McQueary: ‘I didn’t just turn and run’

0 Comments

Unless you’re one of the individuals in that one Geico commercial, you’re no doubt aware that Mike McQueary has come under a firestorm of criticism for his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that’s plagued Penn State for more than a week.

Per the testimony of McQueary, who was placed on paid administrative leave last week, the then-grad assistant witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the shower of the school’s football building in 2002.  Based on the grand jury’s presentment in the case, it appeared McQueary did nothing to stop the alleged attack, deciding instead to run and call his father, who told him to leave the building.

According to McQueary, that’s simply not the case.

In an email to former teammates obtained by NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander, McQueary said that “the truth is not out there fully”, that he “didn’t just turn and run.”  Instead, McQueary states in the email, “I made sure it stopped.”

McQueary went on to write that “I did the right thing… you guys know me” and he “had to make quick, tough decisions.”

The grand jury wrote in its 23-page indictment of Sandusky that, after McQueary witnessed the alleged rape, he “left immediately, distraught.”  Nowhere does it state that McQueary “did the right thing” by stopping the alleged rape of a child that was already in progress or by getting the young boy out of harm’s way.

The individual transcripts of those who testified in front of the grand jury were not released.  Rather, the presentment was and it was merely a summation of what was discovered during the course of a two-year-plus investigation, so it’s entirely possible McQueary testified to stopping the alleged sexual assault and it simply wasn’t included in the presentment.

McQueary has yet to speak publicly since the scandal broke, although Sandusky will tonight.  The former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator will be interviewed by Bob Costas on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” at 10 pm. ET.

Minnesota gives Fleck 1-year extension, plus raise

minnesota football
Matt Krohn/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck had his contract extended Wednesday by an additional year with a $1 million raise in annual salary, after the latest round of big spending by Big Ten rivals.

The new seven-year deal will run through the 2029 season, the university announced without releasing terms. Fleck will now make $6 million per year, a person with knowledge of the contract confirmed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been finalized.

Last week, Nebraska hired Matt Rhule and Wisconsin hired Luke Fickell to put them in the top tier of head coach compensation in the conference. In terms of average annual value, the 42-year-old Fleck is eighth in the Big Ten behind Michigan State’s Mel Tucker, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Rhule, Fickell, Penn State’s James Franklin, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. All seven of those coaches make $7 million or more per season.

The Gophers (8-4) play Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29. They’re 3-0 in bowl games under Fleck, who was hired away from Western Michigan in 2017.

Minnesota tied for second place in the Big Ten West Division this year, behind Purdue. Fleck is 43-27 overall with the Gophers, including 26-26 in conference play. They’re 0-6 against Iowa and 3-3 against Wisconsin, their primary rivals.

Fleck’s winning percentage is third-best in program history among coaches with 45 games or more, behind Henry Williams (1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (1932-41).

“What P.J. and his staff have done in a short amount of time is remarkable,” athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement distributed by the university. “He has recruited and developed some of the best student-athletes to ever play at Minnesota and his team continues to excel academically, athletically and socially.”

This is the fifth time in six years on the job that Fleck’s deal has been adjusted to keep up with the competition, as power conference coach contracts these days rarely have less than five years on them at any time. Minnesota extended his deal a year ago, too.

In that iteration of his contract, the termination fees Fleck would owe Minnesota if he were to hop to another program were bumped way up. Those numbers landed at $7 million in 2023, $5 million in 2024, $4 million in 2025 and $3 million in 2026. Details about those figures in the new deal were not immediately available.

Virginia players granted extra year of eligibility

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2 Comments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility to Virginia players whose eligibility has expired in the aftermath of the slaying of three members of the team, the school confirmed.

Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed last month as they returned to campus from a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C. A former player at the school, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., is facing three counts of second-degree murder and other charges in the shooting. A fourth player, Mike Hollins, and student Marlee Morgan were injured in the shooting.

Virginia canceled its final two games of the season after the shooting, and the team and university community memorialized the victims in a nearly two-hour service on campus. Team members also traveled to each of the three funerals held for their teammates.