Sandusky claims he was ‘father figure’
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky maintains he never sexually abused children and portrays himself in a New York Times interview as a father-like figure to the kids in his life. The Times reported yesterday that Sandusky also insisted he never spoke with Joe Paterno about any allegations of misconduct. “They’ve taken everything that I ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever,’’ Sandusky said. “I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure. And they just twisted that all.’’ University trustees fired Paterno - major college football’s winningest coach - on Nov. 9, four days after charges were filed against Sandusky, amid mounting criticism that school leaders should have done more when allegations came to their attention. Three attorneys representing one of the alleged victims released a statement yesterday, with Andrew Shubin calling Sandusky’s comments “an entirely unconvincing denial and a series of bizarre explanations.’’ . . . Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino issued a statement congratulating offensive coordinator Garrick McGee on his hiring as Alabama-Birmingham head coach, though a UAB spokesman said he hadn’t heard of a hiring.
Johnson overtakes Woods in 3d round
Zach Johnson took the lead at the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and it took his best shot to get there. Johnson was one shot behind tournament host Tiger Woods when he holed out from 163 yards with a 7-iron on the 18th for an eagle. Johnson shot a 4-under 68 and had a one-shot lead going into the final round. Woods, who led by as many as three shots, had three bogeys on the par 5s to lose his lead. He wound up with a 73, though he still has a good chance to win for the first time in two years . . . Defending champion Lee Westwood shot a 10-under 62 to take a seven-shot lead at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. Westwood picked up eight shots on overnight leader Graeme McDowell (70), who shared second at 9 under with Robert Karlsson (69) . . . Alvaro Quiros shot a 3-under 67 to hold a one-shot lead over Peter Hanson (65) after the third round of the Hong Kong Open, while joint overnight leader Rory McIlroy (70) fell three strokes behind.
Cotto gets payback on Margarito
Miguel Cotto battered Antonio Margarito over nine lopsided rounds then won a TKO decision before they came out for the 10th at Madison Square Garden. Cotto (37-2-0) earned a punishing measure of payback for his loss to Margarito three years ago. With the New York crowd going wild for Cotto, he was never seriously threatened and retained his 154-pound title. Margarito beat Cotto in July 2008, only to later have his career and reputation tarnished when he used illegal hand wraps before a loss to Shane Mosley . . . Russian Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs) retained his World Boxing Association heavyweight title with an eighth-round knockout of American challenger Cedric Boswell (35-2, 26 KOs) in Helsinki. It took the 42-year-old Boswell 17 years as a professional to get a shot at a world title, but his dream of becoming the first American in five years to hold one of the major belts withered under a barrage of blows from Povetkin . . . Wladimir Klitschko’s promoter Bernd Boente said the WBA and International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion is recovering well after undergoing an operation to remove a kidney stone in Duesseldorf, Germany. Klitschko, 35, is scheduled to fight French challenger Jean-Marc Mormeck next Saturday.
Angels deal Mathis to Toronto for Mills
The Angels traded catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays for lefthander Brad Mills. The light-hitting Mathis led the Angels with 79 starts behind the plate last season. Mills made four starts for Toronto in 2011, going 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA . . . Francesca Schiavone defeated both Venus and Serena Williams in a tennis exhibition in Milan. Schiavone defeated Venus, 7-5, 7-3, then countered a strong comeback from Serena to defeat the younger sibling, 7-3, 10-8, 8-6. Flavia Pennetta also beat Venus, but lost to Serena. The Williams sisters won the doubles match . . . Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh crashed his car into a tree in Portland, Ore., but he and two passengers were not injured, according to police. Police say Suh, who was suspended by the NFL for two games last week for stomping Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, was not impaired . . . World No. 1 Anna Tunnicliffe of the United States and her crew won all three of their first-day races in women’s match-racing at the world sailing championships in Fremantle, Australia . . . David Beckham scored the opening goal in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 6-1 win over the host Philippine national team in a friendly that was part of the MLS champions’ Asian tour in Manila. Adam Cristman scored two goals for the Galaxy.