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Penn St. attacks claims by ex-assistant McQueary

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Penn St. attacks claims by ex-assistant McQueary

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Penn State's lawyers asked a judge Tuesday to throw out a whistleblower and defamation lawsuit filed by a former assistant football coach who testified he saw Jerry Sandusky attack a boy in a school shower more than a decade ago.

Mike McQueary's lawsuit is too vague and does not meet legal standards to support claims of defamation and misrepresentation, the university wrote in a court filing.

McQueary has sued the university for millions of dollars, claiming in an October complaint that then-president Graham Spanier made him a scapegoat in 2011 after Sandusky, a retired assistant football coach, was arrested on child molestation charges.

``It is not enough that the alleged victim of a statement be embarrassed or annoyed, he must have suffered the kind of harm which has grievously fractured his standing in the community of a respectable society,'' wrote Penn State attorney Nancy Conrad.

A phone message seeking comment from McQueary's lawyer, Elliot Strokoff, was not immediately returned.

Sandusky, who spent decades at Penn State under longtime coach Joe Paterno, was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving a lengthy state prison sentence. He maintains his innocence.

Last week, he appeared in a central Pennsylvania courthouse for a hearing on his claim that he did not get a fair trial, in part because his lawyers lacked time to prepare. A judge has not yet ruled in that matter.

Conrad's new filing said that a Nov. 5, 2011, news release by Spanier, in which he expressed ``unconditional support'' for outgoing athletic director on leave Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz, did not relate to McQueary and did not defame him by innuendo.

McQueary alleges he lost his job because he cooperated with prosecutors, and that Spanier's statements suggested McQueary had lied about the 2001 shower attack. He is seeking reinstatement, a bowl bonus, back pay and benefits, among other things. His salary had been $140,000.

McQueary's ``claimed innuendo can only be obtained by means of a tortured and unreasonable construction,'' Conrad wrote.

Curley and Schultz were arrested along with Sandusky, charged with perjury and failing to properly report suspected abuse. The state attorney general's office recently added more counts against them, and charged Spanier for an alleged cover-up of complaints about Sandusky. All three men deny the allegations and await a court hearing.

McQueary told jurors in the Sandusky case that he arrived in a team locker room late one Friday night and saw Sandusky with a naked boy in the shower, leading him to conclude Sandusky was raping the child. He said he heard a ``skin-on-skin smacking sound'' and described the encounter as extremely shocking.

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

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Nerves, excitement define Manny Machado's first return to Baltimore

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Nerves, excitement define Manny Machado's first return to Baltimore

It’s important to remember that Manny Machado *never* gets nervous. Not outwardly, anyway.

 

The uber-talented Machado came up in August of a pennant race back in 2012, as a 20-year old learning to play a new position on the fly. Instead of the nerves getting to him, Machado thrived. It was because of his defense the team returned to the postseason for the first time in more than a decade.

 

And yet, hours before his first career game in Camden Yards as a visitor, Machado admitted that while Monday night he was mostly excited, by Tuesday afternoon, that excitement had turned to nerves.

 

“I’m never nervous,” Machado clarified quickly to a group of reporters he knew quite well the last seven years in Baltimore. “But I don’t know, I guess it’s like a weird nervous in a way. It’s just different. It’s a different nervous, it’s always coming to the same clubhouse, walking through the same door, parking in the same parking spot, taking the same route to the baseball field every day...it was just all different today. It’s a good nervous though. It’s a good nervous.”

 

If Machado was telling the truth, he didn’t show it on the field during batting practice and warmups. The third baseman smiled and laughed as he spoke with fans, graciously took a few pictures, and generally looked like he was enjoying himself.

 

Machado has been the center of attention plenty of times in his baseball career, and that was clearly the case once again. Even Orioles manager Brandon Hyde offered to keep his media availability short and sweet to leave time “for the other guy,” and as his session wrapped up he called out “Manny time!”

 

Of course, while it might be “a little weird” for him, Machado also emphasized how excited he was to be back.

 

“Excited to be back, excited to see the fans out there and take third base again, like I did for a long time,” Machado described. “It’s gonna be a lot different. Excited to take that field again. Playing baseball, going out there, going to bring back a lot of memories...Just excited to take the field again in Baltimore at Camden Yards.”

 

Machado was struck by how many number 13 jerseys he saw around town Monday, and if that anecdote is any indication, he can probably expect a warm reception when he walks out of the visitor’s dugout. He’s clear that he has no expectations, though.

 

“I don’t expect anything...just to go out there and play baseball,” Machado said. “I’m going to see a lot of fans that supported me, and those fans will never be forgotten. It’s going to be fun to see those faces again.”

 

One thing is certain. Machado is definitely trying to enjoy every moment of his return.

 

“It’s completely different,” he reiterated to reporters. “I’m just trying to soak it all in. Trying to go out there, play baseball, take it one day at a time...it’s just a little different today that it’s playing in front of a crowd that I’ve known for the last 7 years, so who knows? Try to take it all in and enjoy myself.”

 

Ultimately, the memories in this town were too many to count for Machado, who admitted there were a lot of emotions running through him before the game. It was telling how often he kept repeating how this wasn’t just his place of employment for all those years; it was home.

 

Of course, the best homes have the best local food, and Baltimore is no different.

 

“You can’t leave Baltimore without crabs, so we’ll be having some tonight.”

 

Machado knows his audience, and if there’s one thing fans in Baltimore love, it’s athletes who talk about Baltimore crabs.

 

It almost seemed like he’s played here before.

 

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