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Sue Paterno issues statement on dropping of NCAA lawsuit

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The Paterno family has dropped its lawsuit against the NCAA, a lawsuit that NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy excoriated in a statement.

“The Paterno family characterized this case as a ‘search for the truth,’” Remy said. “Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling.  We believe that the powerful record developed during discovery overwhelmingly confirmed what the NCAA has believed all along: the NCAA acted reasonably in adopting the conclusions of an eight-month investigation by Louis Freeh.”

Sue Paterno has issued a statement of her own on behalf of the family and her late husband, naturally, disagreeing with Remy’s conclusions about Freeh’s conclusions. Read the full statement below, courtesy of Onward State.

 

For more than half a century Joe and I were honored to represent Penn State. We always knew this place was special and we were determined to help it grow into the world-class institution it is today.

In the fallout from the Sandusky tragedy and the subsequent mishandling of the investigation by the Board and Louis Freeh, I was determined to do everything in my power to defend the honor of Penn State and set the record straight on Joe. Although the fight has been long and difficult, enormous progress has been made. The unprecedented sanctions imposed on the university were reversed. The wins, which were unjustly stripped from the players, were reinstated.  And even Mr. Freeh has stated under oath that his many alleged “findings” were, in fact, merely his opinions.

Out of the ashes of that widely discredited report, I sought to help other communities become safer – to help them to see that which we missed and to help prevent future similar tragedies.  That is why I commissioned Jim Clemente to draft a report on how predators in every community operate.  It is my continued hope that people will read his report and educate themselves on the signs.  Every day, all over the country, we are reminded of the need.  As Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon noted recently, “”it is virtually impossible to stop a determined sexual predator and pedophile,” a reality faced by every community and one whose tragic effects are felt daily.  That is why Joe felt learning from this tragedy was so important that the last thing he wrote in his own hand was that – God willing – there would be a silver lining of greater awareness to this societal problem.

Joe was a man of integrity who didn’t fear the truth, but rather embraced it. And this is why he urged the administration to slow down and conduct an objective, independent and thorough investigation. I think almost everyone agrees this is what should have happened, and, as Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s independent report recently noted, did not happen. Through the last five years, and over three years of litigation, we learned what such a careful investigation would have found: that Joe never interfered in any investigation; that he properly reported the one account brought to him; that there was no conspiracy or any attempt at a cover up; and that Joe followed university and NCAA procedure to the letter.  Joe has never been accused of any crime and all testimony supports that he followed the law and policy at all times.

It has been a tremendous personal strain to undertake an effort that never should have been needed in the first place. During these difficult times, I’ve been inspired by the unwavering support of the students and alumni of Penn State. With their devotion and energy I’m confident the university’s future will be brighter than ever.

Our goal has always been to uncover and make transparent the full truth.  We have done all we can in this litigation to achieve that end and the furtherance of it beyond this point will not yield anything new, which is why I have decided to end my litigation with the NCAA.

I love Penn State. My family and I don’t confuse the misguided actions of a few with the intent of the university as a whole. I am grateful for the extraordinary support my family and I have received from our friends in State College and throughout the Penn State community. This great university has been, and will continue to be, very important to me.

With former Penn State executives Graham SpanierTim Curley and Gary Schultz sentenced by the Pennsylvania courts and the Paterno-NCAA lawsuit now officially a thing of the past, it seems now, six years later, the dust is finally settling around the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal.

It’s about time.

Vanderbilt transfer DL Rutger Reitmaier receives all-clear from NCAA

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Vanderbilt got some good news Wednesday when the NCAA approved transfer Rutger Reitmaier to compete this fall.

The Nashville native signed with Oregon out of high school in 2017 but did not compete for the Ducks. He left the team after spring practice, sat out the 2017 season and enrolled at Vanderbilt in January.

“Adding Rutger to our roster is huge,” head coach Derek Mason told Vanderbilt’s official site. “He adds depth, athleticism and will be a key piece for us. I’m excited about what an impactful player he is, and it’s great to add another quality player from Nashville.”

A 4-star recruit, Reitmaier was recruited by the likes of Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina, but favored Vanderbilt when leaving Oregon.

“Vanderbilt was the first school I considered after deciding to leave Oregon,” he said. “It was one of my top-three schools during my initial recruitment in high school. Defense wins championships, so having a head coach like Coach Mason with that background was attractive for me. I’m excited to get going.”

 

Northwestern announces slew of schedule changes, including future home-and-homes with Tulane and Rice

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Northwestern claims they have the best home schedule in the country for the upcoming 2018 season and they have a pretty good case with Duke, Akron, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame all coming to Ryan Field. Based on the latest moves on their future schedules however, that good run of big names doesn’t quite continue.

The school announced a slew of new games in the coming years on Wednesday, including a pair of home-and-homes with AAC and CUSA opponents. First up is a date with Tulane in Evanston on Sept. 12, 2020, followed by a return game in New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2025. As a result of that first game against the Green Wave, the Wildcats had to move their previously scheduled contest against Central Michigan from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 in 2020 (also at home).

Another school in the South was also added to the NU docket with a second home-and-home series with Rice way out in the future. The pair will play in Houston on Sept. 8, 2029, while the return game at Ryan Field is set for Sept. 6… 2031. Yeah, 2031. The two teams will also meet in 2024 and 2025.

A single home game against FCS power South Dakota State was also announced by Northwestern and will be played on Sept. 12, 2026.

The moves mean the Wildcats’ non-conference slate is pretty much set in 2019 (at Stanford, vs. UNLV and UMass), 2022 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Southern Illinois) and 2024 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Rice). The games announced Wednesday fill in some of the holes left in other years but outside of the trip to the Farm next season and a home-and-home with Colorado in 2026/27, there’s not a ton to write home about.

At least Northwestern will always have that 2018 home schedule to point to.

NCAA data shows number of graduate transfers in football nearly doubled last year

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The biggest issue the NCAA is tackling at the moment is an easy one to pick out: transfers. Coaches have chimed in about potential changes and new rules have been enacted but even as we approach the Media Days portion of the calendar next month, transfer talk has been one of the hot topics across all major sports at the collegiate level.

Perhaps that interest is one reason why the NCAA released a new study this week looking into the numbers of one particular category of players: graduate transfers. While the number of actual graduate transfers remains relatively low (about 1% of the total number of student-athletes), the number itself continues to skyrocket year-by-year as more and more players take advantage of rules that allow them to graduate and play immediately at their next school.

According to the NCAA, that number of grad transfers is five times bigger in 2017 than it was in 2011 for men’s sports alone and football in particular saw the number of players moving around nearly double from 117 total in 2016 to 211 the following season. The rates are higher in men’s basketball but the overall number is naturally much bigger in football given the vastly bigger roster size.

Data for 2018 was naturally not made available since we’re just in the middle of the year but a similar increase wouldn’t be too surprising to see given the number of big names that have made headlines prior to the upcoming season. That includes players like Michigan’s Wilton Speight (to UCLA), Cal’s Tre Watson (to Texas), Notre Dame’s Jay Hayes (to Georgia) and Alabama’s Brandon Kennedy (to Tennessee) all among those taking the grad transfer route. It seems like nearly every week we see one or two players announce their intentions to take a similar path.

While we might not have 400+ players listed as graduate transfers in football when 2018 comes to a close, it certainly doesn’t appear that this trend will be slowing down anytime soon and the coaches that are complaining about this brand of “free agency” in college football will just have to get used to the new reality of player movement in light of a number of new NCAA reforms on the subject.

Notre Dame LB David Adams stepping away from football for medical reasons

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Tough news out of South Bend this week as redshirt freshman linebacker David Adams is leaving the Notre Dame football program as a player to take a medical exception. He tweeted a lengthy statement discussing the departure on his Twitter account Tuesday night:

The Pittsburgh native was a former three-star recruit coming out of high school and was an Under Armour All-American. He redshirted during his first year with the team in 2017 but will sadly not suit up for the team going forward.

The list of injuries Adams tweeted about shows why this isn’t super surprising news given that he had suffered, among other things, concussions, a torn left labrum, a torn rotator cuff, a knee injury and severe patellar tendonitis. He will remain on scholarship at Notre Dame but won’t count against the football team’s 85-man limit going forward.

Though Adams was expected to help contribute some depth to the Irish defense this year, the team is pretty set in the middle of their defense at linebacker on the two-deep but could see incoming recruits Jack Lamb and Bo Bauer take some snaps earlier than expected if somebody else gets hurt.