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Interesting read in the Daily Collegian about a little known 75-hour rule all Penn State sports teams must abide by. The 75 hour rule states that no athletic team or student athlete can be absent from class for more than 75 hours per semester. From what I gather in the article, this is not an NCAA mandate, but rather a restriction Penn State places on itself. Many within the Penn State athletic department feel it puts our teams at an unfair disadvantage compared to other schools.

Every Big Ten school, except Michigan, has some form of the rule; it's just the time that varies. And Penn State's policy is among the strictest.

"Within the committee, the 75-hour rule is definitely a policy that gets more review than others," Kretchmar said.

These reviews are most often brought up in the senate committee every three years by coaches who plead their case in the hopes that the committee will increase the number of hours teams can be away from campus.

"I respect the decision to monitor our class hours, but it is difficult because there isn't a lot of flexibility," track and field coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said.

A policy within the 75-hour rule that Alford-Sullivan calls a "nightmare" is a team's hours getting docked if it decides to leave for competition during its normal practice hours.

Normal practice hours don't count toward the 75-hour rule.

Because of this, many teams are forced to leave on late-night bus rides after practice.

For the Penn State softball team, it is lucky if during these bus trips it gets to the hotel earlier than 11 p.m.

"I never tell my team that we are at a competitive disadvantage, but we are," softball coach Robin Petrini said. "After a while, the players and coaches become so exhausted by the travel that it really takes a physical toll on everyone and affects performance."

Petrini, who was a coach at Northwestern for eight years, said that the Wildcats' softball team never had to deal with as many problems of hours and days away from campus like Penn State does.

This type of problem never occurs at Northwestern, which does not count Big Ten competition when calculating the number of hours and days its teams are away.

"The policy here is far more crippling than at Northwestern," Petrini said.

"There we could get on the dirt, have a good meal and get a good night's sleep."

Now, for Petrini and the rest of the Penn State softball team, sit-down dinners have been replaced with airport and roadside meals at Qboda, Panda Express and McDonald's.

Now before anyone says this is why we're killing outselves in football, read the article and don't.

Sports like football, basketball and volleyball, which charter flights, do not have to worry as much about coming close to the 75-hour limit.

"Football will never get caught because of their schedule," Kretchmar said. "They have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest, missed time amounts we have.

"Even if they didn't charter they would still be low because of their relatively short season, so they are easy to deal with."

Bring On Coastal Carolina

There is No Name On My Jersey is already hitting the offseason wall as he has a preview of Coastal Carolina 120 days out from the contest. If you're dying for some real football analysis, go read it. In typical Homer-JB fashion he picks Penn State to win by 40 points. I think if Penn State fielded a team of 18 inch JoePa's he would still pick Penn State to win by three touchdowns. 18 inch Poz's would win by 100.

Pete Lisicky Scores!

David Jones confirms what most of us already knew. It's good to be Pete Lisicky.

I e-mailed the notoriously single Lisicky a few months ago just to see what female conquests he's made recently, as a half-joke asking for a detailed description of a chance encounter with some Italian Sophia Loren type (OK, I'm dating myself). I got back a two-screen reply that read like something out of Michael Corleone's journal from Sicily. I don't know for certain but it was too real-sounding to be fabricated. It wasn't exactly graphic. Just otherworldly. And that's where these guys are -- in another world. All I can say is, what a fantastic life for a 32-year-old.

And I thought playing basketball in Europe was a bad thing.

Dammit, Don't Call Me After 10

When Joe says don't call me after 10, he means in the morning. I was reading Sean Fitz's interview with Malcom Willis, the Maryland safety that committed to the Lions earlier this week, where Willis said he called Joe right after school to give him the good news. Here was Joe's response. (Note: Content from a premium article reproduced with consent from Blue-White Illustrated)

BWI: How did (Joe Paterno) react to your commitment?

MW: He seemed really excited, because at first he was sleeping, or just waking up or something, and after he was in full gear, he came to life. He was screaming on the phone, and he just seemed really excited.

Make your own jokes.


Fox ranks the top 25 college football uniforms. Penn State comes in at #9.