Big Ten: Rod Erickson

Big Ten lunchtime links

August, 13, 2012
There are two kinds of heists: those where the guys get away with it, and those that leave witnesses.
CHICAGO -- The Big Ten's punishment for Penn State was relatively light in comparison to that levied by the NCAA. The biggest sanction the league handed down was the loss of bowl revenue for four years, which will amount to about a $13 million fine.

But commissioner Jim Delany said the league was prepared to dole out more severe punishment if the NCAA sanctions hadn't been as harsh as they were. And even though some wonder about the right of the NCAA and the Big Ten to issue such punishments without a hearing, Delany has no qualms about what happened.

"A lot of people want to debate about NCAA penalties or Big Ten penalties, and those debates are fine," Delany said at Big Ten media days in Chicago. "But to me they miss the point very much, because they're not in any way related to what happened to the victims of (Jerry) Sandusky's actions.

"I don't really care if it's a precedent. I don't really care about whether or not they had jurisdiction or whether or not there was an underlying NCAA violation. The only thing that matters to me is I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act, and I think the Big Ten had moral authority to act."

Still, Delany said no penalty can undo the harm that was done in State College, Pa.

"Justice can never really be served in this case, because the victims can never receive justice," he said. "There's no amount of legal, criminal, civil, NCAA, Big Ten action that can change that or help them."

Despite all that, Delany praised how new school president Rod Erickson, athletic director Dave Joyner and head coach Bill O'Brien have handled themselves during this crisis.

"It's been dark in many, many ways, but sometimes it's darkest before the dawn," he said.

Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary has been placed on administrative leave, new school president Rod Erickson said Friday afternoon.

McQueary was an eyewitness to an alleged rape of a child by former coach Jerry Sandusky in 2002, according to grand jury reports. He was a graduate assistant at the time and has testified he told his father and Joe Paterno what he saw.

Many have called for McQueary's dismissal this week, while others feared for his safety should he continue to coach. Penn State announced Thursday night that McQueary would not be at Saturday's Nebraska game because threats had been made against him. Erickson said there are issues that preclude the school from firing McQueary at this time, but he did not disclose what those issues are.

Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary will not be at Beaver Stadium for Saturday's game against No. 19 Nebraska, the school announced Thursday night.

Penn State athletics issued a statement saying because of multiple threats made against McQueary, it would "be in the best interest of all" for the wide receivers coach not to attend the game. The statement didn't mention anything about McQueay's future with the program.

McQueary has become the focal point for blame in Penn State's scandal following the firing of head coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday night. McQueary was the former Penn State graduate assistant who saw an alleged sexual assault on a young boy by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky in the showers of the team's football building in 2002. He informed Paterno of the incident but didn't go to law-enforcement officials.

Penn State acting head coach Tom Bradley said earlier Wednesday that McQueary's status for the game would be decided by acting athletic director Mark Sherburne. The school's Board of Trustees reportedly asked that McQueary not coach from his normal spot on the sideline because of safety concerns.

This decision makes a lot of sense, and you have to wonder why it wasn't made sooner, given the scrutiny on McQueary. The interesting thing will be whether Penn State makes a decision on McQueary's status with the program beyond Saturday's game.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Acting university president Rod Erickson this evening told reporters to "stay tuned" when asked why Mr. McQueary, who reportedly witnessed the rape of a child by a former football coach, was still employed.
Mr. Erickson indicated the university could take action on Mr. McQueary late tonight or tomorrow morning. When asked if Mr. McQueary was still employed as of Thursday evening, Mr. Erickson replied "as I said, you'll hear more."

Penn State's Board of Trustees meets Friday morning.