Updated: Sandusky labeled as ‘likely pedophile’ in report

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UPDATED 3/24 @ 11:30 a.m. ET: According to a Patriot-News report earlier this week, a child psychologist concluded that one of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims, “Victim 6”, was not sexually abused by Sandusky — a conclusion that could have significant legal ramifications in Sandusky’s case.

However, it appears the other child psychologist mentioned in the report has a different view, one that could also be equally important in Sandusky’s trial.

NBC News has obtained a complete internal Penn State file of the 1998 police investigation of Sandusky, which looks into allegations that the former PSU defensive coordinator showered and horsed around with two boys. State College, Pa., psychologist Dr. Alycia A. Chambers, the therapist for Victim 6, was included in that report. Below is a portion of her conclusion:

“My consultants agree that the incidents meet all of our definitions, based on experience and education, of a likely pedophile’s pattern of building trust and gradual introduction of physical touch, within a context of a ‘loving,’ ‘special’ relationship.

“One colleague, who has contact with the Second Mile, confirms that Mr. Sandusky is reasonably intelligent and thus, could hardly have failed to understand the way his behavior would be interpreted, if known. His position at the Second Mile and his interest in abused boys would suggest that he was likely to have had knowledge with regard to child abuse and might even recognize this behavior as a typical pedophile ‘overture.’” 

A report from the Patriot-News earlier this week noted that a second psychologist, John Seasock, was consulted after a first psychologist concluded Sandusky’s behavior was a “classic example of how a sexual abuser grooms his victim.” Seasock, however, drew his own conclusion that Victim 6 was not sexually abused by Sandusky, nor was there “grooming” or “inappropriate sexual behavior” by Sandusky. Seasock did admit, though, there were “gray areas” and that investigators “can’t walk away from the investigation.”

Seasock had previously worked with the local Centre County Child and Youth Services, a local agency that had licensed Sandusky as a foster parent. Seasock did not comment to NBC News for their story

When reached by NBC News, and with the permission of Victim 6’s family, Chambers reiterated “There was very little doubt in my mind (Sandusky) … was a male predator, someone that was in the process of grooming a young man for abuse. I thought…my report was strong enough to suggest that this was somebody who should be watched.”

The allegations involving Victim 6 are, for a lack of a better word, interesting. No where in the grand jury indictment does it state Victim 6 was sexually abused by Sandusky. At the same time, the allegations became grounds for an investigation that provided precedence for concern when the alleged 2002 incident between Sandusky and “Victim 2” took place four years later, even though the ’98 investigation was ultimately scrapped. Former PSU VP Gary Schultz testified that he never reviewed the details of the case.

There was another person who never saw the details of the Chambers’ report. NBC News explains:

But one of the investigators on the 1998 case, Jerry Lauro, then with the state Department of Public Welfare and now retired, told NBC News he was never shown a copy of Chambers’ report and was stunned to learn of its conclusions. 

“Wow!” he said when he was read Chambers’ conclusions by a NBC News correspondent. “This is the first I’ve heard of this. I had no idea . If I would have seen the report, I would certainly have done some things differently. Boy, this is a shock. “

Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, also says he hasn’t seen the report, but plans to dispute it with other psychologists who will testify for the defense.

“I understand that there are some people who could look at this behavior and say it’s a pedophile problem,” Amendola said. “But there are others who will say, ‘This is somebody who loves kids and loves to be around them’ … It’s the old story, you get your expert and I’ll get my expert.”

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As we’ve stated numerous times before, the scandal involving former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky branches far beyond the walls of Penn State’s athletic facilities. Investigations at the local, state and federal level involving two grand jury reports and totaling 10 alleged victims have made the story bigger than most of us can probably imagine.

One branch of the Sandusky story is that of prosecutor Ray Gricar, who mysteriously disappeared in 2005 before being declared legally dead last summer*. According to Pennsylvania’s state attorney general’s office, Gricar made the decision not to prosecute Sandusky in 1998 after two kids reported that Sandusky washed them in a shower. The reason behind Gricar’s decision remains unknown and his laptop hard drive, which was found in the Susquehanna River in close proximity to his parked car, was too badly damaged by water to be read.

However, Patriot-News report provides some new context that may explain Gricar’s decision to close the case:

Information made public in a searing grand jury presentment showed that Sandusky allegedly admitted to touching the boy known as Victim 6 while they were both naked and saying, “I wish I were dead.

What wasn’t made public until now was that two days before Gricar closed the case, a psychologist concluded Victim 6 was not sexually abused by Sandusky. 

The psychologist — John Seasock — was identified in court documents by Sandusky’s attorney as he asked a judge to force prosecutors to hand over the document, along with juvenile records and current and past addresses and phone numbers of the alleged victims.

 A source who reviewed those documents told the Patriot-News that he believed Seasock’s report was the reason the investigation was closed. Whether it actually was or not isn’t known for sure, but another psychologist, called a day after “Victim 6” reported the alleged “awkward” shower incident with Sandusky, concluded “what the boy described… was a classic example of how a sexual abuser grooms his victim,” said the source, paraphrasing the psychologist’s report.

It’s important to note that Seasock’s conclusion is just that — a conclusion — and not a reflection of what actually happened one way or the other.

In fact, the testimony from “Victim 6” remains a point of debate. The mother of alleged victim, who reportedly heard directly from Sandusky that he felt what he did was “wrong”, says prosecutors didn’t initially want to include her son’s testimony in the grand jury indictment.

“At that time, the information that we had wasn’t sufficient enough to substantiate a case,” Children and Youth Services investigator Jerry Lauro said in November. “I don’t want [the mother] to think we didn’t believe their kid back then. We did, but we didn’t have enough.”

Sandusky has admitted to showering and ‘horsing around” with young boys, but denies any sexual abuse. His trial has been set for May 14, where he faces over 50 counts of child-sex abuse.

(*note: Gracar’s disappearance isn’t believed to be connected to Sandusky’s allegations)

Virginia Tech defends decision to put Michael Vick in Hokies Hall of Fame

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Athletically, there is no question Michael Vick belongs in Virginia Tech’s athletics hall of fame. Heck, the Hokies might as well name the thing after him.

In his two seasons on campus, Vick (pictured, left) threw for 3,299 yards and 21 touchdowns — averaging 9.6 yards per attempt on 56 percent completions, in an era where anything over 50 was considered above-average — while adding an electrifying 1,299 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. Vick led the Hokies to a 22-2 record, a Big East championship and appearance in the BCS national title game as a redshirt freshman in 1999, a campaign that saw him finish third in Heisman Trophy voting.

He was essentially a combination of Vince YoungJohnny Manziel and Allen Iverson, in a time when the I-formation and pocket passers still ruled college football.

But there is, of course, the non-football side of Vick’s life.

In the prime of his career — he came 26 passing yards short of a 2,500/1,000 season in 2007 — Vick’s NFL career essentially ended when he was convicted of running a dogfighting ring and served 21 months in federal prison. And all throughout that time, Virginia Tech was tangentially related to the biggest villain in sports.

Still, Virginia Tech announced earlier this month that Vick was a member of its 5-person 2017 Sports Hall of Fame class, to be inducted on Friday, Sept. 22. Vick’s inclusion generation a petition that has drawn more than 2,500 signatures protesting the decision.

“You know one of my friends volunteered to go down to his residence where all of this took place at the aftermath to help with the cleanup, if you want to put it that way,” Virginia Tech graduate and petition creator Jennifer Breeden told Collegiate Times. “It’s just kind of an embarrassment that (Virginia Tech) would want to honor someone like that.”

Arguing that Vick has paid his debt to society and shown remorse for his actions, Virginia Tech on Friday released the following statement saying that Vick will remain in the 2017 class.

Mr. Vick’s induction into the university’s sports hall of fame acknowledges his tremendous achievements as a student athlete—who some will say was the greatest in the history of the university.

We understand that there are those who do not and will never agree with this decision.

In considering Mr. Vick’s nomination to our sports hall of fame, the criminal activities in which he engaged, his subsequent conviction, and time he served for his crime were also considered.

And it was informed by the remorse he has shown since that conviction, the work he is currently engaged in to advance animal welfare issues, as well as his efforts to help our current student athletes, based on lessons he’s learned in his own life, make positive choices as they begin their adult lives.

This in no way condones the actions for which he was convicted.

The university remains dedicated to the protection of animal health and welfare and embodies great care and compassion for all living animals.

It’ll be interesting to see the reaction Vick gets at the Hokies’ Sept. 23 home game against Old Dominion.

Michigan pulls recruiting director away from former Michigan coach’s staff

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Michigan is set to add Arizona recruiting czar Matt Dudek as its new director of recruiting, according to a report from FootballScoop on Saturday.

CBS Sports’s Dennis Dodd confirmed the report, adding that Michigan is expected to formally announce the move at Big Ten media days on Monday.

The irony, of course, is that Dudek will leave the staff of former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez.

Dudek had been with Rodriguez shortly after his late 2011 hiring, first as on-campus recruiting coordinator and player personnel director before being named college football’s first general manager after the 2015 season. He helped the Wildcats win the 2014 Pac-12 South championship and was named a finalist for FootballScoop‘s Player Personnel Director of the Year award multiple times. (Disclaimer: I also write for FootballScoop.)

Prior to Arizona, Dudek worked as director of football branding and events at Rutgers and as assistant director of football operations and recruiting coordinator at Pittsburgh.

At Michigan, Dudek will join a staff that already recruits quite capably under head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines have finished eighth and fifth nationally in 247Sports‘s composite team rankings in Harbaugh’s two full cycles as Michigan’s head coach.

Dudek’s departure will be viewed by some as an anti-show of faith in Rodriguez’s tenure at Arizona. Since that 10-4, top-20 season in 2014, the Wildcats have slipped to 7-6 in 2015 and 3-9 last fall.

WATCH: Mark Richt takes annual backflip off the high dive

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It’s been quite the summer for Mark Richt. His 2018 recruiting class is one of the best in the nation, he taught the nation the most efficient way to eat a sandwich, and on Friday he executed his annual high-dive backflip at a Hurricanes pool party.

(In case you haven’t seen the sandwich bit, watch it below. It’ll change your life.)

As SB Nation catalogues, Richt has made these backflips an annual thing since he was at Georgia in 2015. It was a skill he learned, he says, to impress the ladies after watching Greg Louganis (yes, that Greg Louganis) do it while they were students at Miami.

Richt and Louganis both enrolled at the University of Miami in 1978, and the future Hurricanes’ coach and his teammates would hang out at the university’s pool, where Louganis and the diving team would practice.

“We would watch him,” Richt said. “You’d go to the pool, because that’s where the girls were, right? So we’d watch the divers work out and say, that guy’s pretty good. Turns out he was the best in the world, like, ever. I had a lot of respect for him.”

Here’s this year’s effort.

Not bad for a guy pushing 60.

Nick Saban thinks skipping bowl games could lead to recruits doing same thing in high school

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Grand Poobah of college football and Alabama head coach Nick Saban has had some interesting ideas about the sport over the years that conflict with the general consensus of his peers. The latest subject to fit that mold? How players like Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey skipping their bowl games could filter down to the high school level with recruits.

“Same thing will happen in high school if they make the signing day before the season,” Saban told CBS Sports. “It will take a few years, then some kid will say, ‘Hey, I’m going to Notre Dame. I’m not playing my senior year.'”

The Crimson Tide coach is referencing not only the two tailbacks skipping bowl games but also the possibility that upcoming December signing date could be moved up on the calendar. Big 12 commissioner (and chairman of the Football Oversight Committee) Bob Bowlsby said at his conference media days that the date for signing could be changed or even extended to a longer signing period as part of ongoing discussions about the recruiting process.

Talk of players signing with a college prior to their senior season in high school has not been broadly talked about by coaches or administrators but it does seem like everything is on the table when it comes to NCAA reforms in this area. It remains to be seen if any recruit will actually go as far as sitting out a full year in order to protect himself from injury in order to play in college… just as it remains questionable as to whether Fournette and McCaffrey’s decisions will develop into a broader trend at the college level.

Coaches are no fans of dramatically altering the status quo and it seems Saban is among the group who want to stem the postseason defection of players before things turn into a regular occurrence at any level of football.