McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Monday, January 6, 2014
Updated at 11 p.m. EDT (0400 UTC)
This budget is now available on MCT Direct at http://www.mctdirect.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^BCS bows out with Auburn, Florida State<
Game time is 8:30 p.m. EST at the Rose Bowl.
Additional stories, columns will move as warranted.
^Players' attorneys propose concussion payment formula<
Individual awards could reach $5 million for former players with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, and up to $4 million for a death involving brain trauma. Players who develop dementia could receive as much as $3 million.
450 by Bob Glauber in New York. MOVED
Also moving as:
^FBN-CONCUSSIONS:PH_<650 by Jeremy Roebuck. MOVED
^Figure skater Ashley Wagner awaits her Olympic moment<
At one end was two-time Olympic champion Dick Button, whose victories are the earliest. At the other was Evan Lysacek, the reigning men's Olympic champion. Between them stood seven Olympic silver medalists and eight of the other 11 U.S. men and women who have won Olympic titles.
The show's director told the assembled group of legends they would be running through the introductions three times, which would take another 15 minutes. That prompted a reaction of feigned impatience from one of the 2014 Olympic hopefuls who would be introduced later.
"They have already had their moment," Ashley Wagner said with a smile. "I'm still waiting for mine."
1900 by Philip Hersh in East Rutherford, N.J. MOVED
^FSU, Auburn would face different challenges under new College Football Playoff<
The Seminoles and Tigers were the clear picks to play in final BCS National Championship Game Monday night, but they would have faced a tougher path to the national title next year.
600 by Matt Murschel in Pasadena, Calif. MOVED
^Gus Malzahn's reconstruction at Auburn is its own reward<
Just more than year after returning to the Tigers, Malzahn, who helped lead Auburn to a national championship in 2010, brought the program back to the BCS national championship game. The turnaround was the biggest of any program in the country.
550 by Paul Tenorio in Newport Beach, Calif.. MOVED
^Tim Cowlishaw: Strong reluctantly acknowledges Texas breakthrough<
In fact, Charlie Strong is the first black coach in any men's sport at the University of Texas, and, yes, we'll stop mentioning race when prejudice no longer holds anyone back. After four increasingly successful seasons at the University of Louisville, Strong held his introductory news conference in Austin on Monday morning and acknowledged the significance of the moment, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
750 by Tim Cowlishaw. MOVED
^Charlie Strong vows to bring physical, mental toughness to Texas<
As the buzz built for Monday's BCS title game in Pasadena, Calif., new coach Charlie Strong sat behind a dais on the ninth floor of Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and explained how he planned to lead the Longhorns back to relevance on the national landscape.
Texas fans can only hope Strong's plan has more staying power than the one laid out in 2011 by predecessor Mack Brown, who spent the morning before that championship game introducing what he billed as a pair of program-turning play-callers: Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz.
900 by Jimmy Burch in Austin, Texas. MOVED
^Tebow makes ESPN debut<
Still, the anecdote he offered during a morning "SportsCenter" appearance from the Rose Bowl had a distinctly wholesome, Tebowesque aspect to it.
200 by Neil Best. MOVED
^Hundley to return to UCLA for junior season<
"All the anticipation," Hundley said, smiling. It will only build from here.
Hundley made it official Monday, announcing at a news conference that he would return for his junior season at UCLA.
650 by Chris Foster in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Bud Withers: Wrapping up the bowl season<
Some of the stuff between the TV commercials of the bowl season was almost as fanciful.
We've soldiered through 35 bowl games, and shame on you if you missed any of them.
750 by Bud Withers. MOVED
^Assistants, staffers following O'Brien to Texans<
A Penn State spokesman said letters of resignation were received, effective Monday, from defensive coordinator John Butler, wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, running backs coach Charles London and safeties coach Anthony Midget. With the exception of Midget, who was hired last January, the coaches came to Penn State shortly after O'Brien became head man two years ago.
550 by Joe Juliano.
^George Diaz: Blake Bortles could be Jacksonville Jaguars' savior<
In a quirky twist of worlds colliding, Bortles announced he is ready to give the NFL a shot on the same day Tebow made his network debut on ESPN. Tebow's NFL window is closing; Bortles is just opening up his world of potential.
University of Central Florida football fans should bid him farewell and Godspeed. His work is done in Central Florida, and now he gets to do what every little kid in America has likely dreamed about from the time they could throw a wobbly spiral _ play quarterback in the NFL.
700 by George Diaz in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
^Cowboys' concerns go beyond aging core<
All that remain are the wounds from their shortcomings and an uncertain future.
Think of the Cowboys as a Ferrari that that has been left outside during a hailstorm. The damage isn't severe enough to invest in a new obscenely expensive car, but the body work and new coat of paint can't cover every flaw.
950 by David Moore. MOVED
^McDaniels confirms he interviewed for Browns head-coaching job<
"We met and that's about all there is at this point," McDaniels said Monday during a conference call with reporters who cover the Patriots. "Nothing, nothing further."
McDaniels, 37, didn't want to elaborate on his meeting with the Browns or his level of interest in the job. He cited his desire to focus on the Patriots' upcoming playoff game Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
800 by Nate Ulrich. MOVED
^David Haugh: Lovie Smith good coach, bad talent evaluator<
But not from Bucs fans who feared for their team's offense under Smith.
"That's my grandson," Smith told reporters at One Buc Place as Jackson Smith loudly announced his presence.
800 by David Haugh. MOVED
^Demand rises for Seahawks' Bevell<
A few weeks ago, though, in his current role as offensive coordinator of the Seahawks, all Bevell wanted was a yard against the Arizona Cardinals on third-and-goal.
And when a play-action pass went awry in a key sequence of an eventual 17-10 loss, Seahawks fans didn't much care that Bevell is regarded as one of the hottest, up-and-coming assistants in the NFL, these days on the lists of just about every team that has a head coaching vacancy.
1400 by Bob Condotta in Renton, Wash. MOVED
^Foles named Eagles starter heading into offseason<
Kelly's admission that Foles is his quarterback going forward should not be much of a surprise after Foles threw for 27 touchdowns and two interception in 13 regular-season games. After all, Kelly joked earlier this year that Foles will be his quarterback for the next 1,000 years.
750 by Zach Berman in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Plenty of questions ahead for Eagles<
1100 by Jeff McLane. MOVED
^Cromartie hopes to remain with Jets<
The eight-year veteran knows there's a good chance he could be a salary-cap casualty. He carries a $15-million cap hit in 2014, which includes a $5-million roster bonus in March. There's also the issue of Cromartie's health. The cornerback, who turns 30 in April, is expected to meet with specialists to determine if he needs offseason hip surgery.
300 by Kimberley A. Martin. MOVED
^NFL playoff results put a hit on New York tourism industry<
That result and others, dating to Week 17 of the regular season, have conspired to leave a collection of distant and/or small-market franchises in the playoffs' elite eight, and that is not good for the economics of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Week 17 took out the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys _ three teams whose rabid fans travel well _ and the wild-card weekend casualties included two other big national attractions in the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.
650 by Neil Best. MOVED
^Niners hold on to slim hopes of Candlestick return<
Two weeks after last rites were given to the 49ers' venerable home stadium, team officials spent Monday preparing for the possibility that Candlestick Park will rise from the dead.
^Victories over the weekend by the 49ers and New Orleans Saints, the two lowest-seeded teams in the NFC playoffs, kept alive the possibility that the 'Stick could go out in style_
550 by Daniel Brown in Santa Clara, Calif. MOVED
^Dolphins fire Mike Sherman, begin search for offensive coordinator<
Sherman's removal comes as no surprise considering owner Steve Ross wanted Philbin to make changes to a Dolphins offense that had struggled all season, and failed to produce the up-tempo style Philbin initially promised to deliver when he was hired as head coach in 2012.
650 by Omar Kelly. MOVED
^Dave Hyde: Sherman's firing brings more questions for Dolphins<
1. Who made the decision?
2. Does the bloodletting stop here?
3. Who gets hired as offensive coordinator now from a shrunken employment pool?
700 by Dave Hyde. MOVED
^Reality sets in for Chiefs' Alex Smith<
In the last nine years, Smith has been booed, benched and traded. He's lost a ton of games and has experienced his share of gut-wrenching moments.
But when asked recently to compare the Chiefs' devastating 45-44 playoff loss with Indianapolis on Saturday to anything he's experienced in his career . . . well, he couldn't even do it.
950 by Terez Paylor in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED
^Carroll on Saints-Seahawks: 'We start all over again'<
The Seahawks dismantled Saturday's divisional-round playoff opponent the New Orleans Saints 34-7 on Dec. 2. The 188 yards the Saints gained that day were the fewest under head coach Sean Payton, who has been running the team since 2006, save last season, when he was suspended.
But, nevermind that, Carroll says. This is a new week in a new situation.
1100 by Todd Dybas in Renton, Wash. MOVED
^Larry Stone: Harvin's return could quell fears of Seattle sports fans<
According to this line of thinking (which sounds more like a paranoid fever dream), the Seahawks are in danger of being the football equivalent of the 2001 Mariners. That is, a team that dominated in the regular season, but is not built for playoff success.
800 by Larry Stone. MOVED
^By the numbers: Less Giroux better for Flyers<
That is, less time on the ice means more production.
And more victories.
In the last three seasons, the Flyers, who finish their six-game road trip against the Devils on Tuesday night, are 49-23-3 when Giroux plays under 21 minutes per game, according to stats provided by the team. They are just 39-41-12 when he plays 21 minutes or more.
450 by Sam Carchidi in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Thornton could be left off Team Canada<
^Despite the fact that Thornton's 43 assists lead the NHL and his 48 points tie him for third in the overall scoring race, two other Sharks_
700 by David Pollak in Nashville, Tenn. MOVED
^Helene Elliott: Czechs go old with Olympic hockey team; Swiss pick solid NHL players<
Those federations announced their 25-man rosters Monday, a few days after Team USA unveiled its picks. The remaining teams, including defending champion Canada, will announce their choices Tuesday.
1200 by Helene Elliott. MOVED
^Short-handed Wild counting on young plays to step up <
Leading scorer and team captain Mikko Koivu had surgery to repair a fractured right ankle Monday and is expected to miss a month. Koivu's third Olympic Games appearance for Finland also is in jeopardy, and the Wild will attempt to climb into the playoff race without the help of its first-line center.
600 by Michael Russo in El Segundo, Calif. MOVED
^Blue Jackets thwart Rangers' rally, win in shootout<
^HKN-BJACKETS-RANGERS:ND_<_ Mark Letestu and Ryan Johansen beat Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash as the Columbus Blue Jackets foiled a Rangers comeback in regulation for a 4-3 win Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
Nash had two power-play goals _ one that tied the game in the third period _ but the Rangers fell short and dropped to 21-20-3.
550 by Steve Zipay in New York. MOVED
^Islanders rout Stars 7-3<
Befuddled and a step slow for one period, decisive and vigorous most of the next two. Down by two goals, up by one. Tied. Then up by one, by two, by three, by four.
Which were those guys?
On their way to a 7-3 victory over the Dallas Stars, their first home regulation win since Nov. 12, the Islanders cycled through their disparate identities: hapless to fiery to exasperated to triumphant. In their ongoing scramble to gain traction in an often eroding 15-22-7 season, their serial reinventions have become all the more maddening.
550 by John Jeansonne. MOVED
MCT expects coverage of the following games:
Florida at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
^Anthony showing his leadership with Knicks<
The Knicks are still 11 games under .500, but Anthony said the way they played in going 2-1 on their Texas trip has them in a better place _ at least at the moment.
600 by Al Iannazzone. MOVED
^Boozer saw Jeff Hornacek's coaching potential early on<
Hornacek worked as a shooting coach and then an assistant when he and Boozer were with the Jazz.
300 by K.C. Johnson. MOVED
^Warmly received in Oakland, Bogut likely to get cool reception in Milwaukee<
^The 7-footer from Australia doesn't have the offensive role he had in Milwaukee_
"It's great to see him healthy and whole for the first time in a long time," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "He's been the anchor to our defense."
650 by Jimmy Durkin. MOVED
^Timberwolves end 76ers' streak at 4<
600 by Marc Narducci in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Nets hold off Hawks 91-86<
Given she was perched in Jay Z's seats, it's probably a safe bet that Rihanna didn't actually purchase the tickets to Monday night's matchup against the Hawks herself. If so, even the multimillionaire recording artist might have wanted a refund after watching the Nets turn in an uninspiring first half, drawing a bevy of frustrated remarks as they trudged off the court at halftime staring at a six-point deficit.
Their alarm clock apparently finally went off in the second half.
550 by Roderick Boone in New York. MOVED
MCT expects coverage of the following games:
Orlando at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
^It all comes together for Kansas State<
They've taken perfection into the new year.
Since those three losses, the Wildcats have won nine straight games, including wins that would help any team's NCAA tournament seeding _ against Gonzaga and most recently on Saturday against Oklahoma State.
650 by Shannon Ryan.
^Shannon Ryan's Top 25 rankings<
350 by Shannon Ryan. MOVED
^Southern Illinois squad stuck on interstate, then spends night in church<
Coach Barry Hinson didn't fare as well. Traveling separately because of recruiting plans, his car had to be pulled out of snow in Mattoon, Ill., and he said he ended up sleeping in his car.
450 by Stu Durando. MOVED
^Brian Murphy: Sixteen-year-old with cancer inspires Boise State<
Boise State fan Connor Martin, a cancer patient, has a special bond with these Broncos, so much that the team wore orange "Team Connor" shirts on the bench during its Nov. 29 game against Portland State.
"It meant a lot to me," Martin said of the show of support as he battles Burkitt's lymphoma, a fast-growing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
700 by Brian Murphy in Boise, Idaho. MOVED
^Hall voting results to be announced Wednesday<
Those highly suspected, casually linked or not even mentioned shared the same fate: Wait till next year or beyond to receive votes on the required 75 percent of the ballots from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
A year later, the results are in and will be announced Wednesday. There are no performance-enhancing suspicions facing this year's top first-timers _ pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and slugger Frank Thomas _ so they already may have started to draft their induction speeches.
650 by Steven Marcus. MOVED
^5 Hall of Fame questions<
400 by Anthony Rieber. MOVED
^Bob Klapisch: Angst and the Baseball Hall of Fame<
There's no such thing as a perfect ballot, especially in Cooperstown. Everyone interprets the qualifications differently, especially the Hall's instructions that address "character, integrity and sportsmanship." No one, for instance, has resolved the steroid and performance-enhancing drugs issue, turning the selection process into a philosophical free-for-all.
1050 by Bob Klapisch. MOVED
^Dodgers, Mattingly working on contract extension<
Mattingly and the Dodgers are finalizing an agreement that would extend his contract beyond the upcoming season, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been completed.
300 by Dylan Hernandez in Los Angeles. MOVED
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