The Times-Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania on February 7, 2012 · B1
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The Times-Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania · B1

Scranton, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
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SCTIMESTRIBTIMESPAGES B01 020712 00:05 SUPERIMPSC CYAN MAGENTA BLACK SPORTS B TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012 THE TIMES-TRIBUNE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE DONNIE COLLINS Commentary I J- X- " . "F. . . -51- 7- , a -i 1 . 1 ' - i j ..1 tl t - - 1 v ' m L Big job awaits O'Brien Bill O'Brien seems like a smart guy He seems to be a passionate coach. He seems to be a motivated educator. He seems to be an organized professional. The most important trait for Penn State right now is that last one. Because today, O'Brien will pack up his briefcase, open up the door to the football offices and take a whiff of the place he says he wants to be for quite a long while. Penn State, for the first time since just after 10 p.m. on Nov. 9, will have a full-time head football coach. Super Bowl XLVI is a memory Tom Brady is no longer his quarterback. The NFL is no longer his league. And he's going to learn quickly that he has a lot of ground to cover. Things have certainly settled down on the Penn State front, as far as the football program is concerned. The general wonderment among fans and alumni about why the coaching search took as long as it did nearly two months to officially complete, in fact has subsided. Any disappointment in the fact that the search committee didn't come up with a brand-name coach has given way to a general sense of excitement, or at least a willingness to give O'Brien his fair shot. Despite the fact that some of its more-highly regarded members jumped ship in those confusing months after the Jerry Sandusky scandal became national news, Penn State's recruiting class turned out to be solid, if not spectacular And so far, there hasn't been one Nittany Lions player who has sought a transfer, despite some rumors that there could have been a flock of players leaving town. But this is a team that is going to need work, and the stark truth is that O'Brien will be learning exactly how much work today This is a big deal. Nine programs in the Big Ten didn't change head coaches this offseason. So, those coaches the Brady Hokes and Kirk Ferentzes, the Bret Bielemas and the Mark Dantonios have been working on getting better for two months. They know their weaknesses. They know how they want to attack them. Two other programs did change coaches, but Urban Meyer has been in charge at Ohio State and Tim Beck-man at Illinois since December. Problems with those programs have already begun to be addressed by the new people in charge. Penn State's problems have been placed, to a degree, on the backburner while O'Brien fulfilled his commitment to his former employers, the New England Patriots. But while the assistant coaching staff that O'Brien put into place quickly and aggressively in the days following his Jan. 7 hire has been watching film and talking to their players, the man making all the final decisions admittedly knows precious little about the players he will start leading full-time today "I think number one is we're going to sit down as a staff when I get there and look at our own team," O'Brien said. "That's already been done by the coaches in place. They have evaluations on some of the film they Please see COLLINS, Page B4 GENE DUNCAN ASSOCIATED PRESS Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XLVI Most Valuable Player Eli Manning throws a pass while riding in a parade with Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Monday. After beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl on Sunday, 21-17, Manning became the latest to star in the "I'm going to Disney World!" commercial series. SUPER DUO Coughlin, Eli are top coach-QB tandem BY TOM CANAVAN ASSOCIATED PRESS INDIANAPOLIS Tom Coughlin has never won the NFL's coach of the year award. Eli Manning has never been the league's MVP With two Super Bowl victories in the past five seasons, though, they have emerged as the NFL's top coaching-quarterback tandem. And the best may be yet to come. The 65-year-old Coughlin and the 31-year-old quarterback are getting better with time, and it was never more obvious than in this past season, which the Giants capped with a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night for the franchise's fourth Super Bowl title. The bond between Coughlin and Manning is there for all to see. It is found in the word, team. "He epitomizes everything that I believe in as a player," Coughlin said of Manning at a news conference Monday. "(That's) In terms of the quality the way he produces, the way he handles it among his teammates, on and off the field." It's sometimes hard to tell whether Coughin has rubbed off on Manning, or vice versa. Either way Coughlin and Manning are the perfect match in a state that once had an advertising slogan of "New Jersey and you, perfect together." "He is confident," Coughlin said of Manning. "He is not arrogant. He has always thought about team first. He is the perfect guy in regard to that because he is continuously spreading things around. He hands the praise out, he distributes it well. He looks to BP MARK HUMPHREY ASSOCIATED PRESS Giants head coach Tom Coughlin shows off the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a press conference Monday in Indianapolis. The Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, 21-17. Inside on B6 Tom Brady's supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen blames dropped passes for Patriots' Super Bowl loss. Belichick: Letting the Giants score late TD was Patriots' only shot at victory. Sources say Todd Haley is the Steelers' next offensive coordinator. his teammates. He is a guy who is an outstanding leader He has taken responsibility for his team. " Never was that leadership more evident than late in games this season. Seven times Manning led the Giants (13-7) to fourth-quarter victories and the last was the most impressive an 88-yard title-winning drive that he started with a pinpoint 38-yard pass. "A championship is a champi onship," said Manning, who threw for a career-best and franchise-best 4,933 yards this season. "Each one is special. Each one has special moments during the season and, obviously, different teammates. This year, I am just happy for a number of guys getting a championship. "...To give them that opportunity for these next five or six months, we can say, 'Hey we are the best. We are the champs.' That's a pretty nice feeling." The one thing Manning didn't want to hear anything about was having bragging rights over his brother, Peyton, with two championships. "This isn't about bragging rights," Eli said. "This is a lot bigger. This is about a team, an orga-nization being named world champions, and that was the ultimate goal. That's the only thing that's important, is the team finding a way to get a victory That's the only thing I care about and Peyton and I both know that's what the goal is every year. It's not about anything else." Giants chief executive John Mara said the secret to Manning's success is his calm demeanor. "The more his back is against the wall, the better he performs," Mara said before the team left its hotel for a flight to New Jersey and a planned parade up the "Canyon of Heroes" in Manhattan today. "There is nobody I would rather have with the ball in his hands at the end of the game, with a chance to win, than Eli Manning." Linebacker Mathias Kiwanu-ka said Manning is the perfect quarterback for the New York Please see DUO, Page B6 HS BASKETBALL Quiller's season finished Broken ankle and torn ligament puts Scranton 's point guard on the shelf. BY JOBY FAWCETT STAFF WRITER Scranton's basketball team is ailing. Ranked No. 1 in The Times-Tribune poll, the Knights will be down two starters when they take on No. 3 Delaware Valley tonight in a key Lackawanna Division I game. Karlon Quiller, Scranton's starting point guard, suffered a broken ankle and torn ligament in a win over Wallenpaupack on Saturday night and will be lost for the remainder of the season. "It's tough, because he's been playing so wen lately quiller Scranton coach Tony Batta-glia said. "He's taken us under his wing and has really matured as a player. "This is obviously a setback for us." Scranton (16-3) has been without senior Terry Turner, who has missed the last two games with an illness. Battaglia does not expect him back in the lineup any time soon. "We have adapted pretty well to this point," Battaglia said. "We have some guys who are going to have to come in and play We have some kids who can play and have played well for us during the year. " Quiller, who had missed a couple of games earlier in the season with an ailment, had taken over the leadership role in Turner's absence. He scored a school-record 38 points in a win over then top-ranked Scranton Prep starring in a 74-44 win. In his last three games, Quiller averaged 20.3 points, five assists and five steals. Please see QUILLER, Page B3 Career high by Hoyt lifts Lady Comets BY MARTY MYERS STAFF WRITER HAWLEY She left packing ice on her right thumb, but Abington Heights' point guard Lauren Hoyt brought the heat to Wallenpaupack. Scoring a career-high 24 points, Hoyt led the Lady Comets to a 47-40 win Monday that sewed up no worse than the second seed in the upcoming District 2 Class AAAA playoffs, and also kept her team's hopes intact in the Lackawanna Division I second-half race. "Her senior leadership showed through tonight," Abington Heights coach Vince Bucciarelli said. "We needed something with Tiffany (O'Donnell) going down. Lauren had to step up and she really stepped up big time. I'm so proud of her. And she's playing with a bad thumb, too." O'Donnell, the team's leading scorer, went down midway through the second quarter with a sprained right wrist. Hoyt, who didn't practice all weekend because of her injury didn't miss a beat. She hit three 3s, grabbed seven rebounds, made three steals and blocked a shot. "I really have no idea how I did that," Hoyt said. "I sprained my thumb on my dominant hand. Please see HOYT, Page B3 HOYT CYCLING Contador stripped of 2010 Tour title ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE Alberto Contador holds up the Spanish national flag while doing a victory lap after winning the 2010 Tour de France. On Monday, Contador was stripped of the title when a court rejected his claim that contaminated meat caused him to fail a drug test. BY GRAHAM DUNBAR AND PAUL LOGOTHETIS ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA Three days after U.S. prosecutors dropped their investigation of doping claims against Lance Armstrong, fellow Tour de France champion Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 title when sports' highest court rejected the Spanish cyclist's story that contaminated meat caused him to fail a drug test. The 29-year-old Contador, who also won the Tour in 2007 and '09, tested positive for clenbuterol during a Tour rest day in July 2010. Conta-dor's ban was backdated to Jan. 25, 2011 making him eligible to return on Aug. 6. "Unlike certain other countries, notably outside Europe, Spain is not known to have a contamination problem with clenbuterol in meat," the Court of Arbitration for Sport said in its ruling. "Furthermore, no other cases of athletes having tested positive to clenbuterol allegedly in connection with the consumption of Spanish meat are known." Contador had been thought likely to challenge Armstrong's record of seven career Tour victories. Instead, he joins Floyd Lan-dis as the only riders stripped of their Tour titles after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg is now in line to take Contador's 2010 title. The CAS verdict in Lausanne, Switzerland, was delivered 566 days after Contador cycled triumphantly along the Champs d'Elysees in Paris. The ruling came after Armstrong's own lengthy legal fight ended Friday with US. federal authorities dropping an investigation into alleged doping involving his Tour teams. Cycling's governing body which had joined the World Anti-Doping Agency in forcing Contador into court, said it took no satisfaction from upholding its fight against drug cheats.

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