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The cast of characters in the Penn State scandal

The cast of characters in the Penn State scandal

The main players in the Penn State scandal:

JERRY SANDUSKY

Role: Former assistant football coach and founder of The Second Mile charity for children, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Background: Arrested in November after a long investigation by a statewide grand jury. He had been a successful defensive coach for the Nittany Lions for 30 years, and prosecutors say he used his fame in the community and his charity to attract victims.

Charges: Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault of a young child, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children.

Status: Sandusky remains jailed and faces life in prison Tuesday, when he's sentenced for his July conviction.

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DOTTIE SANDUSKY

Role: Married to Jerry Sandusky.

Background: Dottie Sandusky has stood by her husband, posting his bail when he was released before trial, accompanying him to court proceedings and issuing a statement in December that proclaimed his innocence and said accusers were making up stories. She wasn't charged and testified at his trial that she never saw him doing anything inappropriate with boys he brought to their home.

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GRAHAM SPANIER

Role: Penn State's longtime president, he was forced out by university trustees after Sandusky's arrest in November but remains a tenured faculty member.

Background: An investigation led by ex-FBI director Louis Freeh concluded that Spanier failed in his duties as president by not informing the board of trustees about the allegations against Sandusky or about the subsequent grand jury investigation. Spanier told investigators he wasn't notified of any criminal behavior by Sandusky during his 16 years as president. He has not been charged with any crime but is accused in a whistle-blower lawsuit against the university of making statements that harmed the reputation of Mike McQueary. McQueary, since fired by the university, was an assistant who told longtime coach Joe Paterno he saw Sandusky with a boy in a team shower in 2001, and who now says Spanier and other administrators have made him a scapegoat.

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LOUIS FREEH

Role: Leader of an investigative team tasked with determining how the abuse occurred and recommending changes, as well as reviewing Penn State's handling of sex crimes and misconduct accusations.

Background: Freeh, a former federal judge who spent eight years as director of the FBI, was hired by Penn State's board of trustees in June. His firm produced a 267-page report that said Spanier, Paterno, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz ``repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse.''

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TIM CURLEY

Role: Penn State athletic director, on leave while he fights criminal charges for actions related to the Sandusky scandal.

Background: Curley fielded McQueary's complaint about Sandusky in a team shower with a boy in early 2001, and told a grand jury he instructed Sandusky not to be inside Penn State athletic facilities with any young people.

Charges: Failure to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury for lying to the grand jury. He wasn't on trial with Sandusky, denies the allegations and unsuccessfully sought to have the perjury charge dismissed. A judge is expected to rule on the failure to report charge before Curley stands trial in January along with Schultz. Freeh's report concluded that Curley and others at Penn State concealed child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky.

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GARY SCHULTZ

Role: Penn State vice president for business and finance, now retired.

Background: Schultz told the grand jury that Paterno and McQueary reported the 2001 shower incident ``in a very general way'' but did not provide details.

Charges: Failure to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury for lying to the grand jury. He wasn't on trial with Sandusky, denies the allegations and failed to have the perjury charge dismissed. A judge is expected to rule on a request to dismiss the failure to report charge before Schultz stands trial in January along with Curley. Freeh's report said Schultz was among the Penn State officials who hid child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky.

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MIKE MCQUEARY

Role: Since-fired assistant Penn State football coach. Was a graduate assistant in 2001, when he says he witnessed Sandusky pressing himself against a boy in a team shower. McQueary took his complaint to Paterno, who alerted university administrators.

Background: McQueary testified at Sandusky's trial that he had ``no doubt'' Sandusky was having intercourse with the boy. He has since filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the university, claiming that he lost his $140,000-a-year job, that he was defamed, that his comments were misrepresented by Spanier and other administrators, and that he was made a scapegoat for the scandal and the administration's alleged failure to act on his initial complaint to Paterno.

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JOE PATERNO

Role: The longtime football coach was told by McQueary in 2001 that he saw Sandusky and a boy in a shower on campus and, in turn, told Curley and Schultz.

Background: The head coach at Penn State from 1966 through 2011, and major college football's winningest when he retired, Paterno offered to resign at the end of the 2011 season amid the uproar after Sandusky's arrest Nov. 6. The Penn State Board of Trustees, however, ousted him for what was called his ``failure of leadership'' surrounding allegations about Sandusky. He died of lung cancer Jan. 22. Freeh said that Paterno ``was an integral part of this active decision to conceal'' the abuse and that his firing was justified. The NCAA has since vacated 111 of Paterno's 409 career wins, as part of a package of scandal-related sanctions against the football team and the university. Paterno's family continues to maintain that he didn't cover up anything and didn't know Sandusky was a pedophile.

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SUE PATERNO

Role: Married to Joe Paterno for almost 50 years, she raised five children with him and has continued to passionately defend her husband during the scandal and after he died. She was among the Sandusky defense team's potential trial witnesses but wasn't called to the stand. She has continued her philanthropic work at the university, appearing last month at the dedication of a $6.5 million campus Catholic center named for her.

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TOM CORBETT

Role: Now the governor of Pennsylvania, he was attorney general when the investigation into Sandusky was launched by state prosecutors.

Background: Corbett is an ex-officio member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, although he did not actively participate until after Sandusky was charged in December.

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LINDA KELLY

Role: Pennsylvania attorney general, whose office prosecuted Sandusky.

Background: A career prosecutor formerly with the U.S. attorney's office in Pittsburgh, Kelly inherited the Sandusky probe from Corbett when she was confirmed as his temporary successor as attorney general. She leaves office in January.

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JACK RAYKOVITZ

Role: Former CEO of The Second Mile, the charity Jerry Sandusky founded.

Background: Raykovitz led the charity for almost 30 years and was a longtime friend of Sandusky's. Raykovitz testified before the grand jury that recommended indicting Sandusky on child abuse charges. He resigned from The Second Mile soon after the scandal broke, and board members later complained that Raykovitz hadn't told them enough about earlier allegations against Sandusky. The charity's internal investigation by former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham ended in May without issuing a report on its findings.

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Despite all the challenges of the early season, Reirden’s promotion still a ‘dream come true’

Despite all the challenges of the early season, Reirden’s promotion still a ‘dream come true’

Since taking over as the head coach of the Washington Capitals, Todd Reirden has had to deal with Tom Wilson getting suspended, a number of injuries and a team-wide Stanley Cup hangover.

So how would he describe the start to his first season as an NHL coach?

“It’s obviously a dream come true,” Reirden told NBC Sports Washington in a recent interview.

Reirden’s playing career came to an end in Europe in 2007, but his coaching career really began in 2004 while he was a player with the Houston Aeros of the AHL. Out with an injury, head coach Todd McLellan encouraged Reirden to take more of a coaching role with the team. It didn’t take long for Reirden to realize his real future in the game was as a coach and not as a player.

Reirden climbed the ranks as a coach from college, to the AHL and finally to the NHL. He spent the last eight seasons in the NHL behind the bench as an assistant and associate coach before finally getting the opportunity to become a head coach.

“Something when you start coaching just as I used to think about as a player, was the ultimate was to be able to play at the highest level,” Reirden said. “I was able to do that as a player and now able to see that dream come true as a coach. First things first is it's been amazing from that standpoint.”

The history of the NHL – and all professional sports for that matter – is full of assistant coaches who just could not make the transition from assistant to head coach. There is no doubt Reirden knows what he’s doing when it comes to the development of players and on-ice strategy. The last few years working with the Caps as an assistant and then associate coach have shown us that.

But being a head coach is about more than just what happens on the ice. That’s the part that first-year head coaches seem to struggle with initially.

“How everything works behind the scenes in terms of organizationally, dealing with the salary cap and sending down players, keeping them on board and the constant contact with Hershey,” Reirden said. “You spend a lot of time on those type of things. It's been a little bit of a transition too I would say with two new staff members in terms of how I'm delegating responsibility and empowering them in their particular areas. That's probably been the things that have been the most different for me.

“The hockey part, the coaching part, talking to the players in between periods, the media, that stuff has all gone really smoothly,” Reirden said. “No real transition there. But I'd say more the stuff behind the scenes is the stuff that's been a little bit different than expected.”

Reirden is certainly getting a crash course on roster construction given the recent spate of injuries and recalls. That has unquestionably affected the play of the team and is a major reason why the Caps have looked so inconsistent to start the season. It is not how Reirden would have scripted his first season to start.

But even with everything his first season has thrown at him and a 9-7-3 record, Reirden still feels like he is exactly where he wants to be.

“Every day is a chance for me to grow and get better and get used to responsibilities as a head coach,” Reirden said. “So it's been a lot of fun and definitely a challenge, but something I love and wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world for.”

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Three things to watch for Wizards vs. Blazers, as John Wall and Damian Lillard square off

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Three things to watch for Wizards vs. Blazers, as John Wall and Damian Lillard square off

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard and the Washington Wizards take on Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and the Portland Trail Blazers. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Schedule heats up

The Wizards really needed that one on Friday night. Though the Nets, even without Caris LeVert, aren't an easy out, the Wizards wanted to fully take advantage of a soft spot of their schedule. It's tough to lose to the Nets when you consider the road ahead.

The Wizards play seven straight games against teams at .500 or better. That includes a road game against the Raptors, who are tied for the league's best record. They also see the Rockets, the Pelicans twice and play at the Sixers. It all begins Sunday against the Blazers, who are tied for the fourth-best record in the NBA.

Rematch

Most of the Wizards' games this season have been lopsided one way or the other, and usually in the direction they would not prefer. But they have played a few close games and their most entertaining one happened to come against this same Blazers team.

The Wizards and Blazers went to overtime on Oct. 22 in Portland. The Wizards forced the extra period thanks to a three by Bradley Beal, and they won thanks to Otto Porter Jr. blocking Damian Lillard's shot in the closing seconds. 

The Wizards and Blazers have played some classics in recent years. Markieff Morris beat them with a game-winning three two years ago and last season Beal dropped 50 at the Moda Center. The matchup between both teams' star guards seems to bring the best out in everyone.

Howard vs. Nurkic

Much of the focus in this matchup is always on John Wall and Beal vs. Lillard and C.J. McCollum, but there will be a lot of action in the paint with Dwight Howard going up against Jusuf Nurkic. The Blazers are one of the best rebounding teams in the game and Nurkic, who pulls in 10.7 per game, is a big reason why. Nurkic also averages 15.5 points.

Howard is coming off his best game as a Wizard. He had 25 points and 17 rebounds against the Nets on Friday night. He was hurt when the teams first met in Portland.

Both are bruisers around the rim who don't stretch the floor with outside shots. It should be a physical battle on Sunday night.