Penn State News Round-Up: Devon Smith, APR Scores, New Playoff System and More

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Yesterday Lions 247 reported that wide receiver Devon Smith had been dismissed from the roster, citing "multiple sources." The news comes as  abit of a surprise, but should certainly not have been a shock given recent legal issues Smith found himself battling. Coach Bill O'Brien had said after the revelations of a drug possession charge surfaced that he was looking forward to working out a future with Smith on the team, so news of a dismissal still seemed to stem from some other problem in the past month. Again, this would be pure speculation.

Officially, as Altoona Mirror's Cory Giger initially tweeted (I followed up as well and received the same response), Penn State football spokesperson Jeff Nelson says there "no indication he has been dismissed from team." Giger had a couple other follow-up tweets worth noting as well...

Devon Smith's HS coach: "This is the first I've heard anything, so I'm going to try to get ahold of him this evening."

— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) June 20, 2012

Devon Smith's HS coach Dom Zaccarelli: "I didn't even know he was dismissed, so if that's the case, I don't know anything about it."

— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) June 20, 2012

Success With Honor

The NCAA APR scores were released yesterday, and Penn State did quite well. Four teams earned perfect scores of 1,000. Congratulations to the field hockey, women's cross country, women's golf and women's tennis teams for their outstanding academic achievements. Penn State's average APR was 983, ten points higher than the NCAA average. The football team achieved a score of 971, which is 23 points higher than the NCAA average.

In Scores of Other Games...

So the four-team playoff model is one giant leap closer to reality. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says the new format needs public support. Uh, I think he is preaching to the choir on this one.

The Big 12 and Notre Dame rumors are also heating up. Again.

All Big Ten teams surpassed the APR cutoff scores, which is good news. The University of Connecticut men's basketball team on the other hand became the first team from a BCS AQ conference (will feel so good to never say that phrase again) to fail to meet the NCAA's requirement, and will be banned from postseason play until they raise their score. Success with honor, Huskies. It's a lifestyle to grab hold of.

Big Ten Network took a tour of Iowa's new practice facility.

Jerry Sandusky Trial Updates

Today the closing arguments in the trial of Jerry Sandusky will be heard, and the jury will immediately be set to begin deliberations. In what appears to have been a quicker trial than initially expected, the evidence and testimony is piled high against Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator at Penn State. From the beginning of the trial it was thought that Sandusky would have a chance to testify on his own behalf, something he has always wanted to do, but on the final day of testimony his legal team advised against doing so. This leaves the fate of Sandusky in the hands now of the jury of seven women and five men. Was it the right move to keep Sandusky off the stand, or would it have mattered?

"He's obviously concerned given the gravity of the charges, but he's weathering it well and he looks forward to a resolution," Sandusky's attorney Karl Rominger told CBS News after proceedings on Wednesday.

Legal experts have suggested that at this point the jury will look closely at the credibility of those who testified, and that means the strength of the closing arguments will again be key to the decision.

Pulitzer Prize reporter Sara Ganim was subpoenaed to testify in the trial, but refused to do so because it would have involved going against the reporter's code to never reveal sources. It is a journalist's right to do so, and was the reason Ganim refused to testify. The Patriot News says she was willing to go to jail if needed.

Tim from Victory Bell Rings discusses on Penn State, Sandusky and NCAA sanctions.

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