Another abuse victim emerges in Penn State case

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Another abuse victim emerges in Penn State case

From Comcast SportsNet
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A year and a half after an investigation began into Jerry Sandusky's contact with young boys, the former Penn State assistant football coach applied for a volunteer coaching job at a central Pennsylvania college but was denied the job after a background check. Officials at Juniata College said Wednesday that Sandusky applied for the volunteer football coaching job in May 2010 and rejected the following month after a background check showed a high school where Sandusky previously volunteered was investigating him. Juniata spokesman John Wall said the college was not informed of the details of the investigation or the existence of a grand jury, but based on the report informed its coaches Sandusky was not to have contact with the program. "We basically did our due-diligence," Wall said. According to Wall, Sandusky continued to attend games after he we rejected for the job and at one point sat in the press box for an away game. Wall said he wasn't sure what led Sandusky to be in the press box, but said the school's former athletic director then reiterated to its coaches that Sandusky was to have no connection with the team. Sandusky's attempt to work at Juniata was first reported by WHP-TV. The information that Sandusky was still pursuing coaching opportunities amid an investigation into his activities comes as his attorney and prosecutors prepare for a preliminary hearing where several of his alleged victims could testify. A lawyer for one of the young men told The Associated Press his client plans to testify at Tuesday's hearing and as many as five others who testified before the grand jury could also testify. The attorney spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because he is trying to ensure his client's identity isn't revealed publicly. Another accuser came forward Tuesday and filed a complaint with authorities. The now 19-year-old said he also met Sandusky through The Second Mile, a charity Sandusky founded in 1977 to help at-risk children, lawyer Charles Schmidt said. Schmidt said the client, whom he did not identify, went to his law firm about three weeks ago, after Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. "He suffered one incident of abuse, to use the legal term -- involuntary deviate sexual intercourse -- allegedly at the hands of Mr. Sandusky," Schmidt said. "That occurred on the Penn State campus, we believe in the area of the football facilities." Schmidt told the AP that his client was 12 years old, dealing with the death of his mother and suffering emotional issues at the time of the campus incident. The lawyer said the two met through The Second Mile and his client claims Sandusky gave him liquor while in the office on campus. The grand jury report did not allege any instances of Sandusky giving boys alcohol. Schmidt said his law firm is conducting its own investigation into the client's claims. "We hope to have it wrapped up within another week. We believe him to be credible," Schmidt said. "Everything that we've been able to unearth since has corroborated what he told us, but we'll continue to do our due diligence." Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight young boys, but it's not clear if prosecutors know the identities of the last two victims. The preliminary hearing could last a day or more, since the defense has the right to cross-examine the state's witnesses. The judge would then rule if there's probable cause to uphold the charges. Sandusky, 67, has denied being a pedophile and has vowed to fight the case. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he has said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them. Former sex-crimes prosecutor Richard DeSipio said prosecutors may have to call the six known accusers for the judge to uphold the 40 counts. Defense lawyers sometimes waive preliminary hearings if they are worried about publicity for their clients, but DeSipio said he is not surprised Amendola is demanding the hearing. "This is their first and only opportunity before trial to actually see the witnesses... to hear their tone and demeanor, and to question them and see how they respond to questions, and also to flush out details," said DeSipio, who is now a criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia. He expects more cross-examination than is typical at this stage, as Amendola tries to lock in the witnesses' stories. Still, he said, "I doubt the defense lawyer is going to beat up on them." Defense lawyers can also call witnesses to testify at preliminary hearings, but seldom do. "Our position would be that these people have to testify," Amendola said in an interview. "And one isn't sufficient, because you have eight separate incidents ... with eight separate alleged victims or accusers." The state attorney general's office would not comment Tuesday on their evidence or strategy. "We're not going to talk about specific testimony," spokesman Nils Frederiksen said Tuesday. "We'll be prepared to present as much as necessary to hold the case for trial." Prosecutors listed eight victims in the grand jury report, but didn't know the identities of two of them when they issued the report Nov. 5. One of the two was a boy allegedly seen being sodomized by Sandusky in a Penn State football complex shower in 2002. Amendola said he's looking forward to questioning the prosecution witnesses -- including any alleged victims.

John Fox, Bears coaches balancing workload with injury risk as training camp convenes

John Fox, Bears coaches balancing workload with injury risk as training camp convenes

Bears players and coaches have been preparing for 2016 intermittently for the past several months. That said, the 2016 “season” effectively begins on Thursday with the Bears holding their first practice of training camp, one that will be open to the public even though players will work the first two days without pads.

From now until early next year, the Bears will have no more than one day off at a time, save the off-week leading up to no game on Nov. 6, and other than perhaps a bonus day off here and there, such as after the Thursday, Oct. 20 night game at Green Bay, after which coach John Fox may grant his team a couple added days off, depending on the performance in Green Bay.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Pads come on for the first time since last Jan. 3 against the Detroit Lions as of Saturday’s practice. Thus begins the ongoing balancing act for coaches to maximize the amount of productive time within the parameters allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, all in the context of heat and conditions of contact.

“You’ve got to get your team ready for battle and you’ve got to make sure you’ve got guys ready to go to battle with,” Fox said. “So it’s a fine line, getting ready for football.”

The Bears already have had offseason injuries to guard Ted Larsen and wide receiver Marquess Wilson, in addition to a strained hamstring for rookie running back Jordan Howard and veterans like Pernell McPhee (knee) coming off surgery.

“It’s a combative game and injuries are part of it,” Fox said. “You’ve got to have some good fortune, and some good practice habits. That way you’re getting better and more physical, yet not to the point where you’re losing guys. Obviously with the reduction of our offseason and the things we used to do as coaches, I don’t think doing less of that is the right idea.”

[RELATED: Going to Bears Training Camp ’16 in Bourbonnais? Remember these four tips]

Training camp this year includes one of the shortest off-site stretches ever, with 10 sessions at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais and one at Soldier Field on Sat. Aug. 6.

Day, Date, Practice Time (CT)

Wednesday, July 27: Report day

Thursday, July 28: 9:35 a.m. practice (no pads)

Friday, July 29: 11:15 a.m. practice (no pads)

Saturday, July 30: 9:35 a.m. practice

Sunday, July 31: 11:15 a.m. practice

AUGUST

Day, Date, Practice Time (CT)

Monday, Aug. 1: 9:35 a.m. practice

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Off day

Wednesday, Aug. 3: 11:15 a.m. practice

Thursday, Aug. 4: 9:35 a.m. practice

Friday, Aug. 5: 11:15 a.m. practice

Saturday, Aug. 6: 12:30 p.m. Meijer Chicago Bears Family Fest (Soldier Field)

Sunday, Aug.7: Off day

Monday, Aug. 8: 11:15 a.m. practice

Tuesday, Aug. 9: 9:35 a.m. practice/final open practice

Wednesday, Aug. 10: Off day

Preseason Schedule:

Thursday, Aug. 11: Bears vs. Denver Broncos, 7 p.m.

Thursday,  Aug. 18: Bears at New England Patriots, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 12 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Bears at Cleveland Browns, 7 p.m.

Going to Bears Training Camp ’16 in Bourbonnais? Remember these four tips

Going to Bears Training Camp ’16 in Bourbonnais? Remember these four tips

After covering some 25 Bears training camps spanning both Bourbonnais and Platteville, this CSNChicago.com reporter has gleaned some tips for getting the most out of the fan experience:

Appreciate the effort:

A lot of the young men you’ll be watching are living playing to realize a dream they’ve had since they were as young as some of the youngest fans. They are competing for jobs every day, every snap, and even going against teammates, the effort expended is worthy of the utmost respect. A guarantee: You WILL see something spectacular, whether from a star or some young hopeful who will leave it all and then some on that practice field. Enjoy the moment.

Be polite:

If you want autographs from players, your chances improve with a little courtesy. “Hey, Cutler…” and waving a pen and program at the Bears quarterback does not play nearly as well as “Jay, Jay…” or, if you’re a young fan and really want to stand out, “Mr. Cutler, Mr. Cutler…” Players don’t always get to hear a lot of “polite.” It doesn’t guarantee a signing, but understand that there’s no way players can sign every request and still have fully functioning limbs. And if a player doesn’t stop to sign, it’s not a snub. Most players sign every other day, so this just might be their off day for signing.

Plus, if it’s post-practice, remember that these players have just gone through at least two hours of beyond-max-effort work, wearing equipment that is anything but air-conditioned and weighs as much as a small child, and getting off their feet is a necessary survival skill.

[SHOP: Buy a Jay Cutler jersey here]

Go early:

The folks at Olivet Nazarene University do a truly amazing job of crowd and traffic control, but depending on the size of the crush, particularly on peak days, you may miss some field time getting into the parking lots if you’re getting there close to the start of practice. For another thing, players are typically on the field well ahead of the scheduled start times for practice, so you’ll be seeing players working and getting loosened up if you’re there early.

Understand the cadence and order:

Practices are not continuous scrimmaging and hitting. For one thing, that’s physically not possible, or smart. The Bears have individual sessions, then depending on the day, may come together for a “live” run scrimmage without receivers, followed by a less intense session, maybe some special teams, before or after very live pass-protection and receiver-DB head-to-heads, a break, then finishing with 11-on-11 “team” sessions.

Should the Bears bring Devin Hester back to Chicago?

Should the Bears bring Devin Hester back to Chicago?

The Atlanta Falcons released kick return specialist Devin Hester on Tuesday after just two seasons with the team. 

The former Bear and four-time Pro Bowl selection, who's best known for being one of the NFL's most dangerous return men, is now in the market for a new NFL job. 

So that begs the question, should the Bears entertain the idea of bringing Hester back to Chicago in 2016?

Hester, 33, has an NFL-record 20 touchdown returns over his 10 year career. However, he only had one return touchdown during his two years in Atlanta, and collected just two receiving touchdowns and one rushing score. 

It's safe to say the Bears aren't interested in Hester as a receiver, and who knows how much gas he has left in the tank, but he has certainly made an impact during his time in the Windy City.