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Category: Chris Dufresne

Big Ten removes Joe Paterno's name from trophy

The Big Ten Conference on Monday announced it will remove the name of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno  from its inaugural championship game trophy in the wake of the child sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the campus.

The trophy was to be named the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy to honor Paterno and Amos Alonzo Stagg, who formerly coached at the University of Chicago.  The trophy, which will be awarded to the winner of the Dec. 3 game in Indianapolis, will now be called the Stagg Championship Trophy.

"We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno's name on the trophy at this time," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement.

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State scandal

"The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial. We believe that it's important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game."

Penn State fired Paterno last Wednesday as the school continues to reel after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's arrest on multiple alleged child sex abuse charges.

Also on Monday,the Second Mile children's charity, which was founded by Sandusky, announced the resignation of its chief executive Jack Raykovitz.


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-- Chris Dufresne

Photo: Joe Paterno. Credit: Gene Puskar / Associated Press

Joe Paterno says he will retire as Penn State coach at year's end


Penn State football Coach Joe Paterno announced Wednesday morning that he will retire at the end of the season in the midst of a child sex-abuse scandal that threatens to tarnish the legacy of his Hall of Fame career.

"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case," Paterno said in a statement. "I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief. I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.

"That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season."

Pressure for Paterno's departure has mounted in the last week after felony sex-abuse charges were filed against Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State player and Paterno's longtime defensive coordinator.

Sandusky retired from Paterno's staff in 1999.

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State scandal

Paterno is finishing his 46th season as head coach and 62nd year on staff. His Nittany Lions are 8-1 entering Saturday's home game against Nebraska. Paterno owns a career record of 409-136-3. Two weeks ago, with a win over Illinois, he passed Grambling's Eddie Robinson to become the winningest coach in major college history.

Continue reading »

Penn State scandal: Joe Paterno news conference abruptly canceled

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's weekly Tuesday news conference was abruptly canceled as writers from all over the country descended on State College, Pa., in the wake of an alleged sex scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

The news conference was scheduled for 12:20 p.m. EST, but reporters were told they would only be allowed to ask football-related questions regarding Saturday's home game against Nebraska.

[Updated at 9:22 a.m.: Paterno's son, Scott, told the Associated Press that his father was prepared to take questions concerning the scandal but that university President Graham Spanier's office decided instead to cancel the news conference.

It would have provided the press its first opportunity to ask Paterno what he knew about the allegations against Sandusky, who was indicted on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Paterno is not a target of the investigation, but the state police commissioner has said the legendary coach and other school officials should have done more to try to stop the suspected abuse.]

Also canceled was Paterno's regularly scheduled segment on the Big Ten coaches' conference call.

The pressure continues to mount on the school in the wake of the scandal. A Harrisburg Patriot-News editorial Tuesday called for Penn State President Graham Spanier to resign immediately and for Paterno to resign at the end of the season.

"Paterno should be allowed to finish out the year and retire with the honor and admiration he has earned since taking over as head coach in 1966," the editorial stated. "It might always be honor with an asterisk, admiration with a shake of the head. Joe will have to live with that."


Columnists nationwide slam Penn State response

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Two Penn State officials face arraignment in Sandusky scandal

-- Chris Dufresne     

Photo: Joe Paterno. Credit: Jim Prisching / Associated Press

Chris Dufresne discusses LSU-Alabama, Stanford and more [Video]


Times' columnist Chris Dufresne looks back on Saturday's so-called Game of the Century between LSU and Alabama, which he says for the most part did not live up to the pre-game hype.

As he said in Sunday's column:

Neither bruising team Saturday could even bruise the end zone. There might as well have been a sign posted on the goal line: Keep Off The Grass.

The game had plenty of passion and drama, but it was more a throwback to "Leatherheads" than a modern-day keeper.

After losing the game, 9-6 in overtime, Alabama slipped just one spot in the BCS standings to No. 3, a ranking which Dufresne calls both fair and unfair. While the Crimson Tide did miss four field goals and lose a big game at home, it also lost that game in overtime to the top-ranked team in the country.

He also previews this week's big college matchup between Pac-12 rivals No. 4 Stanford and No. 7 Oregon, and talks about the Cardinal's chances of making it to the BCS championship game.


The week ahead in college football

With the BCS, the defense never rests

Chris Dufresne previews Alabama-LSU showdown and more [Video]


In Friday's video mailbag, Chris Dufresne is surprised to learn that an Alabama fan actually agrees with his column from Thursday, in which he wrote:

Alabama will get its chance to beat LSU on Saturday, and LSU will get its chance to beat Alabama. Neither team should get a second chance.

The loser of Saturday's game, in the rematch scenario, would not have even won its division of the SEC. And although there is no BCS rule against a non-champion earning a title berth, there was outrage when Nebraska got to the 2001 title game without winning the Big 12 North and calls for inquiry in 2003 when Oklahoma ended up No. 1 in the BCS standings despite being shellacked by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game.

In a flawed, beauty pageant sport with no playoff, there is no room for second chances.

In a video interview with CineSport's Tara Petrolino, Dufresne goes on to reiterate his stance that a rematch may be desirable under certain circumstances, such as a classic showdown between the two SEC rivals on Saturday and losses by teams such as Oklahoma State, Stanford and Boise State.

Dufresne also discusses the chances of Stanford going to the BCS title game and the passion of college football fans.


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The Times' Chris Dufresne discusses the significance of Alabama vs. LSU and how Stanford's triple-overtime win over USC will affect Andrew Luck's Heisman Trophy hopes.

Chris Dufresne empties out the college football mailbag

Times college football columnist Chris Dufresne empties out the L.A. Times mailbag.

This week, Dufresne discusses a variety of topics, including:

Penn State.

Kansas State.


You can watch Dufresne discuss all these topics in the video below:


Chris Dufresne recaps a wild weekend of college football [Video]

The Times' Chris Dufresne talks about a Hail Mary in East Lansing, a bad loss for Oklahoma and USC's trip to South Bend.

Chris Dufresne opens up the college football mailbag on the UCLA debacle

Times college football columnist Chris Dufresne empties the mailbag, with UCLA's desert nightmare a big topic of discussion.




College football: Sizing up the first BCS standings [Video]


The Times' Chris Dufresne discusses what stands out in the first BCS standings and how injuries could affect the title race.

NCAA finds no major violations at Auburn

Anyone up for a second championship parade in Auburn?

FabforumThe NCAA on Wednesday released a statement saying that, barring new evidence, no major violations could be substantiated against Auburn's football program.

The news pretty much assures this will not be a repeat of USC and Reggie Bush. Auburn will get to keep its 2010 BCS title and Cam Newton will keep his Heisman Trophy.

USC was forced to vacate its 2004 BCS championship after the school admitted to violations that made Bush an ineligible player that season. Bush was also stripped of his 2004 Heisman Trophy. USC received a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 football scholarships.

Last year, the NCAA determined Newton's father did break rules by shopping his son to Mississippi State, but there was no credible evidence Cam Newton or Auburn knew of the violation.

Here is the NCAA's statement on Auburn:

"After conducting more than 80 interviews, the NCAA has concluded its investigation into Auburn University. The NCAA enforcement staff is committed to a fair and thorough investigative process. As such, any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media. The allegations must be based on credible and persuasive information and includes a good-faith belief that the Committee on Infractions could make a finding. As with any case, should the enforcement staff become aware of additional credible information, it will review the information to determine whether further investigation is warranted." 


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— Chris Dufresne


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