Report: McQueary gave another account of ‘Victim 2’ incident

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A central figure in the allegations of sexual abuse against children against longtime Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is Nittany Lions assistant coach Mike McQueary.

First, here’s what we know from the Grand Jury summary involving eight alleged victims of Sandusky:

McQueary, a 28-year-old graduate assistant at the time, was witness to an alleged incident of sexual abuse by Sandusky to “Victim 2” in March, 2002. The report states that McQueary heard “rhythmic, slapping sounds. He believed those sounds to be of sexual activity.” The report also states that McQueary witnessed the alleged sexual abuse between Sandusky and Victim 2, and that both saw McQueary. McQueary then “left immediately, distraught.”

The Grand Jury summary goes on to say that McQueary told his father about the incident, and that his father told him to report what he had seen to then-Penn State coach Joe Paterno. McQueary did so the following day, and the conversation between McQueary and Paterno remains a point of interest (Paterno states McQueary did not give explicit or graphic detail of the alleged incident).

As does McQueary’s ever-changing story.

According to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, there was another person who sat in on the conversation between McQueary and his father — Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a family friend and colleague of McQueary’s father. A source with knowledge of Dranov’s testimony before the grand jury said that first account of the incident by McQueary in his father’s home went as follows:

McQueary heard “sex sounds” and the shower running, and a young boy stuck his head around the corner of the shower stall, peering at McQueary as an adult arm reached around his waist and pulled him back out of view.

Seconds later, Sandusky left the shower in a towel.

In the time since the Grand Jury summary was released, McQueary has given a different explanation of what allegedly happened that evening. NBC News’ Peter Alexander obtained a copy of an email last month sent by McQueary to former teammates that stated he “didn’t just turn and run… I made sure it stopped.”

A day later, the Allentown Morning Call obtained yet another email from McQueary to a former classmate that stated “I did stop it, not physically … but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room. I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police …. no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds … trust me.”

The Grand Jury summary, however, states “The graduate assistant [McQueary] was never questioned by University Police and no other entity conducted an investigation until he testified in Grand Jury in December, 2010.”

statement to police by McQueary dated from 2010 obtained by the Patriot-News, claims McQueary saw Victim 2 with his hands against the shower wall while being subjected to sexual abuse by Sandusky. That statement, not the aforementioned emails, lines up with the Grand Jury summary, although it should be noted that summary is not a verbatim account of McQueary’s testimony.

Now, there’s yet another account of what happened by McQueary when the alleged incident was fresh in his mind.

The Patriot-News breaks it down:

  • His grand jury testimony says he heard slapping noises and saw a boy being sodomized by Sandusky.
  • His hand-written statement to police says, “I did not see insertion. I am certain that sexual acts/the young boy being sodomized was occurring.” He says the whole incident lasted about a minute.
  • In an email he sent to friends following the firing of Joe Paterno, he says “I made sure it stopped,” something not mentioned in the grand jury testimony or police statement.
  • And now Dranov’s testimony describes a new scenario.

About two months after the incident McQueary describes in March 2002, Dranov and McQueary’s father, John, both physicians, had an unrelated meeting scheduled at Penn State with Gary Schultz, Dranov told the grand jury, according to the source.

Curious about how the story ended, Dranov inquired about what ever happened to Sandusky.

According to a source with knowledge of his testimony, Schultz told him then-university President Graham Spanier had met with Sandusky.

That’s something that isn’t mentioned in the grand jury presentment.

McQueary has been placed on administrative leave in the weeks following the scandal. McQueary was not on the sidelines for PSU’s final home game of the season against Nebraska after the school cited “multiple threats” against the assistant coach.

McQueary is just part of a line of individuals who are connected to the Sandusky scandal. In addition to the alleged crimes committed by Sandusky, McQueary, Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley, PSU VP for Business and Finance Gary Schultz and president Graham Spanier have all received heavy criticism — some have lost their jobs — for their apparent inaction in the wake of child-sex allegations that span over a decade.

In an interview with Bob Costas on Rock Center, Sandusky admitted showering with Victim 2, but that no sexual activity took place.

We were showering and horsing around and he [the boy] actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel,” Sandusky said.

Sandusky also stated in an interview with the New York Times that he was never contacted by then-head coach Joe Paterno about the alleged incident. Paterno was fired just days after the scandal broke.

However, Sandusky was arrested last week on nine new sex abuse charges, bringing his count total to over 50, after two more alleged victims came forward. Sandusky posted $250,000 bail the following day.

Baylor lands commitment from player born without femurs

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Plenty of programs landed commitments on Saturday, but none like the one Baylor got from a Plano West (Texas) athlete.

Ricardo Benitez agreed to continue his football career at Baylor, which is remarkable since he never should have had a career in the first place. Benitez was born with a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral, which means he does not have femurs in his legs.

“Doctors told my parents I had a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral and it might be best to stop the pregnancy,” Benitez told MaxPreps last year. “They said I had a hole in my heart, would be in a wheelchair the rest of my life and never play sports. But my parents saw me as a gift from God and went on with the pregnancy. I crawled until I was two and didn’t start running until I was five.”

Benitez stands 4-foot-2, dresses out with his Wolves team every week and runs routs just like everyone else. Here he is at an SMU camp last year.

Benitez also camped with Baylor last summer and committed to the Bears on Saturday. “I played four years of high school football, and cherished every second of it. When the season ended I knew I was not done being a football player,” Benitez wrote in a Twitter post. “I did not know where, but God did. I received a call from Coach Brown at Baylor University. After a long process, and with tears in my eyes, I can finally announce I will be given the chance to go to college, and play football at Baylor University.”

(Helmet Sticker: Dr. Saturday)

Sam Ehlinger, Shane Buechele exit spring ball still vying for Texas QB job

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For 16 months now, Tom Herman has waited for one of his quarterbacks to take the bull by the horns. And for 16 months, the bull still hops freely around the ring.

Junior Shane Buechele and sophomore Sam Ehlinger quarterback opposite teams in Saturday night’s Orange-White game, and exited the spring the same way they began it: to be the guy who quarterbacks the Orange and White on Sept. 1 at Maryland. Ehlinger was 13-of-22 for 151 yards while Buechele hit 12-of-21 throws for 130 yards and a score; Ehlinger’s White team won the game, 23-13.

On the balance, Herman indicated that whoever ultimately wins the job will be the guy who can make plays without turning the ball over.

“At quarterback, when you hold the ball in this game, you have the hopes and dreams, goals, aspirations, everything of your teammates, of your loved ones in your hands,” Herman said. “When you think about it that way, you tend to be a lot more is cautious with it. Now that being said, from day one of spring ball, I told the QBs, experiment, rip it in there, man. Try to fit it in tight windows,
because I want you to have that confidence when you do. They’re never going to get yelled at for an interception in the spring that is, ‘Coach, I was trying to fit it in and I just missed on a couple inches’ or whatever. Now, if he does something really dumb, if he tries to throw an out route into a cloud corner or something like that and that gets picked, yeah, he’s going to hear about it. But I think building
confidence in your abilities and in the spring is important.”

Ehlinger would be the clear-cut quarterback if not for a handful of late-game mistakes in his true freshman season. He fumbled the ball away in double overtime of the USC loss, threw an end zone interception to clinch an overtime loss to Oklahoma State and tossed an across-his-body interception to allow Texas Tech to come from behind and beat Texas in November.

Whoever does win the job will wind up approaching the job the same way: throw the ball to Collin Johnson and Lil'Jordan Humphrey as often as possible. Johnson caught six passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Humphrey hauled in a game-high seven balls for 100 yards and rushed four times for 14 yards and two touchdowns.

Brandon Wimbush exits spring as Notre Dame’s starting QB

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Brandon Wimbush entered the 2017 season as Notre Dame’s starter, but ceded control of the job over what can fairly be described as a rough junior season. He connected on just 49.5 percent of his throws for 6.8 yards per attempt on the year — numbers that ranked 92nd and 79th nationally, respectively — and was even worse down the stretch. He hit just 14-of-36 throws for for 298 yards with two touchdowns and two picks over the Irish’s final two games, a loss to Stanford and a Citrus Bowl win over LSU.

Enter Ian Book, a redshirt freshman who carried the Irish to that Citrus Bowl win, connecting on 14-of-19 throws for 164 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Heading into the spring, the quarterback job was open between the rising senior and the rising sophomore. But, spurred by a strong spring game, Wimbush heads into the summer as the starter. Wimbush was the game MVP after connecting on 19-of-33 passes for 341 yards with two touchdowns to lead the offense to a 47-44 win over the defense.

Afterward, Brian Kelly said Wimbush wasn’t guaranteed to take the first snap in the Irish’s opener against Michigan, but that things were indeed trending in that direction.

“It’s pretty clear that Brandon went out and got a chance to go with the first group and Ian played with the second group,” Kelly said Saturday. “That’s not etched in stone, but that’s the way they’ve been trending. I don’t think there was anything today that changed that… It’s 1A and 1B.”

Hot mic appears to catch Nick Saban criticizing Jalen Hurts

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There’s nothing newsworthy about a coach criticizing a player. That’s a large part of the job description, especially when that coach is Nick Saban. But to hear Saban criticize this specific player for this specific reason, well, the context of the situation screams newsworthiness.

During Alabama’s spring game on Saturday, ESPN microphones caught Saban apparently criticizing the throwing ability of Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts as the junior took off on a scramble. “Two years,” Saban says. “I mean, the third-team quarterback can move  the team right down the field throwing the ball.”

That comment comes amid two noteworthy developments in the Tide’s quarterback room. First, Hurts had an opportunity to take the bull by the horns on Saturday with Tua Tagovailoa nursing an injured left hand, but redshirt freshman quarterback Mac Jones was named the game’s MVP. (For what it’s worth, Jones went against the second-team defense while Hurts faced the starters.)

And second, Hurts’s father in no uncertain terms said this week that his son will transfer if he’s not the starter this fall.

Coach Saban’s job is to do what’s best for his team. I have no problem with that,” Averion Hurts said. “My job is to do what’s best for Jalen—and make no mistake, Jalen is a quarterback, and he wants to play quarterback. He loves Alabama, loves Coach Saban and everything about that place. But he wants to play, and he will play…”

Averion stops mid-sentence because the idea of his son not playing for Alabama isn’t one he takes lightly. What if Jalen doesn’t win the job, he is asked?

He shakes his head slowly, answers begrudgingly. “Well, he’d be the biggest free agent in college football history.”

For what it’s worth, Saban praised Hurts while also criticizing his performance in Saturday’s spring game:

“I was not disappointed in the way Jalen played,” Saban said in his post-game press conference. “We have some guys that can rush, and even though we were rushing four guys most of the time, there was way too much pressure in the pocket for the quarterback to be able to operate like we would like. Jalen made some good plays and throws, and I’m sure if you were to talk to him he would say, ‘I wish there were things I did better and can improve on.’”