NCAA will announce the full slate of sanctions at a press conference scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Monday.
Although it is known that the Penn State football program will not receive the so-called "Death Penalty" from the NCAA, harsh results are in the cards.
A recent report by ESPN.com features reaction from numerous people involved, including this response from a Board of Trustees member that has been informed of the NCAA's penalty for the school.
"Unbelievable," said a Penn State trustee informed of the NCAA statement, speaking to ESPN.com senior writer Don Van Natta Jr. "Unbelievable, unbelievable."
The article also mentions that the NCAA decided to use the Freeh report instead of doing their own investigation.
One person cited in the article, a former chair of the Committee of Infractions, disagrees with the actions the NCAA is taking in this case, as the chair feels it does not fall within the jurisdiction of the NCAA.
"The purpose of the NCAA is to keep a level playing field among schools and to make sure they use proper methods through scholarships and etcetera," the chair said. "This is not a case that would normally go through the process. It has nothing to do with a level playing field. It has nothing to do with whether Penn State gets advantages over other schools in recruiting or in the number of coaches or things that we normally deal with."
The fate of the Penn State football program will be decided at a press conference at 9 a.m. ET.
The NCAA will give Penn State "unprecedented" punishment for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but not the death penalty, according to reports.
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