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Pa. congressman unhappy with NCAA fine guidelines

Pa. congressman unhappy with NCAA fine guidelines

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) A Pennsylvania congressman voiced displeasure Thursday with how the NCAA president responded to a request from the state's U.S. House delegation that all of the $60 million in Penn State fines in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal be distributed to causes within the state.

Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said in a statement that Mark Emmert's response was ``unacceptable and unsatisfactory.''

The NCAA president said in a Dec. 12 letter to Dent that a task force charged with developing guidelines for an endowment and hiring a third-party administrator to distribute the funds is to allocate at least 25 percent of the fine money to programs in Pennsylvania.

``By outlining comprehensive plans to address child sexual abuse, of course, agencies within Pennsylvania have an opportunity to significantly increase the initial allocation to the Commonwealth,'' Emmert added.

An NCAA spokeswoman on Thursday said the organization stood by Emmert's correspondence.

The university met an NCAA deadline on Thursday by placing the first of five annual installments of $12 million into a money market account, while the task force works on recommendations due in early 2013. The transfer of the money to the endowment is expected to occur in the first half of next year.

The payment was made by Penn State's athletics department through an internal loan from university reserves and will be repaid with interest, the university said Thursday.

According to the university, in-state organizations also are slated to receive the first round of funding from the endowment. The university said it had heard from ``a number of organizations and survivors of sexual abuse'' with ideas of how funds could be used to benefit children in the state and across the country.

Emmert's reply didn't address the delegation's concerns, Dent said, but ``instead chose to hide behind the procedural mechanisms of the NCAA-created Task Force in order to deflect any sort of actual accountability for the disbursement of these funds.''

Of the 10 members on the task force, two are affiliated with Penn State: Nan Crouter, dean of the College of Health and Human Development; and Craig Hillemeier, vice dean for clinical affairs at the College of Medicine. The task force chairman is Timothy White, chancellor of the University of California-Riverside.

Dent said directing funds to entities outside Pennsylvania runs contrary to its taxpayers' interests.

``I am greatly disappointed by Dr. Emmert's response and will continue to press for greater accountability and oversight of the NCAA on this and other matters,'' he said.

Sandusky, a former assistant to longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, was convicted this summer of sexually abusing 10 boys, some on campus. He is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison but maintains his innocence.

Three former university administrators also face trial on charges of perjury, obstruction and other offenses. They deny the allegations.

The abuse scandal led to the dismissal of Paterno, who died soon after, and elicited landmark NCAA sanctions including a four-year postseason ban and significant scholarship cuts.

Delegation members, in their Nov. 30 letter, noted that Sandusky's accusers were all Pennsylvania residents and all the ``substantiated reports of abuse took place within the Commonwealth.'' They urged that all fine money be dedicated to prevention and assistance programs within the state.

The NCAA, the governing body for college athletics, issued the fine as part of sanctions over the school's handling of the Sandusky matter.

University President Rodney Erickson agreed to the penalties in July. He said it was a difficult process but the university was left with little choice if it wanted to avoid a shutdown of its football program, known as the death penalty.

It's one of several tough decisions Erickson has made since replacing Graham Spanier, who left under pressure days after Sandusky's November 2011 arrest. Trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz cited Erickson's ``tremendous job'' leading the university through the last year when it was announced this week he has received a raise of $85,000 to $600,000, or a 16 percent bump.

Gov. Tom Corbett, a trustee by virtue of political office, said he was a ``little surprised'' about Erickson's raise and thought the timing was ``inappropriate.''

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Associated Press writer Marc Levy in Harrisburg contributed to this report.

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10 Questions in 10 Days: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

10 Questions in 10 Days: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No. 6: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

No. 5: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

No rookie draft pick excited the Redskins fan base like Derrius Guice since Robert Griffin III came to Washington back in 2012. That's a fact. 

Guice slipped during the draft to near the end of the second round, a position much too late for a player with his talent. Rumors emerged that he had character issues, but in the months since April's selection, they seem unfounded. In quick time, Guice has emerged as a Redskins fan favorite and has performed plenty of charitable acts.

So, moving past the erroneous off-field questions, it's time to manage expectations for what Guice can do on the field. 

DJ Swearinger recently said he expects Guice to make the Pro Bowl and rush for more than 1,000 yards. As a rookie. (Listen here)

That's not unheard of, last year rookie Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rush yards. In 2016, Ezekiel Elliott did the same thing. Rookie running backs can step in and produce right away in the NFL, unlike some positions that usually bring more of a learning curve. 

Can Guice do that?

The first and most important questions will be health and durability. Guice dealt with lingering knee injuries last year at LSU, and the Redskins will need him fully healthy. A 1,000-yard season is not unrealistic if Guice plays a full 16-game season. It would require rushing for about 65 yards-per-game. 

The bigger key is opportunities. 

How many carries will Guice log in 2018? Early on in the season, Guice might still be learning pass protection in the Redskins scheme, and Jay Gruden will not tolerate missed assignments that result in big hits on QB Alex Smith.

If Guice can lock in on blitz pickup, 200 carries seems reasonable. Remember that Chris Thompson will still be a featured part of the Redskins offense, and Rob Kelley will get chances too. 

Last season, Samaje Perine led all rushers with 175 carries. He didn't do much with the chances, averaging just 3.4 yards-per-carry. Kelley had 62 carries before injuries shut his season down after parts of seven games. 

Combine Perine and Kelley's carries, and then things start to get interesting. With 230 carries, at an average of 4 yards a pop, Guice starts to approach 1,000 yards.

One problem with extrapolating too much data from last season is the crazy amount of variables. Late in the year, with Perine largely ineffective and a very beat up offensive line, the Redskins simply couldn't produce on the ground. In their last five games of 2017, the Redskins never rushed for more than 100 yards. They averaged just 60 yards-per-game on the ground during that stretch, including a season low 31 rush yards against Arizona in December. 

The line can't be that beat up again, right?

Guice has to be able to deliver more than Perine, right?

If the answers to those questions are yes, then a 1,000-yard season seems possible for Guice in 2018. 

One misnomer from the Redskins 2017 campaign emerged that Washington simply did not run the ball well or enough. In fact, early in the year when the Redskins looked like a possible playoff team, they ran the ball quite well. In three of the first four games, Washington went over 100 yards on the ground, including 229 rush yards in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Guice might get to 1,000 yards in 2018. It's no sure thing, and there are plenty of variables, but it's possible. That hasn't happened in Washington since Alfred Morris, and would be a very welcome sight. 

The rookie runner has invigorated the Redskins faithful, and that's before he even steps on the field. If Guice can produce, the fans will go crazy.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 21, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

How the addition of Alexander affects the Redskins' DB depth chart—Adonis Alexander was brought into the NFL about a week and a half ago and in five days he’ll be on the practice field in Richmond. How much will missing OTAs and minicamp hurt him in comparison to, say, his former Hokie teammate Greg Stroman? I think that the plan is for this to be a “redshirt” year for Alexander to learn. But that was supposed to be the plan for Josh Harvey-Clemons and Chase Roullier last year and both ended up playing key snaps. 

Can the Redskins defensive line live up to its potential? Many NFL fans don’t appreciate the value of having a good defensive line. Redskins fans are not in that group because they have seen what you get when you try to build a defensive line with over-the-hill veteran free agents, low draft picks, and undrafted players. Fans will value the talent, youth, and depth on the 2018 D-line.  

10 Questions in 10 days: LB depth chart—This is another area where the Redskins have not invested much in recent seasons. At least this year they stepped up and re-signed starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown. They are the present. Are Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons the future? 

The pass rush must continue to be a strength for the Redskins—With the picture at the cornerback position is somewhat murky right now, the pass rush will be critical, especially in the early going. The outside linebackers lost a key reserve, putting the burden on Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan to continue to get pressure on Ryan Anderson to take a leap forward in his second season. 

Tweet of the week

Well, this tweet did sort of stir things up as did some of the things that Cousins said in an article by Dan Pompei on the Bleacher Report. The thing about Twitter is that there is no room for nuance. I was labeled a Kirk “hater” by some. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. On multiple occasions, I urged the team to sign him long term and highlighted the positive aspects of his play. 

But this thing about not having a “platform” to lead always struck me as a cop-out. Cousins talked about it during some press conferences while he was here. The length of your contract should not prevent you from embracing a leadership role. You’re getting paid to lead, just do it. Few in leadership positions in business or in the military know where they will be a year from now. They embrace the role while they have it and Cousins should have done the same. 

The fact that I don’t like this one aspect of Cousins doesn’t mean that I don’t like him overall. He’s a good quarterback and I think he will have success with the Vikings. I think that the price got to be too much for the Redskins and the decision to move on to Alex Smith was sound or at least the best they could do after it became apparent that he was not going to sign here. But it’s not all one or the other. It is possible to see the positive and negative of Cousins. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline

Mike Sellers, whose seven receiving touchdowns in 2005 were the most by a Redskins running back since the merger, was born on this date in 1975.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 5
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 19
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 42

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 50 days. 

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