Will Penn State Keep Player Names on Football Jerseys?

Under the late, lamented Joe Paterno, the players for Penn State football never had their names on the back of their jerseys. JoePa was old-school and believed in team victories more than individual recognition.

His successor, Bill O’Brien, altered that tradition — a way to recognize players who stuck with the program through the depths of NCAA sanctions.

Now James Franklin has arrived. Which tradition is he choosing? The Patriot-News reports:

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UPDATE: Drugs, Alcohol Ruled Out in Louis Freeh Car Crash

[Update 3:11 p.m.] The Patriot-News reports: Vermont State Police “have issued a press release saying that preliminary investigations have ruled out drugs and alcohol as a factor in the crash that left former FBI director Louis Freeh seriously injured. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.”

Here is the press release.

[Original] Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI and current chairman of the Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton law firm, was injured Monday in a Vermont car crash.

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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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