Iceland Volcano Could Threaten Penn State Football Opener

Scientists are reporting thousands of small earthquakes in the area around Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano, leading to fears of a possible eruption. Those who travel to Europe may remember the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, which led to the cancelation of 107,000 flights due to ash in the air.

“So what!” you say. “What does a hard-to-pronounce volcano have to do with me?” Well, there is a Pennsylvania angle to this story: The volcano’s eruption may delay Penn State’s football opener.

Penn State is playing the University of Central Florida in its season opener at Dublin, Ireland’s Croke Park. Penn State has made contingency plans that involve listening to the airline and monitoring the situation.

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Board: Penn State Will Abide by Sanctions

Penn State’s board of trustees voted today to keep complying with the NCAA consent decree that banished the school to football purgatory for four year.

That decree — which came in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal — deprived the university of some scholarships, banned the team from bowl games for four years, fined the school $60 million, and erased most of Joe Paterno‘s late-career wins from the record book.

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Politicians Keep Pandering to Penn State

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Oh, how I wish the politicians of Pennsylvania would stop kissing the ring of Penn State football.

The king — Joe Paterno — may be dead, but the kingdom is very much alive. A quick Google News search for “Penn State” turns up headline after headline about new coach James Franklin and speculation about the forthcoming 2014 football season. That might not be so unusual — it’s late July, practices are about to begin — except that the results of that page are similarly football-heavy all year round, whether the season’s around the corner or not.

Now, Google News merely reflects the output of journalists. But that journalistic output suggests that reporters covering the university know what their audience cares about. It’s not the famed library — except as proof of the saintliness of the former coach — and it’s not really even that Penn State is now ranked in the top 50 among the world’s top universities.

In Happy Valley, it turns out, they are always ready for some football.

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Penn State Hires Former Cal Athletic Director

Penn State has a new athletic director, the first of the post-Sandusky era. But Sandy Barbour comes with some baggage of her own: She was reportedly forced out as Cal’s athletic director amid questions about the football team’s graduation rate and the poor performance of her choice for football coach, Sonny Dykes. 

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Penn State Coach’s Daughter Has Sickle Cell Anemia

Speaking to the media yesterday, Penn State football coach James Franklin revealed his daughter Addy has sickle cell anemia. Franklin, who was hired to replace Bill O’Brien in January, has two daughters, Addison, 5, and Shola, 6.

Franklin and his wife, Fumi, have known Addy had the disease since birth. Sickle cell anemia causes red blood cells to form a crescent shape (like a sickle) because they contain abnormal hemoglobin. Approximately 1 in 5,000 Americans have the disease, mostly African-Americans.

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Former Penn State Coaches Sue University

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Jay Paterno and William Kenney, former assistant coaches at Penn State University, are suing the university, saying their job prospects have been ruined unfairly because of the Sandusky Scandal.

The pair filed suit in U.S. District Court Monday, each seeking $1 million or more in damages.

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VIDEO: Oprah Interviews Sandusky Son About Sexual Abuse

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On July 17th at 9 p.m., Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel will air her interview with Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of serial child sexual abuser Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse two years ago.

“Oprah speaks exclusively with Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who tells the untold story of his childhood sexual abuse,” said OWN in an announcement. “In his first television interview since Jerry’s 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, Matthew reveals never-before-heard details of the sexual abuse he experienced as a child at the hands of his adopted father, and why he is choosing to speak out now.”

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