Neil Rudel

Pry ascending to his biggest stage

UNIVERSITY PARK - When Bob Shoop left Penn State's defensive coordinator position for a similar job at Tennessee after last season, several Nittany Lion players told James Franklin he didn't need to search hard for Shoop's successor.He was right down the hall.Of course, Franklin knew that.Brent ...

Griping publicly doesn’t help Penn State

James Franklin went 0-1 at the Big Ten Media Days.In two-plus years, we've learned that Franklin is an excellent representative of Penn State and has strong recruiting, leadership and communication skills.There are far more questions about his coaching ability, but even that's not entirely fair ...

Pitt’s call on beer hits spot

Some recent news items in sports worthy of comment while wondering how many saw this big of a dropoff coming for the 2016 Pirates:ITEM: Pitt to sell beer at Heinz Field.This is a decision that shouldn't be criticized.If you haven't noticed, college sports long ago became big business, and if ...

Rudel: Chambers sees the light at PSU

Patrick Chambers was right at home during the Bishop Guilfoyle Marauder Club's annual spring luncheon Friday at Park Hills Country Club.As one of 12 children from an Irish-Catholic family in Philadelphia, Chambers quickly drew on his roots."I'm floored by the passion everyone here has for BG," ...

West follows heart home

As Doug West worked through some morning pancakes earlier this week, a couple of days removed from being named head boys basketball coach at Altoona Area High School, his alma mater, he pondered the number of stops he's made since his NBA playing career ended in 2001.From high school athletic ...

‘Chopping’ at bit to help Altoona searches

"Neil? This is Dick Lockard. Can we borrow the Mirror helicopter?"I chuckle."Well, sure, Dick - but I'm driving. Company policy. I figured you'd be calling. You know it's reserved for special occasions, like Altoona High searches.""Yeah, and we've got two."I correct him that it's three if you ...

PSU needs patience to be virtue

The Nittany Nation just completed a week unlike one it's ever seen.It began with defensive coordinator Bob Shoop accepting a similar position at Tennessee and continued with six more defections.Offensive line coach Herb Hand left for Auburn, graduating seniors (with eligibility left) Geno Lewis ...

‘Super’ night awaiting Kostelniks

The Kostelnik family is holding a reunion Friday night at Central Cambria High School.And the honoree will no doubt be looking down proudly.Ron Kostelnik, a native of Colver, a Green Bay Packer legend as a defensive tackle and the only NFL player in Central Cambria history, died in 1993 at the ...

Rudel: Franklin, staff hit crossroads

Most fair judgments of a college football head-coaching hiring take place after four years.That time span gives a coach a fair opportunity to recruit a full roster of upperclassmen and implement the kind of system he sees fit.Verdicts prior to that are premature, and beyond are patient.James ...

McSorley whets appetite for 2016

JACKSONVILLE - Down 24-3 in the fourth quarter of Saturday's TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia and with injured Christian Hackenberg done for the day, Penn State appeared on its way to a 35-point drubbing.Which, given the circumstances, almost could have been understood if not forgiven.Instead, ...

For Hack, clock about to strike midnight

JACKSONVILLE - The biggest question concerning the Penn State football program - whether Christian Hackenberg is in fact playing his final game today and will move on to the NFL - has yet to be answered.At least verbally.Hackenberg read a prepared statement in August politely requesting the ...

PSU’s Garrity upholding family legacy

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - The irony is not lost on Gregg Garrity.His father, Gregg, made the most famous catch in Penn State history, a diving gem in the end zone from Todd Blackledge in the 1982 Sugar Bowl that clinched the first national championship for the Nittany Lions and Joe Paterno.The ...

Penn State welcomes Moorhead

UNIVERSITY PARK - James Franklin wasn't his typical "awesome" self on Wednesday.Oh, Franklin still thanked everyone for coming, but he was a bit more subdued than usual while introducing Joe Moorhead, the Nittany Lions' new offensive coordinator.And he admitted why. Moorhead's arrival, while ...

Flash, Dukes turn back clock

JOHNSTOWN - It's not an easy decision to play arguably your most attractive non-conference game at a neutral site.But that's exactly what Rob Krimmel and the Saint Francis men's basketball program were willing to do in hosting Duquesne at the Cambria County War Memorial here Saturday ...

Baron still thriving as underdog

Jim Baron is back in central Pennsylvania tonight, some 28-plus years and 450 victories since he landed on Aldrich Avenue in Altoona as a 33-year-old head coach at Saint Francis.Baron has coached against Penn State before, splitting a pair of games in 2009 while guiding Rhode Island, including ...

Nittany Lions can’t hang with upper tier

EAST LANSING, Mich. - As the turnovers mounted and Michigan State worked its way toward naming its final score, there was a striking image along the Penn State sidelines Saturday at Spartan Stadium.Striking, at least, to me, having now watched parts of five decades of Nittany Lion football.I'm ...

Rudel: Franklin’s patience, loyalty being tested

Through two years, James Franklin has learned much about Penn State and its fans and vice versa.We've seen an excellent representative who embraces the many good qualities on which Penn State has prided itself over the years such as academic integrity and positive community involvement.And ...

Penn State wastes too many opportunities

UNIVERSITY PARK - Since Penn State started playing Big Ten football 22 years ago, there has been no opponent that the Nittany Lion camp has felt benefitted more from questionable officiating than Michigan.Witness: The 2002 game after which Joe Paterno called for a re-evaluation of conference ...

Signature victory available today

UNIVERSITY PARK - James Franklin has purposely avoided a couple of direct questions about what a signature victory would do for the growth of his Nittany Lion program.That's because his two-year Penn State tenure to this point doesn't include one.Rather than admit motivational speeches aren't ...

Timeout! Franklin squanders Lions’ last chance

EVANSTON, Ill. - James Franklin typically opens his post-game press conference by thanking the media for making the trip.He diverted the usual custom Saturday, with good reason, because he had other things on his mind - such as his role in Penn State's 23-21 loss to Northwestern at Ryan ...