Bradley pushing for Penn St. job; QB calls injury a 'freak accident'
Arms crossed in front of his chest with the brim of a blue Penn State hat sitting low across his forehead, Tom Bradley kept his focus intently on his players at practice while shuttling quickly across the field. The Nittany Lions' interim head coach sure looked like someone determined to keep the job on a permanent basis.
Bradley said Monday he interviewed on Friday with the Penn State committee searching for a replacement for ousted Hall of Famer Joe Paterno, though he doesn't know when the school might come to a decision. Flashing his trademark dry wit, Bradley said he even tried to get a good word in with university president Rodney Erickson when Erickson congratulated players Monday for academic achievements.
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"I tried to schmooze him a little bit; I tried to give him a No. 1 jersey," Bradley told reporters at No. 24 Penn State's media day for the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2 in Dallas against No. 20 Houston. "Maybe that would help my cause."
It was a light moment for a team and coaching staff that has otherwise endured an unimaginable amount of scrutiny since retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged Nov. 5 with child sex abuse that dated back to 1994. School trustees fired Paterno after a record 46 seasons as head coach amid mounting pressure that university leaders should have done more to prevent alleged abuse.
There was another twist this past weekend: Starting quarterback Matt McGloin suffered a seizure and concussion Saturday after an argument with receiver Curtis Drake about a missed route in practice carried over into a locker-room scuffle. McGloin called it a "freak accident" when he got knocked out after hitting a concrete floor. The jawing itself was the type of argument that occurs countless times on practice fields across the country, players and coaches said. But few such arguments end with police and an ambulance being called.
"I saw his initial reaction when he had the seizure. It was scary," said tailback Silas Redd, who was one of the players who called for a doctor. McGloin showed up to Monday's practice in street clothes after calmly answering reporters' questions for at least 15 minutes. He said he has passed the mental portion of a concussion test but isn't where he should be in terms of balance and vision. Bradley called McGloin "day-to-day."
"As the quarterback for this university, I feel like I'm held to a higher standard," McGloin said. "I'm man enough to take responsibility for it. It was my fault. With everything that's going on with this university right now, we don't need another distraction."
The team got some good news later Monday about its former head coach. Paterno was released from a hospital Sunday, a week after breaking his pelvis again following a fall at home, a person close to his family told the AP. Paterno has also been diagnosed with what his family called a treatable form of lung cancer. Paterno was hospitalized to make it easier to receive cancer treatments while his pelvis healed.
WVU's suit against Big East can proceed
A judge has denied a motion to dismiss a West Virginia lawsuit aimed at speeding up its exit from the Big East, indicating doubts about whether the case has a sufficient legal foundation but allowing evidence collection to proceed. Monongalia County Circuit Court Judge Russell Clawges said Monday he wanted more time to consider a second Big East motion that the case be put on hold while a similar lawsuit plays out in Rhode Island. Clawges told the lawyers they'll likely hear from him on that issue by Jan. 1. WVU sued the Big East last month, challenging its bylaws in a bid to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 football season.
Beef 'O' Brady's bowl
Florida International (8-4) is trying to build a name in college football after beginning its program in 2002 and finishing its seventh season in the FBS. It takes on Marshall (6-6), which is coming off two straight wins. The Herd are led by quarterback Rakeem Cato, who has completed 155 of 265 passes for 1,833 yards and 13 touchdowns. It is the first meeting between the two teams.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday | TV: ESPN
Where: Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Fla.
SEC adds two teams, one day to tourney
The Southeastern Conference is adding two teams and one day to its baseball tournament. Commissioner Mike Slive said Monday that the tournament will go to 10 teams starting in 2012. It will also start on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Games played through Friday are double elimination, and single-elimination games start on Saturday in the six-day tournament. The East and West division champs will have the top two seeds and first-round byes. The other participants will be seeded based on conference winning percentage. The SEC has expanded to 14 teams, adding Missouri and Texas A&M. The 2012 tournament will be held May 22-27 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.
Rollins signs 3-year deal with Phillies
Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies have finalized a $33 million, three-year contract, the team announced Monday. The deal includes a vesting option for a fourth year at $11 million. If not vested, that could be a club option at $8 million or a player option at $5 million. Rollins, 33, is a three-time All-Star shortstop and the 2007 NL MVP. He hit .268 with 16 home runs, 63 RBI and 30 steals this year.
■ The Diamondbacks have reached agreement on a two-year, $15 million contract with free-agent outfielder Jason Kubel, General Manager Kevin Towers said Monday afternoon. The deal is contingent on Kubel passing a physical. The addition comes as something of a surprise because it would send left fielder Gerardo Parra to the bench as the Diamondbacks' fourth outfielder. Parra had a breakthrough season a year ago, batting .292 and winning a Gold Glove.
Top amateur Uihlein turning pro in Europe
Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein is turning pro in a decision that reflects the changing nature of a global game. Uihlein announced Monday he would not return for his final semester at Oklahoma State and will begin his career exclusively on the European Tour, not only through sponsor exemptions but even on Europe's second-tier Challenge Tour. Uihlein, 22, one of America's top prospects, will turn pro in January to give the him an entire year to try to earn full status on a major tour. What makes this decision unusual was an American starting off in Europe. He will make his pro debut Jan. 26-29 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, a tournament that boasts defending champion Martin Kaymer, world No. 1 Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods.
■ Venus Williams has pulled out of January's ASB Classic in New Zealand, where she was scheduled to play her first competitive match since August. Williams, 31, is still recovering from the immune system disease Sjogren's syndrome, which can cause fatigue and joint pain.
■ Craig James said Monday that he has left his position at ESPN as a college football analyst to run for the U.S. Senate in Texas. After his announcement, ESPN said he could no longer work for the network. James said he would run as a conservative Republican.
The last word
Chiefs interim coach Romeo Crennel has made it clear he wants to be considered for the permanent job. He certainly has the support of his players, who dumped a bucket of Gatorade on him Sunday after beating the previously undefeated Packers:
"That might have been my first in the NFL. When you don't win, you don't get many showers. That was a good shower. A little sticky, but it was good."