Marking a return to football

As another Big Ten football Saturday approaches, senior writer Tom Dienhart posts his usual weekly football previews, his weekend selections and his list of notable things to keep an eye on, but it comes against the backdrop of more updates on the Penn State story. Earlier Friday Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Garban pledged to support interim President Rod Erickson as the board works “for the future of this institution that we respect and love.” We’ve put a video clip from this morning’s meeting in this post. Meanwhile, former Nittany Lions player Rich Mauti expects at least 75 former players to attend Saturday’s game in a show of support for the school after the late announcement Thursday night that assistant coach Mike McQueary won’t be there and has been placed on administrative leave.

The weekly Big Ten Football Report airs tonight at 7 p.m. ET and will have more updates as will our Saturday morning Big Ten Football Pregame Show. At noon ET on the BTN: Rice (3-6) at Northwestern (4-5) and Ohio State (6-3) at Purdue (4-5). At 3:30 on the BTN: Wisconsin (7-2) at Minnesota (2-7). Other noon games: Michigan State (7-2) at Iowa (6-3) and Nebraska (7-2) at Penn State (8-1) . Michigan (7-2) plays at Illinois (6-3) at 3:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN). Full scoreboard with TV and times here.

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bob jones on 11/11/2011 @ 6:47pm EDT Said:

I would like to comment on what I have been seeing, hearing and reading lately out of Happy Valley. They are making the Saturday game a big love fest and show of support for dear old Joe. Ex-players, possibly in the hundreds are coming in to stand with the team on the sidelines, they will have blue t-shirts for their fans with Thank You Joe on the front and everything they are thanking him for on the back and who knows what else. I completely understand the feelings for this man after so many years, but this is sure not the time to be celebrating their love for their coach, Joe will not be coaching his last game there Saturday. I have heard not one mention of the victims from any of these mourners, maybe there has been, but it has paled in the comparison of attention paid to the “wronged coach”. Fans, ex-players and the whole community seem to be furious over this horrendous scandal, but they are not furious about children being raped on their campus for years, and possibly decades and the fact that every adult at Penn St in a position to stop these assaults either did nothing or did the very least of what was required of them legally to stop it. No, they are furious because their coach was wronged, he was fired for covering up child sexual abuse, but to most of them, that is secondary, this has been made all about Joe, and if any of them still don’t understand Joe’s shirked responsibility in this, that caused many more children to be abused through his inaction, then read the 23 page Grand Jury report. Not one damned person at Penn St, in their adminstration or on their coaching staff, for more than a decade, had the moral decency to put a stop to this, they just didn’t get it. Now this weekend, and everybody will be watching, will be turned into one big tribute for Joe, they still don’t get it. There will be a time and place to thank and honor your beloved coach, but this sure as hell isn’t the time and the fact that nobody at Penn St understands that, maybe explains why this went on for so damn long. Joe could do no wrong. I’ve also read that past Penn St players are raising and are sending money to Sandusky for his defense fund, why does this not surprise me? So, win the game tomorrow Penn Staters and then march from the stadium and present dear old Joe the game ball at his home, what a touching scene that will make, it could only be made better if Sandusky could be there too. I hope this upsets some Penn St fans because somebody needs to wake up there, this whole thing is unbelievably sickening and with the unbelievably slow response by your administration and with your student riots and vandalism to show their support of dear old Joe, and all of the tributes planned for dear old Joe this weekend, you have only made yourselves look worse by the day, and after hearing what we heard initially, that is pretty hard to do. Oh, yeah, and don’t forget, who was it, oh yeah, don’t forget about the victims, if you can find the time in your busy weekend, maybe throw in a line or two about them too, after all your thankyou’s to Joe for his incredible “leadership”.