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Wakeup Call: Perils of Penn State’s asterisks

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The NCAA’s punishment of Penn State was just. Made my case to that effect right here yesterday and don’t really have much to add.

But there is a related side issue I’d like to raise: Those 111 victories the NCAA forced Penn State to vacate — every game from 1998-2011 covering the period of the known Jerry Sandusky events raises legit questions …

What happens to media guide listings for Penn State and the Big 10?

The results have to stay, but I’d imagine they just get denoted with an asterisk.

Will this have any effect — even perception-wise — on whether baseball and other major sports can similarly vacate records?

I don’t see why not. The Olympics have done it forever, forfeiting medalists to return medals and moving fourth-place finishers up to bronze. It’s always seemed especially taboo in baseball, which banned Pete Rose but didn’t dare touch his hits record. And never mind all the potential asterisks for steroids.

I’m just saying that, if a record like Joe Paterno’s can be erased with the swipe of one man’s pen, the conversation opens.

What happens to the 2010 game between the Nittany Lions and Ohio State that both schools now have been forced to vacate?

No, seriously, what is that, two losses?

>> Let me clear about one thing regarding Starling Marte: My stance that he should be in Pittsburgh now isn’t based on some unilateral viewpoint, certainly not on the couple days I spent up in Indy last month. In fact, on that trip, I thought a little more time was in order and wrote as much.

My stance is based on real things from people who are seeing him the most often. They know better than me, and they probably know better than anyone. After Marte went a modest 2 for 6 with an RBI single, a double and three strikeouts, very late last night, I was sent this message from that clubhouse: #FreeStarling

And that’s to say nothing of the very high-ranking executive who told me three weeks ago that Marte was ready in the clearest possible terms.

You can roll your eyes and think these people are too close to Marte. That might be the case. But a lot of these same people were the ones telling me a month ago that Marte wasn’t ready.

>> Looks like the Rangers swung quite a deal to get Rick Nash. You just have to wonder if John Tortorella will berate him if he doesn’t dive to eat a puck, as he did with Marian Gaborik last winter.

I’ll repeat what I wrote in a column two weeks ago: The Penguins have never liked Nash.

>> Heading over to the ballpark one final time in the afternoon, then packing up.

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