Rising — School anxiety
With only 41 days of the summer holidays remaining, many students are starting to feel the pressure to eke out the most relaxation they can before they have to return back to campus for another year. Be it a last summer vacation, a final visit to a friend's lakehouse, or even one last day of sleeping in until noon, it seems like almost everyone is feeling some push to enjoy what little time is left.
Classes are starting this year on August 22, which is later in the year than previous fall semesters. Regardless of this extra time, however, the Dr. Seuss-esque question "How did it get so late so soon?" remains.
Falling — Joe Paterno's reputation
The former Penn State coach, who was fired this year over his role in the Jerry Sandusky affair and then passed away several months after, has seen his once-sterling reputation take another hit in the eyes of the public.
"JoePa," as he was affectionately known by the majority of the sporting world over his illustrious 40 year career, was treated with a level of reverence bordering on demigod status in Central Pennsylvania, but now, with the release of the Freeh report, many are not only calling into question the actions he took, but more importantly the ones he didn't.
Judge Louis Freeh pointed the finger at Paterno, along with the university president and the Board of Trustees, by placing them at fault in that they, as "the most powerful men at Penn State, failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."
Many Paterno fans have stood ardently by their former idol, choosing to remember him as the face of a football program that supposedly "did things the right way," and as a man of honor and integrity. But in Freeh's mind, he, and others, "never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern" for Jerry Sandusky's victims until after his arrest.
Rising — Pat Summitt's trophy case
The already-hallowed Pat Summitt received another honor this Wednesday when she received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.
Summitt, who at age 60 stands as Division-I college basketball's all-time winningest, has spend the past year battling early-onset dementia.
The award was created twenty years ago to honor Arthur Ashe, a former World No. 1 professional tennis player who passed away in 1993 after a battle with HIV/AIDS, and is given to commemorate a person in the sporting world who has demonstrated an immense amount of courage in the face of adversity.
In her speech, she thanked the crowd and her fans for their support during this troubled time, and vowed to continue her fight and "to keep on keeping on."
The Arthur Ashe award is just another honor attached to her illustrious career, which includes eight National Championships, seven NCAA Coach of the Year awards, the Naismith Coach of the 20th Century award and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rising — Hopes for UT football
Five UT football players were named to the Coaches Preseason All-SEC team this past week, and many Vol fans cannot help but wonder if this is the year that Dooley finally performs up to the level of high expectations that Fulmer set during his tenure.
Dooley, who came into the job much maligned by years of lackluster recruiting and staff turnover, finally has not only his system and players in place, but also the talent to compete in what is the toughest conference in college football.
With the vast majority of his starts coming back and the return of Herman Lathers, coupled with a easier schedule, this season's team seems primed for a breakout year.
If all goes for the best, the Vols could be dancing on Rocky Top, and if not, well, Dooley might need different colored pants and students might go back to burning mattresses.