Penn State is weighing settlement options

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Penn State is weighing settlement options

From Comcast SportsNetHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The lawyer brought in by Penn State to help settle Jerry Sandusky-related claims said Monday that he recently gave university officials monetary settlement offers from most of the people asserting they were molested by the former assistant football coach.Attorney Ken Feinberg told The Associated Press that he delivered the demands to Penn State administrators, lawyers and members of the board of trustees during a meeting Friday in Philadelphia."The next step is Penn State -- we'll see how Penn State responds in the next few weeks," Feinberg said.Asked about the meeting, a university spokesman declined to comment. Reactions by lawyers for the claimants ranged from hopefulness to no comment. None would say what dollar figure he or she is seeking.Feinberg "has assured us that within a degree of somewhat certainty, like 85 percent, he thinks he can get our case settled," said Harrisburg attorney Chuck Schmidt, whose client's lawsuit is on hold. "So far as it moving forward, I'm cautiously optimistic."Bala Cynwyd lawyer Mike Boni, who represents Aaron Fisher, the young man whose story launched the investigation into Sandusky and who wrote a book about the abuse, said Feinberg's response to his settlement offer was "hope springs eternal.""He said what he had to say, which is, You're asking for too much, I'll see what I can deliver,'" Boni said. "At the end of the day, I don't think we're all that far apart."Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term for the sexual abuse of 10 boys over 15 years, including attacks on children inside Penn State athletics facilities. Penn State's president issued a statement the day Sandusky was convicted in June, vowing to settle "privately, expeditiously and fairly."Feinberg disclosed last month that he was working with 28 claimants, 18 more than were the subject of Sandusky's criminal trial. He emphasized Monday that not all claimants have made settlement demands.Also Monday, a Penn State trustee called on the university governing board to re-examine the findings of former FBI director Louis Freeh's school-sanctioned investigation into the scandal.A critique released this weekend by Joe Paterno's family raised "serious and troubling" questions about Freeh's findings, trustee Alvin Clemens said in a statement.Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh was among the experts brought in by the Paterno family to review the Freeh report, which concluded that Paterno and other university officials covered up allegations against Sandusky to spare the university bad publicity. The family's review said the cover-up claims were inaccurate, were unfounded and equated to a "rush to injustice."Freeh has defended his work and stood by his findings. He has called the Paterno family's review self-serving and a campaign to shape the late Hall of Fame coach's legacy.Paterno died in January 2012 at age 85.The NCAA levied unprecedented sanctions on Penn State less than two weeks after Freeh released his stinging findings in July.Freeh's firm was hired by the board of trustees to perform "an independent, full and complete investigation of the Sandusky scandal," said Clemens, a trustee since 1995. "In addition to questions about accuracy and fairness, there is little question that the Freeh report is less than complete."Through a spokesman, the school declined comment on Clemens' request.Penn State had said Sunday that Freeh was brought in to conduct an independent investigation of the school's response to the allegations, and not actions of entities unrelated to Penn State. Freeh offered 119 recommendations to strengthen governance and compliance, the majority of which have been implemented, the school said.Freeh's report has never been formally discussed by the board as a whole. At the time of its release, trustees said they had accepted responsibility for failures of accountability.The public should devote equal time reading the Paterno family's critique and the Freeh report, said another trustee, former football player Adam Taliaferro. He joined the board last summer, but was not a trustee at the time of Paterno's firing in November 2011.In a phone interview, Taliaferro said Monday the board was off to a good start in implementing Freeh's recommendations. "But for me, personally, it wouldn't hurt for us to look at both sides ... There are always two sides to a story," he said.Paterno's family offered its answer to the Freeh report on Sunday, with experts attacking what they called flawed techniques and a lack of evidence.Paterno's widow, Sue, and three of the Paternos' children spoke with Katie Couric in an interview that aired on her syndicated TV show Monday. Former NFL linebacker and Nittany Lion standout Greg Buttle defended Paterno on the program as someone who would have taken issue and "taken care of it" if the coach knew of Sandusky's crimes."Joe Paterno didn't conspire to do anything," Buttle said. "The conspiracy to me was perpetrated by a cabal of trustees, and others that felt they needed a convenient way out to relieve Penn State of what had happened."

McAdam: Amid the champagne flowing, a focus on Farrell’s fight

McAdam: Amid the champagne flowing, a focus on Farrell’s fight

NEW YORK - Scenes from a celebrating clubhouse, late Wednesday night:

*As champagne flowed and was sprayed to every virtually corner of the visitor's clubhouse, plots were being hatched.

Some mischevious players gathered to plot out their plan of attack and select a new victim.

Once all teammates had been targeted, the focus shifted to others -- preferably the nicer dressed visitors.

Principal owner John Henry, dressed in a suit, was spared - both out of decorum, and, one senses, self-preservation. In past years, someone like Kevin Millar might have entertained such a notion, but this group lacks that same sort of bold figure.

Then, finally, the group spied manager John Farrell being interviewed across the way. The group -- mostly pitchers -- assembled and then circled the manager before finally dumping bottle after bottle of champagne on Farrell's head.

But this display went beyond prank. There was a genuine affection for the manager as the surrounding players whooped and hollared and the the bubbly flowed.

"He's a fighter,'' remarked Mookie Betts. "He instilled that in us. You fight to win.''

Torey Lovullo, who managed the team in Farrell's absence last year and has been a close friend for years, was overcome with emotion.

"I told him I loved him,'' Lovullo said. "For what he's done, to come out on the other side health-wise....he's the leader of this team. It's very satisfying for all of us that have been behind him.''

Players messed his hair, patted him on the back, and Farrell, with a huge smile, stood and -- literally -- soaked it in.

For the past few days, Farrell had gone to great lengths to turn the focus away from his personal story -- one that saw him beat back cancer a year ago -- and turn it back to the players.

Hours before the clinching, Farrell had deflected a few questions about his own story, insisting he wasn't the centerpiece to what had taken place.

But for a few minutes Wednesday night, he was.

 

*While there were prominent veterans celebrating a division title — from 40-something David Ortiz and Koji Uehara to team greybeards such as Dustin Pedroia -- it was hard not to notice the number of young players under 26 who form the Red Sox’ foundation.

Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada are all young and still improving.

With Ortiz headed to retirement, Uehara eligible for free agency and uncertainty surrounding others, it's clear that the young core will form the nucleus of Red Sox teams for years to come.

The organization's hope is that that same group will help ensure against the up-and-down trajectory of recent seasons -- last, first, last, last and now first again.

"I think the way baseball's going these days,'' Henry told the Boston Herald, "if you don't have good young players, you're in trouble.''

"Looking ahead,'' added Pedroia, "we've got a lot of young players who are just going to get better.''

 

Rex Ryan’s erratic act is his lone consistency

Rex Ryan’s erratic act is his lone consistency

With the Bills 0-2 and sinking slowly in a morass of dysfunction last week, Rex Ryan was anything but his corny, wise-cracking, false-bravado-bringing self. He was subdued before the Bills took on the Cardinals.

Now, with the Bills having spanked Arizona and the Patriots up next, Rex is back at it with the erratic, putting forth an eyebrow-raisingly bad Bill Belichick impersonation to start the week then parachuting into a conference call with Julian Edelman posing as a Buffalo News reporter.

He’s the guy at the house party knocking over the chips and drinks at 9 p.m. and wondering where the motherscratching karaoke machine is because he wants to SING!!

Asked to account for the behavior change from last week to this, Rex’ verbatim response was a look into his addled mind.

“I was still myself, I think just part of it. This week, look guys, we know who we’re playing. When you look at the ESPN deal, I think they’re ranked number one---I don’t know. Like I said, they’re number two, but I don’t think we’re ranked number one so---look, we know the task is going to be a big one. The quarterback thing, yeah you got to be prepared and you actually have to be prepared for three different guys. They’re no dummies, they’re leaving it out there, they can know who it is, I get it. They’re certainly not going to do us any favors.”

Give that a quick re-read.

My verbal syntax and wandering trains of thought aren’t evidence of an ordered mind either, so I do empathize with Rex. But neither am I the head coach of one of 32 entries in the NFL, a pretty high-profile league in which an ordered presentation from the guy in charge is usually a positive.

I spoke at length with Tim Graham – who really does work for the Buffalo News – during our Quick Slants Podcast this week.

Rex’ constant insistence on his own authenticity feels to me like a misdirection. He chooses who he’s going to be and how he’s going to be each week. That’s the only consistent thing about him, other than the fact that he is an eminently likable guy specifically because he is so vulnerable.

 For a guy that wants to projecting an image of a guy who just doesn’t give a s***, he spends a lot of time thinking about this stuff.  

“I learned a long time ago, you got to be yourself in this league and that [acting like Bill Belichick] wouldn’t have worked,” Ryan explained. “If I tried to be like Bill Belichick that would never work for me, just like, not that he ever would, but if he’s going to try to be like somebody else, that ain’t going to work for him. And so, at least one thing we have in common is the fact that we know you better be yourself in this league and look, I think it’s hilarious when he’s on there because that’s who he is but it’s great and he does it better than anybody else. Some guys that try to copy that style, they’re phonies. Belichick does it, that’s who he is. [Gregg] Popovich is probably the closest thing in the NBA. Like those guys are classics but that’s who they are and they’re fantastic and I think the record speaks for itself but you talk about a consistent guy, Bill Belichick is the most consistent guy there is and I try to be consistent, albeit in a much different way.”

Consistent in his inconsistency. Great fun at parties. No way to go through life as an NFL head coach.