As Buzz Bissinger went from adoring Lance Armstrong to abhoring him, it seems he has now reversed his opinion on Penn State, which he blasted during the Sandusky scandal. He spoke last night at Penn State-Berks at student-organized address. It’s hard to know exactly what he said, because the only writeup of the event I could find is scant on details. But here’s what we know.
When “Victim Number 9″ took the stand against Jerry Sandusky in 2012, a prosecutor asked him to identify his assailant, he pointed at him without looking. When the prosecutor asked him to look at him, he said, “I don’t want to look at him.” Victim Number 9, now 18, is suing Sandusky and Penn State.
Today marks two years since retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on suspicion of child molesting, and it’s been a mostly ugly two years since then. In the days following, Coach Joe Paterno was fired, then students on campus responded with a riot. Paterno died months later; and after the Freeh Report came out, many of his wins were erased from the record book, and a campus memorial to him taken down. NCAA sanctions were imposed, but have since been eased. A lot of hurt feelings remain behind.
Joe Paterno was a staunch Republican–he introduced George H.W. Bush at the 1988 Republican convention. His son Jay, a fan of Obama, is a Democrat, and is reportedly considering a run for Congress.
36-year-old Jon Sandusky, Director of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns (wow, we did not know that!), was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving early Tuesday morning in Fargo, N.D. (The Penn State grad also worked for the Eagles from 2002-2009.) He appeared to be at North Dakota State University, scouting.
These people realize they’re now just embarrassing their school, right? Ex-NBA player and Penn State alum John Amaechi, most famous for coming out as gay after his retirement, is slated to serve as the Grand Marshal for PSU’s homecoming parade. For a couple years now, an unruly band of angry alums (read: Joe Paterno truthers) have been upset at Amaechi for expressing regret for his past involvement with Jerry Sandusky’s charity and criticizing the most ardent defenders of Joe Paterno. So they’re attacking him in a pretty ugly way, presumably to express their displeasure with his pending return to campus.
The complaints have recently escalated into full scale hate messages directed towards Amaechi according to Walter, including racist and homophobic slurs. These messages have been received by both Homecoming and Amaechi on Twitter and via Email over the last several weeks. As a result, Amaechi has reconsidered his participation in the event.
President Rodney Erickson, who’s received similar missives, has already withdrawn from the event. [Onward State]
Due to Penn State University’s continued progress toward ensuring athletics integrity, the NCAA Executive Committee is gradually restoring football scholarships the university lost because of sanctions more than a year ago. These changes were endorsed by the Division I Board of Directors and based on the recommendation of George Mitchell, the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor for Penn State and former U.S. Senator.
Beginning next academic year (2014-15), five additional initial scholarships will be restored to the university’s football team. This amount will continue to increase until they reach the full allocation of 25 initial in 2015-16 and 85 total football scholarships in 2016-17.
“While there is more work to be done, Penn State has clearly demonstrated its commitment to restoring integrity in its athletics program,” said Mitchell. “The university has substantially completed the initial implementation of all the Freeh Report recommendations and its obligations to the Athletics Integrity Agreement, so relief from the scholarship reductions is warranted and deserved.”
Consistent with Mitchell’s recommendation, the Executive Committee agreed the existing postseason ban, $60 million fine to help fund child abuse programs and other sanctions outlined in the consent decree will remain in effect. However, the group may consider additional mitigation of the postseason ban in the future depending upon Penn State’s continued progress.
“Providing relief from the scholarship restrictions will give more student-athletes an opportunity to attend Penn State on athletics scholarship while also creating an incentive for the university to continue its progress under new leadership after President Erickson’s impending departure,” said Mitchell.
The leadership of the Executive Committee met with the Division I Board of Directors and presidents from the Big Ten Conference prior to taking a vote on the action. During these discussions, Mitchell briefed the group on his work to date and the university’s compliance with the Athletics Integrity Agreement.
“The decision is the result of a thoughtful and deliberative process to ensure we reached the most appropriate outcome,” said Rita Hartung Cheng, who chaired the recent Executive Committee meetings regarding Senator Mitchell’s annual report and chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. “During our discussions, we had the benefit of engaging with Senator Mitchell’s expert perspective and the views of our Big Ten colleagues.”
The Executive Committee expressed its appreciation of Mitchell’s oversight of the process.
“We would like to thank Senator Mitchell for his meticulous oversight and guidance throughout this process,” said LouAnna Simon, chair of the Executive Committee and president of Michigan State University. “His dedication, as well as Penn State’s commitment to improvement, has paved the way for continued improvement for the university.”
Mitchell will continue to work with Penn State as it seeks to complete the Athletics Integrity Agreement.
“The goal has always been to ensure the university reinforces clear expectations and a daily mindset within athletics that the highest priority must be placed on educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “The Executive Committee’s decision to restore the football scholarships provides additional education opportunities and is an important recognition of Penn State’s progress.”