Penn State Nittany Lions

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James Franklin wants media to partake in Penn State spring game

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Having media members coach in a spring game is common stunt. Memphis did it just this year. But having media members play in the spring game? Can’t say I’ve seen that done before, though one school is seriously considering it.

Penn State head coach James Franklin told the Nittany Lions’ media Wednesday night he wanted them to partake in part of the club’s spring game festivities on Saturday. In front of the 80,000-some odd Beaver Stadium fans and everything.

“Just so you know, I’m dead serious,” Franklin said.

I know what you’re thinking and no: it doesn’t mean Penn State beat writers would be asked to tackle Saquon Barkley in open space. Entertaining as that would be, Penn State will have to work its way around the various liabilities of asking people it has not insured to play on its field, so Franklin had some non-contact drills in mind — catching punts, kicks and the like.

For those who do not partake, Franklin invited them to write about those who do and their certain athletic failings.

“We thought that would be fun,” he said.

We’ll see if any media members take him up on the “fun” offer.

Indiana won’t accept any player with history of sexual or domestic violence

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One Big Ten school is following in the SEC’s footsteps — and blazing its own path on top of it.

In April of 2015, the SEC voted to ban member institutions from accepting transfers who had been disciplined for serious misconduct at his previous school, with that defined as sexual assault, sexual violence and domestic violence.  In June of 2016, that same conference announced that it will be expanding its existing policy to include “dating violence, stalking or conduct of a nature that creates serious concern about the safety of others.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Indiana has enacted a similar policy, with the Big Ten school barring a transfer from another institution from enrolling “who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence.” Sexual violence is defined by the school as “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University policy on sexual misconduct.”

IU’s policy also significantly expands on what the SEC’s current policy is, as not only transfers but “incoming freshmen” are a part of the ban as well.

“I think it’s new ground,” athletic director Fred Glass told the Star. “My hope is that we’re leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions.”

The university also ensured that any appeals would be handled “outside the athletic department.” From the paper’s report:

It includes an appellate process, Glass said, acknowledging that “there’s always a chance that there’s going to be some person that gets caught up in this that shouldn’t, when you consider all the circumstances.”

But Glass also emphasized that any such appeal would go before a committee comprised of [IU faculty athletics representative Kurt] Zorn, IU general counsel Jacqueline Simmons and IU chief student welfare and Title IX officer Emily Springston.

“The key to that,” Glass said, “is those decisions are being made outside the athletic department.”

The Big Ten has allowed each member institution to institute — or not — its own policy on this issue.  Indiana is the first; whether other conference members follow suit will be interesting to see play out.

Penn State board wants trustee who derided ‘so-called’ Sandusky victims to step down immediately

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If it’s up to Penn State’s board, one of its members won’t see the end of his term.

In an email sent to the Chronicle of Higher Education last week, PSU trustee Albert Lord had sharp words for the victims of Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-sex abuse charges in June of 2012 and is currently serving a sentence of at least 30 years.

Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth,” the trustee wrote in a portion of the email. “Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone.”

This week, Lord, who apologized for what he described as “flippant and caustic” remarks, announced that he would not be seeking reelection to a second term on the board in the wake of the controversy his words caused. Lord did say, though, that he will finish out his first three-year term, which is set to expire June 30.

However, board chairman Ira Lubert and vice chairman Mark Dambly issued a statement Thursday in which they labeled Lord’s comments as “embarrassing” and “offensive” while also calling on the trustee to step down immediately.

Below is the statement, in its entirety:

Trustee Al Lord’s remarks about the brave victims of Jerry Sandusky were offensive and embarrassing to the majority of the members of the Penn State Board of Trustees, the university community and all victims of sexual assault.

“We strongly condemn them.

“Members of this Board must hold themselves to a higher standard and represent our university with respect for all. While Mr. Lord has publicly announced he no longer intends to run for re-election to the Board, he should do the right thing and step down immediately.

Lord has been a long-time and very vocal supporter of the late Joe Paterno and former PSU president Graham Spanier. Late last month, Spanier was found guilty on one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Report: Knee injury will likely cost Penn State starting CB John Reid the entire 2017 season

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Penn State’s secondary may have suffered a very significant blow as it prepares for the 2017 season.

According to multiple media outlets, John Reid sustained what was described as a significant and serious injury to his knee during practice. DKPittsburghSports.com reported that Reid injured the ACL in his left knee “while cutting during a practice within the past week.”

A report from 247Sports.com indicates that the rising junior cornerback “will miss significant time and the injury will likely cost him the 2017 season.” The injury is reportedly of the non-contact variety.

There has been no official word from the football program on Reid’s status for the upcoming season.

After appearing in 13 games as a true freshman in 2015 — he started two of those contests — Reid started all 14 games during the 2016 campaign. He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten following the latter season.

Reid, who was also the Nittany Lions’ top punt returner, will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by some combination of Christian Campbell, Amani Oruwariye and Lamont Wade. Campbell is viewed as the favorite to take over for Reid.

Penn State trustee who was “running out of sympathy” for “so-called victims” of Jerry Sandusky not seeking second term

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The Penn State trustee who said he was “running out of sympathy” for the victims of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky will reportedly not seek a second term on the board of trustees in State College. Al Lord made his decision official while speaking at a forum.

“I’ll continue to work with you guys,” Lord said to his fellow alumni candidates, according to PennLive. “I’m just not sitting through any more of those meetings.”

Lord informed fellow trustee Anthony Lubrano that his decision was not related to his controversial comments to the Chronicle of Higher Education, although the timing of his decision sure seems to suggest it is a coincidence.

”Of course I’m disappointed,” said Lubrano. ”Al was the most cerebral member of the board. He’ll be missed.”

Lord was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees in 2014 on the strength of attacking the university’s handling of the entire Sandusky scandal, with an emphasis on defending former head coach Joe Paterno and former university president Graham Spanier. Spanier was recently convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment and is currently awaiting sentencing. Two other Penn State officials connected to the scandal, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, are also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment.

Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-abuse charges in June 2012. He is currently serving a prison sentence of at least 30 years, which is essentially a life sentence at this stage in his life.