Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s day in court has come and has resulted in a guilty verdict.
The Centre Daily Times is among the outlets reporting that a jury has found Spanier guilty of one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. In addition, Spanier was found not guilty on two other counts, one a similar child endangerment charge and the other a count of criminal conspiracy.
The verdict comes after lengthy deliberations by the jury in the case, which took a turn last week when former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz plead guilty to child endangerment charges as part of the same trial. All three figure to be sentenced in the next few months.
Prior to the scandal, Spanier was widely considered to be one of the most respected college presidents in the country and heavily involved in NCAA matters. However he was one of several key figures fired by the school as a result of covering up the actions of Sandusky, the Nittany Lions’ former defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 charges of sexually abusing minors.
While the verdict is likely to be appealed, Spanier is nevertheless facing the prospect of joining Sandusky behind bars as a result of his own involvement in the scandal.
With Penn State just about to get started with spring football practices, head coach James Franklin wasted no time in naming his captains for the 2017 season. Quarterback Trace McSorley, linebacker Jason Cabinda, and safety Nick Scott have been voted captains by their peers on the team.
“These three young men have been leaders in our program, on and off the field,” Franklin said in a released statement. “They live our four core values and act with the program’s best interest in mind. Our team is in good hands with these guys!”
McSorley took over the offense as Penn State’s starting quarterback in 2016. A bit of a mystery to most entering the season after being the backup to Christian Hackenberg, McSorley ended his 2016 season with a Big Ten-leading 3,614 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes with eight interceptions and played a key role in guiding Penn State to a late run to a Big Ten championship and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. He enters the 2017 season as one of the top quarterbacks returning to the Big Ten, along with Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett.
Cabinda, an All-Big Ten third team player in 2016, was Penn State’s third-leading tackler last season with 81 tackles. He accumulated that many tackles despite missing five games due to injury. He is slated to be the leader in the middle of the Penn State defense with a starting role already locked down and will look to help guide some younger linebackers stepping into key roles in the defense this upcoming season, such as Manny Bowen and Koa Farmer.
Scott has been a special teams leader for Penn State and is expected to continue to lead the special teams effort once again this season.
A suspension for unspecified team rules kept Noah Beh from playing for Penn State for most of the 2016 season. Now, the offensive tackle has decided to ply his football wares at a lower rung on the collegiate ladder.
Citing program sources, 247Sports.com is reporting that Beh will transfer to Delaware to finish out his collegiate playing career. The Nittany Lions released their spring roster Tuesday morning, and Beh wasn’t listed on it.
The football program has thus far declined to address the lineman’s status with the team moving forward.
A three-star member of PSU’s 2014 recruiting class, Beh was rated as the No. 14 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania. After taking a redshirt his true freshman season, Beh played in 13 games in 2015.
After working as a starter last spring, the suspension derailed Beh’s rise up the depth chart as he never played another down for the Nittany Lions. Despite the suspension, he was still permitted to practice with the team last year.
As Delaware plays at the FCS level, Beh will be eligible to play immediately in 2017. Counting this season, Beh will have two years of eligibility remaining.
There are a number of things on the recruiting trail it is usually best not to overanalyze. This may not be one of them.
Defensive end Micah Parsons, one of the top-rated players in the Class of 2018 and the top-rated recruit in the state of Pennsylvania according to Rivals, is currently committed to Penn State, but Nittany Lions fans following the recruiting updates may be a tad more worried about losing Parsons to a division rival than ever before. Parsons shared an image on Twitter of his new dog, which he named Brutus. Sound familiar?
Brutus is the name of Ohio State’s mascot. Is this purely a coincidence, or is there a not-so-hidden meaning to it all? Given the naming of the dog and supposed recent interest in Ohio State, this may be more writing on the wall for an eventual commitment flip within the Big Ten East. But we’ll keep an eye on Parsons and his journey to signing day to see how it all plays out.
Had he named the dog Nittany, however, Penn State fans would probably be a little more at ease.
Two Penn State officials tied to the Jerry Sandusky scandal have pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment on Monday. Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz entered their pleas to a judge with an agreement to potentially testify against former Penn State president Graham Spanier next week, according to a report from Penn Live.
Curley and Schultz face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for their misdemeanor charge. The charges are tied to each man’s connection to the failure to report an incident witnessed by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary (Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the showers of the Penn State football building) and reported to former head football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno reported the information to Curley, his supervisor, and Curley and Schultz never reported the incident to the authorities.
Sentencing for Curley and Schultz is expected to take place within the next 90 days.
Sandusky, the former Penn state defensive coordinator, was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges related to sexually abuse of minors from 1994 through 2009. He is currently serving a sentence of up to 60 years, effectively a life sentence for the 73-year old. A request by Sandusky for a new trial has been denied. One of Sandusky’s sons, Jeffrey Sandusky, was recently arrested and charged with sexual assault of a minor.
The NCAA used The Freeh Report into the handling of the Sandusky scandal as the basis of a hefty set of sanctions slapping Penn State’s football program with a four-year postseason ban, vacated over 100 wins from the record books and a significant reduction in scholarships, and fined the university $60 million. The NCAA has since rescinded its sanction terms, first gradually and then entirely following positive reviews from an independent review from George Mitchell and mounting legal battles.
McQueary was awarded a $7.3 million payment from Penn State in a defamation lawsuit.
Paterno passed away in January 2012. His vacated wins from the NCAA sanctions have since been restored.