It was reported late Thursday night that Joe Paterno had either retained the services of a high-powered Washington D.C. attorney or was in the process of doing so.
In a statement released by the former Penn State head coach’s son a day later, Scott Paterno has confirmed that he has hired criminal defense attorney J. Sedgwick Sollers on his father’s behalf. Sollers is probably best known for having represented former president George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair.
Paterno has not been charged with any type of crime related to the indictment of his former assistant on multiple charges of the sexual abuse of children, but the family is concerned about the ongoing investigation by the state — there’s also the possibility of a probe at the federal level — as well as the likelihood of civil lawsuits.
By way of WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, PA, here is Scott Paterno’s statement:
“Like everyone who has watched this story unfold, my father is experiencing a range of powerful emotions,” Scott Paterno said in the statement. “He is absolutely distraught over what happened to the children and their families. He also wants very much to speak publicly and answer questions.”
“At this stage, however, he has no choice but to be patient and defer to the legal process,” he said. “He cooperated fully with the grand jury and he will continue to cooperate with the investigation as we move forward.”
“On behalf of my father, I have retained Wick Sollers at the law firm of King and Spalding. My father’s desire is for the truth to be uncovered and he will work with his lawyers to that end,” he said.
“Going forward, Mr. Sollers has directed my father, our family and everyone associated with us to make no further public statements and to respond to no media inquiries. We will honor this request. Accordingly, all requests for comments or other information should be directed to Mr. Sollers.”
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.