Robinson to Emmert, “Come Take My Wins!”

Long before Michael Robinson had won a Super Bowl as a fullback, he was once the starting quarterback for the 2005 Big 10 conference champion, Penn State Nittany Lions. During his senior year he threw the 5th best season by a PSU QB at that time (now 8th). His only full year as the starter at PSU, he lead the Nittany Lions to an 11-1 record, 3rd ranking in the AP Polls, a share of the Big 10 title with Ohio State, an Orange Bowl victory against Florida State and finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting. He helped Penn State and JoePa accumulate 27 wins in his four years and their first bowl win and double digit win season since 1999.

Insert the Jerry Sandusky scandal with the consequences in 2011 handed down by NCAA President, Mark Emmert. Penn State had numerous sanctions placed against it as well as bowl bans, probation, scholarship reductions for the football program and a hefty fine, not to mention 10 or so corrective actions the University had to implement.

Former players from all eras weighed in on the sanctions and the end of JoePa’s tenure, being fired during the investigation. Nine former players including the JoePa estate and several Penn State trustees last year, filled a lawsuit against the sanctions delivered by the NCAA calling them a rush to conclusion in the Freeh report. The report states that the NCAA, Emmert and then chair of the NCAA’s executive committee Edward Ray “acted in clear and direct violation of the organization’s own rules based on a flawed report by former FBI director Louis Freeh”. Freeh led the university’s internal investigation into the scandal, arriving at scathing findings that pointed blame in part on Paterno and three former school officials. The suit hopes to reverse the sanctions levied due to Sandusky’s actions.

At the John Travers Memorial Golf Tournament on May 9 at Blue Ridge Country Club, Robinson auctioned off a specially signed picture of himself as the beloved PSU QB. The picture was auctioned for $325 which was inscribed with a distinct message for the NCAA President, “Dear Mr. Emmert, Come take my wins! – Michael Robinson 12”

There is no doubt that what Sandusky had done is completely disgusting, monstrous and absolutely not what any of the victims parents/families thought their child was being subjected to. This was supposed to be a man who was out to help their child through their rough patches, guide them to success and groom them to be good citizens. His sentence is what it is and has been worked through the justice system. The day the sanctions were enforced on the university caused much debate as to whether the NCAA follows their own rules in handing down punishments on universities in the wake of scandals.

Through the years of coverage on the scandal and the countless interviews of former players, fans and college sports analysts, the monetary sanctions levied on the university seem just, since it will go to help the youth affected by such horrendous acts. The other sanctions however seem unjust as it punishes other innocent people, specifically the student athletes that took part and are prideful of the 112 wins taken from the program. It also punished the potential future student athletes that were turned away from a chance at a scholarship from the football team due to the reduction of available scholarships the program could use. The reason as explained by Mark Emmert was that no one man or program is above the university and must be punished.

Mike Robinson’s signed photo statement to Emmert seems to be a mini jab at the NCAA President however there is deeper meaning that all former PSU players have voiced on the sanctions. It was tough enough for the current players at the time to have to play to the end of the season under the media microscope of the investigation. Why further punish the current student athletes in the football program, potential future student athletes of the football program and the former student athletes from those 1998-2011 football programs? What was taken from the victims can never be replaced, but for whatever reasons that Mark Emmert had come to a conclusion back in late 2011-early 2012, common sense was not used and the situation in Happy Valley worsened.

The 27 wins meant the building of character to Mike Robinson. It meant the four years of tutelage under JoePa and the many lessons on growing up and being responsible, even lessons on how to treat a lady. There is no question from the alumni players, how much JoePa meant and still means to them and how much he would always have their best interests in mind. Maybe this is the time for them to be here for him since he had passed shortly after leaving the program. The alumni players have stood firm for what kind of man JoePa was and what he stood for. They’ve all tried to make sure that for the good JoePa had done in his lifetime at PSU, people still remember him for it. For Mike Robison, his part is standing up for those 27 wins.

Where doesn’t Allen Robinson fit in?

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My first blog writing gig for a website has come with morethanafan.net and their cfbroundtable.com site.  I accepted a position covering Penn State Nittany Lions football.  So, being a long time Michigan fan, I will always love Michigan, but now I have to draw my attention to PSU.

I’ve never disliked PSU and always rooted for them since they pluck a bunch of local kids from around where I grew up, to play for them.  So I never looked at them as “rivals”.  Plus, who didn’t like JoPa through his 30 plus years of coaching?  He taught a lot of kids through the program some very important values that they have taken to heart over the years and applied to their lives and even though he had a lapse in sense on what to do with the Jerry Sandusky situation, he is still revered by former players, coaches, alumni, and the university for the non-football contributions he made.

Having pulled up the current roster, 2014 schedule, and the departing players to the draft, I came away with an overall good feeling about the upcoming season.  Towards the end of the summer is when I will start to analyze the team more in depth along with their schedule.  Right now PSU students are going home for the summer and some senior football players including junior Allen Robinson, are hoping they hear their name called in the remaining 6 rounds of the draft tonight and tomorrow.

One of the best scouted prospects coming out of PSU this year is 6’2″ wide receiver Allen Robinson.  He is in a very packed wide receiver draft class where he was pegged by “mock draft experts” to go somewhere late in the first round or in the second round.  To say the least, there were a lot of surprising picks in the first round and a bunch of teams who need receivers passed on them and went for another need.  Teams in need of a wide receiver as a top 3 need are as followed: Rams, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders, Lions, Steelers, Jets, Eagles, Chiefs, 49ers, Broncos and Seahawks.  Plenty of teams to land on for Robinson who is considered by some “mock draft experts” the 7th best remaining receiver.  Robinson’s pro day improved on his combine numbers and with his size and his 4.49 speed, he would be an asset to any of the teams listed above.  Not to mention that he could be the complimenting receiver to another big named receiver currently on  a team or be your number one guy given his stature.

Upcoming second round picks from the list of teams above that need a wide receiver: 3rd Pick – Browns, 4th Pick – Raiders, 7th – Jaguars, 8th Pick – Seahawks, 12th Pick – Rams, 13th Pick – Lions, 14th Pick – Steelers, 17th – Jets, 22nd Pick – Eagles, 24th Pick – 49ers, 29th Pick – 49ers, 31st Pick – Broncos, 32nd Pick – Seahawks.

14 chances that a wide receiver could be taken, 14 chances that it could be Allen Robinson depending on how the teams have graded him on their board.  Size, Speed and great leaping ability (39″ vertical) will compliment any receiving core and he will be a red zone threat since he doesn’t mind the contact aspect of football (as seen when he ran his own lineman over to grab a few more yards against Syracuse last year.)  I could see him being taken early on to mid 2nd round but I would be shocked if he fell to the 20th+ picks of the second round.  It really all depends on how teams graded him and where they have him in the ranks of all of the other wide receivers.

News came in that an assistant coach saw the 1st round draft board of the Vikings and they had Johnny Manziel and Teddy Brdgewater 1 and 2 on their draft board.  Most of America didn’t have Bridgewater going in the first round after his pro day but it goes to show you that teams grade guys differently and that nothing is to be expected.  Personally, Carr would’ve been the pick there since he hasn’t missed where Bridgewater has in the throwing game and has more of a cannon.  So take in the next two rounds tonight, teams will look to pick up a great amount of solid left over players.