Penn State scandal fallout could extend to donors

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Penn State scandal fallout could extend to donors

By Mark Scolforo
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- One major Penn State donor says he might write the university out of his will, while others say neither the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal nor recent unpopular actions by the university's leadership are making them rethink their financial support for the school.

But how those issues resonate with alumni and other financial supporters -- groups whose philanthropy has sparked a building boom on campus in recent years -- could have repercussions for decades to come.

The university says it's too soon to gauge the effect on fundraising of the recent decisions to tear down Joe Paterno's statue and acquiesce to severe NCAA penalties, but there are signs of discontent.

"I happen to believe that giving money to this particular board of trustees and this particular president is flushing it down the toilet," said Chicago venture capitalist George Middlemas, a 10 million-plus donor and Joe Paterno loyalist since they met in the 1960s. "The university says, Well, our contributions are up.' That's because people are fulfilling their pledges, but they're not going to offer any new pledges, as far as I can tell."

Middlemas said this week he had plans to donate 50 percent of his residual net worth to Penn State after he died, but was reconsidering that decision.

"The longer these bozos stay in their position, the easier it's going to be for me to sign the paperwork that's in process right now," he said.

Super donor Lloyd Huck, a retired Merck & Co. chairman and former president of the school's trustees, called the scandal "a terrible situation," but he sees it as confined to several people and not something that will cause him to halt his contributions, which at last count totaled more than 40 million.

"It has not changed my attitude towards the university itself," Huck said. "It's still a great institution."

Bob Capretto, an Oakmont, Pa., real estate investor and donor who played defensive back on Paterno's first team, isn't satisfied with a recent report conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh but said that won't stop him from giving in the future. He said Paterno wouldn't want that.

"I think that would be knee-jerk and I think it would be temporary," Capretto said.

State College developer Galen Dreibelbis, listed among Penn State's 5 million-plus donors, said he hasn't decided if his philanthropy will continue, but either way, he does not want any of his money being used to pay a 60 million fine imposed by the NCAA.

"I'm going to do what the NCAA didn't do," Dreibelbis said. "I'm going to wait to see all the things that happened, and see what the clear effect of this (is), and then I'll evaluate for myself."

Penn State announced earlier this month that its 2 billion For the Future campaign, set to conclude in 2014, has reached 1.6 billion ahead of schedule, and that it had received 209 million over the previous year, the second-highest total in its history.

Ira Stolzer, a retired Hallmark Cards Inc. marketing executive and a member of the university's national championship gymnastics team in the 1970s, has been active in fundraising among former Penn State athletes as part of the campaign.

"I can tell you I've been on the phone nonstop for a week, and the single theme is: how can we help?" said Stolzer, who lives in Kansas City, Kan.

Some alumni are considering a court challenge to the NCAA sanctions, although their legal standing isn't clear. Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, a group critical of the trustees formed in the wake of Sandusky's scandal, is pursuing what it calls an "exploration of legal recourse."

On Friday, the Penn State Alumni Association's executive board sent an email addressing the scandal that asked its members to act to "shore up our university and restore our reputation" by volunteering with and donating to child abuse prevention and Penn State-related organizations, by becoming more active on campus, and to "communicate and tell our story."

The experience at some other schools suggests the steady drip of bad news may not translate into a significant drop in support.

Last year, after allegations arose that a University of Miami booster had for years treated football players and recruits to nightclub outings, dinners and trips to strip clubs, the school continued to raise money aggressively, and was well on the way to reaching a 1.6 billion goal.

After the University of Alabama was penalized by the NCAA in 2002 for recruiting violations, it received 24 million for athletic department facility upgrades.

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AP writers John Zenor in Montgomery, Ala., Michael Rubinkam and Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

Virginia guard Marial Shayok transferring from program

Virginia guard Marial Shayok transferring from program

By Ben Brown

Following a disappointing end to a once-promising season, Virginia guard Marial Shayok and forward Jarred Reuter will transfer to another school, head coach Tony Bennett announced Wednesday. 

"Marial and Jarred informed me today that they are leaving the Virginia basketball program and are looking to transfer to other schools," Bennett said. "I thank Marial and Jarred for their hard work and contributions to our program, and wish them success in the future."

Shayok was the Cavaliers' second-leading scorer at 8.9 points per game, despite playing only the fifth-most minutes and regularly coming off the bench. The Ontario product scored a career-high 23 points in Virginia's win over UNC-Wilmington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Reuter averaged 10 minutes a game and averaged 3.8 points per game. 

Shayok and Reuter transferring comes at the end of a very disappointing season for Virginia. The Cavaliers began the season in the top 10 of the AP poll, and halfway through conference play they were near the top of the standings in the ACC. But that was before the team went into a major funk as they lost four of their last seven games, which dropped them to sixth in the conference standings. 

Virginia lost in the second round of the ACC Tournament to Notre Dame, and then got blasted by Florida by 26 points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

In addition to the losses of Shayok and Reuter, London Perrantes, the team's best player and leader, is graduating. 

After a rough regular season, Virginia's offseason is off to a rocky start as well. 

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VCU reportedly wastes little time finding Mike Rhoades, Will Wade's replacement

VCU reportedly wastes little time finding Mike Rhoades, Will Wade's replacement

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

Less than 24 hours after VCU saw yet another head coach in Will Wade, take off to a Power 5 school, the athletic department has already found a replacement, according to a report. 

Wasting no time, or allowing any speculation to build, the Rams have hired Mike Rhoades, the head coach of Rice, as Will Wade's replacement.

Rhoades will be the 12th coach of the men's basketball program in VCU history. 

The announcement was first reported by CBS's Gary Parrish:

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Rhoades is a former VCU assistant and associate head coach for five seasons. During his time with the Rams he helped the Shaka Smart led team to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four run in 2011.

After Smart's departure to Texas, many considered Rhoades to be on the short list of coaches that VCU would contact. His familiarity with the program and the culture was exactly what VCU was looking for in order to have continued success at the school. The athletic department went on to hire a former assistant, but instead hired Wade. 

In 2014, he took on the head coaching position at Rice where he has been for the past three years. His overall record with the Owls is 47-52 with this past year being the only one to finish above .500. Receiving a bid to the CBI Tournament, it was the Owls first postseason appearance since 2012. 

If Rhoades does not work out for the Rams, there is only one more assistant remaining from the Final Four team that has yet to take over the program. Mike Jones is currently the head coach of Radford and has been there ever since that season. 

Wade's departure was yet another in a long line of talented, up-and-coming coaches using VCU as a springboard to a high-major position.

Jeff Capel began the trend in 2006, when he left for Oklahoma after returning the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 for the first time since 1996. His replacement, Anthony Grant, led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments before leaving to take the head coaching job at Alabama. Grant's replacem,ent, Shaka Smart, led the Rams to five straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Final Four in 2011. 

Wade led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments in his two seasons and is now headed to LSU to attempt to revitalize the program.