McQueary’s dad: ‘it’s eating him up not being able to tell his side’

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Of all the figures in this sickening Penn State scandal, from head coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier resigning in disgrace to athletic director Tim Curley facing charges, the most mind-boggling in the eyes of some is Mike McQueary.

The current wide receivers coach and, most importantly for the football program, its recruiting coordinator, McQueary testified in front of a grand jury in January that he witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the showers of the Lasch football building in 2002.  The fact that McQueary, per his testimony, told Paterno what he witnessed is inconsequential to some; rather, there’s a singular question that keeps surfacing over and over and over again: why did McQueary do nothing in the moment to stop the alleged sexual assault of a kid?

The one and only person who can answer that question is McQueary himself.  Since the scandal broke last week, however, McQueary has not spoken to the media, either face to face or via the kind of released statement that’s become the norm for the university.  According to his father, McQueary wants to get his side of the story out.  But, because of the ongoing investigation and his central role in it, he’s simply not able to at this time.

It’s not that he’s not willing,” John McQueary, his father, told the New York Times. “I think it’s eating him up not to be able to tell his side, but he’s under investigation by the grand jury. He’ll make it. He’s a tough kid.”

There has been speculation that McQueary will not coach this weekend, sitting out the Nittany Lions’ 2011 home finale against Nebraska because of the furor.  That doesn’t mean, though, that he’s not still doing his job.  A letter sent by McQueary to a potential recruit has surfaced recently, offering an ironic and sad twist to such an abhorrent situation.

“Penn State is 1 of 2 Division 1 institutions who have never been investigated or sanctioned for major NCAA infractions,” a portion of the letter from McQueary, printed in bold type, read. “Think about this as you make your college decision.  Coach Paterno’s saying ‘Success with Honor’ has value here.  It’s not something we take lightly.”

McQueary was a 28-year-old man — not some pimply-faced teenager as some have attempted to portray him — when he allegedly witnessed a 50-something man subjecting a kid less than half his age to anal rape.  The fact that he didn’t do anything to stop the sexual assault from continuing is unconscionable.  The fact that he’s still on the staff in the wake of everything that’s transpired is a mockery, but par for the course for a university that systematically covered up the acts of an alleged pedophile and, due to that cover-up, permitted countless victims to come into contact with the predator.

“”The natural instinct that would kick in, if I saw a child being violated, and I don’t care who they are, I don’t care who the person is that would be doing that,” McQueary’s former teammate, LaVar Arrington, said on his radio show this week. “If you’re an adult and you are violating a child, all reputations, all everything, all that goes out the door.”

Much like success, you can have failure with some modicum of honor.  McQueary can live up to the twist on his coach’s saying by stepping down.  Now.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.