Unverified Voracity Has Always Been At War With Piscataway Comment Count

Brian May 9th, 2016 at 1:46 PM

Gambling in this establishment. There has never been a more slam-dunk bolded header than the one you just read:

"I was shocked like everyone else living it out in real time," Freeze said of Tunsil's draft night comments. "But I'm confident our administration is going to find the facts and then give us a good report on it."

Good luck with that.

War. War never changes. Because one side is Grenada. You may remember NJ.com columnist Steve Politi from such hits as "Kyle Flood is real, man" and "Paramus asking Harbaugh to commencement is disgusting." He is an old-school pugnacious columnist who covers Rutgers. He's trying to build skyscrapers out of mud here.

But these were just warmups before his magnum opus:

Harbaugh's N.J. satellite camps are an act of war on Rutgers

You're probably thinking that authors don't write headlines and this is a junior intern clickbaiting you into a more reasonable article. Nope!

Harbaugh, long ago, stopped caring about any conference ethics about pitching his tent just miles from a Big Ten rival. You wonder: What does a New Jersey high school have to gain from offering its territory to an out-of-state recruiter? A number of state colleges and high schools have said no, in deference to Rutgers, but Harbaugh has found his landing spots.

A lot to unpack there:

  • The last time we made up fictional "conference ethics" I think we were talking about Roy Roundtree decommitting from Purdue. That's a blast from the past right there.
  • Again with the insane idea that coaches should be more loyal to state borders than their players.
  • Rutgers is the 13th Big Ten school to declare itself a rival of Michigan, and the most incorrect about that.
  • "In deference to Rutgers" has never, ever happened. Ever.

In response, baseball and softball leveled Piscataway, ending the brief but memorable War On Rutgers.

Speaking of softball. The tournament beckons. Michigan is coming off a ninth straight Big Ten title, and everything is more or less as it's been for a decade:

For those just getting caught up, here's how things look: Hutchins' team is ranked No. 2 in the country and on a 17-game winning streak. It closed the regular season on Sunday with an 8-0 win, improving to 44-4 overall and 21-2 in the Big Ten, and will now head to the Big Ten tournament next weekend at Penn State.

After that, a trip to the NCAA Tournament will feature NCAA Regional and Super Regional games likely hosted in Ann Arbor, as long as U-M keeps winning.

The overriding storyline will, once again, be Michigan's hunt for a second national championship under Hutchins.

If this sounds familiar it's because it is. The Wolverines ended last season with 17 straight wins to cap a 48-6 regular-season record. They sent that above storyline into a frenzy by charging to a national championship showdown against Florida, but lost in a best-of-three matchup.

#1 Florida, which actually run-ruled Michigan in the third game of the season, again looms at the end of the road.

On Paterno stuff. Buried in a legal document created as PSU and its insurer fight over which entity will have to pay for PSU enabling Jerry Sandusky is a bombshell:

Judge Glazer referenced several victims’ depositions, which are sworn testimonies, made out of court, that are recorded and/or transcribed. According to Judge Glazer, those depositions reveal that in 1976, “a child allegedly reported to PSU’s Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky” and that in 1987 and 1988 an assistant coach witnessed Sandusky committing sexual acts or having inappropriate contact with a child. Judge Glazer reasoned that while Paterno and the unnamed assistant coaches might have known about Sandusky’s acts, available evidence did not indicate that any Penn State officers, trustees or shareholders had such knowledge. As a consequence, Judge Glazer determined that Penn State is eligible to seek certain types of coverage payments from PMA (Judge Glazer also found that Penn State is not eligible for other types of coverage payments).

This is not a thing a court decided. It is a document produced by the insurer arguing its case. Twitter lawyer @Ugarles had a brief and useful explainer of what the court claim in fact was. For those allergic to links, the upshot:

A judge has not declared that Joe Paterno knew. Several people have told the court, under penalty of perjury, that Paterno was repeatedly told Sandusky was molesting boys going back some 40 years. This is in addition to the Mike McQueary incident, for which the best defense mounted was that Paterno was a confused old man. That defense won't fly for incidents from the 70s and 80s, leaving us choosing between two possibilities: several people are lying in depositions or Joe Paterno enabled Sandusky for decades. What's the Vegas line here? I know the latter is a serious underdog.

This isn't actually relevant to sports anymore since Penn State is not going to have their sanctions re-examined, but just wow man. People who run around spouting off about "success with honor" and the like are far more likely to be secret monsters than dudes like John Calipari. Calipari isn't trying to pass himself off as a Leader of Men. He's just a guy who coaches basketball and doesn't care much for NCAA rules. There's a nobility in not pretending to be noble, and a darkness in people who have to signal their virtue. (Anyone on Twitter's run across the latter all day every day.)


Photograph conveniently located. The NYT profiles Jamie Horowitz, the FS1 executive who's importing all the worst people in sports punditry, and this is a serendipitous virtual signaling example right here:


You may know me as a lizard person who offered Stephen A Smith a platform to excuse any and all woman-beating he may come across, but I also have children. It is a mere coincidence that I have framed this picture so that I am literally surrounded by them.

Etc.: "The incident is not the first between the clubs at a wheelchair basketball match." Mitch Leidner projected as first round pick by Todd McShay. McShay roundly mocked by Minnesota fans. Minnesota blog defends Leidner by linking video in which half the throws are wounded ducks and one is the "back-shoulder corner" throw against Jeremy Clark. Urban Meyer doesn't know some of his recruits' names.



May 9th, 2016 at 1:58 PM ^

think the NCAA will launch a new investigation into the most recent allegations/revelations, but I do think this latest news will be the nail in the coffin for the Penn State program.  I was just starting, and I mean just in the very beginning stages, to be able to watch a Penn State football game again without thinking of the Sandusky scandal immediately.  It is now again in the very forefront of my mind when I think of anything Penn State.  I think this new information makes the Penn State football program very much more "the reason these things happened" as opposed to "something associated with these events."  I think recruiting will be slim pickings and even faithful program supporters will divorce from the football program a little bit.  I think Penn State football is pretty much going to be recognized as an ugly, sinster thing and that they will likely be in the basement of the conference, assuming they remain in the conference.


May 9th, 2016 at 2:28 PM ^

While I completely agree with your opinion of PSU, and wish your prediction would come true, I highly doubt it. The PSU defenders are already out in force. And have any of their current commits looked even slightly likely to change their minds?

Mr Miggle

May 9th, 2016 at 5:58 PM ^

I don't think the scandal has had much effect so far, once the initial shock wore off. Only the sanctions made an impact. I doubt this changes anything. They might lose a few potential recruits, but will replace them with similar level talent.

fh maven

May 9th, 2016 at 3:28 PM ^

Steve Politi is a Rutgers shill beat reporter that has written a number anti-Michigan and anti-Harbaugh articles.  After reading this I sent him an email - see below paste:


Man have you got a hard-on against Harbaugh.  Here are some facts:

- Last year Rutgers did not sign 1 of the top ten recruits in New Jersey (their home state)
- Ever since losing Brian Cushing to USC, Rutgers has done a lousy job recruiting NJ talent
Last year in recruiting Rashan Gary, Rutgers wasn't even in the conversation. Same with Jabrill Peppers 2 years ago.


If I'm high school football player and I have a chance to attend either a Michigan or Rutgers camp, which one will I learn the most and get the most exposure?  You're such a Rutgers homer I'll answer - Michigan hands down.

Rutgers is an inferior football product and will be going forward.  
Regarding Harbaugh's commencement speech at Paramus Catholic, I challenge you to attend are report on it.  You referred to it as a recruiting trip.  Please report on any parts of it slanted in that direction.  Your previous article on it failed to mention that before Harbaugh could accept the invitation, it had to be vetted by the NCAA - why do I know this and you don't?  Irresponsible reporting on your part?
Best of luck reporting on Rutgers football successes (or lack thereof) this year and those that follow.


May 9th, 2016 at 2:02 PM ^

I usually only post during football season but Brian's line today was so spot on, I had to say so: "There s a nobility in not pretending to be noble, and a darkness in people who have to signal their virtue." Just great. Always believed that but never quite put it so eloquently and concisely.

Immediately, a certain men s basketball coach in North Carolina comes to mind. Who has some other names that fit the last part of Brian s quote. Sports only.:)


May 9th, 2016 at 2:04 PM ^

Rutgers is welcome to hold satellite camps in Michigan if they like.  It would be the Charge of the Light Brigade, minus the poems and songs, but they're welcome to try.


May 9th, 2016 at 2:05 PM ^

"That defense won't fly for incidents from the 70s and 80s, leaving us choosing between two possibilities: several people are lying in depositions or Joe Paterno enabled Sandusky for decades. What's the Vegas line here? I know the latter is a serious underdog."

Can someone explain this to me?  What makes it more probable that several people are lying in sworn testimony than the chance of Paterno being self-consistent over the years?  Or am I misunderstanding Brian's take on an "underdog"?


May 9th, 2016 at 2:47 PM ^

...and, as an aside, it's really embarrassing to read some of the PSU blogs about this. There is zero evidence of PSU fans expressing doubts about JoePa's overall innocence (with one dementia-oriented "mistake" duringt the McQueary incident.) I know sampling bias is at play here (only PSU homers are on those blogs these days) but still, man, there could at least be a hint of doubt expressed.


May 9th, 2016 at 2:10 PM ^

I'm not sure Brian wrote that very clearly; the question is whether it's more likely that multiple, unrelated people break the law by perjuring themselves giving sworn testimony, or whether paterno is lying. The latter seems magnitudes of order more likely

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May 9th, 2016 at 3:00 PM ^

Here's the issue:

If the McQueary incident is the first time that Paterno has heard about Sandusky, he is at that time already an old man, doubtlessly shocked to hear that someone he considered if not a friend at least a long-time "normal" co-worker could do such a thing. He passes the information up the chain. Nothing happens, and perhaps this inexcusable failure can at least be explained by a combination of senility and shock that something like that could be happening under one's nose. After all, you would be pretty blown away to find that a friend you've worked with daily for 20+ years is doing something so horrible. That's the "benefit of the doubt" scenario.

If Paterno has heard multiple people make accusations over decades, there is no benefit of the doubt. 

I don't know what extent is rumor and what is accurate; the testimony is sealed, and the SI media report of one accuser, while thorough, isn't proof.

I tried to do a little discussion of the "benefit of the doubt" side regarding the administration after the initial scandal. However, if Paterno heard even one of these alleged reports from earlier and continued to do nothing even with an eye-witness report of McQueary (remember that one of the arguments is that McQueary's actual report became "sanitized" and didn't fully relate the graphic details, but someone who already suspected misbehavior should have alarm bells going off when he hears it) then his failure to act can only be described as monstrous.

And the "era" is no excuse. Abuse like this didn't just become horrendous in the 1990s. It always has been.


May 9th, 2016 at 3:16 PM ^

entirely possible that the initial "cover-up" in the 1970s was not a real cover-up but the summary dismissal by Paterno of substantiated allegations not "for the good of the program" but simply because he did not believe it or did not want to believe it.  Sandusky's true colors may have been revealed gradually, and by the time Paterno understood what he was dealing with he was nearly automatically complicit due to his initial failures.  In that scenario, by the time the McQueery allegation came about, Paterno "blowing the whistle" on Sandusky would have been the equivalent of blowing the whistle on himself.  He may have been sitting on the information out of perceived self preservation, not "for the program" but because he reasonably thought that he could be found criminally responsible to some degree.  That is one possibility that is not often discussed.  It does not lessen the culpability at all, but it is a different angle that is rarely discussed.



May 9th, 2016 at 3:45 PM ^

I could see that initial scenario in the 70s being true. It's possible that something is just too horrible to comprehend. This doesn't excuse letting it go, but it can be understood without assuming that malice was involved. Your post is plausible, though of course we have no evidence either way.

However, the instant a second, independent allegation arose, Paterno needed to be decisive, and he was not. It's hard being decisive in this sort of situation; I've had to call authorities to report abuse I've heard about before myself, and I am totally anonymous. But it needs to happen. It should have been addressed the first time he heard something, and failures after the second time become complicity whether that was Paterno's motive or not.



May 9th, 2016 at 5:42 PM ^

I think your scenario is the one that makes the most sense, at least based on what we "know."

From what I've read, Sandusky and Paterno were pretty close, and it's very probable that Paterno was well aware of Jerry's father Arthur and his 30 years of working with young people in Pennsylvania. It's hardly uncommon for people to react with denial and disbelief when confronted with assertions that somebody they know and respect is actually a depraved criminal, and I can easily envision Paterno saying in 1971 "What? No fucking way. Jerry's a standup guy." and thinking that will be the last of it.

Once he's done that, and more evidence then comes to light supporting the basic original allegation, Paterno is himself now on the hook in terms of culpability. Obviously he makes a colossal fuckup decision every step of the way, but if he had done the right thing by 1976, he could have fallen on his sword with a mea culpa, saying in his worst nightmares he could never have imagined that Sandusky could be capable of such acts, and he takes full responsibility for not dealing with it in 1971, etc etc etc. Offering his resignation would have been the right thing to do, and the PSU administration could have either accepted it, or let him stay on with some penalties. Either way, the situation would have been dealt with then.

Of course the worst crimes were those committed by Sandusky himself, but the four-decade coverup is a very close second, considering how crucial it was to enabling Sandusky's behavior.

The even more horrible scenario is one in which Paterno not only knew about Sandusky's behavior all along but actively approved of it, but I've read nothing to suggest that was ever the case. I think in this case it was old-fashioned moral cowardice, which is evil enough.

Everyone Murders

May 9th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

It's unfathomable that he would choose that picture to go with.  I understand the pose, replete with kid pictures.

But the "I'm squirting out an SBD here, and teetering on the edge of a shart" expression?  In an age of digital cameras, it's astounding that he and his PR crew would say "yes! - this is the shot we want!!".

Only possible explanation is the NYT viewed him as a member of a competing media company, and wanted to present him in a horrible light.

matty blue

May 9th, 2016 at 2:31 PM ^

so weird.  all i can think of is the billy idol cover from the 80s - "sneer of the year."

also, i love that the article uses the new york times' standard "mr." honorific, as in, "like mr. bayless, mr. cowherd will..."  it's not as good as referring to snoop as "mr dogg," but it always makes me laugh.



May 9th, 2016 at 2:22 PM ^

"There's a nobility in not pretending to be noble, and a darkness in people who have to signal their virtue."

Wow, that's f'ing solid. Kudos. Sometimes I think Mr. Cook should be a Professor of English with an office in Mason Hall. Then again, hosting mgoblog is likely a ton more fun.


May 9th, 2016 at 2:22 PM ^

Ole Miss shouldn't be punished for cheating (everyone does it some degree), but for (a) being so consistently blatant about it, and (b) being so consistently bad at hiding it.  

The weird thing about that picture is that is probably the best one they took.  So that means there are a dozen or so more shart-y pictures out there of this guy.


May 9th, 2016 at 2:37 PM ^

I never want to think about Pedo State University ever again. I hate that when 'new' information keeps popping up, it forces my attention to how the gravity of child endangerment by a state athletic department, and victimization by one of its employees, has been trivialized into 'NCAA penalties' that don't even exist anymore. I hate this thing with all my soul.

I can't understand it. Multiple people witness the horrendous and not one of them says, "F You, Sandusky; you're going to jail". The potential that Paterno's breaking silence, as early as possible, could have cratered his program was NOT a risk with a downside more valuable than the integrity of so many children's well-being. Whether breaking the silence would have even cratered Paterno's program is just an exercise in hypotheticals; but it clearly would have been better for the guy (or ANYONE) to have said, "Sandusky's a sick f**k. Take him far, far away from all things Nittany".

I can't bring myself to understand the culture of that program or its priorities or those who continue to defend it, and I never will; thank God. Nor, in light of the university's continued defensive, can I understand how any student-athlete in their right mind would still choose a PSU scholarship - to play any sport - over a similar scholarship elsewhere.

tl;dr - PSU is gross and "Happy Valley" sounds like something a pedo would come up with to lure children.



May 9th, 2016 at 2:47 PM ^

Some general truths:

Few people are child molesters, but child molesters often have a surprisingly large number of victims.  Defrocked priest John Geoghan allegedly had 130. 

It's hard to sexually abuse a large number of children without people finding out over the years.  I have a bit of professional experience to rely on when I say this.  Kids talk, people accidentally see things, etc.

A mass child molester's known victims are almost certainly not the total number of his victims.  People do not automatically come forward.

Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse (albeit not against 45 different people).  Allegations of him abusing boys go back to the '60s.  It sure seems like a safe bet to say that he abused a very large number of kids (more than those he was convicted of abusing) over decades.

What I take from this, FWIW:

The general truths I list above combined with the new allegations make me think it is highly likely that Paterno and other coaches were in fact aware that Sandusky was a danger to kids for at least a couple of decades.  Would I convict Paterno of a crime based on this? No, but the court of public opinion doesn't have to use the "beyond a reasoanble doubt" standard.  PSU's program should have a black mark on it for a very, very long time.  And Paterno should be forever associated with turning a blind eye while a man raped boys.


May 9th, 2016 at 3:05 PM ^

there is one major piece of information that is still missing.  What happened at Penn State during this time is very sick and disturbing, but I would be lying if I said it makes complete sense to me in a "connecting the dots" kind of way.  In some ways, the new allegations make it even more difficult to figure out.  There is a false assumption, a missing peice of primary information, a misunderstood dynamic.  It could be something that makes the situation infinitly worse, although that admittedly seems impossible considering what is known already.  I can't put my finger on it but things are still not how they appear in that entire ordeal.


fh maven

May 10th, 2016 at 10:44 AM ^

Yes, there seems to big missing piece of information.  Why if JoPa knew so many years before that Sandusky was a pedophile that he remained silent???   Wonder if JoPa was also a pedophile? - this would explain alot.  Another possibility is that Sandusky had personal knowledge of JoPa indiscretions so JoPa provided him protection.  Again, these are conjecture and maybe someday the real truth will be revealed.  Bottom line is that Sandusky, JoPa and Penn State were involved and so many young innocent boys were affected.  


May 9th, 2016 at 3:43 PM ^

Women and girls, by a great many accounts, are and have been frequently ignored or not believed when claiming sexual abuse.  But I do think there's something unique to the sexual abuse of boys. 

My semi-educated guess - and no more than that - is that some men ignore claims of abuse of boys because they find it particularly difficult to think about and because they victim-blame ("I would have fought him off").   But I don't know whether claims of abuse of boys or claims of abuse of girls are more likely than the other to be ignored or not believed.


May 9th, 2016 at 3:19 PM ^

The same argument could be made before we knew about the incidents from the 70's and 80's. Joe Paterno had so much power that it's impossible to believe he knew only about the McQueary sighting over the course of 40 years. (And the 1998 and 1971 incidents are proof that he lied to the Grand Jury about knowing nothing more than the 2001 incident.)

Some have made the comment that he was the most powerful man in the state of Pennsylvania, and I'm sure that's not far off. It's laughable to think he was kept in the dark decade after decade about this. If Sandusky got so much as a parking ticket, Paterno would have known. Yet PSU fans continue to stick their hands over their ears and sing lalalalalala, I can't hear you. Screw them.

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May 9th, 2016 at 3:34 PM ^

is baffling is that he was investigated, I believe by the either the Pennsylvania State Police or possibly the FBI in 1998, only a year before he abuptly retired.  To me, the biggest story in this entire ordeal is not necessarily Joe Paterno and what he did or didn't do, but how Sandusky continued his deeds unimpeded for nearly 14 years after an initial criminal investigation and how that investigaton did not lead to any charges or a more widespread investigation.  What an absolutely staggering failure on the part of law enforecement.  That is the equivalent of Clarise Starling taking a look in Buffalo Bill's basement and leaving convinced that nothing at all questionable was going on.


May 9th, 2016 at 5:48 PM ^

That's among the great unanswered questions in this mess.  Why did Gricar not pursue in 1998?  Even looking at things from "the lens of May 1998" --- there was A LOT there.

Penn State Detective Ron Schreffler got the case first on May 4, 1998 --- worked it for a few days, thought something was there, then referred it to Gricar and worked alongside him on the case.  That went on for a few weeks.  Then, on June 1, 1998, Gricar closed the case.  Gricar never really gave Schreffler a reason why.  

FWIW, Schreffler was among the folk that Freeh interviewed prior to the Freeh Report's release.  Also FWIW, Freeh himself does say (page 52 of the Freeh Report): "(We) did not find any evidence of interference by University Administrators with the 1998 Sandusky investigation."

Schreffller strikes me as a "stand-up guy" --- I can say that because during my time at Penn State (late 1990s), I had a good deal of contact with him as regards something (100% completely un-Sandusky related) that I brought up with Penn State police.


May 9th, 2016 at 5:51 PM ^

Which is why Gricar's disappearance lends such a malevolently creepy undertone to the Sandusky case:

"On April 15, 2005, Gricar went missing under mysterious circumstances and has not been heard from since.

Gricar was elected district attorney of Centre County in 1985. He was re-elected four times before announcing that he would not run for re-election in the 2005 campaign.

Gricar was reported missing to authorities after failing to return home from a road trip. His car was found in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with his cell phone inside, and his laptop computer was found in the adjacent Susquehanna River; other than that, no trace of Gricar has been found. When he had been missing for over six years with no trace of his whereabouts, Centre County authorities declared Gricar legally dead on July 25, 2011."



May 9th, 2016 at 10:06 PM ^

District Attorneys from medium-sized rural counties don't go disappearing on a regular basis.  They just don't.

Another oddity.  In the years after Gricar went missing, they cleaned out his office, found some odds and ends.  One thing found was a dictaphone.  Mostly uninteresting stuff on the recording, but there is this: on October 13, 1998, 5 months after the Sandusky case was closed --- Gricar scheduled some sort of meeting between himelf, Schreffler, a State College cop involved in the Sandusky investigation, and Fran Ganter, the-then PSU offensive coordinator.  

Perhaps a coincidence, but that's an weird four-some.  Nobody seems to recall/know what they chatted about.  Gricar isn't around to ask, of course.

I do tend to agree with ijohnb from elsewhere in this thread.  There's a fairly decent chance this story is still missing (at least) one fairly big piece.

Wenham Wolverine

May 9th, 2016 at 4:33 PM ^

Rutgers can rank no higher than 14th on our B10 rivals list. Chicago still has them beat, and if our lacrosse team can figure things out one of these years, Johns Hopkins could easily challenge Rutgers for #14.

S.G. Rice

May 9th, 2016 at 5:05 PM ^

It may be a minority opinion, but I like that FS1 guy.


Why, you ask?  Because he's relocating a decent number of blowhards I cannot stand from ESPN, a network I watch, to FS1, a network I don't.


Keep doing the lord's work sir