Posts tagged ‘NCAA’
The biggest takeaway from a panel discussion Wednesday night titled “The Future of the NCAA and its Membership,” I thought, came at the end. And it didn’t come from either of the biggest names on the panel: Gene Corrigan or Cedric Dempsey, both former NCAA presidents.
It was R. Scott Kretchmar, Penn State’s former NCAA faculty representative and current professor of kinesiology, who said, “I think one of the difficulties that faculty and others who love Penn State are having at this time is, the issue of knowing that we need to move forward—we can’t keep tilling the soil; we have to get on with it—but the circumstances under which we’re now suffering were so unusual that it’s very difficult to do that.
“And so there may be a period of time where we have to ask questions: Were we treated fairly? Was there any kind of justice here? But eventually, we’re going to move on. Penn State’s strong. We’re going to have a good future.”
Those were the questions on everyone’s mind Wednesday night, and Kretchmar accurately described the mood of the crowd, a mix of students and townspeople.
Look at the title of the event, which was (more…)
We asked our intern, Erika Spicer, to attend Joe Posnanski’s talk Friday at the HUB. We’ve read and written so much over the past 10 months about Paterno and his legacy, and we were interested in Erika’s perspective—both as an undergraduate, and in particular as a journalism major. Here’s what she came away with.
As I sat in my plastic chair in Alumni Hall waiting for Paterno author Joe Posnanski to speak, I mulled over the fact I probably wasn’t going to learn anything new.
I am so tired of listening to people rehash the events surrounding Joe Paterno, I thought to myself, feeling a twinge of guilt as I sat among some Paterno supporters. With the release of Paterno in the midst of a new era for Penn State football, I knew where a lot of this discussion was headed Friday afternoon.
As I predicted, questions like, “How do you think Joe Paterno would feel about the NCAA sanctions?” popped up when moderator Malcolm Moran, director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, which sponsored the talk, gave audience members the opportunity to ask Posnanski questions. Not that I could blame them –– after all, Posnanski not only spent (more…)
As if the events of the past two weeks haven’t been upsetting enough on many levels, now it’s being reported that Joe Paterno has been diagnosed with “a treatable form of lung cancer,” according to a statement released by one of Paterno’s sons, Scott.
According to this story from The Patriot-News, the 84-year-old coach was diagnosed after being hospitalized during the Nebraska game last Saturday. The Citizens Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., published a report earlier Friday saying that Paterno had been treated Wednesday night at an on-campus “infirmary” and at a local hospital.
Here’s the text of Scott Paterno’s statement, which was provided to The Associated Press:
“Last weekend my father was diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness. He is currently undergoing treatment and his doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery. As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment.”
This news is just the most shocking of what turned out to be an eventful day.
The Faculty Senate passed a resolution asking for an independent investigation into the situation, conducted by a committee with no ties to Penn State. The NCAA announced it will investigate Penn State for, essentially, a lack of institutional control. (Clicking on this link from Penn State Live will take you to a PDF of the NCAA’s letter from President Mark Emmert.) And The New York Times reported that The Second Mile, Jerry Sandusky’s charity, is going to fold.
All of this happened within about three hours this afternoon. The Paterno and Second Mile stories broke within an hour of each other. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Coquese Washington and Julia Trogele walked in with sniffles and moist, red eyes. Nikki Greene just looked dazed. The coach and two players who represented the Lady Lion basketball team in front of the media late Monday had different ways of showing it, but the pain was evident on the faces of all three.
Their season was over. The end had come swift and cruel.
Penn State lost to DePaul Monday in the second round of the NCAA tournament, falling 75-73. The final points came on a pair of DePaul free throws with 4.9 seconds left, turning a tie game into a deficit the Lady Lions simply ran out of time to erase. That they led for nearly 39 of the game’s 40 minutes only magnified the sting.
Afterward, they fulfilled their obligation and met the press, Trogele, a senior captain, talking willingly while Greene, a soft-spoken sophomore who appeared overwhelmed by the moment, sat silently next to her. I only covered the Lady Lions twice this season—the first time being a regular-season loss to Michigan State—so I didn’t have a great sense of what makes these players and coaches tick.
On Monday, I saw enough to come away thoroughly impressed.
It was Trogele, a versatile starting forward, (more…)
I felt terrible Thursday for the guys on the Penn State basketball team, but as someone who has closely followed the team this season, straddling the line between media member and unabashed fan, I didn’t actually feel that bad myself. To lose an NCAA first-round game that way—on a contested last-second shot against Temple—was brutal, but it’s also what makes the tournament great. All those shining moments and fantastic finishes inevitably leave one side feeling crushed.
On Thursday, Penn State was just one of a few teams to see its season end in the dying seconds. There will be many more over the next couple of weeks. Had the Nittany Lions gotten the ball last, we’d be talking about their chances Saturday to pull a bigger upset and make the Sweet 16. That’s how it goes.
Consolation? Well, sure, in a sense. As Talor Battle (pictured), moments after the final game of his remarkable career, summed up, “For the rest of my life, I’ll know that we didn’t just come out here and get beat. It took a heck of a shot to beat us.”
Penn State athletes are far from done in NCAA competition, though. The Big Ten champion wrestling team was in first place after the first day of the three-day NCAA championship tournament, placing seven wrestlers into the quarterfinals of the winner’s bracket. As of early Friday afternoon, the Lions had four wrestlers through to the semis, and looked to be locked in an extremely tight battle with Cornell in the team standings. It should come down to the wire on Saturday night.
And on Saturday morning, the sixth-seeded Lady Lion basketball team opens NCAA play with an 11 a.m. tipoff against Dayton at the Bryce Jordan Center. You can find more information here.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Senior Alyssa D’Errico is president of Penn State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board, which is the sort of thing you might put at the top of your resume if it didn’t mean bumping “four-time NCAA champion.” A co-captain last season with the women’s volleyball team, D’Errico is a back-row specialist who also possesses one of the nastiest jump serves on the squad. We caught up with her in January and asked her to explain that serve — and give us a shot at returning it. She said yes. Ouch.
“I may have shanked that.”
That’s me trying to handle a couple of those serves. Alyssa says that she and sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter have had their serves clocked at 62 mph — tied for fastest on the team — and that they average in the mid-to-high 50s. It’s all about momentum: Alyssa starts with her weight on her right foot, bounces the ball twice, takes three steps (left, right, left), tosses the ball nearly 20 feet in the air, leaps, and swings. In baseball parlance, she can aim for a spot and drill it (fastball), hit a “floater” that acts a bit like a knuckleball, or make it slice like a curve.
As for returning that serve? (more…)
Death, taxes and the Penn State fencing team winning national championships. There aren’t many things in life you can count on, but just about every year at this time, it’s a relatively safe bet that Emmanuil Kaidanov will bring another NCAA trophy back to Happy Valley. The longtime coach and his squad did just that over the weekend at Harvard, posting 191 points to edge second-place St. John’s (182) and third-place Notre Dame (180) for the national title. It’s the second in a row, fifth in the past 10 years, and 12th overall for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions did it with quality and quantity: Freshman Margherita Guzzi Vincenti (pictured) from Milan, Italy, was Penn State’s only individual champ, winning the title in women’s epee, but the Lions reached the finals in four of six events. That finish lifted Penn State from third place — where it stood entering the final day of competition — to first when it mattered most.
You can find complete results here.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
How excellent to open my New York Times this morning and see this centerpiece sports story on the women’s volleyball team, its 98-match winning streak, its quest for a third straight NCAA title, and its one-of-a-kind coach, Russ Rose.
The reporter, John Branch, gets Rose exactly right, from his magnificent disregard for propriety to his penchant for sweaters (my husband and I have always thought the Young Men’s Shop should offer “The Russ Rose Collection”) to his low-key sideline demeanor. If you’ve ever wondered why Rose is always scribbling in a notebook rather than, say, watching the match or giving instructions to the players, this article will introduce you to his shelves of three-ring binders and arcane system of statistics.
Of course, Rose never misses anything. Assistant coach Kaleena Davidson, a former Penn State player, told the Times, “He knows everything you’d want to know. And everything you don’t want him to know.”
A subhed in the print edition sums up Rose really well: “Under Coach Russ Rose, the Penn State women’s volleyball team has not lost a match since September 2007. He will leave it to others to care.”
Enjoy the story. And weigh in on the Times’ college sports blog, The Quad, on how the Nittany Lions’ 98-game winning streak ranks in NCAA sports history.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Thanks to alumnus Ken Wilson for calling my attention to this opinion piece in Tuesday’s New York Times. Bobby Bowden has been publicly critical of the NCAA for the sanctions against Florida State that might cost him 14 football victories and widen Joe Paterno’s lead over him. The Times writer comes down pretty hard on Bowden.
Tina Hay, editor
In today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, sports columnist Ron Cook makes an argument that doesn’t get talked about as much as it perhaps should: Joe Paterno, and not Bobby Bowden, deserves to be college football’s all-time winningest coach because Bowden earned 31 of his wins at Howard College (now Samford University), which was not a Division 1-A school.
“According to the NCAA’s bizarre guidelines,” Cook writes, “a coach gets to count all of his wins against four-year schools—regardless of the level—once he has coached 10 years on the Division I-A level.”
Paterno currently holds the lead with 383 wins; Bowden is one win behind him.
Cook thinks both Bowden and Paterno should both retire in any case; he says JoePa has “stayed on long past his expiration date.” He adds: “It’s pretty ridiculous that he coaches from the press box during games and often from home during the week.” But it sounds like Cook wouldn’t be sorry if the NCAA sanctions announced last week against Florida State end up costing Bowden some of his wins.
Tina Hay, editor