Stop me if you have heard this before. The NCAA says a lawsuit filed against them is fatally flawed and wants it to be thrown out. This time the NCAA is making this comment about a lawsuit filed by the family of the late Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach.
According to the Associated Press, the NCAA says the Paterno family lawsuit, filed in a Centre County court, contains “sundry misdirected complaints.” The NCAA believes the plaintiffs do not have the grounds to challenge the consent decree the NCAA had Penn State agree to prior to issuing sanctions against the program in the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The NCAA slammed the university with a four-year postseason ban, massive scholarship reductions, probation, the vacating of over 100 wins from the record books and a $60 million fine designed to go toward child abuse awareness and prevention programs.
Earlier this week the NCAA agreed to restore a significant number of scholarships to Penn State’s football program, but at this point there has been no indication any other sanction terms will immediately be addressed. Because Penn State president Rodney Erickson signed the consent decree with the NCAA, the university was stripped of any right to challenge the sanction terms. The Paterno family opted to take on the fight on behalf of the university. The NCAA says the family along with faculty, former Penn State players and coaches are not the right plaintiffs for any legal battle related to the sanctions.
The NCAA has also been challenged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a separate, yet similar, lawsuit seeking to overturn all terms of the sanctions. There is also a separate lawsuit challenging the distribution of the $60 million fine money charged to Penn State by the NCAA. The NCAA has said all of these lawsuits are out of order.
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.
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.