McQueary testifies in trial of Penn State officials

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Testifying at the trial of on-leave Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and another former high-ranking university official, Mike McQueary again reiterated that he saw Jerry Sandusky sexually molesting a boy he believed to be 10 to 12 years old in a shower of the football building in 2002.

Curley and retired vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz have been charged with perjury and failure to report in connection to the alleged molestation involving Sandusky.  McQueary, as part of over two hours on the witness stand, testified that he informed then-head coach Joe Paterno the day after the alleged molestation, who then took the information of the alleged molestation to Curley and Schultz and arranged a meeting to discuss the situation.

“I told them that I saw Jerry in the showers with a young boy and what I had seen was extremely sexual … and it was wrong,” McQueary testified when asked what he told Curley and Schultz.  “There’s no question in my mind that I conveyed to them I saw Jerry with a boy in the showers and that it was severe sexual acts.”

McQueary acknowledged that he “did not see insertion or penetration“, but maintained “it was very clear it looked like there was intercourse going on.”

Sandusky, who by then was retired but maintained a significant presence around the football program, was barred by the administration from bringing boys onto the campus, McQueary said he was told 4-5 days later.  No one, including McQueary, went to the police with the information.

“In my mind it was like speaking to a DA,” McQueary said in regards to the meeting that included Schultz, who was head of the university police force as part of his job description.

After speaking to his father the night of the shower incident, McQueary went to the home of Paterno the following morning to speak to the coach.  McQueary testified that he told Paterno what he saw in the shower of the Lasch football building was “extremely sexual in nature” and without a doubt made it clear to Paterno that what he had witnessed between Sandusky and the boy — both of whom were naked — was a sexual act.  “Out of respect” for the coach, McQueary testified, the words “sodomy” or “anal intercourse” were not used.

As for Paterno’s reaction, McQueary testified that the coach “was shocked and saddened, slumped back in his chair and said sorry you had to see that, it’s terrible.”  Paterno added that McQueary had “done the right thing” in coming to him with the information.

Another eyebrow-raising note that came out of McQueary’s testimony was his initial interaction with Paterno following the 2002 incident.  When McQueary first phoned Paterno and informed him there was something they needed to talk about, the coach’s response was that “I don’t have a job for you if that’s what it’s about, so don’t bother coming over if that’s what it’s about.”

Shortly thereafter, McQueary was promoted from grad assistant to administrative assistant with the football program before being named wide receivers coach in 2004.

Following his second meeting with Schultz, McQueary testified that he never again spoke to anybody at the university about the alleged molestation, although Paterno did ask him 2-3 months later if he was OK.  Based on the reactions of Schultz and Curley, McQueary testified, he thought his information was taken seriously and the two would “investigate closely and follow up with me.”

McQueary also testified that he never confronted Sandusky about what he’d allegedly witnessed, either in the locker room when he first saw the former coordinator in the shower with the young boy or in the years afterwards.

Billion dollar club: Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma named most valuable CFB programs

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Alabama is No. 1 in just about every college football poll… except one.

That would be the Wall Street Journal’s annual ranking of college football programs. While you might think that the paper gives Clemson the edge instead, you have to know that they are not examining teams’ performance on the field in 2017, but rather their overall evaluation. Much like Forbes does in ranking NFL franchise values, WSJ attempted to find out how much college football programs were worth and came to the conclusion that Ohio State reigns supreme in the sport with a nearly $1.5 billion sticker price.

The Buckeyes’ value shot up nearly 60% in just a year so you can thank a College Football Playoff appearance and that huge new Big Ten television package for boosting their bottom line. The WSJ came to the conclusion by citing a study performed by Ryan Brewer, an associate professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

Not far behind Ohio State and still in the billion dollar club were Big 12 rivals Texas and Oklahoma. The Longhorns were an annual mainstay atop estimates like this for years but the team’s recent malaise on the field seems to have held them back lately. While the SEC did not have a team crack the 10 figure mark (shockingly), the league did make up half of the top 10. All said, the most valuable conference in college football averaged nearly $523 million per team overall.

Here’s the overall top 10 teams and how much they’re worth per the report:

  1. Ohio State – $1,510,482,000
  2. Texas – $1,243,124,000
  3. Oklahoma – $1,001,967,00
  4. Alabama $930,001,000
  5. Louisiana State – $910,927,000
  6. Michigan – $892,951,000
  7. Notre Dame – $856,938,000
  8. Georgia – $822,310,000
  9. Tennessee – $745,640,00
  10. Auburn – $724,191,000

Boise State QB Brett Rypien cleared to play vs. Virginia, unclear if he’ll start

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Boise State got their starting quarterback back.  Whether he’ll be back to starting remains to be seen.

Bryan Harsin confirmed Wednesday that Brett Rypien has been cleared to play in Friday’s game against Virginia.  Rypien sustained a head injury in the first quarter of the Washington State loss in Week 2 and didn’t return, then was sidelined for the Week 3 win over New Mexico as well.

While there has been no confirmation from the school, it has been reported that Rypien sustained a concussion.

“Brett has been practicing, he’s been cleared,” the Broncos head coach said according to the Idaho Press Tribune. “He’s good. He’s been back in the mix and there’s no issue there.”

Left unsaid is whether he or Kansas transfer Montell Cozart will get the start against the Cavaliers.  In his first start for the Broncos, Cozart directed an offense that finished with its lowest yardage output (264) in five years.  Individually, Cozart produced solid stats in the win as he completed 15 of his 19 passes for 137 yards while adding 71 on the ground.  He also accounted for three touchdowns — two passing, one rushing.

Regardless of who starts, Harsin acknowledged that both Cozart and Rypien will play in the non-conference game.

Shawn Eichorst’s firing at Nebraska increases heat on Mike Riley

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If Mike Riley wasn’t feeling the pressure to win before, he certainly is now.

Thursday afternoon, Nebraska announced that Shawn Eichorst, the man responsible for firing Bo Pelini as head football coach and hiring Riley as his replacement, has been ousted from his position as athletic director at the university.  The move is effective immediately.

Eichorst was hired by NU in October of 2012, and still has $1.7 million remaining on a contract that runs through June of 2019.  The university will be responsible for paying Eichorst that entire amount.

“Shawn has led Nebraska Athletics in many positive ways, but those efforts have not translated into on-field performance,” chancellor Ronnie Green said in a statement. “Our fans and our student-athletes deserve leadership that drives the highest levels of competitiveness, as well as excellence across all facets of Husker Athletics.”

The fact that the chancellor mentioned lack of on-field performance should be especially worrisome for Riley.

The Cornhuskers won at least nine games in each of the seven seasons under Pelini.  His last two seasons, they finished a combined 18-7.  In Riley’s two-plus seasons, they’ve gone 16-13, including a 1-2 stumble out of the gate this year.

The move to fire Eichorst comes less than a week after Nebraska lost 21-17 to Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium.

That loss marked NU’s first defeat at home to a Group of Five team since falling to Southern Miss in 2004.  That was the first year of the Bill Callahan reign in Lincoln, a season that would finish with a 5-6 record; that was the program’s worst since going 3-6-1 in 1961.

The NIU loss was also the first time, ever, that the Cornhuskers have lost to a team from the MAC, either at home, on the road or on a neutral field.

USC optimistic Uchenna Nwosu will play against Cal

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Already battered by injuries on defense, USC may have avoided what would’ve potentially been a significant loss on that side of the ball.

Uchenna Nwosu suffered a sprained MCL in his knee during USC’s double-overtime win over Texas in Week 3.  After being held out in the early part of the week, the linebacker, armed — or kneed as the case may be — with a brace, returned to practice Wednesday.

Afterward, head coach Clay Helton seemed optimistic about Nwosu’s availability for the Week 4 game against Cal, their first road trip of the season.

Nwosu is currently second on the team in tackles with 20, while his seven pass breakups rank second nationally.  He’s started the first three games of the season for the Trojans after starting every game in 2016.

That brings us to the end of the positive injury news portion of the program as fellow linebacker Porter Gustin is very unlikely to play against the Golden Bears.  Gustin, who leads the Trojans in sacks with three, has been dealing with a surgically-repaired big toe.  While it didn’t keep him out of the Texas game as expected, he was sidelined again at practice Wednesday.

Additionally, defensive end Rasheem Green (ankle) and slot cornerback Ajene Harris (knee) are questionable for the road trip to Berkeley after sitting out practice yet again.