PSU places McQueary on administrative leave

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PSU places McQueary on administrative leave

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. A day after interim football coach Tom Bradley said wide receivers coach Mike McQueary would be working at Beaver Stadium for Saturdays game against Nebraska, acting Penn State president Rodney Erickson placed the embattled coach on indefinite, paid administrative leave.

McQueary, an eye-witness to the alleged 2002 incident where Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a young boy when he was a graduate assistant, was going to coach Saturdays game from the press box. He also attended the teams practice on Thursday afternoon. However, because of multiple threats, the university announced that McQueary would not attend the game.

Now, no one is sure when McQueary will return.

It became clear he could not coach under these circumstances, Erickson said.

When asked why McQueary was not fired, Erickson said, There are complexities to that issue I'm not prepared to go into.

Meanwhile, Dave Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, reported that McQueary told his receivers during a conference call he was in protective custody and not in State College. Sports Sports Information Director Jeff Nelson later said McQueary was not in protective custody and it was likely an attempt at a joke that fell flat.

Jones also reported McQueary told his receivers he was done as a coach at Penn State. (See story)

On Friday, The Associated Press reported Board of Trustee member Boyd Wolff said there are special circumstances involving McQueary.

He's a witness, Wolff told The AP. Hes different from the others, so he has to be treated differently.

Those statements give credence to the speculation that McQueary did not lose his job along with disgraced former football coach Joe Paterno this week because he is a protected as a whistleblower witness. (See story.)

Meanwhile, in his first press conference as president of Penn State, Erickson addressed the culture at the school, admitting that some may have been too afraid to come forward to report the abuse alleged to have been committed by Sandusky.

Never again should anyone at Penn State feel scared to do the right thing, the president said, adding that the Board has launched a special investigation into the scandal and will make all findings public.

Erickson admitted there had been discussions whether the school should continue its football season, but he said the home finale will be used to heighten awareness of child abuse. Additionally, the president said there will be an increased police presence on campus Friday night as well as during Saturdays football game that will attract more than 100,000 fans.

We believe that there will be an opportunity through the game tomorrow and provide a moment in time where we can really focus on the tragedy of sexual abuse, Erickson said. Also, it would not be fair to the student-athletes who were not involved in this situation.

Penn State also will play its final two road games during the regular season, though its status for the Big Ten championship andor a postseason bowl game will be addressed.

I certainly wouldnt want to comment on that at this point, Erickson said. Well wait and see at the appropriate time. At this point, I think the expectation would be that where they deserve to play, they will play.

Paterno welcome to attend game
Erickson said there were no plans to honor Paterno in the near future. He added that Paterno could attend Saturdays game like any other private citizen.

He left a tremendous legacy at Penn State over many years, Erickson said of Paterno. Im sure, in due course, the university will find a way to recognize that, but now is not the right time to get into any of that.

The last time Penn State played a football game in which Paterno was not a member of the coaching staff was Nov. 19, 1949 when it lost to Pittsburgh, 19-0. The last time a home game was played at Penn State without Paterno was Oct. 29, 1949. That 33-21 victory over Syracuse was played at what was called, New Beaver Field.

E-mail John R. Finger at jfinger@comcastsportsnet.com.

Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

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Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's board of regents said Thursday that it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr amid questions over the school's handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement Thursday that it had suspended Briles "with intent to terminate." Starr will leave the position of president on May 31, but the school says he will serve as chancellor.

The university also placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Baylor asked a law firm last year to conduct a review of its handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the football program mishandled several cases of players attacking women.

The university's statement said the review revealed "a fundamental failure."

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid mounting criticism over the school's handling of the complaints, which erupted under his leadership. He took over as the university's president in 2010, about a decade after the former prosecutor investigated former President Clinton's sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewisnky.

The football team, whose players were at the center of the upheaval, enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles' tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014, Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles' program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program's success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said "our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence." And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake."

Baylor's Board of Regents was recently briefed by a law firm hired to investigate how the school responded to assault incidents, and the school on Thursday released a summary of its findings. Starr initiated the review in 2015, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted in 2015, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. Ukwuachu's former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu's former coach, Chris Peterson, now the coach at Washington, said he "thoroughly apprised" Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu's dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Peterson and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was "deliberately indifferent" to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu's conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

Josh Hart said the decision wasn’t easy.

But he’s happy with it.

After withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to return to school (see story), Hart is excited to focus on Villanova, graduation and then the NBA dream.

“I love the school, I love the teachers, the student body, the support, my teammates that we have coming back,” the 6-foot-5 guard said Wednesday on Comcast SportsNet’s Philly Sports Talk. “So it was a tough one and I just thought at the end of the day, I think going back for my senior year would be in the best interest of my parents and myself.”

As a junior, Hart helped Villanova win its second national championship in program history by leading the Wildcats in scoring with 15.5 points per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Hart received plenty of feedback from NBA teams. He said shooting and ball handling are what he hopes to improve.

As far as his draft stock …

“There were teams interested maybe in the first [round], and then there were teams that said they would take me in the second,” Hart said. “But there’s a whole month before the draft, a lot of teams didn’t know exactly what they were doing with their picks — whether they were trying to trade up for a pick, trying to trade down, trying to trade a pick for a player. Several teams said that they would take me.”

For more from Hart on the draft and Villanova, watch the video above.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.