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Headlinin’: The tide turns on Paterno

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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Making the morning rounds.

It's getting ugly. Stepping to the front of a growing crowd calling for Joe Paterno's ouster at Penn State, the Harrisburg Patriot-News devoted its entire front page this morning to an editorial demanding both Paterno and university president Graham Spanier resign for allowing former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky to maintain access to the football program despite multiple, repeated allegations of sexual abuse over more than a decade. Prosecutors have specifically ruled out Paterno and Spanier as targets of an investigation that has already claimed the job of athletic director Tim Curley and another administrator, both of whom were indicted for perjury and failing to report a specific allegation against Sandusky in 2002 to police. But Paterno was personally informed of the same incident by an eyewitness, and appears to have either washed his hands of it or simply forgotten about it after reporting the charge to Curley.

"As for Joe Paterno," the board writes, "the face of Penn State and the man who has pushed for excellence on the football field and for the entire university, this must be his last season. His contract should not be extended. This is not about age. This is not about rebuilding a football team." Elsewhere in the Patriot-News, mothers of two of Sandusky's alleged victims lash out at the university's response.

Paterno is expected to speak to the media for the first time today during his regular Tuesday press conference, where reporters have been instructed by the university to restrict their questions to "the Nebraska game, Penn State's season thus far and other topics related to the current college football season." Good luck with that. [Harrisburg Patriot-News, Associated Press, Deadspin, photo via jakemkaplan]

Ah, geez, Christine. As feared, Texas A&M running back Christine Michael will miss the rest of the season to an ACL tear suffered in Saturday's 41-25 loss at Oklahoma, the second year in a row his season has been cut short by a major injury. Last year, Michael missed the Aggies' final seven games after breaking his leg at midseason; this year, the torn ACL will likely require surgery once swelling subsides.

With 899 yards in nine games, Michael was well on his way to his first 1,000-yard season despite splitting carries with senior Cyrus Gray, and — assuming another healthy return — will have one season of eligibility remaining with the job to himself in 2012. [Associated Press] {YSP:MORE}

The Rap Sheet. Just a few hours' after the Sooners' victory, 6-foot-6, 305-pound Oklahoma offensive lineman Stephen Good was arrested on misdemeanor assault and battery charges after allegedly shoving a victim's head against a wall in a Norman bar. Good, 21, was released from custody after signing the complaint. No word yet from coach Bob Stoops or the university on potential discipline. [Tulsa World]

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One good Bronco deserves another. With the Big 12 apparently off the table, coach BYU is now in discussions about joining the Big East, according to coach Bronco Mendenhall, who said Monday the conference is pursuing the Cougars to join prospective members Air Force and Boise State in its emerging Western flank. "There is a push," said Mendenhall, who has typically referred realignment rumors to his bosses in the administration. "There are conversations that are in place for the Big East to convince, or to have BYU join the conference. … I don't know how fast, nor do I think the time frame is relevant at this point."

In fact, there's still some chance that BYU isn't being targeted to join Air Force in a new-look Big East, but to replace it: According to anonymous academy sources, superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould appears to be leaning toward rebuffing the Big East's offer to remain in the Mountain West. [Salt Lake Tribune, Colorado Springs Gazette]

Quickly… A USC walk-on is arrested for misdemeanor battery. … Baylor releases a rendering of a proposed on-campus stadium. … The SEC defends a critical interception call no one was questioning. … A humble suggestion to improve Notre Dame's shamrock helmets. … And Arkansas State makes a play to keep the hunters.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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