By TPR Staff

I was on record of stating that the Penn State football program deserved to face harsh sanctions for their off the field issues involving Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno. While I do feel that it is always unfair that current players are the ones who pay for the mistakes of people from the school’s past, it is the only way that the NCAA knows how to penalize a program. But if the NCAA is penalizing Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti for the wrong doings of the former coaches and administrators at the school, that is just wrong.

Mauti is a very talented linebacker with the Nittany Lions, and this is a school who was forever known as “Linebacker U.” They have produced that many solid players at that position. Mauti is the latest of many at his position at the unheralded Penn State football program.

So when the quarter-finalists were announced for the Lombardi trophy watch list and Mauti was nowhere to be found on that list, it is leading many to wonder and speculate whether or not he is being penalized or punished for playing for Penn State after all of what happened in the past.

If that is the case, it is not right.

Like I said, I do believe that Penn State deserved to be punished, and punished more severely than almost any other program in the history of college football. While it may not have been completely fair, I would not have argued or blinked twice if the NCAA had given the Penn State football program a death sentence because of the severity of the crimes committed and the number of people who allowed it to happen.

But to continue to punish the current players who had absolutely nothing to do with what took place in years past is not fair, and it would border on bullying.

I am not sure if that is the case. But the Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the best linebacker in college football. Through the first quarter of the season, Mauti was named as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice. He was voted as the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week as well. But to not see his name on this list is slightly controversial, especially considering that four other players from the Big Ten conference were on the list, and they have not received the honors that Mauti has in 2012.

Michigan State’s William Gholston (DE), Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins (DT), Purdue’s Kawann Short (DT) and Wisconsin’s Chris Borland (LB) are all on the list of 25. Mauti currently is fourth in the Big Ten in tackles and second in interceptions.

You tell me why he is not on this list if we are strictly judging by ”leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority and discipline,” which is what the Rotary Club of Houston says the Lombardi Trophy is based upon. This could be purely the conspiracy theorist in me, but I smell a rat.

And that rat smells like the NCAA.






Filed under: Breaking News, NCAA

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Readers Comments (48)

  1. avatar Charles Kindt

    Mr. Kelley comes across as just another Penn State hater.

    • avatar Marc

      You can’t agree with the sanctions and disagree with how the players/team is being treated. If you agree with the “legal” system the NCAA has created then you have to agree with all of it not in part or parts.

      • avatar John

        Actually I can agree with any Part or disagree with any part, as I see fit!

      • avatar Rooster

        The NCAA is NOT a LEGAL system. It is a group of arbitrary decision-makers whose interest in to protect the NCAA at all costs. It is not satisfied that the entire administration involved in the issue have been dismissed, it wants more blood. It is really not an NCAA issue in that it has nothing to do with the games or players. It should quit pretending to be a legal system and let THE legal system and the Trustees do their job. This is absurd and the only way it can happen is that the NCAA is a monopoly that makes up its own rules.Killing a football program does nothing to remedy the problem or help the victims. It might as well have given Ohio State the death penalty, because it is just as irrelevant.

    • avatar Rick

      Exactly. The criminal is being punished -deservedly. The other “alleged” criminals are getting their day in court. When did we start punishing the bystanders, i.e. the students, alumni, etc. Not just here but everywhere the NCAA wants to flex its muscle.

    • avatar Bob Andrews

      Spare me your feeling’s that PSU has been wronged by this “one thing”. PSU will survive thru its alumni, players like Mauti (who continues to stick it you, the press, the NCAA, and PSU HATERS) thru his speaking and playing skills. The more the NCAA sticks it to us, the stronger we are in our resolve to support PSU.

    • avatar mtnit

      Well. Surprise! Surprise!
      Another sports writer that doesn’t do his homework.
      You make statements about the NCAA doing the wrong thing concerning Michael Mauti. At least you got that right.
      YOu need to look a little deeper into the Freeh Report, how it came about, who is behind it, why was Freeh law firm purchased by Pepper Hamilton? The list goes on.

  2. avatar Fact Checker

    Shouldn’t you have written the number of people who ALLEGEDLY allowed it to happen. You wrote this as fact, however, a cover up has never been proven.

    “because of the severity of the crimes committed and the number of people who allowed it to happen”

  3. avatar Mark

    You are 100% correct that Mauti is being slighted. After everything, you can’t have a Penn State football player being honored. I mean look at what Mauti stands for! Look at what he did! Remind me again what the Penn State football team did wrong?

    • avatar Fred Reith

      You are absolutely correct. I always though you were innocent until proven guilty in this country. The NCAAF didn’t even have their own hearing on this matter. they get 60 million for WHAT? At least give Penn State their day in court to prove their case. Where do these creeps come from, another planet!

  4. avatar Joe

    Facts? What are those?!

    You wrote: “But the Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the best linebacker in college football.”

    Straight from the Lombardi award website: “The Rotary Lombardi Award is given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year.”

    In 42 years only 8 linebackers have won the award.

  5. avatar C Schlosser

    I think that Michael Maute is being punished for standing up for Penn State and for his visible role in helping to keep so many players at PSU. It seems that the sanctions somewhat backfired on the NCAA. I think they really wanted to see a mass exodus and their dream for the demise of Penn State was not fulfilled. Yes, the next few years will be tough but, as the old saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get tougher”.

    • avatar dagot

      I keep saying, the NCAA is endangering the health, lives and potential livelihood of Penn State players by limiting how many (or FEW) players are available to play for PSU. As players are hurt, the chance that more payers are exposed to injury during games increases. (I also say frick the NCAA.)

  6. avatar Ricky

    The NCAA exists solely for 3 reasons: to keep student athletes unpaid; to ensure that student athletes are actually students; and to profit from them. That’s it. End of story. That’s why it was created and why it continues to exist. Every single bylaw it has relates to those 3 reasons.

    Please explain to me how the events at Penn State–no matter how awful–involved the NCAA at all. Being sanctioned by the NCAA in a situation like this is absurd as being sanctioned by NASCAR.

  7. avatar lando calrissian

    Kelley is right. Mauti is being discrminated against. But Kelley’s lack of knowledge about the players who are considered for that honor really taint his opinion. Also, the fact that he has a hard on about PSU makes me want to slap him. The NCAA over stepped their bounds, found an easy target they thought no one other than those close to PSU would object to and then like a cheap shot linebacker piled on…shameful. Kelley has cast his lot with them.

  8. avatar K. John

    First off, “Like I said, I do believe that Penn State deserved to be punished, and punished more severely than almost any other program in the history o college football. ”

    If you actually believe that, I have a bridge to sell you because if you believe that, you haven’t done your homework, or are gullible. There is currently no evidence that Penn State did anything wrong. Period. In fact, the over-whelming evidence suggested that Mike McQeuary’s initial report was not nearly as bad as people think and that Penn State handled it appropriately. Not that abstract ideas such as evidence or facts matter when there is a witch to be hunted.

    And yes, Mike Mauti is be targeted. Through six games, he is the best linebacker in the country and quite possibly the best defender. His team-mate Gerald Hodges has quietly outplayed every other linebacker in the country outside of Mauti and the Golden Domer.

  9. avatar Chirodad

    Mr. Kelley you seem to contradict yourself regarding Penn State’s punishment. I’ve been a diehard Nittany Lions fan for 40 years and I too believe IF A REAL AND THOROUGH investigation warrants it then the NCAA should punish the hell of the university. However, it is morally, ethically and I would submit legally wrong to punish former, present and future student athletes that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the entire mess. In fact, the NCAA messed up. Letting them play without sanctions would have put more money in their coffers from bowl games. Anyway, punishing the student athletes is just flat out, and unjustifiably wrong!

  10. avatar linda

    who cares what you think? who are you?

  11. avatar Jon

    Of course there’s a “rat” involved—NCAA’s Mark EmmeRAT.

  12. avatar Alex Schiavo

    Lombardi Award now officially rendered
    Invalid and irrelevant – the very best Linebacker
    Has been ignored! If you watch games in
    Even a desultory manner, you Woukd see
    That Mauti is without question best All-Around
    LB in Football. Rotary, much likevChambers of
    Commerces, insular, anal and self-serving
    Bunch of conservative old Reactionaries!!

    • avatar Patrick

      The best linebacker in the country is named Manti Teo from Notre Dame. Yeah he is goign to be a Heisman finalist.

  13. avatar Craig Long

    Sir, I am having difficulty understanding your logic that the PSU football program should be punished, but an individual player should not. What defines a college football program? It has no owners or shareholders, it consists of coaches, players, support staff, fans and alumni. Therefore when rule violations occur it is illogical to punish the “program”, the violators should be held accountable. Most of the NCAA schools have business programs, having graduated from two, I am certain they spend great amounts of time teaching the proper alignment of responsibility, authority and accountability. However, the NCAA enforcement practices do not follow what is taught. A quick review of the PSU situation tells us that all those who were responsible for the transgressions have been fired, jailed and/or, if possible, face jail time, they have been held accountable. Seems to me your comments just feed the backward logic of the whole NCAA enforcement policy of holding the program accountable for things it an never, by definition, be responsible for. Only intelligent commentators can influence change!!!

  14. avatar bill

    You say you’d be fine if Penn State had an NCAA death penalty but you don’t like the way Mauti is being ignored. What’s the difference? Either the current players should be punished for the sins of others or they shouldn’t.

  15. avatar Ash Williams

    Has it ever occurred to any of you that schedule strength may play a small part of this equation?
    If you want that respect that you desperately crave, try playing tougher teams, and not scrimmages. There’s no glory on beating up teams that normally don’t have a chance of beating you. I.E. Temple, Navy, Virgina, Ohio

    • avatar K. John

      Have you bothered to look at the names on the list? Most of them play for teams that have played equivalent or worse schedules.

      • avatar Patrick

        Yeah I get that argument, Look at Notre Dame’s schedule. Navy, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Miami. Yeah thats a wrose ro equivilant schedule. Keep drinkingn the Kool Aid

        • avatar K. John

          Mauti is better than Teo as is Gerald Hodges. Teo would be the third best backer in Happy Valley. Notre’s Dame best linebacker since the days of Demetrius Dubose (RIP) and Devon McDonald (Bert Berry, Kinnon Tatum and Kory Minor were pretty good to) would not get a sniff of the top ten in Happy Valley during that time period and would be lucky to crack the top five since the 2005 Big Ten Title season. In fact, he wouldn’t Paul Posluszny, Dan Conner, Shawn Lee, NaVorro Bowman, Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges are or were all better college players. Then there is Lavar Arrington, Brandon Short, Andre Collins, Derek Wake. The list goes on and on. Teo is a great player and may seem awesome to you but compared to what Linebacker U has produced, he is rather average.

          • avatar Ash Williams

            I can make the same arguement about all of them as well. You’ll never know how good they really were,, because the got their stats beating up on cupcakes. How many ranked teams did they play, how many opponents went to bowl games?
            And Penn State has only played ONE ranked team this year. So let’s talk about this again after the scrimmages are over.
            P.S. Te’o isn’t great, only good at best. He won’t win it, but neither will Mauti or Hodges.

          • avatar doc

            you forgot the best of them all:

            jack ham (all-time, all-pro) steelers

        • avatar Ash Williams

          Mmmm, the Big Blue Nittany Kool-Ade tastes like mass delusions, broken dreams, and little girls tears.

          • avatar doc

            fuck you

  16. avatar Regina Bettwy Gates

    Mr. Kelley…. I’m sure you are convinced that you are right. And if I hadn’t read the Freeh Report in its entirety, or read through the various testimonies that Mike McGueary has given concerning what he SAW in the shower at PSU and what he TOLD people he saw, or seen the resolve of the 500,000+ Nittany Nation to defend the HONOR of their university, then I might agree with you too. And unfortunately, the general public who only have headlines and articles like yours to go on, do agree with you. But you’re wrong about Penn State and you’re wrong about what Joe Paterno KNEW and what he DID or DIDN’T do. And you’re certainly wrong about what motivated Joe Paterno and what his life stood for. You may, however, be right about Michael Mauti being blackballed.

  17. avatar Don Purdum

    The only person convicted of a crime so far is jerry Sandusky. The NCAA stepped out of bounds with the ruling. Mr kelly you are the liberal media that reports your opinion not the facts.

  18. avatar bilmar

    Luckily, the NFL is run by the Rotary club of Houston or by morons named Emmert or Freeh. Mauti will receive his rewards during the NFL draft.

  19. avatar bilmar

    Luckily, the NFL ISN’T run by the Rotary club of Houston or by morons named Emmert or Freeh. Mauti will receive his rewards during the NFL draft.

  20. avatar Pete

    PSU has always been ignorned by the NCAA and the people who rank teams see 68,69 and 94. This is nothing new. And what happened to the Syracuse child abuser. Nothing! Not one word from the NCAA.

  21. avatar Blooey

    You can’t have it both ways Mr Kelly… Mauti and his teammates are being punished for actions not only that have nothing to do with them, but has nothing to do with the football program as a whole. But, if the NCAA insists on punishment, then it will include individual players and coaches as well… Either understand the tyranny of the NCAA, and accept it, or fight for truth for Mauti, his teammates and the school. You can’t have it both ways…

  22. avatar Jimmyp

    To all of you who confronted Mr. Hack Kelly on this article…good on you mate.

    Rob is a hack. And for those of you who don’t know what a hack is.. a writer who is paid to write low-quality, quickly put-together articles or books

  23. avatar Lyn

    Michael Mauti doesn’t care about awards. he cares abouting winning football games. Now, if the NCAA will get out of Penn State’s way, the boys can move on. We fans and alumni know what we are seeing is a special player. I just hope the Steelers draft this guy next year. Would that be the coolest?

  24. avatar Tim

    Rob…I’ll bet you didn’t even read the Freeh report. If you did, I suggest you read it again…this time with your eyes open. It’s ironic how the NCAA dissing one player — Mauti — gets your goat, but its unwarranted trashing of an entire University, its football program, and its now deceased legendary coach on nothing more than speculation and innuendo is perfectly fine with you. Very odd, indeed.

  25. avatar Frank

    Almost every Sports reporter has a Dick and a Head..But you Sir are one of the very rare ones.. a true Dickhead..Although they are becoming more prevelant every day!

  26. avatar Dan

    After only 6 games there are some folks out there who may be turn out to be right in the end by mentioning other linebackers who they think may be the best. But at this point in the season it is impossible to accept that Mauti is not even in the top 25. Two Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and one National Defensive Player of the week. Don’t try to convince me who is better right now. Try to convince me that Mike is not in the top 25. The Rotary AND the NCAA are lame.

  27. avatar Dave Brodhecker

    Rob I would consider your arguments, but since you have not taken the time to examine the evidence against PSU, none of your other facts can be accepted. It goes to the integrity of the writer, and quite frankly you don’t have any. As for Mauti his actions stand for themselves. And those who discriminate against him because of ignorance are no worse then your discrimination against PSU because of your ignorance. Become a reporter and get the facts before you write.

  28. avatar Sean Duffy

    Rob you are a intellectual coward or just not that smart. All the previous responces are dead on.

  29. avatar Ralph

    I agree with you regarding Mauti. However, I totally disagree regarding the punishment the idoits of the NCAA and power monger Emmerit put on Penn State amd the moran president of Penn State accepting. Half the story and much not based on fact. Not able to talk with key people involved to get the ful story or at least their side. How you and the media can come to any conclusion is beyond any sensible persons realm of reason.

  30. avatar Daniel

    Please Mr. Kelley site one piece of credible evidence to say that Penn State covered up or mishandled the Sandusky Situation. (I’ll give you a hint, any report that uses as proof a statement “that Janitor B said that Janitor A saw something, but was afraid to report it”, is not credible.) I mean, really, a $60,000 fine based upon that???

  31. avatar Mike

    go shower with Jerry

  32. avatar Timothy Drewes

    Drag out the old “Rush to Judgement” mantra. One person has been convicted. Two others are awaiting trial. That is it.If anyone should be criticized for covering up it is the NCAA. Trying to deflect any adverse commentary about being soft on child abuse, they hung everybody remotely connected. Now they think they smell good, while a man of honor has been trashed, along with the school. When and if there is a guilty verdict is when all this should have happened. NCAA = cowards


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