PSU player gets letter criticizing dreadlocks: AP PA Headlines, Features, Scores & Skeds

AP PA Headlines 10/08/19

UNDATED (AP) — After a Penn State player received a letter from a fan criticizing his “awful” dreadlocks, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin opened his weekly news conference by talking about how football teams bring people together. The letter was sent to Penn State safety Jonathan Sutherland and it gained attention after his teammates posted it on social media Monday night. You can read the letter below.

“Dear Jonathan,

“My wife and I are proud ‘older’ graduates of Penn State. We follow all Penn State sports; football, wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball. We love it all. I played all the sports in my younger days; still played full-court basketball into my 50’s. Loved the competition but never had the size or talent to reach your level, though the desire was there!

“Though the athletes of today are certainly superior to those in my days, we miss the clean-cut young men and women from those days. Watching the Idaho game on TV, we couldn’t help but notice your — well — awful hair. Surely there must be mirrors in the locker room! Don’t you have parents or a girlfriend who have told you those shoulder-length dreadlocks disgusting and are certainly not attractive?

“We congratulate you on your game against Pitt, but you need to remember you represent all Penn Staters — both current and alumni from years past. We would welcome the reappearance of dress code for athletes.

“You will certainly be playing on Sundays in the future, but we have stopped watching the NFL due to the disgusting tattoos, awful hair and immature antics in the end zone. Players should act as though they’ve ‘been there before.’””


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has once again declined to take up the case of a former northeastern Pennsylvania judge convicted in what prosecutors said were juveniles wrongly sent to a detention center.  The denial Monday by the nation’s highest court was the second for 69-year-old former Luzerne County judge Mark Ciavarella Jr.


Ciavarella was convicted in 2011 of accepting bribes in exchange for ordering kids to a for-profit detention center for a wide range of relatively minor infractions. Sentenced to 28 years, he has denied wrongdoing.  A federal appeals court threw out an honest services mail fraud charge but upheld the other charges and the verdict. In 2014, the Supreme Court denied Ciavarella’s first petition for review. Last year, a judge threw out racketeering and money laundering conspiracy convictions.


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A lawsuit is challenging a Pennsylvania county’s policy that people on probation and other forms of court supervision may not use medical marijuana, even if they are in the state registry.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a case in Commonwealth Court on Tuesday that seeks to stop the policy that was imposed last month in Lebanon County.


The three plaintiffs argue it contradicts legal-immunity provisions in the state’s 2016 law and are asking for an order to halt the policy while their case proceeds.  ACLU lawyers say they may expand the litigation to cover similar policies in some other counties.  The defendant is the Lebanon County judicial district, which includes the county probation office.  It’s being represented by lawyers for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, which declined comment.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh area couple found out where all their walnuts have gone.  It turns out squirrels stored more than 200 of them under the hood of the couple’s SUV.  Chris Persic tells KDKA-TV his wife called to say the vehicle smelled like it was burning. When she popped the hood, she found walnuts and grass piled over the engine.


They took the SUV to a mechanic who found half a trashcan of walnuts under the engine.  Persic says there was not any extensive damage.  But a squirrel may have chewed through or pulled out the fuel injector hose on his new truck.  The Persics have gotten a quote on removing a black walnut tree from their property.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced $44.4 million for 54 projects affecting coal-impacted communities in Appalachian states.  The commission said Tuesday that the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative aims to create or retain over 5,700 jobs. It said the initiative also seeks to leverage more than $39 million in private investment, create or retain 2,940 businesses and train thousands of workers and students.


More than $14.6 million will develop business incubators, increase access to capital and provide other services in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.  Over $13 million will support broadband development in New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.  And more than $8.3 million will focus on strategies to strengthen recovery in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia jury has decided that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals should pay $8 billion over an antipsychotic drug that the plaintiff’s attorneys say is linked to the growth of female breast tissue in boys.  A law firm for the plaintiff released a statement Tuesday saying the companies used an organized scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug called Risperdal.  Johnson & Johnson says the jury’s award “is grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case,” and that the company is “confident it will be overturned.”


Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved




STOCKHOLM (AP) — Life imitated art Tuesday when “The Big Bang Theory” — the American TV sitcom, not the scientific explanation for how the universe began — entered the annals of Nobel Prize history.  The announcement of the winners of this year’s Nobel in physics began with a nod to an unlikely cultural reference: the opening lyrics to the show’s theme song. “The Big Bang Theory” had its finale in May. In the episode, two of the main characters, Sheldon and Amy, win the physics prize.


“Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state, then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started,” academy member Ulf Danielsson said, quoting “The Big Bang” theme at the presentation in Stockholm.  A Canadian-American scientist and two Swiss scientists won the physics prize for their work in understanding how the universe has evolved from the Big Bang and the blockbuster discovery of a planet outside our solar system.


ATLANTA (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she’s giving $13 million to increase a scholarship endowment at a historically black college.  Winfrey announced her plan Monday at Morehouse College in Atlanta, adding to the $12 million she gave to the all-male college in 1989. She was meeting with 47 students who benefit from the existing endowment.


“I was really surprised to learn that it’s been 30 years since I made that $12 million donation to Morehouse, so today, I’d like to add $13 million to that,” Winfrey said as cheers erupted, in a video released by Morehouse.

Morehouse President David Thomas said Winfrey’s endowment has paid to educate nearly 600 students over the past three decades.


CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio homeowner never envisioned becoming semi-famous because of a goat butting its way into her home and taking a nap in her bathroom.  “This is the most random story in the world,” Jennifer Keathley said Tuesday, breaking out into laughter.  The break-in happened Friday when an escaped male goat from a farm several miles away repeatedly butted against a sliding glass door, breaking into the Keathley family home in Ashland County’s Sullivan Township.


Keathley’s 18-year-old son, Logan, discovered the billy goat in the bathroom when he returned home Friday afternoon from school to find the family’s agitated German Shepherd in the driveway, broken glass on the back porch and the house reeking.  Some of the break-in was recorded on the Keathley’s home surveillance camera.

Two Ashland County Sheriff’s deputies unsuccessfully tried to coax the goat, named Big Boy, out of the home with carrots, a dog bone and grass. They eventually grabbed him by the horns and dragged him outside where they secured him in a dog cage.


NEW YORK (AP) – Here are the top ten prime-time programs by viewership by Nielsen for Sept. 30-Oct. 6. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.


  1. NFL Football: Indianapolis at Kansas City, NBC, 18.13 million.


  1. “NFL Postgame,” Fox, 17.49 million.


  1. NFL Football: L.A. Rams at Seattle, Fox, 14.41 million.


  1. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 12.89 million.


  1. “NCIS,” CBS, 12.52 million.


  1. NFL Football: Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, ESPN, 10.81 million.


  1. “FBI,” CBS, 9.47 million.


  1. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 9.04 million.


  1. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 8.75 million.


  1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.62 million.


LOS ANGELES (AP) – It took 77 musicians to stage the Eagles’ album “Hotel California” during their recent Las Vegas shows. Now the band is going to do it on tour. The Eagles will play “Hotel California” in its entirety for a tour that begins Feb. 7 in Atlanta. Even though “Hotel California” came out in 1976, the Las Vegas shows were the first time they performed it in its entirety.


Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


PA Sports, Scores & Skeds.




Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


UNDATED (AP) — After a Penn State player received a letter from a fan criticizing his “awful” dreadlocks, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin opened his weekly news conference by talking about how football teams bring people together. The letter was sent to Penn State safety Jonathan Sutherland and it gained attention after his teammates posted it on social media Monday night. You can read the full letter at


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says quarterback Mason Rudolph “appears to be doing fine” but remains in the concussion protocol following a hit by Baltimore safety Earl Thomas. Rudolph left a loss to Baltimore in the third quarter after Thomas hit Rudolph in the chin with his helmet. Rudolph was at the team’s facility on Monday but Tomlin declined to give a timetable on Rudolph’s potential availability for Sunday’s visit to Los Angeles to play the Chargers.


Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:



Final    Tampa Bay      4          Houston          1



Final    Connecticut     90        Washington     86


From PennLive:  Penn State may play No. 17 Iowa this weekend, but much of the attention Tuesday was on a letter received by senior Jonathan Sutherland.  Monday night, a letter was posted to social media from Dave Petersen, who is said to be a 1966 Penn State grad and former football season ticket holder from Johnstown. In the letter, Petersen comments on Sutherland’s “awful hair” and says he misses “the clean-cut young men and women” from his day.


Nittany Lions coach James Franklin opened his press conference on Tuesday addressing the letter.  “The football that I know, and love, brings people together and embraces differences,” Franklin said. “Black, white, brown, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim, rich or poor, rural or urban, Republican or Democrat, long hair, short hair or no hair, they’re all in the locker room together.”


Petersen’s letter prompted Jeff Ballou, who this year ran unsuccessfully for an alumni-elected seat on the Penn State Board of Trustees, to issue a letter of his own to trustees Chairman Mark Dambly, calling for him to condemn the comments from Petersen.


In the letter, he states Petersen “confused tradition with exclusion” and messages like that “certainly do not encourage a sense of community which I saw on campus last weekend during homecoming.”  Ballou, a Penn State alumnus, works as news editor for the Americas at Al Jazeera Media Network’s English language channel.


You can read the entire letter to Dambly below.


Dear Chairman Dambly,


I write this open letter to you and the trustees in hopes of an immediate response by the board.


Fred Lewis Pattee, principal namesake of Penn State’s University Park-based library wrote in 1901 as part of the university alma mater, “May no act of ours bring shame To one heart that loves thy name.” I wonder if he had alumnus David Petersen in mind? His disgusting letter to current Penn State football player Jonathan Sutherland about cutting his dreadlocks and not having tattoos is not simply a wistful missive from an older alum longing for a clean cut approach. His letter is ignorant of the culture and free expression each student of every generation brings to Penn State.



Mr. Petersen and alums like him who have taken to social media lately, confused tradition with exclusion, impede access, do not build responsible leadership in students or alumni, and certainly do not encourage a sense of community which I saw on campus last weekend during homecoming. Moreover, he has a history of repugnant letters to the editor. Succinctly put, Mr. Petersen does not believe that every lion counts and should be denounced for his words by our trustees, administration and alumni association.


Alumnus Wally Triplett and his Penn State players stood up to the virulent scourge of racism in 1946 when he and other African-American players were told that they couldn’t take the field in Miami at the end of their season. The team stood together and in one voice said, “No. We play all, or we play none.” That game was cancelled. They went on to play, together under segregation’s threat in the 1948 Cotton Bowl. I challenge Mr. Petersen and others who have written similar statements to demonstrate that they embrace the Triplett team ethos—that every lion counts.


Mr. Chairman, I ask you and the trustees to go on record and condemn this letter in no uncertain terms and call on all alumni to do the same. Also to strongly support and praise Mr. Sutherland and his teammates who sacrifice on and off the field every week. Our pillar values and the students learning them must be protected. We must show the world that WE are Penn State!


For the Glory,


Jeff Ballou ‘90


Penn State returns to the field on Saturday at Iowa. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Kinnick Stadium.




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