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Nitt Picks Would Accept Felony Charges to Punch Bobby Bowden

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Just a few late afternoon Nitt Picks for you today.

Beware that if you throw a punch in State College the DA is likely going to try to book you with felony charges. Fortunately for you, the judge will probably throw them out.

Magisterial District Justice Jonathan Grine threw out today the felony charge of aggravated assault against former defensive tackle Phillip Taylor, ruling that Taylor's alleged involvement as presented at the preliminary hearing did not rise to the level needed to justify an aggravated assault charge.

Taylor will still face misdemeanor charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct and summary charges of harassment and stalking charges in connection with an Oct. 7 fight in the HUB-Robeson Center.

The victim of the alleged assault, the only witness to speak at the hearing, testified that Taylor threw the last punch in a brawl that police say included up to 15 football players.

Seriously, the State College DA is out of control. He's obviously another Mike Nifong, an overzealous lawyer looking for high profile cases to get re-elected and futher his career. He doesn't care about justice. He doesn't care about people's lives. All he cares about is grabbing headlines. He knows that charging Penn State football players grabs headlines. But when the charges get dropped that tends to fall on page six. It's all good for him.

Basketball Stuff

Jamelle Cornley had surgery this week on his injured knee. Apparently it went pretty well.

Cornley had arthroscopic surgery performed on his left knee Monday afternoon by Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, and the results were encouraging, according to Penn State spokesman Brian Siegrist.

The original injury, the bone bruise that Cornley suffered in October, was smaller than expected. Sebastianelli also cleaned up some tissue around the knee. Cornley's recovery is still expected to take at least three months.

Only a three month recovery time is great news. He should be practicing this summer and be ready in time for the 2008-2009 season.

The other interesting tidbit in the article is the vote of confidence athletic director gave Ed Dechellis.

"Ed's just done a wonderful job of continuing to build this program each year, and I think more of the pieces are coming together," Curley said. "He's built a really solid foundation for this program -- what we thought he would do when we hired him -- and he's put us in a position now where I think you're going to see a lot of growth in the program."

Depending on your perspective this is either good news or bad news. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of PSU fans wrote off Ed the day he took the job and never really gave him a chance. But it's hard to argue with the results this year. Sure we had higher hopes when the season started, but what would our expectations have been if we had known Claxton and Cornley would both be lost to injury? I would have said we probably wouldn't win more than one conference game. Yet we won seven including wins over two nationally ranked opponentes with a bunch of freshmen and a junior college kid logging all the minutes. With Cornley coming back and a few other big men coming in next year to help out the future is indeed looking bright for this program.

Bobby Bowden is a Classy Guy

I read this over at EDSBS and was thoroughly disgusted.

Geoff Berniard, has been an offensive lineman on the Florida State University football team since 2004. At the beginning of spring practice this past February he was notified that he would not be awarded his scholarship for his fifth and final year of eligibility. In December, Rick Trickett, the new offensive line coach, approached Geoff asking him what he was going to be doing about his final year of eligibility. Trickett told Geoff that he would never play in his offensive scheme and that in his eyes it was best that he quit and move on with his life. This was a conversation that came after a year of attempting to run Geoff off the team but, at the conversations conclusion Geoff made it clear that he was returning for his senior season whether Trickett liked it or not.

Apparently, Trickett did not like that conclusion. At some point Trickett told Coach Bowden that Geoff decided he did not want to come back for his senior season and they recruited as if they had an "open" scholarship.

After FSU played in the Music City Bowl in December Geoff returned to Tallahassee and mentally prepared to endure the physically grueling spring workouts, which include mat drills and a strict weight room regimen, as well as his final semester as an undergraduate student.

After the first day of mat drills he was called up to Coach Bobby Bowden's office for a meeting with him. Coach Bowden explained that he was "surprised to see Geoff" at the 5 am mat drill because he was "under the impression that he was not to returning for his fifth year", information he received from Trickett. After beating around the bush and looking like a fool who has know idea about decisions that are made for his own football team, he finally told Geoff that due to a "number crunch" he would not be receiving his fifth year of scholarship eligibility. This was a very unexpected and indescribable disappointment to Geoff. He had every intention to fulfill the commitment that he made on signing day in February 2004.

This is a common practice in these southern schools. They are only supposed to sign no more than 25 kids in any one recruiting class. But every year there's Alabama taking 32, Auburn taking 30, LSU taking 26. This year Florida State granted scholarships to 30 kids. Inevitably someone has to get cut. So you start hearing stories about kids being declared acedemically ineligible. Or suffering mysterious injuries that cut their career short. Or in this case, fifth year seniors who are basically asked not to come back.

Like I said before, in a way I was glad Joe Paterno broke his leg in 2006. It delayed him from entering the College Football Hall of Fame by one year. If you remember, he was supposed to enter the Hall alongside Bobby Bowden and they were both going to share the stage. I'm glad Joe didn't have to share anything with that fat jerk. The only thing these two men have in common is a lot of wins on the football field. Outside of that, the two programs could not be any more different.