Posts filed under ‘Sandusky scandal’
Legal update: Here’s the short story: Tuesday’s pretrial hearing produced no clarity on whether Cynthia Baldwin ’66, ’74g, Penn State’s former general counsel, will be able to testify in the trial of Graham Spanier, Tim Curley ’76, ’78g, and Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g. The judge said that rather than hear testimony from Baldwin, he will make his ruling based on the documents. You can see links to some of those documents here in a Patriot-News story. The basic issue is whether Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she testified to the grand jury and, therefore, whether her testimony is admissible in court. But the question is complicated. This Centre Daily Times story, based on additional documents, explains that Penn State waived attorney-client privilege, allowing Baldwin to testify. If you’ve got the time and have been following this case closely, the documents are really worth your time to check out.
Behind the scenes of Lunar Lion: If you read our November/December cover story or any of the other coverage, you know a little about Lunar Lion, its goal to land a spacecraft on the moon by 2015, and the giant university effort involved in the project. Those stories went big. Here’s one that goes small and shows what Lunar Lion is doing on a micro scale. Bobby Chen of Onward State tells the story of Philip Chow, a sophomore who is leading the procurement of parts for the effort. Yeah, a sophomore. Buying parts for a mission to the moon. In between classes. That’s likely unprecedented, and it’s a great story. Full disclosure: Bobby originally wrote this for my news writing class.
O’Brien watch: If you’re still obsessing over Bill O’Brien’s potential NFL opportunities, Dave Jones of the Patriot-News breaks down his options here.
Relax, says Mike the Mailman: According to Mike the Mailman—and, really, who do you trust more?—you’ve got until Saturday, Dec. 21, to get packages mailed in time to get there by Christmas. At least, that’s the case at Mike’s post office. Christian Heilman has the video story for Penn State’s Centre County Report. If you want faster service, Christian says, there’s a solution—bring cookies. Again, at least at Mike’s post office.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Your Monday sports wrap: The Nittany Lions’ “Return to Rec” game was a huge success in all but the final score, an 81-79 overtime loss Saturday to Princeton. The Tigers clawed back from a 20-point second-half deficit to dampen Penn State’s first game at Rec Hall since 1996. Still, it was a great afternoon for the fans who packed into the old barn—if you weren’t there, you can find a terrific bunch of photos from Mark Selders here. The women’s volleyball team enjoyed a more successful weekend on the road, beating Michigan State and long-time rival Stanford to guarantee a return to the NCAA Final Four. Penn State will face Washington on Thursday in Seattle for a chance to play in the national title game.
I thought the contrast in photos Onward State ran in back-to-back stories on the hoops and volleyball games was worth noting:
Making their case: At a pretrial hearing Tuesday in Harrisburg, attorneys for Graham Spanier, Tim Curley ’76, ’78g, and Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g will argue that the cases against them should be thrown out. At issue is the role of Cynthia Baldwin ’66, ’74g, the former university counsel, and the question of whether Baldwin was representing them or the university in front of a grand jury in 2010. You can read more here.
“Ready” or not? We knew the rumors were coming, and with Penn State’s football season over, we didn’t have to wait long. CBS Sports writer Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that, “according to pro and college sources,” Bill O’Brien is “ready” to return to the NFL. Is it true? Probably only O’Brien, his family, and his agent know for sure, but you can expect to hear much more on this over the coming weeks as NFL teams wrap up the regular season and prepare for the annual turnover in head coaching jobs. Stay tuned.
It’s finals week: The cold front that has smacked Happy Valley in recent days should make it easier for students to cuddle up with warm books and laptops for the next few days as they wrap up the fall semester with final exams. Student media has all sorts of finals-related coverage—much of it lighthearted, much of it NSFW, exactly—but this list of songs to get students through study sessions from the Daily Collegian’s “Finals Mag” is somewhat illuminating. Who knew they were listening to Dylan?
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Coaching changes: Penn State’s longtime linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and second-year quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher will not return for the 2014 season. Details of the coaches’ departures are still unclear, and Coach Bill O’Brien has not commented. Vanderlinden was one of only two members of Joe Paterno’s coaching staff to work under O’Brien. No word yet on possible replacements.
Here to help: Developmental psychologist Jennie Noll has been helping victims of child sexual abuse since she was a child herself, as Noll explains in a piece from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Noll, who started at Penn State in September as director of research and education for the study and prevention of child abuse, is one of five experts hired by the university to study and educate others about child abuse. According to the article, Noll is helping Penn State hire more experts in various disciplines to further examine the issue. Says Karen L. Bierman, director of the Child Study Center: “Penn State has grieved, but we’ve pulled together to try to make something positive and large out of this tragedy.”
That smarts: It’s not news to most Penn Staters that John Urschel ’12, ’13g is a smart guy. But thanks to this CBS News piece, more people know about the Penn State offensive guard—who also happens to have a masters in mathematics and is working on a second. In an interview with CBS, Coach Bill O’Brien talks about Urschel’s constant need for numbers: “If you give him a percentage of how many times this team blitzes, he wants to know the whole survey size and what games we looked at and how many numbers related. John, just take it from us: They blitz a lot.’”
We’re No. 3: State College is the third-best college town in the U.S., according to the American Institute for Economic Research, which based the rankings on how easy it is for students to get around, recreational opportunities, and cost of living, among other factors. Ithaca, N.Y. came in first, and Ames, Iowa took second.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Underdogs? 24-point underdogs? I’ll admit it: I was one of the doubters. I was the lector at Saturday night Mass, and I never dreamed that when I came out of church, the Nittany Lions would be on the verge of defeating No. 15 Wisconsin. I missed the entire second half, so I had a lot of catching up to do when I got home. Here’s what I did: watched this video from the locker room, this video of Bill O’Brien’s news conference, read this piece by Dave Jones of The Patriot-News about freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who completed 21 of 30 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns and is racking up all kinds of recognition, and checked out John McGonigal’s game story in the Collegian.
Looking to the future: Can’t wait for next football season? Get ready now by checking out this analysis by Mark Wogenrich ’90 of The Morning Call and this New York Times story about the future of the Big Ten, which adds Maryland and Rutgers—and a new division configuration—next season.
In other sports: The men’s soccer team lost 2-0 to New Mexico in the Sweet 16, but it finished the season with a 13-6-2 record and with a long road trip—nearly 5,000 miles in the air, 600 on the road in the NCAA tournament. … The women’s volleyball team finished its regular season with a four-set victory over long-time nemesis Nebraska in a match-up of two Top 10 programs in Lincoln, and it will, as usual, open the NCAA tournament at home, 7:30 p.m. Friday against LIU Brooklyn. … The men’s basketball team advanced to the final of the Barclays Center Classic but fell to Ole Miss, 79-76, despite 23 points from D.J. Newbill. … Tournament MVP Maggie Lucas led the women’s basketball team to the championship of the Junkajoo Jam in the Bahamas, where the players also scored some quality time with some friendly dolphins.
Legal update: A couple of months ago, former president Graham Spanier requested “a bill of particulars,” regarding the charges he is facing in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. The prosecution answered last week, and although most of Spanier’s requests were denied, the lawyers did provide a list of what they called Spanier’s false statements in his April 2011 testimony before a grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky ’67, ’71g. Charlie Thompson of The Patriot-News does a nice job here summarizing the legalese. Next up in the case against Spanier, Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g, and Tim Curley ’76, ’78g: a hearing on several pre-trial matters, including the defense’s motion to quash the testimony of former university council Cynthia Baldwin ’66, ’74g, is scheduled for the week of Dec. 16.
“Mom away from home:” That’s what the two-time national champion Lionettes dance team members call Sue Cacciotti Sherburne ’95g, ’09g, their director, who’s also assistant director of the Morgan Academic Support System for athletes. Chris Rosenblum of the Centre Daily Times writes that Sherburne “gives the Lionettes tools for moving through life as well as they do through space.”
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Sandusky spending: According to progress.psu.edu, costs from Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse case have risen to $51.8 million. That’s $2.4 million more than was last reported in June 2013. A graphic in today’s Daily Collegian provides a breakdown of the total cost, which includes legal fees, the NCAA fine, and consulting services.
“Betsy”: You’ve likely heard the story of Betsy Aardsma, the graduate student whose murder in Pattee Library has gone unsolved since 1969. But senior film student Tommy Davis wants people to know more. “Establishing [Betsy] as a true person was important to me,” Davis told Onward State‘s Jessica Tully. Davis has been researching Aardsma’s story since his freshman year, collecting information from experts on the case and interviewing people who knew Betsy personally. Davis’ full-length film, “Betsy,” opens at the State Theatre on Jan. 19.
Still basking: Yesterday, we told you about Matt McGloin’s stellar NFL debut as starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders. Last night, McGloin ’12 talked to StateCollege.com‘s Mike Poorman ’82 about post-game soreness, taking on Tennessee this weekend, and the flood of congratulatory texts (including one from Coach Bill O’Brien) he received after Sunday’s game: “My cell was blowing up after the game. And it still is even today.”
‘Tis the season: The State College Christmas tree is up downtown, which, depending on who you ask, marks the beginning of the holiday season. The tree lighting is still 10 days away (it’s scheduled for Nov. 29), but the big guy looks pretty good au naturel, don’t you think?
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Tale of two Penn States: As the search for a new president continues, Inside Higher Ed published this piece, examining how Penn State might appear to a potential leader: “… candidates may be asking themselves which Penn State they see: one led in part by ‘the search committee that couldn’t shoot straight,’ or a solid academic and financial entity with a long history and a bright future.” Donald Heller, the former head of Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education, and an anonymous Penn State faculty member are quoted in the story.
Spanier v. Freeh: Attorneys for Louis Freeh and former Penn State president Graham Spanier are headed to court early next year. Back in July 2013, Spanier filed a defamation lawsuit in response to the Freeh report, which alleged Spanier helped cover up Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children. The argument goes to trial in the Centre County Courthouse on Jan. 9, 2014.
Master Key: Keegan-Michael Key, of Comedy Central’s hit show Key & Peele, is pretty much my best friend. And by “best friend,” I mean I interviewed him once. We chatted on the phone earlier this week (for an upcoming story in the magazine — stay tuned) and Key ’96g was not only hysterically funny, but also incredibly nice and easygoing—which helped calm my out-of-control, omg-I’m-talking-to-a-comedy-genius nerves. BFF status aside, this is good news: A Key & Peele movie, produced by comedy heavyweight Judd Apatow, is in the works. Now I’m just waiting on my invite to the premiere.
Think positive: So, last night’s men’s basketball game vs. Bucknell didn’t go so well. But let’s look on the bright side. More specifically, let’s look at this adorable photo of a miniature lion high-fiving the real deal, captured during the game by Onward State‘s Bobby Chen (@rysChen) and posted on Twitter this morning.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
In the eye of the beholder: “Ugly” was the word flying around after Saturday’s 24-17 OT win over Illinois. Most fans and media agree that’s exactly what it was, while Bill O’Brien and his players, pretty much to a man, insisted that any win is a thing of beauty. Regardless of your perspective, there were some cool post-game insights from this one. Among them:
* The overtime touchdown pass from Christian Hackenberg to Kyle Carter is Bill O’Brien’s “favorite” play call—and that was before it won the game.
* Junior running back Bill Belton apologized for the goal-line fumble that almost cost the Lions the game, and thanked his teammates for bailing him out. Suffice it to say, without Belton’s 201 rushing yards—the first 200-yard game by a Penn State running back since Larry Johnson ’02 in 2002—the Lions wouldn’t have been in the game.
* And after yet another huge game from junior wideout Allen Robinson, NFL.com singled him out for praise—no doubt, a positive sign for A-Rob’s future employment.
Is that video of Bill O’Brien coaching practice on Halloween dressed as the Nittany Lion? Yes. Yes it is.
Mike McQueary, in context: Monday marks two years since Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g was indicted, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review marks the anniversary with a profile of Mike McQueary ’97, whose testimony will be central to the eventual trial of former university administrators. Trib staff writer Adam Smeltz ’05 mixes anecdotal perspectives on McQueary’s personality with expert opinions on how his testimony will impact the trial. A piece that might be worth bookmarking for whenever the trial gets underway.
A love story, and a lesson: Donald Ford, founding dean of the College of Health and Human Development, hopes the story of his relationship with his late wife—and how he helped manage her later years as she suffered from Alzheimer’s—is an inspiration for others. With Carol’s Alzheimer’s Journey, Ford ’56g combined tales from their six-decade relationship (including letters they wrote each other over the years) with his perspective on how, with creativity, help, and an impressive level of commitment, he was able to care for Carol at home even as her disease progressed. You can find out more about the book, including links to purchase it, here.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Settlements reached: It was announced yesterday that Penn State will pay $59.7 million to settle lawsuits filed by 26 victims of Jerry Sandusky. The settlements will not be funded by student tuition or taxpayer funds, according to officials. (See this news release for more details on how the settlements will be paid.) Said President Rodney Erickson: “We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State.”
An interesting comparison: On the heels of the announcement, Bloomberg Businessweek posted this piece, comparing Penn State’s settlements to the deals struck by the Catholic Church with four men abused by a former priest. The takeaway: Victims in both settlements received about $2.3 million each.
Get a room: On a lighter note, new research from SAS and Breffni Noone, a faculty member in the School of Hospitality Management, shows how bad online reviews can affect a hotel’s bottom line. According to the study, “consumers simply will not choose a hotel with negative reviews.” Which means I’m not the only one who won’t book a room until I’ve skimmed at least 50 reviews for the word “bedbug.”
Muppets! The next Muppets movie isn’t due in theaters until March 2014, but this fun new poster, featuring Ty Burrell ’97g, was released yesterday. According to imdb.com, Burrell plays Jean Pierre Napoleon, who—judging by this pic and that creepy mustache—appears to be a bad guy.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
We are … incredibly diverse: Check out the photos from students in John Beale’s advanced photojournalism class, who captured international students posing with their countries’ flags—and sometimes wearing traditional dress—at the Nittany Lion Shrine. It’s tough to pick a favorite, but Dan Griswold’s image of Vusal Hasanov, an undergraduate from Azerbaijan (above) is awfully striking.
So, where were you? The athletics department commissioned these excellent high-resolution, 360-degree panoramas of both the Michigan game and the opener at the Pegula Ice Arena. Click here for the football game; click here for hockey. Check them out, and tag yourself, too.
A fresh start: It should be an interesting season for the women’s basketball team with an influx of freshmen and an awesome home schedule featuring UConn and Notre Dame. One constant: senior guard Maggie Lucas. Asked Tuesday at preseason media day if opponents might gang up on Lucas because there will be so many young players in the lineup, coach Coquese Washington responded: “Well, people have been trying to take Maggie since she walked through the door, so that won’t be a change for us.” For media day highlights, check out this page from sports information which has everything from a transcript of Washington’s news conference to photos of media members—including the legendary Mel Greenberg—interviewing players. Lots of video, too.
Embarrassment of riches: There was way too much going on between 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesday night. LZ Granderson, an openly gay sports journalist, discussed the importance of straight allies in the LGBT movement (and was introduced by Bill O’Brien). Crisis communicator and author Steven Fink ’71 delivered a lecture called “What to do (and not to do) when things go wrong,” and of course a chunk of his talk was devoted to Penn State’s handling of the Sandusky scandal. You can get details by clicking here to see how my journalism class tweeted the highlights of his speech. And punk rock icon Patti Smith received the Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the Institute for Arts and Humanities—and was apparently even more awesome in a women’s studies class earlier Tuesday.
And, on a less serious note: You might think you know everything about John Urschel. Terrific offensive lineman. Math genius. Etc. And then BTN’s The Journey did this hard-hitting interview in which Urschel—and his mom—discuss how he was potty trained. Or, rather, how Urschel outsmarted, so to speak, his mom’s efforts to get him potty trained. It involves Barney diapers. You’ll get a laugh, probably. But honestly, my favorite part of the interview: Urschel’s baby pictures.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.
World class: Another ranking has given Penn Staters something to crow about. This time, it’s the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which lists Penn State 49th out of 400 institutions from around the globe. We’re one of eight Big Ten schools ranked in the top 100. You can find the complete list and details on the methodology here.
A distinguished duo: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, are coming to University Park on Nov. 4 as part of the Student Programming Association’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
Careful while canning: It’s a story that comes up every year around this time: Students who travel for canning weekends (more…)