Penn State lands top-ranked tight end for 2013
As the story goes, Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien screamed and pumped his fist in celebration upon learning his 2013 recruiting class grew earlier this week.
To land this tight end, who could blame him?
Cedar Cliff junior Adam Breneman, a five-star talent long considered the top prospect at his position, let the rest of Central Pennsylvania in on his decision Friday night. Flanked by his family, high school coach Jim Cantafio and more than 400 fans and members of the media, Breneman announced that he committed to the Nittany Lions.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end, who narrowed his list from more than 30 scholarship offers, chose Penn State over Ohio State, Notre Dame and Maryland.
"The bottom line is that I want to get a great education," he said. "I'm going to play for coaches that truly care about their players. I'm going to play in a program that will allow me use my full potential as an athlete. And I'm going to do it less than two hours from home."
After he was named to the Under Armour All-American roster next season, recruiting sites advanced Breneman to five-star status. As a junior, he had 72 receptions for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Illinois dumps Weber
Illinois fired Bruce Weber, letting go of its fiery men's basketball coach whose first three years with the Illini included a run to the national championship game before a long slide ended with a 17-15 mark this season.
Athletic director Mike Thomas, who also has fired football coach Ron Zook and women's basketball coach Jolette Law in his first year on the job, said fans expect the Illini to be a factor in the Big Ten and the "national conscience" each season.
"This is a bottom-line business. We all know it," Weber said. "It's the reality of the coaching profession, but I leave here with no regrets. I believe this program is on solid footing."
Weber spent nine years at Illinois and led the Illini to the 2005 title game, losing to North Carolina. He finished 210-101, trailing only Lou Henson and Harry Combes in wins. But his teams were just 55-66 in the Big Ten in the past six seasons, including 6-12 this year.
Thomas said the school would accept an NIT bid if one is offered, and assistant Jerrance Howard is the interim head coach.
Nebraska needs new coach, too
Nebraska fired basketball coach Doc Sadler after the team he expected to be his best in his six years at the school posted its lowest win total since 2003.
In their first season in the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers finished 12-18 and lost, 79-61, to Purdue in the first round of the league tournament Thursday. They tied with Penn State for last in the conference at 4-14.
Sadler was 101-89 with three NIT appearances at Nebraska but just 34-64 in conference games. In the Huskers' final five years in the Big 12, his teams never finished higher than seventh.
Around the nation
The NCAA denied Georgia Tech's appeal to have sanctions reduced, including the loss of its 2009 ACC football championship. The NCAA ruled in July that Georgia Tech must pay a $100,000 fine and return its 2009 ACC championship trophy as punishment for allowing an ineligible player, receiver Demaryius Thomas, to compete. The school was given recruiting restrictions and placed on probation for four years. ... Former Georgia tight end Orson Charles is out of jail following an arrest on a drunken driving charge. He had 45 catches as a junior last season and is projected to go as high as the second round of next month's NFL Draft. ... Linebacker Kellen Jones plans to transfer after one season at Oklahoma. He had 10 tackles in 12 games as a freshman after transferring from Michigan.