Following Freeh report, Paternoville is no more

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Since last Thursday’s release of the Freeh report, one of the more significant questions surrounding Penn State became what the university would do regarding the image of former coach Joe Paterno.

While the university’s Board of Trustees have yet to make an official decision regarding Paterno’s statue outside Beaver Stadium, a group of PSU students have decided to rename the tent city formed outside the stadium known as Paternoville since 2005.

The area will now be known as Nittanyville.

Paternoville officers announced their intent in a statement Monday. Below are comments from Paternoville Vice President Jeff Lowe:

“We always have discussed the idea of changing the name once Joe was no longer the head coach. The discussions slowed down a bit in January as we waited for more information. With the Freeh Report being released, we began the process of careful discussion and planning so we could make the right decision if faced with the situation where we would have to change the name.

“The idea of being in the middle of a political war over the name, due to our association with Joe Paterno, has to lead to threats, hate mail and efforts from people outside of Penn State to try to ruin our ability to run an effective organization. 

“Past presidents were made aware of our plan and did give us their full support. Obviously they had thoughts and opinions on the matter, but most of all they were very adamant on letting us know they supported whatever decision we made.”

And here are comments by Paternoville President Troy Weller:

“The discussion to change the name was initiated by us. When we were coming closer to a decision, we notified the university of our proposed plans and they gave us their support.

“Now, it’s a new era of Nittany Lion football and by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it.

“We thank the Paterno family for their gracious assistance and support over the last several years.”

Even if student-led, this is obviously a huge move to place some more distance between the school and the longtime coach. The Freeh report claims Paterno knew of an investigation targeting former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky in 1998 when Paterno previously claimed he did not. The report also indicates strongly that Paterno, along with high-ranking university officials, spent over a decade covering up allegations of child-sex abuse involving Sandusky.

Since the Freeh release, the university has only acknowledged it plans to renovate the showers and locker room of the Lasch building, where Sandusky molested many of his victims, but that’s been in the works for months.

(Hat tip: Statecollege.com) 

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.