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Paterno says health rumors greatly exaggerated

Shaw

SAN ANTONIO — Joe Paterno says reports of his declining health are greatly exaggerated.

The 84-year-old Penn State coach Thursday received the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award at the NCAA’s annual convention. It recognizes significant leadership for intercollegiate sports.

Paterno, who counted the late Ford among his friends, reiterated his plans to coach next season. It is the final year of a three-year extension signed in 2008.

Paterno says he remains in good health — contrary to occasional rumors on the Internet.

He recalled one that spread while working at his desk one morning.

“I was supposed to be in Hershey getting cured for cancer,” he said.

Stanford hires David Shaw

STANFORD, Calif. — David Shaw arrived as an assistant on the Stanford coaching staff with Jim Harbaugh four years ago with the task of rebuilding a one-win team.

He was promoted Thursday to replace Harbaugh and maintain the Cardinal’s place as a national contender following their most successful season in decades.

“We’ve got a good football team, a team that’s tough, physical and eager to pick up where we left off,” Shaw said during his introductory news conference. “Our schemes are going to be the same. We’re going to be very similar. We’re going to be aggressive on defense. We’re going to be aggressive on offense.”

Shaw won out over fellow assistants Greg Roman and Vic Fangio among others to take over the program less than a week after Harbaugh left to become coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Newton declares for draft

AUBURN, Ala. — Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Auburn released a statement Thursday night announcing the quarterback’s decision. Newton led the Tigers to their first national title since 1957 and a 14-0 season with a 22-19 victory over Oregon on Monday night.

The dual-threat quarterback was both dynamic and controversial.

Pasqualoni hired as UConn head coach

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut has hired former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni as its head football coach.

The school says a news conference introducing Pasqualoni would be held a 12:30 p.m. today.

Pasqualoni, the Dallas Cowboys interim defensive coordinator, was fired by Syracuse after the 2004 season.

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett released a statement Thursday evening saying UConn was getting “everything that a college program would want from a leadership perspective.”

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