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Crystal ball focuses on PSU in ’08

January 1, 2008
By Neil Rudel
It’s that time of the year again, time to look into my blue and white crystal ball in hopes of securing a glimpse of what lies ahead for the Nittany Lions in 2008.

Let’s see now ...

n Penn State offers to sponsor a sensitivity training program for NCAA Division I-A cheerleaders and schedules its first session in College Station, Texas.

n Tom Bradley is named defensive coordinator at Michigan.

n Anthony Morelli’s arm strength draws rave reviews at the NFL Combine, and he’s projected as a mid-round selection.

n At a fundraising dinner in Philadelphia, Joe Paterno announces he’d like to coach five more seasons, prompting Graham Spanier, seated nearby at the head table, to start choking.

n Tim Curley jumps in to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on Spanier.

n The Board of Trustees balks at hiring a criminal defense attorney as a full-time employee of the football program.

n The Big Ten, raising a white flag, calls a press conference to announce it’s now offering the Big Ten Network on an ala carte basis.

n Paterno wants to name his successor, but Spanier tells him the university wants to open the search to include outside candidates.

Russ Rose is announced as the compromised choice.

n Prior to the Lady Lions’ final home game, Coquese Washington is given a warm ovation.

n In the wake of the cheating scandal, the NCAA strips Florida State of its 2007 victories, putting Bobby Bowden five behind JoePa.

n During the annual spring football coaches clinic, Jay Paterno reiterates that he uses XBox and Playstation games to help improve his quarterbacks’ reaction time.

n Penn State confirms the addition of a new varsity sport — ultimate fighting. A preliminary roster of Chris Baker, Anthony Scirrotto, Navorro Bowman, Knowledge Timmons and Phillip Taylor is quickly formed.

n Saying he wants them ‘‘best two out of three,’’ Ed DeChellis confirms Rider as the men’s basketball team’s season opener.

n JoePa agrees to serve as a road marshal to help with campus traffic control during the Arts Festival.

n The Big Ten creates a stir with the decision to mandate lie-detector testing among its officials.

n Rene Portland declines an offer to return to the Jordan Center to be honored at the Lady Lions’ season opener.

n Three writers pass out during the Coastal Carolina game when temperatures exceed 95 degrees in the antiquated Beaver Stadium press box. Told of the development, Paterno was disappointed it was only three.

n Pat Devlin takes over for starter Daryll Clark during the Oregon State game.

n Thanks to a no-turnover performance, the Lions beat Michigan, 6-3.

Afterward, Paterno says, ‘‘If we didn’t fumble inside our 15 last year, we would have won that game, 9-7, so don’t tell me we need a spread offense.’’

n Paterno gets a kick out of a Columbus television station’s invitation for him to do a commercial promoting Pepto-Bismol on the eve of the Nittany Lions’ visit to Ohio State.

n Though he redshirts to help learn the offense in football, Terrelle Pryor makes his first start for the basketball team against Rider.

n Penn State fans, readers of this column and JoePa himself are extended best wishes for a happy, healthy 2009.

Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or

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