The date that Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced

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The date that Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced

From Comcast SportsNetThere's little doubt former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces a long prison sentence. In a few weeks, he'll find out just how long.A judge announced Monday he will sentence Sandusky on Oct. 9, nearly four months after Sandusky was convicted in the child molestation scandal that brought shame to Penn State.Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of sex abuse involving 10 boys. Prosecutors said some of the assaults took place on the Penn State campus.The 68-year-old Sandusky, given his age and the serious nature of the crimes, is likely to receive a sentence that will keep him in prison for life. He is jailed pending sentencing and maintains his innocence.Judge John Cleland scheduled a morning hearing at the courthouse in Bellefonte to determine if Sandusky should be classified as a sexually violent predator, a designation that subjects a convict to intense reporting requirements upon release. An assessment board has recommended Sandusky for the designation, though it's expected to have little practical effect since he stands to die in prison.Sandusky will be sentenced immediately after the hearing. The judge ordered defense attorneys and prosecutors to submit written statements "intended to aid the court in the imposition of sentence" by Oct. 5.Sandusky's attorney Joe Amendola said his client might make a statement at the hearing."Jerry remains in relatively good spirits and has spent most of his time in custody preparing for his sentencing and his appeal," Amendola said via email.Attorney Tom Kline, representing a young man who testified during Sandusky's trial that he was fondled in a school shower in 2001, said Monday he expects his client either to testify at sentencing or to supply a statement to the court."We expect to provide what is requested by the attorney general's office to assure justice is achieved in Mr. Sandusky's sentencing," Kline said in an email.Attorney general's office spokesman Nils Frederiksen said prosecutors will make a sentencing recommendation to the judge.Also Monday, two former Penn State administrators facing charges related to the sex abuse scandal asked a judge to be tried separately.Defense lawyers are seeking to split the criminal cases against former athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz.Curley and Schultz are charged in Dauphin County with failing to report suspected child abuse and lying to a grand jury. They have pleaded not guilty and face a January trial.A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the defense motions. Prosecutors have until Oct. 1 to file a response with the court.In the Sandusky case, a long sentence, like a conviction, can help victims feel they were believed, said Kristen Houser, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. But she added that justice achieved through the court system is not a cure-all."Having him convicted and having him sentenced does not alter one iota the daily baggage that he inflicted upon them that they have to figure out how to manage every day for the rest of their lives," she said.The abuse scandal touched off by Sandusky's Nov. 5 arrest rocked Penn State, bringing down famed coach Joe Paterno and the university's president and leading the NCAA to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university's football program.Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, hired by school trustees to conduct an investigation into the university's handling of abuse complaints against Sandusky, concluded that Paterno, ousted President Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz concealed a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to protect Penn State from bad publicity.The late coach's family, as well as Spanier, Curley and Schultz, have hotly disputed Freeh's assertions.Some alumni groups have also attacked the Freeh report and said Penn State and the NCAA should not have accepted its conclusions.

Carr takes responsibility for poor Raiders passing game, 'We played awful'

Carr takes responsibility for poor Raiders passing game, 'We played awful'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Derek Carr has made 44 starts as Raiders quarterback. They all haven’t been pretty. Most of them have, but the 25-year has hit a few bumps during what is generally considered a sterling start to his career.

He threw some costly interceptions in 2015, and was learning on the job as a rookie. He’s been nothing short of awesome this season. Until Thursday night, certainly one of his worst as a professional.

Ponder this stat line: 17-for-41, 117 passing yards, no touchdowns, no picks. His 49.1 passer rating was career low.

That’s un-Carr-like, to say the least.

While his receivers dropped four passes, there were many others not in the tally that should’ve been caught. Special teams made some costly mistakes and the defense had some first-half lapses.

Carr wasn’t afraid to say quarterback play had a huge impact on a 21-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, a nationally televised game that dropped the Raiders to 10-3 and into second-place in the AFC West.

“It was definitely a bad night, no way of getting around that,” Carr said. “I hate to have a bad night coming on this one, out of all the games we’ve had. Obviously, we didn’t do enough. 

“I feel very responsible for that because of being the leader of the offense and the team. I feel sick to my stomach when we put something like that out there on film. It hurts, I can promise you that. I put too much time into this to go do something like that.”

Carr didn’t want to make excuses after this loss. He didn’t blame his right pinky, which he dislocated in two places against Carolina, which still causes discomfort.

“It definitely wasn’t the finger’s fault,” Carr said.

He didn’t blame frigid temperatures, or whether that had an effect on his grip or his ailing digit. It certainly might have, but the Raiders quarterback never plays the blame game.

Despite the passing game’s struggles, Latavius Murray ran well and the defense clamped down in the second half. That kept the Raiders down one score most of the second half, but they couldn’t cross the goal line.

The Raiders had more than eight minutes to put a game-trying drive together, but stalled at the Kansas City 19-yard line and turned it over on downs.

Carr put one touchdown drive together, late in the first half that made it 21-10. The defense forced two turnovers in the red zone early in the third quarter, but the Raiders only got three points from those opportunities.

That, much like everything else that happened in the passing game, was uncharacteristic of an explosive unit.

“Everything about tonight was unusual, to be honest,” Carr said. “To have our defense step up for us and make plays, and for us to go out there and not execute, do things we don’t do… That’s why it’s frustrating. That why I promise you I’m not worried.

“We played awful. It wasn’t good enough, but I’m not worried because I know the guys in the locker room. I’m not worried one bit, but it just sucks. We have to take it. We have to take the punch, but I’m not worried. I think we’re going to bounce back.”

Raiders' magic dissipates, but valuable lesson about contending learned

Raiders' magic dissipates, but valuable lesson about contending learned

So the Oakland Raiders are good, but not magical, let alone soaked in destiny. So they can make every game a hard slog for the opponent, but they are not invulnerable. So they can be inefficient, and too sure of themselves, and terribly wasteful when they’re cold.

In other words, they are part of the National Football League – no longer too good to be true.

Their performance against the Chiefs in Kansas City was a pyramid of blown opportunities, opportunities made necessary by a terrible start. A week ago, against a borderline playoff team, they could get away with it. Thursday, on hostile ground, against a team that has lost three of its previous 23 regular season games and has a defense that specializes in standing on your chest until you whistle Yankee Doodle through your navel, they couldn’t.

The result of the 21-13 loss in a game with 12 more points than degrees of temperature is that the Raiders are now the fifth-best team in the American Football Conference rather than the first-best team with four more chances to change that position.

In other words, Thursday’s defeat only provided this much wisdom: The Raiders are a good team vulnerable to other good teams with an iron-plated sense of purpose, stubborn defenses that can apply and maintain a chokehold for hours on end, and offenses that don’t feel compelled to imitate Oakland’s offense by getting into a shootout.

And also this: There is nothing that would necessarily prevent them from beating the Chiefs in case of a third match, even though Kansas City held them to fewer points in two games than they scored in every other game save one. They are still, as the pedants say, “in the argument.”

But they have flaws to be exposed against the right team in the right situation. Kansas City has been that team twice, and New England probably is, but there the list probably stops. Nobody in the AFC North or South seems terribly capable of matching them in neutral conditions, but here’s the other bone spur:

The playoffs are not about neutral conditions.

The Raiders have come a long way in what most people think is a long time, but in fact in terms of team construction, you can throw out everything before 2013, and almost everything before 2015. They are just now getting a full understanding of the hardest part of becoming a Super Bowl contender – the other Super Bowl contenders.

Yes, Kansas City has an indifferent playoff history under Andy Reid, but it is clear that under current conditions the Chiefs are serious players. And while we have no link to how the Raiders would fare against new England, we are pretty sure that they wouldn’t want to play the second weekend of January arse-deep in snow in Foxborough.

The point? Now they get how hard this contender stuff really is. They could not have learned that lesson any other way – not anyone they’ve played yet save Kansas City.

Their next lessons come in Weeks 16 and 17, when they face the frantically desperate Indianapolis Colts in Oakland and then the Broncos in Denver the week after. Desperate teams can be very difficult indeed, especially to teams that are safe and dry and home, playoff-wise.

And then there are the actual playoffs, which if they were played today would have the Raiders traveling to Houston for a very winnable game against the stultifying Texans. The week after, they could be either in Kansas City again or in New England, getting a gut full of visiting field disadvantage.

But as a learning experience, the Raiders may have come out very well indeed. They now know in very real and personal ways the real difference between where they think they should be and where they are, as well as how many ways this can go terribly wrong between now and then.

And also how well it can go, if they learn what the Chiefs taught them again Thursday.