December 27, 2014 |
After learning of the crushing sanctions the NCAA levied against Penn State in July 2012, linebacker Mike Hull was as good as gone, "really close" to packing up, heading home to Western Pennsylvania and enrolling at Pittsburgh, he said. "I basically was about to tell Coach [Bill] O'Brien that I wasn't coming back, and then I figured I'd sleep on it," Hull recalled earlier this season. "My roommates kind of talked me into staying and so did [Michael] Mauti. So I came back and I was fully invested for that [preseason]
December 26, 2014 |
TOMORROW'S Pinstripe Bowl is an opportunity for Penn State football. Strictly on paper, it's an opportunity at a winning record. After finishing the 2014 regular season at 6-6, the Nittany Lions will look to avoid their first losing record since 2004. Also, it's a chance to play in Yankee Stadium, a venue that, while relatively new, embodies so much history. But most important, it's an opportunity the Lions weren't supposed to have. Rocked by NCAA sanctions levied in July 2012 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal, the Penn State program was supposed to wilt and die facing a 4-year bowl ban, scholarship limitations and a hefty $60 million fine.
December 25, 2014 |
Seth Betancourt enjoyed a high school career full of accolades at St. Joseph's Prep as a multitalented offensive tackle. He could have had his choice of any top college football program in the country and decided on Boston College. But life moves in mysterious ways, and Betancourt went through some strange experiences, not the least of which was the fact that he got caught up in a numbers crunch. He did not start his first game in a B.C. uniform until the 2014 season opener. In the meantime, the Eagles went 4-8 and 2-10 in his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons.
December 24, 2014 |
NEW YORK - National signing day for Christian Hackenberg was more than six months away when the NCAA hammered Penn State in July 2012 with harsh sanctions. The penalties included a four-year bowl ban that would have prevented the Virginia high school phenom to play in the postseason until his senior year. In the end, Hackenberg ignored overtures from other head coaches, honored his commitment to Bill O'Brien and signed with the Nittany Lions. A lot has happened since then, including a coaching change, but the best development for the team came in September when the NCAA lifted the bowl ban. So instead of waiting two more years, Hackenberg will make his bowl debut on Saturday when the Lions take on Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
December 17, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - It happens all the time: A defensive, offensive or special-teams coordinator molds a consistent, standout unit, which sometimes carries a team to success. That not only garners the respective group attention, but also the coach that's mentoring. In Penn State's case, that's defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop. With his first regular season at Penn State in the books, Shoop has made a name for himself. A lot falls on the players' performances, but the Nittany Lions were top-10 in scoring defense and allowed the fewest rushing yards per game, and Shoop - who was nominated last month for the Broyles Award for the nation's best assistant - deserves some credit.
December 11, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - After defeating Temple on Nov. 15, Penn State became bowl-eligible, and from that point forward, the question of where the Nittany Lions would go in their first postseason opportunity since 2011 was a waiting game. First-year head coach James Franklin, athletic director Sandy Barbour and the rest of the Lions found out on Sunday that Penn State (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) is Big Apple-bound, slated to play Boston College (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium.
December 9, 2014 |
Reuniting with an old Eastern rival, Penn State has accepted an invitation to play Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN. The Nittany Lions, who were 6-6 in James Franklin's initial year as head coach, will play in their first bowl game since the 2011 postseason, when they competed in the Ticket City Bowl in Dallas. They were ineligible to participate in a bowl the last two seasons because of NCAA sanctions. This will be Penn State's 45th bowl appearance in program history; the Lions have compiled a 27-15-2 record on the field.
December 9, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Happy Valley is in a "New York State of Mind. " A few days after Billy Joel performed at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State kept the theme going when it was announced last evening that the Nittany Lions will play in the Pinstripe Bowl. Penn State (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) will face Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium in its first postseason appearance since 2011. "I think there are a lot of unique opportunities that go with this," Penn State coach James Franklin said.
October 3, 2014 |
IT'S NOT FUNNY and it won't amuse you. There's no clowning around in ESPN's latest Emmy-winning "30 for 30" documentary. The series, in its fifth season, kicks off with "Playing for the Mob," which chronicles the point-shaving scandal Boston College's men's basketball team was involved in during the 1978-79 season. Fans of the film "Goodfellas" will be familiar with some of those involved as Jimmy "The Gent" Burke and Henry Hill were among the mob associates who convinced four BC players to help fix games.
September 25, 2014
SOMETIMES, IT'S not about the X's and O's. It's about people, and doing what's right. After Saturday's win over Delaware State, Temple coach Matt Rhule presented a game ball to assistant head coach Ed Foley on behalf of the Foley family. When asked about it yesterday, Rhule almost became emotional again. Because it was from the heart. Foley's father Ed, who was called "Tanjo," passed away on Sept. 11 following a lengthy illness. "Ed's been here seven years," Rhule explained.