The fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal is like a cancer that just won’t go away…
On Saturday, with Penn State trailing Nebraska 27-23 and 7:48 left to go in the 4th quarter, on 2nd and goal from the 3-yard line Penn State tight end Matt Lehman lined up in the backfield. Lehman caught a swing pass from quarterback Matt McGloin and stretched the ball over the goal line for the go-ahead touchdown. After crossing the plane with the ball Lehman lost the ball and Nebraska recovered, but the replay clearly showed the ball broke the plane before it got knocked out.
ESPN’s Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman, who were calling the game, both agreed it was a touchdown, and that the call on the field of a fumble should be reversed. Indeed, it’s hard to watch the replay and make a case that the play should not be ruled a touchdown; unless you were the official making the replay ruling that is, because upon the review, the fumble call stood…
Nebraska went on to win the game and perhaps they may have won anyway, but the fact that Penn State was screwed out of six points and the likely occurrence of seven didn’t sit well with many Penn State faithful. David Jones of The Patriot-News opines that the Jerry Sandusky scandal is responsible for a negative bias towards the Nittany Lions and that it’s the reason that the call was not correctly made. If you think that logic is a stretch, try telling that to the Penn State players who seem to feel that way too. Check out this exchange quote between Nittany Lion QB Matt McGloin and the interviewer from the article…
Man, I don’t know. We’re not gonna get that call here. We’re not gonna that call ever, actually, against any team. Doesn’t matter who the refs are. We’ll never get that call.”
McGloin’s voice was all the way down in his throat, quavering with pent up anger.
Why won’t PSU get such a call, I asked?
“Why do you think it is? It’s just the way it is, man.”
I said I knew what I thought he was saying. But I asked him to explain it:
“Write what you think. … It’s us against the world and we’re not gonna get those types of calls in these types of games.”
Conspiracies aside, Penn State is now (6-4 overall, 4-2 Big Ten), much better than almost anyone would have thought prior to the season starting after a mass exodus of talent following the Sandusky scandal. Kudos to coach Bill Obrien, the entire coaching staff, and all the kids who stayed.