Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Penn State's punishment becoming clear

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Brennan Franklin was ready to play junior college football at Eastern Arizona when Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof called the linebacker.

The Division I scholarship offer was too good to pass up, even if it came after the NCAA announced sanctions against the Nittany Lions, including a significant hit in scholarships.

Penn State has lost more than half a dozen players in light of the penalties July 23, but Franklin will have the distinction of being the first scholarship player to sign in Happy Valley since the NCAA announced its decisions.

The Nittany Lions open preseason camp today.

"The first thing he asked was if I'd ever been in a fight," Franklin said of Roof in a recent phone interview. He replied yes.

"He said, 'That's good, because that's what this is going to be.' "

The NCAA — as part of its landmark punishment of the program for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal — reduced the maximum number of scholarships that Penn State could offer each year from 25 to 15 for a four-year period, starting with the 2013 recruiting class. And PSU can't have more than 65 scholarship players at any time for a four-year period starting in 2014, down from 85.

The NCAA has allowed current players to transfer and have immediate eligibility. Nine have done so, the latest being Justin Brown, last year's top receiver for the Nittany Lions who is transferring to Oklahoma.

Saban: Predictions 'hijack the game'

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Here's a prediction: Nick Saban won't like questions about predictions. The Alabama coach has no interest in dissecting the national championship race or discussing which young Crimson Tide players are poised to blossom into stars. "All these predictions that you all make, they hijack the game," Saban told the media. "All anybody worries about in college football is the BCS, who's going to be in the final game. We have a lot of great games. … And why do we play the games? To answer the questions."

AIR FORCE: Coach Troy Calhoun said five players were off the team: Linebacker Jamil Cooks, receivers Brandon Hirneise and Mikel Hunter, tight end Devin Durden and safety Anthony Wooding. All five are still enrolled at the academy.

GEORGIA: Cornerback Branden Smith, who is on the preseason Hornung Award watch list for the nation's most versatile player, will not be suspended for an offseason arrest. The senior was arrested on a marijuana possession charge and eventually received pretrial intervention. Normally under UGA athletic policy, a misdemeanor arrest triggers a one-game suspension for football, but coach Mark Richt said they had received enough information to let Smith play.

PITT: Coach Paul Chryst said offensive lineman Juantez Hollins was suspended for the season for breaking team rules.

Comments
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3

The Rays have been doing a lot of talking about big deals but making only small ones thus far at the winter meetings.Though willing to at least consider trading any of the bigger-name, higher-paid players on their roster, the Rays have only added two...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

UPDATE, 9:22: So, Colome says he was just using good social media manners, tweeting (at 4:15) this morning:"I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow"And, keeping his emoji game strong, adding one with arms up...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Understandably, an anticlimactic vibe hovers over the Birmingham Bowl for many USF fans, who were hoping their season would end a bit farther east, at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.But one still can't ignore this game's historical context: It's the last ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Yankees become Tampa Tarpons in a nod to history

Tampa Yankees become Tampa Tarpons in a nod to history

The Tampa Yankees have officially changed the name of the Class A Florida State League team to the Tarpons.The name change is a nod to the original Tampa Tarpons minor-league team that played at Al Lopez Field from 1957-87.For the first four years th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

LAKE BUENA VISTA — A series of tweets by former Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco about sexual misconduct and politicians could put in jeopardy his job as a studio analyst on A’s telecasts. Canseco posted several times ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Boys basketball: St. Petersburg 62, Countryside 61

CLEARWATER – St. Petersburg already had Serrel Smith, an Ole Miss signee who is the reigning Pinellas County player of the year.The lineup became even better in the summer with the addition of Tampa Catholic transfers Tai and Terrell Strickland...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lofty postseason goals for November Morton, Countryside girls basketball

Lofty postseason goals for November Morton, Countryside girls basketball

CLEARWATER — When Anthony Klemmer took over as girls basketball coach at Countryside five years ago, he looked at the banner hanging in the gym. "Girls Basketball. District Champs. 1993.""That’s it?" Klemmer said. "Just 1993?"His goal was to add year...
Published: 12/13/17
Land O’Lakes’ Sydny Nasello lands on radar of U.S. women’s national team

Land O’Lakes’ Sydny Nasello lands on radar of U.S. women’s national team

LAND O’LAKES — There are numerous steps, and a large amount of competition to climb over, if Sydny Nasello is to suit up for the U.S. women’s national team in a World Cup.But at least the first step is behind her."I’m in the pool," Nasello said.That ...
Published: 12/13/17