Penn St. report on Sandusky due out Thursday

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Penn St. report on Sandusky due out Thursday

From Comcast SportsNet
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- The team brought in by Penn State to investigate how the university handled molestation accusations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will release its highly anticipated report Thursday, with the school's reputation and future direction hanging in the balance. The university trustees who paid for the probe, led by former FBI agent and federal judge Louis Freeh, will pore through it Thursday to see what it says about university employees, recommendations for policy changes and even their own knowledge about rumors Sandusky had abused children on campus. Penn State alumni, college football fans and the family of Sandusky's former boss Joe Paterno will look to see if it sheds new light on Paterno's actions, particularly after a graduate assistant complained to him in 2001 about Sandusky showering in a team locker room with a boy. School administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, awaiting trial on charges they lied to the Sandusky grand jury and didn't properly report child abuse, will find out whether Freeh's investigators uncovered anything that might help -- or hurt -- their criminal defense. And former Penn State president Graham Spanier, who has not been charged with any crime, could discover whether emails or other records disclose more about his role. Lawyers for the young men who testified against Sandusky, and others planning civil lawsuits, will be reading the report closely for what it might mean regarding litigation. "I'm going to be looking for what we believe will be full and complete disclosure," said Harrisburg lawyer Ben Andreozzi, who represents the young man described as Victim 4 in court records. "It's going to be convenient for the university to release certain information but to hold back on some of the details concerning potential information that could expose them to liability." Andreozzi said he also represents four other young men and is evaluating their potential civil claims related to the Sandusky scandal. In announcing that the report will go online at 9 a.m. Thursday, Freeh took pains to say no one outside his team will get copies beforehand, including the trustees. Investigators will hold a news conference that morning in Philadelphia. That day, trustees will start a two-day meeting in Scranton where they can respond to the report. A spokesman for the trustees said Wednesday the board held an informational conference call Thursday night, hours after Freeh announced the timing of the report's release. David La Torre declined to discuss the call further when asked to confirm an ESPN report the trustees discussed how they would respond to the report. "I think we'll find that this thing revolves so tightly around coach Paterno, and I would hope the Freeh report is much broader than that and addresses the university as a whole -- and how this culture was handled or mishandled correctly -- and comes to some closure on that," trustee Ryan McCombie said Tuesday. "The people who loved Joe Paterno will still love him when this is over," McCombie said. "The people who disliked him may feel they have ammunition to continue to dislike him." Paterno died of cancer in January, but his family issued a statement late Tuesday saying leaks have made them question the fairness of the Freeh group's process. They defended the Hall of Fame coach, saying he did not know Sandusky was a child molester and did not prevent a proper investigation. Sandusky, 68, was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse last month and awaits sentencing. Prosecutors described how Sandusky culled the most vulnerable children from his charity for at-risk youth and used gifts and his access to Penn State facilities to abuse them over a 15-year span. The Paterno family took aim at a February 2001 email by Curley, recently reported by CNN, saying he had a change of heart about reporting the shower incident to authorities after speaking with Paterno. Penn State has disclosed that Freeh's probe turned up emails among top officials that have been given to prosecutors. "When the facts come out, it will be clear that Joe Paterno never gave Tim Curley any instructions to protect Sandusky or limit any investigation of his actions," the Paterno family's statement read. Spanier's lawyers on Tuesday broke a months-long silence to deny suggestions that he participated in a cover-up with the image of Penn State and its powerful and lucrative football program at stake. They said Spanier was never informed that Sandusky may have been abusing children. "At no time in the more than 16 years of his presidency at Penn State was Dr. Spanier told of an incident involving Jerry Sandusky that described child abuse, sexual misconduct or criminality of any kind, and he reiterated that during his interview with Louis Freeh and his colleagues," said attorneys Peter Vaira and Elizabeth Ainslie. Spanier's comments last week to the Freeh group echoed his testimony before a state grand jury that neither Curley nor Schultz informed him of the sexual nature of what graduate assistant Mike McQueary saw. CNN reported an email showed Spanier was "supportive" of a decision by Curley and Schultz not to report the incident. Spanier warned, however, that they might "become vulnerable for not having reported it," CNN said. Spanier's lawyers said the emails were "distorting the public record and creating a false picture." Both Spanier and Paterno were ousted by school trustees a few days after Sandusky's arrest in November. Michael Boni, who represents the young man called Victim 1, who testified against Sandusky, said the Freeh report will "help inform" the direction of civil litigation. "Maybe what's been leaked out is most of it, I have no idea," he said. "I certainly hope not." Tom Kline, an attorney for Victim 5, said he is particularly interested in the circumstances surrounding Sandusky's retirement in 1999, a year after a woman triggered a university police investigation by complaining Sandusky had showered with her son. Sandusky was not charged at the time, but was convicted of charges related to that incident last month. "We already know that Penn State knew enough by February of 2001 to have stopped Sandusky dead in his tracks, which would have prevented the assault on my client six months later," Kline said. Lawyers for Curley and Schultz, meanwhile, are expected to participate in a closed-door conference call on Wednesday afternoon with the attorney general's office and Judge Todd Hoover, who is presiding over their case in Harrisburg. Curley, on leave as athletic director, and Schultz, retired as vice president for business and finance, could learn when they will stand trial. Freeh and his team of lawyers and former law enforcement officials interviewed more than 400 people, asking questions that went beyond Sandusky and the child sex-abuse scandal and into the relationship between football program and the university administration. Freeh said in November that he would not interfere with the state's criminal probe but promised to conduct his review in "a thorough, fair, comprehensive manner, leaving no stone unturned, and without any fear or favor." In January, trustees adopted interim recommendations from Freeh, including changes to policies for programs involving minors, reporting of allegations of abuse; and athletic department security. The NCAA is reviewing how Penn State exerted "institutional control" in relation to the Sandusky matter, and whether university officials complied with policies that pertain to honesty and ethical conduct. The NCAA could open a more formal investigation that may expose Penn State to sanctions.

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Trea Turner homers, Tanner Roark solid as Nationals beat Marlins

Trea Turner homers, Tanner Roark solid as Nationals beat Marlins

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park.

How it happened: The Nationals understand all too well how unpredictable and random the MLB postseason can be, how it often doesn't matter where games are played or even who starts those games. The only guarantee in the playoffs is that, no matter which teams face off, plenty of the unexpected will happen. Put simply, it's going to get weird.

But, if given the choice, one would rather take their chances in their home park to both begin a series, and end it if a Game 5 is necessary. The Nats will have that privilege as on Saturday, they locked up home field advantage in the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

That means, to start, they won't have to face superstar pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the road. He'll have to test his luck in their house in a matchup of Cy Young-winning aces with Max Scherzer. Surely those with tickets to Friday's Game 1 won't complain about that pitching matchup.

The Nats earning home field advantage was made official by the Dodgers' 3-0 loss to the Giants, but soon after that the Nats beat the Marlins 2-1 for good measure. They earned the win behind another solid performance by Tanner Roark, who polished off his best regular season as a pro, one that might earn him a few Cy Young votes. He went 5 2/3 innings with one run allowed on 109 pitches. 

Trea Turner led the way on offense, as he has so often done in the second half of this season. He had two hits, including his 13th homer of the season, another no-doubter to left field. Bryce Harper drove in the first run on a single to center, a hit that scored Turner. Michael Taylor had two singles and a steal. Danny Espinosa also had a pair of knocks.

The Nationals bounced back from their Friday night loss and have now won five of their last eight.

What it means: The Nats improved their overall record to 94-67 with one more game left to go. They are 9-9 against the Marlins this season.

Roark closes a strong year: Roark didn't go as deep as he often does, but Saturday was certainly a successful final stop on the way to the postseason. The Nats right-hander gave up three hits and four walks, but only surrendered one run. He limited the damage from those walks against a team that has had his number for the most part this season. Roark's lone run was on a single by Chris Johnson in the sixth inning, the final at-bat before he was pulled for Blake Treinen.

Roark received a standing ovation from the Nationals crowd as he walked to the dugout, a well-deserved show of appreciation for his 2016 season. Roark earned his 16th win, a career-high, and finished with a 2.83 ERA. That's slightly better than the 2.85 mark he had in 2014, and it's good for seventh among all MLB starters.

Roark logged 210 innings through 34 outings, 33 of them starts. He lasted seven innings or more in 18 starts this season and in 15 of those held opponents to two earned runs or less. Roark has established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball and will be extremely important for the Nats in the playoffs with Stephen Strasburg out indefinitely.

Turner gets two hits again: It was another multi-hit game for Turner, who now has 34 of them in 72 total outings this season, 69 of them starts. He also walked on Saturday and stole a base. The Nats rookie is currently batting .342 with 13 homers, 39 RBI, 53 runs and 32 steals. Turner has cooled off in recent weeks, but now has four hits in his last two games, one a homer and one a triple.

Harper gets a hit: After going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Friday, his first game back since jamming his left thumb, it was a positive sign to see Harper land his first hit, an RBI single, despite the fact he also struck out twice. Harper only has so many opportunities to get his rhythm back with the season ending on Sunday. He will likely get some action in a simulated game this week, but that can only help so much.

Up next: The Nats and Marlins meet on Sunday for the final game of the regular season, a 3:05 p.m. start with Max Scherzer (19-7, 2.82) set to face off with right-hander Tom Koehler (9-13, 4.15).

[RELATED: Dusty Baker already preparing Nats rookies for pressure of playoffs]

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Orioles blow 3-run lead, playoff hopes on hold

Orioles blow 3-run lead, playoff hopes on hold

NEW YORK—The Orioles looked as if they were nearly in the postseason. Now, they must wait. 

After taking a 3-0 lead over the New York Yankees, the Orioles surrendered seven unanswered runs and lost 7-3 before 33,222 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, 

Wade Miley, who gave up two runs in six innings and took a 3-2 lead into the seventh gave up a game-tying home run to Tyler Austin with one out in the seventh. 

Brad Brach (10-4) allowed four runs in the eighth. He walked Jacoby Ellsbury with one out in the eighth. Chase Headley doubled, and Austin Romine singled to center, and the Yankees (84-77) had a 5-3 lead. 

Brett Gardner’s double scored two more runs in the eighth, and New York led 7-3 after eight. 

The Orioles (88-73) can still make the postseason on Sunday if they win and Detroit or Toronto loses one of its final two games against Atlanta or Boston. 

The Blue Jays play at the Red Sox and Tigers are at the Braves on Saturday night. 

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the second when Mark Trumbo doubled to right. Chris Davis walked with one out, and both runners moved up on an infield out by Jonathan Schoop. Michael Bourn singled to score Trumbo and Davis. 

Manny Machado hit his 37th home run in the third off Luis Severino and the Orioles led 3-0. 

A week ago, Miley came within one out of a complete game, and he followed that one run performance by pitching four scoreless innings, and allowing a run in the fifth on Tyler Austin’s RBI single. 

In the sixth, Billy Butler and Rob Refsnyder singled with two outs, and Chase Headley’s double scored Butler, and the Orioles lead was 3-2.

NOTE: Kevin Gausman (8-12, 3.66) faces Luis Cessa (4-3, 4.18) on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.