NCAA

Freeh Report rebukes PSU for concealing abuse

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Freeh Report rebukes PSU for concealing abuse

Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and other senior Penn State officials "concealed critical facts" about Jerry Sandusky's child abuse because they were worried about bad publicity, according to an internal investigation into the scandal.

The 267-page report released Thursday is the result of an eight-month inquiry by former FBI director Louis Freeh, hired by university trustees weeks after Sandusky was arrested in November to look into what has become one of sports' biggest scandals.

The report concluded that Paterno, president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade."

"In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university -- Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley -- repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse," the report said.

Sexual abuse might have been prevented if university officials had banned Sandusky from bringing children onto campus after a 1998 inquiry, the report said. Despite their knowledge of the police probe into Sandusky showering with a boy in a football locker room, Spanier, Paterno, Curley and Schultz took no action to limit his access to campus, the report said.

The May 1998 complaint by a woman whose son came home with wet hair after showering with Sandusky didn't result in charges at the time. The report says Schultz was worried the matter could be opening "Pandora's box."

Officials later did bar him from bringing children to campus.

Freeh called the officials' disregard for child victims "callous and shocking."

"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State," Freeh said. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."

Some of the most powerful men at the school "empowered Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events by allowing him to have continued, unrestricted and unsupervised access" to campus and his affiliation with the football program, the report said. The access, the report states, "provided Sandusky with the very currency that enabled him to attract his victims."

Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of 45 criminal counts for abusing 10 boys. The scandal led to the ouster of Paterno and the school's president.

Trustee Anthony Lubrano, a critic of the board's dismissal of Paterno in November, said the board was still formulating a response.

Freeh also said Sandusky's conduct was in part a result of the school's lack of transparency, which stemmed from a "failure of governance" on the part of officials and the board of trustees. He said the collective inaction and mindset at the top of the university trickled all the way down to a school janitor who was afraid for his job and opted to not report seeing sex abuse in a school locker room in 2000.

The report also singled out the revered Penn State football program -- one built on the motto "success with honor" -- for criticism. It says Paterno and university leaders allowed Sandusky to retire in 1999, "not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, with future visibility' at Penn State'," allowing him to groom victims.

Investigators, however, found no evidence linking his 1999 retirement to the 1998 police investigation.

The report said Spanier promised the prestigious "emeritus" status to Sandusky, but others voiced concerns it wasn't appropriate. The report disclosed that Spanier also approved a lump-sum payment of 168,000 to Sandusky, which other officials said may have been unprecedented.

Sandusky's trial last month included gut-wrenching testimony from eight young men who said he abused them as boys, sometimes on campus, and included testimony that showed he used his prestige as a university celebrity to manipulate the children.

By contrast, Freeh's team focused on Penn State and what its employees did -- or did not do -- to protect children.

More than 430 current or former school employees were interviewed since November, including nearly everyone associated with the football program under Paterno. The Hall of Fame coach died of lung cancer in January at age 85, without telling Freeh's team his account of what happened.

With the report now complete, the NCAA said Penn State now must address four key questions concerning "institutional control and ethics policies," as outlined in a letter sent to the school last fall.

"Penn State's response to the letter will inform our next steps, including whether or not to take further action," said Bob Williams, the NCAA's vice president of communications. "We expect Penn State's continued cooperation in our examination of these issues."

The U.S. Department of Education is examining whether the school violated the Clery Act, which requires reporting of certain crimes on campus, including ones of a sexual nature. The report said Penn State's "awareness and interest" in Clery Act compliance was "significantly lacking."

Only one form used to report such crimes was completed on campus from 2007 through 2011, according to the Freeh findings. And no record exists of Paterno, Curley or assistant coach Mike McQueary reporting that McQueary saw Sandusky in a shower with a boy in 2001, as they would be obligated to do under the Clery Act.

As of last November, Penn State's policies for Clery compliance were still in draft form and had not been implemented, the report found.

U.S. Department of Education said it was still examining whether Penn State violated the Clery Act, but declined to comment on Freeh's report.

Mary Krupa, an 18-year-old Penn State freshman who grew up in State College, said the conclusion that the school's highest officials were derelict in protecting children didn't shake her love of the town or the school.

"The actions of five or six people don't reflect on the hundreds of thousands" of students and faculty who make up the Penn State community, she said while walking through the student union building on campus.

Armas reported from Scranton and Scolforo from Harrisburg. Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.

2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship: Bracket, schedules, teams

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2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship: Bracket, schedules, teams

All of a sudden, we are down to four.

The NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals are set, with Penn State, Yale, Virginia, and Duke fighting for the title.

The semifinals will be played on Saturday, setting the stage for the National Championship on Monday.

Here is everything you need to know.

What schools are playing for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse title?

The four schools remaining are Penn State, Yale, Virginia, and Duke.

Penn State faces Yale in the first semifinal, with Virginia and Duke clashing in an ACC battle for a spot in the National Championship.

When are the NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals and final?

The first semifinal matchup is on Saturday, May 25, at 12:00 p.m. The second semifinal will take place roughly 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game, with an anticipated start time of 2:30 p.m. 

The National Championship will be held on Monday, May 27, at 1 p.m.

Where can I watch and live stream the NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals and final?

All three games will be aired on live television on ESPN2.

Each game is available for stream on WatchESPN.

How did each team get here?

The No. 1 overall seeded Penn State Nittany Lions have cruised into the Final Four. They defeated Loyola (Md.) 21-14 in the quarterfinals after beating UMBC 25-10 in the first round. Penn State has lost just one game all season and should be the favorites to take home the title.

In one of the best games of the tournament, Yale narrowly edged University of Pennsylvania 19-18 in the quarterfinal for the opportunity to face Penn State in the semifinals. Yale defeated Georgetown in their opening game of the tournament.

In a controversy game-tying goal with just seconds remaining, Virginia edged out Maryland 13-12 in overtime for a spot in the semifinals. They cruised by Robert Morris, 19-10, in their first-round matchup.

The third one-goal victory of the quarterfinals belonged to Duke, who defeated Notre Dame 14-13 in the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils have been tested throughout the tournament, as they just slid by Richmond, 12-11, in their opening matchup.

If the past couple rounds are any indication, his weekend should bring exciting lacrosse for everyone.

Terrapins get huge commitment from 7-foot-2 internet phenom Chol Marial

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Screenshot: Courtside YouTube

Terrapins get huge commitment from 7-foot-2 internet phenom Chol Marial

The Maryland Terrapins just added a huge piece to their 2019 recruiting class. Literally. 

The Terps officially signed 7-foot-1 center Chol Marial (AZ Compass Prep, Chandler, Arizona), the team announced Monday. 

Depending on who you ask, Marial is either a three-star, 210-pound or a four-star, 220-pound recruit (247Sports, ESPN), but he's unquestionably taller than seven feet. He also has a 7-foot-11 wingspan that Maryland coach Mark Turgeon expects will make him "an excellent rim protector."

"I've watched Chol the last three years and I can't say enough about him as both a person and a basketball player," Turgeon said in a release from Maryland, which lists Marial at 7-foot-2 and 230 pounds. 

"One of the top players in his class when healthy, Chol's tremendous size and length make him an excellent rim protector. Chol possesses a humble demeanor and a strong work ethic that will fit well with our family. We can't wait to have him in College Park and look forward to helping him reach his dreams."

Originally from Rumbek, South Sudan, Marial moved to the U.S. as a middle-schooler in 2014. He also previously attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

ESPN ranks Marial as the No. 2 center in Arizona and the No. 14 center nationally, while 247Sports says he's No. 6 and No. 26 in those two respective categories.

He visited Maryland on April 26, according to 247Sports, and also received offers from Georgetown, Florida State, Arizona State, Iowa, UConn and West Virginia.

"I want to thank Coach Turgeon for giving me this opportunity," Marial said in a release from the school. "Coach Turgeon and I have gotten along really well and I really enjoyed spending time with the rest of the coaching staff and players. Bruno Fernando and I have similar backgrounds and I saw how much he improved as a player at Maryland. I'm looking forward to getting better every day and playing for Terp Nation."

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