Testimonies by Paterno, Curley, Schultz read in hearing

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Earlier today, we recapped the testimony by Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, a key figure in the Jerry Sandusky case who, in 2002, allegedly witnessed an act of sexual abuse by Sandusky on a young boy.

While McQueary’s account of the alleged incident has changed on more than one occasion, the testimonies of former coach Joe Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and recently retired VP of Business and Finance Gary Schultz (both are facing perjury charges) provided explicit, and very disheartening, information on how the alleged incident was handled by PSU administration. Below is a recap of those testimonies.

(A huge, huge thank you to Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror for the Twitter updates. Follow him at @corygiger)

Paterno’s testimony was read first. The meeting between McQueary and Paterno after McQueary allegedly witnessed the sexual abuse remains one of the more crucial, yet vague, components of this scandal.

“He said he had something that he wanted to discuss. I said come on over to the house,” Paterno said in the testimony. “He had seen a person, not an older but a mature person who was fondling or whatever you might call it.

“It was a sexual nature.”

Okay, so Paterno and McQueary agree that the incident was indeed sexual.

“I didn’t go any further than that,” Paterno said of the conversation. “I did tell Mike, ‘Mike, you did what was right. You told me.'”

But what Paterno said next was the bombshell of the testimony. On what his immediate reaction was after learning of the incident from McQueary:

“I ordinarily would have called people right away, but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends.”

Curley, whose testimony would be read next, claimed he was contacted on Sunday, the next day, by Paterno.

“I said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a problem,’ and I explained the problem to him,” Paterno said of his conversation with Curley. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Mr. Curley, and I thought he would look into it.

“I do not know of anything else that Jerry would be involved with.”

That was the end of the Paterno testimony; next was Curley.

The athletic director said that he and Schultz went over and met with Paterno following the coach’s meeting with McQueary. Exactly when that meeting was on the timeline wasn’t explicitly stated.

“The individual [McQueary] heard and saw, I guess, two people in the shower,” Curley said of what he was informed. “The individual was uncomfortable.”

Curley then said he met with McQueary.

“I can’t recall the specific conversation with Mike and exactly how he said it,” Curley said. “My recollection was that they were kind of wrestling, there was body contact and they were horsing around.”

When asked if McQueary provided any explicit details, such as if there was any penetration that he witnessed, Curley said “absolutely not.”

Curley and Schultz then shared the information of that meeting to former PSU president Graham Spanier, who, in turn, made the recommendation to report the incident to Second Mile. The Grand Jury’s summary of the Sandusky scandal states that Curley did indeed inform Second Mile CEO Jack Raykovitz of the 2002 incident.

Curley, before reporting what he had heard to Raykovitz, says he met with Sandusky.

“[I] told him that we were uncomfortable with the information,” Curley said.

Sandusky, according to Curley’s testimony, did not initially admit to being in shower with boy, but later admitted that he did.

“I indicated to him… he was not to use our facilities with young people,” Curly testified, also acknowledging that there was no practical way to enforce that “punishment”. “I was the one that came forward to say that this is the appropriate action, that we need to report it to The Second Mile.”

Beyond that, Curley said he did not contact the police — that was his own decision — nor did he attempt to find out the identity of the alleged victim because he didn’t think the incident was sexual in nature (um, read the above paragraph).

“I didn’t think that it was a crime at the time.”

Curley added that he did not know about the 1998 investigation of Sandusky.

“I don’t remember any reports to me that it were sexual in nature,” Curley said.

That was the end of Curley’s testimony. Next was Schultz’s. It was particularly damning and thoroughly depressing.

Schultz testified that doesn’t remember Paterno’s exact words about the shower incident when he met with the coach along with Curley… that it was spoken of “in a very general way… that maybe Jerry might have grabbed the young boy’s genitals.

“The allegations came across as not that serious,” continued Schultz. “There was no indication that it was [criminal]… Not all inappropriate conduct is criminal.

“I can imagine instances where an adult man would be in a shower with young boys.”

When asked if he thought it was criminal for a man to grab a boy’s genitals, Schultz replied “I don’t know.”

When asked to describe the definition of sexual conduct, Schultz replied “I don’t know.”

However, Schultz agreed that with the assessment that no adult male should grab the genitals of a young boy.

“I don’t recall him telling us what he observed specifically.” said Schultz of McQueary’s description of the alleged incident (although the term “horsing around” was thrown around quite a bit).  Schultz added that no one went back to McQueary and asked for specifics.

Schultz, like Curley, was asked about the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. However, unlike Curley, Schultz claimed to have a recollection of at least some information involving the case.

“I thought it had some basis of inappropriate behavior but without any specifics at all,” Schultz said.

Schultz did not meet with Sandusky over any of the alleged incidents, nor did he seek out the 1998 report after hearing about the 2002 incident.

“I had the impression that Tim did follow through [with Child Protective Services]” on making sure Sandusky couldn’t bring kids to football facilities. “The incident in 2002, again, I recall that it was also turned over to the same agency for investigation” as ’98 case.

“As far as I know the university asked the other agency to follow up, as they did in ’98.”

Schultz added that he agreed with Curley’s recommendation for how things should be handled after hearing about 2002 incident, and like Curley, did not attempt to discover the identity of Victim 2.

When asked if there was anything strange about Sandusky retirement, Schultz replied “No, I candidly have recollections that Coach Paterno and Jerry had reached a point where Coach Paterno felt it was necessary to make a coaching change.”

WATCH: Ole Miss Baker Mayfields its flag on Mississippi State’s field

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Talk about adding insult to injury.

Heading into Week 13, three-loss Mississippi State, ranked 14th in the latest College Football Playoff rankings for whatever reason, was a 16-point favorite over Egg Bowl rival Ole Miss for Thursday night’s game in Starkville.  The loss of starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald to a gruesome first-half injury all but sealed the Bulldogs’ fate; A.J. Brown‘s all-game production proved to be the dagger in sealing that fate, putting an exclamation point on the Rebels’ third win in the in-state rivalry the last four years.

As to how it all ties in to the lede?  The visiting Rebels decided to go all Baker Mayfield on Stark Vegas’ midfield after the win…

… not long after the same player who planted the flag hiked his leg like a dog, feigning urinating on the Vaught–Hemingway Stadium field.

There could very well be two different coaches in charge when the next Egg Bowl rolls around, but this will always be, regardless of who is on the sidelines, one of the most vitriolic rivalries in all of college sports.  Or sports, period.

A.J. Brown powers Ole Miss to Egg Bowl win over No. 15 Mississippi State

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No. 14 Mississippi State lost their quarterback, lost the game, lost the Egg Bowl trophy and lost a year’s worth of rivalry trash talk in one fell swoop on a chilly Thanksgiving evening at home. To add insult to injury, they lost all that at the hands of a Starkville native to boot as star receiver A.J. Brown powered Ole Miss to their sweetest victory of the year over their in-state rivals 31-28.

The Rebels needed just three plays and 39 seconds to open the scoring in what was perhaps the team’s best all-around game in several weeks, showing no signs of any tryptophan-induced sluggishness following a traditional turkey day meal. Brown finished the game with 167 yards receiving and a 77 yard touchdown to cap off a terrific return to his hometown in opposing colors, while tailback Jordan Wilkins also chipped in with another 110 yards and two scores on the ground to pace the offense.

The old Landshark defense also made an appearance, with the second worst team in all of FBS when it came to forcing turnovers managing to secure a whopping five turnovers and three sacks.

While the loss was undoubtedly disappointing for the Bulldogs, most of the team’s attention was on their star quarterback, Nick Fitzgerald. He entered the game on the verge of another 2,000 yard passing/1,000 yard rushing season but was tackled awkwardly on a three yard run early in the first quarter. Replays showed his ankle to be facing a much different direction than it should as part of a gruesome scene and the signal-caller was carted off to the team’s medical facilities shortly thereafter amid a raucous applause from fans on both sides.

Fitzgerald later returned to the sidelines to cheer on his teammates but it certainly appears that his promising season is over as Mississippi State turns their attention to a bowl game in the coming weeks.

Stepping in at quarterback was freshman Keytaon Thompson, who was much more of a threat with his legs than his arm until a few late drives. He finished the night with 195 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a team-high 121 yards rushing (with another score) in relief. Tailback Aeris Williams managed to rack up 82 yards and a score but faced a stacked line of scrimmage at every turn given the injury to his veteran teammate.

While the injury to Fitzgerald overshadowed the game, the backdrop of Ole Miss’ NCAA infractions case loomed large over the rivalry as much as the game itself. The two schools’ fan bases have been quite chippy and MSU linebacker Leo Lewis — a central figure in the case — was kept in check to the tune of two tackles and a half a sack as the Rebels didn’t attack him like some thought they would.

Perhaps more pressing to some Bulldogs fans is if that was the last Egg Bowl they would see with head coach Dan Mullen patrolling the sidelines. His name has been linked to openings at Florida, Tennessee, Nebraska and others in the past few weeks and there is a growing expectation that the most successful coach in school history could have just donned the maroon and white for the final time in a loss.

That’s of no concern across the way as interim coach Matt Luke did a good job rallying the team to their sixth win of the season. The Rebels are not bowl eligible as part of self-imposed sanctions but the satisfaction of beating their rivals probably takes the sting out of that fact just a little bit, especially with a Starkville native like Brown leading the way on Thursday night.

Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald suffers gruesome ankle injury to spoil first half of the Egg Bowl

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The Egg Bowl has returned to Thanksgiving but the game hasn’t gone quite as planned for No. 14 Mississippi State, as they trail Ole Miss 10-6 after a low-scoring first half of play thanks to a shocking injury that brought both sides of the heated rivalry to their feet in unison.

That came early in the first quarter when Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was tackled after a three-yard run, suffering a gruesome ankle injury in the process that saw his foot point in a direction it certainly wasn’t supposed to. He was put in an air cast and carted off the field to perform x-rays immediately afterward and needless to say will not return to the game.

The productive signal-caller was just 1-of-5 passing with an interception and 16 yards rushing when he went down with the injury. Fitzgerald was approaching the 2,000 yard passing and 1,000 yard rushing marks for the season heading into the game and received plenty of support from his fellow football players around the SEC and beyond after suffering such a horrific-looking injury that appears to knock him out for the rest of 2017.

Freshman Keytaon Thompson replaced Fitzgerald behind center and went 3-of-5 passing for 32 yards and an interception. He’s known for his running ability at this stage and did manage a team-high 65 yards on the ground, including a 32 yard scamper. Running back Aeris Williams was fairly limited facing a stacked box against a new quarterback and ran for 41 yards in the half as turnovers (three of them) really hampered MSU in the half.

With Ole Miss ineligible for postseason play even if they won on Thursday night, it was not at all surprising to see the Rebels play better than they have in a long time. The team needed just three plays and 39 seconds on their opening possession to find the end zone and were punching far above their weight defensively too. Wide receiver A.J. Brown was the big play threat once again for the offense, with five catches and 90 yards after just a half of play. In the process, he set a new school single-season record for receiving yards and joined kicker Greg Wunderlich (all-time school leader in FG’s) in the record books for the visitors as they look to  get a little bit of payback for last year’s 55-20 loss in Oxford.

The two programs have split the last six meetings in the hotly contested Egg Bowl rivalry and both appear locked into another close one after a half of play. It’s too bad that an injury to an all-SEC player had to spoil things early on but both the Bulldogs and the Rebels will have to put that behind them as they emerge from the locker room hoping to secure a win after years worth of bad blood.

Odell Beckham Jr. gifts LSU players recently unveiled custom shoes ahead of regular season finale

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LSU has produced plenty of NFL stars in recent years but few identify with the Tigers quite like New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. does. The Baton Rouge native recently released his first “lifestyle” shoe with Nike last week and has been hitting the press circuit almost as hard as the rehab room as a result to showcase the new kicks.

Not one to forget where he went to school and blossomed into a first round pick, Beckham filmed a video for LSU’s football team this week and really gave the Tigers something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving by giving every player on the team a version of the shoe to wear when they’re suiting up in cleats.

The color isn’t quite a true match for LSU gold but it’s certainly pretty close and even comes with the longitude and latitude of Baton Rouge inscribed. You can probably bet that the team will be wearing them to Tiger Stadium prior to taking on Texas A&M on Saturday in the regular season finale for both sides.