An ESPN Outside The Lines report details emails between the NCAA and Louis Freeh’s firm, which was paid $8.2 million to conduct an independent investigation of Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. As it turns out, they were getting some, um, guidance from the NCAA:
“I’m angry,” [Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman] said. “When you read the other communications we’ve seen, the NCAA is saying ‘we have an image problem.’ So it looks like the NCAA was looking to improve its own image at the expense of Penn State. And to do that, they were orchestrating an outcome with Freeh to make it happen … A lot of people were hurt by the sanctions brought down by the NCAA, and to think it was achieved possibly by this coordination by Freeh and the NCAA makes me very, very angry.”
I can’t do any of this justice. Just go read the whole thing.
pic via reader Sam
Ryan Lochte was at Penn State College this past weekend just throwing monster tips on bottle service and apparently also taking tons of selfies at Beaver Stadium. Below are just a few examples– Jeah! Continue reading
Poor Temple, they can’t even pull 2nd place in their own city: The New York Times broke out another one of their Facebook fandom maps, this time tracing each zip code’s top three favorite college football teams. As you can see strictly by color above, Penn State owns much of the state of PA, with the more western reaches being a mix and mash of Penn State, Ohio State, West Virginia, and Pitt. Locally, Penn State is the consensus number one with Notre Dame coming consistently in a distant second. Third place is all over the place though: In Delco it’s the Florida Gators, in Philly it’s Temple, Chester County prefers Ohio State, as do MontCo and Bucks County. Meanwhile, Glouster and Camden counties in New Jersey go PSU/Notre Dame/Oregon Ducks.
You can see the whole map over here and zoom way in to check the results by individual zip codes.
Because the best way to recruit high school football players is to roll up like a villain in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Penn State head coach James Franklin headed down to Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, MD via helicopter. His chopper landed very subtly on what seems to be the baseball fields, you know, so no one would know he was there. So the next time someone points out that college athletics aren’t a business, or that athletes shouldn’t get paid, just picture PSU’s football coach rolling up to a high school in a helicopter like he’s goddamned Mark Cuban. And for a program like Penn State, nothing says “keeping things in perspective” like building helicopter rentals into the football budget.
pic via Onward State
I’m happy for Penn State students, fans and alumni. Really, I am. But it’s not hard to see how a culture distorted the judgement of otherwise smart people.
Pictures and videos after the jump. Continue reading
The NCAA right now, in increasingly higher octaves: Hey, maybe we can just slip this in there and no one will notice? Maybe we’ll just slide it right in there? Maybe so it flies under the radar on this busy day? Maybe just a bit of out-of-nowhere news letting Penn State off the hook because everyone’s forgotten already? Maybe just hide it behind the Ray Rice stories because now the NFL has a huge PR thing to deal with?
Due to Penn State University’s significant progress toward ensuring its athletics department functions with integrity, the NCAA Executive Committee today eliminated the school’s postseason ban, effective immediately, and will return the full complement of football scholarships in 2015-16.
The committee’s action endorses recommendations released today by George Mitchell, the university’s athletics oversight monitor, in his latest report.
In addition to the scholarship and postseason participation changes, Mitchell also recommended that if Penn State continues to make impressive progress at the conclusion of the 2015 report, Mitchell’s oversight may conclude substantially earlier than 2017, the date set forth in the original agreement between the NCAA and Penn State.
Joking aside, this is good news for all the good people who enjoy and make livings off of Penn State football and it surrounding culture.
Remember this simple rule, college football recruits: If you’re cyber-bullying, or degrading women, or talking about drug use on social media, Penn State will stop recruiting you. If you tweet punt-related lyrics to “Baby Got Back,” we assume you get an immediate starting job.
Just please, before the end of the day and the start of your weekend, can you say “little in the middle but his punts aren’t WACK” out-loud to yourself? I promise it’s a great way to start your weekend.