Joe Paterno fired as head coach from Penn State

583928.jpg

Joe Paterno fired as head coach from Penn State

The Joe Paterno era is officially and forever over at Penn State University.

Penn State University Board of Trustees met with the media Thursday night to announce the ousting of PSU head coach, Joe Paterno, and PSU President, Graham Spanier.

"The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the Penn State community," board vice chair John Surma said at a packed press conference filled with media and angered fans. "But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place. The Penn State Board of Trustees tonight decided that it is in the best interest of the university to have a change in leadership to deal with the difficult issues that we are facing. The Board of Trustees and (PSU President) Graham Spanier have decided that effective immediately that Dr. Spanier is no longer President of the university. In addition, Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach, effective immediately."

Paterno has been in hot water over the last week after reports that he turned a blind eye to alleged child sexual abuse by then assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, back in 2002, when it was told to Paterno by then grad assistant, Mike McQueary, now receivers coach at PSU.

On Nov. 5, 2011, Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys from 1994 to 2009. He was reportedly seen at the PSU gym as recently as two weeks ago.

Paterno was told of the news of his firing by phone prior to the press conference. Shortly after, hoards of student supporters began to form outside his home, prompting him to go outside and acknowledge the supporters.

Paterno also released a statement on the Board of Trustees' decision to fire him from his position:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it.

A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.

I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."

In the aftermath of the announcement, PSU students filled campus streets, rioting and chanting "One more game!" in hopes that Paterno would coach Saturday's game against Nebraska. Windows were smashed, rocks and objects were being thrown at police offers and media, and a news truck was flipped.

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno released a statement saying that he would retire from his head coaching position at the end of the year, a statement that was met with much criticism outside the PSU community.

"This is a tragedy," Paterno said then. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

Spainer also released a statement in wake of his ousting as President.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now. 

 

 

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

When trying to figure out what the Patriots will ultimately do with Jimmy Garoppolo, forget about the speculation and instead focus on the little things the team does. 

Like how they are tending to Jacoby Brissett. 

After having thumb surgery on Oct. 7, Brissett was put on IR. But the team used its one "Get off of IR free card" on Brissett and he's been practicing with the team for the past couple of weeks while not taking up a roster spot. 

That alone isn't compelling evidence that he's the backup-in-waiting and Garoppolo's about to be packed up and shipped out, argued my compadre, Senator Phil Perry. The team had no other players on IR that they could use the designation on at the time. Why not use it on Brissett?

Prior to that, though, we've seen Brissett accompanying the team to away games including the cross-country junket to San Francisco. A reason? Since the Patriots played three straight at Gillette at the start of the season when Brissett was the direct backup to Garoppolo, he didn't get a good look at the road operation and the tempo of being the visiting team. How things work on flights, in meetings, at opposing stadiums and on the sidelines is worth getting a promising young players' eyes on. Also, getting his offensive teammates used to having him around is probably an even bigger benefit. It's not unprecedented to have IR players travel but its not conventional practice either. 

With so many quarterback-needy teams around the league, Garoppolo is perhaps the most attractive option out there. By the end of this year, he will have apprenticed three seasons behind the best quarterback of all-time in a sophisticated offense for a program that's as demanding as any in the league. In the 10 quarters he was able to play as a starter in place of Tom Brady, he was sensational.

He got hurt and that's not great. But any team making a deal for him that has concerns about his durability can take him for a spin for one season. Garoppolo is on the books for $825K in 2017 and then his contract is up. The team that dealt for him can franchise him if they need another season to think on it. 

I don't think the Patriots are itching to move Garoppolo. They know they are sitting comfortably with a stack of the most valuable commodity in the sport -- good quarterbacks (or at least one great one and two promising ones) - piled in front of them. They can let the game come to them. 

If it does, as former Patriots executive and Bill Belichick consigliere Mike Lombardi thinks it will, the Patriots can rest easy dealing Garoppolo knowing that they already did advance work getting Brissett up to speed.