Mother(ship) Issues. The SBNation.com printable bracket is here, with a handy guide to the SBN blogs of each team (where available, sorry Lehigh fans). Also, it's always a good time to check out and subscribe to the SB Nation YouTube channel, where you can find new and original content on a daily basis. Feature that I like way more than I'd originally thought: Bomani & Jones. Very funny.
Big Wrestling News. Penn State will be the transfer destination for former three-time New Jersey state wrestling champion, Jimmy Lawson. Lawson had been playing football at Monmouth for the past two years, but he missed being on the mats:
"I was missing the sport. I’ve been missing it for a while," Lawson said. "There’s a lot of intensity in (wrestling). It’s basically like being a gladiator. You’re one-on-one on the floor with all eyes on you. It was a feeling that I missed."
As a high school senior, Lawson pinned 37 of 39 opponents and beat North Hunterdon’s Jack Delia in the state final in just 43 seconds. The win made Lawson the first three-time heavyweight champion in New Jersey since Harry Lanzi of Newton did it between 1946 and 1948.
Lawson, who out of high school had wrestling scholarship offers from top programs all over the country, stunned fans when he decided to play football in college. His decision came around the same time that Bound Brook star Andrew Campolattano verbally committed to play football for Rutgers.
Dirty Recruiting Tricks! LUNCH? Seriously, how tacky. Okay, sure, BOB used some Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez film to sway Adam Breneman and his parents, but it wasn't quite what he was shown elsewhere:
He wore Urban Meyer’s championship rings and was given a No. 87 Buckeyes jersey while visiting Columbus. At Notre Dame he walked through a human tunnel from the famed mural of "Touchdown Jesus" to the entrance of Notre Dame Stadium before the Fighting Irish clashed with rival USC. He was in the locker room with the Maryland team after the Terps’ season-opening win over Miami.
He had lunch with O’Brien.
That was enough for Breneman, who grew up a Penn State fan, but admitted that Penn State wasn’t alone at the top of his list until after he spoke with O’Brien. Four-star Virginia prep quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who committed to Penn State on Feb. 29, said the same thing about the Lions’ new coach.
And, In Non-Controversial Topics. Penn State released a statement on behalf of its trustees today regarding the rationale behind firing Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier. It's nothing particularly new (and maybe, Penn State, you should just shut up about this specific topic for a while?). Big blockquote below, regarding Paterno's dismissal:
While Coach Paterno did his legal duty by reporting that information the next day, Sunday, March 3, to his immediate superior, the then Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, the Board reasonably inferred that he did not call police. We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno.
The Board spent hours on conference calls between Saturday, Nov. 5, and Tuesday, Nov. 8, discussing appropriate action and our fiduciary responsibility as the Trustees. On Wednesday evening, Nov. 9, we met in person in State College. At about 9 pm, we unanimously made the difficult decision that Coach Paterno’s failure of leadership required his removal as football coach.
We are sorry for the unfortunate way we had to deliver the news on the telephone about an hour later to Coach Paterno. However, we saw no better alternative. Because Coach Paterno’s home was surrounded by media representatives, photographers and others, we did not believe there was a dignified, private and secure way to send Board representatives to meet with him there. Nor did we believe it would be wise to wait until the next morning, since we believed it was probable that Coach Paterno would hear the news beforehand from other sources, which would be inappropriate.
Thus, we sent a representative of the Athletic Department to ask Coach Paterno to call us. When the coach called, the Board member who received the call planned to tell him that (1) the Board had decided unanimously to remove him as coach; (2) the Board regretted having to deliver the message over the telephone; and (3) his employment contract would continue, including all financial benefits and his continued status as a tenured faculty member. However, after this Board member communicated the first message, Coach Paterno ended the call, so the second and third messages could not be delivered.
"Representative of the Athletic Department", of course, was Fran Ganter. Not lost in this PR move is Jerry Sandusky's pre-trial hearing this morning in Bellefonte, where Joe Amendola was arguing for the dismissal of many charges against his client. Expectedly, Amendola wasn't satisfied with the Commonwealth's response to his Bill Of Particulars -- essentially, "exactly what the hell are you charging my client with?".
The Commonwealth seems either unable or unwilling to identify specific dates and instances in which Sandusky allegedly abused children. And in complete fairness, Amendola is right to be outraged here. It's impossible to create a viable defense if the Commonwealth refuses to identify which events are the cause for the existing charges. Not a good situation for prosecutors.