Top Stories

Chip Kelly Leaving Oregon For Tampa Bay Bucs

FootballScoop.com was first to report the news Sunday night that Chip Kelly has accepted an offer to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chip Kelly visited USF Coach Skip Holtz in Tampa in early 2011

(Kelly was in Tampa to visit USF Coach Skip Holtz last March)

SbB has since confirmed that Kelly is already assembling a coaching staff - from a source with direct knowledge of the process.

SACRAMENTO BEE reporter Joe Davidson also confirmed on Sunday night that with national signing day less than two weeks away, Kelly most recently canceled a Sacramento-area recruiting trip set for today. Justin Hopkins of DuckTerritory.com reported the trip was to include an in-home visit this evening.

Kelly’s departure from Oregon will cost the Bucs $3.5 million because of an applicable buyout clause in the coach’s college contract. Kelly signed a six-year extension with Oregon on Sept. 28, 2010, a deal which made him the second-highest paid coach in the Pac-10 at the time.


Kelly leaves as the school braces for the impending delivery of an NCAA Notice of Allegations, which may implicate the coach in NCAA violations relating to his relationship - as extensively detailed by Yahoo Sports - with Texas-based high school football scout Willie Lyles.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Penn State: 4 Grand Jury Sandusky Investigations

A member of the Penn State Board of Trustees told the CENTRE (PA) DAILY TIMES Thursday that during an official briefing last May the Trustees were told by a Penn State lawyer that Jerry Sandusky had previously been the subject of four Grand Jury investigations.

(Same day Trustees claim tenured Spanier ‘fired’ he’s enjoying PSU facilities

Penn State Board of Trustees member Mark Dambly told the State College-area newspaper today:

“We were told in May of 2011, by Cynthia Baldwin, this was the fourth grand jury that was convened. The prior three led to no charges.”

Baldwin made the presentation to the Penn State Board of Trustees with then-Penn State President Graham Spanier, who was removed from his position by the board after the Sandusky Grand Jury presentment was released last November.

Tuesday Penn State announced that Baldwin, who has served as the University’s full-time general counsel and chief legal officer since early 2010, was stepping down. The “transition” was attributed to Baldwin having sufficiently staffed the school’s new in-house legal department.

The Daily Times also noted today that, “Penn State University spokesman Bill Mahon said he had heard there were prior grand juries.

The NEW YORK TIMES reported yesterday of the same May meeting in which Baldwin and Spanier briefed the Trustees about the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky, with the newspaper noting that during the presentation, “No one (Trustee) asked questions.

In the same New York Times story Wednesday, multiple Penn State Trustees reported that the board fired then-PSU President Graham Spanier after the Sandusky Grand Jury presentment was released last November because he failed to keep them properly informed of the Sandusky investigation.

Current Penn State Trustee Ira Lubert, who also helped lead the school’s recent search for a new football coach in the wake of Joe Paterno’s Trustee-led ouster, told the Times yesterday:

“He (Spanier) should have told us a lot more. He should have let us know much more of the background.”

News of the latest Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky was first reported by the HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS in March, two months before Baldwin and Spanier briefed the PSU Board of Trustees on the status of the investigation.

The Patriot-News reported today that by the time the Board was officially informed of the Sandusky Grand Jury investigation by Baldwin and Spanier:

Several front-page stories in The Patriot-News and on PennLive.com had described two alleged sexual assaults of young boys by Sandusky being investigated by the grand jury - at least one of which was said to have taken place in the Penn State locker room while Sandusky was a Nittany Lions coach. All of the stories were also reported in the (State College-area) Centre Daily Times and the first one was fully rewritten and put on the national news wire by the AP.

Adam Smeltz of StateCollege.com also interviewed Penn State Board of Trustees members today, several of whom did not appear in the Wednesday New York Times story that detailed claims made by the leadership of the board regarding the May briefing by Baldwin and Spanier about the the Sandusky Grand Jury investigation.

In their interview with Smeltz today, the PSU Trustees who did not appear in Wednesday’s New York Times story disputed the claim made yesterday by the PSU Board of Trustees leadership to the newspaper that Spanier had deliberately misled them about the status of the Sandusky Grand Jury investigation.

Spanier, who was photographed playing racquetball in a Penn State athletic facility on Wednesday, is now on a Penn State-paid “sabbatical” while maintaining his status as a tenured member of the Penn State faculty.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Media Sentences Paterno To Dept Of Corrections

After co-opting the WASHINGTON POST with his own personal crisis communications manager and high-priced criminal defense lawyer last weekend, somehow Joe Paterno still ended up in the RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER’s department of corrections on Sunday:

Joe Paterno misidentified as Jerry Sandusky in Raleigh News & Observer

That’ll come as no surprise to Penn Staters, who haven’t been shy in decrying the injustices they claim have been perpetrated on their hero by the media in recent weeks.

Yes, we’re talking about the same Penn Staters incited to riot on worldwide television by their hero after Paterno provided the media a personal statement expressly designed to marginalize the same Penn State leadership he hid behind when called upon to stop a former longtime employee who had raped a child.

Yes, you are. Penn State.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Video: Senator Breaks Down In Paterno’s Defense

The voice of a Pennsylvania State Senator trembled as he delivered an emotional, sometimes tearful defense of Joe Paterno at Tuesday’s Senate session in Harrisburg.


Jack Corman, an influential Pa. State Senate Republican who chairs the appropriations committee, lost his composure and was forced to pause three times before finishing a half-hour speech in which the Penn State alumnus was repeatedly overcome with emotion.

Corman’s intial remarks scolded the public for allegedly dismissing what he called the “the 60 years of his (Paterno) life’s work” after a Nov. 5, 2011, Pennsylvania Grand Jury presentment revealed that the ex-Penn State football coach failed to report directly to police allegations that former PSU assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had sexually abused a child in the Penn State locker room in 2002.

“Today I wanted to come to the floor of the Senate and talk about one of my constituents that I thought there was a rush to judgement on. (Paterno) spent the better part of six decades building a community, building an insitution and a building a program that somehow was all lost, sixty years of his life’s work was all lost in a matter of days due to a rush to judge everyone’s actions (involved in the Sandusky case).”

Most of Corman’s comments on the floor of the Pennsylvania Senate Tuesday involved chronicling Paterno’s past accomplishments at Penn State, while the Senator also refused to conclude that the former Penn State football coach was wrong for not reporting directly to police alleged child sexual abuse by a former longtime colleague at Paterno’s then-current workplace.

Corman broke down twice in the final throes of his emotional plea to the people of Pennsylvania to not hold Paterno’s lack of action - in the face of alleged child rape - against the former coach:

“When you look at the life of Joe Paterno and what he’s meant, the biggest compliment I could say my community where I live, my alma mater where I went to school, the commonwealth which I raised my family is a better place. (pause) It’s a better place because Joe Paterno chose to live here.”

With his voice trembling, Corman closed with the following:

“He’s (Paterno) in the biggest battle of his life now but when you view his history he will win. Our prayers are with him and I can only hope my community, my institution are worthy of his efforts to make us grow.”

Corman, who represents the Penn State area in the Senate, currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded to allegedly facilitate his sexual abuse of children.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Paterno Pitched Sandusky as Head Coach in 1999

On January 12, 2011, then-Penn State Senior VP of Operations Gary Schultz testified under oath to a State College-area Grand Jury.

Joe Paterno pitched Jerry Sandusky as head football coach in 1999, proposing Penn State Altoona start a football program

(”Idea” during months between ‘98 Sandusky PSU Police report & ‘retirement’)

During the testimony by Schultz, the man who was running the day-to-day operations of Penn State at the time, he characterized what led to Jerry Sandusky’s departure from Penn State:

“I candidly have recollections that Coach Paterno and Jerry had reached a point where Coach Paterno felt it would be best that he make a coaching change.”

On Nov. 5, 2011, the same Grand Jury reported of Victim 4, one of the children Sandusky allegedly sexually abused:

The Penn State football program relocated to the Lasch Football Building in 1999 and that facility had a sauna. Victim 4 reported that after the move, most of the sexual conduct that did not occur in a hotel room occurred in the sauna, as the area is more secluded.

Victim 4 remembers Sandusky being emotionally upset after having a meeting with Joe Paterno in which Paterno told Sandusky he would not be the next head coach at Penn State and which preceded Sandusky’s retirement. Sandusky told Victim 4 not to tell anyone about the meeting. That meeting occurred in May, 1999.

While Sandusky’s “retirement” from Penn State was announced three months later, Paterno allowed Sandusky to coach the entire 1999 season.

The Grand Jury reported that it was during the 1998 and 1999 Penn State football seasons that Sandusky allegedly, repeatedly sexually abused Victim 4 - a child at the time - while representing Penn State on road trips and during overnight stays by the school’s football team at a local hotel before home games:

Victim 4 was listed, along with Sandusky’s wife, as a member of Sandusky’s family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl and the 1999 Alamo Bowl. He traveled to and from both bowl games with the football team and other Penn State staff, coaches and their families, sharing the same accommodations. Victim 4 would frequently stay overnight at Toftrees with Sandusky and the football team prior to home games; Sandusky’s wife was never present at Toftrees when Victim 4 stayed with Sandusky.

This was where the first indecent assaults of Victim 4 occurred. Victim 4 would attend the pregame banquet and sit with Sandusky at the coaches’ table. Victim 4 also accompanied Sandusky to various charity golf outings and would share a hotel room with him on those occasions.

Less than a year before Paterno told Sandusky in 1999 that, “it would be best that he make a coaching change“, Penn State law enforcement filed an exhaustive 130-page police report in which Sandusky confirmed to detectives that he had showered with two boys in the Penn State locker room. As part of the Penn State Police report, Sandusky admitted to the mother of one of the boys - in the presence of two police detectives - that his behavior “was wrong” and that “I wish I were dead.

Shortly after that report was filed and three months before Paterno reportedly told Sandusky in 1999 that, “it would be best that he make a coaching change“, Neil Rudel of the ALTOONA (PA) MIRROR reported that Paterno had recently proposed that Penn State’s Altoona branch campus start a football program.

With Sandusky as head coach.

In a Jan. 22, 1999, piece titled, “PSU Altoona Explores Football,” school CEO Allen Meadors indicated that the Sandusky-coached football program proposal was Paterno’s idea:

The idea was actually born out of a conversation with Joe Patemo. “He told me it was time for football at Altcona,” Meadors said. “I wouldn’t have even considered it if Joe wasn’t supportive of it.”

“I think it’s a good idea for the community,” Patemo said. “Eventually a lot of our branch campuses will have football, and I think more kids would be willing to stay four years, and it would help applications for admission.

“There are so many kids that really would like to play football and would like to have the Penn State name, and some of these (Division III) schools are so much more expensive than Penn State. It would be an opportunity, and there isn’t a prettier campus in the state than Altoona. The next logical step would be football”

But in a followup story by Rudel in the Mirror on April 9, 2011, then-Penn State Altoona CEO Meadors said he was initially pitched the idea by Sandusky:

“Jerry called me and asked if I would be interested in having a football team at Penn State-Altoona. I said ‘Sure, if we had a way to pay for it.’ He mentioned that he knew a gentleman who might be willing to provide the necessary funds. We visited with the gentleman, but he never committed the money, and a football-team project never got off the ground.”

In Rudel’s 1999 article, Sandusky confirmed that he had “spoken about it” with Paterno and that he would “be interested” in running the startup Penn State-affiliated program if the funds could be raised.

Sandusky has discussed the possibilities of football with Meadors several times and could conceivably envision himself becoming the head coach here.

“If it was possible (to have a program in Altoona), I’d be interested,” Sandusky said. “It would be nice. I think it’s a great idea for Penn State Altoona.”

Just three months later Paterno told Sandusky - as related by PSU VP Schultz to the State College Grand Jury - “it would be best that he make a coaching change.”

After that meeting, a Penn State Altoona football program startup was never discussed again publicly by Paterno, Sandusky or PSU Altoona officials.

At the time of the proposal, Penn State Altoona CEO Meadors told the Mirror in the original, Jan. 22, 1999, article that, “I’m concerned their (Paterno and Sandusky) scope is narrow. They’re mainly looking at Altoona, but it would have to be a much broader view than Altoona.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Report: Sandusky in President’s Box 2 Mos. Ago

Former Penn State linebacker Brandon Short reported on ESPN Wednesday - via “two independent sources” cited by the ex-Nittany Lion linebacker - that Jerry Sandusky watched the Oct. 29, 2011, football game between Penn State and Illinois at Beaver Stadium from the luxury box of then-Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Rodney Erickson was at March 18, 2011 Penn State Board of Trustees Meeting

(Erickson at meeting where Short reported Trustees first told of Sandusky)

Excerpt of Short’s comments from ESPN’s Outside The Lines program today:

“Two independent sources at the (Penn State) university have confirmed to me that Jerry Sandusky watched the Illinois-Penn State game in the President’s suite with multiple members of the (Penn State) Board of Trustees.”

Short later affirmed to ESPN host Bob Ley that the game he was referencing was the Oct. 29, 2011, Penn State-Illinois game at Beaver Stadium. The Attorney General of Pennsylvania released the Grand Jury presentment detailing dozens of allegations against Sandusky involving the sexual abuse of children on Nov. 5, 2011, less than a week after the Penn State-Illinois game.


Further, Short reported that Spanier, who has since stepped down as PSU President, briefed members of the school’s Board of Trustees on the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky in New York in March, 2011.

Spanier was contacted by the HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS in March before the newspaper first broke the news of the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky. Spanier, who was interviewed by the Grand Jury as part of the Sandusky investigation, declined comment to the newspaper at the time.

An official meeting of the Penn State Board of Trustees was held in New York City’s Helmsley Hotel on March 18, 2011.

According to the official minutes of that meeting posted on Penn State’s official website, current Penn State President Rodney Erickson was at the March, 18, 2011, meeting of the school’s Board of Trustees in New York - the same meeting Short reported that the Board was informed by Spanier of the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky.

Last Saturday Erickson told the HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS he was completely unaware of the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky until the presentment was released to the public last November:

nearly all individuals at the university, including me, were not aware of any this until we read it in the grand jury presentment, so how would we have known?”

Three days later, yesterday, Erickson told the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE that he first learned of the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky by reading about it in the CENTRE DAILY TIMES. The newspaper, which serves the State College area, first reported of the Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky on March, 31, 2011.

Yesterday Erickson also told the Post-Gazette that then-Penn State President Graham Spanier briefed the Penn State Board of Trustees about a Grand Jury investigation of Sandusky at a meeting in “May or July.”

Sandusky or anything relating to a Grand Jury investigation involving a person associated with Penn State is not mentioned in the official minutes of the March, May and July official meetings of the Penn State Board of Trustees posted on the school’s official website.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Video of Random Sideline Guy Frightening Saban

Looks like someone put Tom Al-Betar’s sideline pass to good use.

(A Star is Born)

Sadly though, I’ve been told Alabama football legend Harvey Updyke didn’t see the field last night.

Though if I had Mal Moore fetching me chicken fingers and spiked cheerwine all night, I’d wouldn’t bother to leave President Witt’s suite either.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Letter, Nude Pics That Got NFL Cheerleader Fired

Last year former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader Malori Wampler filed a lawsuit in an Indiana Federal Court against the team contesting her November 15, 2010, termination by the NFL club. Wampler was fired after Colts officials received a letter that included photos of Wampler - covered only in body paint - taken at two Playboy promotional events.

Colts Nude Playboy Cheerleader Photos

(More body paint photos of Wampler

Below is an image of a copy of the unsigned letter and the photos that were included in the anonymous communication to the team. Read more…

Pics: Trent Richardson Seen Gambling At Casino

Early Friday morning longtime Alabama media personality Paul Finebaum appeared on FOX 6 in Birmingham to set the scene in New Orleans on the weekend before LSU and Alabama meet on Monday at the SuperDome.

Trent Richardson at Harrahs Casino in New Orleans Jan. 7, 2012

(Trent Richardson at New Orleans Casino Saturday night)

During his visit with FOX 6 news anchor Janice Rogers, Finebaum reported that Alabama and LSU football players were spending their off-field time visiting Bourbon Street and patronizing Harrah’s Casino.

We saw reams of Alabama and LSU players, they had a midnight curfew, and, surprise suprise they split their time between Bourbon Street, and I know fans of LSU and Alabama are going to be thrilled to hear this, Bourbon Street and Harrah’s Casino.

About a quarter ’til twelve we went in there (Harrah’s Casino), I saw mainly LSU players, one very prominent one I might add but I’ll keep his name out of it. I hope he’s an adult although I think he is based on his alleged criminal activity of a few months ago.

I was a little surprised to see football players gambling, in a legal casino I might add, but it still surprised me. I guess I’m getting old.

Rogers then asked Finebaum, “I did hear that the curfews were midnight. Maybe one (team) had a one o’clock curfew, will that not start tightening up now today?


Finebaum replied:

Yes, it’s interesting I saw Trent Richardson out on, I think it was Bourbon Street, and he ran into one of his coaches and they were talking and, Trent really is a very nice kid, and he said, ‘coach I hate to do this but I’ve got curfew in ten minutes, I’ve got to run.’

Speaking of Richardson, the Alabama star running back was seen the evening after Finebaum’s comments at Harrah’s Casino around 11pm local time.

Trent Richardson at Harrahs Casino in New Orleans Jan. 7, 2012

(Trent Richardson at New Orleans Casino Saturday night) 

Richardson was also photographed visiting the New Orleans gambling parlor Saturday night around 11:30pm local time.

Trent Richardson at Harrahs Casino in New Orleans Jan. 7, 2012

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Jim Rome Strikes Deal For Showtime Appearances

Earlier today Jason McIntrye of TheBigLead.com broke the news that Jim Rome was moving his weekday Jim Rome is Burning television show from ESPN to the CBS Sports Network. (ESPN has since confirmed Rome’s last TV appearance on behalf of the company will be January 27.)

Jim Rome moving from ESPN to Showtime

In response to Rome’s show no longer airing weekdays at 4:30p ET on ESPN2, SbB has learned that ESPN2 weekday offering Numbers Never Lie will be moved from 3:30p ET to 4 and Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable will be pushed back from its normal ESPN2 weekday 4p ET airtime to 4:30.

ESPN will likely eventually fill the 3:30p ET weekday slot on ESPN2 with another original programming production.

Multiple sources Friday indicated to SbB that as part of his new deal with CBS, Rome has agreed to make regular appearances on CBS-owned Showtime.

SbB has been told that Rome will be the centerpiece of an aggressive move by Showtime Sports into the increased production of original sports programming under new executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza.

Before Rome struck the CBS deal he had former ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro, who worked on Rome’s original ESPN2 show as a production assistant, approach NBC about a similar arrangement.

NBC, which recently launched a 24-hour sports programming channel, passed.

UPDATE: Multiple sources tell SbB that a primary reason Rome departed ESPN was that network executives wanted to move his TV show to ESPN’s production facility in Los Angeles and force the ESPN2 show host to drop his non-ESPN, television-only production team.

SbB has been told that shooting the show near Rome’s Orange County home, while also footing the bill for Rome’s personal TV production unit, was costing ESPN upwards of $7 million per season.

For Rome’s TV show to continue on ESPN, the network would’ve no longer been obligated to defray such production costs.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates