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The real reason Joe Paterno was fired

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The real reason Joe Paterno was fired

From Comcast SportsNet
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State trustees, faced with continued alumni and student criticism for firing football coach Joe Paterno, on Monday released a statement intended to underscore their rationale for his ouster: "failure of leadership" for his actions following a reported sex assault involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky. The board found that while Paterno fulfilled a legal obligation to tell his superiors that an employee claimed Sandusky abused a young boy in a shower, it said Paterno should have done more. "We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno," the trustees wrote. The trustees report comes after months of criticism from Penn State alumni over Paterno's firing in November. The Hall of Fame coach died in January after a brief bout with lung cancer. In their statement, the trustees said they had been asked by the Penn State community to "state clearly" the reasons for Paterno's dismissal and the removal of the university president. The board had previously offered its rationale for removing Paterno and President Graham Spanier. But Trustee Keith Eckel said Monday the board decided to issue another statement now because alumni had continued to ask questions. "Many people have indicated that they did not understand, and this is our last attempt to try to make it as clear as possible," Eckel told The Associated Press. "And people are welcome to agree or disagree with us." Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year span. He has denied the allegations. Then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary's claim that he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy inside a football building on the university campus is one of 10 such allegations brought by the state attorney general's office. The first round of charges against Sandusky was filed Nov. 5, four days before Paterno was fired and Spanier was forced to resign. The board also apologized for the decision to fire Paterno by phone late that night -- a decision that drew the ire of many of the coach's supporters. "We saw no better alternative," the trustees wrote. "Because Coach Paterno's home was surrounded by media representatives, photographers and others, we did not believe there was a dignified, private and secure way to send Board representatives to meet with him there." The trustees said they planned to apologize to Paterno for the way he was being dismissed but the coach ended the call before the message could be delivered. Phone messages left for Spanier and the Paterno family were not immediately returned. The board also said it decided not to wait until the next morning, saying it feared leaks would have Paterno learning his fate before an official announcement. The coach missed the team's final three regular season games. Bitterness over Paterno's removal has turned up in many forms, from online postings to a note placed next to Paterno's statue at the football stadium blaming the trustees for his death. A newspaper headline that read "FIRED" was crossed out and made to read, "Killed by Trustees." The trustees said they had intended to name Paterno head coach emeritus in honor of his contributions to the university. The board said additional options are under review but no decisions will be reached until after independent counsel and former FBI director Louis Freeh issues a final report on a special investigation into the school's handling of the allegations. The board said the removal of Spanier was also a result of a "failure of leadership" that included insufficiently informing the board of his knowledge of the 2002 allegation. Spanier also made public statements that were not authorized or contrary to the board's instructions, the trustees said. In one statement following the charges against Sandusky, Spanier expressed his "complete confidence" in a pair of university administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz, who were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected abuse. Spanier requested a vote of confidence from the board on Nov. 9 but was fired that night. Curley is on administrative leave and Schultz retired after being charged. Both maintain their innocence. Also Monday, a judge heard arguments but opted not to rule immediately on how much information Sandusky should get in advance of his trial on child sex abuse charges. Judge John Cleland gave no indication when he'd rule on the arguments concerning the "bill of particulars" about the 10 purported victims that the attorney general's office provided Sandusky's attorney two weeks ago. Defense attorney Joe Amendola requested more specific information about where and when alleged crimes occurred and the names of people who were present or nearby. He has said that information may help him develop his defense. The attorney general's office says Amendola is overstating the lack of specificity in the materials already provided to him. Sandusky did not attend the hearing.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 8:45 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Corey Crawford vs. ... Oscar Dansk? 

The Golden Knights have seen both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban go down with injuries, so they're scraping for goaltenders at this point.

On one end of the ice, you have one of the best netminders in the league and a two-time Stanley Cup champion in Crawford. On the other, you have a 23-year-old rookie in Dansk making his first official NHL start who will be backed up by a 24-year-old rookie in Maxime Lagace, who has never appeared in an NHL game.

In his first game action, Dansk stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief during Saturday's 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis.

2. Fast start.

The Blackhawks are tied for second in both goals scored (13) and fewest goals allowed (four) in the first period, which has a large reason for their early season success.

The Golden Knights aren't the kind of team that gets out to a blazing start. They've allowed only five goals in the opening frame, but they've scored only five as well, which ranks among the bottom 10 teams in the league. 

3. Beware of James Neal.

The Golden Knights became the first team in NHL history to win six of their first seven games of their inaugural season. And they probably don't have half of those wins if it weren't for Neal, who scored the game-winning goal in each of their first three games.

He leads the club with six goals and eight points, and serves as the motor for a team that doesn't have much offensive talent. He's the go-to guy, and somebody you have to keep an eye on when he's on the ice.

 

Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

Here are Three Things to Watch in the Bulls' Tuesday night tilt against the Cavaliers on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. LeBron James will be on your television

Love him or hate him, LeBron James is must-see TV. Now in his 15th NBA season, James has shown no signs of slowing down. Despite playing just one preseason game (against the Bulls), James has shown anything but rust in three games, averaging 25.0 points on 60 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 37 minutes. He's a threat every night to do something you've never seen on a basketball court, His Airness included. Justin Holiday and Paul Zipser will have their hands full against the game's best player.

2. Lauri Markkanen, Week 2

Small sample size alert! But through the season's first week Markkanen and Ben Simmons are the only rookies averaging a double-double (Dallas' Dennis Smith has played just one game, averaging 16 points and 10 assists). While the Bulls have struggled through two games, Markkanen's net rating is third best on the team and he leads the Bulls bigs in rebounds per game and rebound percentage. Markkanen has shown some versatility offensively, and his 7 free-throw attempts have been a nice surprise as well.

3. Don't forget: The Bulls swept the Cavaliers last year

OK, so expecting a victory Tuesday night in Cleveland isn't smart. The Bulls will be underdogs just like they were in each of the four games last season, all of which were Bulls winners. It was the first time in 52 division series that LeBron James had been swept, which is pretty remarkable considering the Bulls were the No. 8 seed and the Cavs coasted to a third straight NBA Finals. We're not over here predicting a win. But just remember: the Bulls have fared well against James in the regular season.