Remembering One Of The Biggest Scandals In College Football

Way back in 2011 one such scandal emerged, evoking shocked groans from every corner of the football universe. Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team was indicted suddenly for a whopping 52 counts of child molestation, all of which occurred between 1994 and 2009 — only two years before the charges were made. He was convicted on 45 of those counts only one year later. He is currently serving a 30-year-sentence.

While these allegations of abuse were nothing compared to scandals like those that emerged from the catholic church or boy scout abuse by scout leaders, it still helped raise awareness about who we place trust in — especially when it comes to children and young adults, who may not know what to do or who to turn to in such cases.

What was worse than the abuse itself was the fact that at least three other people were eventually charged with trying to cover it up. School President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley were all charged with failure to report the abuse, obstruction of justice, and perjury for lying under oath. Another investigation into these counts of wrongdoing was commissioned by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

 

It was this investigation that helped uncover the fact that the aforementioned individuals — along with head coach Joe Paterno — had already been made aware of several allegations leveled against Sandusky as far back as 1998. According to the report, all of these individuals had completely ignored the allegations and failed to disclose any related information to the public. All related contracts with these men were terminated by the Board of Trustees.

 

The conduct resulted in sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The school was fined $60 million, all of its football victories from the years during which the abuse occurred were vacated, and the postseason was banned for 4 years. In addition, scholarships awarded to the school were reduced.

 

NCAA President Mark Emmert commented at the time that the sanctions were “not…just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”

 

The allegations against Sandusky only came to light after then Freshman Aaron Fisher (“Victim 1” reported molestation that had been occurring for several years. Then graduate assistance and assistant coach at Penn State Mike McQueary testified during the trial that he had caught Sandusky with a boy in the showers in an obviously sexual position on approximately February 9, 2001, and that he had reported this event to school officials (who would go on to deny that they heard those exact details).

 

One man, a former Penn State janitor, was not able to testify about a separate incident that he witnessed because he was diagnosed with dementia before the trial began. Other boys testified about many incidents, varying in sexual nature — but all illegal. 

USC Football Player Has Coronavirus

The University of Southern California (USC) might have to put its football season on hold after a player on its team tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, November 23. Certainly, the remaining players will be tested before any final decisions are made. This infection is the team’s first. The Trojans only recently returned from Salt Lake City after overcoming the Utah Utes this past Saturday night. Their season stats are now at 3-0.

The infected player has symptoms but has been placed in quarantine away from other members of the team.

USC football tweeted a statement this morning: 

“We were informed last night that a single football player tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 23. That individual had traveled with us to Utah for Saturday’s football game, and he had tested negative three times within 36 hours of travel and again on game day. All other test results on Monday were negative, and the individual was not present in the facilities or at practice on Sunday or Monday. The individual is symptomatic and has been quarantined. USC Student Health, Utah Athletics and the Pac-12 have been notified; the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be notified today. When more information is available, including  additional test results, contact tracing and public health guidance, we will provide it.”

The player was not present for practice yesterday or today. He will be asked to quarantine for at least two weeks, test negative, and then may return to the roster.

Players must test negative for COVID-19 on game days. They are also tested several times before travel to ensure that no tests provide false negative results.

Health officials expect coronavirus cases to multiply rapidly over the next few months due to the holiday season. Teams anticipate a heightened probability of new infections during this time.

What Was Different About Major League Baseball This Season?

The MLB has been hit hard by COVID-19. Some of the changes made this season occurred behind the scenes, but hardcore fans noticed almost everything. Not everyone was happy with the way this season ended. That seems obvious enough from the criticisms, which were harsh even in Tampa where the World Series finale match was played. Critics wonder if fans will bother to tune in if the MLB faces similar problems next year.

Many fans believe the increasing use of analytics to determine the future of the MLB series isn’t doing the game any good. And even the Chicago Tribune likened the end of the season to “baseball’s version of ‘Dumb and Dumber.’”

There was especially distaste for Dodgers player Justin Turner, who celebrated with his fellow players after they won the series — despite having tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dodgers President Andrew Friedman said of the decision: “For him, being a free agent, not knowing exactly how the future is going to play out, I don’t think anyone was going to stop him. From my perspective, I think he was mindful of other people. This is something we’re going to wrap our arms around tonight and in the morning and figure out where we’re going from here.”

The MLB called out the behavior as unacceptable to the standards it represents, especially when considering how the entire season played out due to coronavirus restrictions.

A statement read: “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”

It was even more concerning after the MLB did so well in maintaining those coronavirus standards throughout the series. They made it through the entire season without a single case of coronavirus infection due to players. 

The MLB will now investigate Turner for his violation of mandated protocols, even after he was warned. What will happen to him in the future is anyone’s guess, but it might be possible that we see him banned from the major leagues.

The Tribune commented on the MLB and baseball as a whole in the current era, discussing the possibility that there isn’t a single all-star player worth watching — or rather, one who forces us to watch. Players like Tom Brady or Kevin Durant don’t have equals in baseball. While there will always be Hall of Famers, their popularity will never rise to the heights obtainable in other sports.

The trusted news source also suggested that the influx of new rule changes could be doing irreparable damage to the game. One example is when home-plate colliding was banned all the way back in 2014. There is also now a universal designated hitter, which is blamed for increasing the strikeout percentage nearly 10 points in the last decade, from 16.4 percent to 23.4 percent. Is anyone interested in watched one in four balls fail to connect?

High School Sports Seasons Delayed Or Canceled Because Of Coronavirus

Sports seasons around the world have been delayed or cancelled — or, in some cases, completely transformed — thanks to the coronavirus pandemic still raging. The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in many countries around the world, but life goes on. Here in the United States, this is apparent in the way high schools have approached programs beloved by the majority of their student bodies. 

For example, in North Olmsted, Ohio, the North Olmsted City School District recently decided to cancel their high school football season after a player tested positive for coronavirus. Contact tracing protocols were immediately put into place, and another nine students were found to be infected. Two staff members tested positive as well.

Quarantines in Alaska have resulted after many patrons of a hockey game tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak occurred in part because Anchorage is experiencing a surge in cases. In only a three-day period, at least 300 students and staff tested positive in the areas surrounding Anchorage, Chugiak, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Kenai, Juneau, Palmer, Soldotna, and Wasilla.

College football hasn’t faired much better. Dozens of games were canceled or postponed by the end of October, not even ten weeks into the football season. Daily testing will be conducted by the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 in order to dutifully set new dates for postponed seasons while they decide whether or not additional cancellations are recommended. Postponements have already occurred at Houston, Baylor, Memphis, Virginia Tech, and more.

Schools and colleges around the country have transitioned to online learning for many classes, and some have canceled or postponed on-site residency — which makes it all the more difficult to implement popular sports programs. Many students — and college officials — have failed to take coronavirus seriously, resulting in additional obstacles. What members of faculty will decide to do in the future is anyone’s guess.

Dallas Cowboys Suffer Setback After Dak Prescott Badly Injured

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants have long held a rivalry with one another. But Sunday evening, when the Cowboys won against the Giants in a last-minute display of skill, it came across to fans and players both as a pyrrhic victory of sorts — or, in other words, it came at too great a cost. The game left popular quarterback Dak Prescott down and out for the remainder of the season.

Prescott incurred a serious injury: one compound fracture in his left ankle (and a dislocation in the same place). He went into surgery quickly. He’s already out, only 48 hours later. Prescott had been tackled by Giants player Logan Ryan during the third quarter. A silence fell. The stadium mob knew something was wrong. The recovery? Up to six months. And that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be able to play again, a possibility clearly on Prescott’s mind as he was carried off the field on a stretcher and in tears.

Most United States workers must file for workers’ compensation when injured on the job. Many readers have inquired whether or not NFL players who were injured are still paid full salary — i.e. millions — when they can’t actually play, or if there is something similar to workers’ comp for football players.

Like any work accident, NFL players who are injured “on the job” have an easy means of compensation. But it isn’t workers’ comp.

It all comes down to the type of contract that was signed and the amount of experience a player has. More importantly, will the team permanently remove the player from the roster? Or will the player stay on to fight another day? 

First and foremost, experience matters: if a “non-vested” player is injured and then cut, there will be a number of waivers to be signed before other teams are provided a grace period during which they can sign him over to their side. Non-vested refers to those rookie players with fewer than four years total experience in the NFL. Vested players — or those who have enough experienced to be released immediately before a season starts — can sign with anyone they like at any time.

Players who fall into different categories will receive different pay when injured, depending on whether or not they are cut from the team following that injury. For example, many players might not receive full salary due to stipulations in their contract — which will specify exactly what kind of split pay they’re looking at if relegated to the injured reserve. Rookies would make much less, while those who have been playing longer will have better deals and make much closer to their maximum pay.

Medical bills aren’t exactly a problem for football players, anyway, because they have the best insurance available — which certainly isn’t accessible to your average American. Also, they’re paid enough that the financial cost of an injury is barely felt at all. So even though they might be paid less after an injury — don’t spend too much time worrying about them. They’re fine!

When Will Sports Continue As Normal?

Our communal psyche as American citizens has been drained during the past few months, as state and local governments put into place mandatory social distancing measures to help protect everyone from the seemingly inexorable spread of the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Now, governments are on the path to lifting those restrictions (prematurely or not). This has everyone asking the question: when will sports continue as normal?

The answer is simple: probably not for a very long time. 

But everyone is adapting at their own pace. And that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to watch your favorite professional sport get played soon. Major League Soccer is scheduled to make a limited return at some point in July for a tournament. Teams will play for six weeks in Orlando. The MLS hopes they will be able to play from home soon thereafter.

The National Hockey League has yet to decide on when to return for its postseason, or how the next season will play out. We do know that the season will actually begin with playoffs, albeit with more teams than usual.

Should the players union for Major League Baseball strike a deal with owners, the next season could start as soon as July. Drop your expectations, though, because these deals are never easy — and coronavirus itself could still get in the way.

We still not sure about college football, but reports are optimistic. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said, “They sound certain there still will be college football this season.” Time will tell.

The Indy 500, originally scheduled for May 24, was moved to August 23.

These dates are all tentative. When businesses reopen and restrictions are relaxed, we can expect a large number of new coronavirus cases. This might cause governments to rethink plans to reopen (but we think not) and major sports leagues to rethink their own plans (and we think this will be the case). For now, it’s safe to say that many of these sports will be available to watch — but only from home.

What Sports Programs Have Been Closed Down Because Of Covid-19?

The novel coronavirus covid-19 is perhaps more contagious and far deadlier than most laymen understand, which is a recipe for unpreparedness. For example, the Spanish flu had a median reproduction rate of R1.8. That means if you were infected, you were likely to spread the virus to 1.8 people on average. Covid-19 has a rating of R2.3 on average. It kills around 2% of its victims as far as we know, whereas the Spanish flu killed around 2.5%.

Do the math. This virus could kill millions and destroy the economy if we’re not willing to fight it with everything we’ve got.

That’s why the people who believe others are blowing everything out of proportion are dead wrong. That’s also why governments are shutting down programs across the country and asking people not to go outdoors. The spread of this virus has also forced the closure of many high-profile sports programs because players are already infected. Does it make sense to give people the opportunity to fill enormous stadiums in close proximity to one another? 

No.

The Florida High School Athletic Association is one team that has yet to call off its current sports season, even as schools are closing around the country. We realize that the decision to take sports off the schedule is a difficult one, but it’s time to end the suspense and do the right thing.

The popular racing league Nascar will move online during the current season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one figure who has made his willingness to race in a limited edition esports series known. Live racing will not take place during the pandemic. The current season is postponed until May.

All spring competitions within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) have been canceled for the foreseeable future. 

The PGA Championship is currently being postponed indefinitely, have been previously scheduled for May 14-17 in San Francisco. The city is currently shut down while they deal with the outbreak there. The decision was leaked and has yet to be formally announced.

One New York Yankees minor league player has come down with the virus and is in quarantine. A Yankees spokesperson has reported that the player’s symptoms are dying down.

The French Open tennis tournament has been pushed from May until September.

The Kentucky Derby has been pushed from May until September.

The UFC has finally postponed currently scheduled events after public backlash for continuing to maintain its schedule. 

President Dana White said, “It’s just impossible. We can’t do it.”

The NHL has postponed its current season by at least a month.

Check back for more updates!

The Most Controversial Part Of Super Bowl LIV Was The Halftime Show

  1. Lo and Shakira have certainly sparked a lot of right-wing controversy since they performed the halftime show wearing about as much as you might expect. The display is hardly controversial by today’s standards, but somehow we’ve managed to turn it into something that it isn’t. 

Alex Abad-Santos for Vox wrote: “Considering the NFL’s contentious relationship with stars like Rihanna and Cardi B — both Rihanna and Cardi, along with other musicians, have said they won’t perform for the league because of its treatment of Colin Kaepernick — it’s something of a marvel that the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show boasted kinetic talent in the form of superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (especially compared to Maroon 5, who headlined the halftime show in 2019). The call to book the duo was facilitated by Jay-Z, through his still relatively new partnership with the NFL; the women made history as the first Latina artists to headline the Super Bowl halftime show.”

And shouldn’t that have been the most important part of the halftime show? That two popular Latina singers have made history at Super Bowl LIV? Maybe, but it wasn’t. Christian activist Dave Daubenmire announced plans to build a lawsuit against the NFL, Pepsi, and a few others because he is now “in danger of hellfire” and eternal damnation because of the show.

Daubenmire said, “I tuned in to watch a football game. I didn’t tune in to watch a porn show.”

We should also mention that Daubenmire hosts a podcast, and might, you know, just be whoring for attention. When asked about the companies he plans to sue, he said, “I’m sure we can dig up a few more.”

That should tell you all you need to know about the point of his lawsuit. It’s not about what he saw. He’s suing Pepsi because they sponsored the show. He’s also trying to get the lawsuit class-action status, which would allow anyone who watched the Super Bowl — and certainly those who actually attended — to attach their names to the litigation. Sounds crazy? Well, it’s 2020. We’re getting used to it.

He said that the show was especially insulting to Christians. Daubenmire said, “That’s discriminatory against the values I have in my house — you can’t just do that. I want to sue them. I want to sue them for about 867 trillion dollars.”

We can only say: “Good luck.” You chose to turn the TV on to watch the show, and you chose to turn it off. No one chose for you. And that’s exactly the way a judge will see it. You can’t claim someone discriminated against your values when they didn’t chain you down to watch.

Super Bowl LIV: San Francisco 49ers VS Kansas City Chiefs

It’s not exactly what we expected when the season first started, is it? But it’s how the season will finish, and we’re thrilled — primarily because so much of what will happen is a mystery. Both teams have their flaws and both teams have their merits. It’s anyone’s guess which team will thrive against the other team’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Mike Sielski tweeted about some of the skewed expectations some fans have: “If you’re still hoping Andy Reid and the #Chiefs fall on their faces in two weeks, you’re so tribal and blinkered in your allegiance to the #Eagles and so attuned to his shortcomings and imperfections that you can’t see him for what he is: a genuinely great coach.”

This is an especially poignant statement since Andy Reid has racked up a whopping 221 wins in his time with the NFL, which is more than any other coach — who hasn’t won a Super Bowl. He last stepped foot in that arena with the Eagles in 2004, but couldn’t seal the deal. Should he lose this time too, it will be a heavy blow to face.

The Chiefs haven’t played in the Super Bowl since their 1969-1970 win in Super Bowl IV. That year marked the last time that a season ran while two distinct organizations — the NFL and AFL — duked it out. They merged into one before the 1970-1971 season.

Meanwhile, while San Francisco has a better overall record of making it to the Super Bowl, it’s worth pointing out that the 49ers were a trainwreck last year. The team actually made it into the history books alongside the Benagals and Rams, having successfully powered their way into the Super Bowl after having won four or fewer matches the season prior.

The 49ers, should they come out victorious, will tie the Steelers and Patriots for the most Lombardi Trophies won in the history of the Super Bowl.

Who do you think will win? Kansas City is known for its “quick-strike” offensive plays while the 49ers are known for an insanely successful throwback through balanced defense and offense. We’re not sure how this formula will play out during a Super Bowl matchup. Both teams, their coaches, and their fans are motivated to get out there and win. It could go either way, and it could be tremendously exciting no matter which way it goes!

No matter who you’re rooting for, one thing is for certain: we’re all sick of the Patriots and it’s about time!

Another Hazing Scandal Reduces De La Salle High School Football Team By Three

Hazing rituals have been popular on American campuses for more than a century, but authorities are only beginning to crack down on the bad behavior now — and mostly only because public awareness of how bad hazing can get is more pervasive than it used to be. But are hazing rituals becoming common at high schools too?

A new scandal out of De La Salle High School has resulted in the indefinite suspension of at least three football players who, police say, will probably face criminal charges.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said that the hazing ritual involved sexual harassment with broomsticks, but there was no obvious case of sexual assault. “There was no penetration,” he said. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office will likely file charges after the police file their own report. 

Dwyer described the three players as uncooperative. Their parents forbade them from speaking to the police without an attorney present. Other players on the team — apparently even those who have not been charged — have hired criminal defense attorneys because of the alleged incident.

Investigators interviewed 59 De La Salle High School football players and six other school officials, Dwyer said. According to the report the investigators will file, the players have been a united front against providing details, and only one victim has been located.

Dwyer said, “The students were very guarded … The coach indicated he had no knowledge whatsoever about the incident and that he wouldn’t tolerate it.” Of the kids, he continued: “We need their cooperation. We want their cooperation. … Hazing is a very serious issue.”

The allegations come at a bad time for the De La Salle High School football team, because they were scheduled to be in the playoffs the same day the authorities began their investigation. Because of the hazing incident, the school was forced to forfeit a separate game the night before. 

The school notified parents via email: “We have recently discovered a series of hazing incidents conducted by several players on our varsity team. And many players on the team appear to have been aware of such hazing but failed to report it.”

That’s a good description of the larger problem — elsewhere, these incidents often go without notice until someone is seriously injured because students don’t step forward out of fear of retaliation. De La Salle said, “The hazing has deeper roots, and is more pervasive than originally thought.”

More details of the incident are expected in the coming days and weeks as the prosecutor’s office files charges against at least three players on the team.