No Rest for the Wicked During the Bethlehem Coaches Caravan stop, James Franklin announced that the team would hold practice on Sundays this fall. Traditionally, the day following a game was an off day for players- but Franklin doesn't seem like one for lazy Sundays. This plan may seem counter-intuitive for a team with depth issues, but it should be beneficial. The Sunday practices will give the team to watch film, visit with the trainers or get in a light workout. It will also give them one last opportunity to learn from the previous game before switching their focus completely to the following opponent.
Wanna Buy some Grass? Looking for a gift for a Notre Dame fan? The school has announced it will sell sections of its grass field to fans for $150. Notre Dame has decided to remove its sod field and replace it with artificial turf after struggling to keep the field in proper playing conditions recently. The move is a bit surprising considering how traditional Notre Dame is, which is obvious when visiting the stadium. The scoreboard is similar to the one at my old high school- just the basic info with no screen for replays or highlights. The seating consists of old wooden benches, and the field is without any type of decoration, unless you count the row of stripes that mark the end zone.
Losing Time Oklahoma State has become one of the first major football programs to be punished by the NCAA for its APR score. The Cowboys will have its allotted practice time of 20 hours per week reduced to 18 after falling just short of the required 930 score. While Penn State finished dead last in the Big Ten with an APR score of 954, it has plenty of breathing room before worrying about receiving additional sanctions. In fact, the low APR score is directly related to the sanctions that followed the Freeh Report which gave players the ability to jump to another program, leaving their ultimate academic success out of Penn State's hands. With Franklin buying into the Success with Honor mantra, the low score should become just a blip on the screen in no time.
From Bad to Worse Speaking of the scandal, do you remember when it seemed like all of Penn State's PR decisions were made by a monkey holding a balloon? Well, apparently the Baltimore Ravens learned a thing or two. Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice spoke publicly for the first time following aggravated assault charges against his fiance (now wife). Good ol' Ray made sure his wife absorbed some of the blame, as she sat by his side and publicly apologized for her role in the incident- the one where she was knocked unconscious by Rice before he dragged her from an elevator. There was no way for Rice to come out looking much better following such an ugly incident, but he somehow managed to make himself into much more of a villain.
Long Way to the Top Penn State fans are busy celebrating the schools incredible recruiting success, currently sitting at #2 nationally behind the almighty Alabama Crimson Tide. However, the upcoming season isn't expected to be as much of a smashing success- Penn State enters the summer at #46, a far cry from a national contender, or even the Top 25. While the future looks bright, expectations should remain relatively low for 2014. The Nittany Lions certainly return talent in spots, but even the most optimistic fans should realize this program will need some time to build itself back to national prominence on the playing field.