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Prized PSU commit: Didn't even think about verdict

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01:46 PM ET 06.25 | Days after a jury reached its verdict in the Jerry Sandusky trial, Bill O'Brien has landed a prized recruit for his Class of 2013. Dorian Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound senior offensive tackle at Belle Vernon High School, made a verbal commitment Sunday night to Penn State. Besides Penn State, Johnson's other finalists were Pitt, West Virginia and Ohio State, and he also had scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and South Carolina, among others. Johnson is rated the No. 23 offensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com and No. 13 by scout.com. ... Johnson, who visited Penn State Saturday, said the Sandusky case had no effect on his decision. "The verdict came out the day before I visited," Johnson said. "But I didn't even think about it. I don't think it has anything to do with the program now."

(Ed. note: An earlier version of this note inadvertently appeared as the next item's headline.)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Matt McGloin, Getty Images Matt McGloin, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
Comment #2 has been removed
June 25, 2012  02:18 PM ET

So all the other comments just pfffft?

Comment #4 has been removed
June 25, 2012  03:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Don't drop the soap kid!

Come on Doc, you are better than that.

June 25, 2012  03:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Come on Doc, you are better than that.

I really don't think he is. That's on par.

Penn State football should be abolished. They are rotten and sick to the core. I wish I could dig up Joe Pa and reanimate him so I could kill him.


-- DocMadLab

June 25, 2012  04:03 PM ET

I've read 2-3 articles that have called for the death penality for PSU football. While I believe this will never happen, I do feel the worst of the PR nighmare is still to come for Penn State.

2 more trials for high-ups lying to a grand jury to protect Sandusky.....if this is proven, Penn State still has miles and miles of problems. Add to that the civil suits and ALL the dirty laundry of Penn State is still to be aired. IF it's as bad as the potential is, then this could get really ugly for the school.

IF the school (primarily the athletic department) did in fact knowingly aid and assist a child molseter to protect it's own image......THAT"S A BIG AND UNPROVEN IF....but if it's true, then is the death penality not warrented?

June 25, 2012  04:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I've read 2-3 articles that have called for the death penality for PSU football. While I believe this will never happen, I do feel the worst of the PR nighmare is still to come for Penn State. 2 more trials for high-ups lying to a grand jury to protect Sandusky.....if this is proven, Penn State still has miles and miles of problems. Add to that the civil suits and ALL the dirty laundry of Penn State is still to be aired. IF it's as bad as the potential is, then this could get really ugly for the school.IF the school (primarily the athletic department) did in fact knowingly aid and assist a child molseter to protect it's own image......THAT"S A BIG AND UNPROVEN IF....but if it's true, then is the death penality not warrented?

Good, no... great, questions.

1) PSU still has many more PR & media nightmares to come. Shultz, Curley, and Spanier all have emails referencing Sandusky's crimes. Those dudes are screwed. (Joe Paterno never used email). Their trials will take some time, but criminal trials move quicker than Civil. I expect less than a year.

2) The University is working right now to settle Civil suits before they reach court. There is a combination of University fund and Insurance that can cover the settlements. I believe the University settlement offers will be generous; the last thing they want to do is extend the Civil portion which could go on for many, many years. If settlements are reached, expect non-disclosure statements written in and then I expect it will happen fairly quietly.

3) The NCAA is a bit of a wildcard. 95% of what I read is that the NCAA has no jurisdiction in this matter. The NCAA covers student-athletes and competition. There is no way to tie a child molester to a competitive advantage for student athletes. They are apples and oranges - the NCAA governs ATHLETES and COACHES as they relate to competition, not crime. For example, a football player arrested for weed cannot lead to an NCAA violation. He can be kicked off the team for violating University/team rules but the NCAA cannot levy a penalty. It's flippant, but a pedophile isn't cheating.

You will always have the knee-jerk reaction that "The NCAA has to do something" because of the severity of the crimes. And they are horrific. And they were committed by a University person in athletic facilities. They were covered up by University administrators. But the events have nothing to do with competition which is governed by the NCAA.

But the NCAA is irrational and random at times, so I'll give it a 5% chance of having some penalty levied by the NCAA. Only because they often make no sense.

4) Dorian Johnson's perspective is very common among recruits. Ironically, the Sandusky case brought recruits closer together. They tweet #RestoretheRoar to each other all the time. They formed private Facebook groups. They tell other recruits to come help "Heal" the program. They see restoring PSU to a National Champion as a challenge they can face together. Both the 2012 and 2013 freshman classes are very close knit. The adversity has become the strongest motivator for those kids and Coach O'Brien. People speculated that the scandal would drive recruits away - it has only made them closer and proud to be the classes that were loyal.

June 25, 2012  04:45 PM ET

Thx for the insite, Grue.......hadn't thought through the legal vs competition aspect of the NCAA involvement. Like you said, knee-jerk reaction is this is the ultimate "loss of Insitutional Control" and the program should be slammed IF FOUND GUILTY of supporting this man and his crimes in any way.

Bottom line, Pedophiles associated w/ your team is 1,000,000+ times worse than payig recruits, free tatoos, or MIP's & weed arrests but the ability/responsibility to police and punish the program has to come from within.....NCAA isn't the authority to deal with this.

Very intelligent post, thx for sharing.

June 25, 2012  05:03 PM ET

There is only one route that the NCAA can go if they want to pentalize PSU and that is lack of internal/administrative controls over the athletic program. Not saying they will do this but it is the only way I can see them doing anything. I don't see the NCAA doing anything until after the two admistrators trails are over due to conflict with a criminal investigation.

The bad news is that if and that's a big IF the NCAA goes the lack of admin control route it usually equals death penalty for the sport(s) the school lost admin control of. As Grue already said the NCAA is too big a wild card for me to gues the percentage that the NCAA will act or not.

June 25, 2012  05:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Thx for the insite, Grue.......hadn't thought through the legal vs competition aspect of the NCAA involvement. Like you said, knee-jerk reaction is this is the ultimate "loss of Insitutional Control" and the program should be slammed IF FOUND GUILTY of supporting this man and his crimes in any way. Bottom line, Pedophiles associated w/ your team is 1,000,000+ times worse than payig recruits, free tatoos, or MIP's & weed arrests but the ability/responsibility to police and punish the program has to come from within.....NCAA isn't the authority to deal with this. Very intelligent post, thx for sharing.

Agree. I don't think the NCAA should be involved. Remember, they have their bylaws that address student-athlete/institution issues. I'm not aware of any that relate to criminal activities, per local jurisdictions.

Now, I do hope the 5-10 (or more) people involved at PSU get tried for a number of possible counts for allowing this to happen. I hope the university goes broke for trying to hide this. I hope we only remember PSU for this incident like SMU is always associated with the pay for play scandal and DP.

June 25, 2012  05:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

There is only one route that the NCAA can go if they want to pentalize PSU and that is lack of internal/administrative controls over the athletic program. Not saying they will do this but it is the only way I can see them doing anything. I don't see the NCAA doing anything until after the two admistrators trails are over due to conflict with a criminal investigation.The bad news is that if and that's a big IF the NCAA goes the lack of admin control route it usually equals death penalty for the sport(s) the school lost admin control of. As Grue already said the NCAA is too big a wild card for me to gues the percentage that the NCAA will act or not.

The other thing recruits might consider in selecting PSU is that IF PSU gets severe penalties from the NCAA, I believe the NCAA rules allow transfers without loss of eligibility. Therefore, it is pretty low risk for impacting their potential professional careers.

June 25, 2012  05:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I hope we only remember PSU for this incident like SMU is always associated with the pay for play scandal and DP.

Sadly, PSU will always be branded with this. Penalties or not, it will never be forgotten.

And I hope that other victims or witnesses have the courage to come forward. I hope other administrations see PSU as the way to NOT handle crimes like this. I hope other criminals are slammed down hard because institutions don't want to be "another PSU".

If anything good can come of this, let it be prevention and swift action in the future.

Comment #14 has been removed
June 25, 2012  07:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The other thing recruits might consider in selecting PSU is that IF PSU gets severe penalties from the NCAA, I believe the NCAA rules allow transfers without loss of eligibility. Therefore, it is pretty low risk for impacting their potential professional careers.

I think in USC's case, the Jr and Sr were allowed to transfer without penalty, but the Fr and So couldn't...is that right? Anyone?

June 25, 2012  07:36 PM ET

My father was an alumnus of Penn State. I'm glad he wasn't alive to see this failure of its' leadership. I know he would have been outraged at all of them, even JoePa. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of PSU alumni that feel that way. I hope they stand up to the crowd that wants to pretend it was just one bad guy and let's get on with football. Those young men (and the ones who didn't come forward) will always suffer. Institutions (churches, schools, etc) that provide access to young people must have controls in place that prevent the evil ones from hurting the innocent. If Penn State wants to restore its' image, let it devote itself to battling child abuse and finding ways to prevent it. Maybe then, we'll give damn about their football team.

Comment #17 has been removed
June 25, 2012  08:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

My father was an alumnus of Penn State. I'm glad he wasn't alive to see this failure of its' leadership. I know he would have been outraged at all of them, even JoePa. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of PSU alumni that feel that way. I hope they stand up to the crowd that wants to pretend it was just one bad guy and let's get on with football. Those young men (and the ones who didn't come forward) will always suffer. Institutions (churches, schools, etc) that provide access to young people must have controls in place that prevent the evil ones from hurting the innocent. If Penn State wants to restore its' image, let it devote itself to battling child abuse and finding ways to prevent it. Maybe then, we'll give damn about their football team.

Contrary to popular belief, the VAST majority of the Penn State community (including myself) feels this way. We are all sickened, disturbed, and angered about the actions and inactions of the most powerful people on our campus. Those kids will have to live the rest of their lives with the horrible memories of what Sandusky did to them. We are all anxious for the investigations to end, for the responsible parties to be punished, and for life to get back to normal.

As far as Dorian Johnson's comments, they seem to mirror those of the other 2013 recruits. The president is gone, the AD is gone, the assistant AD is gone, Schultz is gone, Paterno and staff are gone. It's basically a clean slate. Bill O'Brien and staff have done an unbelievable job of recruiting, especially considering the circumstances.

As to whether or not the NCAA gets involved, is up in the air. Stewart Mandel actually had a great response to this question in his mailbag last week.

June 25, 2012  10:03 PM ET

PSU = Pedophile State University. Maybe Paterno didn't rob the bank but he drove the getaway car by allowing Sandusky to continue being involved in PS football and by not turning him in to police. He may be dead but he is no less guilty.

 
June 25, 2012  11:05 PM ET

While it may not apply to the "crimes" that are part of this situation, the term "Lack of Institutional Control" certainly does describe the situation. I think the failures of the school leadership will linger far longer than the taint of what one man did. It's sad, but going forward, far too many people will remember this and largely lose the vision of great football legends.

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