In Brief


Paterno ‘honest to goodness’
not thinking of stepping down

A jovial Joe Paterno insists he has no plans to stop coaching after this week’s Outback Bowl.

The 84-year-old Penn State coach said during a news conference in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday that he “honest to goodness” has not entertained thoughts of stepping down after 45 seasons leading the Nittany Lions.

Sitting beside Florida’s Urban Meyer, Paterno called rumors he might quit after Saturday’s game against the Gators “ridiculous.” He said he feels great and is still having fun coaching.

Paterno also said he’s not happy to see Meyer leaving coaching after the Outback Bowl. Meyer announced his resignation earlier this month because of health concerns and he wants to spend more time with his family.

Also: Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was released from a Tampa hospital after spending a day there being treated for mild gastritis.

Florida spokesman Steve McClain said Austin, 45, missed practice and was admitted to Tampa General Hospital with abdominal pains.

Suspended Iowa starting running back Adam Robinson was charged with possession of marijuana on Monday night in his hometown of Des Moines, putting his career at Iowa in jeopardy. Robinson, 21, was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for not having front plates. Police said a trooper detected a marijuana odor from the vehicle, then found marijuana after a search.

Robinson had been left off the roster for Tuesday night’s Insight Bowl against Missouri for failing to comply with team expectations and policies.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said Christian Ponder is back as the team’s starting quarterback for the Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Carolina.

Syracuse punter Rob Long, who had surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor earlier this month, said he expects to undergo radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

Long, 22, joined his teammates in New York as they prepare for the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday against Kansas State. He had been away from the team since having the surgery on Dec. 11.

Bill Yearby, an All-American defensive tackle at Michigan in 1964 and ’65, died Dec. 20 in Detroit after a long illness.


Las Vegan Zucker left woozy as U.S. Juniors rout Slovakia

Kyle Palmieri had two goals and an assist in leading the U.S. Junior hockey team to a 6-1 win over Slovakia in a preliminary round game of the World Championships on in Buffalo.

Charlie Coyle had a goal and two assists while Jack Campbell had a relatively easy night, stopping 17 shots in a game the defending gold-medal winners outshot the Slovaks 57-18.

It was a chippy game as Slovakia’s Peter Krasko and Martin Marincin were both issued match penalties and ejected for hits to the head.

Marincin was ejected when he elbowed Las Vegan Jason Zucker to the face.

“It was a vicious, dirty hit,” U.S. coach Keith Allain said, referring to Marincin’s hit, which came in retaliation after Zucker checked a Slovak player in the corner.

Zucker was woozy as he got up, and had to be helped off the ice.

Also: Kansas State forward Curtis Kelly will miss four more games after committing a secondary NCAA violation while buying clothes at a Manhattan, Kan., department store.

Athletic director John Currie announced the NCAA accepted Kansas State’s recommendation that Kelly sit out six games and repay the value of the benefit he received to a charity.

Kelly and senior guard Jacob Pullen were declared ineligible last week for accepting impermissible benefits and sat out a 63-59 loss to UNLV on Tuesday. Pullen will sit out one more game, totaling three, before returning.

Marcus Morris, the leading scorer for No. 3 Kansas, has lost his starting job after getting kicked out of the Jayhawks’ last game for throwing an elbow.

Coach Bill Self said the 6-foot-8-inch junior won’t start today when Kansas hosts Texas-Arlington.

Self said he did not know how long Morris would have to come off the bench.

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 25 games with two goals in the Penguins’ 6-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Crosby, who has 32 goals on the season, has at least one goal in five consecutive games and 26 during his streak, which began Nov. 5 in Anaheim.

Darryl Sutter resigned as general manager of the Calgary Flames. Assistant GM Jay Feaster was named acting general manager.

A brother of soccer star Diego Maradona said he and two siblings escaped without injury in a robbery attempt after visiting their mother in a Buenos Aires hospital.

Raul “Lalo” Maradona said he and two sisters were briefly taken hostage late Monday after their car was stopped. Raul Maradona told reporters he managed to escape and alert police. His sisters were released a short time later.

Longtime baseball executive Bill Lajoie, whose eye for talent helped build the Detroit Tigers team that won the 1984 World Series, died Tuesday. He was 76.

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