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College football: Paterno in rare crisis

Associated Press
The college football notebook…
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó In his 46 years on the job, coach Joe Paterno has never quite faced a crisis like the one now hovering over Happy Valley like a dark cloud.
Indeed, scandal has hit State College.
Retired Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys. Paternoís boss, athletic director Tim Curley, and another school administrator, face charges of perjury and failing to report to state and county officials that a witness told them he saw an alleged instance of abuse in 2002.
All at a tradition-rich school which proudly boasts the slogan ěSuccess with Honor.î
ěIf this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers,î Paterno in a statement issued Sunday evening by his son, Scott.
Suddenly, Paternoís Hall of Fame credentials are a mere afterthought. Or his 409 career victories ó a Division I record. Or the Nittany Lionsí 8-1 start that has propelled them to a surprising two-game lead in the Big Ten Leaders Division.
There are much more serious questions to be asked.
ěItís shocking and surprising thatís it come up, and if itís true then the strongest penalty should be taken against anyone engaged in a cover-up. I think it really is a shame because it is one of the few things that tarnishes Penn State football,î said Grant Brown, 18, a freshman from York, as he waited at a bus stop on campus.
ALABAMA/LSU REMATCH?
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.ó Trent Richardson thinks the only thing that can top Alabamaís slugfest with LSU is a rematch.
Richardson and the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide are still harboring hope that they ó and the BCS ó can produce a Round 2 with the top-ranked Tigers in New Orleans for a national title.
ěMost definitely. Look at the game,î the Tide tailback said Monday. ěWe donít deserve to be No. 1 and No. 2? If you look at how we played in our games like this, you donít see no 50 points getting put up on any of us. Neither of us scored a touchdown.
ěWho wouldnít want to see a rematch? Thatís probably the biggest game that youíre ever going to see like that, unless we get a rematch.î
There are plenty who would debate the merits of replaying the game even though it was decided by LSUís field goal in overtime for a 9-6 victory.
NUTT RESIGNS
OXFORD, Miss. ó Houston Nutt came to Mississippi with the goal of becoming the first coach to lead the Rebels to the Southeastern Conference championship game.
It didnít happen, far from it. Over the past year, the Rebels couldnít win a single SEC game.
ěThe thing about the SEC that I know,î Nutt said. ěThey pay you to win.î
By that standard, he didnít earn his salary over the past two seasons. Thatís why Nutt said Monday he wasnít surprised he was asked to resign at the end of the season.
The Rebels have lost 12 consecutive Southeastern Conference games, including Saturdayís 30-13 loss to Kentucky. Mississippi is 2-7 this year, 0-6 in the SEC. Nutt is 24-23 in his four years in Oxford.
Heíll stay to lead the Rebels for the seasonís final three games, beginning with a home contest against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Mississippi athletic director Pete Boone announced the move during a press conference with members of a somber coaching staff filling the back of the room.
Boone also said he will step down as AD by the end of 2012.

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