HOLDEN — Traditions Golf Club and Learning Center will open for the season Friday at 9 a.m. All nine holes are open for play as well as the driving range. Carts will not be available until further notice
200 interviewed in Penn State investigation
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Former FBI chief Louis Freeh and his investigators have conducted 200 interviews in their extensive probe of the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, asking questions that go beyond the charges against retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and into the relationship between the football program and the administration.
Since November, when the Penn State Board of Trustees hired his group to examine the Sandusky case, Freeh’s team has talked to people ranging from high-level administrators to retired secretaries to current and former staffers in the athletic department. That includes many employees who worked at the football building while the late Joe Paterno was coach.
The trustees themselves also are among those to be questioned, said board chairwoman Karen Peetz, who told The Associated Press 200 people have been interviewed in all.
As Freeh seeks to fulfill his mission — he is charged with finding out how Penn State failed to stop an alleged predator in its midst, and with recommending changes aimed at preventing abuse — board members facing criticism are stressing anew that the former federal judge and his team have complete independence. They see the breadth of his investigation as a sign of that.
“They’re extremely reputable, impeccable credentials, a mandate to investigate thoroughly,” trustee Joel Myers said after a board meeting last week in Hershey. “Let the chips fall where they may so we come out of this a better institution.”
UNC’s Marshall out of cast after wrist surgery
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall is out of his cast following surgery on his broken right wrist.
In a text message to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Marshall’s father Dennis said his son is wearing a removable splint now. Marshall said on Twitter he had shed the cast earlier in the afternoon.
Dennis Marshall said it was still too early to know if his son could play against Ohio on Friday in the NCAA tournament’s round of 16 in St. Louis. He said his son “hasn’t been ruled out, but not cleared to play either.”
The school had no update on Marshall’s status Wednesday.
The left-handed Marshall was hurt when he was fouled on a drive against Creighton and had surgery Monday to install a screw in the wrist.
Marshall is averaging about eight points and 10 assists for the top-seeded Tar Heels (31-5) in the Midwest Regional. He has scored in double figures for six straight games and has been the team’s most irreplaceable player at the helm of its fast-paced attack.
If he is unable to play, freshman Stilman White or versatile senior Justin Watts would handle the point guard duties.
Derek Fisher signs with Oklahoma City Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY — Derek Fisher has chosen the Oklahoma City Thunder as his spot to pursue a sixth NBA championship.
Fisher signed with the Thunder on Wednesday and general manager Sam Presti says he’s available to play immediately. The Los Angeles Clippers were in town Wednesday night to face Oklahoma City.
The longtime Los Angeles Lakers point guard was traded to Houston last week but decided to buy out of his contract with the Rockets and seek somewhere else to play.
Doctor: Muamba ‘in effect’ dead for 78 minutes
LONDON — Fabrice Muamba’s heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes and “in effect, he was dead in that time,” Bolton’s team doctor said Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder collapsed during an FA Cup match against Tottenham on Saturday after suffering from cardiac arrest. He was taken to London Chest Hospital where he’s improving and talking to doctors after needing 15 shocks from a defibrillator.
Medics tried unsuccessfully to revive Muamba for 48 minutes on Saturday before he arrived at the hospital, Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin said. It took another 30 minutes, after 15 shocks from a defibrillator, before the player’s heart started beating again on its own.
“They were working on him without his heart having a muscular beat,” Tobin said. “In effect, he was dead in that time … throughout the whole resuscitation period you are worrying.
“You know the longer the resuscitation goes on the less chance there is of survival, but this is slightly different. This is a very fit 23-year-old.”
On Monday, the former England under-21 international started breathing independently and speaking. He likely survived because of the emergency care, which kept blood and oxygen supplied to his vital organs. Defibrillators are used to restore normal heart rhythm when there is no beat or an irregular beat.
Dr. Andrew Deaner, a cardiologist and Tottenham fan who was at the game Saturday, left his seat and rushed onto the field to help Muamba.
“If you’re going to use the term ‘miraculous,’ I guess it could be used here,” Deaner said. “He has made a remarkable recovery so far.
“Two hours after (regaining consciousness) I whispered in his ear, ‘What’s your name?’ and he said, ‘Fabrice Muamba.’ I said, ‘I hear you’re a really good footballer’ and he said, ‘I try.’ I had a tear in my eye.”
Alex Smith signs three-year deal with 49ers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — No hard feelings on Alex Smith’s part that the San Francisco 49ers pursued Peyton Manning.
In the end, Smith is right back where he expected to be all along — with the only franchise he has ever known.
The free agent quarterback signed his three-year deal with the 49ers at last on Wednesday. It will pay him $8 million per season with $16.5 million guaranteed, according to a person with knowledge of the contract.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the contract details weren’t made public, said Smith’s deal can pay him up to $33 million.
Smith signed at team headquarters a day after Manning was formally introduced in Denver after the 49ers pursued the four-time NFL MVP. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh worked out Manning at Duke last week.
“Not offended at all. I would have relished the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job with Peyton Manning,” Smith said. “I feel I’ve been through way worse than this. Free agency is always going to be a little crazy, maybe this year more than most. You get to a point you stop worrying about that stuff.”
The 27-year-old Smith met with Miami on Sunday but ultimately decided to stay put with the storied franchise that drafted him first overall in 2005. Smith said his talks with the Dolphins during a 5 ½-hour meeting “seemed serious at the time.”
Smith had a breakthrough season last year, throwing for 3,150 yards and 17 touchdowns to help San Francisco reach the NFC title game.
Both sides made it clear after the Niners’ 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the NFC championship game that they planned to work out a new deal.
Shaka Smart staying at VCU; Illini search moves on
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Virginia Commonwealth basketball coach Shaka Smart on Wednesday ended speculation that he might take the open job at Illinois by announcing that he’ll stay with the Rams.
The decision by the young coach was cause for celebration among VCU fans and disappointment for their Illini counterparts — Illinois’ search for a replacement for fired coach Bruce Weber has begun to resemble the search last year for a new football coach, when the school’s top choices reportedly turned down the Illini.
VCU said in a news release that Smart’s $1.2 million contract will be adjusted, but provided no details.
He said in the release that he appreciates VCU’s support of him and his staff.
“There are great things to accomplish at VCU and I’m looking forward to building on the successes of our program and university,” the 34-year-old Smart said.
“Coach Smart recognizes — as do the rest of the university community, alumni and fans — that VCU is the place to be right now,” VCU President Michael Rao added.
At Illinois, Athletic Director Mike Thomas declined comment through a school spokesman.
Redskins announce signing of QB Rex Grossman
ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins have announced the signing of one RGIII while looking at another.
The Redskins said Wednesday that Rex Grossman has signed his one-year contract to return to the team. Grossman agreed to the deal last week.
Grossman — full name Rex Daniel Grossman III — has said he expects to spend the season tutoring a rookie quarterback, likely Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
The Redskins are expected to take Griffin with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Owner Dan Snyder and coach Mike Shanahan attended Griffin’s workout at Baylor on Wednesday.
Grossman threw 16 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions and had a 72.4 rating last year as the Redskins finished 5-11.
BC football player charged in secret sex recording
BOSTON — A Boston College football player has been charged with secretly making an audio recording of two students having sex.
Backup defensive lineman Jaryd Rudolph was released on his own recognizance Wednesday after pleading not guilty to violating the state’s wiretap statute.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents a female Boston College graduate student, said neither his client nor her partner — another BC player — knew about the Feb. 15 cell phone recording.
He said she learned about it after Rudolph distributed it and she was mocked by other students.
Rudolph’s attorney, John Seed, said his client is innocent and there’s serious question whether the recording even exists.
The 19-year-old Rudolph, of Plympton, faces up to 2½ years in prison if convicted.
Boston College said Rudolph is on probation and suspended from the football team.