Jerry Tampering: Sandusky Case Coupled With Cline-Heard Hurts PSU Hoops
Whether it should or not, aftershocks from the Jerry Sandusky earthquake child-molestation case and sentencing will spill over from Penn State's football program and affect the entire athletic program. But what further damaged the hoops program specifically was a sentencing to 16 years in federal prison of Gyasi Cline-Heard, leaving him among the all-time "Bad Boys of College Basketball."
The leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for the Jerry Dunn-coached Nittany Lions' 2001 Sweet 16 squad was apprehended in February in Clearwater, Fla., for spearheading a drug/gun ring. Raids of his tattoo shop and multiple other residences in the area unearthed four dozen guns. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the enormity of the stockpile of weapons shocked investigators (most of them assault rifles and machine guns with rounds capable of penetrating officer's vests and cruisers).
The bust unfolded after undercover agents purchased, in the course of 11 transactions over the winter, more than a pound of cocaine - crack and powder - plus a .380-caliber handgun from the son of former NBA player and coach Gar Heard. The guns seized were "to kill people and to keep their drug operation going," the sheriff said.
Second-year coach Pat Chambers has a massive job keeping PSU's basketball operation going; especially after star point guard Tim Frazier was lost for the season because of an Achilles injury. It is akin to reviving disbanded programs at Miami (FL), San Francisco, Southwestern Louisiana and Tulane. The Sweet 16 team in 2001 was the only time since 1954 that Penn State won multiple games in an NCAA Tournament. Unhappy Valley indeed.