The date that Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced

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The date that Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced

From Comcast SportsNetThere's little doubt former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces a long prison sentence. In a few weeks, he'll find out just how long.A judge announced Monday he will sentence Sandusky on Oct. 9, nearly four months after Sandusky was convicted in the child molestation scandal that brought shame to Penn State.Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of sex abuse involving 10 boys. Prosecutors said some of the assaults took place on the Penn State campus.The 68-year-old Sandusky, given his age and the serious nature of the crimes, is likely to receive a sentence that will keep him in prison for life. He is jailed pending sentencing and maintains his innocence.Judge John Cleland scheduled a morning hearing at the courthouse in Bellefonte to determine if Sandusky should be classified as a sexually violent predator, a designation that subjects a convict to intense reporting requirements upon release. An assessment board has recommended Sandusky for the designation, though it's expected to have little practical effect since he stands to die in prison.Sandusky will be sentenced immediately after the hearing. The judge ordered defense attorneys and prosecutors to submit written statements "intended to aid the court in the imposition of sentence" by Oct. 5.Sandusky's attorney Joe Amendola said his client might make a statement at the hearing."Jerry remains in relatively good spirits and has spent most of his time in custody preparing for his sentencing and his appeal," Amendola said via email.Attorney Tom Kline, representing a young man who testified during Sandusky's trial that he was fondled in a school shower in 2001, said Monday he expects his client either to testify at sentencing or to supply a statement to the court."We expect to provide what is requested by the attorney general's office to assure justice is achieved in Mr. Sandusky's sentencing," Kline said in an email.Attorney general's office spokesman Nils Frederiksen said prosecutors will make a sentencing recommendation to the judge.Also Monday, two former Penn State administrators facing charges related to the sex abuse scandal asked a judge to be tried separately.Defense lawyers are seeking to split the criminal cases against former athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz.Curley and Schultz are charged in Dauphin County with failing to report suspected child abuse and lying to a grand jury. They have pleaded not guilty and face a January trial.A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the defense motions. Prosecutors have until Oct. 1 to file a response with the court.In the Sandusky case, a long sentence, like a conviction, can help victims feel they were believed, said Kristen Houser, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. But she added that justice achieved through the court system is not a cure-all."Having him convicted and having him sentenced does not alter one iota the daily baggage that he inflicted upon them that they have to figure out how to manage every day for the rest of their lives," she said.The abuse scandal touched off by Sandusky's Nov. 5 arrest rocked Penn State, bringing down famed coach Joe Paterno and the university's president and leading the NCAA to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university's football program.Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, hired by school trustees to conduct an investigation into the university's handling of abuse complaints against Sandusky, concluded that Paterno, ousted President Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz concealed a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to protect Penn State from bad publicity.The late coach's family, as well as Spanier, Curley and Schultz, have hotly disputed Freeh's assertions.Some alumni groups have also attacked the Freeh report and said Penn State and the NCAA should not have accepted its conclusions.

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Rearranging priorities helped make 2015 Redskins more successful

Rearranging priorities helped make 2015 Redskins more successful

RICHMOND—Redskins training camp gets underway tomorrow here at the Bon Secours Training Center. The team has high expectations after winning the NFC East last year. The priorities have shifted since Jay Gruden took over as the head coach in 2014.

“I want to make sure we make the right decisions on players, No. 1,” he said during a press conference during his first training camp. “We have to make sure we get a good look at all the young guys, all the free agents, all the undrafted free agents, the draft picks, the veteran free agents, and make sure when we make our final cut-down we make the right choices and hopefully these players will make it very difficult on us in making those decisions.”

That all sounds great but what about winning games? Where was that in the pecking order or priorities? The young guys and undrafted free agents can help you out here and there. But if you miss on a couple of them it’s not going to kill you. Failure to make preparing to win games during the coming season the top priority will kill you. The Redskins went 4-12.

Gruden was singing a different tune when he was asked what the priorities were as the team started camp a year ago.

“We’re trying to improve as a football team, number one,” he said near the start of training camp in 2015. “That’s all we’re trying to do every day is improve a certain area of our game. Then, we’re also trying to critique our players and find out who our best 53 are.”

So the emphasis on improving the team seemed to work as the Redskins went 9-7 and were surprise NFC East winners.

Sure, there’s an element of coach speak in all of this. But don’t underestimate the importance of what the head coach is focused on. If the coaches spend an inordinate amount of time in meetings trying to sort out the last half dozen players on the roster there is less time to prepare the starters for Week 1 and beyond.

I expect Gruden to order his priorities the same way this year. Focusing on the play at the top of the roster will bear more fruit that worrying about which fifth cornerback or tenth offensive lineman to keep.

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Cousins on contract: 'Don't think we really did' get close to a deal

Cousins on contract: 'Don't think we really did' get close to a deal

In his first time speaking out since officially being franchise tagged on July 15, Kirk Cousins confirmed what most who followed his negotiations thought to be true: He and the Redskins weren't exactly on the same page.

"I don't think we really did," the quarterback said on 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny show Wednesday when asked if the two sides ever got close to a deal. As he talked more about his contract situation, however, he made it clear that he's harboring no hard feelings against his team despite the fact he didn't receive a new extension.

"I always said going back to the end of last season that I wanted to play where I’m wanted," Cousins explained. "The franchise tag showed that I am wanted. Now, maybe not beyond this year, but I am wanted."

That relaxed outlook is something the 27-year-old has maintained all offseason. He pointed out that a few other players around the league were tagged as well, and thinks it's something that can easily be handled in the future. But don't let Cousins' steady demeanor totally fool you.

He's still going to do whatever he can to show his doubters that he's deserving of a long-term deal — and the massive dollar amount that'll come with it.

"I feel good about having this one season to prove myself and see what I can do," he said. "I think I do relish the opportunity to prove to people I’m capable of playing well and being here for a long time."

The end of that quote makes it sound like Cousins does still envision a future in Washington. His performance in 2016 will go a long way in determining whether that feeling is mutual.

RELATED: SANTANA MOSS SENDS FLOWERS TO CHIEF ZEE'S FUNERAL

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Nats place Stephen Drew on DL, call up infielder Difo

Nats place Stephen Drew on DL, call up infielder Difo

One day after the Nats got two players back from injury, they saw another go down, as infielder Stephen Drew was placed on the 15-day disabled list with vertigo-like symptoms.

Drew's DL stint is retroactive to July 24. The Nats called up infielder Wilmer Difo to take his place on the roster. 

Drew, 33, has only appeared in one game since July 17. That was on July 23 when he led the Nats to victory over the Padres with a walk-off RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth. That followed nearly a week-long battle with what was first described as the flu. He felt dizziness, had trouble sleeping and keeping food down.

An 11-year MLB veteran, Drew has thrived on the Nats' bench this season. Through 103 at-bats he has seven homers, 17 RBI and an .882 OPS. Drew has made the transition from everyday player to the bench look easy.

Difo, 24, debuted with the Nationals last May and has appeared in 15 MLB games. This is his first stint with the Nats this season. A switch-hitter, Difo is batting .255 with five homers and 33 RBI in 96 games with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.

[RELATED: Papelbon's struggles continue, Ramos heating up for Nats]

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