March 31, 2011

The Jerry Sandusky Investigation, and What It Could Mean Legally for Penn State (updated w/Sandusky's Statement)

Jerry Sandusky (Photo:
To be blunt, here in the sports blogosphere, particularly those who focus on college football and such, it's not all that often we're faced with covering a story of any kind like the one that was brought to light today by the Harrisburg Patriot News (HT:SS). What the PN is reporting today is that longtime (1977-1999) Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is being investigated for indecent assault against a teenage boy:

PSU Basketball 2011-12: We've Been Here Before

Open your eyes, Tim. Because
it's about to get real, and you're right
in the center of it all next season.
(Photo: CDT)
*This is the last of three posts that will wrap-up the 2010-2011 basketball season and take a look at the state of the program. The 1st/2nd posts can be found here and here

Penn State does not regularly make the NCAA tournament, as evidenced by their 4 appearances in 46 years. Before this season, the last time this program made it was 10 years ago behind the backs of a group of battered but determined seniors, trying to salvage their careers with an NCAA berth. Everyone uses this fact to be quick to compare this year's team to that 00-01 squad. There are just two similarities between the two teams that I can come up with:

Linkbacker U. Is Seeking "Teach Me How To Bucky" Reparations

PHOTO: Terry Gilliam/AP
Sweet mercy what a run it's been over the past couple of weeks. I'm tempted to do a Sports Illustrated-themed "Who's Hot, Who's Not" right now, but it seems like everyone is "Not." Ohio State, the Fiesta Bowl, Pete Massaro, and even Charlie Sheen are down at the moment; hopefully only our boy Pete makes it back to the top.

Rather than try to summarize everything that has happened, here are some other news clips that include some of the above mentioned folks, but also feature in-house fighting in Wisconsin and Joe Paterno calling Andrew Quarless out. To enjoy!

March 30, 2011

Four Penn State athletes charged for State Patty's Day incident

Okay, so it's about as bad as we thought. (Photo:
Turns out it was far from just a "coincidence," that a few of the young lads in this security camera still shot looked like a certain few Penn State athletes. Per the AP (via
State College police Lt. Keith Robb said Wednesday they were among seven suspects charged with the summary offense following the Feb. 26 fight that left one person with minor injuries.

Police identified four of those charged as Curtis Drake and Derrick Thomas, both 20; and Tre Bowman and Taran Buie, both 19. Drake and Thomas play football, while Bowman plays basketball.
The only halfway decent side of this, as Jeff (yes, his J.D. counts even though it's from Pitt) pointed out to us, is that generally speaking, "a speeding ticket is worse" than what these guys have been charged with--summary offenses.

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HBO hits Auburn, Ohio State tonight at 10... and it's going to get UUUUUGLY

I'm feeling pretty good right now having not canceled HBO today like I was planning to do yesterday. Then again, had I followed through with those plans, this is the kind of thing that would make me pick up that phone and re-subscribe for the next 48 hours faster than you can say CHEETERZ!
Kremer voiceover: “But McClover says there were money handshakes from boosters at other football camps too. At Auburn for a couple hundred dollars and at Michigan State. All the schools denied any wrongdoing. And things really started heating up a few months later when he went to Ohio State for an official visit where schools get a chance for one weekend to host prospective athletes. McClover says there were money handshakes from alumni there too. About a thousand dollars. And something else to entice him.”

McClover: “They send girls my way. I partied. When I got there I met up with a couple guys from the team. We went to a party and they asked me to pick any girl I wanted.”

Kremer: “Did she offer sexual services?“

McClover: “Yes.”

Kremer: “Did you take them?”

McClover: “Yes.”
Sports By Brooks got an advance copy of the show, and it only gets better... juicier, to say the least. There's much more about Auburn, since most of the show focuses on what went on down south, figuratively and literally, if you get my meaning. For all of us non-Buckeyes, Tigers or Spartans, this should be like watching a horrible train wreck from 300 yards away; for anyone closely tied to those colleges--well, it could be like parking your butt right on the cowcatcher.

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March 28, 2011

Pete Massaro out for 2011 with ACL tear

2010 Penn State vs Temple-65
We'll have to wait another whole year
to see more of this from Pete Massaro.
This kid just can't catch a break. Via Jeff Nelson:
A 2010 CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American, Massaro tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State Director of Athletic Medicine. Massaro will have surgery within the next 2-3 weeks and rehabilitation will take approximately nine months, according to Sebastianelli.
And you thought Penn State's defensive ends were a weak spot in 2010? Missing Massaro in 2011, despite more experience and depth overall, is still a big hit to take for this unit.

I smell a medical hardship waiver in Pete's future, should he wish to apply for a sixth season. But that's down the road. For now, let's hope for a strong recovery.

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South Allegheny's Jesse James Commits To Penn State

In the least unexpected news ever, South Allegheny tight end Jesse James committed to Penn State today, as reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. James measures in at 6'7", 245 pounds.

James received his verbal offer while visiting this weekend, and he recently told Tom Bradley of his intention to play for the Nittany Lions.

Some have said that James could play on the offensive line (he's listed as an OT by, but he likely projects as a tight end. He caught 34 passes for 463 yards last year as a junior for South Allegheny. He joins Maryland's Brent Wilkerson as tight end commits in the Class of 2012, though Wilkerson is a TE/DE hybrid that might end up on the defensive side of the ball.

After visiting Penn State on Saturday, James headed home to take part in the Nike SPARQ Combine in Pittsburgh, where he placed 3rd overall. ESPNRISE's Associate Manager of Football Events Kynon Codrington had some good things to say about James after the Nike event:

Jesse James, OL/TE, South Allegheny (McKeesport, Pa.)

Towering 6-7.5, 243-pound tight end has tackle height and reach that college coaches crave. Registered a 4.88 40 with a 27.9 vert and ended with a 98.55 SPARQ. Made the 2010 all-class Century League team. James is one to keep an eye on based on his measurables and upside

Here is James' tape:

Linkbacker U. is entertained by Trouble in Tuscaloosa and Tresseltown

"LINEbacker U"... "LINKbacker U"... Get it?
(Photo: AP/
After a few months off, we're bringing back Linkbacker U, our version of your standard morning link dump post. Is throwing a bunch of interesting but not really important news links into a post unique to this blog? Surely not. But is the name just too good to not use it for a link dump post every few days? Absolutely.

You will probably get some kind of Penn State football news in these updates. But the main purpose is not to cover what's going on with the Nittany Lions. Since we're going to cover PSU spring practice as a stand-alone topic over the next few weeks, we can devote Linkbacker U to covering all the news that would be considered interesting in some way to Penn State fans, but not urgent enough to have its own individually dedicated post. Make sense?

So without wasting any more space on your screen, let's have at it. Welcome, to Linkbacker U: 2011.

March 26, 2011

DeMatha's Brent Wilkerson commits to Penn State

Brent Wilkerson (Photo: Baltimore Sun)
Remind me again how Penn State can't recruit? In less than 24 hours, Penn State has picked up its second and third verbal commitments for the 2012 class, as Sean Fitz is reporting that Brent Wilkerson from DeMatha High outside of Washington, DC gave his verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions tonight.

Wilkerson had offers from pretty much every major power school east of Tornado Alley. So you can figure why this is a great commitment.

LBU Bracket Challenge 2011: Elite Eight Update

Image: Copyright NCAA
After three full rounds (no, we're not including the play-in round) complete in the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, we're already looking at some pretty rough brackets in our LBU Bracket Challenge. But a few have really broken away from the pack, while others can still make up ground and push to place after all is said and done.

The Elite Eight games start today and finish tomorrow. Here's the schedule:

26 March
(8)Butler vs (2)Florida - 4:30 p.m. on CBS
(5)Arizona vs (3)UConn - 7:05 p.m. on CBS
27 March
(11)Virginia Commonwealth vs. (1)Kansas - 2:20 p.m. on CBS
(4)Kentucky vs. (2)North Carolina - 5:05 p.m. on CBS

Lastly, here are the updated LBU Bracket Challenge standings, heading into the Elite Eight:

March 25, 2011

MA LB Camren Williams Commits To Penn State

Massachusetts linebacker Camren Williams has committed to Penn State during his trip to Happy Valley this weekend, Matt Alkire reports.

Williams is a three-star linebacker that has a good possibility of rising to four-star. Even better, Williams is very close friends with teammate Armani Reeves, a four-star cornerback.

Camren stands at 6'1", 200 pounds, and held offers from UConn, Michigan, Missouri, UNC, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

Pete Massaro now injured (Updated: It's a knee)

2010 Penn State vs Temple-64
Pete Massaro (59) went down
this week to injury. It's the
second injury to a major player
this week alone.
You can't make this stuff up:
Penn State's starting defensive end was hurt in practice Friday, according to team sources. It is the program's second significant injury of the spring.
FOS goes on ($) with more, but what you see here was included in the teaser, which is all you really need to know. FOS wouldn't use "significant" if it wasn't so--otherwise it would be rather, um... you know.

Anyway, this SUCKS. Curtis Drake was a big loss for at least the spring. But Massaro had shown some flash of brilliance last fall, after of course missing 2009 due to an ACL tear in that year's Blue White Game. With another spring in the starting lineup, Massaro could have become something really special this fall. But as more comes out, it could be better than thought, or worse. Let's hope for the former.

Update: Bob Flounders revealed tonight that it's more specifically a knee injury. And worse...
"The extent of the injury is still to be determined but Massaro could miss the 2011 season."

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Penn State Junior Day 2011 Attendees

Drew Harris is a top target in the
state of PA, but might be
headed south. PHOTO:
While the entire list of attendees isn't official yet, a couple of sources are reporting a sampling of who will be on campus this weekend. If you're a student and you happen to see one of these players around, give them a smile and a "We Are!" and show them just how great a place Happy Valley truly can be.

Per the Altoona Mirror and JC Shurburtt of 247Sports, the following should be either already on campus, or will be here at some point this weekend:
  • MA WR Canaan Severin
  • MA LB Camren William
  • MA DB Armani Reeves
  • PA OL J.J. Denman
  • PA OL Chris Muller
  • PA TE J.P. Holtz
  • PA RB Drew Harris
  • MD DE Michael Moore
  • MD TE Brent Wilkerson
  • PA DB Demetrious Cox (visited earlier this week ($))
  • NJ DL Julian Pinnix-Odrick
  • At least 10 more ($)
As always, stay tuned for any commitment news. Anthony Stanko is getting mighty lonely on that Class of 2012 Commit list...who will join him? Muller? Muller? Anyone?

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    Friday Recruitin' - Penn State Recruiting Update 3/25

    In the business world, people say that "the first million is always the hardest." In recruiting, that can be translated as "the first commit is always the hardest." Not that actually getting the first is any easier or harder than the others; the staff still has to put in the requisite amount of work. But once that first verbal commitment is made, fans breath a bit easier and the recruiting season really starts to pick up.

    March 24, 2011

    Curtis Drake breaks his left leg... again

    Curtis Drake carries
    Curtis Drake... more like Curtis "Break."
    Oooh, too much? (Photo: LBU/Mike)
    How easy would it have been to make that headline "Curtis Drake catches another 'break'"? Easy, I tell you. But I'm not feeling that cheesy tonight. Not matter what, this news about another Curtis Drake injury still sucks to the ump-teenth degree:
    Penn State wide receiver Curtis Drake has suffered another serious setback in his effort to resume his career this spring.

    For the second time in seven months, he has suffered a fractured left tibia in practice during a non-contact drill.

    Drake, a redshirt sophomore, will miss the rest of spring drills and his status for the fall remains uncertain, a source confirmed Thursday night.
    At least he's sure to get (if he wants) a 6th season of eligibility, should he in fact miss the 2011 season. This is the kind of medical hardship the NCAA usually grants to players. And you can bet that Joe Paterno and staff want to keep Drake around for as long as they can. He's a dynamic playmaker, as we saw glimpses of in 2009.

    Also to note:
    The source also said that former backup middle linebacker Michael Yancich, from Trinity High School, has been shifted to tight end.
    So that may just offer up a huge hint as to what some of us speculated yesterday about the tight end position for this spring and fall.

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    Ed DeChellis's Second Chance

    *This is the second of three posts that will wrap-up the 2010-2011 basketball season and take a look at the state of the program. The first post can be found here. The third and final post will be released on Monday.

    Tim Curley reared his head the other day, unleashing another hate-storm due to what is being termed as 'his vote of confidence' in Ed DeChellis. This isn't (or at least, shouldn't) be a surprise to anyone, since there really isn't as much of a reason to fire him this year as there was last.

    March 23, 2011

    Did Penn State oversign for 2011? Kinda.

    Math. While it's a tough concept for those in SEC country, up here in the north it doesn't seem like all that much work to, you know, count. And that's all it took to figure out that Penn State appeared to have oversigned for the class of 2011 by two scholarships. But as I'll explain in this post, the Nittany Lions coaching staff did not, in fact, do anything outside of the Big Ten's oversigning regulations.

    JayPa reveals pass chart from practice

    Not exactly "holy cow" news, but interesting. I guess we should thank the ever expanding world of social media for this one. Jay Paterno posted this pass chart from a practice session. The green checks are good passes, the red aren't. Not that you couldn't figure that out. But just sayin'...
    It's kind of pointless to analyze this too much. It's very straight forward, and keep in mind that this is just the beginning of spring practice. I can just see/hear it now. "Too bad they don't throw down the middle that much in real games," or "If McGloin was that red dot QB, I'm sure half those checks were complete... to the other team."

    Spring is in the air, folks!

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    2011 Penn State Football Roster

    Penn State released its first roster for the 2011 season. There are what look like a few eligibility mistakes on this list, so take all the new info with a grain of salt. It will get worked out as the spring goes on. For now, have at it...

    March 22, 2011

    And So It Begins: Life Without Talor

    *This is the first of three posts that will wrap-up the 2010-2011 basketball season and take a look at the state of the program. The second post will be released on Thursday.

    That was a fairly cruel, undeserved ending to the brilliant career of Talor Battle, but I was proud of the effort of everyone involved. That includes Fran Dunphy, a classy coach who has long deserved to win an NCAA game. That was one hell of a performance and a perfect example of the magnificence of March Madness. Penn State played very well despite a physically and mentally draining BTT run last week, Jeff Brooks re-injury, and their first NCAA tournament action ever. They gave it their all, and I have no doubt the outcome would've been different if Fernandez's miracle was just a brick. It sounded like Talor was ready to go into Seton Hall mode in the potential overtime period.

    March 21, 2011

    Lady Lions fall to DePaul in soul-crushing collapse, 75-73

    Penn State's season will end at home. The season finale location may not have come as a surprise to many. But the situation of that final home game would. The Lady Lions fell to DePaul, 75-73 tonight, in the 2nd Round of the Women's NCAA Tournament at the Bryce Jordan Center.

    Was it bad enough that Penn State was eliminated from advancing to the Sweet 16? Yes. Was it bad enough that the loss came at home? Definitely. But it was worse, much worse, as the Lady Lions held as much as a 14-point lead in the early 2nd half of the game, only to see it evaporate into the night.

    Big Ten Hockey Conference is Official

    Thanks to Penn State, the Big Ten finally has the tools to form what should be a powerful college hockey conference:
    The Big Ten Conference today announced the intention to recommend the establishment of men’s ice hockey as an official conference sport, with The Pennsylvania State University one of the six institutions that would compete for the 2013-14 academic year.

    Penn State is establishing NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs, with the first season of competition set for 2012-13. The Nittany Lions would join Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin in vying for the Big Ten men’s ice hockey championship. Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport.
    If I knew more about the inner working of college hockey, I'd surely have much more for you on this. But I do appreciate the benefit this will offer the Big Ten conference and Penn State.

    While we're at it, does anyone out there interested in blogging PSU/BigTen hockey? Shoot me an email.

    For some more on Penn State and the Big Ten re:Hockey, check this stuff out:

    Slow States
    The Daily Gopher

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    Lady Lions vs DePaul in Round of 32 tonight at the Bryce Jordan Center

    TIME/VENUE: 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, so there's no excuse to not attend.
    TV: The game will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN2, based on a coverage map, or on
    LAST MTG: Regular Season: Dec. 30, 1992 - PSU W, 85-78; NCAA Tournament: 1992 - PSU W, 77-54.

    It was a slow start for Penn State, but the Lady Lions fought off a 16-8 deficit against Dayton to win the first round NCAA tournament game Saturday at home, 75-66 over the Flyers. But as in any tournament play, it sure doesn't get any easier. Tonight at 7 p.m., the Lady Lions take on the 3-seed DePaul Blue Demons (28-6, 13-3 Big East) in the Bryce Jordan Center.

    Wrestling Wreport: the National Championship edition

    Your 2011 NCAA Wrestling Champs!
    Cael Sanderson left Iowa State to come to Penn State believing that the Nittany Lions were close to winning a National Title and, with his help, they could achieve top honors. Coming into this season many long-time followers of Penn State wrestling believed that the Lions were a year away from winning it all but few thought it would happen this season. Oh there was an outside shot that if things went Penn State's way they may be able to pull it off but very few thought it would end like this. Well thanks to a lot of hard work and long hours of practice, Penn State has won the 2011 NCAA Wrestling national championship!

    2011-12 Basketball Scholarship Matrix

    Last Updated: 5/2/2011

    This is how the 2011-2012 Nittany Lions' scholarship roster shakes down. I will update this throughout the year with the ever-changing turnover of transfers and recruits. The blank cells in the table represent open scholarships available to the respective year.

    2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
    1. C. Woodyard T. Frazier B. Oliver J. Staten
    2. T. Frazier B. Oliver J. Marshall J. Graham
    3. B. Oliver J. Marshall S. Borovnjak P. Alexis
    4. J. Marshall S. Borovnjak T. Bowman P. Ackerman
    5. S. Borovnjak T. Bowman M. Glover T. Lewis
    6. T. Bowman M. Glover J. Staten R. Travis
    7. J. Staten J. Staten J. Graham
    8. M. Glover J. Graham P. Alexis
    9. J. Graham P. Alexis P. Ackerman
    10. P. Alexis P. Ackerman T. Lewis
    11. P. Ackerman T. Lewis R. Travis
    12. T. Lewis R. Travis

    13. R. Travis

    Key Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman

    • Billy Oliver, according to GoPSUSports, redshirted in 08-09 and medically red-shirted in 09-10. He will have to apply for a 6th year of eligibility in 2013-2014. PSU listed him as freshman eligibility in 2010-2011, so this matrix is under the assumption that he will qualify for a 6th year. 
    • Jermaine Marshall red-shirted in 2009-2010. 
    • Sasa Borovnjak medically red-shirted in 2010-2011 with a torn ACL. 
    • Jonathan Graham red-shirted in 2010-2011. 
    • Juwan Staten is a transfer from Dayton who will have to sit out 2011-2012 because of transfer rules.

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    March 19, 2011

    OL Anthony Stanko commits to Penn State

    In one of the earliest commitments we've seen in years, offensive lineman Anthony Stanko (Warren, OH/Warren HS) verbally committed to Penn State today. He is the first verbal for the 2012 class.

    Stanko was also being pursued by Ohio State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia among others. He was recruited by Jay Paterno.

    More to come.

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    On To The Next One...Lady Lions Win 75-66

    Sprinting out of the locker room, the Lady Lions and Dayton Flyers continued the pace the rest of the way to tip off the 2011 Women’s NCAA Tournament in the 75-66 victory over the Dayton Flyers.

    Pacing the offense for the Lady Lions was not “Machine Gun Maggie Lucas” as we’ve come to expect from the freshman phenom, but rather sophomore Alex Bentley.

    The first team All Big Ten guard has shown inconsistency this season, but really came to play in this first round game. Bentley shot 7 of 15 from the field for 14 points and four assists in the first half, including a Talor Battle-esque shot to close out the half just before the buzzer sounded.

    In the second half, it was the same story. Bentley finished with TWENTY EIGHT shots in the contest, connecting on twelve shots and accumulating 25 points.

    Lady Lions take on Dayton in NCAA 1st Round

    TIME/VENUE: 11 a.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, so there's no excuse to not attend.
    TV: The game will air on ESPN2 with Justin Kutcher and Brenda VanLengen calling the action.
    RADIO: Our boy Ryan will be calling the game today on ComRadio, and online at
    LAST MTG: Nov. 12, 2010 / Recap

    Unlike the Nittany Lions, the Lady Lions head into their opening NCAA tournament game having a long layoff, not unlike the layoff in between football's regular season and most bowl games. And just as with those football teams who are sitting around at home getting fat and lazy, Coquese Washington had to answer questions about the 13-day break between the Big Ten title game and today's game.

    March 18, 2011

    Friday Recruitin' - PSU Weekly Update 3/18

    Friday Recruitin'
    Does the bracket challenge have you down? Picked Louisville to go all the way? Well cheer up, as Penn State football begins tomorrow! Spring practice will take place for the next month, 15 practices across 30 days, culminating with the annual Blue/White Game on April 16.

    Here are your Friday Recruitin' updates, the weekly roundup of all things Penn State football recruiting, mixed with some interesting, fun, and otherwise off-topic news items to get you through the weekend. Stay up to date with the 2012 Offers page from!

    UPDATE: Rivals reports that Penn State has offered NJ (Ramsey/Don Bosco Prep) DE Darius Hamilton. Teammate Elijah Shumate already holds a Penn State offer. Hamilton has an impressive sheet, with offers from most of the major northeast schools have offered, in addition to Florida and USC.

    March 17, 2011

    Annnd...It's Gone - Penn State Loses a Heartbreaker To Temple, 66-64


    You know, for all the celebrating, hootin', and hollerin' we had been doing since the Fighting DeChellises beat Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals last weekend to seal an NCAA bid, it sure felt like this magical ride was over before it even had a chance to really get going. I guess this is what feels like to be the fan of a Louisville, Kansas, or any other school that is a yearly fixture in the NCAA Tournament, and seeing your team get knocked out after just one game...

    Penn St vs Temple: Survive & Advance, or Go Home

    So after a roller coaster season with a buzzer beater against Mt. St. Mary's, a loss to Maine, two big wins over Wisconsin, and two tough losses to Michigan, Battle and the Lions are a #10 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now the 1st round test comes against old foe Temple. But this time, rather than the usual 200-mile trip to one arena or the other, it's a 2500-mile ride to Tuscon. Well Ed DeChellis have his team ready to go? Let's take a look.

    For those who know nothing about Temple:

    March 16, 2011

    Rob Bolden talks, future still not certain beyond spring practice

    Rob Bolden under center [2]
    Penn State's spring quarterback battle
    is already getting fired up. (Photo: LBU/Mike)
    Sounds like Rob Bolden is still a bit sour (wouldn't you be?) on Penn State's handling of the quarterback situation last season. While more of the juicy stuff is behind paywalls this afternoon, some quotes have been reported free by guys like Ron Musselman:
    "Nothing is official," he said today. "I'm just here for the spring. I decided to come back. I'm just here. I'm going to work hard and we'll see what happens from there." [snip] "Hopefully, it will be an open competition," Bolden said.
    Not sure if this was a planned move by Bolden to rekindle the fire that raged after the Outback Bowl, or just the media figuring they would egg him on to get spring started with a pop. Regardless, we officially have pop, and it doesn't look like things will go flat any time soon.

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    Wrestling Wreport: the NCAA edition


    One last chance to post this pic again!!
    The Big Ten wrestling champs Penn State Nittany Lions take a short bus trip to Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center to compete in the 2011 NCAA wrestling championships starting tomorrow. Coach Cael Sanderson came to Penn State to win the Big Ten and NCAA championships. Half of that goal has been achieved, can he make Penn State a national champ for the first time in 50 years? We're about to find out.

    Penn State moves Spring Practice start to Saturday

    Matt McGloin Warmups
    Red jerseys and fifth stringers? Gotta be spring football!
    (Photo: LBU/Mike)
    When was the last time you can remember Penn State spring football practice taking a back seat to any other sport in mid-March? This week, that's exactly what's going on. In fact, Penn State football is not only taking the back seat, it's riding bitch with four other major events crammed into the same week.

    Because of the men's basketball team heading out to Tuscon for the NCAA first round game Thursday afternoon; the Lady Lions hosting their first round game on Saturday; the wrestling team vying for nationa titles this weekend; AND the Penn State pro-day workout set to start today, the athletic department and Joe Paterno (assuming he was in on the decision as he is with all major moves) will delay the start of spring football practice until Saturday. Spring ball was originally supposed to start today.

    But why would they actually move spring practice to what could turn out to be the biggest day this week--Saturday? That's the odd part of this thing. Regardless, it shouldn't make much of an impact on the team or its schedule.

    FYI on Spring Ball: (more to come the next few weeks... MUCH more) Per NCAA rules, the Lions are allowed 15 practice sessions during a 34-day period, including scrimmages and the spring game. Only 12 of those practices can include contact. Of those 12 contact sessions, eight can include tackling.

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    March 15, 2011

    Joe Lunardi Likes Penn State...As a One-And-Done


    I realize Joe Lunardi does not own a monopoly on the title of 'bracketologist', which is a moniker more fitting for a Daily Show correspondent as opposed to an ESPN writer, but we figured you may be interested to hear what his thoughts are on the Fighting DeChellises' chances of winning a game or two in the NCAA Tournament. According to Lunardi, Temple's "smothering defense" and PSU having tired legs from playing four straight days in the Big Ten Tournament will be a lethal combination, sinking PSU's dreams of avoiding "one-and-done" status.

    It's hard to have any qualms with Lunardi's observations, though I can't help but get the feeling he's slightly overlooking the newfound scoring ability of Tim Frazier and for DJ Jackson and Jeff Brooks to step up and carry some of the load off Talor Battle's shoulders as well. Not to mention the fact that Temple's key starter Scootie Randall will be seeing his first dose of game action since fracturing his foot a month ago, presuming that he actually does play. In essence, we might see a full-strength PSU take on a 3/4-strength Temple squad, and given how full-strength PSU has fared against some of the tougher competition in the Big Ten, it's hard not to like PSU's chances a little more.

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    2011 Tournament Challenge - Now With Working Brackets! And Free Stuff!

    PHOTO: Copyright NCAA

    With all apologies over the CBS bracket mix-up (I blame them, somehow, but since I created the group, feel free to make fun of me in the comments as the only person to fail at making a tournament challenge), we have created a new ESPN group. This group is public, does not require a password, and is on ESPN. If this doesn't work, I give up.

    The rules remain the same: no profane/vulgar names, free stuff to the winner, play-in games are meaningless (entries due by Thursday, noonish) and Sheenisms at your own risk. Follow the URL and get started today!

    URL -
    And if, for some reason, that doesn't work, search ESPN for group name "LBU".

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    March 14, 2011

    Lady Lions earn a 6-Seed in NCAA Tournament, will host Dayton in the BJC

    Penn State (24-9, 11-5 Big Ten) will return to the NCAA tournament for the first time in six seasons, as the Lady Lions earned a No. 6 seed from the selection committee, announced tonight on ESPN.

    Penn State will host 11-seed Dayton at the Bryce Jordan Center, in the Philadelphia Region of the bracket. Tip off is 11 a.m. Saturday. The Flyers lost to the Lady Lions in double overtime in the season opener.

    The Jordan Center will host the first two rounds of the tournament, meaning if the Lady Lions beat Dayton, they will stay in the friendly confines of Happy Valley to host the winner of the Navy-DePaul 1st round game.

    The four No. 1 seeds are Connecticut, Baylor, Tennessee and Stanford.

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    The Past 80 hours in Penn State Basketball

    Ten steps forward, one step back, another five forward. That pretty much sums up the past four days in Penn State men's basketball. In case you missed any of it, here's the rundown of what happened since Thursday night's win over Indiana in the Big Ten first round.

    It's "Just Win the Big Ten Tourney Time... or Is It?" (Eric)

    Big Ten Tournament Bracket

    Penn State downs Wisconsin, Battle sets Career Record (Ryan)

    Poll: MSU(-1) vs PSU

    This Week is Actually a Repeat of 2001 (Tim)

    Penn State vs Michigan State In-Game Blog (Ryan)

    March is a Beautiful Thing (Eric)

    Live Blog: Big Ten Tourney Final, OSU vs PSU

    THEY'RE IN: Penn State a 10-Seed in the NCAA Tournament, will face Temple

    Stay tuned for more this week as Penn State gears up for Thursday!

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    March 13, 2011

    THEY'RE IN: Penn State a 10-Seed in the NCAA Tournament, will face 7-Seed Temple

    CBS announced tonight Penn State will play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001. The Nittany Lions earned a somewhat surprising No. 10 seed in the West Region, and will face No. 7 seed Temple on Thursday in Tuscon, AZ.

    The Nittany Lions and Owls are familiar dance partners, as Temple ousted Penn State in the 2001 Sweet 16.

    More, much more, to come this week!

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    LIVE BLOG: 2011 Big Ten Men's Hoops Final - Penn State vs Ohio State

    Attn Readers: Your comments may not post immediately. So don't think they're being ignored. We must approve all comments before they publish. (more details below the live blog)

    March is a Beautiful Thing

    Yes, Penn State could actually
    win this today. PHOTO:
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
    Today's Selection Sunday, but the madness has already begun. Penn State has taken the bubble world by storm with 3 straight victories at the Big Ten Tournament. I mean just wrap your head around this fact. Today, our Fighting DeChellises (to quote Tim) are going to be lacing up the sneakers to play for a Big Ten Title. That's right, a championship trophy. They are in the championship game of one of the best basketball conferences in the land.

    A little unprecedented, huh? Who could have predicted this? (Ans: Mike Rothstein, apparently)

    I don't think people have truly realized what PSU has done the last few days. Granted, there really hasn't been much time for any of this to sink in, nor have the Lions been particularly impressive in some of these victories. They didn't play all that well against Indiana or Wisconsin, but they survived and advanced. Yesterday, with a chance to seemingly put themselves firmly in the NCAA tournament, the Nittany Lions took a blow on the chin early from the Spartans, then rolled on their way to a convincing 61-48 victory. Tim Frazier had the game of his life and Talor Battle, after going through one of the most horrendous stretches of basketball I've ever seen, caught fire in the second half (with 4 straight threes in 2 minutes).

    March 12, 2011

    Penn State vs. Michigan State In-Game Blog

    0:00: THAT'S IT!!! I waited for the double zero on the clock to post it. Still don't believe this game is officially over. Without question the most impressive performance out of PSU in a very, very long time. Great play by Battle and Frazier. Jeff Brooks was a beast on defense, and came through in the clutch with big shots when the team needed him offensively. Drew Jones and D.J Jackson didn't contribute much. But it doesn't matter. Ladies and Gentlemen, GRAB YOUR DANCING SHOES, PENN STATE IS GOING TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!!!!!!!! 61-48 PSU!!!!!

    Also, be sure to check out Tim's post from earlier today, comparing this run with 2001.
    2:52: Still up 10 but could be more. Jeff Brooks with the huge block, but couldn't convert on the fastbreak. MSU came right back down and scored. Could be 15 point differential. Brooks comes back with another MONSTER block to send us into a media timeout. Still not over yet. Remember, MSU has a lot of shooters. Penn State looked complacent on the last offensive possession. If that continues on defense, Michigan State could get the offensive shots it desperately needs. 55-45 PSU!!!!

    This Week is Actually a Repeat From 2001


    Jerry Dunn was pointing
    out his haters in the stands
    the last time Penn State
    made their way into
    the NCAA Tournament

    Remember the time when John Goodman hosted Saturday Night Live and his monologue consisted of him trying to convince the audience that the show was not a repeat from a 1991 show he hosted since the exact same musical guest was performing that night (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)? Probably not, unless you're an SNL geek such as myself, so here's a link for you.

    This past week has felt like a repeat from 2001 when Penn State ultimately ended up landing an NCAA Tournament berth thanks in part, to some last-minute heroics from Gyasi Cline-Heard and Joe Crispin to get PSU into the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament: For one, PSU blew a chance to get a critical resume-boosting win at home against Ohio State in the final week of the regular season, much like ten years ago when they blew a 20-point halftime lead to the Buckeyes at the Jordan Center, squandering a chance to finish with a .500 record in the Big Ten and likely punch their dance card without having to make a run in the conference tournament.

    Poll: Big Ten semifinals - Michigan State (-1) over Penn State

    College hoops guru Ken Pomeroy lists Penn State as a one-point underdog against Michigan State today in the Big Ten semi-final round. All things considered, that's not bad. Penn State basically has a 45% shot to make the Big Ten FINAL! On top of it, the Nittany Lions are surely in the NCAA tournament with a win over the Spartans.

    So, we'll let you have at this one.

    Ken Pom has MSU (-1) today over PSU. Winner?

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    March 11, 2011

    Penn State beats Wisconsin in snoozer, Talor Battle breaks career scoring record

    Talor Battle had struggled all game long, connecting on just three of sixteen shots. But with a critical 3-point bucket late in the second half, Talor Battle officially became the all time leading scorer in Penn State basketball history.

    The Game...

    Video: 2001 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal, Penn State vs #3 Michigan State

    Until beating North Carolina to reach the Sweet 16 that year, No. 2 Michigan State was the biggest upset win in Penn State basketball history. For more, I'll let the New York Times recap what happened, then you can watch the video.

    Friday Recruitin' - Your Weekly Penn State Football Recruiting Update

    PA RB Rushel Shell. PHOTO: Matt Freed/Post-Gazette
    Let me first say thank you to the great guys at for letting me join their rapidly growing blog, one of the best Penn State blogs around. I'm excited to bring you some valuable information as it pertains to Penn State football recruiting. If you ever have any questions or requests for articles, please do not hesitate to contact me via Twitter or email .

    The great writers at Iowa's SBN blog, Black Heart Gold Pants, call their recurring recruiting segment "Caring is Creepy." While that might hold some truth (these are 18 year old kids or younger, afterall), the fact of the matter is that recruiting is a vital part of the success of any collegiate football team. What percentage of a team's success is due to their recruiting versus the on-field coaching is debatable. You can recruit five-star athletes every year, but put them on a poorly coached team, and the results will be poor. Similarly, you can have the best coaches in college football guiding a team full of two-star or less players, but the other BCS programs will eat you alive. Regardless of your team's makeup, poor efforts on the recruiting trail beget poor results on Saturdays in the fall.

    The 2012 recruiting season is technically only a month old, but it already has a different feel for Penn State fans thanks to two important changes. The first was a mandate from the NCAA, while the second is a welcomed change of pace from the 2011 recruiting strategies employed by the staff.

    First, the new NCAA recruiting rules are now in effect, meaning that no team can extend a written offer to a prospect before August 1 of the recruit's senior year in high school. This is eleven months later than the old rule, which permitted written offers by schools as early as September 1 of the prospect's junior year in high school.

    March 10, 2011

    2011 Big Ten Tournament Bracket

    In case you're not the avid hoops fan, here is the men's tournament bracket.

    Plus, Eric's look at Penn State's situation going into the final chance to reach the NCAAs. Today's game will be on the Big Ten Network. So good luck if you're a Penn State fan outside the commonwealth. Of course, you could always follow our writers on Twitter during the game for updates and immediate in-game reactions. Then again, you should be following us anyway on Twitter and Facebook! (yes, that was absolutely a shameless social media plug)

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    March 9, 2011

    It's 'Just Win the Big Ten Tourney' time... or is it?

    First and foremost, thanks to all for the warm welcome to LBU. I'm very excited to start blogging with all the other great guys here. Most of you know me already and my devotion to this wonderful basketball program (and my alleged assault against Talor Battle). If you don't, I look forward to getting to know you. Tweet me.

    Anyway, here we are in Championship Week and the Nittany Lions' NCAA hopes are dwindling. If this was October, you'd be surprised they weren't dead yet. If this was December 22nd, you would've hoped DeChellis was fired at this point already. If this was January 31st, there would probably be some mixed feelings. But after finally looking like a legitimate threat with the Wisconsin upset, the Lions proceeded to limp all over the place the rest of the season. The only reason this team is still alive is because 1 - Northwestern was on the schedule twice and 2 - Minnesota pretty much imploded every way imaginable.

    This is college basketball, though, and at this time of the year, if you're on the bubble, it is all about what does team X have to do? And as usual, the answer is always 'it depends'. For the Nittany Lions' sake, they just need to win. Jerry Palm was quoted that the Nits will need to win the BTT. I almost always take him for his word, but I think he might be a little off base here. I don't think PSU is that far from entering the Big Dance. If they win 3 games (which would probably include upsets of Wisconsin and Purdue), I think they'd be in. Heck, maybe just 2 wins might get it done, but they'll need some help around the bubblesphere. So, according to the annual measuring stick of this program's yearly success, the 'we just need to win the BTT' battle cry is nullified. The season has already been declared a success.

    March 8, 2011

    Video: Penn State Band Day 1960

    An absolutely FANTASTIC video uploaded to YouTube by Russ, one of our readers and Twitter followers. It's a home movie from Penn State's 1960 Band Day. Russ says in the description that it was his grandfather's 8mm reel of film, converted to DVD. You all know we love Penn State history here at LBU, so this is a no-brainer that deserves a post.

    Penn State would face West Virginia that day, October 29, in the newly-moved Beaver Stadium. Lions' QB Dick Hoak would pass for two touchdowns and run for another, as Penn State crushed the Mountaineers 34-13. Steelers fans probably recognize that name, as Hoak spent 10 years playing, and 35 more coaching, for the Black and Gold.

    As for Band Day at Penn State, it's been a rough ride back to pseudo-relevance:

    LBU On-Air: Talking Penn State hoops today on TribLive Radio

    Just a quick note to those interested. Bill will be a guest on TribLive Radio TODAY around 4:40 p.m. Reporter/host Ken Laird honored us with a second invite to join his show. Be sure to tune in a few minutes early, just so you don't miss a minute!


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    March 7, 2011

    Welcome aboard, Jeff

    Those of you out there who follow us on Twitter likely already knew this was coming, so we won't say it's "breaking news" or anything like that. But today we're proud to announce yet another fine addition to our team.

    Readers, meet Jeff Junstrom.

    Big Ten Champs!

    In just his second season as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, Cael Sanderson has led his team to a Big Ten Championship. Penn State becomes the first team in the Eastern Time Zone since 1973 to win the Big Ten's. PSU went 5 for 5 in the finals and got important bonus points in the wrestle-backs to earn a 1 point victory over defending champ Iowa. Penn State won the title with 139.0 points narrowly beating Iowa who had 138.0.

    MI 'backer James Ross part of latest round of Penn State offers

    Check out the new LBU 2012 Offers Board!

    James Ross
    Michigan linebacker James Ross
    (pictured here at the 2010 Blue-
    White Game) was reportedly
    offered a scholarship by Penn State.
    (Photo: LBU/Mike)
    Since our first/last 2012 scholarship offer rundown, we can now tally plenty more offers to add to the list. Penn State is really hitting the Commonwealth hard this year, and it's no surprise why: it's loaded with talent. But in a refreshing (for many recruiting followers) move, the staff has been branching way out from its traditional stomping grounds. The Pac 10, SEC, and ACC will all have to defend some of its territory this recruiting season.

    Here are the most recent offers I've come across. Some of them are just confirmations by other recruiting sites of offers already reported. But most of them are new offers, including which sites have confirmed.


    March 6, 2011

    Lady Lions fall to Ohio State, await NCAA fate

    Ohio State center Jantel Lavender, right,
    dominated the second half against Penn State.
    (Photo: AP/Michael Conroy)
    Ohio State kept Penn State at arms length most of the game, eventually sinking the Lady Lions 84-70 to capture the Big Ten tournament championship and the conference's automatic NCAA bid. Not that the Buckeyes needed the automatic bid. Ohio State has been on fire the past few weeks, finishing today on a nine-game winning streak that featured wins over four ranked opponents, including two wins over top-11 ranked Michigan State and two over Penn State.

    For the Lady Lions, Sophomore Alex Bentley and freshman Maggie Lucas were both named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team following the title game. Sophomore Mia Nickson scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half to lead the Lady Lions. Bentley added 16 points, three assists and three steals, while Zhaque Gray chipped in 13 points and a pair of assists. Lucas scored only eight points in the loss, but broke Kelly Mazzante's Penn State freshman scoring record with 533 points.

    Penn State is likely to earn a No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the Philadelphia region. The Bryce Jordan Center will host the first and second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 19 and Monday, March 21.

    Stay tuned for more news about Penn State's NCAA seeding and opponent.

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    March 5, 2011

    Lady Lions headed to the Big Ten championship, rout Illinois 79-64

    The Lady Lions are on their way to the Big Ten final against whichever team wins tonight's Michigan State/Ohio State, following their up-and-down 79-64 demolition of a red-hot Illinois squad today in Indy. Big Ten freshman of the year Maggie Lucas finished with 23 points, including five 3-pointers to break the Big Ten single-season record, and five rebounds. The team's lone senior, Julia Trogele, was equally dynamic with 20 points and nine rebounds.

    March 4, 2011

    Wrestling Wreport: the Big Ten Championship edition

    The Penn State wrestling team heads to Evanston, Ill this weekend to take part in the Big Ten Championships. The two day event starts Saturday at 11 a.m. and ends with the championship round on Sunday at 4 p.m. The championship round will air live on the Big Ten Network. We'll take a quick look after the jump.

    Lady Lions roll Purdue 73-61, likely lock up NCAA berth

    There wasn't a whole lot going for Penn State coming into today's game against Purdue. The Boilermakers swept the Lady Lions in the regular season, both wins coming in convincing fashion. Taking into account the previous editions of this matchup so far this season, one would expect Purdue to hold the "2" in front of their name, with Penn State the "7".

    But the No. 2 seed Lady Lions finally found a way to beat No. 7 seed Purdue, and it couldn't have come at a better time than this afternoon in Indianapolis, as Penn State downed the Boilermakers 73-61 to advance to the semifinal round of the Big Ten tournament. The Lady Lions will face the winner of the Michigan-Illinois game, which will tip off this afternoon.

    March 3, 2011

    Such an appropriate way to begin March Madness

    Let's just hope this is just a big ol' coincidence, via Ben at Victory Bell Rings:
    State College police are looking into a simple-assault and criminal-mischief incident that happened at 6:05 p.m. Saturday at the Cedarbrook apartment building... Police released six images from the scene... Saturday was the fifth annual unsanctioned State Patty’s Day drinking holiday in State College.

    Currently there is speculation that there are several Penn State athletes involved in this altercation including Taran Buie, Curtis Drake and Tre Bowman.
    Stupid. Kids.

    Lady Lions to face Purdue in Big Ten 2nd Round

    Purdue was expected to beat Indiana tonight in the opening round of the Big Ten women's tournament. But what wasn't expected was a close 66-62 final score. The Boilermakers had two players scoring in double digits--Drey Mingo (21) and Brittany Rayburn (23, 12 via free throws)--but were out-rebounded 40-30, while Indiana couldn't overcome sloppy turnovers and lower shooting percentage.

    This is arguably the toughest bottom-half seed any 2nd round team will face tomorrow. Penn State was swept this season by Purdue, a series which featured one 10-point loss for the Lady Lions, and another 3-point loss that was much worse than it looked (PSU was down big most of the game). But Purdue showed some weakness against Indiana, which could, could be exploited by Penn State.

    Nittany Lion officially declared Extinct

    wintershrine "Every college has a legend..."

    Well, folks, it looks like that legend will remain just a legend, since there is now officially no chance to ever again see a living Nittany Lion:
    After a lengthy review, federal officials concluded there are no breeding populations of cougars — also known as pumas, panthers, mountain lions and catamounts — in the eastern United States. Researchers believe the eastern cougar subspecies has probably been extinct since the 1930s.
    Unfortunately, most of us Penn State fans already knew this.

    March 2, 2011

    Lions Lose Badly on Senior Night; APB Sent Out for Any and All Airborne Swine

    Talor Battle and Penn State were steamrolled
    by No. 1 Ohio State last night on Senior Night.
    (Photo: AP/Yahoo!)
    From the outset of the season, Nittany Nation adopted a new motto….Believe. They held onto a belief that this was a team of destiny. The students showed up in record fashion believing that they would finally see their belief become a reality.

    Very quickly, however, the record-breaking student section realized that their destiny was one that they were all too familiar with, the NIT.

    Ohio State clobbered Penn State, from start to finish. 82-61 the Buckeyes routed Penn State. It seemed PSU had a game plan of how to stop the most dominant Buckeye in Jared Sullinger, holding him to ten points.

    March 1, 2011


    So, in case you haven't heard, the most important game in Penn State basketball history tips off in a matter of hours (9 PM ET, BTN to be exact). Hopefully you're already pumped to watch Talor Battle and his fellow seniors try to pull off one final miracle at the Jordan Center against a #1 ranked Ohio State team and get the Fighting DeChellises back into serious bubble discussion by ESPN's talking heads.

    If you're still not feeling it however, the video below should likely do the trick.

    Lady Lions earn a No. 2 seed and 1st round bye for Big Ten Tournament

    Penn State just wrapped up a very nice 22-8 regular season--with a team which returns nearly intact for next season--but the work is far from over. And in fact, the toughest part of the season, or at least the most high-pressure stage, is still on deck.

    The Lady Lions took advantage of a down year in the Big Ten to grab the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament, which starts this Thursday.

    In any other year, probably a No. 2 seed would be a relief. But if you take a look at which team Penn State is likely to face in its first game, there is no rest for the weary Lady Lions. Purdue swept Penn State this season, the only team to do that in a two-game series (Michigan State and Penn State only played once) in 2011. Indiana is very unlikely to pull the upset, so Penn State should count on having one final try to dispatch the Boilermakers, a game which also happens to be in their home state of Indiana.

    Beyond that, Wisconsin will likely advance over Illinois, setting up what should be one of the most intriguing games in the second round against Michigan. The Wolverines haven't been impressive, but beat all the right teams to get that first round bye. Wisconsin has used a very strong middle portion of the season to scare almost any team it faces. Ideally here, Penn State would like Michigan to advance past the Badgers.

    There is no point in projecting the final, but I will say I like the Spartans to take the title over either Penn State or Purdue. I'm probably wrong. The bracket: