Penn State Athletics
Penn State officials hope Beaver Stadium will look like this someday.

Mixed reactions to Penn State’s proposed changes to Beaver Stadium, Jerry Sandusky seeks a new trial and more

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Friday, May 12. Let’s get started.

Building feedback

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said Wednesday that the proposed renovations to Beaver Stadium, still years down the line, have received mixed reviews from fans.

In March, the school announced a 20-year plan to remodel many of its athletics facilities. Jacob Klinger of reviewed the proposed changes on Thursday: the construction of a brick outer layer, plus the addition of 127 boxes, 84 suites, a BBQ suite, two field-level clubs, 3,800 club seats, a Lettermen’s club and a members’ club. Under this plan, stadium capacity would fall from 107,000 to 103,000.

According to Klinger’s report, the fans are particularly ambivalent about the BBQ suite. Others believe the brick façade is unnecessary, Barbour said during a stop on the PSU coaches caravan:

“Some like the current look, the skinless look of the current stadium and I get that.”

It remains unclear as to when any proposed changes might be made. The Beaver Stadium part of the plan is well down the list, and fundraising for the various projects is still in its infancy.

Barbour also said Thursday that there is some hope that a 2013 home date against Virginia, postponed by the Cavaliers, can be rescheduled. Per Andrew Callahan of Lions247, Barbour put it this way:

“It’s still floating out there. We’re trying to find a good place for it [on the schedule].”

Callahan writes that the Lions’ nonconference opponents over the next five years are as follows: Akron, Pitt and Georgia State in 2017; Appalachian State, Pitt and Kent State in 2018; Idaho, Buffalo and Pitt in 2019; Virginia Tech in 2020; and Ball State and Auburn in 2021.

Jerry Sandusky seeks new trial

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky continues to fight for a new trial in an attempt to overturn his 45 convictions for child sexual abuse. Lori Falce of the Centre Daily Times reported Thursday that another evidentiary hearing in Sandusky’s post-conviction Collateral Relief Act petition was held Thursday.

Sandusky’s attorneys are trying to cast doubt on the testimony of some of the men who testified against Sandusky. Sandusky’s attorneys contend that before the 2012 trial, some witnesses made statements indicating Sandusky never touched them inappropriately, then said otherwise on the witness stand.

The defense argued Thursday that those changes came as a result of therapy. An expert defense witness, UC Irvine law and psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus, testified that people’s memories are easily manipulated.

Per Falce:

“One of the things we know about memory is it doesn’t work like a recording device. You don’t just play back.”

Softball team advances

Marlaina Laubach pitched a 2-hitter, and Rebecca Ziegler had 2 hits and 2 RBIs and scored 3 times as PSU beat Nebraska 5-0 in a Big Ten tournament first-round game Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Lions (23-32) face Illinois in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Laubach (12-11) struck out 2 and walked 2. Ziegler contributed an RBI double in the second and a solo homer in the seventh.

The Big Ten Network tweeted video of Ziegler’s homer and of an interview with her.

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