Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and his wife Dottie arrive for a preliminary hearing at Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte

Sandusky attorney launches ‘proper shower technique’ defense

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With each passing day, this Jerry Sandusky rabbit hole continues to get deeper and darker.  And a whole helluva lot more disturbing.

In an interview with WHTM-TV, attorney Karl Rominger, the newest member of the former Penn State defensive coordinator’s defense team, offered up an interesting — and creepy — explanation as to why Sandusky showered alone with boys as young as 10 years old he had met through his Second Mile charity.

“Some of these kids don’t have basic hygiene skills,” Rominger told the television station, presumably with a straight face throughout. “Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 sounds strange to some people, but people who work with troubled youth will tell you there are a lot of juvenile delinquents and people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills like how to put soap on their body.”

(In the interest of fairness, we’re going to assume Mr. Rominger is a real attorney with a degree and everything and not a well-executed plant from The Onion.)

In an apparent effort to bolster this latest defense tactic, Rominger noted during the interview that his college cross-country coach often showered with the team.  Of course, Rominger was neither 10 years old nor alone when these showers took place, so it’s unclear what his college experience has to do with his client’s situation.

Sandusky has admitted in previous interviews that he showered with boys and engaged in horse-play with them while showering, although he did concede that he “shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”  In the original 40-count indictment against Sandusky, a witness alleged to have seen the retired assistant sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the shower of Penn State’s football building in 2002.

His answer to — or more specifically, the hesitation in answering — the question posed during his interview with Bob Costas of whether he was sexually attracted to young boys was the final nail in the coffin of public opinion.

Rominger seems to think Sandusky’s lack of eloquence, rather than his alleged actions, is working against his client.

“The problem is if you’re an innocent person who’s not articulate, you’re not going to come across well, but you’re still innocent,” Rominger said. “A guilty person who is very articulate might come across innocent. So it’s not a fair fight.”

Earlier this week, Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing in which he likely would’ve faced at least some of his 10 alleged victims.

UPDATED 5:57 p.m. ET: If backpedaling were an Olympic event, Rominger would be the prohibitive gold-medal favorite at the 2012 London games.  The following is comes from the Associated Press.

“Rominger said in a statement Thursday that he only was giving a hypothetical example of why a person might shower with an adolescent. He noted he never said Sandusky touched boys in a shower.”

I’m no lawyer, and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but my legal advice to the lawyer would be to shut the hell up on all fronts.  His mileage may vary, however.

Washington State coach Mike Leach fires a shot at the SEC

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Washington State coach Mike Leach is known across the country as one of college football’s most interesting characters, rambling on from time-to-time about everything from pirates to the history of Geronimo. The latest subject the quirky head coach has turned his sights on? The big ol’ SEC.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger spoke to Leach recently as part of a profile on new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo, and let’s just say the Air Raid guru of the Palouse didn’t hold back when discussing the state of offenses in the league widely considered to be the best in the sport.

“I’ve got bad news for all these levels people,” Leach said. “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special. All this different level this, different level that. That’s crazy.

 

“This is a great time to be in the SEC, everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves  and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

Leach, who coached in the league at Kentucky, also added some other, more colorful language to describe his impression of the SEC and the offenses teams run. While he did play at Auburn with the Cougars a few years ago, he clearly hasn’t kept up with the way things are trending down south as even pro-style stalwarts like Alabama and Arkansas are using more and more tempo and spread principles on a weekly basis.

Either way, let’s hope the Washington State athletic director is already making calls to schedule an SEC opponent in the coming years. If nothing else, any future appearance by Leach on the Paul Finebaum Show should be must-see entertainment.

Willie Taggart completes Oregon coaching staff with familiar face from USF

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: South Florida Bulls head coach Willie Taggart during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images)
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It probably took a little longer than most to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, but Willie Taggart has completed his coaching staff at Oregon and the latest addition is a familiar face.

The school announced Thursday afternoon that Raymond Woodie would be taking over as the Ducks’ new special teams coordinator, having previously spent the past four seasons at USF with Taggart and three more before that together at Western Kentucky.

Woodie most recently served as the Bulls’ defensive coordinator this past season but has been a linebackers coach dating back to 2012. He is regarded by many to be a quality recruiter with good ties to the state of Florida in particular and has also coached the defensive line. While his title makes him responsible for the third phase of the game for Oregon, he figures to also help out new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt in some fashion as well.

The announcement is a bit of positive news for Taggart and the Ducks this week after a considerable bit of bad press for the program stemming from the revelation that multiple Oregon players wound up in the hospital following offseason workouts. New strength coach Irele Oderinde (who also came over from USF) was eventually suspended for one month without pay by the school as a result..

Despite Auburn interest, Texas A&M OC Noel Mazzone staying put in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 14:  The Texas A&M Aggies offense huddles against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on October 14, 2006 in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 25-19. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Gus Malzahn’s quest to find a new offensive coordinator has zigged and zagged in the past few days since the surprising departure of Rhett Lashlee to UConn. One place it will not be going however, is to a fellow SEC West school.

Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reports that despite some interest in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, the Aggies’ coach is staying put in College Station.

Mazzone arrived at A&M prior to this past season from UCLA and found early success with the Aggies and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight before a late slide in 2016. Travis Haney of 247Sports reported earlier Thursday that he could be considered the leader in the search to replace Lashlee, but it appears that will not be the case.

The longtime coaching veteran’s name being linked to Auburn isn’t too surprising considering he was the OC there from 1999-2001 but Mazzone’s hefty salary and likely high buyout figure provided some big obstacles if he wanted to reunite with the school.

Instead, it’s on to the next one for Malzahn and company.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coaches ride go-karts with five-star recruit in Georgia

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 27-23.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is just around the corner and that means a flurry of in-home visits by coaches across the country trying to lock up the next class of impact players for their program.

We’ve seen plenty of unique attempts by coaches to impress prospects over the years as a result, from often used cookie cakes to sleepovers and limo rides. When it comes to this subject though, few have been as creative as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. This week, he certainly cemented that reputation.

According to the Detroit News, Harbaugh and several Wolverines coaches took an in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon out of Leesburg, Georgia and went bowling with the recruit’s family before finally racing go-karts together.

And even better, there’s video via ESPN:

Solomon is also strongly considering Alabama and Georgia in addition to Michigan, but something says neither Nick Saban or Kirby Smart will be heading to the race track with the big defensive tackle on their visit. You have to love recruiting either way.