Is 'whistleblower' status saving McQueary's job?

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Is 'whistleblower' status saving McQueary's job?

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. In the wake of the fall from grace of legendary football coach Joe Paterno, the largest outcry from Penn State detractors as well as defenders is centered on wide receivers coach Mike McQueary.

Just how has McQueary been able to keep his job when he was an eye-witness to the alleged scene in the Lasch Football Building shower in which former coach Jerry Sandusky was performing a sex act on a young child in 2002?

McQueary was 28 when he allegedly saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the shower of the football building on Penn State's campus. The grand jury report says the former Penn State quarterback was distraught after witnessing the alleged assault, according to the report, and fled the building. He reportedly went home to call his father and then reported the incident to Paterno the next day.

Paterno, in turn, reported McQuearys allegations to Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, who oversaw the Universitys police department. Schultz, according to the grand jury findings, did not tell his police department Paternos report from McQueary.

Since Paterno was fired, Penn State officials have been rather cryptic when talking about McQueary and his future as a coach of the football team. Interim head coach Tom Bradley said there was never a consideration to remove McQueary as a coach for this Saturdays game at Beaver Stadium against No. 18 Nebraska. Additionally, Penn State Board of Trustees chairman Steve Garban did not comment when asked about McQueary during the raucous press conference announcing Paternos ouster.

As such, McQueary is the only member of the athletic staff involved in the 2002 incident that has kept his job.

He is a witness, Garban said.

But what kind of a witness is he? Many attorneys with knowledge of similar situations speculate that McQueary is a protected witness, perhaps even a witness with whistleblower status.

John H. May Esq., a former assistant district attorney and prosecutor for the Lancaster County, Pa. Sexual Assault Unit says the situation involving McQueary very well could be a whistleblower case. After all, at the time of the 2002 incident, McQueary was a graduate assistant and would be protected.

Another attorney with a decade of experience in investigating child sex-abuses cases says McQueary is absolutely a classic whistleblower witness.

What is a whistleblower witness? According to the Whistleblower Protection Act, it is a federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and quasi-government agencies to report misconduct. If McQueary is a whistleblower, he is protected from any kind of adverse employment action. That means he cannot be fired, demoted, ostracized or punished.

McQueary was set to coach Saturdays game from the press box as opposed to the sidelines until multiple threats against him forced Penn State officials to keep the coach from the stadium this weekend.

McQueary has not spoken to the press since the story broke, though his father, John, says he very much would like to. In fact, John McQueary told reporters that he would very much like to discuss his and his sons role in the scandal, but have been advised not to.

That statement led some to speculate that McQueary could be a protected witness.

McQueary was a quarterback for Paterno from 1994 to 1997. He was the starter for the 97 team that went 9-3 and won the Citrus Bowl and set a school record by throwing for 360 yards in his first game as a starter. He also was the quarterback at State College High School and teammates with Jon Sandusky, the son of Jerry Sandusky. Known as a vocal coach and player, McQueary tried out for the Oakland Raiders after leaving Penn State. He also spent a season playing for the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe. In 2000, McQueary returned to Penn State as a graduate assistant.

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

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.

Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

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Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

Villanova’s chances at repeating as national champions just got much better.

Josh Hart is returning for his senior season.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer from last season’s title-winning team tweeted this Tuesday night:

Shortly after, Villanova officially announced the news.

Hart was in the midst of going through the NBA draft process, attending the combine in Chicago and working out for teams. By not hiring an agent, he was able to test the waters without jeopardizing his final year of college eligibility. Hart had until Wednesday to make a decision, which is coming back to the defending champs.

“I enjoyed the process and learned a lot,” Hart said in a statement released by the school. “It was definitely worthwhile. I look forward to graduating next year and coming back to play with my teammates.”

As a junior, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. He put up 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Villanova’s 95-51 Final Four win over Oklahoma, before following it up with 12 points and eight rebounds in the national title game in which the Wildcats thrillingly won at the buzzer, 77-74, on a Kris Jenkins three-pointer.

Hart and Jenkins, the team’s two leading scorers, return along with key pieces Jalen Brunson (9.6 ppg), Phil Booth (7.0 ppg), Mikal Bridges (6.4 ppg) and Darryl Reynolds (4.5 rpg).

“Josh Hart did a great job in this process,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. “I’m really proud of the way that he showed himself. I am really happy for him that he is returning to play with his classmates and that he will graduate on time.”