Public Theater 50th Anniversary Gala - Arrivals

Report: Pacino to play film version of Paterno


Hailed as one of the greatest actors of our time for playing fictional characters such as Michael Corleone and Tony Montana, Al Pacino‘s latest role will reportedly involve a real life Greek tragedy of a name.

By way of the New York Post, a website called is reporting that the Academy Award-winning actor will play former Penn State Joe Paterno in an upcoming film.  The movie will be based on Joe Posnanski‘s best-selling book “Paterno,” which was penned around the time the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal exploded on the State College campus and shook the university and the Nittany Lions football program to its very core.

The casting of Pacino, who played a head football coach in the movie “Any Given Sunday,” as Paterno has yet to be confirmed by anyone connected to the proposed film, although there have been rumblings for weeks that the actor has been pushing for the role.

Posnanski was given unfettered access to Paterno and his family last year, moving to Happy Valley as part of the process for what began as the definitive biography of one of the greatest coaches in the history of college sports and ended with the legend disgraced and his legacy tarnished.  In November, Jerry Sandusky, Paterno’s former defensive coordinator, was indicted on dozens of counts related to the sexual abuse of young boys and was ultimately sentenced to what amounts to life in prison.  Paterno was fired by the university shortly after the indictments were handed down and died of lung cancer just over two months later.

Just who would play Sandusky in the movie version of the book is unknown, although John Malkovich, who does cinematic creepiness as expertly as anyone, might be a good place to start the casting call.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press
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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.