The first time Richard Lane thrust his forearm across a receiver’s neck and ruthlessly tossed him to the ground, it helped him earn a spot on the Los Angeles Rams roster. The second time, he gained a reputation. In 1960, while playing for the Detroit Lions, a teammate gave him the moniker "Night Train." The legend was hatched and Lane was off and running. His signature move, a clothesline tackle that included vicious a blow to the neck or head, was known as the "Night Train necktie."

Eventually the necktie maneuver was banned from the league. But the man himself remained. Night Train (below left) had the respect of his peers and his fans. For all of his headhunting, Richard Lane has 68 picks, a bust in the Hall of Fame, and a nickname that's ready-made for the tallest of tales. That’s the way it should be. Of course we're having this discussion 51 years after the fact. Death and time can turn anyone into a folk hero.

Perhaps even Ndamukong Suh.

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The game hasn’t changed as much as we have. We believe in fantasy. We believe in nightmares too. Ndamukong Suh has become the latter. Boo Radley is coming to get you. The Boogie Man is real and he plays the three technique for the Detroit Lions. Oh the horror for all the Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day, who while dining on their roast beast, saw Suh viciously slamming Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith’s head into the turf.

Probably not the most easily digested image of someone born of Jamaican and Cameroonian parents. The name alone, Ndamukong Suh, rich with consonants and culture, is enough to strike fear into the unsuspecting viewer.

At first, I was torn by this episode.

I was torn because Ndamukong Suh's first public act, before he'd ever played a professional down, was to give $2 million to the University of Nebraska athletic department and another $600,000 to the Engineering department.

I was torn because Ndamukong Suh is what you call a stud. His time at Nebraska bore witness to the future of football. All of his stats -- sacks, tackles, tackles for loss, passes broken up, blocked kicks, even interceptions returned for touchdowns -- were plural numbers.

I was torn because there's this voice in my head. It's gotten louder in the last two years. In that time players have been punished for hitting one another. The helmet-to-helmet debate is based on the comical premise that a person's neck and shoulders can operate independently from his head -- as if he's Plastic Man. I hear the voice. It's the voice of Deacon Jones, the go-to-guy for anyone who craves the old school perspective.

I last spoke to Deacon when Vernon Davis was acting a fool in San Francisco. But we talked about defense too. In the 60's and 70's, Jones (below right) single-handedly crafted the definitive persona for the down lineman. In fact he coined the term "sack." Jones' take on the modern game is reflective of most guys from his era: Annoyed. "The game today is played from the neck to the waist," says Jones. "But we could hit you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. And the quarterback was a wide open situation."

Mention Brett Favre's streak of 279 consecutive games and Jones will summon the demons from a less politically correct (and concussion-aware) era. "I would rather slap my mama than allow a quarterback to play 279 games in a row," he says. "Somebody supposed to put him on the ground!"

That's the sentiment echoed by Suh. He's remorseless and mean, playing as if there were no consequences -- like all the old school guys did. Suh's necktie around Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was once par for the course. But today, the quarterback is the leading man in an oddly constructed morality play. Football is viewed by fans as being comprised of actual heroes and villains. In this theatre, the athletes always remain in character and their style of play marks them as good or evil.

It wasn't always so.

Guys like Night Train and Deacon had other jobs. Lane worked at an airplane factory, hauling slabs of metal into a bin. The average salary in the early 1960’s was about $6,000 a year. Those athletes always kept one foot in the so-called real world. They had teammates in the fall and co-workers the rest of the year. This dual citizenship made them human.

Ndamukong Suh has no such citizenship. Exorbitant wealth and brute strength place him in the category of "other." I agree with the decision to suspend him. I say that because impressionable youth league players are watching his every move. And how many moronic youth league coaches have become YouTube sensations because of their violent actions? Because of all that I think Suh should be punished to the fullest extent of the football law. In the aftermath I hope he changes his ways.

But I live in reality, so I don't buy into the notion that Ndamukong Suh is an actual menace to society. In his own aberrant way Suh is honoring the classic version of the game. And one day we'll appreciate his contribution.

I'd say around the year 2060.

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For eight years, two news organizations possessed an audio tape that screamed something was horrifically wrong -- that Bernie Fine, an assistant basketball coach for Syracuse University, might have sexually abused a teenage boy. Yet, for all that time, neither ESPN nor the Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse reported the tape to anyone, authorities included.

The immediate question is, why not? If the media are rightly aghast that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno didn't take enough action with his knowledge of Jerry Sandusky's alleged molestations, shouldn't news outlets be held to the same standard regarding Bernie Fine?

On the tape, Bobby Davis, a former ball boy for the Syracuse basketball team, has a conversation with Fine's wife, Laurie, which provides a strong indication she knew about the alleged molestations.

"I know everything that went on, you know," Laurie Fine says on the tape. "I know everything that went on with him. … Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues." Asked by Davis if he's the only person Bernie Fine sexually abused, Laurie Fine says, "No … I think there might have been others."

Paterno was fired for not taking enough action in 2002 when he failed to notify authorities of alleged sexual abuse by Sandusky, a former assistant coach under him. The same questions of inaction are now being raised regarding ESPN and the Post-Standard, both of which were at least aware of Bernie Fine's alleged misconduct as early as 2003.

Even if they didn't have enough corroborating evidence to publish a story, shouldn't they have turned the tape over to law enforcement authorities?

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Isn't there an obligation to do so when the alleged victim is a minor? Especially when you possess an audio tape on which the alleged abuser's wife says, "I think there might have been others?"

As in the case of Paterno and Penn State, the timeline is important.

On Nov. 27, both ESPN and the Post-Standard released the audio taped phone conversation between Davis and Laurie Fine. The conversation reportedly took place in 2002. Shortly thereafter, Davis provided the Post-Standard with a copy of the tape. He provided ESPN with a copy in 2003.

According to reports, beginning in 2002 the Post-Standard conducted a six-month investigation into the allegations, which included an interview with Laurie Fine. She confirmed her conversation with Davis, but denied some of the remarks on the tape. The paper chose not to publish a story because it could not verify the allegations. The Post-Standard reportedly did not go to the police with the tape.

ESPN has a similar reason for not going ahead with the story eight years ago. According to Vince Doria (pictured at left), ESPN's director of news, Davis brought the allegations to ESPN's attention in 2003 and provided three people he said would corroborate his story. "Those sources either told us that was not the case or would not talk with us," Doria said in an online discussion released by ESPN.

Doria said that while the audio recording "was clearly a damning tape in terms of [Laurie Fine's] characterization of her husband," she "never directly acknowledged to have witnessed any of these actions first-hand." Because of that and the fact that ESPN did not generate the tape and could not verify its validity -- the network says it did not have a baseline of Laurie Fine's voice to compare it with in order to authenticate it -- "we felt in 2003 that the material we had did not meet the standards for reporting the story," Doria said.

ESPN says it did not notify authorities of the allegations because Davis had gone to the Syracuse police in 2002 and been told the statute of limitations had expired. (In New York, the statute of limitations is five years.) "So we were fully under the impression that the police had been made aware of the story and had decided not to pursue it," Doria said.

Fast forward eight years. Prompted by the Penn State abuse scandal, a friend of Davis' came forward to corroborate his story one day after Paterno was fired. During the next two weeks, two more men accused Bernie Fine of molesting them. The second prompted federal prosecutors to obtain a warrant to search Fine's house. On Nov. 27, the Post-Standard and ESPN, having obtained a baseline of Laurie Fine's voice that allowed them to verify the tape's authentication, felt they had enough information to publish stories about the 2002 phone conversation between Davis and Fine.

Now ESPN and the Post-Standard find themselves in a situation eerily similar to the one that got Paterno fired and earned him a visceral beating from the media -- including ESPN.

"This wasn't a case of Paterno choosing to ignore allegations of booster payments to a player or improper grade changes by a professor,"'s Mark Schlabach wrote the day of Paterno's firing. "Paterno's inaction allegedly involved one of the most heinous crimes a person can commit -- the rape of a child. While Paterno has not been accused of legal wrongdoing -- authorities have said he cooperated during the investigation – he is guilty of gross indifference, if nothing else. Morally, Paterno should have done more …"

There is certainly a separation between journalistic responsibility and moral obligation. In the case of Bernie Fine, neither ESPN nor the Post-Standard felt they had enough information to publish a story that would effectively change a man's life forever. There was no eye witness, as there was to Sandusky's alleged abuse, so to their credit neither news outlet went forward with a story based on unsubstantiated allegations.

Still, for eight years they sat on the tape while Bernie Fine roamed free.

The Post-Standard at least interviewed Laurie Fine in 2003 about the content of the tape. ESPN did not and only attempted to authenticate its validity within the last 10 days. Asked why it took eight years to attempt to authenticate the tape, an ESPN spokesman replied, "Confirming that it was her wasn't [enough] to make us report [the story]."

In his online discussion of the Syracuse story, Doria states: "All journalists could be asking themselves this very same question: What role should journalists play in providing information that may or may not have been reported? It's complex and something we must continue to evaluate."

Yes, a distinction must be made between the standard for reporting a story and the moral obligation to report a potential sex crime against minors. Still, if we, the media, are going to hold the likes of Joe Paterno to a certain standard, then we'd better hold ourselves up to the same standard. We may be a part of the "media," but we're people first.

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We've heard plenty about the insufferable ways of hard-edged coaches like Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin, but the firing of Jack Del Rio Tuesday brings an unexpected defense of draconian tactics.

And that defense comes in the voice of Mr. Jaguar, retired running back Fred Taylor.

"With Coughlin, if you came in, if you overstep, you're screwed," says Taylor, who played for Coughlin in Jacksonville from his rookie year in 1998 until the coach was let go in 2002. "With Jack, you never knew what you were getting. You don’t know if you’ll get a hard-ass one day, a buddy-buddy one day. You never really knew."

Del Rio was a nice change of pace for the former Gators great, but then the so-called players' coach wore thin.

"He was able to take care of the players somewhat," Taylor says. "After that, after the next five years, it was a lot of gray area, which later in my career I didn't buy into."

Asked if he felt Del Rio played favorites, Taylor doesn't hesitate.

"[Expletive] yeah. Hell yeah," he says. "Why do you think I'm not there?

"There wasn't any falloff in my production. I expressed my willingness to take a paycut. I just wanted to be there and be a part of the community. I wanted to finish my career there. Just because we had this new running back. All we had to do was switch roles. 'Fred, Maurice [Jones-Drew] is going to be the starter.' Fine, no problem. I wasn't a virus in the locker room. I worked my ass off -- everything."

Instead, Taylor moved on after 10 years in Jacksonville to New England, where he finished his playing career before ceremonially retiring as a Jaguar before this season. Playing for the famously grouchy Belichick didn't make Taylor miss Del Rio's ways. Not hardly.

"Ninety percent of my enjoyment in New England was due to Coach Belichick -- the respect he demanded," Taylor says. "If you were the vet or the first-year guy, he yelled at you the same, chewed you out the same. Same thing with Coach Coughlin."

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With Del Rio, Taylor says, "there was a lot of gray area." That came through most on the offensive side of the ball, where the Jaguars often struggled.

"At the end of the day, [Del Rio]'s not a head coach," Taylor says. "He's a great defensive coach. But he's not a head coach."

Del Rio's quarterback decisions were rarely cut-and-dried. He got rid of Byron Leftwich in favor of David Garrard only days before the regular season opener in 2007, but then he cut Garrard only days before the start of this season.

"Pulling that trigger was a bit premature," Taylor says. "If you make that decision, make it a month out. Quite honestly, that kind of thing can ruin careers."

Garrard had back surgery and hasn't played this season, and the Jags are not in the playoff hunt. Blaine Gabbert was pulled in Sunday's game against the Texans in favor of veteran Luke McCown. "You're 3-8," says Taylor. "Take him out and that is going to establish the season?"

Coughlin was known -- and is known -- for squeezing every last drop out of the talent on his squad. That's how he brought an expansion team to two AFC Championship games in Jacksonville. You'd think that act would grate over time, and maybe it does. But Coughlin has won a Super Bowl in New York and Del Rio is now out of work. That speaks a lot louder to players than anything else.

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While Syracuse's Jim Boeheim continues to adamantly defend longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine of molestation allegations, the University's other team of public relations professionals must be behind closed doors, cringing.

One of the main tenets of Syracuse's own S.I. Newhouse School of Communications promises "learning the principles and processes behind effective communications management." Ironic that while current students in this program plow through the end of a semester, Boeheim jumps too quickly to publicly respond to Fine's accusers. He thinks alleged abuse victims are lying, and he may be right, but that's hardly "effective communications management." After all, if the accusations are true, the next crisis is dealing with a legendary coach who put his reputation -- and his school's -- on the credibility of an assistant. And his statement only buttresses the argument of those who feel the problem at major universities is that ivory tower has no idea what the head whistle is doing.

According to Anti-Defamation League website, "Crisis management is the art of making decisions to head off or mitigate the effects of such an event, often while the event itself is unfolding. This often means making decisions about your institution’s future while you are under stress and while you lack key pieces of information."

That's what Chancellor Nancy Cantor tried to do in a letter to alumni, writing of the University’s desire to launch a thorough investigation without rushing to judgement.

At the same time, Coach Boeheim said, "You think anybody tells me when to speak or not?" Even more recently as this weekend, after his team's 92-47 win over Colgate at the Carrier Dome, Boeheim said: "I'm not going to say anything new. So I'll just repeat: I've been friends for 50 years with Coach Fine. That buys a lot of loyalty from me and should."

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As Bernie Fine's friend, Boeheim’s reaction is endearing. But in his 36th season as the head basketball coach at the school that prides itself on learning the proper ways of handling crises, what has he learned?

In the November 19 edition of the New York Times, Newhouse’s own chairwoman of the public relations department, Brenda Wrigley, said she is not speaking on behalf of the university, yet still critiques her own
employer: "If Syracuse wants to conduct an internal investigation," she said, "that's fine. But from a perception perspective, there needs to be an independent entity doing an investigation. Because the perception otherwise will be, we investigated ourselves -- wink, wink -- and you can be assured that everything is perfectly fine."

So much for a unified response.

The problem, in essence, is this: Coach Boeheim asks us not to make parallels to Penn State, yet his immediate reaction shows a pattern of the old-boy mentality of Division I sports that may have sped the demise of legacy head football coaches like Joe Paterno. Whether or not the most recent allegations are unfounded, Syracuse now must now not only uncover the truth of the allegations but must also now internally address Coach Boeheim's rookie move.

No matter what Syracuse has made its academic reputation on, it's national reputation is based on basketball. And everyone, including Boeheim, seems to know it.

Sara Koch is a 1996 graduate of Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School, where she received a BS in Public Relations.

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The defensive coordinator on any team, really on every team, occupies a very specific place within the program. He possesses a very specific persona. He reinforces the most basic fundamental element of football -- toughness. He's often more intimidating and less approachable than even the head coach. The defensive coordinator embodies all the manly virtue we equate with football.

So what would you do if you saw this particular man committing the most unthinkable act? Maybe that's not the first question. There are other questions to ask. Like, how long would it take you to get your head around what you were witnessing? How long would it take to deconstruct everything you had ever known in your life and then to remake reality to fit the image of what you were seeing?

I'm asking these questions because, like everyone else, I've been trying to figure out why Mike McQueary took no action against Jerry Sandusky.

To do that I have to imagine every coach I've ever had committing this crime. Actually, what Sandusky is accused of isn't a crime -- it's the crime. It's not a mugging or robbery, or even domestic abuse on a spouse. What McQueary saw was the one act that can't be explained away by anything -- not rage, revenge or insanity.

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Once I successfully imagine one of my coaches doing this (and to be perfectly honest I cannot) I have to imagine what I would do in that situation. Well, of course I would leap to the child's defense. And I would pummel the offender with one hand and call the police with the other. And I would do so without hesitation and with extreme prejudice.

Of course everything is clear in the abstract. In the abstract I always do the right thing. Everyone does.

I know what I'm hearing. I know what I heard from Lavar Arrington. He is the embodiment of the Penn State linebacker -- quick, instinctive, nasty, unremorseful. Arrington says he would have jumped in and pulled Sandusky off the kid. And perhaps he would have done just that. I'm sure the current version of Lavar Arrington would do all of that and do it with extreme vengeance. The current version of Lavar Arrington has small children of his own. And that last bit of information has the most powerful bearing on this horror show.

Parental instinct trumps all else.

My daughter defines my world. Every thought and decision I make is preceded by how it affects her and her well being.

Is that why Mike McQueary didn't act that night? Because he didn't have any children of his own? Was it because his world wasn't consumed by a love that can't be captured by language? Is that why he did nothing?

It's axiomatic for us to say what we would do if we saw someone doing what Sandusky is accused of doing. But it wasn't someone. It wasn't some faceless pervert in a dark alley behind a dumpster. He had a face. He had a persona. He was the man who had seamlessly balanced the ferocity of a defensive coordinator with the grace of a champion for disadvantaged youth. He was a man who raped children? In that second, I'm supposing none of it registered.

I'm pretty cynical. But I'm not so cynical as to assume the first thing McQueary (pictured at right from his days as Nittany Lions quarterback in the mid-90's) considered was his career. Perhaps later in the process, as he solidified his role in the star-chambered practices of the Penn State athletic department, I'm quite certain McQueary considered how reporting this act would shape his future. And for that he should be judged.

But in that very instant, the instant he stepped into Sandusky's freak show, I doubt he had clear thoughts of anything. Maybe that's why he called his father. Yeah, I see how that decision has become a punch line. I can see how the "running to daddy" line is a reliable go-to for those of us who weren't in that locker room.

My father doesn't always get it right. But on the big things, the most important things, the life altering things, he's never been wrong. I'm not saying that McQueary did the right thing. He didn't. But there's a part of me that understands why, when the world spun off its axis, McQueary sought the counsel of the one person who made sense.

We'll have to wait to hear from McQueary. But now that Sandusky has spoken, a new reality will begin to take shape. Sandusky will undoubtedly use McQueary's inaction as his defense. If he really did this horrible thing, how could McQueary do nothing?

It's a very good question.

-- Alan Grant played cornerback for the Colts, 49ers, Bengals and Redskins. He is the author of
"Return to Glory: Inside Tyrone Willingham's Amazing First Season at Notre Dame."

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I've never set foot on Penn State's campus, but because of what the university has done for my father, Penn State means as much to me as any of the educational institutions I've attended.

My dad grew up poor in a tiny Nigerian village. He did well in school but was certain he would never attain higher education. Nobody in his family ever had, and in any event, they didn't have anything approximating the money it would cost to pay the tuition and fees. Because my dad finished at the top of his high school class, however, he was one day summoned to Lagos (then Nigeria's capital) to take a standardized academic aptitude test. He had no idea why, but he figured it couldn't hurt.

A year later, after he'd returned to his village, he received a letter saying, "Congratulations! You've been admitted to the Pennsylvania State University." My dad had never heard of Penn State and would later learn that his performance on the test he took in Lagos qualified him for a program that funded African students to attend American universities.

With trepidation, my grandparents put my dad on a plane and sent him halfway across the world. The flight sickened him, he endured that first Pennsylvania winter in fear that the frigid temperatures -- unlike anything he had ever felt -- might well kill him, and he fought through classes in which his professors could barely understand his heavily accented English and he could barely understand theirs.

But he made it. He earned his undergraduate degree and went on to earn a PhD. He is now a professor of engineering living 30 miles from the village in which he grew up, and over the years he has funded numerous members of our extended family and other neighboring families as they've sought out education.

Penn State changed my father's life, and he gets emotional when he talks about it.

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He'll be arriving in the States later this week for a family gathering, and because he pays little attention to American news while in Nigeria and only rarely ventures on to the Internet, I'm certain he will have no idea of the scandal in which his alma mater is deeply embroiled. He won't know that longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky allegedly raped young boys on campus over the course of 15 years and that the university did nothing to stop the reign of terror -- that its most powerful men, including the legendary Joe Paterno, turned a blind eye when they knew or had reason to know of the sexual assaults; that the entire issue was swept under a rug and left there for more than a decade.

It will fall to me to tell him how a thing like this could have happened at the university he so loves and respects, and I've spent the last couple days trying to figure out how to do it.

I'll have to start, I think, by explaining the madness of big time collegiate athletics. My dad spends a few weeks a year here in the States and he enjoys watching sports, but he has no concept of the business that collegiate athletics has become. I'll tell him about the billion-dollar television deals and the million-dollar sponsorship deals and the exorbitant salaries that so many coaches receive.

He'll look at me aghast, but I'll continue.

I'll tell him that among big time college sports, football is easily the top money-maker and that as a consequence, many football programs have outsized power in their universities; that university academic successes are a virtual afterthought in comparison with wins and losses and bowl game appearances; that many football programs are their own kingdoms, accountable to no one; that even university presidents sometimes bow to head football coaches.

My father is big on respecting authority, so this will drive him nuts. He'll ask me whether I'm sure I know what I'm talking about. I'll assure him I do, and then I'll tell him that, for example, when a journalist asked Ohio State president Gordon Gee not long ago whether he intended to fire his head football coach, Gee, without missing a beat, responded: "I hope he doesn't fire me."

I'll remind my dad of the adulation college football coaches and players enjoy in small college towns -- that they are viewed as superheroes just as they were viewed as superheroes back in his undergrad days. The difference, I'll tell him, is the money and the power and the consequent increased air of invincibility.

I'll ultimately tell my Dad that the pedestal on which big time college football now sits grants people involved with big time programs unprecedented access to pretty much whatever they want in the community, and because universities with big time football programs have startlingly little control over those programs, the only checks and balances on the conduct of those in the programs are self-imposed. So, if it happens that a person in a big time college football program sets out to sexually assault young children, chances are that only those in the program will have the power to stop it. And I'll tell him that at his beloved alma mater, when numerous young children were suffering, nobody stepped in to stop it.

My dad will be devastated, and he'll fume for some time after which he'll probably sit silently for a while longer. Then, if I know my dad, he'll say something like, "so this could have happened at any school, how do we know it hasn't?"

At that point, I'll have no answer for him, and we'll sit in disgusted silence together.

If there is anything scarier than what has happened at Penn State, it is that as you read this column, it could be happening at any number of big time football schools around the country. Few American institutions have the mixture of access, entitlement and lack of accountability that we see in big time college football, and over the years we've seen that cocktail explode in various scandals at various institutions. And whether the scandal involves major recruiting violations or systematic cheating schemes or mistreatment of players, if we see a scandal at one school, sooner or later we see a similar scandal at another.

Now we've got this horrific child abuse scandal at Penn State. What in the world gives us comfort that this is anomalous? What makes us think the same thing isn't happening elsewhere? Can we really believe that Jerry Sandusky is a complete outlier -- that there aren't other coaches at other big time football schools with similar access and entitlement and lack of accountability who may be doing or be on the precipice of doing what Sandusky has done?

It is a chilling and sickening thought, but we have to engage it. The people in power at Penn State did nothing to protect the victimized boys, and those people must now pay account. But if we -- everybody who has anything to do with big time college football, even if only as fans or writers -- do not set about to curb the insane power and impunity with which these programs generally operate, and if, God forbid, another child is sexually assaulted by some other coach on some other big time college football campus, then we will have to pay account. The blood will then be on our hands.

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Firing Joe Paterno was a just and appropriate way for Penn State to start to rebuild its tattered reputation. But ridding a great university of an 84-year-old man doesn't do anything to help solve the deeper societal problem at issue -- the plague of abuse.

As everyone knows, the real wrong in the Penn State scandal was done many years before there was a scandal at all. That was the alleged molestation of innocent children. So the real right needed is a gesture that can do something to help victims past, present and future. And that is simple: donate the gate for this Saturday's home game -- the last of Joe Paterno's last season -- to a shelter for victims of abuse.

Some students are leading a "Blue-Out," selling t-shirts to raise money for charity. Good for them. But that's not an institutional move. The only institutional moves have been to fire people. That's internal, not external. It does nothing to burst the self-sustaining but ultimately self-defeating bubble where Paterno has reigned for all these years.

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Some have said Saturday's game should be canceled. But why penalize players? And for that matter, why punish student fans? They are, in a way, the future of the university. They will go out into the world and hopefully repair the image of a great school.

It's the old guard who should be punished. And there's no way to punish the old guard more than by hitting them in the wallet. There are only a precious few home games every season. So giving all the money from Saturday's home date would be a large percentage of profits from a season that will not be remembered for football.

The annual budget for a shelter is not that large. So this chunk of money would be not only a powerful statement of remorse, but also an effective way to make a difference in the community. It would make justly reluctant ticket-holders feel part of a solution. The world is watching; here's a chance to do something bold and brave.

Like him or hate him, Joe Paterno did a lot of good as Penn State head coach. He built. He gave. He taught. He graduated a lot of great kids. Now let's see Penn State show the world that the post-Paterno era will bring a new philanthropy. Let Penn State return to its roots as a place where teachable moments happen.

Let Saturday be the very first.

Follow Eric Adelson on Twitter @eric_adelson.

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I played in the SEC. I fully understand football as a religion. I'm completely aware of head coaches being viewed as immortals. I also comprehend the love and adoration alumni have for their respective universities. All that being said, there is no room for loyalty at the expense of a moral standard that should be upheld regardless of the cost -- no matter what's at stake or whom it may indict.

I was not put on this earth to judge, but to love. Nevertheless, sometimes while doing the right thing in the name of love, you can be cast as judgmental. So despite the possibility of being misunderstood or labeled as judgmental, I refuse to back away from the truths I know all too well. My beautiful bride of more than 10 years, Beth Ann, experienced the pain of childhood sexual abuse for a year of her life. She hid the pain, shame and guilt inside for far too long. When we were married, it had a profoundly negative impact, but we found hope and healing through quality counseling. Today, we are still on the road to recovery -- together.

One of the ways I express my love for her is through the Heath Evans Foundation, which provides counseling for others and raises awareness about some of the truths of childhood sexual abuse:

Truth: 1 of 4 girls and 1 of 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.

Truth: There is no neutral ground in fighting childhood sexual abuse. You either stand against it or stand for it.

Truth: Bystanders to abuse might as well have been participants in Jerry Sandusky's alleged rape and sexual assault of at least eight boys from 1998 to the late 2000s.

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Loyalty is key in every successful way of life. In business, friendship, family and, yes, even football. Loyalty might be the greatest asset to any championship football team. It is also part of what makes a great coaching staff. True loyalty exhibits itself in many ways on a team and a coaching staff. For instance, Monday night after a tough loss at home, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid blamed himself and praised Michael Vick. Meanwhile, Vick took full responsibility for the loss and heaped praise on Reid -- loyalty at its finest.

Loyalty does not stand by and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to heinous crimes against children. Loyalty does not take the easy way out of an uncomfortable situation. Loyalty does not place more value on friendship or public perception than on what is morally right and wrong!

Lies get you in trouble. Telling further lies to get you out of the first one only dig a deeper pit. Most of us can understand the impulse to "deny, deny, deny" no matter how guilty we are.

One of the most troubling aspects of this Penn State scenario is the fans who remain loyal to the university and Joe Paterno. Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it!" Just in case you miss the point of one of the smartest men in the modern era, those who stand by Paterno out of loyalty are a key ingredient in the evil we are discussing today.

Einstein also defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We want the world to be a safe place, but we continually stand by and allow evil to rear its ugly head. I'm definitely not Einstein, but I'm not insane either. We, as a society, have stood by and repeatedly swept the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse under the rug hoping for it to disappear on its own. Well, guess what? It's only gotten worse!

The call to action is now. Ask yourself: If that was my son, my brother or my grandson that Jerry Sandusky allegedly had in a dirty college locker-room shower being viciously raped, how would I have wanted Joe Paterno and the administration to respond?

-- NFL Network analyst and 10-year NFL veteran Heath Evans is the founder of the Heath Evans Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to foster hope and healing to victims of childhood sexual abuse.

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I was on the phone with my editor at the time, talking about the mindless things writers and editors talk about, when I heard.

"Magic Johnson says he is HIV positive and will retire from the NBA," my editor said.

His tone never changed as he read this off the wire. It came without the "Oh my gosh" or "You aren't going to believe this," one would expect to proceed such an announcement. He just read it as it appeared on his computer screen, as if he was repeating a list of weekly assignments.

"Magic Johnson is HIV positive."

Twenty years later I can feel the sudden chill of a warm afternoon turned cold. The moment remains locked in my mind; from the smoothness of the phone receiver, to the way the blinds were pulled three-quarters of the way up the window of the small house I rented on Connecticut's shore.

Never had 13 words seemed more improbable. Thinking of them now, they still do. No athlete seemed more alive than Magic. And my first thought as the editor read the bulletin was that we were going to watch the slow, steady shriveling of Magic Johnson. This was the beginning of the end, of course. Nobody lived long with HIV. That much we knew back then. Maybe it would be a few months, perhaps two years, but the decline was going to be fast. His face would sallow, his great body would wither. There would be living memorials. There would be a funeral.

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And it would all happen before the decade was halfway gone.

"He is going to die! He is going to die!" I can still hear the AIDS activist shouting that night on TV. Of course he was going to die. HIV meant AIDS back then and AIDS meant a rapid and awful death. It was all we knew in a world where we didn't understand this disease that had seemed to come from nowhere but was filling in everywhere.

The last thing anyone could have expected was that two decades later, his story would be about life.

He not only didn't die, he became larger than ever.

In the town next to mine in the Washington suburbs, there is a Magic Johnson theatre. Sometimes when I am on Capitol Hill, I drop into a Magic Johnson Starbucks. I hear of Magic Johnson developments and Magic Johnson charities. On the Seattle night in 1999 when teargas from the WTO protests filled the air, I walked a few blocks to KeyArena where I sat a few rows behind Magic and Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz at a Sonics-Lakers game. Now there is talk he wants to buy a sports team.

Who knew he would last this long? Who knew he would be so big? To watch him now, dressed in suits, his body larger than in his basketball days yet robust with his face a healthy glow, it's as if he will live forever. He is 52 now, middle aged, at the point where many of his contemporaries walk with limps and aching backs. The irony is they too expected Magic to be gone by now and yet he is the one who is lively and robust, the one who is doing things.

I got in my car and drove that day he announced he had HIV. My thoughts were a jumble, a knot tightened in my stomach. I was just 24 and in my first newspaper job, a place where breaking news is supposed to send you skittering to the computer. Today we are more accustomed to these kinds of things. We live on a diet of breaking news feeds, sucked in by the scrolling red bar that comes many times a day bearing the promise of altering our world. But the bar comes so fast now, each bulletin shouting something big: Death! Verdict! Upset!

No announcement before or since has knocked me flat the way that one did. My guess is there are dozens in this business who would say the same thing. Eventually, seeking solace, I found myself at a church basketball court where I sometimes played. A friend, a Celtics fan, dressed in his Larry Bird jersey, held his wrists limp and swished flamboyantly: "I'm Magic!" he shouted, prancing about.

The rest of us stared, our faces filled with disgust. How could you be a fan? How could you love the game and act like that?

And look at Magic Johnson now. How silly our worry, our pain, our scorn.

He's survived that day's worst thoughts and fears.

In the end, that's the biggest news of all.

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By Joel Huerto

The Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather superfight recently got a major jolt when the Mayweather camp, mainly Floyd's adviser Leonard Ellerbe, publicly stated that the undefeated boxing champion intends to fight on May 5, 2012, and has reserved that date in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Naturally, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, called the move a "joke" and a ploy on Mayweather's part to steal some of Pacquiao's thunder as his Nov. 12 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez approaches.

The back-and-forth verbal joust may be the closest thing we'll ever get to see a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight until both sides agree on how to implement the Olympic-style drug testing and distribute the massive pay-per-view revenue.

If the two camps can't agree on a showdown in the ring, how about a winner-take-all, one-on-one battle on the basketball court? Sounds like a crazy concept, but not silly enough to stir a debate.

Pacquiao and Mayweather like to hoop it up, and both men have shown some decent skills on the basketball court.

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Even though boxing is his chosen profession, Pacquiao has often said basketball is his first love. He has hosted a basketball tournament in Baguio City in the Philippines the past two years while training for fights against Shane Mosley and Marquez. Filipinos are huge basketball fans, and Pacquiao shares that same enthusiasm with his countrymen.

Here's the scouting report on Pacquiao:
He has quick and decent handles. Naturally, he loves to go left when he drives to the basket and can finish at the rim. He has a bit of a hitch in his jumpshot, which could be a problem against shot-blockers. But since nobody touches the champ on the court he always seems to find a way to knock down jumpers. He uses his quickness to get by defenders and has surprisingly good hops for a little guy.

Here's the scouting report on Mayweather:
Just like Pacquiao, Mayweather is quick on his feet and can handle the ball. He can drive to the hoop and has a better form on his jumper than Manny. One thing that separates Pacquiao and Mayweather on the court is defense. Pacquiao prefers playing offense while Mayweather doesn't mind putting a lot of effort on the defensive end. Interestingly enough, those are similar approaches each man takes into the ring. Pacquiao is very aggressive and likes to attack his opponents, while Mayweather is one of the best defensive boxers of all time.

If HBO decided to put the one-on-one matchup on pay-per-view, would I pay $50 to see a Pacquiao-Mayweather basketball game? Probably. It would certainly be a lot more entertaining than watching glorified pickup games involving LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

And who would win on the court: Pacquiao or Mayweather? You be the judge. Let's get it on!

-- Joel Huerto is editor/publisher of Follow him on Twitter .

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