Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is the new, independent athletics integrity monitor at Penn State, the NCAA announced Wednesday.
Penn State's football team returns for a preseason workout Tuesday as it heads into its first season in decades without iconic head coach Joe Paterno, who passed away in January during the tempest of a sex abuse scandal.
Built into the by-laws of most sports Halls of Fame is something called a "character clause."
ESPN talk show hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg of "Mike & Mike" weigh in on Penn State's new sanctions from the NCAA.
When my phone rang just a few seconds after the NCAA sanctions were handed down Monday, I knew it was someone from Penn State calling, likely outraged that our beloved university was being punished so harshly. I've received these calls all week.
So we're off with the 16th season of Monday morning quarterback. Pro football is the sport that never sleeps, and I was fortunate on my vacation to have union czar DeMaurice Smith, Colts rookie tight end Coby Fleener, Washington GM Bruce Allen and inspirational Tampa Bay defensive tackle Eric LeGrand writing, allowing me to sleep peacefully every Sunday night -- boy, I already miss that -- knowing the column was in good hands.
Penn State's legal battles continued Wednesday with the university's primary general liability insurer filing a motion claiming coverage should be denied because the administration failed to disclose what it knew about former coach Jerry Sandusky's behavior, according to legal documents.
Penn State's football future is hanging in the balance after the NCAA slapped the program with devastating penalties.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association's sanctions will devastate Penn State football for years to come. They will also harm the university as a whole, with consequences felt not only in the athletic and budget departments, but probably in the development and admissions offices, too.
Within 24 hours, Joe Paterno's statue at Penn State University came down and his record as the winningest coach at the top level of college football disappeared.
The NCAA president says Penn State's fines will help fund programs that serve the victims of child sexual abuse.
Penn State is removing the statue of Joe Paterno from outside the stadium.
The NCAA will not levy the so-called "death penalty" against Penn State, a source familiar with the case tells CNN, but there will be "significant, unprecedented penalties" that are "well beyond what has been done in the past."
It's still not clear what the future holds for Nittany Lions football after a child sex abuse scandal implicated top Penn State officials and placed a former assistant coach behind bars.
CNN's Erin Burnett talks to the son of Joe Paterno about the latest investigation into the Sandusky sex scandal.
After years and years of over-the-top stories attesting to the character, honor, integrity and moral fiber of the late Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, we now know, after reading the 267-page Penn State internal report on child predator Jerry Sandusky, that Paterno was nothing more than a narcissistic, arrogant coward.
I remember attending a speech by Bob Woodward when I was a senior at Penn State. Woodward, then completing "Bush at War," his first of four inside-the-room books about the Bush administration, opened his lecture by thanking the audience for welcoming him to "Joe Paterno University."
Former FBI chief Louis Freeh finds that officials at Penn State failed to protect the victims of ex-coach Jerry Sandusky.
Here are some key passages from a report on an internal Penn State review into how the school handled allegations of child sex abuse by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky:
SI.com has learned that Fox Sports is aggressively pursuing ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews for a role at its network. The network's executives recently met with Andrews regarding a major role in Fox's college football coverage.
For the first time in the history of NCAA Division I college football, there will be a playoff system, starting with the 2014-2015 football season.
The ongoing playoff talks have dominated the Mailbag thus far this offseason, and now they're about to affect the publishing schedule. In an attempt to keep these columns from becoming outdated six hours later, you'll notice this one went up a day earlier than usual (Tuesday), in advance of Wednesday's BCS meeting in Chicago. Next week's (yes, we're going weekly now) will be pushed to Thursday in order to include any possible outcome of the June 26 presidential meeting. And the following week, we'll go back to Tuesday (July 3), albeit to beat the holiday.
STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- In the old days coach Matt Senk would try to avoid showing recruits the baseball field. Among the quirks of Stony Brook's home diamond was a small slope down the rightfield line that meant players sitting in the dugout could only see above the uniform letters of the rightfielder. First basemen chasing foul pop-ups with their heads turned toward the ball would often trip on the unexpected downhill.
So much of college basketball's preseason centers around the talk of the players and the teams that are expected to have a successful season. Luke Winn has even developed his own formula for determining who will have a breakout year. But rarely do we go back at the end of the year and take a look at who failed to live up to those expectations.
Three people, including two former Auburn University football players, were killed late Saturday and three others were wounded in a shooting in an off-campus apartment complex in Auburn, Alabama, police said Sunday.
When Harvard athletic director Bob Scalise was announcing Tommy Amaker's hire five springs ago, he called it a "rebirth" for the school's long-dormant basketball program. Given the university's world academic standing, it was the perfect word choice for the situation. Most programs rebuild or reload or recover, but not Harvard, which essentially was starting from scratch, never having had accomplished much of anything in the modern basketball arena. This was to be germination fueled by determination. Harvard needed to become a seedling before worrying about seeding.
The surprises began with the very first pick of the 2012 MLB draft -- when the Astros selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa instead of the widely expected choice, Stanford righthanded pitcher Mark Appel -- and didn't stop there. Here's a quick look at the winners and losers from the first round and the compensation round.
While college basketball has morphed into more and more of a young man's game, there's still no replacement for the experience and leadership of seniors. While it's much more common to see a mid-major program nurture a full class into something special by its final season, precious few programs can make do without some dose of fourth-year fortitude. Even national champion Kentucky, with all its early-entry underclassman power, got huge contributions from Darius Miller on its way to the crown.
This is the 66th year for the NCAA Division I college baseball championship, more commonly referred to as "The Road to Omaha." It's a nod to the city that has hosted the College World Series for the past half century. At least "The Road to Omaha" is the phrase used by 63 of the 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament. For Creighton, it's "The Road to Home." The Bluejays play their home games at Omaha's TD Ameritrade Park, site of the CWS. That wouldn't make it any less special being one of the eight teams that will play for the national championship. Here's a few things to watch for as this year's journey begins:
Given the success that Georgetown has had over the last three decades, it is easy to forget that the Hoyas were a basketball afterthought prior to the late 1970s. It was during the reign of John Thompson Jr. that Georgetown became a basketball school, winning three conference tournaments between 1975 and 1979 before becoming a founding member of the Big East in 1980 and promptly winning the inaugural regular season and tournament titles.
In realignment politics, college basketball programs are the constituents with less cash, and therefore the constituents with little-to-no juice. They are forced to operate within the conference framework that football has wrought -- and football does not care about the quality of any other sport. All of this short-sighted gerrymandering is bound to have a serious effect on the hoops landscape.
Truth be told, no one is safe when it comes to the NBA draft. Not the players whose careers are often scrutinized in accordance with where they were picked. And certainly not the executives whose reputations are forever tied to each selection. Risk is a part of the equation no matter the prospect, even when it's a big man like Kentucky's Anthony Davis, who is widely seen as a "can't-miss" talent.
As NBA front-office types and scouts continue their homework leading up to the June 28 draft, one central purpose will drive their study sessions: risk management.
While pondering Jeff Carter's natural hat trick in Game 2 and the systematic way the Los Angeles Kings are absolutely woodshedding the overmatched Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Final, it is worth remembering that some of the best trades are the ones you don't make ... and the ones that you do.
ATLANTA (AP) -- All three divisions of NCAA men's basketball will see their 2013 national champions crowned during Final Four weekend in Atlanta.
There is a valid argument to be made that the 2011-2012 Pac-12 was the worst power conference ever.
With the draft and free agency having reordered depth charts around the league, it's time to take stock of the positional battles that will be worth watching unfold once training camps open. Here are 10 intriguing depth-chart competitions that warrant our attention this summer:
While this spring shined unflattering light on the restrictions players often face in trying to switch programs, the annual coaching carousel showed once again that coaches' freedom to move remains unfettered. This year's carousel wasn't packed with big-name openings, but there was still a significant amount of intrigue generated as men cashed in on NCAA tournament success and conference realignment continued to exert pressure on straggling programs.
Thursday brought the news that Indiana and Kentucky couldn't agree to terms on continuing their nonconference series, and a nation of basketball fans will be denied a probable matchup of top-five teams next season. It doesn't really matter who's to blame -- Should Kentucky have backed down on an insistence on neutral sites? Should Indiana not have pulled the plug on discussions so abruptly? -- because, in a vacuum, each program should operate in what it believes to be its own best interests. At some point, though, people are going to have to start taking a hard and collective look at the good of the game at large, and petty me-first schedule conflicts like this are a big part of the problem.
The 2011-12 chapter of Kentucky basketball closed on April 17, when all five of its starters appeared at a joint press conference in matching blue polo shirts, and announced they were turning pro. The only player comment that drew a rise out of coach John Calipari, who was sitting among them in a black suit, came from Anthony Davis, the 6-foot-11 freshman who was the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and also swept every national player of the year award. When Davis humbly thanked the coaching staff for "helping me become the great player that I am," Calipari interjected and said, half-incredulously, "Did you just say 'the great player that I am?'"
The Atlantic 10 is a better basketball conference than the Horizon League. The A-10 has more history and more prestige. It has more talent and is on national television more often. It can send four teams to the NCAA tournament in a year where the Horizon sends one, thus generating more revenue; and the A-10's athletic departments, on the whole, spend more money on basketball. If you're a Horizon League team that gets a chance to join the A-10, as Butler did on Wednesday, you take it. It makes too much sense.
When Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Perry Jones of Baylor and Harrison Barnes of North Carolina surprised the NBA world by staying in college a year ago, the already-building buzz about the 2012 draft only grew louder.
The book is barely closed on the 2012 NFL Draft, but it's never too early to start thinking ahead. Information is already being processed for next April's event, and it looks as though the early portion of the draft will be well represented by the senior class, with a number of versatile, complete linebackers available in the first round. So as we begin preparation for the 2013 NFL Draft, here's a list of 32 prospects expected to impact the early selections.
NEW YORK -- Three weeks ago, Chris Kreider was a champion. With Boston College, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound winger helped the Eagles to their fifth NCAA title as the NHL regular season was coming to a close. Three days later, he signed with the Rangers, who drafted him 19th overall in 2009, and joined the top team in the Eastern Conference for a playoff run, getting acquainted with new teammates, a new coach and New York City.
NEW YORK -- Musings, observations, and the occasional insight as we review the doings of day two, and rounds two and three, of the NFL Draft Friday night in Radio City Music Hall....
An Alabama football player's father accidentally knocking over the $30,000 crystal BCS trophy and shattering it.
Day 1 of SI.com's inaugural Data-Based Coaching Awards was a success on most fronts: The awards show, on an obscure cable network, received respectable enough ratings to get carried for a second day, and the winners seemed happy -- other than the parts where John Calipari kept refusing to admit that it meant anything to him, even though he won in three of eight categories. Players-first, not numbers-first, he kept saying. Oh well. We move on.
How mainstream has efficiency become? In the press conference following the national championship game, Kentucky coach John Calipari searched for words to validate that his team had won on more than talent alone. He chose these: "We were the best team this season. We were the best team. The most efficient team. We shared the ball."
The dramatic, out-of-nowhere rise of Victor Cruz last season is only the latest glaring reminder. When it comes to talent evaluation, the NFL can miss on a grand scale. Not only did the New York Giants' dance-happy, second-year receiver go undrafted as a rookie in 2010, but he also wasn't even thought highly enough to warrant an invite to the league's scouting combine in Indianapolis, a cattle call of an event that annually draws more than 300 NFL prospects to the Midwest.
George Whitfield didn't expect to be in this position -- the go-to-coach for such big-name quarterbacks as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and now Andrew Luck.
As Chandler Harnish stood in the lobby of his Indianapolis hotel one day during the NFL Scouting Combine in late February, someone bumped him in the shoulder. Harnish's first thought was how rude. His reaction changed quickly when he turned around.
One day last month Al Scates, the UCLA volleyball coach, was sitting in his den rhapsodizing about a favorite subject: his national championship rings. "I rotate them depending on how I feel," said Scates, 71. From a drawer in his cluttered desk -- a Coltrane CD, photos of a golf trip to Scotland -- he pulled out a pair. "This one, the 2000, is a little big, so it's good for flying, when my finger swells." He strolled to his bookcase, where rings lined up on a shelf, a glittering history of his 50 years as the Bruins' coach. "Look at '72," he said, plucking it from a velvet case. "It's so small now, it makes a nice pinkie ring."
Penn State University has paid out $5.76 million to the estate of Joe Paterno, its heralded head football coach who lost his job as part of a spiraling sex abuse scandal involving one of his former assistants, a school athletic official said Thursday.
Friends, family and football players pay their respects to former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno.
Several weeks ago, Cedar Cliff (Pa.) High junior Adam Breneman received an email from a fan. Breneman was coming off a season in which he corralled 72 receptions for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns, and such messages came with the territory: Like it or not, Breneman had become a quasi celebrity. He was the nation's top-ranked tight end (and No. 22 overall prospect, according to Rivals.com), a premier pass-catcher in an imposing 6-foot-5 frame. His every move was tracked by legions of college football diehards.
Eight months after revealing her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's, the head coach of the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team announced she was stepping down Wednesday.
Pat Summitt is no longer the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.
By now, the name is so familiar, bordering on ubiquitous. Everybody knows the Robert Griffin story. We've scarcely been able to get enough of it in the months-long buildup to the 2012 NFL Draft.
University of Arkansas terminated coach Bobby Petrino as football coach over "reckless and unacceptable behavior".
Where have you gone Walter Cronkite, and why have you been replaced by the likes of woopig.net?
An assistant football coach at the University of South Alabama in Mobile was found dead at his home, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a coroner said.
With a swirl of confetti below them and DJ Khaled's megahit "All I Do Is Win" blaring from a loudspeaker above, the Baylor women's basketball team danced on the floor of the Pepsi Center in the moments following its 81-60 title game victory over Notre Dame. The lyrics of the song ("All I do is win, win, win no matter what") were fitting: Baylor is the first college basketball team in NCAA history, male or female, to finish a season 40-0.
After an exhaustive four-week schedule, the pro day workouts are over. NFL scouts, coaches and general managers crisscrossed the country throughout March as prospects tried to improve their draft grade. As always, the workouts have caused some players to rise in the eyes of NFL decision-makers, while others have fallen. One thing's for sure -- a lot has changed since the pro day slate began. Here are 15 players who saw their fortunes change.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott met with recent Stanford players Andrew Luck, Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro on Thursday to get their feedback on various proposals currently being discussed to overhaul college football's postseason. Last week Scott met with current USC players Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, T.J. McDonald and Devon Kennard, and he will do the same with a group of Utah players prior to their April 21 spring game.
How far will a college go to win the NCAA tournament? And why do so few athletes graduate from college?
The University of Connecticut men's basketball team cannot compete for next year's national championship after the NCAA denied the school's appeal of a postseason ban based on its athletes' academic performance.
NEW ORLEANS -- During a discussion last week at Tulane's law school covering the hot topics in college sports, a student asked a great question of a panel that included Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne, Missouri athletic director Mike Alden, NCAA associate director of enforcement Renee Gomila and attorney Timothy Epstein.
DENVER -- The game has never seen anything like her. The 88-inch wingspan, hands as soft as a lullaby, and an above-the-rim athleticism that seems more video game than reality.
In their infinite wisdom, the doubters got to thinking that the title was the fluke. That the 2008 championship was great, sure -- beating John Calipari and Derrick Rose, and all that -- but that it was just one exception in a half-dozen years of Bill Self's Jayhawks being the NCAA tournament's most obedient Goliath. Who could forget the loss to 14th-seeded Bucknell in the first round in 2005? And then 13th-seeded Bradley in the first round again in 2006? And ninth-seeded Northern Iowa in the second round in 2010? And 11th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth in the Elite Eight in '11?
NEW ORLEANS -- From the front row of the Superdome, right as Saturday's Kentucky-Louisville Final Four game went to halftime, former Kansas and NBA coach Larry Brown made eye contact with a sportswriter he knew on press row. They proceeded to have an easily interpreted conversation using just their hands.
NEW ORLEANS. -- Jordan Juenemann remembers the last time Bill Self and John Calipari met with the national title at stake. Now a Kansas senior, Juenemann was just another Jayhawk fan in 2008, proud owner of a basketball signed by the whole team. He was in his Hays, Kan., house with his family, nerve-wracked as Kansas trailed by nine late in the contest, a championship seeming to have slipped away.
Back in November, Kansas lost to Kentucky 75-65 in the Champion's Classic. On Monday night the two teams will meet again to determine the national champion. How will the Jayhawks matchup this time around? Here is a position-by-position breakdown:
Hours after raucous University of Kentucky students torched cars and couches after their men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA championship, the Wildcats' coach said that he understood fans' passion but was "disappointed" by some of their actions.
The University of Kansas men's basketball team squeaked by Ohio State late Saturday night, setting up an an NCAA tournament championship showdown with top-seeded Kentucky.
The University of Kansas men's basketball team squeaked by Ohio State late Saturday night, setting up a NCAA tournament championship showdown with top-seeded Kentucky.
NEW ORLEANS -- With his team having rallied from a 13-point deficit, to reclaim the lead with less than three minutes remaining, Jeff Withey believed for a brief moment he'd just sealed a victory. With 27 seconds remaining in Kansas' national semifinal matchup with Ohio State, the 7-footer caught a pass in the lane, strode forward and finished an easy lay-up that would put his team up by at least a five-point margin. The Jayhawks' contingent of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome crowd went nuts and a whistle blew, indicating a possible and-one. He roared with satisfaction.
NEW ORLEANS -- The facade finally cracked Saturday.
DENVER -- Four No. 1 seeds, but no reigning national champion among them. Powerhouse programs -- all have won a national championship -- that are hungry. Coaches who are considered the best in the business. A player who has revolutionized the game.
For most of the players here, it's probably the first and only time they will step inside an NFL facility.
Rick Pitino and John Calipari hate each other. Now that I have that out of the way, let's talk about the Final Four.
NEW ORLEANS -- Technically, it is called the Final Four, but a more appropriate title would be Kentucky and the Three Hopefuls. There is simply no doubting the overriding storyline heading into college basketball's culminating weekend. Beating the Big Blue in the Big Easy is going to be very, very hard.
This week, The Associated Press named Jared Sullinger a first-team All-America. Sullinger received the honor last year, too. So I guess the critics are right: He did not improve.
ATLANTA -- Guard Darius Miller, Kentucky's lone senior, loitered in the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon wearing a net around his neck. Point guard Marquis Teague spouted platitudes into a cell phone connected to a sports talk radio show. In a nearby hallway, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart stood surrounded by camera- and voice recorder-toting reporters wondering how the Bluegrass State will survive the week.
ST. LOUIS -- While watching Florida's Sweet 16 win over Marquette at a local watering hole in St. Louis Thursday, a fellow writer posed the following question to the group: If you were an athletic director with a huge budget, which coach would you hire: Florida's Billy Donovan or Kansas' Bill Self?
ATLANTA -- Maybe he had grown tired of finding new ways to answer the same questions. Or maybe John Calipari was a little loopy because it was past 1 a.m. and he had just endured one of his most stressful victories this season. Whatever the reason, the Kentucky coach opened a window into his mind. He dropped the coachspeak and talked frankly about what it's like to coach the most talented team in the NCAA Tournament.
ST. LOUIS -- It started out exactly like a game between a No. 1 seed and a No. 13 seed should. Bigger, stronger North Carolina asserted its dominance over smallish Ohio. The Tar Heels jumped to a 26-11 lead. The Bobcats missed 10 of their first 12 shots.
If you were to survey all the sporting events in which nobody died or was paralyzed, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a better example of mass post-traumatic stress disorder than Big Blue Nation in the aftermath of Kentucky's 1992 NCAA East Regional final loss to Duke.
Crazy upsets? Freak injuries? Dramatic comebacks? What else could happen?
1. Four No. 1 seeds advance: For just the seventh time since 2000, all four No. 1 seeds advanced out of the first weekend of the tournament. Last season, No. 8 seed Butler upset Pitt in the round of 32 thanks to a last-second free throw from Matt Howard. In 2010, it was Ali Farokhmanesh hitting a big three to lead No. 9 Northern Iowa to an upset of Kansas.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that last week's announcement of NCAA sanctions against North Carolina, including a one-year postseason bowl ban, would cause several 2013 Tar Heels' commits to rethink their decisions. In theory, it would seem to serve as a deterrent of sorts -- a reason to consider the possibility of playing for another interested program.
The first weekend of the NCAA tournament is about upsets, buzzer-beaters and TV cameras finding players' moms in the stands. The second weekend is about finding the true championship contenders and TV cameras finding coaches' wives in the stands. So now that we have applauded the Lehigh Engineers for performing a Krzyzewskectomy on the tournament, let's get to the top order of business: Making sure the best team doesn't win.
Copyright ©2012 by Josh Luchs ILLEGAL PROCEDURE: A Sports Agent Comes Clean on the Dirty Business of College Football by Josh Luchs and James Dale Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury USA.
At a regional site during the 2008 NCAA tournament, I sat at a table with an assistant basketball coach at a school in a BCS conference. The assistant had been in on some high-profile recruitments, so he understood what goes on at the top of the recruiting food chain.
Plenty of intriguing themes figured to gather with the teams dancing in St. Louis: the Ohio Bobcats want to become the latest mid-major long shot to reach the Final Four; North Carolina State is making the most of its first NCAA appearance in six years; Kansas survived Purdue's upset bid to advance to its fifth Sweet 16 in the same span; and of course, there's the inevitable "Roy Williams left Kansas" angle. All of that was pushed to the background, however, with 10:56 left in top-seeded North Carolina's win Sunday over Creighton.
OMAHA, Neb. -- During the final TV timeout, John Pelphrey leaned forward and tapped a reporter on the shoulder. "What are they shooting?" he wanted to know, they being the Spartans of Norfolk State. Pelphrey was sitting courtside to scout Florida's next opponent. He'd been scribbling notes -- and sure, probably concentrating on No. 2 Missouri. But like everyone else, the Florida assistant coach was suddenly swept up in what he was seeing. The 15th-seeded Spartans led Mizzou by four. At that point, they'd hit five of six three-point attempts in the second half. But maybe more important than the statistics, they'd had an answer for everything the higher-seeded Tigers threw at them.
NASHVILLE -- When it became a certainty in the waning seconds that their 13th-seeded team was going to pull off an upset, the green-clad fans of Bridgestone Arena began a loud and proud chant: "WE ... ARE ... OHIO!"