Jerry Sandusky is upset over Penn State sanctions

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Jerry Sandusky is upset over Penn State sanctions

From Comcast SportsNet
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Jerry Sandusky is distraught over the NCAA penalties issued to Penn State's football program for the school's handling of his child sexual abuse scandal and maintains his innocence as he awaits sentencing, his defense lawyer said Wednesday. Attorney Joe Amendola told The Associated Press in a phone interview that Sandusky told him that even if people believe he is guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted in June, it would be "ridiculous" to think Penn State administrators engaged in a cover-up. The NCAA imposed a multi-year bowl ban on Penn State, invalidated 112 wins, fined the school 60 million and took away future scholarships. The university leadership said the alternative could have been a complete ban on playing games and has acquiesced to the penalties. Wednesday, the NCAA announced it had picked former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of Maine to monitor Penn State's compliance with the sanctions. Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks on boys inside athletics facilities at Penn State, where he played college football and became a successful defensive coach under Joe Paterno. "He said, To do what they're doing to Penn State is so unjust,'" Amendola said. "He loves the program and he loves the university." Amendola said Sandusky has asked county jail officials to remove him from what is effectively solitary confinement. "He continues to believe that the truth will come out at some point, and that he'll get another trial or another opportunity to establish his innocence," Amendola said. A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment. Amendola said he expects sentencing will occur in September, although a date has not been set. Sandusky, who did not testify on his own behalf during the trial, has been writing a statement to read to Judge John Cleland at sentencing that will address all 10 sets of charges. "Whether he winds up doing it despite what I tell him, is going to be up to him," Amendola said. "It's his life." He said there may not be anything Sandusky can say to prevent an extended prison sentence, but Sandusky has "a fighting spirit" and is "cautiously optimistic." Michael Boni, lawyer for the young man described in court documents as Victim 1, for which Sandusky was convicted of six counts, said the truth came out during the trial. "We care, everybody should care, about what he presents at the sentencing hearing, because it's in all of our interests that he have as long a sentence as possible, hopefully life without parole," Boni said. Amendola said work had begun on an appeal, which may not be filed until after sentencing. If Sandusky appeals to Cleland, rather than going directly to Superior Court, he would have 10 days to file, and Cleland then would have four months to rule, Amendola said. The NCAA said Mitchell will serve as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor for the coming five years, keeping tabs on the school's compliance with the sanctions and related matters. Mitchell's duties will include making four progress reports each year to the NCAA, Big 10 and the university's trustees. Also Wednesday, Cleland struck from the record a filing made by Sandusky co-counsel Karl Rominger last month that challenged an order by the judge designed to figure out if lawyers were leaking information to the media. Cleland's order on Wednesday, citing rules of legal procedure, gave Rominger three weeks to file a new version. Rominger had argued Cleland's demand for a sworn statement listing all material he obtained from prosecutors and gave to third parties would violate protections for attorney work products. A call seeking comment from Rominger was not immediately returned.

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.