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Florida area recruit Gary Wooten committed to play at Penn State University on Sunday, which will help the team bolster their defense with the addition of the 6-foot-2, 190 pound outside linebacker.
Rated as a three-star recruit by Yahoo!'s Rivals.com, Wooten was reportedly being recruited by Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Washington State, Florida International, UMass, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Miami. Penn State's interaction was initiated by the team's defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who was familiar with Wooten.
The Hialeah High School product graduated in 2011 but was persuaded by his family to take a year off in order to stay close to home. Now a member of the Nittany Lions 2012 recruit class, Wooten is expected to join the team in Happy Valley on Monday.
The list of organizations lining up to mete out justice to Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal now has another member. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which is in charge of accrediting degree-granting colleges in Penn State's region, has notified the university that it is once again going to be under investigation, this time to prove it should remain accredited.
With the Freeh Report and sanctions the school accepted from the NCAA, Penn State has admitted its leaders suffered a massive lack of proper organizational oversight that allowed a tragedy to occur. "Massive lack of proper organizational oversight" is a type of phrase that perks up ears at an accrediting body, and thus, it issued the school a warning:
"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."
Penn State will have to file a report with the commission, which will be followed by a team from the commission visiting the school. If there are still red flags, the commission would be able to put Penn State on probation and submit a show-cause why they should keep accreditation.
Of course, Penn State losing accreditation would be absolutely massive. A degree from a non-accredited college is vastly less valuable than one from an accredited one -- losing accreditation basically means a group of people decided a school isn't fit to hand out degrees -- so the academic reputation would plummet, probably causing many students to leave and a major loss of funding. And since this is a sports website, it's worth pointing out that the NCAA would probably take note of that, and it's reasonable to believe Penn State wouldn't be participating in Division I sports for much longer after that happened.
However, it doesn't seem as if that will happen: Penn State has made massive overhauls since the Sandusky scandal broke and has multiple chances to prove that. It seems unlikely that the school will fail all of them and lose its accreditation. After so many public shamings and sanctions, this seems like a test Penn State will pass.
The Nittany Lions football program lost another player on Thursday morning. Tight end Dakota Royer announced that he was leaving the team. He did say that he would stay enrolled in at Penn State, targeting a May graduation.
Royer explained his decision in an announcement posted at on the Lions247 site. His statement said:
"Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, it is with great regret that I feel it necessary to remove myself from the team. I want to thank my teammates for their support and camaraderie, as well as Coach O'Brien and his staff for the opportunity. I will exercise my rights from the NCAA and continue my education at Penn State, and plan to graduate in May. My best wishes go out to the team for a very successful football season."
Royer did not play in 2011. He was originally recruited as a defensive player, converted by Bill O'Brien in spring practices.
Four-star offensive tackle Dorian Johnson has decommitted from the Penn State Nittany Lions as what was once a promising 2013 football recruiting class slowly unravels in the wake of NCAA sanctions. Johnson committed to the Nittany Lions in June, over the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
Johnson is now the third member of the Class of 2013 to decommit, joining linebacker Zach Bradshaw and wide receiver Will Fuller. Johnson is reportedly now considering Pitt along with former favorites Virginia Tech and Ohio State.
The 6'6, 280-pound offensive tackle is ranked as the 23rd best player at this position, according to Rivals.com, and is considered one of the Top 250 recruits in the nation. The Nittany Lions still have commitments from offensive linemen Brendan Mahon and Andrew Nelson.
The Penn State Nittany Lions football program is slowly going through an image change, and Tuesday the university's athletic department announced one of its first steps in the process. During the 2012-13 season, the uniform worn by its players will feature a blue ribbon, which will be a symbol respect to the victims of sexual, and last names imprinted on the back.
"We want our fans to know and recognize these young men," head coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday. "They have stuck together during tough times, and I commend them for the leadership they have shown. Moving forward, I'm deeply committed to honoring Penn State's traditions, while building a bright future for our football program."
Over at the SB Nation blog Black Shoes Diaries, Nittany Lion fans are reacting to the uniform change. What's your opinion?
The side effects from the NCAA sanctions to the Penn State football program took another toll on the future of the Nittany Lions Tuesday, as a report from Scout's Brian Dohn says linebacker recruit Zach Bradshaw has decommited. Bradshaw's decommitment is the third for the Nittany Lions since the announcement of the NCAA penalties.
Overall, Penn State has lost four recruits since the release of the Freesh Report, and nine players due to transfers. Just a few days ago, the Nittany Lions lost wide receiver Justin Brown to the Oklahoma Sooners. Penn State's Class of 2013 now includes just 10 players, including QB Christian Hackenberg, tight end Adam Breneman and offensive tackle Dorian Johnson.
Bradshaw is expected to reconsider schools such as Virginia, Michigan State and Northwestern.
Penn State suffered its ninth transfer since the NCAA sanctions were announced when wide receiver Justin Brown transferred to Oklahoma on Saturday. Brown was the second-leading wideout for the Nittany Lions in 2011, with 35 catches for 517 yards and two touchdowns.
When adding Brown to the list of recent defections from Penn State, the toll is adding up quickly. Penn State scored just 251 points in 2011, six of which were from a kick return touchdown. Between Brown and departed kicker Anthony Fera (transferred to Texas) and running back Silas Redd (transferred to USC), they scored 112 of the 245 offensive points. Other transferring players also scored points: Tight end Kevin Haplea had one receiving touchdown and backup quarterback Rob Bolden converted a two-point try against Alabama.
With 30 games under his belt, Brown was going to be the most experienced receiver for Penn State in 2012. He had 73 catches for 1,047 yards and three touchdowns in his career. Now, the Nittany Lions have no players returning who had more than five catches in 2011. Brown also returned punts for Penn State and had 27 returns for 220 yards to lead the team in 2011.
The Penn State scandal refuses to go away, even weeks after the NCAA handed down severe sanctions to the Nittany Lions' football program in the wake of the Jerry Sanduski sex scandal and subsequent coverup. In an unprecedented move on Friday afternoon, the family of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno appealed the sanctions the NCAA place upon the school.
The appeal is based on Paterno as an "involved individual" after the coach was named in the NCAA consent decree and the Freeh report.
Here's the opening paragraph of the letter, which can be found in its entirety at Onward State.
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 18.104.22.168, 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.
Another member of the Nittany Lions football team has decided to take his talents elsewhere. The latest player to bolt the program is kicker Anthony Fera, who is headed to Texas, according to Joe Schad of ESPN.
Penn State K Anthony Fera has committed to transfer to Texas— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) August 2, 2012
Fera handled both the kicking and punting duties for Penn State. Last year he was a candidate for the Ray Guy Award and a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award. He ranked 17th in the nation for his field goal accuracy, and 37th for yardage on punts.
This makes eight roster players that have left Penn State for other programs since the NCAA handed down its sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Penn State has lost yet another player off its current roster in the wake of heavy sanctions levied by the NCAA. Linebacker Khairi Fortt, who was expected to compete for the starting middle linebacker job this season, will instead transfer to Cal where he will be eligible to play immediately.
"This is what's right for me and my family," Fortt told the Stamford Advocate. "The way you go through life is the way you handle adversity. Some people have different paths."
Fortt would have been entering his junior season with the Nittany Lions. Last year he appeared in 12 games, recording 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Fortt joins running back Silas Redd, tight end Kevin Haplea, safety Tim Buckley and defensive tackle Jamil Pollard among the players that have transferred. Quarterback Rob Bolden has also been granted a release from his scholarship.
The exodus from Penn State continued Wednesday in the wake of NCAA sanctions. Defensive tackle Jamil Pollard, who signed a letter of intent with the Nittany Lions in February, will transfer to Rutgers, according to reports. Pollard's former high school football coach Clyde Folsom explained the decision.
"We spoke last week when the penalties became public at Penn State," said Folsom. "He wasn't sure what he wanted to do, he wasn't in the right state of mind at the time to really make a decision. But over a 48-hour period there were six or seven Division I schools that were interested in bringing him in on scholarship.
"But the only school he would have left for is Rutgers, he made that point very clear. From the very beginning of it, he said, ‘The only school I'll leave for is Rutgers.' They were able to offer him (a scholarship) and he accepted."
Rutgers and Boston College were the next two schools vying for Pollard's services after Penn State during his senior year at West Deptford High School in New Jersey. Pollard was ranked as the No. 20 defensive tackle in the Class of 2012, and a four-star prospect by Rivals.com.
The Penn State Nittany Lions have lost yet another transfer. Not long after running back Silas Redd announced that he would be playing at USC next season, Tomahawk Nation reports that tight end Kevin Haplea has decided to head to Tallahassee as a member of the Florida State Seminoles.
Haplea caught just three passes last season, but played a pivotal role as a blocker as he helped Redd to 1,241 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. Haplea will be a junior this season, and is eligible to play immediately. Normally, standard transfers have to sit out a season before they can play with their new team, but the NCAA waived the provision for players on Penn State's roster as part of the sanctions against the football program.
The Seminoles are desperate for tight end help after graduating two seniors from last season. The team had to resort to converting defensive lineman Dan Hicks during the offseason.
Former Penn State running back Silas Redd released a statement on Tuesday on why he decided to transfer to USC.
Here is the statement (via CT News):
This has obviously been a very busy, emotionally draining week for me and my family. As many of you know, playing football at Penn State has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old, and I will be forever grateful that this dream became a reality. This is the reason that the decision I have made is so difficult for me: I will transfer to USC to complete my education and my college football career, beginning in the 2012-2013 year. Penn State gave me a phenomenal opportunity to become part of a legendary football program. My teammates, my coaches - past and present - and the staff have provided me with a tremendous amount of guidance and support since I arrived on campus, and I can't thank them enough for their time, their advice, and their friendship. They have given me such a strong foundation from which I can continue to grow.
The Penn State community - including the Nittany Lions' unbelievable fan base - has also been a huge part of my incredible experience over the past two years. I have grown tremendously as a person and a player at Penn State, and the support of the community and our fans has been a big part of the reason why. I also want to extend my thanks to the media, who have embraced me and my family over my entire football career, even before I began at the college level. I think it is important to say that this situation is not something that I wished for myself, but it has happened, nonetheless. My family and I have spent many hours in recent days trying to decide what will be best for me as I look to the future - both personally and professionally.
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.
Silas Redd Jr.
Redd is the second player to leave Penn State since the NCAA sanctions were imposed against the school in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. On Monday, redshirt freshman safety Tim Buckley returned to his home state to play for N.C. State.
Redd had been linked to the Trojans since the sanctions were announced. He is a junior running back who rushed for 1,241 yards and 7 touchdowns for the Nittany Lions in 2011. Redd led all running backs in the country with 703 rushing yards in the month of October last season. He also had five consecutive 100-yard outings for Penn State. Redd will be eligible to play immediately for USC and has two years of eligibility remaining.
With Redd leaving, Bill Belton, who was second on the depth chart, will move to the No. 1 slot at running back for Penn State.
Penn State has lost its first current player since the sanctions over the Jerry Sandusky scandal were placed on the school by the NCAA. Redshirt freshman safety Tim Buckley has transferred to N.C. State, Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien announced on Monday (via N.C. State).
Buckley will have four years of eligibility remaining and will be able to play immediately for N.C. State. He was listed as a backup at free safety for Penn State following spring practice.
Buckley said about joining the Wolfpack, "I am excited to be a member of the NC State Wolfpack. The opportunity to come here and play at my state university, so close to home, was something that I couldn't pass up." Buckley is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, and played at Cardinal Gibbons HS.
Bolden (6-3, 214) is a junior from Orchard Lake, Michigan who is one of several Nittany Lions who are considering transferring after the sanctions imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Bolden was not likely to be named the starter at the quarterback position for Penn State this season. Due to his two seasons of experience, Bolden could give LSU depth at the quarterback position behind starter Zach Mettenberger.
Bolden was highly touted coming out of high school and has thrown for 2,045 yards, seven touchdowns and 14 interceptions for Penn State in two seasons. Bolden has also has a rushing touchdown.
Penn State are looking into altering their iconic look according to a report from Rich Scarcella of the Reading Eagle. Scarecella spoke to the parents of Penn State football players, who had a conference call with head coach Bill O'Brien earlier this week.
Along with assuring the parents that there will be extra security for their sons at away games and talking about the NCAA sanctions handed down to the program on Monday, O'Brien told the parents that the athletic department were talking to Nike about changing their uniforms, although the change might not happen until next year, with O'Brien telling the parents,
"It might be easier said than done (for this season). I'm not sure we can get it done this year."
Along with altering the uniforms, O'Brien is also talking about putting names on the backs of the uniforms. Something that never happened with Paterno at the helm.
Add the Temple Owls to the list of schools looking to acquire the available Penn State players. Philly.com is reporting that Temple is interested interested in Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes. Head coach Steve Addazio has said that he nor his coaching staff is going to camp out in the parking lot waiting for Barnes or other players.
A Temple source close to the situation said that Addazio wants to see if there is mutual interest:
"I can tell you this: We are interested in Deion Barnes, the kid from Northeast [High]," he said. "But again, is there mutual interest? I know we are trying to at least see if he is at least interested. I don't know if there is any mutual interest."
Northeast High is in the Philadelphia area, so it makes sense for Temple to make an attempt to land Barnes. Howver, Barnes may not be interested in Temple as he has said that he plans on staying at Penn State because of the education and that he has a good chance of moving on to the NFL by staying.
Temple has also reached out to red shirt junior tight end Garry Gilliam, but he also said that he is staying at Penn State.
Penn State president Rodney Erickson told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Wednesday that if the school had not accepted the sanctions from the NCAA, the organization would have imposed a four-year "death penalty." (via ESPN) NCAA president Mark Emmert also said that the NCAA had approved the penalty of not allowing Penn State to play football for four years early last week.
Erickson said about the proposed death penalty, "Well, that's a pretty tough number to swallow. It's unprecedented. It's a blow to the gut; there's no doubt about that ... I couldn't agree to that at all." After speaking with Emmert, Penn State tried to get the NCAA to remove the possibility of the death penalty from the possible sanctions the school faced. However, if Penn State did not agree to the sanctions they ultimately received, the Nittany Lions' football team would have been shut down for four years in addition to "other sanctions" and a larger financial penalty than the $60 million imposed by the NCAA.
Erickson does not agree with the recent talk that the sanctions imposed by the NCAA are worse than if the school had received the death penalty. "I think the death penalty would have been far, far worse for the program and the university over the long run," Erickson said.
Whether or not Erickson had the authority to consent to the sanctions without consulting Penn State's board of trustees first was on the agenda of a trustees meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday morning, the Penn State Nittany Lions finally got some good news.
According to CBSSports.com, about 25 players have reaffirmed their commitment to the team.
The group made the statement of their intentions without taking any questions afterward from the media. Some of the team members who have decided to stay are running back Michael Zordich and fifth-year linebacker Michael Mauti, one of the best defensive players in the country.
"This program was not built by one man and this program is sure as hell not going to get torn down by one man,"said Mauti.
Another young man who is currently staying the course is running back Silas Redd, an explosive player whom the offense is built around. Redd couldn't be reached for comment, but his father was.
"Silas Redd is a student-athlete at Penn State University, period," said Silas Redd Sr.
It had been reported that Redd was being courted by USC.
One man who will not be leaving the Penn State campus is Matt McGloin. The Nittany Lions quarterback announced via twitter that he doesn't intend to play football anywhere else this fall, reaffirming his commitment to the school, according to The Washington Post.
"I am a Nittany Lion and will remain one." he also tweeted. "I believe in the core values I have learned in this program. It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family."
McGloin has had a maligned career at Penn State, low-lighted by his missing of the Outback Bowl last season thanks to a concussion he suffered in a scuffle with a teammate.
Head coach Bill O'Brien came out earlier in the year and said McGloin will be the starting quarterback, perhaps something McGloin doesn't think he could expect to be at many other large programs with the season so close.
In 2011, the former walk-on only completed 54 percent of his passes.
A key recruit in the 2013 Penn State class, tight end Adam Breneman has decided to remain committed to the Nittany Lions. Breneman is the top tight end recruit in the country, according to Rivals. Without Breneman, other members of the 2013 class could have departed.
In addition to Breneman, Christian Hackenberg, a 4-star quarterback recruit and Elite 11 invitee from Virginia announced that he was still committed this past weekend. For the moment, the Nittany Lions have also retained 5-star offensive tackle Dorian Johnson (via ESPN Insider $).
Penn State's recruits and current players are theoretically up for grabs after the sanctions which the NCAA and Big Ten Conference recently levied against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Current Penn State players will be allowed to transfer without sitting out a season. Penn State's Class of 2013 players won't be able to compete for the Big Ten title or be able to participate in a bowl game until their senior years.
For more news on Penn State recruiting, check back to to this SB Nation Philly StoryStream. Meanwhile, all discussion and commentary on Penn State can be found at the SB Nation blog Black Shoes Diaries.
USC has informed Penn State that it is actively pursuing running back Silas Redd for transfer. Penn State was hit with massive NCAA sanctions Monday. One of the punitive measures enacted will allow any player currently on the team to transfer without having to sit out a year.
Redd is the Nittany Lions' most high-profile player, and arguably the most critical piece to the offense. He helped an anemic passing attack last season by rushing for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns on 244 carries. The 5'10, 209-pound junior reeled off five consecutive games with over 100 yards rushing in the middle of the season.
Even at a high-profile school like USC, Redd should be expected to compete for a starting job right away. Curtis McNeal returns for his senior season with the Trojans after rushing for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns on 145 carries last year. Redd has two years of eligibility.
The family of former Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno continue to put themselves in the spotlight, and Monday, in the wake of the huge punishments the program received from the NCAA, they continued to let their voices be heard by releasing a statement.
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.
For more news on the NCAA penalties, check back to to this SB Nation Philly StoryStream or visit the SB Nation college football home page. Meanwhile, all discussion and commentary can be found at the SB Nation blog Black Shoes Diaries.
The NCAA handed out an unprecedented amount of punishment to the Penn State football program on Monday, and in case you missed it the crew at SB Nation studios has posted a video on its YouTube page breaking down all the sanctions.
Penn State Scandal: NCAA Imposes Major Sanctions on Football Team (via sbnation)
Most of the reaction regarding the NCAA penalties have been positive, though, there's still a lot of debate on whether or not they were too harsh, not harsh enough or just right. SB Nation is asking readers and viewers for their opinion on the matter. So, check out the video and voice your opinion over at SB Nation's YouTube page.
For more news on Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, the NCAA penalties, check back to to this SB Nation Philly StoryStream or visit the SB Nation college football home page. Meanwhile, all discussion and commentary can be found at the SB Nation blog Black Shoes Diaries.
The Penn State story has many twists and turns, and that's just talking about the football aspect of it.
Now that the penalties have been handed down by the NCAA and Big Ten Conference, it's time to take a look at the ramifications, which has been done by SBNation.com.
As pointed out, the most severe of all the sanctions is the loss of scholarships over the next five years. The Nittany Lions were lambasted, losing 10 for this season and 20 total per year. Due to that penalty, Penn State will only be able to have 15 kids on scholarship per incoming class.
Without question, the Nittany Lions are in for some brutal years of football, despite how well they recruit.
According to multiple reports, cornerback Ross Douglas has already skipped town while tight end Adam Breneman has issued a no-comment. It's impossible to blame anyone who is one the way out, considering they will never see a bowl game or likely an average team during their time in Happy Valley.
Perhaps the biggest impact though won't be seen for years. When the school has it's full amount of scholarships available once again in 2017, how many recruits will want to play for Penn State? Remember, it's more than plausible at that point the school will be trying to rebuild from virtually nothing.
The University of Penn State has had a long Monday morning.
After the NCAA came down on the school with some of the harshest punishments ever handed out, the Big Ten Conference joined in not too long ago, putting even more sanctions on the football program.
First and foremost, the school will have $13 million withheld from it in bowl money due to their being ineligible from from postseason play(part of the NCAA penalties). That money will instead be given to a much more deserving place; charity.
Second, the Nittany Lions won't be allowed to play in the Big Ten Conference Championship Game for the next four seasons, something widely expected.
The conference did say it is leaning towards letting the Penn State players transfer within the conference if they choose to do so, according to Ben Jones via twitter.
In closing, it was noted during the press conference that the Nittany Lions are still a valued member of the Big Ten, despite the recent happenings.
The hits just keep coming for Penn State University on Monday morning.
According to Brett McMurphy via twitter, the Big Ten has announced it will withhold $13 million of league bowl money from Penn State since the school isn't eligible to play in the postseason, per the NCAA sanctions.
As for where that $13 million will be going? Charity.
On top of that, the Big Ten also has made it known that the Nittany Lions will not be allowed to play in the conference championship game, as expected given the NCAA's postseason ban.
If you're keeping track, that's $73 million that the university has lost in approximately two hours. The school is still awaiting the Big Ten press conference which starts at 11:00 a.m. ET, to see if any more penalties are in the offing.
It's tough to imagine what else could be done in this situation, but at this point anything seems possible.
In the wake of the NCAA's penalties against Penn State University, Nittany Lions head coachhas made his feelings known.
On Monday morning, O'Brien released a statement that 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 certainly has his work cut out for him in the coming years, something that had to be expected after the fallout of such a terrible scandal. Now, O'Brien is left to pick up the pieces and try to make it work in Happy Valley.
With the devastating penalties being handed down on Monday morning from NCAA President Mark Emmert to Penn State University, many college football fans around the country are still trying to take it all in.
Of course, the fans most affected by the day's happenings are Nittany Lions supporters, who now know exactly what kind of an uphill battle this program faces.
Over at our blog Black Shoe Diaries, tackles the issue and explains his feelings towards the sanctions:
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.
With more coming from the Big Ten conference at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, it could get worse before it gets any better.
With so much coming out of the NCAA's press conference on Monday, one tidbit of information leaking out is the possibility of schools getting their scholarship limit waived if they take Penn State transfers.
According to Bryan D. Fischer via Twitter, the NCAA is considering doing exactly that. If such a move is made, it would obviously help the players make a quick transfer with schools lining up to snatch them up.
Due to the length and nature of the postseason ban on Penn State, any player with four years or less of eligibility can transfer out of the university and play immediately. It would only be fair, considering none of the current athletes had any clue what they were walking into.
With such serious penalties coming down from NCAA President Mark Emmert, it would be expected many of the players will look to move on sooner rather than later from Happy Valley.
While the "death penalty" wasn't levied against Penn State University, the NCAA did just about everything else.
SMU remains the only school to have received such a sanction, but the Nittany Lions football program certainly didn't escape. With the loss of 10 scholarships for this year and 20 for each of the next four campaigns, Penn State will have virtually no chance to compete for years against top programs.
After the way Penn State and its authorities protected the program by concealing the crimes of ex-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, it's hardly a shock to see such harsh penalties.
During the press conference on Monday morning, NCAA Mark Emmert made his feelings quite clear about the recent happenings in Happy Valley.
"In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable," Emmert said.
Emmert did address the "death penalty", but said he thought it would hurt too many people who had nothing to do with the scandal.
Instead, the NCAA decided to remove some of the past while protecting the future, making sure safeguards are in place at Penn State for years to come by having to work with an athletic-integrity monitor, chosen by the NCAA .
As NCAA president Mark Emmert read off the penalties imposed by his organization against Penn State University, one of the sanctions that stood out was the vacation of wins between 1998-2011.
Before the announcement on Monday morning, Joe Paterno had the most wins of any D-I head football coach. Now, he's eighth on the list after being exposed as one of the men who turned a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky while he committed child sex-abuse for well over a decade.
Paterno's legacy will be forever tarnished, something that seemed unimaginable just a year ago. When the official records of Paterno's wins are shown, the last of them will have come in Beaver Stadium against No. 24 Wisconsin on November 22, 1997.
On that afternoon, the Nittany Lions defeated the Badgers 35-10 in front of 96,934 adoring fans.
One day after Paterno lost his statue in front of the stadium he coached so many games in, he now has lost plenty of his wins there as well.
Penn State was hammered by the NCAA, including the vacation of wins and loss of scholarships among other sanctions.
Major NCAA sanctions are headed to Happy Valley, and while the death penalty is off the table, sources say the football program could be facing something much worse. Major scholarship losses are expected, as is a lengthy bowl ban. Penn State will also have to pay a hefty fine as well, somewhere between $30 million and $60 million, according to reports.
That money will reportedly go towards an endowment for children's causes. Considering that PSU brought in $116 million in revenue during the 2010-11 school year, the fine represents no small chunk of change.
NCAA president Mark Emmert will officially announce the penalties at 9 a.m ET on Monday. He has come under fire for his decision to levy punishment unilaterally, foregoing the standard months-long investigation. Emmert's decision is based entirely on the Freeh Report commissioned by Penn State released last Thursday.
The NCAA is expected to come down hard on the Penn State football program Monday, and a report from Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson released Sunday is confirming experts speculation. According to a Robinson source, the NCAA's first presidential sanctioning, led by President Mark Emmert, is expected to have "significant" and "staggering" penalties that include a "'multiple-year' bowl ban" and and "'crippling' scholarship losses".
The move will mark a first in NCAA history, in which the president will invoke a defense of the NCAA’s constitution as part of his reasoning for taking the unprecedented steps. The moment is groundbreaking in that Emmert is circumventing typical NCAA process and moving forward without an investigation by his enforcement staff.
Emmert will official release the punishment at a 9 a.m. news conference on Monday morning.
On Sunday, PSU President Rodney Erickson deiced to take down the statue of former head coach Joe Paterno, who was involved in a university cover-up involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and his sexual abuse of children.
Penn State's President Rodney Erikson made the decision to remove the statue of Joe Paterno which sat outside Beaver Stadium in State College. It was removed at 8:30 am and Erikson released the following statement.
Since we learned of the Grand Jury presentment and the charges against Jerry Sandusky and University officials last November, members of the Penn State community and the public have been made much more acutely aware of the tragedy of child sexual abuse. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse. I assure you that Penn State will take a national leadership role in the detection and prevention of child maltreatment in the months and years ahead.
With the release of Judge Freeh’s Report of the Special Investigative Counsel, we as a community have had to confront a failure of leadership at many levels. The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. The Freeh Report has given us a great deal to reflect upon and to consider, including Coach Paterno’s legacy.
Throughout Penn State, the two most visible memorials to Coach Paterno are the statue at Beaver Stadium and the Paterno Library. The future of these two landmarks has been the topic of heated debate and many messages have been received in various University offices, including my own. We have heard from numerous segments of the Penn State community and others, many of whom have differing opinions. These are particularly important decisions when considering things that memorialize such a revered figure.
I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.
On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.
Coach Paterno’s positive impact over the years and everything he did for this University predate his statue. At the same time it is true that our institution’s excellence cannot be attributed to any one person or to athletics. Rather, Penn State is defined by our actions and accomplishments as a learning community. Penn State has long been an outstanding academic institution and we will continue to be.
The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner.
I fully realize that my decision will not be popular in some Penn State circles, but I am certain it is the right and principled decision. I believe we have chosen a course that both recognizes the many contributions that Joe Paterno made to the academic life of our University, while taking seriously the conclusions of the Freeh Report and the national issue of child sexual abuse. Today, as every day, our hearts go out to the victims.
The statue of former Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno, which sat outside Beaver Stadium, was removed and place in a safe location Sunday. The university's actions have provoked a response from the Paterno family, which released a statement:
"Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State Community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth.
The Paterno family continues to defend the former PSU legend, who died of lung cancer exactly six months ago on Jan. 22"
"To those who truly want to know the truth about Sandusky, it should matter that Joe Paterno has never had a hearing; that his legal counsel has never been able to interview key witnesses, all of whom are represented by lawyers and therefore unavailable; that there has never been an opportunity to review critical evidence which has not been made public; that selective evidence and the opinion of Mr Freeh is treated as the equivalent of a fair trial. Despite this obviously flawed and one-sided presentation, the University believes it must acquiesce and accept that Joe Paterno has been given a fair and complete hearing. We think the better course would have been for the University to take a strong stand in support of due process so that the complete truth can be uncovered.
"It is not the University's responsibility to defend or protect Joe Paterno. But they at least should have acknowledged that important legal cases are still pending and that the record on Joe Paterno, the Board and other key players is far from complete."
After months of speculation, the hammer is about to come down on the Penn State football program. According to ESPN's Joe Schad the penalties which will be given out by the NCAA and its President Mark Emmert on Monday morning will be a loss of bowl bids and scholarships.
"Penn State sanctions expected to be extremely harsh and could even be perceived as more damaging long-term than 'death penalty", said Schad via Twitter on Sunday.
According to Schad, this is the first time a NCAA President has had this type of authority to hand down this type of punishment.
Schad's reports come in the wake of a few big stories to come out of State College, Pa. on Sunday. The first was the statement by PSU President Rodney Erickson that said the statue of former head coach Joe Paterno, which sat outside Beaver Stadium, would be removed and place in a safe place. The second was the breaking news that the NCAA would hold a press conference Monday at 9 a.m. ET to announce "unprecedented penalties" against PSU.
Before things get better sometimes they need to get worse. That's what the Penn State University and its football program will probably encounter Monday morning, when the NCAA is expected to announce "unprecedented penalties" against PSU, a source told CBSNews.com on Sunday.
"I've never seen anything like it," the source told correspondent Armen Keteyian.
NCAA President Mark Emmert will make the announcement Monday morning at 9 a.m. at the organization's headquarters in Indianapolis.
Bryan Fischer, a college writer for CBSSports.com, is reporting the news conference is to announce "corrective and punitive measures" against PSU.
This news comes in the wake of the university's President Rodney Erickson announcing the statue of former head coach Joe Paterno, which is located outside Beaver Stadium, would be removed and placed in a secure location. According to an independent investigation done by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Paterno was involved in a cover-up of child sexual abuse charges surrounding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Exactly six months to the day of the death of former Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno passed away from lung cancer, his statue outside Beaver Stadium, which commemorates his legacy, will be removed and placed into storage. In a statement released to the media Sunday morning, PSU President Rodney Erickson gave his reasoning of removing the statue:
"...The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. The Freeh Report has given us a great deal to reflect upon and to consider, including Coach Paterno’s legacy..."
"...I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse."
Erickson has, however, decided to keep the university's library name Paterno Library:
"On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged."
In conclusion, Erickson admitted his decision will not be popular but he did say this is one of the steps in the healing processes for PSU.
"The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner."
Penn State president Rodney Erikson will made a decision whether or not to remove the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium within the next 72 hours, according to a report.
There are conflicting reports about whether the late Joe Paterno's statute that is out front of Beaver Stadium will be taken down this weekend.
Earlier on Friday there was a report saying that the statue would be taken down as early as this weekend, and that the decision to take down the statue came after the Penn State Board of Trustees had a meeting Thursday night and voted to do so.
According to Bernstein, the Penn State Board of Trustees had a meeting Thursday night on the matter, and voted to remove the statue this weekend.
There have been talks of removing the statue since the release of the Freeh report on July 12. Paterno and others had known about sexual child abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and failed to report it to police.
This is the latest instance of the school distancing itself from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, including removing the halo over Paterno's head in a mural at Penn State and changing the name of the student encampment outside of Beaver Stadium from Paternoville to Nittanyville.
Steve Garban, a former chairman of the Penn State board of trustees, resigned Thursday in the wake of the Louis Freeh investigation report into the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. Garban is the first member of the board to resign due to the scandal.
The Freeh report found that Garban had been briefed twice about developments in the Sandusky case and failed to relay his knowledge to the rest of the board. The report was damning of the board as a whole, finding it ceded too much responsibility to university president Graham Spanier.
Garban worked at Penn State for 33 years. He was elected to the board of trustees in 1998, and spent the last 12 years as treasurer and senior vice president for finance and operations.
Talks about the future of the Penn State football programs may not be moving as quickly as some may like, but the purposed "death penalty" hasn't been ruled out by the NCAA admitted its President Mark Emmert on Monday.
Emmert, who conducted a PBS interview, said the NCAA will not "take anything off the table" when he was asked about the possibly of shutting down the Nittany Lion football program, which has been heavily scrutinized about its handling of the sexual abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Emmert said he's "never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university." He added, "What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we'll have to decide."
In its history, the NCAA has only shutdown one football program because of rules violations and lack of institutional control. In the 1980's, SMU was forced to drop football because of extra-benefits given to players.
Joe Paterno's influence on Happy Valley and Penn State University was ubiquitous, right down to the name of the student encampment outside of Gate A of Beaver Stadium. "Paternoville" stood as the makeshift city for students waiting for football tickets since 2006. The encampment will change its name to "Nittanyville" starting next season.
The Nittanyville Coordination Committee released a statement Monday explaining the name change. President Troy Weller said that it is important "we continue to do all we can to raise sexual abuse awareness."
"Now, it's a new era of Nittany Lion football," Weller said. "And by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it. We thank the Paterno family for their gracious assistance and support over the last several years."
Expect more to come in the wake of the Freeh Report released last Thursday.
Penn State University released a statement Sunday commenting on the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium. The brief one-sentence statement contradicted earlier reports quoting trustees saying the statue would remain in place. As of yet, a decision has apparently not been made.
Contrary to various reports, neither the Board of Trustees nor University Administration has taken a vote or made a decision regarding the Joe Paterno statue at Beaver Stadium.
The statue has become a point of contention in the wake of the report released Thursday, headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh, that found that Paterno and others had known about sexual child abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and failed to report it to police.
Debate largely centers on whether the statue can be still be seen as a symbol of what Paterno contributed to the university, or whether it will forever be associated with the scandal that ultimately led to his firing. Words on the gray-stone wall next to the statue read "Joseph Vincent Paterno; Educator; Coach; Humanitarian."
According to sources, the Penn State University statue of Joe Paterno will remain for the time being.
The statue has been a source of major conjecture over the past few days since the Freeh report was released to the masses earlier this week. Many have felt the statue should be taken down out of respect for the victims of Jerry Sandusky, but apparently that won't be in Penn State's immediate plans.
"You can't let people stampede you into making a rash decision," a trustee said. "The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn't represent the bad that he did."
The board of trustees came together over the past few days in Scranton, PA in a previously scheduled meeting, with the statue becoming a point of debate.
After much deliberation, the trustees feel comfortable with their decision.
"It has to stay up," said another trustee. "We have to let a number of months pass, and we'll address it again. But there is no way, no way. It's just not coming down."
Some trustees seemed even more defiant in their stance of keeping Paterno's statue standing.
"They don't get to tell us," the source said about members of the public clamoring for its removal. "This is a Penn State community decision."
While the long-term viability of the monument is still in question, Penn State officials don't want to make a premature move.
"We don't want to jump the gun again," the trustee said. "When we did that in November, look where we ended up. If it does have to come down, it will be after much deliberation and discussion. If I had my way, (the statue) will always be there. People can take from it what they want."
Unquestionably, the debate will rage on while the legacy of Joe Paterno looms both figuratively and literally over Penn State.
Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had negotiated a golden parachute arrangement to retire from his position at the end of the 2011 season before the Jerry Sandusky scandal became public knowledge, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Paterno would have received $3 million to retire after the conclusion of the 2011 season and the $350,000 the university had loaned him would have been forgotten. His contract was not due to expire until after the 2012 season but he and the university's president, both of whom knew where the Sandusky investigation would lead, negotiated the golden parachute arrangement.
Penn State's board of trustees was reportedly kept in the dark regarding the arrangement, which ultimately was revisited during the 2011 season when the Sandusky investigation was completed and Paterno was fired amid the scandal. The board of trustees agreed to give Paterno's family a nice package anyway, worth roughly $5.5 million according to the Times.
Joe Paterno spent more than 40 years building a sterling reputation as a rare college football head coach who demanded integrity from himself and his program. But since the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal became public, Paterno's reputation has taken a nosedive.
That dive continued on Thursday, when -- in the wake of the Freeh report, which found that Paterno and Penn State's football program showed "shocking disregard for child victims" -- Nike decided that it no longer wants to be involved with Paterno's name, announcing it will take his name off the Paterno Child Development Center.
The Nike campus had 18 buildings named for sports figures. According to Darren Rovell, Paterno is the first to have his name taken off the building.
"I have been deeply saddened by the news coming out of this investigation at Penn State," Nike CEO Mike Parker, a Penn State grad, said in a statement Thursday. "It is a terrible tragedy that children were unprotected from such abhorrent crimes. With the findings released today, I have decided to change the name of our child care center at our World Headquarters. My thoughts are with the victims and the Penn State community."
Joe Paterno's family released a statement on Thursday in the wake of the Freeh report, which found that Paterno and Penn State's football program showed "shocking disregard" for children who were mistreated by Jerry Sandusky.
The full statement follows:
We are in the process of reviewing the Freeh report and will need some time before we can comment in depth on its findings and conclusions. From the moment this crisis broke, Joe Paterno supported a comprehensive, fair investigation. He always believed, as we do, that the full truth should be uncovered.
From what we have been able to assess at this time, it appears that after reviewing 3 million documents and conducting more than 400 interviews, the underlying facts as summarized in the report are almost entirely consistent with what we understood them to be. The 1998 incident was reported to law enforcement and investigated. Joe Paterno reported what he was told about the 2001 incident to Penn State authorities and he believed it would be fully investigated. The investigation also confirmed that Sandusky's retirement in 1999 was unrelated to these events.
One great risk in this situation is a replaying of events from the last 15 years or so in a way that makes it look obvious what everyone must have known and should have done. The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept. The far more realistic conclusion is that many people didn't fully understand what was happening and underestimated or misinterpreted events. Sandusky was a great deceiver. He fooled everyone - law enforcement, his family, coaches, players, neighbors, University officials, and everyone at Second Mile.
Joe Paterno wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions.
We appreciate the effort that was put into this investigation. The issue we have with some of the conclusions is that they represent a judgment on motives and intentions and we think this is impossible. We have said from the beginning that Joe Paterno did not know Jerry Sandusky was a child predator. Moreover, Joe Paterno never interfered with any investigation. He immediately and accurately reported the incident he was told about in 2001.
It can be argued that Joe Paterno should have gone further. He should have pushed his superiors to see that they were doing their jobs. We accept this criticism. At the same time, Joe Paterno and everyone else knew that Sandusky had been repeatedly investigated by authorities who approved his multiple adoptions and foster children. Joe Paterno mistakenly believed that investigators, law enforcement officials, University leaders and others would properly and fully investigate any issue and proceed as the facts dictated.
This didn't happen and everyone shares the responsibility.
The Freeh Report, released on Thursday, revealed that Joe Paterno and other Penn State leaders put public relations above child victims of Jerry Sandusky.
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