Penn State's Shane Conlan in NCAA '14 HOF class

ap-psu-shane-conlan.jpg

Penn State's Shane Conlan in NCAA '14 HOF class

The late great Derrick Thomas grew up in Miami and played his entire 11-year NFL career in Kansas City.

In between he spent four years at the University of Alabama, dominating on defense as few players have ever done in college football history.

"Alabama meant everything to Derrick, even after he moved to Kansas City," Edith Morgan, Thomas' mother, said Thursday. "He still had his Alabama (license) plates and went back to Alabama whenever he could."

It took longer than Crimson Tide fans would have liked, but Thomas was elected Thursday to the College Football Hall of Fame, highlighting a class of 14 players that also includes LaDainian Tomlinson, Sterling Sharpe and Tony Boselli.

Thomas, who died in 2000 at age 33 shortly after an automobile accident left him paralyzed, was one of the Hall of Fame's most obvious omissions. Alabama fans had been growing increasingly annoyed by the wait in recent years.

His credentials could not be argued against. After choosing to attend Alabama over Oklahoma, Thomas played for the Tide from 1985-88. He won the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker as a senior when he had 27 sacks. He finished his career with 52 sacks, a school record.

"He was really, really fond of Alabama and he loved the Crimson Tide, not only the school but the city of Tuscaloosa itself," Morgan said.

Thomas was drafted fourth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989 and made nine Pro Bowls. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

The new College Football Hall of Fame class announced by the National Football Foundation at a news conference in Dallas also featured a couple of Heisman Trophy finalists and two of the best offensive linemen of the early 1990s.

Tomlinson led the nation in rushing in his final two seasons at TCU (1999 and 2000) and finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 2000.

"This is a great honor," said Tomlinson, who attended the news conference. "As a kid you never set out to land in the College Football Hall of Fame. You're just playing with your buddies, having fun, playing a game that you love."

Tomlinson thanked TCU for giving him a chance.

"TCU was the first school to offer me a scholarship," he said. "I didn't have many, but they believed in me."

Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton was the Heisman runner-up to Ron Dayne in 1999.

Boselli played tackle at Southern California from 1991-94 and was the second overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. Louisiana Tech tackle Willie Roaf was a finalist for the Outland Trophy as a senior in 1992 before going on to a long NFL career.

Sterling Sharpe held virtually every receiving record when he left South Carolina after the 1987 season.

The rest of the players who will be inducted during the National Football Foundation's awards banquet in December are: North Carolina cornerback Dre Bly; Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz; Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan; Maine linebacker John Huard; Stanford running back Darrin Nelson; UCLA quarterback John Sciarra; McNeese State defensive back Leonard Smith; and Mississippi tight end Wesley Walls.

The two coaches who will join the Hall of Fame are Mike Bellotti, who led Oregon from 1995-2008, and Jerry Moore, who coached at North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State.

Conlan, who was also in attendance, helped lead Penn State and coach Joe Paterno to the 1986 national championship.

"It's been a tough time the last few years at Penn State," he said, fighting back tears as he thanked the late Paterno. "We miss you, Coach," he said.

Jerry Sandusky accuser asks to limit questioning, protect identity

usa-jerry-sandusky.jpg
USA Today Images

Jerry Sandusky accuser asks to limit questioning, protect identity

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A man who claims he told Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in 1976 that he was sexually abused as a teen by Jerry Sandusky asked a judge Wednesday to protect his identity and limit questioning by lawyers in a lawsuit brought by Paterno's family against college sports' governing body.

Lawyers for the man called John Doe 150 said he gave a sworn deposition in October 2014 in a related case, brought by Penn State against its insurer over coverage for Sandusky-related claims, and that he should not have to endure another one.

He previously testified under oath about his abuse claims "and his reporting of the abuse to Coach Joseph Paterno and Penn State," his lawyers told Judge John Leete, who is presiding in the Paternos' lawsuit against the NCAA.

"Forcing John Doe 150 to sit through yet another deposition is not only duplicative, unnecessary and unduly burdensome, but it would force this victim of childhood sexual abuse to, again, relive the trauma of his abuse," his lawyers wrote. They said he settled with Penn State in 2013 and has kept his abuse a secret from those closest to him.

They alleged the abuse occurred when the man was a 14-year-old participant at a Penn State football camp but disclosed no other details.

Paterno, who died in 2012, said in an interview before his death that an assistant's report in 2001 of Sandusky attacking a boy in a team shower at the State College campus was the first he knew of such allegations against his longtime top assistant.

Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing an appeal.

John Doe 150's lawyer, Slade McLaughlin, said in a phone interview Wednesday that his client was concerned about "nuts" harassing him over his role in the scandal, which has generated strong feelings.

"Some of these people are really over the top and some of these people are militant, and some of these people, in my mind, are terrorists," McLaughlin said.

The filing comes two days after Penn State asked the judge to reject a subpoena from the NCAA in the Paterno family lawsuit, seeking the man's name and the identity of a Sandusky accuser who made a confidential settlement with the school over claims he was abused as a boy by Sandusky in 1971.

Penn State said neither settlement agreement contains specifics about either man's claims.

In May, the judge in the insurance dispute being litigated in Philadelphia said in a written opinion that there was a claim that Paterno was informed by a boy in 1976 that Sandusky had abused him. The school subsequently also confirmed it had settled over a 1971 allegation.

The judge has since decided to disclose more information about the two claims, details that are expected to be made public in about three weeks.

The Paternos are suing the NCAA, saying it used a Penn State-commissioned report that harmed their commercial interests. Two former Penn State coaches, Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney, are also suing the NCAA, saying the report made it impossible for them to find comparable work.

Jerry Sandusky granted hearing in appeal of sex abuse conviction

jerrysanduskyap.jpg
The Associated Press

Jerry Sandusky granted hearing in appeal of sex abuse conviction

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A judge on Thursday ordered hearings to let former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky develop more information as he tries to overturn his child molestation conviction.

Judge John Cleland said the three days of proceedings in August will address, in part, whether defense lawyers should have called Sandusky to testify and whether prosecutors improperly leaked information about the grand jury investigation.

The hearing also will delve into whether prosecutor Joe McGettigan lied during closing arguments at Sandusky's 2012 trial when he said he did not know the identity of a figure referred to as Victim 2.

"The question is what Mr. McGettigan believed to be true when he made the statement to the jury," Cleland said.

Sandusky, 72, is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for 45 counts of child sexual abuse covering 10 victims.

Eight young men testified they had suffered abuse at Sandusky's hands. The two others were Victim 2, who assistant coach Mike McQueary testified he saw being abused by Sandusky in team shower in 2001, and a boy who was reportedly seen by a custodian with Sandusky in the locker room.

Also at issue on appeal are decisions by Sandusky's lawyers to let him do an television interview with NBC's Bob Costas soon after his arrest, to waive his preliminary hearing and to not use grand jury testimony by three Penn State administrators.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said prosecutors feel strongly that Sandusky's appeal is meritless and they plan to challenge the claims vigorously. A message seeking comment from Sandusky's appellate lawyer, Al Lindsay, was not immediately returned.

Cumberland County prosecutor Dave Freed, speaking for the state district attorneys' association, said complicated cases sometimes generate multi-day post-conviction appeals hearings.

"This order seems to me very much in keeping with the way Judge Cleland conducts business, which is he lays out very clearly what he expects, how he expects the hearing to go, allows sufficient time for it and allows the parties to prepare so he can use court time efficiently," Freed said.

Sandusky previously lost direct appeals to the state's Supreme and Superior courts. He is now pursuing claims under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act, which is confined to newly discovered evidence, constitutional violations and ineffective lawyering.

Brother of St. Joe's DeAndre' Bembry shot and killed in North Carolina

ap-deandre-bembry-st-joes.jpg
AP

Brother of St. Joe's DeAndre' Bembry shot and killed in North Carolina

The brother of Saint Joseph's NBA prospect DeAndre' Bembry was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to Philly.com.

According to Philly.com, Adrian Potts, 20, was gunned down outside an apartment building near the UNC-Charlotte campus and was one of four people shot. The others are expected to recover, and no arrests have been made.

St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli told Philly.com on Sunday night he heard the shooting occurred over a cellphone, and Potts' mother, Essence Bembry, told Martelli that Potts was not involved in the dispute. Martelli spoke to both DeAndre' and Essence Bembry as they were flying to Charlotte on Sunday morning.

According to Martelli, DeAndre' is "awful, just awful."

In a text message to Philly.com, Essence said, "Adrian was a unique soul. He lost his life breaking up a fight. Always a peacemaker."