BC-FBC—Penn State-Ganter, 1st Ld-Writethru,543
Ganter leaves Penn State football after 46 years
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Veteran Penn State athletic department administrator and assistant coach Fran Ganter is retiring after nearly five decades at his alma mater.
A former player, Ganter also served as an assistant for 33 years under the late coach Joe Paterno. He became offensive coordinator in 1984 and oversaw the offense for the 1986 national title team. Ganter became assistant head coach in 2000 before leaving the sidelines in 2004 to become associate athletic director of football administration.
Ganter was asked to deliver a note to Paterno with the number of a university trustee the night Paterno was fired in November 2011 in the aftermath of retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s arrest on child sex abuse charges.
Ganter in a statement Wednesday called Paterno an “influential and constant figure” in his life.
“He was tough as my coach and demanding as my boss, but was always thoughtful and understanding when it came to my family,” Ganter said of Paterno. He added that his family loved being part of the football program because “Coach Paterno genuinely cared for them and always tried to make them feel that they were an important part of the program — and for that I am eternally grateful.”
Ganter, 64, also thanked fellow coaches, staffers and current coach Bill O’Brien, and singled out his former players. “It was truly a privilege and an honor to be part of their lives,” he said.
O’Brien praised Ganter for helping smooth the transition for the new coaching staff. He said he respected Ganter’s decision to step away so that he could enjoy more time for himself and Ganter’s four sons.
“I am very proud and thankful to have been a member of the Penn State Football family for the past 46 years,” said Ganter, whose last day is Thursday.
Ganter played on the undefeated Penn State teams in 1968 and 1969. He graduated in 1971 and started his assistant coaching career the next fall.
The native of Bethel Park, Pa., was the only assistant head coach in Paterno’s coaching tenure. Ganter coordinated the 1994 offense, featuring quarterback Kerry Collins and receiver Bobby Engram, that averaged 47.8 points per game — the fourth-highest scoring average in NCAA history.
Ganter is credited with coaching other notable players including running backs and first-round NFL draft picks Curt Warner, Blair Thomas and Larry Johnson, along with kickers Chris and Matt Bahr.
Ganter and Sandusky served on the same staff for years under Paterno, and both assistants at times were considered potential replacements for their boss. Sandusky left after the 1999 season.
Ganter left the coaching staff to become an associate athletic director in early 2004, about two years after his wife, Karen, had died. The responsibilities of the desk job included scheduling and other administrative duties.
He also served as director of the Football Letterman’s Club, a group for former players which raised money for scholarships and supported current players. The athletic department statement included testimonials from eight former players including Collins and Warner.
”Fran was a great teammate, coach and administrator. He had opportunities to leave but was loyal to Penn State and his family,” said former Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Ham. “He has had a wonderful career and will be very much missed.”
Saban: 4 arrested Bama players dismissed from team
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AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Four players for two-time defending national champion Alabama have been dismissed from school following their arrests after two robberies on campus.
University spokeswoman Deborah Lane said Wednesday that linebackers D.J. Pettway and Tyler Hayes, safety Eddie Williams and H-back Brent Calloway are no longer enrolled after a judicial review.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had earlier said the players “are no longer associated with the football program.”
“Their actions do not reflect the spirit and character that we want our organization to reflect,” Saban said. “It’s obviously very disappointing and unacceptable what happened.
“I also think I’m really proud over the last five years that our team has done a very good job with their personal responsibility and how they’ve represented the university. Some people learn by words, some people learn by consequences, some people can’t learn.”
Pettway, Williams and Hayes are charged with two counts of second-degree robbery. Williams and Calloway, who was not accused in the robberies, are charged with fraudulent use of a credit card.
Williams confessed to robbing a student who was punched in the head and face and kicked in the ribs and back. He said Pettway and Hayes watched him commit another robbery from a nearby vehicle about an hour later, according to court documents.
Hayes, 18, admitted to participating in the first robbery and watching the second, court documents said.
Williams and Calloway, both 20, are scheduled for preliminary hearings on March 19 in Tuscaloosa District Court.
Those two and 18-year-old Pettway have requested youthful offender status.
The first student reported having his Apple Macbook Pro stolen from his backpack. Both sustained mild concussions, cuts on the face and heavy swelling, and had items stolen, according to court documents.
All four players were backups last season for Alabama, which has won three of the past four BCS titles. Williams didn’t play in 2012, but he was one of the nation’s top prospects the previous year and moved from receiver to safety.
Saban also updated the status of four other players regarding injury or suspension.
Cornerback John Fulton and wide receiver Kevin Norwood are not participating in offseason conditioning workouts with turf toe injuries. Saban said both are uncertain for spring practice.
Saban said Fulton had surgery after the season and the recovery time is typically about three months. Alabama opens spring practice on March 16.
He said receiver Marvin Shinn has left the team and fellow receiver Danny Woodson is suspended for violating team rules and won’t participate in spring practice.
Syracuse building indoor practice facility Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse University will begin construction on an indoor practice center later this year aimed mainly at benefiting the resurgent football program as the school transitions to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The $17 million, 87,000-square-foot facility will provide the football program with a modern practice environment and help enhance recruiting efforts.
That’s paramount going forward, and athletic director Daryl Gross called the new center “absolutely essential” as the school strives to become an attractive option for student-athletes up and down the eastern seaboard.
Syracuse joins the ACC in July.
While football will be the main tenant of the new center, all athletic programs will have access.
Is Johnny Football headed to court?
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — A company representing Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has filed a lawsuit to stop the sale of T-shirts using his “Johnny Football” nickname.
The federal lawsuit seeks damages for alleged trademark infringement and reimbursement for court fees and other compensation. It was filed by Manziel’s limited liability company, JMAN2 Enterprises LLC, against Eric Vaughan of Fairview, Texas. He owns a website selling T-shirts that read “Keep Calm and Johnny Football.”
Manziel’s company filed the trademark for “Johnny Football” on March 2, and it is pending. JMAN2 Enterprises attorney Bennett White said the website has not followed a cease-and-desist letter, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported (bit.ly/YZ6w7Q ).
The NCAA recently ruled that Manziel could keep the money from a lawsuit without forfeiting his amateur status. It is unclear how much Manziel could take home if he wins the lawsuit, but White pointed out that there is no award ceiling in federal court.
White said the lawsuit is to protect Manziel, and that the company is operated by a manager so that the quarterback can focus on college. However, White said that Manziel was aware of the lawsuit and stands behind it.
“The reason to seek damages would be to avoid having to file lots and lots of lawsuits because people may be willing to monitor their behavior and honor their rights,” White said.
Shane Hinckley, Texas A&M assistant vice president of business development, said Texas A&M has sent more than 60 cease-and-desist letters concerning Manziel and has removed more than 900 items off EBay. The university is not part of the lawsuit against Vaughan.
Still, the university and Manziel’s lawyers have their eye on others who are profiting off the “Johnny Football” name.
”There are other incidences similar to this that are being reviewed for possible additional legal litigation by both parties,” Hinckley said.