NCAA restores the roar, and 112 wins

The time is 1:06 p.m. on a Friday. I texted my father, who I assumed may have been on his lunch break at the time.

“NCAA restored all of Penn State’s vacated wins,” I sent.

“Just saw that. It’s about time,” my father, a long-time season ticket holder despite actually being a graduate of West Chester University, responded. “Now… where’s that statue?”

One thing at a time I suppose.

The NCAA announced Friday it had reached an agreement with Penn State and Pennsylvania state officials following a week of negotiations that will restore all vacated wins stripped from Penn State during the sanctions of 2012. All wins ranging from 1998 through 2011 have now been put back on the record books, with 111 going to Joe Paterno and one to Tom Bradley. Paterno, for the second time, is now Division 1 college football’s all-time winningest coach.

The agreement between the negotiating parties comes with some stipulations, which have already been approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees;

  • Penn State agrees to commit a total of $60 million to activities and programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse and the treatment of victims of child sexual abuse.
  • Penn State acknowledges the NCAA’s legitimate and good faith interest and concern regarding the Jerry Sandusky matter.
  • Penn State and the NCAA will enter into a new Athletics Integrity Agreement that (with concurrence of the Big Ten) includes best practices with which the university is committed to comply and that provides for the university to continue to retain the services of Sen. George Mitchell and his firm to support the university’s activities under the Athletics Integrity Agreement and in the areas of compliance, ethics and integrity.

Penn State was initially fined a penalty of $60 million as part of the hefty sanction terms levied on the program in the summer of 2012. I have been on record of suggesting that if there is only one portion of the sanctions that Penn State ultimately fulfills, it should be the fine as a gesture of good will towards a worthy cause. Here’s hoping that money is used properly to spread awareness of child sexual abuse.

Everything else after that is some mumbo jumbo that essentially allows the NCAA to avoid getting grilled in court at a time when the NCAA has a number of issues it actually has authority to control brewing.

Penn State already had scholarship limits lifted and was given a chance to perform in the postseason two years earlier than initially planned due to positive reports from George Mitchell in his annual reviews of the university and athletics department.

So, now what?

Continue reading full story on Nittany Lions Den.

Starting Seven: I hate the word “selfie”

Some thoughts as I drink my morning cup of coffee

1. Maybe a Joe Paterno statue is not the worst possible idea in the world

Maybe, just maybe there could be a logical reason to make a push for a new statue of Joe Paterno. I shared my thoughts on this subject a day after reports came out about the plans for a new statue. Meanwhile, the original statue once found outside Beaver Stadium is stored away in a secure location


2. Phillies take series in Los Angeles

I stayed up as late as I could this week to watch the Phillies on the west coast but never saw the end of any of the four games in Dodger Stadium. The Phillies leave the City of Angels after taking three out of four from the NL West leaders. In doing so the Phillies move to Arizona with a .500 record and trail the Atlanta Braves by 3.5 in the NL East. A great series win for a team that has struggled to find consistency. My grandmother would have enjoyed it.

3. Free Mason!

The Philadelphia Flyers are in an absolute must-win situation tonight in game four of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers. Down two games to one, Steve Mason is back between the pipes tonight looking to get this series tied at two before returning to the Madison Square Garden of Horrors. MSG is not quite so intimidating now that the Flyers found a way to win in that building in game two, but the Flyers will have to win at least one more up there to keep hope alive.

4. Am I the only one using Google+?

I was an early adopter of Google+ and I am not ready to pack things up and leave it entirely. I would not say it is a ghost town, but I would not go so far to say it is overexposed either. I admit I do not update my personal Google+ profile as frequently as my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I do attempt to take advantage of Google+ features such as hangouts. Right now I am trying to build an audience for the Crystal Ball Run Google page (Facebook too), but I just have not put together a plan that will spark interest or carry over any followers from Twitter. So I ask again, has anyone found Google+ useful for anything?

5. Give me my high-speed Internet with no hassles

Net neutrality continues to be a major topic, for reasons I cannot truly comprehend. Not only are Comcast and Netflix dropping the gloves, but the idea of anyone truly governing the Internet is astounding to me. I understand a need to protect against piracy, but I just cannot get on board with any government telling me how much Internet data I am allowed to consume in a digital world that is evolving faster than any government can manage to keep up with. The FCC says they have the backs of the consumer in mind, but not everybody is buying it. Brazil can’t build Olympic venues, but at least they can pass an internet bill of rights.

6. The SEGA Dreamcast was ahead of its time

The SEGA Dreamcast was the last console developed and sold by SEGA before the company scaled back to focus solely on software for rival companies such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. The system was ahead of its time, bringing innovations and technology that most systems today have come standard. I owned a used Dreamcast for a brief period of time well after the system’s best days, and I got to clean and check Dreamcast while working at the EB Games warehouse one summer. I would love to know just how SEGA would have done with a modern-day Dreamcast if still in the hardware game today. It could not do worse than the WiiU, could it?

7. I hate the word “selfie”

Can we fast forward to the next digital and viral trend already? This whole selfie craze has gotten old fast. The act of taking a photo of yourself and perhaps a couple of friends is nothing new, nor will it ever end, but that does not bother me one bit. Heck, I’ve done my share of them, I just never refer to them as a selfie. What bothers me is just hearing the word “selfie. It just makes you all sound like a pre-teen Justin Bieber or One Direction fan. Let’s do better.