Ex-Penn State coach indicted on child sex charges

0 Comments

Yeah, this story is as uncomfortably nauseating as the headline suggests.

According to the Patriot-News, former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been indicted by a Centre County (PA) grand jury on multiple sex abuse charges involving children.  The charges, which stem from an investigation that lasted more than two years, include felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of someone under 16; aggravated indecent assault; indecent assault of someone under 16; indecent assault of someone under 13; and corruption of minors charge.

All told, Sandusky is facing 40 counts from incidents that allegedly occurred in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2005.  Sandusky retired from the Nittany Lions following the 1999 season, after which he began devoting his time to running a children’s charity he had founded in the area.

In a story from March of this year, when the grand jury investigation first came to the public light, the Patriot-News relayed a disturbing incident alleged to have occurred in May of 1998 in a locker room located in the PSU football building and involved the alleged inappropriate contact of a 12-year-old boy by Sandusky.

According to several sources, that boy, who was 12 at the time, alleged he and Sandusky were showering in the football building on Penn State’s campus when the incident took place.

The boy’s mother told The Patriot-News she was specifically instructed by state police at Rockview not to speak with a reporter. Her name is being withheld by The Patriot-News to protect the identity of her son.

According to sources close to the investigation, the boy told police in 1998 that Sandusky had showered with him in a locker room of the Lasch Building — home to the football program — during a tour. The boy claimed Sandusky washed his body during the shower, sources said.

It’s unclear if that alleged incident led to any of the charges Sandusky is currently facing, although the paper noted at the time that those allegations had not led to any charges.

In January of this year, legendary Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno and athletic director Tim Curley were among the PSU officials called to testify in front of the grand jury regarding the case against the former coach.  The allegations against Sandusky surfaced two years prior to those appearances by PSU officials, with a 15-year-old high school student accusing Sandusky of touching him inappropriately while the two were alone in a high school gym.  Sandusky was an assistant football coach at Central Mountain (PA) High School at the time.

One final note on this sad tale: the title of Sandusky’s autobiography, published in 2000, is “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story”.  No, seriously.  It is.

UAB to hire ex-NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer as head coach

Matthew Diggs/USA TODAY NETWORK
1 Comment

UAB has hired former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer as its next head coach on the eve of his high school team’s state championship game, the university’s athletic director announced.

The 50-year-old Dilfer won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 during a 14-year NFL career. He’s making a big leap to the college ranks after leading Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, to three state title games in four seasons as head coach.

That includes one scheduled for Thursday morning against Christ Presbyterian Academy, meaning Dilfer would have to hustle back to Chattanooga after his introductory news conference. He takes his first college job with lofty ambitions for a program set to leave Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference starting next season.

“Having the opportunity to lead such a quality program like UAB is one that I am beyond excited about,” Dilfer said in the school’s news release. “The investments the university has made for UAB football aligns with my vision of taking this program to new heights as we join the American Athletic Conference and compete annually for the highest prize of playing in the College Football Playoff.”

A former first-round draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1994, Dilfer retired in 2008 and went into broadcasting, working for ESPN as an NFL analyst until 2017.

At the same time, Dilfer became involved in the Elite 11 quarterback camp for the top high schools prospects in the country.

Lipscomb Academy, a private Christian school, is 12-0 this season and 25-1 the past two years. Dilfer has led Lipscomb to a 43-10 record overall.

“Trent is a proven winner on and off the field at all levels and will be a tremendous leader for our program,” UAB athletic director Mark Ingram said. “He is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who played the game at its highest level for many years, and he has coached some of the top quarterbacks who are currently NFL franchise players.

“Trent’s goals and vision for our program is to lead UAB to the College Football Playoff and we have no doubt that he is the right coach to lead our transition in the American Athletic Conference.”

Early in the 2021 season, Dilfer issued a public apology after a video on social media showed him pushing and shouting at one of his players. The player was the son of a former NFL teammate of Dilfer’s, kicker Phil Dawson.

Dilfer replaces Bill Clark, who stepped down in August, citing back issues.

Offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent was named interim coach and led the Blazers to a 6-6 record this season. UAB is set to play Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 16 in the Bahamas Bowl.

No terms were announced pending formal approval of Dilfer’s contract from the Board of Trustees.

UNC’s Drake Maye rides star-making season into ACC title game

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Drake Maye has put up big numbers all season for No. 24 North Carolina. Now he has a chance to lead the Tar Heels to something more: an Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

The second-year passer has played so well that he stirred national buzz as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. Those hopes dwindled after two straight losses for some late-season adversity, but he can still lead the program to its first ACC title in more than four decades against No. 10 Clemson in Charlotte.

“It’s just literally a dream of going out in an NFL stadium, playing against a team the caliber of Clemson – it gets you anxious,” Maye said. “At the end of the day, it’s why you play the sport of football.”

North Carolina (9-3, 6-2 ACC) opened the season with uncertainty about how much they’d get at quarterback after the departure of star quarterback Sam Howell to the NFL. But Maye beat out Jacolby Criswell in a preseason position battle, then looked nothing like a youngster in his first season as a starter.

He leads the Bowl Subdivision ranks in total offense (373.0 yards per game) and is tied for fourth in FBS with 35 touchdown passes, just two behind national leaders C.J. Stroud of Ohio State and Clayton Tune of Houston.

Maye has also thrown just five interceptions on 440 attempts – a rate of 1.1% in an aggressive offense that pushes the ball downfield – and leads his team in rushing yards.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney knows plenty about Maye. The Tigers recruited him out of Huntersville, a town about 20 minutes north of Charlotte. Swinney said he expected Maye would end up with the Tar Heels as an instate product.

Maye did so after reversing a commitment to Nick Saban at Alabama.

“He is a very creative player, and a very confident and poised player,” Swinney said.

Maye led UNC to its first-ever 6-0 road record this season – all by seven or fewer points – and the last Coastal Division title in the league’s final year in the two-division format with a win at Wake Forest. But the Tar Heels have followed with losses to Georgia Tech on Nov. 19 and rival North Carolina State.

Those losses were the only games this season Maye hasn’t thrown at least two scoring passes.

Offensive coordinator Phil Longo pointed to N.C. State’s veteran defense giving alternating looks to Maye. Sometimes it was applying more rush pressure to force Maye to get the ball out of his hands. Other times, it was dropping eight players into coverage to force Maye to be patient without as many deep looks.

“Our successful drives, I thought we did a great job of being patient,” Longo said. “And on the drives where we didn’t, I thought we weren’t patient. Maybe we forced a ball or we didn’t adjust our route the way we need to or hit the run where we needed to.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get some of that from Clemson,” Longo continued. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see that more in the future because it’s a way to maybe minimize explosive plays.”

UNC hasn’t won an ACC title since 1980, back when eventual NFL star Lawrence Taylor was the Tar Heels’ All-American linebacker. That was three years before Maye’s father Mark began his career as UNC’s quarterback and eight years before Mack Brown‘s first coaching tenure began in Chapel Hill.

If Maye can lead the Tar Heels past the Tigers, he’ll have a championship run of his own to brag about with his brothers.

One older brother, Cole, was part of Florida’s run to the NCAA baseball title in June 2017. That came roughly three months after another brother, Luke, hit the last-second jumper to send UNC to the Final Four and ultimately win the NCAA men’s basketball title on the way to becoming an unexpected star.

“Team success at the end of the day is what counts in the family, that we brag about,” Maye said. “So I think an ACC championship, that’s a pretty big deal.”