Harbaugh, Michigan counting on ex-Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
Friday, August 24
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Jim Harbaugh was hailed as a savior when he came back to Michigan, a former star quarterback tasked with returning college football’s winningest program to glory.
Harbaugh hasn’t been able to do it yet and, perhaps coincidentally, quarterback has not a position of strength for the Wolverines his first three years.
It is now.
Mississippi transfer Shea Patterson will be under center when the 14th-ranked Wolverines open the season on the night of Sept. 1 at No. 12 Notre Dame. Patterson said Harbaugh has prepared his players well for the challenge.
“He’s making the most of his opportunity,” Patterson said Thursday night, surrounded by about 30 reporters. “And, so will I.”
By all accounts, Harbaugh has found what he has been looking for — a dynamic playmaker at quarterback. Patterson will play behind an offensive line that has improved, according to coaches and players, and he will be able to rely on a pair of experienced and talented running backs, a handful of potentially potent receivers along with perhaps one of the nation’s best defenses.
“I think Shea Patterson will be the whip cream on the cake that Harbaugh has been missing,” said former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, an NFL draft consultant and SiriusXM Satellite Radio analyst.
If it seems that everything is lined up for a banner year at Michigan, it’s been a journey and then some for Harbaugh (28-11 in three seasons and a pair of bowl losses) — and for Patterson.
On a cold day last winter, Patterson was missing his parents.
He had been cozy in a condo he shared with teammates he knew well in Oxford, Mississippi. Now, he was living like a freshman again in a shared dorm room with a bathroom down the hall. His appeal to play this year was still pending, leaving him at the mercy of the NCAA after he left a program on probation.
Some of his credits from Ole Miss, where he had As and Bs, were not accepted by Michigan. He knew only a couple of his new teammates, he was learning a new playbook and he was enduring sub-zero temperatures for the first time since he was a kid. Patterson called his father.
“When do you want us to come up?” Sean Patterson asked his son.
“Tomorrow,” his father recalled him saying.
Sean and Karen were on an airplane the next day to see their stressed-out son. They helped him wash, dry and fold clothes at a laundry and simply spent time with him, reassuring him that everything was going to be OK.
“Whatever you go through you have two decisions — get better or get worse,” Shea Patterson said. “I’ve been taught by my parents and older siblings to control what you can control and keep working. It’s been a rough road, but I’m so thankful I’m here at this university and that I get to be a Michigan Wolverine.”
Shea Patterson is the third of four children. His younger brother, Nick, is a junior tight end at San Antonio Christian High School and has a scholarship offer from Michigan .
Michigan’s new quarterback was born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised to root for the Wolverines, with Ann Arbor just an hour’s drive from home. He recalls watching Chad Henne play quarterback at the Big House with his father, whose family had season tickets.
Back then, his dad would tell him bedtime stories that always included him playing quarterback for the Wolverines.
“Every night before I went to bed if I wasn’t being crazy and he had to yell at me, he would lay down with me and tell that story,” he recalled. “It’s crazy just to think I’m here at the University of Michigan and it’s a reality now.”
Sean Patterson, a salesman, moved his family south after the mortgage crisis hit more than a decade ago. That means Patterson’s path to Ann Arbor included stops in Hidalgo, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Bradenton, Florida and Ole Miss. That doesn’t count a short stay this summer working out with the Triple-A Round Rock Express and picking the brains of professional baseball players. The Texas Rangers drafted him this year in the 39th round with the 1,169th pick overall, though he hasn’t played baseball since he was a junior in high school.
Coach Scott Moore was glad to have Patterson at Hidalgo High School, which is a mile from Mexico.
“I went over to their house to meet Shea and watched him throw in the driveway to his brother,” recalled Moore, who now coaches at Elysian Fields High School in East Texas. “I only needed to see him throw three or four passes to see a quick trigger that reminded me of Dan Marino. I ended up starting him as a ninth-grader over a returning starter, who was a senior, when I was in my first year as coach and inheriting an 0-10 team.”
The freshman helped his team go 7-4 and was named MVP of the district, Ford said.
Sean Patterson’s promotion at work pushed his family about 600 miles away to Louisiana. The rising quarterback prospect was enrolled at Calvary Baptist, where he was coached by John Bachman and led the school to consecutive state championships.
“When we first got him, you could see the skill right away and later you knew he had that ‘it’ factor,’” said Bachman, who now coaches at Red River High School in Louisiana. “He’s a rare kid who is talented and has a great work ethic.”
By Patterson’s junior season, he had become a highly touted player who was welcomed to finish high school at IMG Academy where even more people were able to see the mobile quarterback with a strong and accurate arm.
“Shea is a defensive nightmare because he can move, but he doesn’t look to run and his eyes are always downfield,” IMG coach Kevin Wright said. “Knowing Shea and what Michigan has lacked, he’s exactly what they need.”
At Ole Miss, Patterson wore No. 20 as a tribute to his grandfather, who played for the Pistons a half-century ago. At Michigan, he is wearing No. 2, a number worn by Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.
Patterson called Woodson to ask if that was OK, calling him with a number his father had because he was one of Woodson’s basketball coaches in Fremont, Ohio.
“I think Charles made some stipulations that only he and Shea know about,” Sean Patterson said.
Patterson started the last three games of his first season with the Rebels and helped them rally from a 23-point, four-quarter deficit to beat No. 8 Texas A&M. He threw for 3,139 yards and 23 touchdowns with 12 interceptions over parts of two years before his sophomore season ended in the seventh game because of a knee injury.
“He can place balls wherever you want him to put it,” said Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins, who played with Patterson at Ole Miss. “One of the things a lot of people don’t realize is a lot of quarterbacks’ balls are hard to catch, but he has a lot of feel to his passes.”
Michigan’s passes last season were often high, low or wide.
The Wolverines were a woeful No. 110 in yards passing nationally and 105th in total offense out of 129 programs at the highest level of college football last year. Returning starter Wilton Speight, who has since transferred to UCLA, struggled early last season before being injured and John O’Korn and Brandon Peters followed with lackluster results that led to an 8-5 record.
Patterson was given the OK to play this season by the NCAA nearly four months ago and has been leading ever since with an aura Ann Arbor needs in the fourth year of the Harbaugh era.
“Just walking around, (Patterson) has a presence,” Michigan fullback Ben Mason said. “He’s not afraid of anything, which is something very important that you need in a quarterback. He just has this swagger that, honestly, spreads throughout the team. He gives off positive energy, which is very good for a quarterback.”
AP Sports Writer Mike Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this report.
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Ex-Michigan State gymnastics coach charged in Nassar case
By DAVID EGGERT
Friday, August 24
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former head coach of Michigan State’s gymnastics team was charged Thursday with lying to an investigator when she denied that witnesses told her years ago about being sexually assaulted by ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar.
A charging document does not specify how many witnesses allegedly reported Nassar to Kathie Ann Klages, or when they did so. But former gymnast Larissa Boyce has said she told Klages of Nassar’s abuse in 1997, when Boyce was 16 — 19 years before he was first criminally charged with sexual abuse.
Klages, who resigned in 2017 after she was suspended for defending the now-imprisoned Nassar, is now the third person other than Nassar to face criminal charges related to his serial molestation of young female athletes under the guise of treatment. Numerous other people have lost their jobs or been sued.
If convicted of lying to a peace officer, the 63-year-old Klages could face up to four years in prison.
Boyce, who declined comment Thursday, had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team in 1997. She has said Klages dissuaded her from taking the issue further, even after another teen gymnast relayed similar allegations.
The warrant released Thursday alleges that in June, after being informed by special agent David Dwyre that he was conducting a criminal investigation, Klages knowingly and willfully made false and misleading statements to him. She faces two counts of lying to a peace officer, one a felony and the other a high court misdemeanor.
It was unclear whether Klages had a criminal defense attorney. A message seeking comment Thursday was left with lawyers defending her against lawsuits. She lives in Mason, Michigan, just outside Lansing. Her arraignment had not been scheduled.
Michigan State spokeswoman Emily Guerrant declined to comment on the charges, saying Klages is no longer an employee.
“MSU is committed to implementing changes for the fall semester that enhance prevention and education programming and establish new safety measures as well as increase resources and support for survivors of sexual assault,” she said.
The charges were announced by special independent counsel Bill Forsyth, who was appointed by state Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate Michigan State’s handling of Nassar. He said witnesses have said they reported Nassar’s sexual abuse to Klages dating back more than 20 years ago.
Hundreds of girls and women have said Nassar molested them when he was a physician, including while he worked at Michigan State and Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians. Nassar, 55, last year pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting nine victims and possessing child pornography, and his sentences equate to life in prison.
Lindsey Lemke was a gymnast at Michigan State and previously has said Klages in 2016 discouraged her from speaking about how she was abused by Nassar after The Indianapolis Star exposed abuse by Nassar. She said in a statement Thursday that the charges “validate my truth and represent a huge step forward in my healing process. It is my hope that she will be held accountable for failing to protect me and other young athletes under her care.”
Other officials subsequently charged amid investigations into Nassar include the former dean of the university’s osteopathic medicine school, William Strampel, who had oversight of Nassar. He is accused of neglecting his duty to enforce examining-room restrictions imposed on Nassar after a patient accused him in 2014 of sexual contact.
Strampel — who retired this summer while the school tried to revoke his tenure — also has been charged with sexually harassing three women, including two current medical students, who alleged bawdy talk about sex and nude photos, and a groping incident.
In Texas, a grand jury indicted former sports medicine trainer Debra Van Horn on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child. The local prosecutor said she was charged as “acting as a party” with Nassar but he did not elaborate. Van Horn had worked at USA Gymnastics for 30 years.
Investigators have said Nassar’s crimes were mostly committed in Michigan at a campus clinic, area gyms and his Lansing-area home. Accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas, where Nassar also faces charges, and at national and international competitions.
Michigan State softball, volleyball, and track and field athletes have said they told an assistant coach and trainers about Nassar’s inappropriate behavior. The university in May reached a $500 million settlement with 332 women and girls who said they were assaulted by Nassar.
Separately, a Michigan sheriff is investigating unspecified complaints against former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team coach John Geddert, who owned and operated Twistars, a Lansing-area gym where Nassar offered treatments.
During Nassar’s sentencings, some victims complained that Geddert was physically abusive and indifferent to injuries, and forced them to see Nassar. He has insisted that he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.
Follow David Eggert on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/David%20Eggert .
August 23, 2018
OHSAA Files Complaint and Emergency Motion with Ohio Supreme Court
Complaint submitted regarding Judge Robert Ruehlman’s order in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas concerning Competitive Balance process
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association filed a Complaint for Writ of Prohibition in the Ohio Supreme Court Thursday and asked the Ohio Supreme Court to stay enforcement of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by Judge Robert P. Ruehlman against the OHSAA and to stay all further proceedings on this matter in Hamilton County until the Ohio Supreme Court has considered the merits of OHSAA’s Complaint for Writ of Prohibition.
The filing contends that Judge Ruehlman did not have the jurisdiction or authority to issue a TRO prohibiting the OHSAA from implementing the adopted bylaws of the voluntary members of this unincorporated private association. Judge Ruehlman’s TRO prevents the OHSAA from implementing a component of the Competitive Balance formula as it applies specifically to Roger Bacon High School and the other members of the Greater Catholic League Coed Division, but the ruling impacts schools throughout Ohio.
Membership in the OHSAA is voluntary and the member schools vote annually for any changes they wish to adopt to their Constitution and Bylaws.
“We do not believe that courts can interfere with the internal affairs and application of the bylaws of the OHSAA, which were duly adopted by the member schools,” said Joe Callow, partner at Keating, Muething and Klekamp PLL (KMK), which is assisting OHSAA general counsel Steve Craig, Esq., in defense of the Competitive Balance process that OHSAA member schools voted into place in 2014. “The Ohio Supreme Court has been consistent on this issue for more than 50 years.”
“OHSAA member schools have agreed to a longstanding and fair process that provides them the opportunity to change any of our Bylaws or Constitutional items,” said Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director. “Our member schools voted these bylaws into place and only the member schools can make a change. We will strongly defend the very Constitution our members have voted for and we support the GCL schools as well as all our members to propose changes through that established process.”
In addition to Roger Bacon, members of the GCL Coed Division include Kettering Archbishop Alter, Dayton Carroll, Middletown Bishop Fenwick, Cincinnati Purcell Marian, Hamilton Badin, Dayton Chaminade Julienne and Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas.
Judge Ruehlman has scheduled an August 28 preliminary injunction hearing in the case in Hamilton County. Officially, the filing Thursday in the Ohio Supreme Court is a Complaint for Writ of Prohibition and Motion for Emergency Stay and Expedited Alternative Writ, which asks a higher court to stop a lower court from proceeding with a case that does not fall under the lower court’s jurisdiction.
Judge Ruehlman issued the TRO August 15 prohibiting the OHSAA from using the Tier 1 factor, which relates to feeder schools, specifically as it applies to Roger Bacon and the GCL Coed Division. However, since OHSAA bylaws apply equally to all member schools, both public and non-public, the ruling has statewide implications.
The Competitive Balance process determines how schools are assigned to postseason tournament divisions in football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball.
The lawsuit has no effect on regular season schedules, which are now underway. However, if the OHSAA is not successful in its appeal, it could require the divisional assignments to be recalculated mid-season for those sports that are affected by Competitive Balance.