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.

Notre Dame-Ohio State Fiesta Bowl produced 19 NFL draft picks

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Defensive lineman Joey Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.The Buckeyes defeated the Fighting Irish 44-28.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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In the run-up to the Notre Dame-Ohio State Fiesta Bowl following the 2015 regular season, many a pundit pounded the pulpit on the plethora of potential next-level players* who would litter the field that night. At least in this instance, said pundits absolutely nailed it.

As the dust has settled in Chicago and the 2016 NFL draft has been put to bed, the tally is official: a whopping 19 Buckeyes and Fighting Irish players who took part in or were on the roster for OSU’s 16-point win in the desert were selected in the seven rounds of the annual selection meeting.

The Buckeyes, who entered Day 3 with a record 10 players drafted the first two days, finished with 12 players plucked by various NFL clubs. While that total is impressive, it falls just short of the record of 14 set by… the 2004 Buckeyes.

They did, though, set one record on the day, and at their own expense.

The Irish, meanwhile — and if you can calculate at a third-grade level — saw seven players selected in the draft.  While it was a good haul, it was tied fourth, along with Alabama and Florida, behind OSU’s 12, Clemson’s nine and UCLA’s eight.

There were nine schools that had five players each drafted: Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Stanford, TCU and West Virginia.

(*Alarmed at a little alliteration?)

Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami’s leading sacker, takes to social media to reveal surgery

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: Al-Quadin Muhammad #98 of the Miami Hurricanes sacks Antonio Bostick #13 of the Savannah State Tigers on September 21, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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While Miami had not yet confirmed it, one of the most talented Hurricanes on the defensive side of the ball, Al-Quadin Muhammad (pictured, right), underwent a successful but unspecified surgical procedure recently.  And just how did we know that initially?  Because the player posted a picture of himself laying in a hospital bed and clothed in hospital garb, that’s how.

Subsequent to Muhammad’s social media revelation, the university confirmed that the lineman had undergone “a small surgical procedure… on his knee.”  Muhammad is expected to resume football activities in a couple of weeks.

The redshirt junior played in 12 games in 2015, leading the team in both tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (five). He’ll enter summer camp, provided he doesn’t suffer a setback, as arguably the Hurricanes’ top pass rusher.

Motorcycle accident claims life of Troy DB Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris
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Sadly, tragedy has hit the college football community yet again.

Troy confirmed in a press release that Trojans football player Nathan Harris has passed away due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident earlier Saturday.  Harris was just 19 years old.

Other than the accident occurred in Gulf Shores, Ala., no details were made available.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy and the thoughts and prayers of the Troy Athletics Department and the Troy University community are with Nathan’s family and friends,” Troy athletic director Jeremy McClain said in a statement. “It is devastating to see a young life end in such a heartbreaking way, and we will provide support and comfort for his teammates, friends and coaches as they go through the grieving process.”

“Nate was a tremendous person and a very caring young man,” a statement from Troy head coach Neal Brown said began. “While his time here at Troy University was brief, his impact was felt by many. He was loved by his teammates and had a positive effect on our team’s culture in a short time.”

Harris, who starred as a quarterback at Gulf Shores High School, joined the Troy football team as a walk-on this past semester.  During the course of spring practice, Harris had worked his way up to being the Trojans’ starting holder.  He was listed as a safety on the school’s online roster.

The sudden passing is hitting the Gulf Shores community particularly hard.

“We are struggling here,” Harris’ high school coach, Ben Blackmon, told WALA-TV, adding, “He has gone to live with God.”

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Harris’ passing.

B1G gained ground, but SEC still reigned in NFL draft

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces Leonard Floyd of the Georgia Bulldogs as the #9 overall pick by the Chicago Bears during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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In each of the last two years, the Big Ten was barely within 20 of the SEC in total draft selections.  In the 2016 version of the annual selection meeting, the former conference gained significant ground on the latter — but couldn’t quite get over that Southern hump.

With three days and seven rounds officially in the books, the SEC led all conferences with 51 players selected in the 2016 NFL draft.  That total is down from the 54 a year ago, but up from 49 in the 2014 draft.

The past two drafts, the Big Ten had gone from 30 picks in 2014 to 34 in 2015; thanks in large part to 12 from Ohio State, that conference made a B1G leap to 47, second-most of any other conference in college football this cycle and the closest any league has come to unseating the SEC in a handful of years.  The last two years, the ACC, No. 2 in 2014 and 2015, got to within seven of the SEC — 47 picks in 2015 for that conference, 42 the year before.

This year, the ACC’s 26 selections were tied with the Big 12 for No. 4 among conferences.  No. 3?  The Pac-12, with a whopping nine picks in the seventh and final round, with 32.

No Group of Five conference could come close to the Power Five leagues, with the AAC and Conference USA pacing those “mid-majors” with 10 draft picks each.  The Mountain West was next with nine, followed by the MAC with six and the Sun Belt with three.

Independents saw eight players drafted, with Notre Dame accounting for all but one of those (more on the Irish later).

From the lower divisions of college football, 21 FCSers were drafted while two from Div. II were scooped up.  And, internationally, there was one player each from Canada and Germany who heard their name called.