A former Penn State football player Isaiah Humphries has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Penn State and head coach James Franklin ignoring hazing taking place within the program. Defensive tackle Damion Barber is also a defendant in the lawsuit.
According to claims made in the lawsuit, Humphries was the target of hazing conducted by Barber and a handful of other Penn State players. Among the players mentioned by name include linebacker defensive lineman Yetur Gross-Matos and linebackers Micah Parsons and Jesse Luketa. Concerns about hazing were allegedly relayed to members of the coaching staff, including directly to Franklin, but no actions were taken to combat any hazing incidents.
Among the alleged acts of hazing included references to former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky with threats of “I am going to Sandusky you” being said to underclassmen within the program. Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of child sex abuse in 2012. His sentence of 30 to 60 years is, effectively, a life sentence in prison. Sandusky’s actions and the way it was handled by officials at Penn State led to NCAA sanctions including a four-year postseason bowl ban, the loss of scholarships, and a $60 million fine. The NCAA withdrew the sanctions two years later amid legal pressure.
Humphries transferred to California in 2019 after coming to Penn State in the Class of 2018. Humphries claims he transferred to Cal because of the alleged behavior within the Penn State program and lack of response by Franklin and his staff. The former Penn State player also accuses the coaching staff of pacing him in specific drills the coaches knew Humphries would fail and providing negative reviews to coaches at other schools as Humphries explored his transfer options.
Penn State has responded to the news of the lawsuit with a statement (shared below) claiming police investigated the allegations and the district attorney’s office decided no charges were warranted.
The University has established processes in place for responding to claims of potential misconduct. In accordance with our processes, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and the Office of Student Conduct carried out investigations of the plaintiff’s claims independent from Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition, Penn State police investigated related allegations and forwarded the results of that investigation to the Office of the Centre County District Attorney (DA). The DA reviewed the case and decided that no charges would be pursued
And, for what it is worth, a number of Penn State players, both past and present, have responded to the news via Twitter.
The defense was apparently optional in this year’s Cotton Bowl Classic. In the highest-scoring Cotton Bowl in the history fo the game, No. 10 Penn State put the finishing touches on its second New Years Six bowl win in three years by holding off No. 17 Memphis in a wild 53-39 victory on Saturday.
Penn State got a terrific performance out of First Team All-American linebacker Micah Parsons, who was just everywhere in the game, and the defense caused a couple of key turnovers to help counterbalance a strong showing by the Memphis offense. Brady White passed for 479 yards but failed to throw a touchdown and was picked off twice by the Nittany Lions, with one being returned for a touchdown by Garrett Taylor.
Penn State had the decided advantage on the ground with its running game. As a team, Penn State rushed for 390 yards with everyone contributing. Journey Brown led the charge with 202 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Noah Cain added 92 yards and two more touchdowns. Ricky Slade added 57 yards and Devyn Ford scored a touchdown. Sean Clifford didn’t have a great passing day but did rush for 28 yards on a day he was sacked a number of times.
Penn State and Memphis combined for 84 points to set the record for the highest-scoring Cotton Bowl. Penn State’s 53 points is also a school record for most points scored in a bowl game. The previous record was 50 points in the Holiday Bowl in 1989 against BYU.
Memphis kicker Riley Patterson turned in a record-setting performance, and not just for the Cotton Bowl. Ferguson’s six field goals is a new national college bowl game record. Memphis certainly had the ball moving on Penn State’s defense throughout the game but had to rely on the foot of Ferguson a few too many times as drives stalled.
The Cotton Bowl victory improves James Franklin to 2-1 in New Years Six bowl games in the last four seasons and evens Franklin’s bowl record at Penn State at 3-3.
Penn State will open the 2020 season at home on Sept. 5 against Kent State. Memphis will begin its 2020 season on the same day with a home game against Arkansas State.
Don’t let the rankings fool you, because it looks like Minnesota has been the team ranked fourth in the nation by the College Football Playoff selection committee after one half of play. No. 17 Minnesota has simply been dominant against No. 4 Penn State after 30 minutes and they reach halftime fired up with a 24-13 lead on the Nittany Lions.
The first three minutes of the game could not have gone much better for Minnesota. The Gophers forced the first turnover of the game when Antoine Winfield Jr. picked off a deep ball thrown up for grabs by Sean Clifford at the Minnesota five-yard line. Minnesota cashed in on the turnover in a big way with Tanner Morgan completed a 66-yard pass to a streaking Radhod Bateman, who had nothing but daylight in front of him after a late defender missed a tackle on the sideline. It was the first touchdown allowed by Penn State in the first quarter this season, and it was a big one.
Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons did not start the game for the Nittany Lions. according to the update from the broadcast, Parsons missed the start of the game for what was described as a “behavioral modification issue.” Parsons got on the field on Penn State’s second defensive series. Even with Parsons back on the field, Minnesota’s offense was not intimidated. After Journey Brown ran for a game-tying 45-yard touchdown for Penn State, Minnesota’s offense drove 87 yards for a second touchdown in the first quarter. A bubble screen from Morgan to Chris Autman-Bell went 21 yards to regain the lead, 14-7.
Winfield picked off Clifford again in the second quarter to kill a promising drive for Penn State that was one play from settling for a field goal at worst. A big return on the interception gave the confident Gophers offense good field position, and a 38-yard touchdown reception by Tyler Johnson gave Minnesota a 21-10 lead midway through the second quarter. After the defense forced a three-and-out on Penn State’s ensuing possession, Minnesota tacked on a field goal by Brock Walker to take a 14-point advantage, Penn State’s biggest deficit of the season.
Minnesota gets the ball to start the second half.
If Maryland was ready to make a statement tonight against No. 12 Penn State, this isn’t the statement they wanted to make. The Nittany Lions have been in full control of the game from the start and lead Maryland 38-0 at halftime in College Park.
Penn State’s defense has been dominant by holding the home team to fewer than 100 yards and forcing a pair of turnovers. Penn State has intercepted Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson twice, including one near the endzone on Maryland’s most promising offensive series of the first half. The defense came up with a big play on the game’s opening possession when Jan Johnson intercepted Jackson on the fifth play of the game. The return took the ball to the Maryland 44-yard line and a pair of penalties on Maryland moved the ball all the way to the nine-yard line. Sean Clifford kept the ball himself and ran up the middle for a touchdown on the first play after the turnover, and it was off to the races for Penn State.
Penn State scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game, and five of their six first-half possessions. Clifford completed passes to KJ Hamler for 58 yards and Journey Brown for 37 yards and touchdowns where the receiver racked up yards after the catch. Ricky Slade and Nick Bowers have also scored for Penn State.
The first half also saw a player from each team ejected for targeting. Penn State’s Micah Parsons was tossed in the first quarter for a hit on Jackson. Maryland’s Deon Jones was ejected in the second quarter for a hit on Penn State receiver Justin Shorter. Both players will be eligible to return to their teams in their next game.
Maryland has also had some injury issues. Offensive lineman Marcus Minor was helped off the field to the locker room, and Lorenzo Harrison had to go into the medical tent in the first half.
Because the rules require it, there will be 30 more minutes of football played in College Park tonight.
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.