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Nitt Picks Is Under The Seats Looking For Toll Money

Last Grasp Off-Season Reporting.  Recruiting complaints often fade once we get this close to the season, but the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has decided to run one last headline before we dive into week one.

Penn State's 2008 group of signees was ranked No. 41 among Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) schools by and No. 43 by


The recruiting ranking was hurt because Penn State landed no five-star prospects and only 14 players were signed. By contrast, Alabama, whose 2008 recruiting class is ranked No. 1 by and, signed 32 players.

The article hints at this, but it's worth explicitly stating that those rankings are based on a pure point system derived entirely from the number and rank of the players that are recruited.   Their average star rating  was more in the 25-30 range.

Bob Lichtenfels, who covers the East and Midwest as a regional recruiting analyst for, agrees with Paterno.

"I always get asked about Penn State's recruiting, and I don't think it's that bad," he said. "I think their recruiting classes have been fine. A lot of rankings are based on numbers of recruits and whether you take a quarterback or not, and they haven't taken one since (Pat) Devlin (in 2006)."

While skill players do have inflated rankings relative to some of the other positions, let's not pretend that those positions aren't important to recruit.  To say "the rankings are artificially low because of the positions being recruited" isn't exactly comforting.  It means we need to get our tails out there and find that frickin' dog land some skill players.

You Beer Cans Are Not Safe Here.  Penn State, along with several other big schools, are apparently enforcing campus policy on those caught violating it off campus.

The University of Colorado-Boulder and Penn State also are taking a broader view of offenses that can activate the campus discipline system. In Colorado, the code regulates any conduct that "affects the health, safety or security of any member of the university community or the mission of the university."

Since most college students live off campus, colleges that want to be on top of discipline need to extend their reach beyond their own real estate.

To some, this may sound like an overreaching of university authority; to others, it's a teachable moment.

I'm still at the confused, not yet teachable understanding of this.  BSD opinion is being reserved until our in-house lawyer gets a chance to review, but in the meantime, please applaud this most excellent use of quotation marks by the author (emphasis mine):

"We have a responsibility to educate our students about being responsible citizens," said Elizabeth A. Higgins, Washington's director of community standards and student conduct, whose office has "educated" 19 students since the extended code of conduct took effect in January.

The school is going to have to find out about your shenanigans through the police, and not all departments check in daily with the university for reports.  PSU spokesman Bill Mahon called it "an imperfect system".  A lawyer interviewed about the story appears to call the legality of such a policy questionable.

Toll Trolls.  The state of Pennsylvania is doing what it can to make your game day commute that much more expensive.  US Rep. John Peterson is on your side:

In the news conference, Peterson took a shot at Gov. Ed Rendell’s positions that keep in play both the I-80 toll plan and an alternate proposal to lease the turnpike to a Spanish-U.S. consortium for 75 years in return for a $12.8 billion payment to the state.

Peterson said Rendell is first and foremost interested in securing funding for big-city mass transit systems

Mary Peterson, head of the U.S. Department of Transportation, will apparently make the decision.  She is also apparently "a nice lady".  So we have that going for us, which is nice.

Extra Points. Still is out 8-10 weeks, he has already used his redshirt, so it is possible he could be back for the last couple of games and make an appearance in a bowl....Wallace is "anxious to do more", including the simple things like snapping up his helmet correctly...Penn State gets it's very own SI commemorative issue.