Tag:Tom Bradley
Posted on: November 12, 2011 4:15 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Nebraska 17, Penn State 14

Posted by Adam Jacobi

NEBRASKA WON. In a game marked more for everything that's happened off the field than on it, No. 19 Nebraska won a 17-14 game at No. 12 Penn State. Rex Burkhead registered 126 yards on 27 carries, including Nebraska's last touchdown of the game to make it 17-0, a deficit too large for PSU to overcome. 

WHY NEBRASKA WON: Above all else, Nebraska won because it started putting things together faster than Penn State did. The score was close, the stats were close (if not identical) in every significant category, and the talent on the field was close to begin with. But Nebraska's the team that went up first, and went up big; at the end of the day, interim head coach Tom Bradley couldn't lead his charges all the way back.

WHEN NEBRASKA WON: When Penn State's last desperation play of the game fizzled, as Matt McGloin's pass was about 40 yards shy of the end zone -- and incomplete anyway. Penn State had held on 4th and 1 at its 29 with 44 seconds left, but the Nittany Lions' hurry-up offense was dreadful on the final try.

WHAT NEBRASKA WON: Not only did the Huskers stay alive in the Legends Division race, they registered their biggest road win of the season. Michigan State didn't cooperate, beating Iowa to stay atop the division, but if the Spartans somehow slip up and Nebraska doesn't, the Huskers will be going to Indianapolis in December. Speaking more to the game itself, Taylor Martinez looked downright competent at times, completing multiple 3rd and long throws for first downs. That's an accomplishment for the young man, who as a passer has often been Nebraska's biggest weakness.

WHAT PENN STATE LOST: With this loss, there are no more Big Ten teams undefeated in conference play; Penn State falls to 8-2 (5-1) on the season. Moreover, the vulnerabilities that have plagued PSU all season long -- dodgy QB play, offensive line struggles, and a rush defense that isn't quite as good as the front seven's talent level would indicate -- were all on display again today, and when that happens in a loss, it's a lot harder to ignore those problems. 

THAT WAS AMAZING: In a scene that college football could use a lot more of, before the game, the Penn State and Nebraska players greeted each other at midfield to shake hands. After that, the 100,000-strong crowd fell silent as the two teams -- joined by coaches, former players, and everybody else on the sidelines -- joined in prayer. For a game so wrought by scandal and horror, this was the perfect way to demonstrate that everyone's hearts and minds were in the right place.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Report: McQueary will not be on sideline Saturday

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley spoke to the media on Thursday, just hours after the official dismissal of Joe Paterno, one of the many questions left unanswered in the press conference was the status of wide receivers coach Mike McQueary.

With President Graham Spanier and head coach Joe Paterno relieved of their duties in response to details surrounding the Jerry Sandusky investigation, McQueary's future with Penn State also appears uncertain. The wide receivers' coach has not issued a formal resignation, and there has been no official word from the school on whether he will be on the sidelines or in the press box for Saturday's home finale against Nebraska

CBSSports.com's Jim Rodenbush reports that McQueary is not expected to be on the sideline for Saturday's game, according to a local paper. The Board of Trustees does not plan to fire McQueary or ask him to resign, but would like him off the field out of concern for his safety.

After seeing the reaction from the Penn State community on Wednesday night, the safety of the players and coaches has become a top concern for Saturday. Nebraska has asked Penn State's police department to take appropriate security measures to ensure a conflict-free visit for their players, coaches, and traveling party.

For more coverage from Penn State, follow our Nittany Lions Rapid Reports.

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Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:57 am
 

Husker chancellor hopes fans "will be respectful"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For those that were wondering: there is no chance Saturday's game between Penn State and Nebraska will be postponed, at least not if the signals out of both State College and Lincoln are any indication.

Not only is new Nittany Lion interim head coach Tom Bradley's first press conference being conducted without question as to a possible cancellation, but a statement Wednesday from Nebraska chancellor Harvy Perlman indicates that no one at Penn State's Saturday opponent is preparing for a postponement, either.

"I hope all fans will be respectful of the contest between these student-athletes, even as we share in the outrage of what is alleged," Perlman said, adding that the Huskers' participation "in no way condones" the actions of the accused officials at Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky case.

"In the end the game is about the student-athletes from both institutions who have worked hard to be in a position to play football on Saturday," Perlman said.

The full text of his statement -- which also offers support for ousted Penn State president Graham Spainer -- reads as follows:
"Graham Spanier is a great personal friend of mine and a longtime supporter of the University of Nebraska who left this institution a better place than when he arrived. Everything I know about Graham makes it difficult for me to believe he would ignore clear allegations of child abuse. I can only wish him the best as he works through these tragic events.

"This has obviously been a very emotional week for the Penn State community. We hope for the best for everyone, particularly the children alleged to have been mistreated or exploited. The allegations of abuse, if true, represent personal failings. Penn State, our Big Ten colleague, is still a great university.

"Looking ahead to Saturday's game, others will pour many issues into this football game. Nebraska's participation in no way condones the conduct that has been alleged or makes a statement about the truth or falsity of the allegations. In the end the game is about the student-athletes from both institutions who have worked hard to be in a position to play football on Saturday. I hope all fans will be respectful of the contest between these student-athletes, even as we share in the outrage of what is alleged and the pain suffered by the victims."
Understandably lost in the off-field furor surrounding the Nittany Lion program this week is that the game will play a pivotal role in deciding the winner of both Big Ten divisions. For more on the game, view the CBSSports.com PSU-Nebraska Pregame page.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:29 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 12:14 am
 

Tom Bradley named PSU interim coach

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When the Penn State Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno on Wednesday night, he had to be replaced. Not surprisingly, that replacement is longtime Paterno assistant Tom Bradley.

Ironically, Bradley is the man who replaced Jerry Sandusky -- who is at the heart of the controversy that ended up getting Paterno fired -- as the Nittany Lions' defensive coordinator in 1999.

A native of Johnstown, Pa., Bradley has been widely recognized as Paterno's right-hand man on the Nittany Lion staff since his promotion to defensive coordinator in 1999. But Bradley has served under Paterno in one role or another on the Lion staff for 33 years, rising from the graduate assistant level to position coach (Bradley has focused largely on the PSU secondary) and recruiting coordinator before stepping into the coordinator's chair. 

Though rarely acknowledged directly or officially, the size of Bradley's role has only increased over the past decade as Paterno's declining health has forced him to give up many duties of gameday coaching. Bradley has long been rumored the first choice to succeed Paterno if his suddenly former boss was ever forced to step aside.

Despite that, Bradley was less than shy about pursuing other jobs this previous offseason, interviewing at both Pitt and Temple for each school's head coaching positions--and ranking as a serious candidate for both. 

Amidst the chaos of Penn State football's current position, having an anchor like Bradley could -- and should -- prove to be an invaluable help in this time of crisis. After last offseason, it's fortunate for Penn State that even after those 33 years, Bradley's still around to provide that help.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Photos, Tweets from riot

On Wednesday morning, Joe Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of Penn State's football season. On Wednesday evening, the Penn State board of trustees decided that wasn't enough.

The trustees cleaned house at a Wednesday night meeting, announcing that both Paterno and PSU president Graham Spanier were done with the school effective immediately. That means Joe Paterno's legendary, 46-year career as head coach of Penn State is, as of today, officially over. Tom Bradley, who has spent the last 33 years coaching alongside Paterno as a defensive assistant, has been named the interim head coach for the rest of the 2011 season.

John P. Surma, the vice chairman of the board of trustees, announced at the ensuing press conference that the decision to remove Paterno was unanimous. "The university is much larger than its athletic teams," said Surma. The press conference was marked by numerous angry and accusatory questions, many of which Surma chose to ignore.

Paterno, 84, leaves Penn State as the winningest coach in major college football history, having just passed Grambling legend Eddie Robinson in his last game. He was notified of the board's decision by phone call, according to Surma, and after the press conference, he greeted a small group of students who had come to his house by telling them, "Right now I'm not the football coach."

Later, Paterno issued a longer statement from his home, saying the following:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, it's property and all that we value. I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt." 

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Paterno's firing comes as his Nittany Lions are ranked 12th in the nation and leading the Big Ten Leaders Division with an 8-1 (5-0) record. It was the 19th time in his career that a Paterno-led Penn State team had started the season with at least eight wins in its first nine games.

The status of Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and of vice president/treasurer Gary Schultz is still to be determined. Both men face charges for perjury and failure to report child abuse in their roles in the Sandusky scandal. Surma would not say at the conference whether the two men would continue to have their legal fees paid by the university.

Paterno has come under harsh criticism - including from within the community known as Happy Valley - for not taking more action in 2002 after then-graduate assistant and current assistant coach Mike McQueary came to him and reported seeing Sandusky in the Penn State showers with a 10-year-old boy. Paterno notified Curley and Schultz.

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno had said in a statement that he was "absolutely devastated by the developments in this case." "I grieve for the children and their families," said Paterno, "and I pray for their comfort and relief."

Paterno informed his players on Wednesday of his intent to retire in an tear-filled team meeting. Afterward, many players told the media that they had never seen Paterno so emotional.

"In all the clips I've seen of him, I've never seen him break down and cry," quarterback Paul Jones said. "And he was crying the whole time today."

Cornerback Stephon Morris said some players also were nearly in tears themselves. "I still can't believe it. I've never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life," Morris said.

The Penn State football game with Nebraska is still scheduled for this Saturday in the Nittany Lions' home finale. But for the first time since 1950, Paterno will not be there as a member of the Nittany Lions coaching staff.




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Posted on: July 6, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Big Ten not spending enough on assistants?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

By now, anyone who follows college football has seen enough "BREAKING: Football coaches somehow earn lots of money in billion-dollar enterprise" headlines to last us a lifetime. So at a glance, this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article -- "Assistant coaches' salaries soar in college football" -- doesn't appear to be one we haven't read plenty of times before.

But there's one highly interesting nugget from the Post-Dispatch's math that's worth paying closer attention to:
The SEC paid its assistant coaches an average of $276,122 in 2010, according to figures compiled by St. Louis attorney and agent Bob Lattinville of the firm Stinson Morrison Hecker.
The Big 12 was second at $232,685 and the Big Ten a distant fourth, behind the Atlantic Coast Conference, at $187,055. In each instance, the averages do not include salaries at private schools such as Baylor, Penn State and Vanderbilt.
It's no surprise to see the conferences of Gus Malzahn and the Manny Diaz-Bryan Harsin tag team topping the list, but ... the Big Ten? Fourth? Really?

They may not actually be a distant fourth, in fact -- Penn State probably pays better than the likes of Indiana, and Lattinville's salary-based figures don't appear to take into account Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's unusually structured $750,000 contract -- but it's baffling why the conference that distributes more money to its members than any other in the FBS should lag so badly behind anyone in coaching salaries. Some of that is Big Ten schools' insistence on spening their cash on crazy ideas like, say, men's soccer teams, but it's hard to see why the conference's highest-profile sport should be getting the short end of a stick this lucrative.

It's so hard, in fact, we won't speculate on the reasons. But we don't have any problem stating this for the record: the Big Ten's stinginess is hurting it on the football field.

Contrast the decisions from some of the SEC's and Big Ten's best assistants from 2010. Malzahn was offered the head coaching job at Vandy and had some interest (at least) from Maryland; he turned them both down when Auburn stepped up with its gigantic raise. In the end, the only SEC coordinator to take a head coaching job this offseason was Steve Addazio, who'd basically been dumped out of his Florida gig already.

Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Don Treadwell was busy guiding Michigan State into the national top 20 in yards per-play, winning multiple games as MSU's interim head coach during Mark Dantonio's health-related absence, and generally being the nation's most underpaid assistant as the Spartans won 11 games. He left East Lansing to take the head coaching job at Miami (Ohio). Dave Doeren capped years of outstanding work at Wisconsin by coordinating the defense that took the Badgers back to the Rose Bowl (and nearly won it); he left to become Jerry Kill's replacement at Northern Illinois. (PSU's Tom Bradley, one of Joe Paterno's longest tenured-assistants, also did some serious angling for the Temple job that went to Addazio, you'll recall.)

It's not just retention that's a problem, either. How much better would Michigan have been under Rich Rodriguez* if they'd made Jeff Casteel a Mattison-like offer-he-couldn't-refuse to tag along from West Virginia, instead of subjecting themselves to Greg "GERG" Robinson? Would Tim Brewster still be around if he'd been able to hire one legitimately great offensive coordinator instead of subjecting Adam Weber and Co. to a revolving door of schemes? Even the newcomers aren't immune--it's yet-to-be-determined, but one has to wonder if Nebraska couldn't have done better in replacing exiled OC Shawn Watson than promoting running backs coach Tim Beck (especially considering the Huskers' head coach's expertise is on the defensive side of the ball).

As the Post-Dispatch article points out, it's not like the conference has to look very far to see the value of paying top dollar for assistants. After a miserable 2009, Ron Zook was thisclose to being fired at Illinois. So he went out and hired two top-shelf coordinators at salaries commensurate with the SEC's; in fact, one of them (Bobby Petrino brother Paul Petrino) was an SEC coordinator. Result: a job-saving 7-6 campaign and, in 2011, likely the program's first back-to-back winning seasons in 20 years.

It feels awfully awkward to tell anyone to follow Ron Zook's example. But when it comes to assistant salaries, it's high time the Big Ten at-large did exactly that.

*Rodriguez actually got the defensive coordinating hire right the first time, when he plucked away current Syracuse DC Scott Shafer from Stanford; Shafer's been a success everywhere else he's been, and his work with the Orange last year--the only team in the country to finish in the top 20 in total defense while also finishing in the bottom 20 in time-of-possession--was nothing short of remarkable. But RichRod and Shafer didn't appear to see eye-to-eye, and in came Robinson after just one season. You'll forgive Wolverine fans if they spend the rest of the afternoon banging their heads against the closest wall.


Posted on: May 27, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:56 am
 

CBSSports.com CFB 100, No. 79: Joe Paterno

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Business as usual, business as usual. That approach, that adherence to process is what anybody needs to persevere in a competitive field for 45 years--the amount of time Joe Paterno has spent at the helm of Penn State. Now, the concept of "usual" is pretty loose in college football on a year-to-year basis, but at the end of the day, it's pretty much the same: recruit at a high level, get your defense playing hard, and make sure your playmakers are on the field on offense. Sure, that's overly simplified, but it's a formula Paterno has followed en route to 401 wins at the helm of the Nittany Lions.

But what happens when that formula is no longer applicable? What happens when Paterno can't lean on a veteran QB, a considerable talent differential, or even a psychological edge on his opponents? What if this is the year it all comes tumbling down?

People have been speculating on what year would be Paterno's last since he turned 70. That was 15 years ago. Paterno has always laughed off the speculation and has never set a date of departure, and that's been fine because far more often than not, his teams have backed him up. Even after a rough five-year stretch at the start of last decade, the Nittany Lions returned to form and went 11-1, their only loss coming at the last second at Michigan. Three years later, PSU went 11-1 in the regular season, and again, their only loss came at the last second--this time at Iowa. There have been a slew of nine-win seasons as well. Business as usual.

But this offseason, things looked to be on the precipice of unraveling. Paterno wouldn't let quarterbacks Rob Bolden or Kevin Newsome transfer, much to their chagrin. Both men are now entrenched in a quarterback battle with putative starter Matt McGloin, a former walk-on who struggled with consistency last season. That battle ought to continue as close to the beginning of the season as possible, which hardly does any favors to a quarterback who'll probably want to transfer if he's not given the starting job. That's JoePa's M.O., though. Business as usual.

The offseason was also marked by the potential for serious turmoil. Longtime Paterno assistant Tom Bradley was thisclose to accepting the Pittsburgh head coaching spot, only to have the deal break down over details. If he had taken the spot, there's no telling how many PSU assistants he'd have been able to bring with him. Probably more than one. It's one thing to keep Joe Paterno around as long as he wants. It'd be quite another to keep him around andtask him with rebuilding a coaching staff that he has increasingly come to rely on now that he's in his 80s. The Penn State brass has always been patient with JoePa, and that's a good thing, but that patience is largely due to his ability to maintain stability and high standards of performance. Take those away, and he's just a very old coach in charge of a program in flux, and that's far less appetizing to any athletic director.

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That performance, though, may be on the wane once again. Penn State barely eked out a winning record last season, going 7-6 and losing its bowl appearance against a similarly underachieving Florida squad. The quarterback situation is uninspiring. So is the defense, which allowed more points than it has in 27 years and returns no first-team or second-team All-Big Ten performers (to be fair, DBs Drew Astorino and D'Anton Lynn were honorable mention, as was DT Devon Still; they're all back). Linebacker U's linebackers anchored a rush defense that was 74th nationally against the run -- and two of the top four tacklers in that unit have graduated. Nate Stupar is back, and while he's good, he's not Linebacker U good yet. Michael Mauti might be . PSU had better hope he is.

The recruiting suffered this year, too. The normally dynamic Larry Johnson Sr. didn't have a lot of roster spots to fill, but the recruits he did get weren't terribly impressive. DE signee Anthony Zettel was No. 82 in Tom Lemming's Top 100 list, but that was basically it for incoming future stars. If Johnson can't get top talent to get excited about Penn State anymore, that levels the playing field against the rest of college football -- and widens the growing gap between Penn State and the powerhouses.

All that, and JoePa got one year older. He can't coach forever, and whenever the time is that he physically can't coach anymore might be, he's one year closer to it now than he was a year ago. Time may seem immaterial to him, but make no mistake: his career is in its twilight.

Yes, yes, this is all old hat to Paterno and Penn State now: the growing doubts in the spring, the concerns over his age, the notion of the program being on the precipice of collapse. They've dealt with this for decades, and they've usually dealt with it by going out and whipping their opponents up and down the field anyway. But what if they don't in 2011? What if this is the last chapter in the JoePa Saga? And if that's not a hard enough problem to consider... what comes after that?

Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Reports: Todd Graham 'a done deal' with Pitt

Posted by Adam Jacobi

According to Fox 23 out of Tulsa, the next Pittsburgh football coach will be Todd Graham of Tulsa. Fox 23 reports that while Graham's hiring has yet to be announced, it is a "done deal" and he will depart for Pittsburgh later this evening.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirms this report, reporting that Graham and Pitt have come to terms on a deal and will be announcing the hiring tomorrow. It's likely that the announcement may come later today, considering the pressure such reports put on athletic officials who are being asked constantly for confirmation, but Pitt's current plan is to take care of the formalities on Tuesday.

At any rate, this report likely dismays Panther fans who had been holding out hope for Tom Bradley , the longtime Penn State assistant who was the early favorite for the job. Bradley did interview with Pitt, but obviously those talks stalled at some point. It's also entirely possible that Pitt AD Steve Pederson just plain liked Graham better as a candidate (rather than, say, getting hung up on money with Bradley), but those specifics will have to come from Pederson.

Bradley is also interviewing with Connecticut this week, as the Huskies look to replace Randy Edsall after his move to Maryland a week ago.


 
 
 
 
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