The Curious Case of DeSean Jackson

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Eagles
The Eagles released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson today, ending his six year tenure in Philadelphia.

The Eagles released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson today, ending his six year tenure in Philadelphia.

 

The Eagles made quite a splash today, although not the kind of splash they wanted.

It was announced today that the Eagles released Pro Bowl – receiver DeSean Jackson after six seasons in Philadelphia.

Many fans were surprised with the move, as Jackson is coming off of his best season of his career.

Jackson, who was in the third year of a 5-year $51 Million contract, finished the 2013 season with 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was also selected to his third Pro Bowl of his career.

Ultimately, as is the case with many other high-profile players who are released despite being among the best in the league at their respective position, it was his activities off of the field that led to the Eagles cutting ties with the 27-year old.

A story was published on NJ.com about two hours before news broke of Jackson’s release that talks about Jackson’s involvement with members of the Crips, one of the most infamous street gangs in Los Angeles, who were suspects in a 2010 murder. His name was also mentioned in connection to another gang-related murder that took place in 2012.

Although Jackson was nowhere near the crimes and has never faced any legal action because of it, the fact that he knew members of the gang was what many saw as the red flag. The fact is that the NFL does not have any more patience for this kind of stuff, especially after the murder trial of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Because of this, teams are not taking any chances either.

Now it’s not just “the Eagles released DeSean because he knows a guy who knows a guy.” Jackson was seen multiple times flashing a sign for the Crips during games after he scored a touchdown. It also is more than just that. There were issues during training camp and his attitude was sometimes off-putting to his teammates. Not to mention, he was asked not to come back to several Philadelphia night clubs not too long ago.

Apparently, the Eagles front office knew something the fans didn’t when they released him today.

So now that DeSean Jackson’s time has ended in Philadelphia, how will his Eagles tenure be remembered? Personally, I always respected his speed and talent. With the exception of Terrell Owens’ brief tenure, a top-notch receiver was hard to come by in Philadelphia.

That was until they drafted Cal wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Since his arrival, he has had defenses changing the way they play because of him.

However, the pros were not without the cons.

My biggest complaint I had about DeSean is that he did a little too much talking and had several lapses of judgement as far as taunting and things like that. For example, during a Sunday night game two years ago against the New York Giants, he returned a  punt to the 50 yard line, only to get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting after tossing the ball at Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. The penalty negated the return and the Eagles started from deep in their own zone.

Things worked out that night as the Eagles went on to win that game, but DeSean Jackson was fined $10,000 for the unsportsmanlike penalty.

There were many times where I found myself saying “DeSean would be so much better if he would just shut up and play.” And to be honest, he would have been looked at differently if he let his play do the talking for him.

At any rate, the Eagles will move on from this and so will DeSean Jackson. After the news broke, there were already teams expressing interest in Jackson.

However, as more details emerge, it could be an interesting ending to The Curious Case of DeSean Jackson.

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The NCAA Men’s Tournament is underway and after the second round, only 16 teams remain.

Every year, millions of fans celebrities, sports writers and TV hosts alike fill out their own bracket and predict who will be national champions.

While many of those brackets are part of a pool that wins you money, billionaire Warren Buffett really upped the ante this year.

In a contest sponsored by Quicken Loans, Buffett agreed to give $1 billion dollars, yes billion with a “b”, to anyone who finished the tournament with a perfect bracket, correctly predicting every winner of every matchup in the tournament.

To put things into perspective, the odds of finishing with a perfect bracket are approximately 1 in 9.2 quintillion (a quintillion is one followed by 18 zeros), as calculated by DePaul University math professor Jeff Bergen.

Approximately 11 million brackets were entered in the contest and after the first day of opening round games, there were just over 41,000 perfect brackets remaining. Unfortunately, my bracket was not one of them; it didn’t make it past the first few games.

After the first round, there was just one perfect bracket remaining. That bracket belonged to Brad Binder of Oak Grove, Illinois, who, though he filled the bracket out on Yahoo.com, did not enter Warren Buffet’s billion dollar contest.

Binder correctly predicted the first 36 games before 11-seeded Dayton’s 55-53 upset over #3 – seeded Syracuse busted the only remaining perfect bracket.

Binder, who became a viral sensation after his bracket was the only perfect one remaining, tweeted “And that was the closest I’ve ever come to not winning a billion dollars.” after his bracket was finally busted.

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Just when you thought Dayton’s upset of Ohio State was big…

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The 14-seeded Mercer Bears toppled #3 seeded Duke later in the opening round.

Aside from busted brackets, the other main theme of this year’s tournament, as is the case each year, is upsets, and there have been plenty of them thus far.

It started in the first round when 14-seeded Mercer University upset the heavily favored #3-seeded Duke Blue Devils to advance to the second round.

This loss came two years after Duke lost to 15-seeded Lehigh University in the opening round of the 2012 tournament. Duke head coach Mike Kryzyzewski went into Mercer’s locker room following the game to congratulate the Bears on their win.

The upsets kept coming in the round of 32 when 11-seeded Dayton and 10-seeded Stanford upset #3-seeded Syracuse and #2-seeded Kansas respectively, setting up an unlikely sweet sixteen matchup between the two schools.

Also in the second round, #8-seeded Kentucky upset the #1-seeded, and previously 34-0, Wichita State Shockers to advance to set up a sweet sixteen showdown with longtime rivals Louisville.

With my pick as champion (Kansas) and my favorite team (Villanova) both out, I am pretty much rooting for what is left of my bracket. Since half of my Final Four (Kansas and Wichita State) is also out, that means Michigan State and Arizona.

The NCAA Tournament resumes tonight when the #6-seeded Baylor Bears take on the #2-seeded Wisconsin Badgers at 6:47 pm, followed by the #4-seeded Sand Diego State Aztecs facing the #1-seeded Arizona Wildcats at 9: 17 pm.

 

Red White and Blah

Posted: February 21, 2014 in Flyers

anothersilverforusamen Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Women's Ice Hockey Canada vs USA gold medal game

The US Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Team both fell to Canada for the second straight Winter Olympics.

Aside from the fact that both teams fell to Canada, both teams’ gold medal droughts continue. The women’ s team has not won gold since the 1998 games, which were the first to feature women’s ice hockey. The men’s team has not won Olympic gold since the 1980 games in Lake Placid, New York.

And as if losing wasn’t bad enough, they way the men’s team and women’s team lost was extra salt in the wound.

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The women’s team led Canada 2-0 with just under four minutes left in the third period when Canada battled back to cut the score to  2-1. After the US narrowly missed sealing the game and the gold medal (and by narrowly I mean an inch to the right), Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game with less than a minute remaining.

Poulin struck again in overtime when she scored after Canada went on the power play to win the game 3-2 and in the process their third straight gold medal. The US would settle for the silver medal and, while the medals themselves weigh about a pound each, those medals felt like they weighed a ton each for the US women. Many tears of sadness and disbelief were flowing, as were tears of joy for the Canadians.

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The next day the American and Canadian men took to the ice in a semi-final match-up. Canada’s Jamie Benn (of the Dallas Stars) re-directed a shot past Jonathan Quick (of the LA Kings) early in the second period, which wound up being the lone goal of the game. Meanwhile, the Americans were unable to put the puck past Carey Price, despite peppering the Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender with 31 shots.

Simply put, in that game on that day, Canada was the better team. The US could not put together quality scoring chances in the offensive zone and a lot of the shots they did put on goal were into the maple leaf on Carey Price’s jersey, making it easy for Price to make the saves. To the Canadians’ credit, they did a great job of shutting down opportunities for the Americans.

The Americans also spent too much time in the defensive zone. Even though Jonathan Quick was spectacular today, he faced 37 shots. As good of a goalie as Quick is, he can only do so much when he doesn’t have much help from his defenders.

As the women continue to try to move on from their disappointment and the men prepare for their bronze medal game tomorrow against Finland, who lost to Sweden in the other semi-final game, American fans are once again left wondering. How does the women’s team blow a 2-0 lead with less than four minutes left? How does the men’s team play so well leading up to the semi-finals and then get outplayed considerably by a far from perfect Canadian team?

At any rate, it will be four more years of bragging rights for the Canadians. Also, as per the rules of a friendly bet  between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama, Obama owes Harper two cases of beer (one for the men’s game and another for the women’s game).

As for Team USA, the two disappointing losses means that Sochi 2014 adds to the list of Olympics that have come to a disappointing and early end. This will be something that will continue to eat at them as they work towards the 2018 games. If nothing else, this should serve as motivation to never let this happen again.

One thing is for sure, the four-year wait for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be an extremely long one for USA Hockey.

As far as the 2014 US Men’s and Women’s hockey teams go, one can only wonder “What if?”

Walking Together Forever

Posted: February 14, 2014 in Flyers

USAHockey

Heading into Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals in Philadelphia, the Flyers held a 3 games to 2 lead over the favored Boston Bruins in the series. Before the game, Flyers head coach Fred Shero, who was never the type of coach who would give big “rah-rah” pre-game speeches, simply had the following written on a chalk board as the players came into the locker room:

“Win together today and we walk together forever.”

Aside from being one of my all-time favorite sports quotes, this quote came to mind as the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament got underway on Wednesday at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Americans have the opportunity to make this a truly historical Olympic games for them on multiple levels.

Team USA, which is coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to Canada in the gold medal game back in 2010, is in Group A this time around. Also in Group A are Slovakia, Slovenia and host country Russia. After cruising past Slovakia 7-1 in their opening game, the US faces Russia tomorrow afternoon, which can be seen live at 7:30 am and will probably be aired again later in the day.

Any time people talk USA Hockey, three words will almost always come up: “Miracle on Ice”. That is, as many people know, in reference to the 1980 American team that upset the heavily favored Soviet Red Army team in the semi-finals of that year’s Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

Let me take a second to put that upset into perspective.

This was a group of college kids and amateurs (Team USA) facing off against a team made  up of guys who basically did four things: eat, sleep, breathe and play hockey (Team USSR). Keep in mind it was not until eighteen years later in 1998 that NHL players were allowed to participate in the Olympics. Not to mention the last time the US and Soviet Union met in an exhibition match, the Soviets crushed the Americans 10-3.

Team USA captain Mike Eruzione’s goal midway through the third period wound up being the game-winning goal as the United States upset the heavily favored Soviets. 34 years later, this is still widely regarded as the greatest, and defining, moment in American hockey history. With the win the US advanced to the gold medal game where they beat Finland to win the gold medal.

That was the last time the United States won men’s ice hockey gold at the Olympics.

This 2014 US hockey team has a chance to cement themselves into the history books. In an interview conducted with Amy Robach, US captain Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, whose father Bob Suter was a member of the 1980 Olympic team, both spoke about tomorrow’s showdown against the Russians. Suter mentioned how his father told him to win gold “so people will stop talking about us.”

Truthfully it is hard not to compare any US team with the 1980 team. That being said, it’s hard not to be excited about the team’s chances in Sochi this year. Personally, I have four teams in mind that I think are legitimate gold medal threats: USA, Canada, Russia and Sweden (with Finland being my “dark horse” team).

So far the US has looked the most impressive in their opening games. It’s not just because they won 7-1, but the team started to gel more and more as the game progressed and looked very complete as the game ended.

There is no question that no team has more pressure on them that host country Russia. Any time the host country of the Winter Olympics is a hockey powerhouse, in this case Russia, the pressure on them to win gold increases ten-fold. Four years ago it was on Canada and this time around the pressure is  on the Russians. There is also a ton of pressure on Canada, the defending gold medalists, to repeat as well.

However, as much pressure as the Canadians have on them, so too do the Americans. They have not won gold in 34 years and in their last three Olympics have won two silver medals with a disappointing eighth-place finish at the 2006 Olympics in between.

An American victory over the Russians tomorrow, which would be the first on Soviet/Russian soil, would be a huge first step towards a gold medal, which would be the first since 1980.

And, if the Americans win the gold medal in Sochi, they, like the 1974/75 Flyers and the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team, will walk together forever.

Super Bowl XLVIII

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Eagles

super-bowl-48-broncos-vs.-seahawks

Ah yes, Super Bowl Sunday.

Episode 48: The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object.

This Sunday, in a match-up of who many consider to be the NFL’s two best teams this season, the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

The contest will pit the league’s number 1 offense (Broncos) against the league’s number 1 defense (Seahawks). It will be interesting to see how Peyton Manning fares against Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary consisting of Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and the always outspoken Richard Sherman.

Why the Seahawks can win:

Seahawks NFC Champs

The Seahawks were the number 1 team basically since the beginning of the season, and it’s certainly no fluke that they are representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. 

Their defense has been seemingly unstoppable all season, consistently ranking near the top of the league week after week. Even though it’s not a home game for them (they’re even the designated away team), that won’t matter, nor will the cold weather.

This is a defense that has given the likes of Drew Brees fits not one, but twice. Not to mention Marshawn Lynch is a better than any running back the Broncos have. He has been one of the difference makers in their Divisional Round win against the Saints and in their Conference Championship win against the 49ers. Their passing game is still not where they need it to be, but that could very well change on Sunday.

It’s cliché, but it’s true; Peyton Manning is one of the all-time greats. However he will be tested on Sunday like he has never been tested before. The only defenses that really came close to the Seahawks that he has faced are the Patriots and 49ers. Although the Broncos beat both of those teams, who knows how he will fare against the “Legion of Boom”?

Why the Broncos will win:

Broncos AFC Champs

They say that the best defense is a good offense. Well, no offense has been better this season than the high-scoring Denver Broncos. With Peyton Manning as the field general and Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and a two running back attack that features Knowshon Moreno and rookie Monte Ball at Manning’s disposal , this Broncos offense averaged 37.9 points a game in 2013. Hell, it took all of one game for Peyton Manning to break yet another record when he threw 7 touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens on opening night, a mark that was later matched by Eagles QB Nick Foles against the Oakland Raiders. (I had to throw that in there – no pun intended).

While all of the attention was on the Broncos offense, their defense was pretty solid as well despite being without linebacker Von Miller for multiple games due to injury. I wouldn’t say that they are better than the Seahawks defense, but they have more than held their own on multiple occasions this season.

Not only that, but this is not Broncos head coach John Fox’s first time around when it comes to the Super Bowl. Fox coached the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII where they came within a field goal of defeating the New England Patriots. I am not going to go so far as to place Fox among the elite head coaches of the NFL, but his experience could very well make a difference. Pete Carrol on the other had a pretty awful head coaching track record with the New England Patriots and New York Jets before returning to the NFL after a successful 8 year tenure as head coach at USC.

The Verdict:

This one was tough to pick, which is in part why there was a little gap between this post and the last one.

A big part of me wants to see the Seahawks win, at the risk of another team winning their first Super Bowl before the Eagles do. I was actually rooting for them in the NFC Divisional Round and the NFC Championship as well. I mean let’s face it, they are a pretty fun team to watch. Their passing game needs to be better, but you can assure that the Seahawks defense and running game will be in full “beast mode.” 

However, that same part of me that wants the Seahawks to win can’t help but think that the Broncos are going to come away with the Lombardi Trophy. It’s hard to go against Peyton Manning and with the weapons he has, who knows how many points that Broncos offense will score.

It’s going to be a close game, but at the end of the day, the Broncos defense will help their offense more than the Seahawks offense will help their defense.

denver-broncos-logo    28-24 Broncos

Championship Sunday

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Eagles

It’s championship weekend in the NFL and both games are shaping up to be remembered for a long time.

In the AFC Championship, it is another installment of perhaps the best quarterback duel in the 2000’s as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. In the NFC Championship, it’s the third round of a heavyweight fight between rivals as the Seattle Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers.

Either game could go either way, so let’s take a look at the two matchups:

AFC Championship:
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

afc-championship-preview-header

It’s another installment of Brady vs. Manning in the AFC Championship game and this time Peyton Manning has a new team and new weapons. Tom Brady, meanwhile, leads a young group of recievers into Denver in hopes of making a 6th trip to the Super Bowl.

Why the Patriots can win:

As easy as it is to hate them, it is hard to pick against them. Brady and Belichick have been here before and know what it takes to win whether they are the favorite or the underdog. They made good use of their running game in the Divisional Round against the Indianapolis Colts. That running game accounted for all six touchdowns while Tom Brady completed 13 of 25 passes for an un-Brady-like 198 yards and 0 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Pats D gave Colts quarterback Andrew Luck nightmares, intercepting him four times.

It also doesn’t hurt that there is a lot more pressure on the Broncos, more specifically Peyton Manning, than the Patriots. Brady has topped Manning in the cold weather before and it could very well happen again.

Why the Broncos will win:

The Broncos lost to the Patriots in their Week 12 match up 34-31 in Foxborough. Peyton Manning has a lot to prove this Sunday. In his career, Manning is 2-1 in three AFC Championship Games, all with the Colts. Two of those wins came against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

The Broncos are coming off of a big win against the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional Round that saw them halt a comeback attempt by the Chargers to preserve a 24-17 win. The defense also did well halting San Diego’s run game, limiting Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews to a combined 55 yards and 0 touchdowns. As explosive as the Patriots running game was against the Colts last week, it’s hard to see them repeating that performance against the Broncos. However, the Broncos should also be aware of the Patriots passing game.

The Verdict:

Peyton Manning has a lot of pressure on him, but he also has a lot to prove. The Patriots running game has gotten them this far, but that alone is not enough to get past the Broncos. The Pats passing game has to be better too, which I expect it to be. The Broncos lost to the Patriots in Foxborough, but they won’t in Denver on Sunday.

31-27 Broncos

NFC Championship 
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

nfc-championship-preview-header

The San Francisco 49ers will travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in the NFC Championship. This will be the third meeting of the season for the two teams and, like the previous two meetings, there will be no love lost by the NFC West rivals. The Seahawks won the first meeting in Seattle in Week 2 29-3 and the 49ers won the second meeting in Week 14 in San Francisco 19-17.

Howevver, this is no ordinary rubber match

Why the 49ers can win:

The 49ers have been in the last two NFC Championship games and were victorious last year on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. Not to mention they have won their last two games on the road winning in the frozen tundra of Green Bay (where the temperature was 5 degrees at kick off with a wind chill of -10) and the moderately cold Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers.

It’s awfully hard to pick against Colin Kaepernick. He has not put up spectacular numbers in the first two rounds, but he has performed best when it mattered most. The 49ers defense has also done well stopping Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense as well as Cam Newton and the Panthers offense. If there is any team that can upset the Seahawks at home it’s the 49ers. they know this Seahawks team better than any other team in the league.

Why the Seahawks will win:

Every team is at an advantage when they are playing at home, but no home-field advantage compares to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. The stadium itself is designed so that the sound waves are deflected off of the roofs covering the fans back down onto the field. The stadium even set a Guinness World Record for loudest outdoor stadium when it reached 137.6 decibels, almost as lout as a jet engine 100 feet away (140 decibels).

Aside from the stadium, the team that plays there has used that advantage to win all but one of their home games this season. Unfortunately, the high energy Seahawks offense was not seen very often against the Saints. The key offensive player in last week’s win was running back Marshawn Lynch, who totaled 140 yards and two touchdowns. However, that was about it for the Seahawks offense. Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 9 of 18 passes for a measly 103 yards and 0 touchdowns. However, they have had a week to regroup and will look to come out firing on Sunday afternoon.

The Verdict: 

This will be a slugfest in every sense of the word. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman put it best. “There will be no love lost, and there will be no love found.” The Seahawks are nearly un-stoppable at home and you can rest assured that the 12th man will be present and accounted for. However, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks passing game has to be better than they were last week. The 49ers aren’t going down without a fight and it is sure to be an instant classic. Expect points to come at a premium for both teams. At the end of the day, this simple equation will explain the NFC Championship:

Beast mode + Seahawks D + 12th Man = A trip to the Meadowlands.

28-24 Seahawks. 

One thing is for sure, it is slated to be another Sunday of great football for NFL fans everywhere. The AFC Championship kicks off at 3 pm on CBS followed by the NFC Championship at 6:30 on FOX.

Why Not James Franklin?

Posted: January 11, 2014 in Penn State
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Former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin was introduced as Penn State’s new coach in a press conference this afternoon. (photo credit / Abby Drey)

Penn State hired Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin as their next head coach on Saturday. Franklin replaced Bill O’Brien, who left Penn State to become the head coach of the Houston Texans.

Franklin, who is a Langhorne, PA native and alumni of East Stroudsburg University (Pa.),  spent the last three years as head coach at Vanderbilt University. He took over a Vanderbilt team that finished 2-10 for the second consecutive year and guided the Commodores to 3 consecutive winning seasons and three bowl games, winning two of them.

However, the decision to hire James Franklin (which was made official today) has been met with some mixed reactions. While many people are happy with the hire, there are some people who do not want Penn State to bring in a coach who has any kind of “baggage” with them.

The “baggage” that people against the hire are referring to is the scandal that took place recently (during Franklin’s tenure as head coach)  involving four Vanderbilt football players who were accused of raping an unconscious student in a dorm. Franklin subsequently dismissed the four accused players from the team shortly after the incident took place.

Although Franklin was cleared of any wrongdoing and not accused of anything, there are people who are strongly against the hiring of Franklin.

One professor at Penn State, Michelle Rodino-Colocino (Associate Professor of Film, Video, and Media Studies; affiliate faculty in Women’s Studies) started an online petition on Change.org a few days ago. The petition asked Penn State not to hire Franklin due to his connections to the scandal and the unnecessary baggage that he could bring to Penn State, a school still recovering from the Jerry Sandusky scandal (which also involved sexual abuse) that left them with heavy sanctions from the NCAA.

Her letter to Penn State’s Board of Trustees (who is in charge of the hiring process) reads:

“Dear Penn State Football Coach Search Committee:

We find it appalling that, if reports are true, you are considering naming Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin as our new head football coach here at Penn State. Are you aware that his players are being investigated for gang raping another Vanderbilt student this past June and that James Franklin is suspected of covering up the attacks? Just google “James Franklin” and “rape” and see for yourselves. When you do that search you will find major news outlets including CBS and USA Today coming out and opposing Franklin because of his alleged involvement in these rape cases. USC passed on Franklin because of these allegations. It hardly needs saying that Penn State does not need a football coach on staff who covers up rape. Nor do we need one who is alleged of a cover up. Right?

Do the right thing. Do not hire James Franklin.”

There were several other sportswriters who echoed what the professor said, saying that the last school that should consider hiring Franklin is Penn State.

In a column on CBSSports.com, Dennis Dodd explained why Penn State should not go anywhere near Franklin because of the scandal.

Personally, I think James Franklin is a fantastic hire for Penn State. He is a fiery presence on the sideline and turned a Vanderbilt team that went a combined 4-20 in two years into a team that finished above .500 and made three consecutive bowl appearances, winning two of them. Many fans are excited to see what the Pennsylvania-born coach can do for arguably Pennsylvania’s biggest college football team.

I’m not going to go on about why Franklin is a good hire because there is an almost unanimous consensus that he is a great football coach.

What I don’t understand is why people are attacking him the way they are. Now in fairness to Rodino-Colocino and Dennis Dodd, they are not the only ones who feel this way, but that doesn’t change anything about their arguments.

The fact is there is not much merit to their arguments. For example, Rodino-Colocino titled her petition “Penn State: Do not hire alleged gang rape cover up coach James Franklin.” For the record, Franklin was cleared of any wrongdoing and no charges were brought about against him. The District Attorney in the case even maintained that there was “clearly no evidence whatsoever that Franklin is involved in the coverup … no evidence at all that Franklin did anything wrong”

It’s understandable that Penn State should stay away from any kind of scandal that could make things worse for the school then they already are after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. However, Franklin himself said at his introductory press conference that there was an extensive interview process in which he was asked about the incident.

“Couldn’t have been a more thorough interview process,” Franklin said at the press conference. “We discussed everything. The most challenging thing that I’ve ever been through personally as a father of two daughters and professionally.”

“But what I think that came out through all of this, through their background checks and all the information that they got, is that we were honest. We were up front.” Franklin added.

In his column, titled “Penn State, of all teams, should have avoided James Franklin”, Dodd suggested that Penn State should distance themselves from Franklin, as he was the head coach when this incident took place and there was an accusation that, upon seeing footage of the incident, Franklin asked for the video to be deleted (which he adamantly denied).

“Franklin has not been tied to the case, at all. But he was the coach when it happened and that should be enough — especially at Penn State.” he wrote. What he did not mention was how Franklin handled the incident. Upon hearing about the incident, Franklin kicked those four players off of the team. And when a fifth player was accused of trying to cover up the incident, he too was kicked off of the team.

Obviously everyone has the right to have their own opinion, that’s not what this is about. I am curious as to why some people are going after Franklin as if he is someone who oversaw this incident, did nothing about it and tried to cover it up when there is no evidence that suggests he did?

Penn State hired Franklin and he was introduced this afternoon at a press conference. I, along with other Penn State fans, are looking forward to the excitement he will bring to Happy Valley.