Freeh report on PSU will be released on Thursday

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Specific emails from the upcoming Freeh report on Penn State’s response to allegations of sexual abuse of young boys at the hands of Jerry Sandusky have been leaked for the past week or so.

Come later this week — Thursday, to be exact — the entire investigation should be made available, according to multiple reports. That means the release of the investigation led by former FBI chief Louis Freeh would occur one day before Friday’s PSU Board of Trustees meeting in Scranton, Pa.

Impeccable timing.

According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, it won’t just be former coach Joe Paterno in the Freeh crosshairs, either.

“The role of the iconic Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history, no doubt will be a focus for the media and public,” Wetzel writes. “But the expansive, exhaustive investigation… has delved into all aspects of the situation, a source says.

“A source reiterated that no one and nothing escapes responsibility.” 

Paterno, along with former president Graham Spanier (pictured, left), VP Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curely, has been a primary subject of the aforementioned emails leaked to CNN. Those emails indicate a cover-up by PSU admins of the Sandusky allegations last decade. 

Spanier,who has filed suit against the university and faces a hearing next month, told Freeh investigators last week that he denies any knowledge of Sandusky’s child abuse. 

“Selected leaks, without the full context, are distorting the public record and creating a false picture,” attorneys Peter Vaira from Vaira & Riley and Elizabeth Ainslie from Schnader Harrison Segel & Lewis said in a statement.

“At no time in the more than 16 years of his presidency at Penn State was Dr. Spanier told of an incident involving Jerry Sandusky that described child abuse, sexual misconduct or criminality of any kind, and he reiterated that during his interview with Louis Freeh and his colleagues.”

Likewise, Paterno’s family has condemned the leaking of specific emails to CNN and denied any cover-up by the former coach.

“Given the seriousness and complexity of this case, everyone should be demanding the full truth, not just carefully selected excerpts of certain emails,” the Paterno family statement read.

Give it a couple more days and the Paterno family, like many others, will get their wish.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.