Making the morning rounds.
• It's only going to get uglier. In the first of what figures to be a parade of old grudges marching out of the ruins at Penn State, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night that ousted coach Joe Paterno "clashed repeatedly" with the university's former discipline officer over her efforts to impose punishment for football players, leading to a system in which players were treated "more favorably than other students accused of violating the community standards as defined by the student code of conduct." In two separate cases in 2005, according to then-standards and conduct officer Vicky Triponey, Paterno complained about suspensions of lineman E.Z. Smith and linebacker Dan Conner, and in the latter case threatened to stop fundraising for the university if Triponey wasn't fired. (Conner's suspension was ultimately reduced.) In 2007, Triponey told administrators that players were stonewalling her investigation into a massive off-campus melee that led to charges against six teammates, and Paterno refused to compel their cooperation.
Triponey left shortly after that incident, and the university adopted a new code in the fall of 2007 that put more control over discipline back into Paterno's hands. Paterno, of course, was fired earlier this month for his role in the university's failure to report alleged sexual assaults by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky in the football facilities.
"Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code, despite any moral or legal obligation to do so," Triponey wrote in the spring of 2005. In another email that fall, she wrote, "I do not support the way this man is running our football program. We certainly would not tolerate this behavior in our students so I struggle with how we tolerate it in our coach." [The Wall Street Journal]
• Not to pile on, but... Also on Monday, The New York Times added to the scrum with a lengthy profile of former Penn State president Graham Spanier, recently ousted along with Paterno, and his "history of circling the wagons in the face of criticism or scrutiny." [The New York Times]
• Not so fast, my friend. The first rule of conference realignment: Nothing is done until it's done. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that BYU — less than a week after the Cougars appeared to be virtually in the fold as the newest member of the Big East — now appears to be having second thoughts about giving up home television rights to the conference. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, BYU wants to keep its current deal with ESPN, which calls for all but one Cougar home game per season to be broadcast on one incarnation of the Worldwide Leader or another, at a benefit of somewhere between $1 million and $2 million per game to the university. Shockingly, the Big East's other football-only members aren't so keen on that idea.
The conference reportedly has pending invitations to six other schools — Air Force, Boise State and Navy in football and Central Florida, Houston and SMU in all sports — and could be seriously considering San Diego State to bring the ranks to an even dozen if talks with BYU fall through. [Salt Lake Tribune, @Harmonwrites]
• Back on the job. Returning to the team after a one-game suspension, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel publicly apologized for last week's drunk driving arrest in Columbia, saying he "failed miserably" as a role model. "As you know, I've taken full responsibility for my lack of judgment and poor decision," he said during a Monday press conference. "I've hurt and disappointed a lot of people. … I've always tried to be a good and positive role model. Now it's up to me to begin earning everyone's trust and respect back. This will never, ever happen again." [Associated Press]
• I got this one, dawg. Washington coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed Monday that sophomore quarterback Keith Price will be back in the starting lineup for Saturday's Apple Cup match against Washington State, after yielding the starting job for the first time this season to backup Nick "Spawn of Joe" Montana for last week's 38-21 flop at Oregon State. Price came off the bench against the Beavers after Montana's second turnover early in the fourth quarter, but proceeded to throw an interception of his own that was returned to the Husky 1-yard line to set up an easy, icing OSU touchdown. There is "no question" Price's wonky knee is good enough for him to go, Sarkisian said. [Seattle Times]
Quickly… Oklahoma defensive end Ronnell Lewis will miss the Sooners' trip to Oklahoma State with a bum knee. … B.J. Daniels' status is up in the air for South Florida's game against Louisville. … A nascent proposal for a college football season that lasts throughout the entire school year. … Steve Spurrier redefines South Carolina's goals. … Urban Meyer is "in a good place right now mentally and physically." … Mississippi State is gunning for its first Egg Bowl three-peat in 70 years. … Ohio State should forget blocking and tackling against Michigan and simply embrace the rivalry. … And the part of Les Miles in LSUFreek's latest gif gem really should have been played by Nick Saban, shouldn't it?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.