Updated: decision on Paterno statue reportedly coming in next 72 hours

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Updated: 5:00 p.m. ET: The statue of former coach Joe Paterno  may not necessarily come down in the next 72 hours as was originally reported, but a decision on what to do with it could.

Though Penn State trustees told Outside the Lines there was in fact a conference call Thursday night to converse about possible solutions, a final decision on the statue wasn’t made. Instead, that responsibility will reportedly lie with interim president Rodney Erickson.

Per OTL, Erickson is expected to decide whether to remove the statue in the next few days.

“It’s a highly sensitive decision,” a trustee told OTL Friday. “The decision is a symbolic one. We have to be very careful about what kind of message we send.”

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Earlier this week, Penn State spokesperson Dave la Torre said a decision on whether to keep the statue of former coach Joe Paterno would be made within the next 7-10 days. 

Reportedly, at least for a moment, that timeline looked to be accurate.

Multiple reports Friday morning from former ESPN/CBS reporter Bonnie Bernstein and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones say that the statue will be coming down this weekend. Bernstein adds that the school’s Board of Trustees voted to take down the statue during a conference call Thursday night.

However, la Torre issued a response soon after the tweets began coming in saying “I’m not aware of any decision being made,” regarding the Paterno statue. Penn State Board member Capt. Ryan McCombie added “We did no such thing” to Laura Nichols of Statecollege.com.

The board previously said they would take their time evaluating whether or not the statue should come down in the wake of the Freeh report released last week. The scathing investigation into Penn State’s (in)actions toward former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky placed significant blame on Paterno and other high-ranking PSU officials.

Since then, there have been multiple cries from outside State College for the statue of Paterno, located outside Beaver Stadium, to be taken down. A small plane displaying the banner “Take the statue down or we will” flew over Penn State Tuesday morning.

Former Ohio State DT Dylan Thompson transfers to Virginia

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Less than three weeks after leaving one Power Five football program, Dylan Thompson has landed at another.

On his personal Twitter account Feb. 5, Thompson announced that he would be transferring from Ohio State. Saturday evening, the defensive tackle took to the same social media website to announce that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Virginia.

As Thompson will be coming to Charlottesville as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play in 2018 for the Cavaliers.

A three-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2014 recruiting class, Thompson was rated as the No. 22 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 18 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  Injuries and academic issues helped to limit Thompson to just two games during his time in Columbus, with both appearances coming in 2017.

Wyoming signs son of Rocket Ismail, Rocket Jr.

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Raghib Ismail had one of the greatest nicknames in football history. The former Notre Dame and NFL wideout was known as The Rocket. It wouldn’t have worked if his name didn’t sound similar to the nickname and if he played any other position besides wide receiver, but he didn’t. It was great.

When Ismail’s younger brother Qadry Ismail came on the scene at Syracuse and later in the NFL, he was known as The Missile. Makes perfect sense, right?

So as the Rocket’s son begins his own college football career one generation later, it’s only natural he gets his own nickname, right? It runs in the family at this point. Well, considering the son’s name is Raghib Ismail, Jr, his nickname is also The Rocket. And The Rocket is now a Cowboy.

Wyoming on Saturday announced Ismail’s signing. A native of Carrollton, Texas, Ismail signed with TCU out of college but later transferred to Cisco Junior College in Texas, where he caught 48 balls for 434 yards and four touchdowns.

“Rocket (Ismail) is a young man who brings great speed and athleticism to the wide receiver position,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said in a statement. “He does a lot after the catch with the ball in his hands.  He catches the ball extremely well, catches it away from his body, and will bring great value to the wide receiver room.”

Wyoming also announced the addition of Ja’lani Ellison, a cornerback from Resada High School in California.

Tennessee frosh All-American OL Trey Smith out indefinitely with ‘medical issue’

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A potentially serious issue has arisen at Tennessee as starting offensive lineman Trey Smith is out indefinitely with a “medical issue.” While the nature of the issue was not disclosed, Smith will miss at least the the first portion of spring practice, but his absence could linger much longer than just spring ball.

Smith is reportedly seeking further medical evaluations. Wes Rucker of GoVols247 reported there is no timetable for Smith’s return, but VolQuest, citing sources close to Smith, reported he is expected to return in time for the 2018 season.

One of the lone bright spots in Butch Jones‘s final season, Smith, a 5-star recruit from Jackson, Tenn., became the first Tennessee true freshman to start at left tackle in over 30 years. Smith was a Day 1 starter for the Vols, starting at right guard for a season-opening win over Georgia Tech.

He led the club with 41 knockdowns on the year, including eight against Alabama.

He was a consensus Freshman All-American in 2017 and was rated by PFF College as the No. 1 offensive linemen among all freshmen and the No. 7 overall freshman in 2017.

Former Arizona State DB Robbie Robinson arrested for ‘terroristic threat’

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Former Stanford and Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was detained and questioned by authorities on Friday after a social media post contained a vague threat to a school shooting, but that wasn’t the only such incident involving a former football player and a possible school shooting to emerge on Friday.

Former Arizona State defensive back Edward “Robbie” Robinson was arrested Friday night after making “terroristic threats” against students and staff at ASU after a social media account purporting to be his said he was trying to buy a gun to “spray the stadium up.”

Here is the tweet in question.

In another post, Robinson’s account posted a screenshot of a text message exchange with someone claiming to be an Arizona State police detective saying, “You’re not in trouble. We just want to talk to you.”

ASU police notified the campus after receiving word of “threats of violence against members of the Sun Devil athletics community,” according to the Arizona Republic.

Robinson (left, No. 6) was a 3-star recruit out of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hampton, Va., who signed with the Sun Devils as part of their 2016 class. He has not been enrolled in school for more than a year, according to the Republic.

Bond for Robinson was set at $50,000, and a GoFundMe account had raised just over $1,500 toward that number at press time. However, Robinson was still tweeting as of Saturday evening.