Sudden Impact — The Beat Goes On

Far past the time when we should have been addressing issues on the practice field and maintaining a laser focus on the season ahead, the Sandusky Showergate scandal continues to dominate our coverage here at the Turkey. Some would say, “Enough, already!” hoping to move on, but the Turkey is stubborn in that respect (and many others). This whole sordid mess is just too intriguing to drop. Each day there are new revelations that make us scratch our heads in wonderment over when the little data islands will coalesce to make a coherent counter-story that will frighten even the most paranoid conspiracy theorists among us.

“At no time did we ever have a discussion about, ‘If they (Penn State officials) don’t do this, we’re going to do that.’ That is a conversation that never occurred.” —Ed Ray, President, NCAA Executive Committee

Here, for instance,  Rich Scarcella of the Reading Eagle blogs that the NCAA did not threaten Penn State with the “death penalty.” Just another sportswriter’s unfounded conjecture? No. Scarcella is backed by the written word of Oregon State president Ed Ray, president of the NCAA’s executive committee, who has told at least two publications that no such threat was ever made. Ray is the man who stood alongside Mark Emmert at the notorious July 23 press conference where Penn State’s sanctions and the consent decree were announced. Compelling reading, and it opens the door to asking yet more questions. Who’s lying? Big thanks to reader Joe for coming up with this find.


Another “coincidence” unearthed by a reader, BigAl, is that the infamous Vicky Triponey now works for Dr. R. Barbara Gitenstein, president of the College of New Jersey. “So what?” you say, “She’s safely out of the way there.” Not so fast, Buckaroo. Aside from her aforementioned position at TCNJ, Gitenstein is chairperson of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. That’s right, boys and girls, the accreditation body that just warned Penn State that the university is “in jeopardy”. Another case of Triponey seeking revenge for her unresolved love/hate/fear relationship with Joe Paterno during her brief tenure at Penn State? It seems more than coincidental that Triponey has relationships with both Mark Emmert, who hired her at University of Connecticut, and now, Gitenstein, who hired her at TCNJ. Is Vicky stalking Penn State?


Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, who remains a faculty member on leave, has stated that he and his lawyers might hold a press conference to tell us all what is wrong with the Freeh report. However, Spanier is still not clear of the potential charges that he participated in Showergate cover-up activities at Penn State, and that he had knowledge of crimes that should have been reported to authorities outside the university.


Meanwhile, as mentioned in the previous link, today was the day for the preliminary evidentiary hearing  pertaining to the perjury and failure to report trial for Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, likely to be staged this fall or winter. Both Curly and Shemp have some high-priced, well proven legal talent arguing for them, while Moe has thus far escaped prosecution, as this supercilious Turkey mentioned above. But seriously though, folks, neither Curley nor Schultz showed up in person for the hearing and no rulings were made by the bench thus far.


Another take on the “culture of corruption” imposed on universities makes for some thought-provoking reading, as Lawrence Serewicz, an American living in the UK opines on the pickle not only Penn State but also many other large universities find themselves facing. His blog is Politics, Statesmanship, Philosophy, and he has written a book on the Vietnam war. This post is entitled “Penn State and the Crisis of the American University.”


That wraps up this issue of Sudden Impact. I have little doubt that some other story concerning the aftermath of Showergate will break five minutes after I pull the trigger to publish this, but that is life in the Penn State fast lane these days!

(The Nittany Turkey has ties to both Penn State and UCF, two universities recently sanctioned by the NCAA. Do I have a dark cloud following me around, or what? And no, I have no ties whatsoever to UNC!)


  1. BigAl says

    Got to wonder what the R in” R Barbara” stands for? Rhonda? Rhoda? Randi?

    One pet peeve is people who go by the first initial of their first name and their middle name. They tend to be conceited, pompous asses and/or bank CEOs.

    Babs, if don’t like your first name, use your middle name and drop the first name entirely.

      • rd says

        The dot connecting is increasingly interesting. The UNC connection adds juice to the NCAA hypocrisy fire.

        “Bobby” made a significant co-donation to UNC last year.
        UNC’s newly alleged athletic violations are outside NCAA purview.
        Trespassing on VickyT’s boss’ beneficiary is outside the jurisdiction of NCAA President “unprecedented” Emmert.
        The NCAA has well and truly met its match at UNC…

        Who else wants to pile on and add another dot?

      • BigAl says

        Interesting. I’m sure her PhD in English will help her evaluate Penn State’s problems logically and unemotionally (not). We probably should be greatful she doesn’t have a PhD in Women’s Studies with a concentration in Feminist Liberation theory.

        The Southern part is a surprise, I was expecting someone from New Yawk or Lonk Island. I’m guessing that Gitenstein is her husband’s name.

        The Carolina connection is too funny. I wonder if my distant cousin Charlie is having second thoughts about spending millions to get Carolina to name their jock support building after him.

        • says

          All of “my people” don’t come from Long Island. We’ve even been known to live in the non-promised land of Alabama and Mississippi. In Bobby’s case, her family was the only Jewish family in the town of her birth, Florala, Alabama.

          Her husband is Don Hart, who grew up in the same town.

          So much for your assumptions.


          • BigAl says

            Ouch. That must have been a pretty rough childhood. Catholics aren’t welcome in those kinds of towns, let alone being Jewish.

            Actually, my assumption wasn’t completely random. The 1920 census showed only one Gitenstein and he lived on the Upper East Side and worked in the garment industry. He wife was Rosa and he had a daughter named Rhoda – which might explain the “R”.

            BTW “stein” doesn’t always mean Jewish. There are plenty of PA Dutch named Stein (although its usually Anglicized to Stine)

  2. Joe says

    Regarding the Ed Ray revelations, I sent the following message to Don Van Natta at ESPN:

    Saw this article today on the content of an interview in the Oregonian where President Ed Ray states that the Penn State Death Penalty was never an option by the NCAA Executive Committee and it certainly was not a requirement (mandate) by Emmert that PS President Erickson had to sign the consent decree or have the death penalty applied in lieu of the sanctions.

    I read your article on this topic, but after reading this story something doesn’t add up. Being the journalist I know you are, I have faith you’ll want to find out just what in the world is going on here!

    Did Emmert make the threat of the death penalty up to get Erickson to sign? Seems like some coercion on his part.”

    To which believe it or not he replied:

    “Thanks, Joe. I am aware of Ray’s comments and will be looking into the discrepancy. There is an odd disconnect here.

    I stand by my story.

    All the best, Don”

    No one is questioning your story Don, you just never interviewed Ed Ray!

    We’ll see if he does any digging. This is better than prime time TV!

    • says

      You betcha!

      Good going with van Natta. He needed to be shaken up, and I bet that you were the only one who has taken him to task on this particular aspect of the story.

      You’ve got him off balance now. He won’t be standing by his story much longer. How can he? Ed Ray is on record with two different publications. Is van Natta calling Ray a liar? You’re right, he just never interviewed this key player.

      He’s going to have to do some digging just to wipe the potential egg off his face when the shit hits the fan.


      • Joe says

        I figured I would give him a week or so and if nothing is posted on ESPN, I’ll send him a little reminder that we’re waiting. Don’t have my hopes up-I’m not sure if this whole thing is starting to lose some of it’s cachet or not, but hey it doesn’t cost me anything for postage.

        If you or anyone else cares to drop him a note, his email address is:


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