Today in sports: ESPN is getting a new president, Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams had an unexpected house guest, and MLB is officially banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- According to internal emails between former Penn State standards and conduct officer Vicky Tropney and school administrators, former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno frequently lobbied for players in trouble with the school and/or the police to be shown leniency, insisting he knew the best way to discipline the team. For example, in 2007, as many as two dozen Penn State players were reportedly involved in an off-campus fight that led to criminal being filed against six players. Triponey led a school inquiry into the incident, but felt she was being stymied by players, none of whom ended up being suspended for any games. Paterno's in-house punishment was to have the whole team pick up trash at Beaver Stadium for two hours after ever home game during the following seas"no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards." Triponey would resign later that year, but not before sending emails to former Penn State president Graham Spanier warning that Paterno had "no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards" and that she "[did] not support the way this man is running our football program." [The Wall Street Journal]
- Disney announced today that John Skipper will replace George Bodenheimer as president of ESPN starting in January. Bodenheimer has has been in the job since 1998 and will remain with the company as "executive chairman," but will over control of all day-to-day operations to Skipper, who became ESPN's executive vice president of content in 2005. At first glance, the move has the appearance of a demotion or quasi-firing, but the company says Bodenheimer was the one who initiated discussions about Skipper taking over. That makes sense, writes Media Decoder's Michael Cieply, since Skipper was Bodenheimer's logical successor and Disney's efforts to "avoid the sort of disputes that shook the company" during Michael Eisner's final years as CEO. Earlier this year, Eisner's successor Robert Iger announced he'd be stepping down as CEO in 2015 and retiring from the company altogether in June 2016. [Media Decoder]
- Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement will add the words "sexual orientation" to the section on discrimination. Article XV, Section A of the current deal, which expires in December, just stipulates that the labor pact applies to all players "without regard to race, color, religion or national origin." The NFL added similar language to its CBA over the summer. [New York Daily News]
- On Monday, former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said he'll be a bigger fan of current Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow once he "accepts the fact that we know he loves Jesus Christ" and stops thanking a higher power "every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff." What could have been a classic spat between two wildly inaccurate passers fizzled when Tebow took the high road during an appearance on ESPN's First Take Tuesday. ""I respect Jake's opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner," Tebow said. "But I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise, he is due for it." If Tebow likes that opinion, he should also check out what Plummer has to say about former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan (not a fan) and the sport of handball (big, big fan). [USA Today]
- A 51-year-old man named Wayne Field has been arrested and charged with breaking into the house of Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams and dressing up in Williams' clothes and 2005 World Series ring. According to Williams, Field also drank all his beer, surfed the Internet, put his shoes on the bed, and defrosted one of Williams' lobsters and left it out on the counter. [Chicago Sun-Times]