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Press Box: Ex-Penn State president Spanier didn't hide info, lawyers say

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Fired Penn State president Graham Spanier didn't conceal information from authorities as the Freeh Report claims, according to Spanier's attorneys.

Timothy Lewis, a former federal judge and prosecutor, held a press conference Wednesday and said Spanier was an easy target because of his position of authority, but that didn't make him guilty as the report by independent investigator and former FBI director Louis Freeh charged.

Lewis said it would be up to Spanier himself to answer questions of reporters and -- if necessary -- authorities. Spanier's first interview since the report was released is scheduled to air on ABC News Wednesday night.

"Sadly it is now apparent that Judge Freeh was not an independent investigator ... but a self-appointed accuser who in his zeal to protect victims from a monster ... recklessly created new victims of his own," Lewis said. "Among those, a dead man who couldn't respond, two under indictment who couldn't respond, and a former university president who welcomes opportunity to respond."

Freeh's report is "infused with bias and innuendo and not worth the $6.5 million the university put into it," said Lewis.

He claims Spanier never knew the exact nature of the incident in the Lasch Football building in 2001, when graduate assistant Michael McQueary allegedly witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the shower room. He also said that was one of many flaws in the Freeh Report -- it overlooked that there is no proof Spanier was told the allegations were of a sexual nature.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Senior middle linebacker Storm Klein requested reinstatement to the Ohio State football team after agreeing to a plea deal that reduced a domestic violence charge to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Klein was dismissed from the Ohio State football team after he was charged with "violently and purposely" grabbing the mother of his child by the forearms and throwing her into their apartment door. Coach Urban Meyer immediately dismissed Klein from the team but said he could review Klein's status if charges were dropped.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Klein's attorney said the alleged victim recanted the accusation and said that Klein did not strike or harm her.

The case had been scheduled for trial Sept. 24, but going to trial would have reduced Klein's chances of playing this season.

Meyer and Klein spoke this week and a ruling on Klein's status could come by the weekend.

Klein started 10 games last season. He's likely to be a backup if he returns to the team based on the spring performance of sophomore Curtis Grant, a top-10 recruit and one of the stars of Meyer's first spring in Columbus.

---Sophomore David Ash will be the starting quarterback when Texas opens against Wyoming on Sept. 1, coach Mack Brown announced on Wednesday, but he added that junior Case McCoy also will see playing time.

Ash and McCoy both saw playing time last season and have been in a head-to-head battle since spring practice.

"Both quarterbacks are good enough to play, and both are good enough to win games," Brown said.

Ash and McCoy combined to start 11 games for the Longhorns last season.

McCoy led Texas to a come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M before throwing four interceptions in a loss to Baylor.

Ash, who struggled earlier in the season in losses to Missouri and Kansas State, was selected to start the Holiday Bowl against California.

Though Ash is considered more athletic and brings a running option to the position, McCoy posted better passing statistics in 2011, with seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

Ash had four touchdown passes and threw eight interceptions.

Texas, which was 8-5 last season, enters the season ranked 15th in the Associated Press poll.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Kentucky recruit Nerlens Noel, ranked as the top incoming player in the country by multiple recruiting services, is being investigated by NCAA enforcement officials, who are focusing on how he paid for unofficial campus visits and persons with close ties to his recruitment.

Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel reported Wednesday that Noel, a 6-foot-10 center and the anchor of Kentucky's top-ranked recruiting class, is academically eligible after taking classes over the summer to qualify and that the NCAA is focused on his recruitment and potential violations therein.

According to the report, NCAA assistant enforcement directors and an official from Kentucky visited the two schools Noel attended most recently -- Tilton Prep in New Hampshire and the public high school in Everett, Mass.

Noel is the son of Haitian immigrants and was recruiting by many of the top programs in the country, including Syracuse, North Carolina, Georgetown and Connecticut.

Noel's recruitment was controversial on multiple levels. For starters, he was scheduled to graduate next year, but advanced his schedule to clear his high school coursework earlier. His working-class parents, who have cleaned at hospitals and worked various odd jobs -- his father is a cab driver in the Boston area -- weren't behind Noel's decision to leave Everett, where he grew up playing basketball, to attend Tilton, where tuition is over $40,000 annually.
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