File photo of Penn State head coach Paterno talking with assistant coach McQueary during Capital One Bowl NCAA football game in Orlando

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.

Record-breaking QB one of two coaches hired by New Mexico State

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Doug Martin‘s 2017 on-field coaching staff will have a decidedly familiar feel to it, even as it’s in some ways brand-new.

New Mexico State announced that two coaches have been hired by Martin, Chase Holbrook and Kai Brown.  The former will serve as tight ends coach, the latter as defensive ends coach.

Holbrook spent the 2016 season as a quality control coach for Mike Leach at Washington State.  A former NMSU quarterback, he still owns the school’s single-season and career records for passing, passing attempts, completions, touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns.

Brown was a graduate assistant the past three seasons for the football program.

“We are really excited about Chase coming back to New Mexico State,” Martin said. “Having a former great quarterback that has his name written all over the Aggie record book will have a huge impact on us taking that next step. Chase really believes and cares deeply about the football program here. To have a coach of his talent join our staff makes us a better program immediately. …

“Kai has been a very loyal hard working coach for us as a GA and it gives me great pride to add him to our staff in a full time role. He brings a lot of enthusiasm to our program and has a great relationship with our players.”

This will be both coaches’ first foray into full-time coaching responsibilities at the FBS level.

Cal turns to Fresno State to complete Justin Wilcox’s staff

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 14:  A member of the California Golden Bears spirit squad waves a team flag while standing next to the Bears' mascot in front of the Michigan State Spartans crowd on September 14, 2002 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.  California defeated Michigan State 46-22.  (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Getty Images)
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In late December, Fresno State hired Tony Tuioti as part of Jeff Tedford‘s first coaching staff with the Mountain West program.  Two months later, Tedford’s former Pac-12 employer has poached said staff.

By way of a press release, Cal announced that Tuioti has been hired as Justin Wilcox‘s outside linebackers coach.  Tedford served as Cal’s head coach from 2002-12; Tim DeRuyter, Fresno’s head coach for five seasons before being fired and replaced by Tedford, is now Wilcox’s defensive coordinator with the Golden Bears.

“Tony has a tremendous resume that showcases his diverse skill set and abilities both on and off the field,” Wilcox said in a statement. “Not only is he an excellent coach, but the experience he has as a director of player personnel will be a tremendous benefit to us in the structuring and organization of our recruiting operation. Finding someone with a skill set as unique and diverse as Tony’s is challenging. We are fortunate that we have found that in Tony and are looking forward to his contributions to our program.”

“Working at Cal for a coach like Justin Wilcox was an opportunity I could not pass up,” a statement from Tuioti began. “I have a tremendous feeling about the positive direction Cal is headed, and I really wanted to be a part of that and contribute all I could to a football program with tremendous potential.”

In 2016, Tuioti worked as a football staffer at Michigan.  His last on-field job at the collegiate level came at Hawaii (2012-13, linebackers coach; 2010-11, defensive line).

Georgia raising money to build Devon Gales a home

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It’s been close to a year and a half since Southern football player Devon Gales fractured his C6 vertebrae when covering a kick at Georgia. While the two sides will forever be linked, Georgia has gone above and beyond its duties to help improve his life.

In addition to regularly visiting him in the hospital and paying for his parents’ travel to Georgia, the Bulldogs will now raise funds to build him a house.

Gales received an NCAA Sportsmanship Award at the Bulldogs’ basketball game on Saturday, and it was announced that the UGAAA will launch a “Drive to Build a Dawg House” for Gales and his family.

“Anybody can just their prayer for you and send you on your way, but they didn’t. They took me as one of their kids, not just as another player, but as one of their children,” Gales said.

To contibute, text (707) 204-1707 to donate $5 toward the fund.

Mike Gundy says Sugar Bowl loss to Ole Miss wasn’t on a “level playing field”

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Laquon Treadwell #1 of the Mississippi Rebels celebrates scoring a 14-yard touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the fourth quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Mike Gundy originally blamed himself for Oklahoma State’s 48-20 loss to Ole Miss at the Sugar Bowl that closed the 2015 season.

Speaking at the AFCA Convention in Nashville last month, I heard Gundy explain to thousands of fellow coaches he felt he overtrained his Cowboys in preparation to play the physically imposing Rebels. The end result backfired. As I wrote for FootballScoop:

As Oklahoma State prepared to face No. 12 Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl, Gundy pushed his players harder than usual in December practices. “They’re going to knock us off the ball and it’s not going to look pretty,” he remembers thinking. That strategy backfired on him, though, as the Rebels pounded Gundy’s team 48-20. Oklahoma State was out-rushed 207-63 and averaged only 6.7 yards per pass attempt to Ole Miss’s 9.9. “We weren’t physical and we were slow,” Gundy said.

But now Gundy thinks something else may have contributed to that 28-point spanking.

As he explained to the Tulsa World‘s Bill Haisten, Gundy said he couldn’t help but think of the Sugar Bowl when he learned of the NCAA’s charges against Ole Miss.

“The first thing I thought about was (OSU’s recent experience with the NCAA),” Gundy said, “and the second thing was the Sugar Bowl and my players and what they went through.”

He continued: “We’ll never know what we could have done in the Sugar Bowl if it was a level playing field. That is the truth. I’m not sure we would have won the Sugar Bowl, but we’ll never know.”