Jerry Sandusky is upset over Penn State sanctions

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Jerry Sandusky is upset over Penn State sanctions

From Comcast SportsNet
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Jerry Sandusky is distraught over the NCAA penalties issued to Penn State's football program for the school's handling of his child sexual abuse scandal and maintains his innocence as he awaits sentencing, his defense lawyer said Wednesday. Attorney Joe Amendola told The Associated Press in a phone interview that Sandusky told him that even if people believe he is guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted in June, it would be "ridiculous" to think Penn State administrators engaged in a cover-up. The NCAA imposed a multi-year bowl ban on Penn State, invalidated 112 wins, fined the school 60 million and took away future scholarships. The university leadership said the alternative could have been a complete ban on playing games and has acquiesced to the penalties. Wednesday, the NCAA announced it had picked former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of Maine to monitor Penn State's compliance with the sanctions. Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks on boys inside athletics facilities at Penn State, where he played college football and became a successful defensive coach under Joe Paterno. "He said, To do what they're doing to Penn State is so unjust,'" Amendola said. "He loves the program and he loves the university." Amendola said Sandusky has asked county jail officials to remove him from what is effectively solitary confinement. "He continues to believe that the truth will come out at some point, and that he'll get another trial or another opportunity to establish his innocence," Amendola said. A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment. Amendola said he expects sentencing will occur in September, although a date has not been set. Sandusky, who did not testify on his own behalf during the trial, has been writing a statement to read to Judge John Cleland at sentencing that will address all 10 sets of charges. "Whether he winds up doing it despite what I tell him, is going to be up to him," Amendola said. "It's his life." He said there may not be anything Sandusky can say to prevent an extended prison sentence, but Sandusky has "a fighting spirit" and is "cautiously optimistic." Michael Boni, lawyer for the young man described in court documents as Victim 1, for which Sandusky was convicted of six counts, said the truth came out during the trial. "We care, everybody should care, about what he presents at the sentencing hearing, because it's in all of our interests that he have as long a sentence as possible, hopefully life without parole," Boni said. Amendola said work had begun on an appeal, which may not be filed until after sentencing. If Sandusky appeals to Cleland, rather than going directly to Superior Court, he would have 10 days to file, and Cleland then would have four months to rule, Amendola said. The NCAA said Mitchell will serve as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor for the coming five years, keeping tabs on the school's compliance with the sanctions and related matters. Mitchell's duties will include making four progress reports each year to the NCAA, Big 10 and the university's trustees. Also Wednesday, Cleland struck from the record a filing made by Sandusky co-counsel Karl Rominger last month that challenged an order by the judge designed to figure out if lawyers were leaking information to the media. Cleland's order on Wednesday, citing rules of legal procedure, gave Rominger three weeks to file a new version. Rominger had argued Cleland's demand for a sworn statement listing all material he obtained from prosecutors and gave to third parties would violate protections for attorney work products. A call seeking comment from Rominger was not immediately returned.

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

The Blackhawks signed Ville Pokka to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Pokka played in all 76 regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs last season, recording six goals and 24 assists.

The Blackhawks’ defensive depth has already taken a hit this offseason, with Niklas Hjalmarsson traded to Arizona – Connor Murphy came here in the deal – and Trevor van Riemsdyk, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. While the Blackhawks will probably explore free-agent options this offseason, Pokka could vie for an opportunity at training camp.

Are Bears better than Texans, Broncos, Dolphins and others? Pro Football Focus says yes

Are Bears better than Texans, Broncos, Dolphins and others? Pro Football Focus says yes

Pro Football Focus has more than its share of both supporters and detractors of how it goes about grading NFL players. They break down every snap for every player, and while there are general agreements on what's seen by naked, untrained eyes who don't put the time and investment into its system that PFF does, there are other evaluations that seem to come out of the blue. While there's occasional guesswork on a player's particular assignment on a given play within its scheme, those of us who've watched and studied nuances of the game, or those who've played it, can usually identify how many jobs were done correctly.

Tuesday, PFF released its rankings of all 32 NFL rosters but in essence focused on the quality of each team's starting lineup, listing the Bears — are you sitting down? — 18th in the league. That's ahead of the likes of the Ravens, Saints, Texans, Dolphins, a Jaguars franchise that's had tons of high draft picks in recent years, as well as the Broncos and Lions (whom they rank 28th). The top five are the Falcons, Patriots, Titans, Packers and Steelers (the Bears play three of those teams in September alone). Among other Bears opponents, they rank the Panthers 10th, Vikings 12th, Buccaneers 13th and Eagles 15th.

[BEARS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Their evaluation is based on each player's final score from last season, "elite" and "good" being the top two levels, followed by "average" and "below average" to "poor." The only Bear earning elite status was inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Another nine Bears finished with good grades: Jordan Howard, Zach Miller, Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Danny Trevathan, Adrian Amos and Quintin Demps (who earned his grade in Houston).

Those earning average grades were Cam Meredith, Kendall Wright, Kyle Long, Charles Leno, Jr., Pernell McPhee and Prince Amukamara. Below average: Mike Glennon (in mop-up duty in Tampa Bay), Kevin White, Bobby Massie, Leonard Floyd and Jaye Howard. The only Bear earning a poor grade among projected starters was tight end Dion Sims (with Miami). The other potential flaw is that PFF lists Kyle Fuller (no grade) and Bryce Callahan (average) as starters when Marcus Cooper and Cre'Von LeBlanc likely have the inside track to start at cornerback and nickel back, respectively.

How did the Bears get to 18th, above three playoff teams and another that won the Super Bowl two years ago? Well, all of those other teams have more elite players at certain positions, but it's offset by a number of spots occupied by more players with poor or below average grades. The Broncos (25th) for instance, had four elite players, just another four falling under the good grade, but five players listed as poor.