The latest on the Penn State sex scandal

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The latest on the Penn State sex scandal

From Comcast SportsNet
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State police and their counterparts in State College said they had no record of a former graduate assistant reporting a sexual assault by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on a 10-year-old boy in a campus shower, a detail that runs counter to claims made in an email to former teammates. The police response to Mike McQueary's claim that he reported the alleged assault came shortly after a lawyer said Wednesday that he had a client who would testify that he was sexually abused by Sandusky, who is accused of abusing eight boys, some on campus, over 15 years. "I am appalled by the fact that Mr. Sandusky has elected to re-victimize these young men at a time when they should be healing," Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi said in a statement released by his office. "He fully intends to testify that he was severely sexually assaulted by Mr. Sandusky." The client is not the same boy McQueary told a grand jury he saw being sexually assaulted by Sandusky in a shower on university property in 2002. McQueary, who is now an assistant coach but has been placed on administrative leave, wrote in the email given to The Associated Press that he had "discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police" about what he saw. In the email, McQueary did not specify whether he spoke to campus or State College police. State College borough police Chief Tom King said McQueary didn't make a report to his department. Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz said campus police also didn't have any record of a report filed in 2002 by McQueary. Mountz noted that the 23-page grand jury report was the state attorney general's summary of testimony, so it's unclear what McQueary's full testimony was. McQueary and a law firm representing him did not return phone calls Wednesday. Pennsylvania lawmakers are starting to plan for a special commission that will examine the legal issues raised by the child sex-abuse scandal, which has raised questions both ethical and criminal about why allegations of abuse went unreported for so long. The scandal has resulted in the ousting of school President Graham Spanier and longtime coach Joe Paterno, and has brought shame to one of college football's legendary programs. Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Vice President Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down. Schultz and Curley are charged with lying to the grand jury and failure to report to police, and Sandusky is charged with child sex abuse. All maintain their innocence. The commission being set up by Pennsylvania lawmakers will consider changes to state law in the wake of the scandal. The plan was described as being in the planning stage, including meetings of leaders and their aides. Topics are likely to include mandatory reporting of suspected abuse, and the legal definition of child abuse, said Senate Democratic spokeswoman Lisa Scullin. Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, appeared with him on NBC's "Rock Center" on Monday night and cast doubt on the evidence in the case. "We anticipate we're going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say, This never happened. This is me. This is the allegation. It never occurred,'" Amendola said. Sandusky, 67, appeared on the show by phone and said he had showered with boys but never molested them. It remains unclear how many accusers have surfaced more than a week after state police and the attorney general's office said at a news conference they were seeking additional potential victims and witnesses. Andreozzi said he has his "finger on the pulse" of the case and knows of no accusers changing their stories or refusing to testify. "To the contrary, others are actually coming forward, and I will have more information for you later this week," Andreozzi said. State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said investigators have told her that published accounts reporting how many people have come forward are inaccurate and they are not disclosing their internal figures. Some plaintiffs' lawyers are starting to advertise on their websites for potential Sandusky victims, vowing to get justice. Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney, has long represented clergy abuse victims and told The Associated Press that he has been retained by several people he described as Sandusky victims. "There's a great deal of fury and confusion," particularly because Sandusky is free on bail, Anderson said. "Getting (them) help and cooperating with law enforcement is our first priority." The "time for reckoning," in the form of civil lawsuits, will come later, Anderson said. Anderson declined to say whether his clients are among the eight boys who were labeled as victims in the grand jury report. A new judge has been assigned to handle the charges against Sandusky. The change removed a State College judge with ties to a charity founded by Sandusky for at-risk children, The Second Mile. Sandusky is due in court on Dec. 7, and a Westmoreland County senior district judge will preside over his preliminary hearing. Robert E. Scott is taking over the hearing from Centre County District Judge Leslie Dutchcot. Dutchcot has donated money to The Second Mile, where authorities say Sandusky met his victims. The office said Scott has no known ties to Penn State or The Second Mile. In State College, Penn State announced that David M. Joyner, a physician and member of its board of trustees who played football and wrestled for the school, will serve as acting athletic director, replacing Curley on an interim basis. New details have also emerged about how the case ended up in the hands of the state attorney general's office. Former Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said that his wife's brother was Sandusky's adopted son. "I reviewed it, and I made the decision it needed to be investigated further," Madeira said. "But the apparent conflict of interest created an impediment for me to make those kinds of decisions."

Collins' new contract may influence Patriots' negotiations with Hightower

Collins' new contract may influence Patriots' negotiations with Hightower

FOXBORO -- Jamie Collins and the Cleveland Browns are reportedly closing in on a contract that will turn the ex-Pat's place of exile into his long-term place of work. 

That's interesting in itself. The Browns must have made it clear to Collins he was getting franchised, otherwise you'd think Collins would want to get out there and test the market for at least a couple of days when free agency rolled around. 

It will also be interesting for Collins' former teammate in New England, Dont'a Hightower. While the Patriots aren't going to let the Browns dictate their market and offers when it comes to negotiating with Hightower, Collins' contract will be a useful comp for Hightower. 

Whatever Collins gets, Hightower can make the case for a fair amount more. Hightower is the centerpiece of the Patriots defense, a run-stopper, blitzer, leader and tone-setter. From the jersey number (Tedy Bruschi's old number 54) they encouraged him to wear, to selecting him captain, the team and Hightower's teammates have stated how important he is to the club. 

Hightower on the open market would be in line for a contract in the $10 million-per-year range, with a total value of around $50 million (using Luke Kuechly, Navarro Bowman, Bobby Wagner and Lawrence Timmons as comparable players). The Patriots can franchise Hightower just as easily as the Browns could have franchised Collins. The sticking point for the player is that he doesn't realize the windfall of guaranteed money that comes with a long-term deal. The injury Sword of Damocles dangles every day. 

In other words, Collins' influence on the Patriots isn't done yet. 

Report: Chip Kelly was scheduled to meet with Bill Belichick recently

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Report: Chip Kelly was scheduled to meet with Bill Belichick recently

FOXBORO -- Might Chip Kelly be working for the Patriots at some point in the near future? One report calls New England a "logical" landing spot for the former Eagles and 49ers head coach. 

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Kelly "was headed to New England to meet with [Bill] Belichick" once he found out that he was no longer in the running for the offensive coordinator job in Jacksonville. 

Kelly was fired by the 49ers after one season as head coach and has been interested in continuing his career as an NFL coach, per Mortensen. Kelly coached the Eagles for three seasons, going 26-21.

Belichick openly threw his support behind Kelly after he was let go by Philadelphia on New Year's Eve in 2015.

"I would say it's actually disappointing," Belichick said at the time. "Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach. He does a great job. I think he's done a good job with that team. It's disappointing to see . . . Pretty much everybody's on a one-year contract in this league. I don't know how you build a program in one year. 

"Chip's a great coach. He'll end up somehwere and he'll do a great job there. I'd say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren't really doing too much for anybody else, either."

Mortensen opines that the Belichick-Kelly connection would make sense because of their tight bond. 

"The friendship between Kelly and [Belichick] is no secret," Mortensen wrote. "They have exchanged football concepts since Kelly's fast-tempo offense became the rage at Oregon."

Per Mortensen, Kelly was considered an asset by executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, and he was in the running for a job there, yet new coach Doug Marrone saw Kelly as a bad "philosophical fit." 

Apparently that led to Kelly's planned visit here. 

There is history of the Patriots hiring friendly faces during the postseason. In 2012, Belichick re-hired Josh McDaniels to work with then offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who was set to take over Penn State's program after the season. McDaniels -- who had been the offensive coordinator for the Rams earlier that year -- re-claimed his role as offensive coordinator in New England the following season and has been in-house ever since. 

Kelly has no experience as one of Belichick's employees -- McDaniels, of course, rose through the coaching ranks in New England before being hired as head coach in Denver in 2009 -- but perhaps he is a candidate to fulfill a role similar to the one McDaniels was given before Super Bowl XLVI.