Blackhawks

The latest on the Penn State sex scandal

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The latest on the Penn State sex scandal

From Comcast SportsNet
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State police and their counterparts in State College said they had no record of a former graduate assistant reporting a sexual assault by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on a 10-year-old boy in a campus shower, a detail that runs counter to claims made in an email to former teammates. The police response to Mike McQueary's claim that he reported the alleged assault came shortly after a lawyer said Wednesday that he had a client who would testify that he was sexually abused by Sandusky, who is accused of abusing eight boys, some on campus, over 15 years. "I am appalled by the fact that Mr. Sandusky has elected to re-victimize these young men at a time when they should be healing," Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi said in a statement released by his office. "He fully intends to testify that he was severely sexually assaulted by Mr. Sandusky." The client is not the same boy McQueary told a grand jury he saw being sexually assaulted by Sandusky in a shower on university property in 2002. McQueary, who is now an assistant coach but has been placed on administrative leave, wrote in the email given to The Associated Press that he had "discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police" about what he saw. In the email, McQueary did not specify whether he spoke to campus or State College police. State College borough police Chief Tom King said McQueary didn't make a report to his department. Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz said campus police also didn't have any record of a report filed in 2002 by McQueary. Mountz noted that the 23-page grand jury report was the state attorney general's summary of testimony, so it's unclear what McQueary's full testimony was. McQueary and a law firm representing him did not return phone calls Wednesday. Pennsylvania lawmakers are starting to plan for a special commission that will examine the legal issues raised by the child sex-abuse scandal, which has raised questions both ethical and criminal about why allegations of abuse went unreported for so long. The scandal has resulted in the ousting of school President Graham Spanier and longtime coach Joe Paterno, and has brought shame to one of college football's legendary programs. Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Vice President Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down. Schultz and Curley are charged with lying to the grand jury and failure to report to police, and Sandusky is charged with child sex abuse. All maintain their innocence. The commission being set up by Pennsylvania lawmakers will consider changes to state law in the wake of the scandal. The plan was described as being in the planning stage, including meetings of leaders and their aides. Topics are likely to include mandatory reporting of suspected abuse, and the legal definition of child abuse, said Senate Democratic spokeswoman Lisa Scullin. Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, appeared with him on NBC's "Rock Center" on Monday night and cast doubt on the evidence in the case. "We anticipate we're going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say, This never happened. This is me. This is the allegation. It never occurred,'" Amendola said. Sandusky, 67, appeared on the show by phone and said he had showered with boys but never molested them. It remains unclear how many accusers have surfaced more than a week after state police and the attorney general's office said at a news conference they were seeking additional potential victims and witnesses. Andreozzi said he has his "finger on the pulse" of the case and knows of no accusers changing their stories or refusing to testify. "To the contrary, others are actually coming forward, and I will have more information for you later this week," Andreozzi said. State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said investigators have told her that published accounts reporting how many people have come forward are inaccurate and they are not disclosing their internal figures. Some plaintiffs' lawyers are starting to advertise on their websites for potential Sandusky victims, vowing to get justice. Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney, has long represented clergy abuse victims and told The Associated Press that he has been retained by several people he described as Sandusky victims. "There's a great deal of fury and confusion," particularly because Sandusky is free on bail, Anderson said. "Getting (them) help and cooperating with law enforcement is our first priority." The "time for reckoning," in the form of civil lawsuits, will come later, Anderson said. Anderson declined to say whether his clients are among the eight boys who were labeled as victims in the grand jury report. A new judge has been assigned to handle the charges against Sandusky. The change removed a State College judge with ties to a charity founded by Sandusky for at-risk children, The Second Mile. Sandusky is due in court on Dec. 7, and a Westmoreland County senior district judge will preside over his preliminary hearing. Robert E. Scott is taking over the hearing from Centre County District Judge Leslie Dutchcot. Dutchcot has donated money to The Second Mile, where authorities say Sandusky met his victims. The office said Scott has no known ties to Penn State or The Second Mile. In State College, Penn State announced that David M. Joyner, a physician and member of its board of trustees who played football and wrestled for the school, will serve as acting athletic director, replacing Curley on an interim basis. New details have also emerged about how the case ended up in the hands of the state attorney general's office. Former Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said that his wife's brother was Sandusky's adopted son. "I reviewed it, and I made the decision it needed to be investigated further," Madeira said. "But the apparent conflict of interest created an impediment for me to make those kinds of decisions."

Patrick Kane hits milestone, but Blackhawks get blown out by Islanders

Patrick Kane hits milestone, but Blackhawks get blown out by Islanders

Probably not the way the Blackhawks wanted to start their second half of the season.

After a five-day break, the Blackhawks suffered a brutal 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night at the United Center. This coming after a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on home ice last Sunday.

"It was a game we had to win," Quenneville said after Saturday's loss. "Disappointing in a lot of ways."

The Blackhawks needed both goaltenders to get through 60 minutes. Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass combined for 39 saves on 46 shots.

On the offensive side of things, Patrick Kane hit a milestone.

The 29-year-old had two goals and an assist and recorded his 800th career point, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach 800 points.

The Blackhawks are now 22-18-6 on the season with 50 points and rank last in the Central Division, five points behind the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild.

The Blackhawks' schedule doesn't get any easier when the Tampa Bay Lightning — the league-leader in points — come to town on Monday.

See what Quenneville and Kane had to say about Saturday's loss in the video above.

One MLB executive thinks Kyle Schwarber can emerge as Cubs' best hitter in 2018

One MLB executive thinks Kyle Schwarber can emerge as Cubs' best hitter in 2018

When the 2017 season ended, Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw.

He was stocky, slower than he wanted to be and he had just finished a very difficult season that saw him spend time back in the minor leagues at Triple-A after he struggled mightily through the first three months of the season.

Schwarber still put up solid power numbers despite his overall struggles. He slammed 30 home runs, putting him among the Top 15 hitters in the National League and among the Top 35 in all of baseball. But, Schwarber was honest with himself. He knew he could achieve so much more if he was in better shape and improved his mobility, his overall approach at the plate and his defense.

Schwarber was drafted by the Cubs out of Indiana University as a catcher. However, many scouts around baseball had serious doubts about his ability to catch at the big league level. The Cubs were in love with Schwarber the person and Schwarber the overall hitter and felt they would give him a chance to prove he could catch for them. If he couldn't, then they believed he could play left field adequately enough to keep his powerful bat in the lineup.

However, a serious knee injury early in the 2016 season knocked Schwarber out of action for six months and his return to the Cubs in time to assist in their World Series run raised expectations for a tremendous 2017 season. In fact, the expectations for Schwarber were wildly unrealistic when the team broke camp last spring. Manager Joe Maddon had Schwarber in the everyday lineup batting leadoff and playing left field.

But Schwarber's offseason after the World Series consisted of more rehab on his still-healing injured left knee. That kept him from working on his outfield play, his approach at the plate and his overall baseball training. 

Add in all of the opportunities and commitments that come with winning a World Series and it doesn't take much detective work to understand why Schwarber struggled so much when the 2017 season began. This offseason, though, has been radically different. A season-ending meeting with Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer led to a decision to take weight off of Schwarber's frame. It also included a decision to change his training program so that he improved his quickness, lateral movement and his overall baseball skills.

"I took two weeks off after the season ended and then I went to work," Schwarber said. "We put a plan together to take weight off and to improve my quickness. I have my meals delivered and I feel great. My baseball work combined with a lot of strength and conditioning has me in the best shape that I have ever been in."

Schwarber disagrees with the pundits who felt manager Maddon's decision to put him in the leadoff spot in the Cubs' loaded lineup contributed to his struggles.

"I have no problem hitting wherever Joe wants to put me," Schwarber said. "I didn't feel any more pressure because I was batting leadoff. I just needed to get back to training for a baseball season as opposed to rehabbing from my knee injury. I'm probably 20-25 pounds lighter and I'm ready to get back to Arizona with the boys and to get ready for the season."

Many around the game were shocked when the Cubs drafted Schwarber with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft, but a rival executive who was not surprised by the pick believes that Schwarber can indeed return to the form that made him such a feared hitter during his rookie season as well as his excellent postseason resume.

"Everyone who doubted this kid may end up way off on their evaluation because he is a great hitter and now that he is almost two years removed from his knee injury," the executive said. "He knows what playing at the major-league level is all about I expect him to be a real force in the Cubs lineup.

"Theo and Jed do not want to trade this kid and they are going to give him every opportunity to succeed. I think he has a chance to be as good a hitter as they have in their order."

Watch the full 1-on-1 interview with Kyle Schwarber Sunday night on NBC Sports Chicago.