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Pa. senator sues over NCAA use of Penn State fine

Pa. senator sues over NCAA use of Penn State fine

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) A Pennsylvania state senator sued the NCAA on Friday over its use of the $60 million fine that Penn State is paying for its handling of the child molestation scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, two days after the governor filed an antitrust lawsuit against the organization.

Sen. Jake Corman, who represents the area where Penn State's campus is located and chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, claims the NCAA's plans to spend the $60 million are an illegal violation of his oversight role for state government spending.

``Even though the NCAA intends to wrest such a large sum of Pennsylvania public funds, it has refused to submit to any control by Pennsylvania elected officials and refused to commit more than 25 percent of those public funds to Pennsylvania causes,'' Corman's lawsuit said.

Budget figures show the state contributed $214 million this year to Penn State's $4.3 billion budget.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter declined comment on Corman's suit.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Corbett sued in federal court in an effort to have all of the Sandusky-related NCAA penalties thrown out, including the $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban and a reduction in football scholarships. The NCAA called that action meritless.

Friday also featured further legal maneuvering by a pair of Penn State administrators accused of covering up abuse allegations against Sandusky and an order restricting the use of electronic devices at a hearing next week in Sandusky's criminal case.

The county court filing by former Penn State administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley focus on the actions of Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State's former chief counsel. The pair of court filings further explore their previously stated claim that their rights were violated when Baldwin accompanied them to grand jury appearances two years ago.

Curley and Schultz argue they were illegally deprived of adequate legal representation. At issue is whether Baldwin was acting as their lawyer, or solely on behalf of the university.

Curley is on leave to serve out the last year of his contract as athletic director, while Schultz has retired as the school's vice president for business and finance.

The Sandusky judge's ruling regarding electronics was justified, he wrote, because a ``disheartening number of reporters'' violated his order that no communications be made from inside the courtroom during Sandusky's sentencing in October. Judge John Cleland said so many reporters ignored the order that it was not practical to attempt to punish them all for it, as had been threatened.

The post-sentencing motions hearing Thursday in Bellefonte centers on a claim by Sandusky that his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare for trial. Cleland has issued a transportation order so that Sandusky can attend in person.

Sandusky, who spent decades as an assistant football coach under Joe Paterno, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals.

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Ravens fans celebrate new energy injected by Lamar Jackson-run offense

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USA Today Sports

Ravens fans celebrate new energy injected by Lamar Jackson-run offense

Lamar Jackson is the most popular man in Baltimore. 

In his second season with the Ravens, it’s impossible to *not* see his name everywhere you look. His number eight jersey is quickly becoming as synonymous with the Ravens as Cal Ripken Jr.’s was with the Orioles.

Jackson has taken the NFL by storm in 2019, forcing himself into the MVP debate.

Longtime fan Rick Gibson said the Jackson era has a different feel than the previous Joe Flacco-led team.

“It’s fun coming to games,” he said before Sunday's matchup against the Texans. "A lot better than it has been in the past, so it’s more exciting.”

With the flip of a switch -- or rather, the draft pick of a quarterback -- fan enthusiasm is all of a sudden at an all-time high.

And it starts (and ends) with number eight.

“It’s incredible,” said Ravens fan Jonathan Greene. “Most excited for a Ravens team, and I’ve been a fan for years. It’s awesome. He has elevated this team.”

The words fans use to describe Jackson’s game are all similar. Phenomenal. Awesome. Incredible. Spectacular. Magic.

Jackson’s stats this season speak for themselves: 2,036 passing yards and 15 touchdowns against just five interceptions. A 65.9 completion percentage. 702 rushing yards -- 11th-most in the NFL -- and six touchdowns. And of course, a 7-2 record.

Even those who would discount Jackson’s performance as beating up on weak competition are forced to recognize his brilliance. Against the winless Bengals, for example, Next Gen Stats estimated an average quarterback should have a completion percentage of 57.7%, based on how covered his receivers were, how much pressure he was under, and more. 

His actual percentage? 88.2%, or 30.5% higher than what was expected. It was the best difference for *any* quarterback in *any* game in 2019.

Fans are excited for the future as well. Not just for the Ravens but for young football fans across the city.

“He’s only 22 years old,” another fan, John Ford, said. “I think he appeals to the younger generation coming up through the high school and college ranks, because they can relate to him...I think he’s a role model for a lot of young kids coming up. And you watch him on the sidelines, he does some great things, but he takes it in stride. So he’s not celebrating too much, he knows what he’s got to do. That’s a unique thing for a young man, only 22 years old, at this level.”

The near future looks more daunting than in the long term. The Ravens enter Week 11 on a five-game winning streak, hoping to win six straight for the first time since 2000. 

They are beginning a tough slate of four straight against playoff contenders, but with Jackson leading an unstoppable offense, three or four wins doesn’t seem far-fetched. Regardless of what happens, Jackson has emphatically won over the city of Baltimore and the NFL writ large.

One longtime Ravens fan, Stan Nasiatka, put it best when asked about Jackson.

“That’s all we’re talking about," he said. "It’s everywhere.”

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Mr. Consistency Justin Tucker misses first field goal of the season

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Mr. Consistency Justin Tucker misses first field goal of the season

Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the NFL. That much hasn’t changed.

Now that we’re on the same page, it’s time to admit something. He hasn’t looked totally himself as of late. While most of his kicks have still found their way between the uprights, many have looked closer than they should.

That trend culminated with his first miss Sunday against the Texans. Tucker’s attempt on the Ravens’ first drive of the game -- from 43 yards out -- bounced off the right upright.

The miss snapped a streak of 22 consecutive made field goals for Tucker, who is the NFL’s all-time leader in field goal percentage. He is the only kicker in NFL history to convert more than 90% of his field goal attempts.

It’s too soon to be concerned about Tucker going forward. For now, just pick your jaws up off the floor and go back to feeling confident in the Ravens’ most consistent player the next time he jogs out onto the field.

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