Joe Paterno through the years

Joe Paterno joined the Penn State coaching staff in 1950 and took over as head coach in 1966. His coaching career ended in November after a record 409 victories.

Franklin leads Penn State with grand vision, big personality

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2017, file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin, left, celebrates with tight end Mike Gesicki (88) after Gesicki scored a touchdown against Pittsburgh during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. In his fourth season as Penn State coach, James Franklin has the No. 2 team in the country. He has not just restored the pride in Penn State football to pre-Sandusky scandal levels, the Nittany Lions are playing as well as they did during Joe Paterno's prime. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, File)

Franklin leads Penn State with grand vision, big personality

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin stands on the sidelines as the team takes on Georgia State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. In his fourth season as Penn State coach, James Franklin has the No. 2 team in the country. He has not just restored the pride in Penn State football to pre-Sandusky scandal levels, the Nittany Lions are playing as well as they did during Joe Paterno's prime. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, File)

Twenty-Five Seasons Later, Penn State and the Big Ten Remain a Perfect Match

Sports Illustrated is celebrating Penn State’s last quarter-century of Big Ten play with a special issue, honoring the school’s greatest players and games from the era. You can get your copy at newsstands now, or order it online here.

The new era began with a secret dinner.

In the spring of 1989, a delegation from Penn State, including football coach Joe Paterno, flew to Champaign, Ill., in a private plane to not draw attention. The president of the University of Illinois, Stanley Ikenberry, sent a driver to the airport but didn’t go himself to avoid being seen. Back at the President’s House on campus, just a single staff member was asked to work that night.

The purpose of the dinner was to discuss the possibility of Penn State’s joining the Big Ten. They didn’t want anybody to know, in case it didn’t work out.

At that point Penn State was competing as an independent in football, as it had done for a century, but going it alone was becoming less desirable. In 1981, Paterno had worked to establish an Eastern sports conference, but Penn State was left out in the cold as Syracuse and other basketball-centric schools joined the Big East. And, while it certainly didn’t turn out this way, Paterno at the time had said he planned to retire at 65, which was just a few years off. His expected departure was another reason the university longed for the stability of a conference affiliation.

Penn State’s president, Bryce Jordan, was the one who had contacted Ikenberry. As chairman of the Council of 10, the Big Ten’s governing body, Ikenberry held considerable influence—and he was also a former Penn State senior vice president. “What would you think about Penn State joining the Big Ten?” Jordan asked him. Ikenberry agreed to meet with Paterno et al., before raising the topic with the other nine university presidents.

Several months after the dinner, word reached the media that an invitation had been extended to Penn State to join the Big Ten. In June 1990, the Council of 10 convened in Iowa City for the official vote while Penn State administrators waited apprehensively in Old Main. After two days of deliberations, the conference presidents voted the Nittany Lions in 7–3, the minimum margin needed to pass. (Indiana was the only school to state publicly it had voted against the move.) The 1993 season was Penn State football’s first as a member of the Big Ten. Today it is hard to imagine the Big Ten without Penn State, and vice versa.

Vault: Classic Penn State photos | STAPLES: How Joe Moorhead messed with Michigan

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it was the right decision then, the right decision now,” says Jim Delany, who has been Big Ten commissioner since 1989, “and that while there has been a lot of conference expansion since, I’m not sure there has ever been a better fit or match.”

Pennsylvania was a contiguous state to Big Ten territory, and Penn State was a land-grant institution like many of the conference’s members, but its most appealing attributes were ones that would help the Big Ten grow: Its football team brought the conference a third national brand, along with Ohio State and Michigan, and Penn State was also a bridge to the East, opening up a larger media audience, a broader recruiting base and the potential for expansion.

The reception at first, however, could be generously described as lukewarm. Traditionalists didn’t like the fact that the Big Ten now had 11 teams; others grumbled that tiny State College was inaccessible. Among the discontented was Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, who said, “I’ve been to Penn State, and Penn State is a camping trip. There is nothing for 100 miles.” Northwestern, meanwhile, feared that it was about to be pushed out. Penn State, which had won two national titles in the previous decade, also figured to make the football competition stiffer—not necessarily good news for all.

Penn State won its first Big Ten title in its second season in the conference, but memories of that undefeated 1994 team inspire ire as well as awe. The Lions headed to the Rose Bowl knowing that a victory over a three-loss Oregon team might not earn the poll votes needed to be named national champions—and that is exactly what happened. Had we still been an independent, fans griped, the Lions could have had the chance to play fellow undefeated—and eventual national champion—Nebraska, in the Orange Bowl, and win the title on the field.

Over the years the changes in major college football have confirmed the original analysis: joining a conference was a business necessity, as well as a competitive one. (Penn State’s other sports have benefitted, too: The Big Ten era hastened the construction of a new basketball arena, named after Bryce Jordan; and the Olympic sports have combined for 30 NCAA championships, more than any other Big Ten school.)

The move meant that regional rivalries like Pitt–Penn State went on hiatus for 15 years, but the Big Ten schedule quickly became the tablet on which Lions history was written. The LaVar Leap happened against Illinois; Larry Johnson broke the 2,000-yard rushing mark against Michigan State; and no matter their records, the Hawkeyes always seem to give the Lions trouble. After losing seasons in the early 2000s, Penn State declared its comeback on an October night in 2005 when defensive end Tamba Hali upended Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith to seal a victory against Ohio State. Were it not for a mysterious two seconds added back to the clock at Michigan Stadium the following week, the Lions would have been unbeaten. In 2016, when Penn State won its fourth Big Ten football championship, the season turned with an underdog win against the No. 2 Buckeyes, delivered on a blocked field goal returned for a game-winning touchdown.

The 2016 season was a comeback for Lions football, but Penn State had to return from a place no school ever had before. The program and community had been stunned by the November 2011 indictment of Jerry Sandusky, who had retired as defensive coordinator in 1999 after 32 years in State College. Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing boys he had met through his charity for at-risk youth. The arrest was the first in a series of shocks. Paterno was fired after Sandusky’s arrest, and the Big Ten decided to remove his name from the conference championship trophy; Paterno died from lung cancer two months later. Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse and will spend the rest of his life in prison. In 2017 three university officials, including former president Graham Spanier, were sentenced to jail time for failing to alert authorities to allegations against Sandusky.

The NCAA issued a four-year postseason ban to Penn State, reduced scholarships and vacated wins from 14 seasons. Bill O’Brien in 2012 and then James Franklin in ’14 were brought in to lead the football program as the first new head football coaches in Happy Valley since 1966. In ’14 penalties were rolled back, gradually returning scholarships and lifting the postseason ban, and Paterno was later restored in the record books as the winningest coach in major college football history. In ’16 the team again earned an invitation to the Rose Bowl.

At the Big Ten media days in the summer of 2017, Delany called the Sandusky case and its aftermath the “most difficult set of circumstances” he’d been confronted with, but he also commended Penn State’s road back. “They’ve got great leadership, great players,” he said, “and we’re really happy that they’ve gotten to the other side, if you will, after five years.”

Today, in the age of super-conferences, the Big Ten’s further expansion seems inevitable. But for two decades, Penn State had stood alone as the 11th and final member of the Big Ten. There had been a temporary moratorium on further expansion after Penn State was added, but in 2011, Nebraska joined. In ’14 came two more Eastern neighbors, Rutgers and Maryland. The clever Big Ten logo the conference commissioned when Penn State joined—the one with the “11” tucked in—was replaced with “B1G.”

Each subsequent expansion of the Big Ten may have been easier—but in the landscape of college football, not more significant than adding Penn State 25 years ago.

Jenny Vrentas, a writer for The MMQB, grew up in State College and graduated from Penn State in 2006.

Jerry Sandusky Denied New Trial on Child Sex Abuse Charges

A Pennsylvania judge rejected former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's request for a new trial and dismissal of sexual abuse charges.

Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for his 2012 conviction on charges he molested several boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded.

Sandusky, 73, has said that he did not receive a proper defense during his trial.

The case led to the firing of head coach Joe Paterno and several high ranking administrators also lost their jobs.

The school's former president, Graham Spanier, and two other former administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, were sentenced for child endangerment for their handling of a report that Sandusky acted inappropriately with a young boy.

Spanier was found guilty during his trial and is free on bail while he is appealing his case.

The fallout from the scandal cost the school tens of millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits. The football program was banned from postseason play, fined $60 million and stripped of scholarships.

Sandusky will have 30 days to appeal his to the state Superior Court.

Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim

A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.

Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim

A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.

Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim

A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.

Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim

A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.

Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky accusations before 2001, assistant told police

Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky accusations before 2001, assistant told police

Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known of Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim

A police report obtained by CNN suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.

The report says that when whistleblower and former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary told Paterno in 2001 that he'd witnessed Sandusky performing a lewd sexual act with a young boy, Paterno allegedly told McQueary that his was the second such claim against Sandusky.

"Paterno, upon hearing the news, sat back in his chair with a dejected look on his face," the report states.

"Then he made the comment to McQueary this was the second complaint of this nature he had received about Sandusky."

That contradicts Paterno's and his family's vehement denial—and Paterno's sworn testimony—that the coach knew of Sandusky's abuses before McQueary alerted him.

Paterno coached Penn State for 45 years before his contract was terminated in November 2011. He died on Jan. 22, 2012 from complications from lung cancer.

The Penn State child sex abuse case, which came to light in 2011, rocked the State College, Pa. campus and the rest of the world. Due to their failure to properly follow up on McQueary's accusations, university president Graham Spanier and athletic director Timothy Curley were fired.

Sandusky was convicted of using his charity, The Second Mile, to gain access to young boys whom he molested and raped. He was convicted of 45 chargers of sexual abuse in June 2012 and is currently serving a minimum of 30 years in prison. He has maintained his innocence throughout the entire process and has appealed his conviction.

Penn State Has the Horses to Back Up the Hype Entering Its Big Ten Title Defense

Welcome to Hype Week, our look at the teams fans and analysts seem to be especially excited about heading into the season. Some of these squads may turn out to be really good! Others, though, could drastically underperform expectations. Our goal is to examine why each of these teams is getting so much hype, and whether they can live up to it. First up is Penn State, which is ranked No. 8 in our preseason top 25.

The origin of the monsoon of hype surrounding Penn State entering this season is not difficult to identify. Less than a month after Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour issued a public vote of confidence for head coach James Franklin amid a dismaying 2–2 start that included a 39-point smackdown at the hands of Michigan, the Nittany Lions stunned undefeated Ohio State, 24–21, before a Whiteout crowd at Beaver Stadium in primetime. The upset marked the first time Franklin had beaten a member of the Big Ten East power trio (the Buckeyes, Michigan and Michigan State), and the dramatic nature of its conclusion—Penn State won thanks to a 60-yard touchdown return on a blocked field goal late in the fourth quarter—added to the feeling that something momentous was taking place.

The Nittany Lions followed that up by running off six consecutive victories, a streak which was facilitated by a pair of games against Big Ten dregs Rutgers and Purdue, but which also included a stirring comeback to edge then No. 6 Wisconsin, 38–31, in the conference title game. Penn State was flying high, but its glorious ride was about to hit two speed bumps. First, the College Football Playoff selection committee chose a team Penn State beat head-to-head, Ohio State, for the national semifinals and excluded the Nittany Lions. Then Penn State traveled to Pasadena for its first Rose Bowl since 2008 and gave 9–3 USC everything it could handle, but came up just short after Trojans kicker Matt Boermeester drilled a 46-yard field goal as time expired to complete a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback and win 52–49.

The playoff snub and the Rose Bowl loss were frustrating in real time, but they did nothing to change the outlook for this season. The latter development actually lent credence to Penn State’s status as a contender for the former in 2017. By going blow-for-blow with a scorching-hot Trojans squad led by a future top-10 NFL draft pick at quarterback, the Nittany Lions squashed any skepticism that may have existed about their ability to grapple with the cream of the Power 5 crop. For anyone reading this who still harbors such skepticism, here’s some bad news: Penn State is very much worth the hype. Not only do the Nittany Lions have a legitimate shot to notch consecutive double-digit win seasons for the first time since the latter part of Joe Paterno’s tenure, but they’re more than capable of taking the Big Ten crown again and claiming a spot in the CFP.

The most obvious rebuttal: Penn State plays in arguably the toughest division in college football! That’s true, but it also misses the point if the Nittany Lions are the best team in that division. Using our Top 25 as a guide, their chief competitors in the East project to be Ohio State (No. 3) and Michigan (No. 11).

Let’s start with the Wolverines. They bring back just six starters from last season, including only one on defense, as well as only 34% of their production, third-lowest in the FBS, according to SB Nation’s Bill Connelly. Michigan has recruited really well during Jim Harbaugh’s time in Ann Arbor, but he hasn’t earned the Nick Saban personnel-turnover benefit of the doubt yet. This program isn’t quite ready to sustain so much attrition without taking a step back. As for the Buckeyes, a host of NFL-related departures this offseason will sting, particularly in the secondary, but new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson should quickly bury the memory of last season’s Fiesta Bowl debacle, a terrifying defensive line will head a reloaded defense and Urban Meyer’s track record is unimpeachable: He has lost two regular-season Big Ten games during his five-year tenure.

Of those two teams, the Buckeyes are clearly a bigger threat to steal the East from Penn State, and they’ll get a shot to avenge their loss in State College last year when they host the Nittany Lions in late October. Yet Penn State could make the CFP even if it loses that game. The Nittany Lions host Michigan, and their league slate is otherwise navigable, save for a pair of tricky-but-winnable road games against Northwestern and Iowa. Penn State need look no further than last year to see an example of the committee bucking its stated emphasis on league titles and head-to-head competition in the selection process. This time around, an Ohio State team with a regular-season win over the Nittany Lions could be left on the other side of the velvet rope, settling for a consolation bowl while Penn State heads to the Final Four.

Whether the Nittany Lions can actually pull that off will depend in large part on their ability to surmount significant talent disparities to Ohio State and Michigan. The Nittany Lions seem well on their way to closing the gap with their 2018 recruiting class, but those prospects won’t be eligible until next season. This fall, the picture is pretty bleak for Penn State, at least as the major scouting services see it. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines will have the Nittany Lions beat: According to Connelly, Penn State’s two-year recruiting average ranks 18th in the country and their five-year average ranks 21st. Ohio State’s two-year and five-year averages both come in second, behind only Alabama on both counts, and Michigan’s checks in at fourth and 19th with its two-year and four-year averages, respectively.

What those rankings don’t account for is the way Penn State’s players have developed since arriving on campus. Nor do they have anything to say about the arrival of a former FCS head coach with a devastatingly effective uptempo scheme and a plan to unlock the full potential of a world-beating bellcow back. In his first season as Penn State’s offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead turned Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley into the nation’s most lethal backfield tandem, lifting the Nittany Lions from 62nd to 18th on offense, according to Football Outsiders S&P + ratings. Those two will be back in 2017, and so will Moorhead after he was mentioned in connection with multiple head coaching vacancies this offseason. It’s safe to assume Moorhead has come up with new ways to use McSorley and Barkley to torment opposing defensive coordinators.

Barkley and McSorley won’t be going at it alone. Even though Penn State loses top wide receiver Chris Godwin, every other player who recorded at least five catches last season is back, including stud tight end Mike Gesicki. A healthier offensive line would do wonders for Penn State’s offense more generally, and for Barkley in particular, and with former five-star recruit Miles Sanders available to take on part of the rushing workload, the Nittany Lions shouldn’t have to worry about Barkley wearing down over the course of the season. Penn State will have an easier time putting up points against opponents than preventing them, but a linebacking corps anchored by upperclassmen should be solid, and the secondary caught a break when playmaking safety Marcus Allen decided to return for his senior season.

Betting on a team coming off a major uptick in the win column to repeat it the following season almost always feels like a bad idea. And Penn State’s top-to-bottom talent deficit relative to East challengers Michigan and Ohio State can’t be glossed over. But those concerns shouldn’t outweigh everything the Nittany Lions have going for them. This is a team you can buy into without having second thoughts about falling for inflated expectations. Penn State deserves the preseason love it’s getting.

Penn State Has the Horses to Back Up the Hype Entering Its Big Ten Title Defense

Welcome to Hype Week, our look at the teams fans and analysts seem to be especially excited about heading into the season. Some of these squads may turn out to be really good! Others, though, could drastically underperform expectations. Our goal is to examine why each of these teams is getting so much hype, and whether they can live up to it. First up is Penn State, which is ranked No. 8 in our preseason top 25.

The origin of the monsoon of hype surrounding Penn State entering this season is not difficult to identify. Less than a month after Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour issued a public vote of confidence for head coach James Franklin amid a dismaying 2–2 start that included a 39-point smackdown at the hands of Michigan, the Nittany Lions stunned undefeated Ohio State, 24–21, before a Whiteout crowd at Beaver Stadium in primetime. The upset marked the first time Franklin had beaten a member of the Big Ten East power trio (the Buckeyes, Michigan and Michigan State), and the dramatic nature of its conclusion—Penn State won thanks to a 60-yard touchdown return on a blocked field goal late in the fourth quarter—added to the feeling that something momentous was taking place.

The Nittany Lions followed that up by running off six consecutive victories, a streak which was facilitated by a pair of games against Big Ten dregs Rutgers and Purdue, but which also included a stirring comeback to edge then No. 6 Wisconsin, 38–31, in the conference title game. Penn State was flying high, but its glorious ride was about to hit two speed bumps. First, the College Football Playoff selection committee chose a team Penn State beat head-to-head, Ohio State, for the national semifinals and excluded the Nittany Lions. Then Penn State traveled to Pasadena for its first Rose Bowl since 2008 and gave 9–3 USC everything it could handle, but came up just short after Trojans kicker Matt Boermeester drilled a 46-yard field goal as time expired to complete a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback and win 52–49.

The playoff snub and the Rose Bowl loss were frustrating in real time, but they did nothing to change the outlook for this season. The latter development actually lent credence to Penn State’s status as a contender for the former in 2017. By going blow-for-blow with a scorching-hot Trojans squad led by a future top-10 NFL draft pick at quarterback, the Nittany Lions squashed any skepticism that may have existed about their ability to grapple with the cream of the Power 5 crop. For anyone reading this who still harbors such skepticism, here’s some bad news: Penn State is very much worth the hype. Not only do the Nittany Lions have a legitimate shot to notch consecutive double-digit win seasons for the first time since the latter part of Joe Paterno’s tenure, but they’re more than capable of taking the Big Ten crown again and claiming a spot in the CFP.

The most obvious rebuttal: Penn State plays in arguably the toughest division in college football! That’s true, but it also misses the point if the Nittany Lions are the best team in that division. Using our Top 25 as a guide, their chief competitors in the East project to be Ohio State (No. 3) and Michigan (No. 11).

Let’s start with the Wolverines. They bring back just six starters from last season, including only one on defense, as well as only 34% of their production, third-lowest in the FBS, according to SB Nation’s Bill Connelly. Michigan has recruited really well during Jim Harbaugh’s time in Ann Arbor, but he hasn’t earned the Nick Saban personnel-turnover benefit of the doubt yet. This program isn’t quite ready to sustain so much attrition without taking a step back. As for the Buckeyes, a host of NFL-related departures this offseason will sting, particularly in the secondary, but new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson should quickly bury the memory of last season’s Fiesta Bowl debacle, a terrifying defensive line will head a reloaded defense and Urban Meyer’s track record is unimpeachable: He has lost two regular-season Big Ten games during his five-year tenure.

Of those two teams, the Buckeyes are clearly a bigger threat to steal the East from Penn State, and they’ll get a shot to avenge their loss in State College last year when they host the Nittany Lions in late October. Yet Penn State could make the CFP even if it loses that game. The Nittany Lions host Michigan, and their league slate is otherwise navigable, save for a pair of tricky-but-winnable road games against Northwestern and Iowa. Penn State need look no further than last year to see an example of the committee bucking its stated emphasis on league titles and head-to-head competition in the selection process. This time around, an Ohio State team with a regular-season win over the Nittany Lions could be left on the other side of the velvet rope, settling for a consolation bowl while Penn State heads to the Final Four.

Whether the Nittany Lions can actually pull that off will depend in large part on their ability to surmount significant talent disparities to Ohio State and Michigan. The Nittany Lions seem well on their way to closing the gap with their 2018 recruiting class, but those prospects won’t be eligible until next season. This fall, the picture is pretty bleak for Penn State, at least as the major scouting services see it. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines will have the Nittany Lions beat: According to Connelly, Penn State’s two-year recruiting average ranks 18th in the country and their five-year average ranks 21st. Ohio State’s two-year and five-year averages both come in second, behind only Alabama on both counts, and Michigan’s checks in at fourth and 19th with its two-year and four-year averages, respectively.

What those rankings don’t account for is the way Penn State’s players have developed since arriving on campus. Nor do they have anything to say about the arrival of a former FCS head coach with a devastatingly effective uptempo scheme and a plan to unlock the full potential of a world-beating bellcow back. In his first season as Penn State’s offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead turned Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley into the nation’s most lethal backfield tandem, lifting the Nittany Lions from 62nd to 18th on offense, according to Football Outsiders S&P + ratings. Those two will be back in 2017, and so will Moorhead after he was mentioned in connection with multiple head coaching vacancies this offseason. It’s safe to assume Moorhead has come up with new ways to use McSorley and Barkley to torment opposing defensive coordinators.

Barkley and McSorley won’t be going at it alone. Even though Penn State loses top wide receiver Chris Godwin, every other player who recorded at least five catches last season is back, including stud tight end Mike Gesicki. A healthier offensive line would do wonders for Penn State’s offense more generally, and for Barkley in particular, and with former five-star recruit Miles Sanders available to take on part of the rushing workload, the Nittany Lions shouldn’t have to worry about Barkley wearing down over the course of the season. Penn State will have an easier time putting up points against opponents than preventing them, but a linebacking corps anchored by upperclassmen should be solid, and the secondary caught a break when playmaking safety Marcus Allen decided to return for his senior season.

Betting on a team coming off a major uptick in the win column to repeat it the following season almost always feels like a bad idea. And Penn State’s top-to-bottom talent deficit relative to East challengers Michigan and Ohio State can’t be glossed over. But those concerns shouldn’t outweigh everything the Nittany Lions have going for them. This is a team you can buy into without having second thoughts about falling for inflated expectations. Penn State deserves the preseason love it’s getting.

Al Pacino looks just like Joe Paterno in first look at HBO Films biopic

Through the underappreciated magic of makeup and costume design, Al Pacino has been transformed into Joe Paterno incarnate, ready to grab a clipboard and patrol the sidelines once more.

Al Pacino looks just like Joe Paterno in first look at HBO Films biopic

Through the underappreciated magic of makeup and costume design, Al Pacino has been transformed into Joe Paterno incarnate, ready to grab a clipboard and patrol the sidelines once more.

Photo released of Al Pacino as Joe Paterno in upcoming HBO movie

The first look at Al Pacino playing former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in an upcoming film has been released by Variety.

The film has not been titled but will be directed by Barry Levinson for HBO.

It was also revealed that Annie Parisse will play Paterno's daughter and Riley Keough will play Sara Ganim, the 23-year-old journalist who reported on the scandal.

Here's the photo from Variety:

“After becoming the winningest coach in college football history, Joe Paterno is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure on behalf of the victims,” the film's log line states.

Two Penn State ex-officials begin jail terms in Sandusky case

Two former high-ranking Penn State administrators surrendered Saturday morning to serve jail sentences for how they responded to a 2001 complaint about Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy.

Former university vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley turned themselves in, according to Lt. Michael Woods, the shift commander at the Centre County Correctional Facility. Wood confirmed their surrender, but said he was not authorized to release any other details from the jail, which is about 135 miles (217 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh. The lockup is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) northeast of Penn State's main campus.

Schultz and Curley pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment in March, leading prosecutors to drop three felony charges of child endangerment and conspiracy.

Curley, 63, must serve three months in jail, while Schultz, 67, has two months behind bars. Jail officials said they will be evaluated for participation in work release while incarcerated.

A co-defendant, former Penn State president Graham Spanier, 68, was convicted of the same offense and faces two months in jail. Spanier remains free on bail while he appeals to Superior Court.

Spanier continues to be a tenured faculty member and is on administrative leave. A deal with the university when he was forced out as president after Sandusky's arrest in November 2011 pays him $600,000 a year, ending this fall, after which he will receive a salary.

The three men received a complaint from a graduate assistant football coach in February 2001 who said he was highly disturbed by seeing Sandusky appear to sexually abuse the boy late on a Friday night in a team shower.

They told Sandusky not to bring children onto campus anymore, but prosecutors said the administrators had no plan to enforce that rule.

Police were not notified, and a criminal investigation into Sandusky did not begin until a Pennsylvania school district reported another complaint about him in 2008.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He maintains his innocence and is appealing, while serving 30 to 60 years in state prison.

The scandal led the university to fire Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno, who was informed of the 2001 incident the next morning by the assistant, Mike McQueary. Paterno notified Curley but did not call police. He died in 2012, a few months after his firing, and was never charged with a crime.

An anonymous email in 2010 led investigators looking into Sandusky to contact McQueary, and he proved to be a critical witness at the criminal trials of both Sandusky and Spanier.

At sentencing for Curley, Schultz and Spanier last month, Judge John Boccabella did not spare Paterno, saying he "could have made that phone call without so much as getting his hands dirty. Why he didn't is beyond me."

He also questioned Curley's memory lapses while testifying for the prosecution at Spanier's trial.

"I find it really hard to believe that he doesn't remember every detail of the most serious mistake he ever made," Boccabella said.

Last-ditch effort to reframe Joe Paterno's legacy fizzles out

Last-ditch effort to reframe Joe Paterno's legacy fizzles out

Paterno family drops lawsuit against NCAA over Freeh report

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 1999, file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno paces the sideline in the first quarter against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. The one constant in college football over the last 80 years has been the AP poll. It has helped link the past with the present and provided perspective. (AP Photo/Tom Strickland, File)

Paterno family drops lawsuit against NCAA over Freeh report

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's family dropped a lawsuit Friday against the NCAA over its use of a report in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal to punish Paterno and the university.

Paterno's estate, his son Jay and former assistant William Kenney discontinued their case. The NCAA called it a voluntary decision and said there was no payment involved.

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy claimed a total victory for his organization, which he said acted reasonably in adopting conclusions from a university-commissioned report authored by a team led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

''The Paterno family characterized this case as a `search for the truth,''' Remy said. ''Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling.''

He said the Paterno family wasted time, effort and money in the case.

In response to a text message from AP, Jay Paterno referred to a one-page statement released by his mother and Joe's widow, Sue Paterno. In it, she said the family had accomplished its goals and continuing litigation would not yield anything new.

''In the fallout from the Sandusky tragedy and the subsequent mishandling of the investigation by the board and Louis Freeh, I was determined to do everything in my power to defend the honor of Penn State and set the record straight on Joe,'' Sue Paterno said. ''Although the fight has been long and difficult, enormous progress has been made. The unprecedented sanctions imposed on the University were reversed. The wins, which were unjustly stripped from the players, were reinstated. And even Mr. Freeh has stated under oath that his many alleged `findings' were, in fact, merely his opinions.''

The lawsuit had claimed that college sports' governing body damaged the Paterno estate's commercial interests through its use of the Freeh report. Kenney and Jay Paterno alleged the Freeh report rendered them unable to find comparable coaching work.

The Freeh report concluded Joe Paterno and other administrators hushed up a 2001 complaint against Sandusky showering with a boy, for fear of bad publicity.

Paterno, who died in early 2012, was never charged criminally, but three others who were at high-ranking jobs when he was coach are expected to soon report to jail to serve criminal sentences for their response to the 2001 complaint.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted in March of misdemeanor child endangerment for his failure to report the complaint about Sandusky apparently sexually abusing a boy on campus. Former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz had earlier pleaded guilty to the same charge.

The judge who sentenced Curley, Schultz and Spanier did not spare Paterno, saying he could have called police ''without so much as getting his hands dirty. Why he didn't is beyond me.''

The three are expected to report to county prison July 15 to serve two or three months.

The Paterno family and his legion of supporters have long objected bitterly to the Freeh report's depiction of the hall of fame coach as having failed to do the right thing in 2001. Sandusky had been one of Joe Paterno's top assistants for decades before his 1999 retirement.

Paterno told a grand jury in 2011 he did not know of child molestation allegations against Sandusky before 2001. But an insurer has alleged, a judge noted in a court document last year, that a child told Paterno in 1976 that Sandusky had molested him, a claim Paterno's family has strongly denied.

Jay Paterno, a Nittany Lions assistant coach for 17 years, was elected by alumni in May to a seat on the Penn State board. He starts as a trustee next month.

The university removed a statue of Joe Paterno from outside the football stadium in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, and it has not been replaced.

The NCAA also took away 111 of Paterno's wins, but they have since been restored, and with it his status as major college football's winningest coach with 409 victories.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. He maintains his innocence while serving a 30- to 60-year sentence, and is appealing.

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