Paterno family report slams Freeh’s
Joe Paterno’s family on Sunday released its response to Penn State’s report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal, attacking Louis Freeh’s conclusion that the coach hid sex abuse allegations against his longtime assistant. In a report commissioned by the family, former US attorney general and Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh said the investigation by Freeh resulted in a ‘‘rush to injustice.’’ That report, authorized by the university, accused Paterno and three former administrators of covering up child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant coach. Those findings last July, said the family critique, were unsupported by the facts. The family’s findings said that Paterno never asked or told anyone not to investigate or report an allegation made against Sandusky. Thornburgh said he found the report at points to be inaccurate, speculative, and fundamentally flawed about the role — if any — played by Paterno. Freeh said he respected the family’s right to conduct a campaign to ‘‘shape the legacy of Joe Paterno,’’ but called the critique self-serving.
Grabovski to face hearing over biting
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski will face a disciplinary hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety Monday amid biting allegations. Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said Grabovski bit him during a fight at 11:30 of the third period in Toronto’s 6-0 victory over Montreal on Saturday. Grabovski received a 10-minute misconduct and a roughing minor after the scuffle. Pacioretty was also issued a 10-minute misconduct on the play. Pacioretty emerged from the incident showing his wrist to the officials, claiming that Grabovski bit him . . . The St. Louis Blues have activated goalie Jaroslav Halak, who had been sidelined by a groin strain . . . Austria qualified for next year’s hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics despite a 3-2 loss to Germany in overtime.
Italy tops US in Fed Cup quarterfinals
The United States was eliminated from the Fed Cup, losing to Italy, 3-2, in Rimini, Italy, when Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber, 6-2, 6-2, in the decisive doubles match. Italy will host the defending champion Czech Republic in the semifinals. The other semifinal will be Slovakia at Russia . . . Rafael Nadal lost to Horacio Zeballos in three sets in the VTR Open final in Vina Del Mar, Chile, settling for a runner-up finish in his first tournament after being sidelined for seven months with a left knee injury. Zeballos won, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, for his first singles title on any surface. In the doubles final, Nadal and partner Juan Monaco lost, 6-2, 6-4, to the Italian pair of Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace . . . Marin Cilic of Croatia defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 6-3, 6-1, to win the Zagreb Indoors in Croatia . . . Frenchman Richard Gasquet beat compatriot Benoit Paire, 6-2, 6-3, in the Open Sud de France final in Montpellier.
Nigeria wins African Cup of Nations
Nigeria returned to the top of African football by beating Burkina Faso, 1-0, in the Cup of Nations final in Johannesburg, South Africa, for its first continental title in nearly two decades. Sunday Mba’s goal in the 40th minute delivered another triumph for coach Stephen Keshi after he captained Nigeria to its last African Cup crown in 1994. Keshi became the first Nigerian to lift the trophy as a coach, the first black African manager in over 20 years to win the continental championship, and only the second man to claim the title as a player and a coach . . . Lionel Messi extended his Spanish league record by scoring in his 13th straight match, as Barcelona beat visiting Getafe, 6-1 . . . Mario Balotelli converted a late penalty kick, giving AC Milan a 1-1 tie at Cagliari in an Italian League contest . . . A Muslim player whose signing with Beitar Jerusalem sparked a violent uprising by a hardcore group of racist fans made his debut Sunday to a rousing ovation. Hundreds of police deployed around Beitar Jerusalem’s stadium, two days after a suspicious fire believed to be set by angry fans destroyed the team’s main offices. The crowd erupted into a rousing standing ovation when Gabriel Kadiev, a 19-year-old defender recently brought over from FC Terek Grozny, entered the game in the 80th minute.
Vonn undergoes surgery on right knee
Lindsey Vonn had surgery on her right knee that ‘‘went well’’ after she shredded two ligaments during a crash last week at the world championships. The US ski team said Dr. William Sterett, a physician for the squad, operated Sunday on the four-time overall World Cup champion in Vail, Colo. Vonn tore her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last week during the super-G in Schladming, Austria. She also broke a bone in her lower leg. The 28-year-old Vonn is hoping to be healed in time for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games . . . The Miami Dolphins have agreed to a local referendum on their plan seeking tax money for an upgrade of their stadium, a person familiar with the discussions said.