Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Thursday's Sports In Brief

AP - Sports

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- James Franklin appears to have a decision to make. Stay at Vanderbilt or take over as coach at Penn State.

Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said he exchanged text messages with his football coach and Franklin ''basically said that he is our coach. He hasn't made a decision.''

Williams would not confirm Franklin has an offer from Penn State, but has indicated Nittany Lions officials have been in contact with the coach.

Penn State had no official comment, but the university did announce that a new compensation committee is scheduled to meet Saturday morning in a closed session to discuss a contract for someone not yet being identified by the school.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Looking back, Bobby Petrino said one of his many mistakes in recent years was leaving Louisville, which provided the first of several head coaching opportunities on the college and professional levels.

Upon returning to the Cardinals after seven years, Petrino promised his second stint would be permanent because this was always his destination - even with collegiate stops at Arkansas and Western Kentucky and a 13-game foray with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

Petrino returns to a Louisville program that has changed a lot since he left, one that's gearing up to join the Atlantic Coast Conference next season with a home game against newly crowned champion Florida State.

PRO FOOTBALL

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - The face was different, the words familiar. Like Mike Shanahan and nearly every recent Washington Redskins coach, Jay Gruden is anxious to declare an end to franchise's days of dysfunction.

Gruden was introduced as the man charged with ending the perpetual state of turmoil the team has endured under owner Snyder and recently under general manager Allen.

Gruden was a given a five-year contact for his first NFL head coaching gig, taking over a 3-13 team that has finished last in the NFC East in five of the last six seasons.

Gruden is Snyder's eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. Unlike Shanahan, who was fired last week, Gruden will not have final say over all football matters. He'll report to Allen.

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - First-year nominees Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison and Walter Jones were among the 15 modern-era Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists in voting announced.

Former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan also was selected a modern-era finalist along with defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, defensive end/linebacker Kevin Greene, receiver Andre Reed, running back Jerome Bettis, receiver/returner Tim Brown, safety John Lynch, guard Will Shields, cornerback/safety Aeneas Williams, kicker Morten Andersen and former San Francisco owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.

Punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey were announced as senior nominees in August.

GOLF

HONOLULU (AP) - Sang-Moon Bae got off to a great start in pristine conditions along the shores of Oahu. Chris Kirk had an ideal finish.

They were together all morning, playing in the same group at the Sony Open and taking the top two spots on the leaderboard. Bae played bogey-free for a 7-under 63. Kirk shot 29 on the back nine at Waialae, including an eagle on the last hole, for a 64.

They were among the early starters in the first full-field event of the year on the PGA Tour, and they took advantage of a gorgeous day.

Brian Stuard and Ryan Palmer shot 65, and Retief Goosen and Harris English were at 66 along with Jimmy Walker, John Daly, Hideto Tanihara, Jason Kokrak and Daniel Summerhays.

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) - France's Raphael Jacquelin shot a 5-under 67 in windy conditions to take the first-round lead in the Volvo Golf Champions.

Jacquelin was the only player in the 36-man field to have a bogey-free round at Durban Country Club.

Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa was second, and Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke was another stroke back along with France's Victor Dubuisson. American Peter Uihlein opened with a 70.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The Hall of Fame says it's up to baseball writers to propose any changes in the selection process.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America has voted on Hall of Fame candidates since 1936, and elections have become more controversial in recent years as stars tainted by accusations of steroids use have fallen well short of the 75 percent needed for entry to Cooperstown.

Writers are limited to a maximum 10 votes, and some say there's a logjam as Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens and Mark McGwire remain on the ballot at a time new players are added.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Four years after launching a search for a new Sprint Cup Series director, NASCAR finally found a replacement for garage boss John Darby.

Richard Buck, winner of five Indianapolis 500s as a crew chief and most recently the vice president of racing operations for the International Motor Sports Association, will take over for Darby after the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of the month.

Darby, who has been Cup director for the last 12 years, will remain managing director of competition for NASCAR.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Tony Stewart is confident he will be ready to race at full speed when the NASCAR season opens next month.

The three-time NASCAR champion has only been in a race car once, for a seat fitting, since breaking his right leg Aug. 5 in a sprint car accident. The broken tibia and fibula caused Stewart to miss the final 15 races of last season, and doctors won't clear him to race until Feb. 14, the day before the exhibition Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.

The season-opening Daytona 500 is Feb. 23, just 10 days after Stewart will be cleared to get back in the car.

HOCKEY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Sabres President Pat LaFontaine's two-month search for a general manager ended with an unexpected addition.

In hiring Tim Murray to take over as GM, LaFontaine also announced the addition of Hockey Hall of Fame executive Craig Patrick to serve as a special adviser to assist in transforming the NHL's worst team into a contender.

Murray has the background, decisiveness and even a hockey pedigree LaFontaine was seeking in a general manager.

The 50-year-old Murray is the nephew of Senators general manager Bryan Murray, and has spent much of his 20 years in the NHL being mentored by his uncle, including the past seven in Ottawa as an assistant GM.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Basketball
View Comments (0)