Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Uses Guilt by Association to Bring Down Good Men

Written by buzz. Posted in sports

Written by: Ken Fallon

And now, ladies and gentlemen, your Class of 2013 inductees into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame!

Barry Bonds is pictured as a young baseball player, and later in his career.

Barry Bonds, who made his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot this year, is shown as a young baseball player (left), and later in his career. Bonds is at the center of baseball’s steroids scandal, which caused voters to elevate no one to the Hall of Fame this year.

If that announcement had actually been made, if a ceremony were to be held for this year’s inductees, the only thing that might show up on stage would be a cricket or two.

You see, the Baseball Writers Association of America has spoken, and its members decided no one deserves to join the hall this year. There are just two many question marks, they say — question marks that revolve around the idea of who used performance-enhancing drugs, about who cheated.

OK, I get it. I understand the desire to keep steroids out of baseball’s most hallowed institution.

Barry Bonds juiced. Or did he? A jury convicted him of obstructing justice because of his denial during his 2003 grand jury testimony about whether he used PEDs. Ironically, the grand jury deadlocked on whether he actually lied to them.

Roger Clemens juiced. The Mitchell Report said so. Jose Canseco said so. But, of course, the jury didn’t concur.

Sammy Sosa juiced. The New York Times said so. Never mind that it was an anonymous test. Everyone believes the Times.

Rafael Palmiero and Mark McGwire, making repeat appearances on the ballot? Guilty by self-admission.

But everybody? All 37 on this year’s list?

Curt Schilling made a good point; everyone was guilty. Either you used PEDs, or you did nothing to stop their use,” said Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. “This generation got rich. Seems there was a price to pay.”

Really? The entirety of Major League Baseball was either using steroids or turning a blind eye to them?

Guilt by association works if you want to lump Bonds with his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, a convicted steroids distributor and money launderer. But to say that you can’t vote for, say, Craig Biggio, because he was one of roughly a thousand people who played major league baseball at the same time as Bonds or Sosa or Clemens? Isn’t that a stretch?

Biggio, in his first year on the ballot, was respected enough to earn the highest number of nods among Hall of Fame voters this year, but he was still 39 votes shy of the 427 needed. One of the hardest working players in the game and holder of numerous Houston Astros records, he thinks he was bypassed because of his first-year status, but also because of the company he kept on that ballot.

“I think it’s kind of unfair, but it’s the reality of the era that we played in,” he said. “Obviously some guys are guilty and others aren’t, and it’s painful for the ones that weren’t.”

How about Mike Piazza, considered by many as one of the best hitting catchers to play the game? Or consider Biggio teammate Jeff Bagwell? Neither Piazza nor Bagwell has been linked to steroids, other than by rumor, but they must have used PEDs, right? Look at what was expected of them when they were drafted. Look at their early career numbers compared to their major league numbers. Look at how their bodies changed over time.

Such allegations are as egregious and unfair as the Department of Homeland Security interrogating every Muslim it sees in an airport. But in an era where the latest rumor can spread on social media faster than a Randy Johnson fastball, it doesn’t take long before allegations take the place of legitimate debate and hard evidence.

Players like Biggio, Piazza and Schilling (and even Bonds, Sosa and Clemens) are first-year balloters who have many more years to convince the voters otherwise. But unless the baseball writers admit that none of them has a crystal ball spelling out who used PEDs and who didn’t, the guilt by association will take down some good men who did nothing wrong — except grow up in the wrong era.

Brandon Roy Returns to NBA in Timberwolves Uniform.

Written by buzz. Posted in sports

Written By: Tom McKay

Brandon Roy shoots over Marcus Thornton in Minnesota's opener vs. Sacramento.

Brandon Roy shoots over Marcus Thornton in Minnesota’s opener vs. Sacramento.

Two years after his second NBA All-Star game and one year after an early retirement due to knee injuries, Brandon Roy has returned to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Roy played in the Wolves’ regular-season opener Friday against the Sacramento Kings, recording 10 points, six assists, and five rebounds in 30 minutes, helping the team collect their first win in what is a hopeful season for the 28-year-old guard.

His health will be the major question mark this year. Wolves coach Rick Adelman has said that he and Roy plan to adjust Roy’s role as the season goes on, until they have a clearer picture of how Roy’s knees will handle the long, grueling NBA season. His 2-year/$10-million contract is certainly a risk on the part of Minnesota’s management. If Roy is unable to maintain a certain level of play due to his health, the Timberwolves could potentially use their amnesty clause on him.

Roy, averaging a career 19 points per game, was entering his prime two years ago as the Portland Trailblazers’ undisputed leader, before being derailed by a degenerative knee condition. His final season with the Blazers was comprised of limited playing time and frustrating performances for a player who was once heralded as the best shooting guard in the Western Conference not named Kobe Bryant.

However, the season also ended with one of the most memorable playoff comebacks in Blazer history against the Suns, orchestrated almost solely by Roy. It was a flash of his former brilliance which had Portland fans pining for the return of their superstar’s old form, and kept Roy in the backs of any potential NBA General Managers looking to improve their team via Free Agency.

Minnesota saw just such an opportunity.

Asked about his performance in Friday’s game, Roy said “I think as far as playing I feel good, but it’s just getting the legs back.” As far Roy’s talent goes, there is no cause for Minnesota’s staff to be concerned. Roy provides the Timberwolves with exactly what a promising young team needs: veteran leadership and a strong locker room presence. Roy’s ability to handle the ball, make plays, and draw defenses should take pressure off young, second-year point guard Ricky Rubio and franchise bigman Kevin Love, particularly late in games when Roy has proven himself as a capable finisher.

Only time will tell whether Minnesota’s experiment will pay off, but Roy is optimistic about his return, as are his many fans.

New Orleans Hornets’ Future Looks Bright

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Written By: Brendan Nienhaus

The New Orleans Hornets’ future looks bright, despite a year plagued by misfortune. Following a tumultuous year in which the New Orleans Hornets suffered from the loss of their two star players, being owned and operated by the NBA, and a lock-out-shortened season plagued by injuries and inconsistencies, the Hornets’ future is finally looking up. First, the Hornets and the State of Louisiana agreed to an extension to keep the team in the New Orleans Arena through 2024 in March. Then, New Orleans Saints’ Owner Tom Benson agreed to buy the team from the league in mid-April for a reported $338 Million. Then, fortune continued to smile on the Hornets when they were awarded the top pick in the June 28 NBA Draft during the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30. It seems fate was finally beginning to smile on the Hornets, and their beleaguered fan-base, after the turbulent past year.

The New Orleans Hornets’ misfortune began last year when the NBA bought the Hornets from previous owner George Shinn for fear that any of the interested buyers would try and relocate the team to another state. This created uncertainty for the franchise and helped convince their two star players, David West and Chris Paul, to leave the team. West left for the Indiana Pacers via free agency while Paul requested a trade. After an up-and-down course of events, this finally led to Paul landing with the Los Angeles Clippers. These events made it incredibly difficult for the Hornets to attract free agents to the city, so the team was forced to field a very inexperienced team.

Then came the lock-out shortened season where the Hornets were besieged by injuries and inconsistent play that led to the worst record in the Western Conference at 21-45. Guard Eric Gordon, obtained in the Paul trade from the Clippers, missed all but nine games with a knee injury and subsequent arthroscopic-knee-surgery. Both starting G Jarrett Jack and Forward/Center Jason Smith missed significant time with injuries to accompany a slew of missed games from other Hornets, including 39 missed games from C Emeka Okafor. It seemed the Hornets misfortune would never end.

Slowly but surely, however, the Hornets’ fortune finally started to take a change for the better. In December, the Hornets reached their sales goal of selling 10,000 season tickets. This seemed to increase the team’s marketability and soon potential buyers were becoming interested. This also helped motivate the state to work out a long term deal to ensure the Hornets remained in the area through 2024. Soon, Saints owner Tom Benson decided to step up and purchase the team to ensure that it remained in New Orleans.

Benson: “We really never stopped talking to them (the NBA). With out of state owners. . . . I called David (Stern, NBA commissioner) and said, ‘Look I’m the only guy you can count on who’s really going to stay here. Let’s work this thing out.’ “

Optimism began to spring anew for the Hornets’ fans, once again, and they would soon be rewarded with yet another fortuitous occurrence: winning the rights to the first overall pick in the June 28th NBA Draft, despite only having a 13.7% chance of doing so. The team is expected to take the consensus best player in the draft, Kentucky F Anthony Davis. This along with promising comments from G Eric Gordon about his willingness to return to New Orleans, has Hornets General Manager Dell Demps excited.

“This is the start of a new beginning. We’re hoping for the best. I think we have a good core right now, and we’re looking forward to building for the future and be good for a long time.”

Indeed, despite all of the injuries and inconsistencies the Hornets have faced during this past season, they did receive some promising play from their younger players like G Greivis Vasquez, F/C Gustavo Ayon, and F Al-Farouq Aminu, who was acquired in the Paul trade with the Clippers. Coupled with ample salary-cap room (even before an expected move of either Emeka Okafor’s or Trevor Ariza‘s expensive contracts), a new owner, a new longtime lease agreement with the state and two lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, the Hornets’ future is looking bright again.

LeBron James Wins Third NBA Most Valuable Player Award

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Written by: Kidist Amanuel

The Miami Heat’s forward LeBron James was named the MVP of the 2011-2012 NBA season on Saturday, May 12, 2012, making this the third time James has won the award.

LeBron James became the first Miami Heat player to win the MVP award, and he graciously accepted the trophy in front of the media and his teammates. “I haven’t been nervous like this in a long time,” James said. “I don’t know why. I just think back to where I come from.” James, hailing from Akron, Ohio, is one of only eight players in NBA history to win the award three or more times. This short list of players includes legendary players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson. A great list to be a part of, right? Unfortunately, he is also the only player out of this eight that has not won a championship, which he addressed during his acceptance speech. “We have a bigger goal,” James said. “I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me.” He even mentioned that he would give all his three MVP awards back for a championship.

LeBron James wins third MVP award

LeBron James Accepts Third MVP Award

James received a total of 1074 points, including 85 first-place votes, in this MVP race that was tallied from 120 sportswriters and broadcasters and one NBA.com MVP fan vote. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for second-place, five for third, three for fourth, and one for each fifth place vote. Rounding out the top five in order in voting are Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, and San Antonio’s Tony Parker.

In this shortened season of NBA due to the lockout, James posted impressive numbers and led the Heat to a 46-20 record and the second seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. He averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. He shot career-best 53 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three-point field as well. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month in January and February and Eastern Conference Player of the Week six times.

When his career comes to an end, LeBron James might match and even pass the record for most MVP awards, which currently stands at six. He is one of the most versatile and arguably the best player in the league right now. As Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers pointed out, “LeBron is an MVP candidate every year. It is just who he is. He only does everything. So I don’t know what more you can ask from him.”

Los Angeles Clippers Win Playoff Series

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Written by: Kidist Amanuel

The Los Angeles Clippers advance to the Western Conference semifinals after beating the Memphis Grizzlies on May 13, 2012 in game 7 of their first round series.

Just for the third time in the 41 years history of the franchise, the Clippers have won a National Basketball Association (NBA) playoff series. In this best of seven series, the Clippers led the series 3-1, but the Grizzlies hold off elimination twice to tie the series 3-3. Game 7 was a tough, physical game, but the Clippers defeated the Grizzlies on their home court to advance to the second round of playoffs and to faceoff the San Antonio Spurs.

Los Angeles Clippers Advance To Western Conference Semifinals

Los Angeles Clippers Advance To Western Conference Semifinals

This series had it fair share of dramatic moments. It ended up being one of the more interesting first round series this year. The first game featured one of the greatest comeback victories in league history. Down by 27 in the second half and 24 points with eight minutes left in the game, the Clippers put together an incredible 26-1 run to steal game one and thus home court advantage from the Grizzlies. The Clipper lost game two and the series was tied 1-1 when the teams went to Los Angeles for game three and four.  Similar to game two, game three was a closely contested game and the Clippers won the game by one point. The Clippers then went on to win game four of the series and get a commanding 3-1 lead, pushing the Grizzlies to the brink of elimination. However, the Grizzlies bounced back and got right back in the series with wins in game five and six by playing their brand of bruising style of basketball. Game seven, which was played in front of the Grizzlies home crowd, was another closely contested game, but the Clippers held on to win the game and thus advance to the next round of the playoffs.

The strong game of point guard Chris Paul during the series is one of the reasons the Clippers are advancing right now. The addition of Chris Paul during the 2011 off-season revitalized and automatically made the Clippers a championship contender team for the next few years. The addition of Chauncey Billups and Mo Williams has also given the team one of the best backcourts in the league. With star power forward Blake Griffin already on the roster, it was no surprise that the Clippers made the playoffs this 2012 season, even if many did not expect them to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Defending Champs Dallas Mavericks Eliminated in First Round

Written by buzz. Posted in sports

Written by: Kidist Amanuel

The NBA defending champions, the Dallas Mavericks, have been eliminated from the first round of the 2012 playoffs after being swept by Oklahoma City Thunder in four games.

The number two ranked Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the best teams in the league throughout the season, were the clear favorites against the number seven ranked Dallas Mavericks when the series started. The veteran Mavs started the best of seven series by playing the first two games on the road. The Mavs lost these two games by a total of four points. They lost the first game on a heartbreaking game-winning shot at the buzzer by Kevin Durant, NBA’s leading scorer. Similar to the first game, the Mavs led in the final minutes of the second game, but once again could not close it out with a win. While the two games in Oklahoma City could have gone either way, game three of the series was a different story. Back in their home turf, the Mavs were expected to bounce back and win the two games at home. Unfortunately, game was not a close game. The Thunder led throughout the game and it was a rout from start to finish. The Mavs put on a valiant effort in game four, but behind the great game of James Harden, 2012 sixth man of the year, the Thunder won the game and clinched the series, effectively sweeping the Mavs.

Dallas Mavs Eliminated in First Round

Dallas Mavericks lose to OKC Thunder in first round of 2012 NBA playoffs

Just a little less than a year ago, the Dallas Mavericks hoisted the first championship trophy in the club’s history. So what happened? How did the Mavericks become just the second team in NBA history to be swept out of the playoffs the year after they win the championship? The roster changes that took place during the off season played a major role.  The Mavericks lost important role players that helped them during the championship run. Defensive and emotional anchor, center Tyson Chandler, was traded to the New York Knicks. Back-up point guard Jose Barea, who played a major role in numerous games, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Mavericks traded these two players and a few others to open up cap space and prepare for 2012 free agency, showing that their main priority for the season was acquiring top free agents and build for the future rather than defend their championship. Will this pay off? We will have to wait and see in the 2012 off season.

Student-Athlete Compensation Controversy

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Student-athlete

The ultimate student-athlete

 

Written By: Amy Pritchard

 

The seemingly endless ethical debate over whether or not student-athletes should receive payment for athletic services is complicated to say the least. Focus needs to be redirected to a more important question, should college athletic revenues be put back into academics?

There are books written on the debate, articles, and reports. In an informal survey I found that five out of every 10 people believes student-athletes should be paid. Everyone has an opinion, but let’s not forget that the student-athlete is a student first. There’s even a campaign by State colleges supporting this. However, with the time commitment and physical demands placed on said student, their athletic performance seems to cast a shadow over their academics. Given the current economic strains on higher education, fewer applicants are being admitted into colleges and tuition fees continue to rise. How can colleges offer an incentive to the student-athlete beyond the academic scholarship, to complete a college degree prior to entering the professional sports arena?  How do we shift our priorities from athletics to academics? Many report the scholarship is fair compensation. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics the average cost of a four-year degree is $21,189. Student-athletes earn this as well as up to $200,000 for living expenses, training, and academic services. Yet, some scholarships fail to cover a lot of the expenses incurred throughout four years of college and there is no guarantee that an annual athletic scholarship will be renewed for every returning student-athlete.

What is a student-athlete scholarship worth? Or, what is a student-athlete worth? If student-athletes are to be paid, do all players of all sports get paid the same? Much like Title IX allocates student-athlete scholarships equally between the sexes. If student-athletes were compensated, would the compensation be spread out equally between the sexes?  Seth Davis, in an article for Sports Illustrated states, “If applied in the free-market, or professional athletics, the answer is no, so in the end are student-athletes more fairly compensated across the board with scholarships, tutoring, and living expenses?”

We want to focus on the big numbers generated by the big programs. Two-thirds of the University of Texas at Austin’s annual revenue of $143.6 million dollars is generated by football. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano earns $2.03 million with bonus whereas a professor’s salary is $142. If the revenues were evenly distributed throughout each educational institution, how would that affect every student’s college experience? If more importance and value was placed on the degree earned while participating in college sports, would this effect the level of importance Americans place on professional sports?  “In fact, every NCAA dollar should go toward its mission, $10.8 million contract with CBS and Turner: The reality is that more than 96% of that money – which will be an average of $740 million each year – goes to the NCAA conferences and schools. 40 percent of NCAA expenditures sustain championships, programs and services.”

The NCAA’s mission is “to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.” Does the college experience, opportunity to earn a degree, obtain coaching, training, and academic assistance not constitute a paramount experience?  I understand the concern of exploitation of our student-athletes and the possible negative impact corrupt booster gift giving may become if the NCAA lifted the current standards.  If said standards were lifted, will the corrupt gift giving and incentives get out of hand without regulation? Some argue the students are already being exploited. Seth Davis ponders, “[A]s the father of three children under the age of eight, I can only pray that someone “exploits” my sons someday by giving them tuition, room and board at one of America’s finest universities.”

 

A hand balances a basektball atop a finger and books atop the basketball.
The juggling act of the student-athlete.
 
In an article by Frank DeFord he echoes the sentiments of a Bloomberg report stating revenues incurred by college athletic programs should be put back into academics. “In an environment of fiscal strain confronting state governments, the New Brunswick, New Jersey, school is emblematic of rising tension over funding of athletics at the expense of academics” (Bloomberg). Out of 120 college athletic programs only 14 are profitable, that doesn’t even include the traditionally nonrevenue sports. It stands to reason that there is not a one-size fits all solution to this dilemma.  In an economic climate that puts strain on department budgets, some with cuts of $40,000 for photocopies and computer-scanned testing materials, and others with entire social studies department having their office phones removed in an effort to cut spending, can we justify spending even more? When cuts start effecting the learning environment, out-of pocket expenses for instructors and students, it is only reasonable to look at spending as well as revenue across the board. With headlines touting millions of dollars in revenues, we turn to athletics. It’s easy to look at the big programs and apply their situation to all institutions.
 
Seth Davis’s article is intended to rebut Taylor Branch’s article in The Atlantic. The one thing they both seem to agree on is that the system needs to be fixed. Student-athletes are students first and as such, greater importance should be placed on their education. Where there’s big money, there’s controversy and where there’s controversy people listen. Everyone is worried about the exploitation of the students, what about the exploitation of our educational system, one in which states are enforcing detrimental cuts. Why aren’t we focused instead on the broken educational system in our country?

Cut Like an Afro: Underwood Released From Pats Hours Before Super Bowl XLVI

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Tiquan Underwood BEFORE learning he wouldn't be playing in the Super Bowl after all

Tiquan Underwood BEFORE learning he wouldn't be playing in the Super Bowl after all

Looks like a Patriots’ fan favorite will be sporting his freshly ‘Pat’ed high-top afro from the rafters of a suite as Bill Belichick releases Tiquan Underwood less than a day before Super Bowl XLVI.

In what many describe to be a yet another classless move by Belichick and the New England Patriots, wide receiver Underwood was taken through the motions of team photos, flying family and friends out for the big game, and relishing the whole day as an integral part of a team that many believe will take another Super Bowl win–all to be told a mere 20 hours before game time that he’s being cut and rookie Alex Silvestro is being promoted from the team’s practice squad in his stead.

Silvestro has only played in one game this season and has made two tackles. In response to the bombshell drop and with more class than his coach, Underwood tweeted, “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION… Good Luck To The New England Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates… #PatsNation.“ Equally painful is knowing that this bit of “business” is only to increase the likelihood of playing wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, a prime-time paid player that has only had 15 catches the entire season, but has also never played in the Super Bowl. Underwood, has only had  3 catches in 5 games, but his exuberance and anticipation was rising to the tune of a supremely explosive cog in the Patriots’ offense. While the Patriots have maintained that Underwood is still welcome to return to the team next season and will still receive a ring if they happen to win the Super Bowl, this classlessness makes you wonder if Underwood would even want accept it after having his hopes dashed the night before the big game. Makes you wonder who he’ll be rooting for come game time. And even though the New York Giants can’t sweep him away and make Underwood a part of their roster, it makes you wonder if Underwood will call the Giants and, in a Deepthroat-like voice, say, “I have information you want. Meet me before the game. It’ll make all the difference.”

While the Patriots have consistently made moves like this in order to keep their lineups fresh for each game, Belichick is consistent in his rudeness too. Known to many as a cheater and sore loser, Belichick has infamously walked off the field before the game clock expired  during Super Bowl XLII, despite being told by referees to show sportsmanship and remain on the field. Moves like this make the New England Patriots gain more protesters than fans.

Kyle Williams Receives Death Threats After Loss

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Kyle Williams after fumble.

Abject desperation ravages 49ers Williams after fumble.

Written by: Nick Mingay

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams received death threats from disgruntled fans this week after his two muffed punts cost the team a win and trip to the Super Bowl.

After the game, many came out in support of Williams, but others used social media sites to send threats of all kinds at the second year receiver.

“I hope you, your wife, kids and family die, you deserve it,” one tweet said on Williams Twitter account.

Williams got near a rolling punt during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. The ball hit his knee and was recovered by the Giants near the 49ers red zone. The second punt was in overtime, Williams fielded it but proceeded to fumble. It was recovered by the Giants Devin Thomas and from there it was an easy field goal for the Giants.

The 49er family was crushed by the loss, but they stood by Williams after his turbulent end to the NFC Championship game.

“There’s some comfort when your teammates come and give you a pat on the back and say we win and lose as a team,” Williams said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday.

Williams was shocked by the threats made on his life. He spoke about an imaginary line between players and fans in professional sports, some people cross the line and don’t even think twice about it.

“People just write blindly and I guess that’s to be expected  with how open Twitter is,” Williams said on ESPN Radio’s “Hill & Schlereth” on Monday.

Williams did receive some uplifting support from a seven-year-old boy from Los Angeles. The boy, Owen Shure, after being heartbroken by the 49ers loss was asked how he thought Williams felt after his missteps lead to the loss. Shure proceeded to write a letter to his favorite perturbed athlete. The letter told Williams to be proud of the season he had and that Shure would always be his number one fan. This was a welcome sight to Williams after all the negative feedback he had received from fans.

The death threats Williams received are part of the game though. No one understands this more than his father, Kenny Williams, the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox. He has received threats on many occasions for his sometimes questionable trades and free agent signings.

“I’m used to the years of criticism and threats on my life from time to time, but I have to hear about threats on your son’s life while you’re watching TV and it certainly makes you question the culture of sports as it stands,” Kenny Williams told ESPN Chicago.

As for Kyle Williams, all he can do is seek solace in the off-season and come back next year to win back 49er fans that have left him for dead.

Joe Paterno, legendary Penn State football coach, dies at 85

Written by buzz. Posted in sports

Written by: Shauna Bannan

Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno

Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno.

Joe Paterno, former Penn State University head football coach and admired figure among collegiate sports, whose reputation was shattered amid a child sexual-abuse scandal, died Sunday of complications from lung cancer.

The death was announced by his family in a statement Sunday morning.

“He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been,” the family said. “His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.”

He was readmitted to Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College on Jan. 13, nearly a month after being released from suffering a pelvis injury. His cancer treatments were “really taking a lot out of him,” a family friend said.

Paterno served as head coach for 46 years, winning a record 409 games with five undefeated and untied seasons and two national championships. He became the winngingest head coach in Division I football history on Oct. 29, 2011. The game was the last of 548 games Paterno coached.

Within days, Jerry Sandusky, Paterno’s defensive coordinator, was arrested on multiple charges of sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year time span, some at the time he served on the staff. The alleged incidents occurred outside the Second Mile, a charity to help at-risk youths, founded by Sandusky.

Trustees believed that Paterno should have taken further action to have Sandusky arrested after hearing information that the former defensive coordinator assaulted a young boy in the shower, witnessed by former assistant coach Mike McQueary. Paterno said he had informed Tim Curley, the athletic director, about the incident, but did not alert law enforcement authorities.

He announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of the season, but the school’s board of trustees fired Paterno on Nov. 9, 2011, enraging Penn State students, alumni, and fans throughout the nation. Assistant coach Mike McQueary and athletic director Tim Curley were fired as well.

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

Paterno is survived by his wife, Sue, and five children, all graduates from Penn State. His devotion and great efforts as a coach and symbol have left Penn State University, as well as the nation, in shambles.

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