Agent: 49ers assistant finalist at Penn State
San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman is a finalist to replace Joe Paterno as Penn State’s coach, his agent said Monday.
Mike Harrison said Roman, who came to the 49ers from Stanford with coach Jim Harbaugh last year, interviewed for the position in November and is on the "short list" to take over the embattled program, rocked in recent months by a sex-abuse scandal.
Harrison said he expects to know soon whether Roman will be hired, but declined to offer further details, such as whether Roman would finish the season with the playoff-bound 49ers.
The program has been without a permanent head coach since Nov. 9, when university trustees fired Paterno in the aftermath of child sex-abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Longtime defensive coordinator Tom Bradley was named the interim coach and has interviewed for the permanent job.
Also: Justin Wilcox, the University of Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, was hired for the same position by Washington. He will replace Nick Holt, who was fired after the Huskies allowed 777 yards and 67 points in an Alamo Bowl loss to Baylor on Thursday.
Washington running back Chris Polk will skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. He is second on the school’s career yards rushing list with 4,049, trailing Napoleon Kaufman.
North Carolina junior defensive end Donte Paige-Moss said he will enter the NFL Draft. Paige-Moss played all 13 games and finished with 29 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.
Marlins’ Ramirez OK with move to third base
Hanley Ramirez said he’ll accept a position switch to third base so Miami Marlins newcomer Jose Reyes can play shortstop.
When Reyes signed a $106 million, six-year deal with Miami last month, there was speculation Ramirez was unhappy about being supplanted at shortstop. But new manager Ozzie Guillen sold Ramirez on the idea.
"I have spoken with Guillen," Ramirez said. "What we want is to win with the Marlins. We will see what’s going to happen with the position switch and everything else. If it’s third base, OK. Wherever they put me to win, I will do so."
Ramirez missed the final two months of last season with a left shoulder injury that required surgery. He said he is 95 percent healthy.
Mizdirection wins race before co-owner Rome
Mizdirection rallied on the outside to win the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap by 1¾ lengths at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., sending sports talk radio host and co-owner Jim Rome to the winner’s circle.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Mizdirection ran 6½ furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:11.64 and paid $8.40, $4.60 and $2.80 at 3-1 odds. Gomez won both stakes races Sunday in similar come-from-behind fashion on his 40th birthday.
It was the first race over the turf course and first stakes victory for Mizdirection, who is owned by Rome and his partners in Jungle Racing.
Also: The United States lost to Denmark 2-1 at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, with Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish 7-5, 6-3 in the deciding mixed doubles match. Fish defeated Nielsen 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, and Wozniacki then beat Mattek-Sands 7-6 (4), 6-2 to tie the best-of-3 series.