Bruins

Joe Paterno fired as head coach from Penn State

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Joe Paterno fired as head coach from Penn State

The Joe Paterno era is officially and forever over at Penn State University.

Penn State University Board of Trustees met with the media Thursday night to announce the ousting of PSU head coach, Joe Paterno, and PSU President, Graham Spanier.

"The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the Penn State community," board vice chair John Surma said at a packed press conference filled with media and angered fans. "But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place. The Penn State Board of Trustees tonight decided that it is in the best interest of the university to have a change in leadership to deal with the difficult issues that we are facing. The Board of Trustees and (PSU President) Graham Spanier have decided that effective immediately that Dr. Spanier is no longer President of the university. In addition, Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach, effective immediately."

Paterno has been in hot water over the last week after reports that he turned a blind eye to alleged child sexual abuse by then assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, back in 2002, when it was told to Paterno by then grad assistant, Mike McQueary, now receivers coach at PSU.

On Nov. 5, 2011, Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys from 1994 to 2009. He was reportedly seen at the PSU gym as recently as two weeks ago.

Paterno was told of the news of his firing by phone prior to the press conference. Shortly after, hoards of student supporters began to form outside his home, prompting him to go outside and acknowledge the supporters.

Paterno also released a statement on the Board of Trustees' decision to fire him from his position:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it.

A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.

I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."

In the aftermath of the announcement, PSU students filled campus streets, rioting and chanting "One more game!" in hopes that Paterno would coach Saturday's game against Nebraska. Windows were smashed, rocks and objects were being thrown at police offers and media, and a news truck was flipped.

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno released a statement saying that he would retire from his head coaching position at the end of the year, a statement that was met with much criticism outside the PSU community.

"This is a tragedy," Paterno said then. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

Spainer also released a statement in wake of his ousting as President.

Rask out tonight as he recovers from practice collision

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Rask out tonight as he recovers from practice collision

BRIGHTON, Mass – The string of injuries for the Bruins continues as Tuukka Rask (upper body) is out for tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden after getting trucked by Anders Bjork in practice Wednesday.

Rask was wobbly-legged while being helped off the ice after the violent collision and the 21-year-old Bjork looked like he’d also needed a couple of stitches on his chin after bloodying his practice jersey.

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The big concern is Rask still being evaluated by Bruins medical personnel for a possible concussion. It will be Anton Khudobin stepping in place for him against the Canucks with Providence Bruins netminder Zane McIntyre serving as his backup.

“Tuukka is out tonight. He’s going to get reevaluated today and we’ll have a better idea tomorrow,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Anton will start [against the Canucks].”

Clearly, Khudobin didn’t like seeing his goaltending partner get drilled in a spirited practice, but the 32-year-old is clearly feeling confident after a strong camp and a winning season debut last week against the Arizona Coyotes.

“You don’t want to see that, but at the same time we’ve got to keep moving forward and hopefully he’s going to get better soon,” said Khudobin, who stopped 29-of-31 shots in the win over Arizona last weekend. “I feel good. Camp was good and everything is fine, and I’ve started better than last year. My role is just day-to-day. Today is a game day and hopefully, you get a good result, and then tomorrow is another new day.”

Otherwise, it looks like the Bruins will at least be getting some of their healthy bodies back with David Backes in the lineup and Patrice Bergeron a game-time decision against the Canucks. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on Wednesday’s practice:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak
Schaller-Kuraly-Backes
Beleskey-Nash-Agostino
 
Chara-McAvoy
Miller-Carlo
Krug-McQuaid

Khudobin 

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Are Red Sox playing a waiting game before naming their new manager?

Are Red Sox playing a waiting game before naming their new manager?

BOSTON — As soon as the American League Championship Series ends, the Red Sox could make a move for their manager.

Industry sources continue to expect Astros bench coach Alex Cora will be the Sox’ pick. No offer had been officially made as of midday Wednesday, one source close to the situation said. But the belief is such an offer waits out of respect to the Astros-Yankees ALCS that can end no later than Saturday if the series goes a full seven games. 

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“Not a doubt it is him,” the source said.

Sunday and Monday would both be off days ahead of the Tuesday night start of the World Series. That leads to the potential for at least a Red Sox announcement of Cora, if not a press conference, before the Fall Classic begins. (If the Astros advance to the World Series, it may be harder to have Cora in Boston for any length of time.)

All those who know Cora praise his ability to connect with players. The former Red Sox infielder is good friends with Dustin Pedroia. Cora’s previous knowledge of the Boston market works in his favor, as well, as does his mettle handling the media. Some question his readiness as a first-time manager, considering he would be taking over a team with great win-now expectations and complicated clubhouse dynamics.

Nothing takes the place of experience and there is such a thing as being too close to players. Ultimately, if the Sox do land Cora, 41, they would be adding the hottest up-and-coming managerial prospect who’s available on the market. The everybody-wants-him reputation could give Cora added cachet with players and certainly becomes a public-relations win for those fans following the search.

The Sox interviewed Ron Gardenhire on Wednesday. Gardenhire was the third candidate the Sox talked to and could well be the last. Cora met with the Sox on Sunday, followed by Brad Ausmus on Monday.