Penn State to donate bowl
proceeds to sex victims groups
Penn State will donate $1.5 million in bowl proceeds to two groups that work with sex-crime victims, a gesture aimed at healing the school’s battered image in the wake of child sex charges against a former assistant football coach.
University president Rod Erickson promised the donation the morning after he and other administrators faced pointed questions at a student-organized town hall forum.
Erickson told The Associated Press on Thursday that the Big Ten bowl revenue, which usually goes back to the athletic department, will go instead to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Meanwhile, Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer said he has not discussed pleading guilty with his client and that the former coach continues to maintain he is innocent of the charges against him.
Joe Amendola said he would consider “possible alternatives” with Sandusky if new charges are filed that involve more victims than the eight boys covered by the 40 pending criminal counts, but that Sandusky has never considered a plea in his case. Sandusky, 67, is awaiting a preliminary hearing.
Also: Federal authorities searched a locker in the Syracuse basketball center in their investigation of former assistant coach Bernie Fine, according to an unnamed law enforcement official.
Three men, including two former Syracuse ball boys, have accused Fine of molesting them as minors.
The official confirmed the search at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center happened Wednesday. The official would not say what agents sought or what they recovered from the locker.
Mike Sherman was fired as Texas A&M’s coach after the Aggies finished the regular season 6-6.
Sherman was 25-25 in four seasons. He was hired at the end of the 2007 season, three days after Dennis Franchione resigned.
The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both are sixth after the first day of the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational in Austin.
The Rebels men turned in four top-16 finishes, but were hurt by the disqualification of their 200-meter free relay for a false start. The top swim came from Coleman Allen, who was sixth in the 100 butterfly in 47.87 seconds.
On the women’s side, Katelyne Herrington posted a runner-up finish in the 100 fly in 52.43.
Texas is the men’s leader with 333 points, just ahead of second-place Arizona (315) in a field of 11 teams.
Texas also leads the 10-team women’s side with 271 points, while Stanford is second with 237.
Choi takes three-shot lead
on Woods, Stricker in Chevron
K.J. Choi opened with five straight birdies. Tiger Woods looked as good as he did in Australia, making his fourth birdie with a 3-iron to an elevated green on the par-5 fifth that covered the flag.
And then, without warning, the wind showed up in the foothills of Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Choi held his own in gusts up to 30 mph and finished with a 6-under-par 66, giving him a three-shot lead over Woods and Steve Stricker in the Chevron World Challenge.
They were the only three players to break 70 in the 18-man field in the final official event in America this year.
“Anything under par is a good day today with the wind up,” said Woods, a four-time winner of the event and the tournament host. “If the wind stayed down, you’re going to have to shoot probably 68 or below for it to be a good score.”
Also: Defending champion Lee Westwood birdied the final hole to shoot a 4-under 68 and share the first-round lead with Masters winner Charl Schwartzel at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.
Top-ranked Luke Donald shot a 70 and was in a six-way tie for fourth.
U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy fired a 6-under 64 in blustery conditions to share the lead with Alvaro Quiros and David Horsey after the first round of the Hong Kong Open.
NASCAR’s Kurt Busch says he’s
seeing sports psychologist
Kurt Busch, fined $50,000 last week by NASCAR for verbally abusing a reporter, said he’s seeing a sports psychologist to address what he described as “personal issues.”
“I need to be a better person on the radio, to the team, as a leader,” said Busch, who began working with the psychologist two months ago. “It’s personal issues, of course, and working with a sports psychologist, I’ve gotten obviously a small grasp, but there’s obviously bigger things that I need to accomplish and things can’t happen overnight.”
Busch’s temper long has been documented, and his explosions on his in-car radio are notorious in NASCAR. He has had other incidents with media members this season, and NASCAR cited a pattern of behavior in fining him last week.
Busch was caught by his in-car camera making an obscene gesture as he drove into the garage at Homestead (Fla.) early in the season finale because of a transmission problem. A fan also videotaped him being verbally abusive to an ESPN reporter.
Also: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was named NASCAR’s most popular driver for the ninth consecutive year.
Earnhardt’s string of most-popular-driver awards is only one shy of Bill Elliott’s record 10 straight titles. Elliott won the award 16 times overall and won 10 straight from 1991 to 2000. He then asked to not be included anymore in the voting.
Brad Keselowski was rewarded for a breakthrough season at NASCAR’s top level with a contract extension from Penske Racing for the driver and his crew chief.
The team said the extensions for Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe were for multiple years, though specific terms were not disclosed.
The highly anticipated boxing rematch between welterweights Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto will be Feb. 11 at the MGM Grand Garden.
Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 knockouts) took Berto’s WBC title April 16 in Connecticut by winning a 12-round decision. Ortiz lost the title to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 17 at the Grand Garden. Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) bounced back to beat Jan Zaveck on Sept. 3 to win the IBF belt.
The fight, which will be televised on Showtime, is expected to be approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission at its Dec. 12 meeting.