Reid, Chiefs nearing deal — Andy Reid was in negotiations with the Kansas City Chiefs to become their next coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday. The two sides were working out details and Reid canceled plans to interview for other openings, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations. The Philadelphia Eagles fired Reid after 14 seasons on Monday, the same day the Chiefs parted ways with coach Romeo Crennel after the worst season in franchise history.
O’Brien staying at PSU — Bill O’Brien is staying at Penn State. O’Brien’s agent, Joseph Linta, said Thursday night that the Nittany Lions’ head coach garnered interest from several NFL teams for vacant jobs at the next level. But Linta said the “heartstrings" of O’Brien’s experience from Penn State’s 8-4 season in his first year outweighed the potentially big raise he could have received as an NFL head coach. He said O’Brien made the decision to stay at Penn State and not move forward with potential NFL opportunities Thursday. O’Brien has been lauded for guiding Penn State to a successful season following strict NCAA sanctions on Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Union could disband — Hopes for a prompt settlement in the 110-day old NHL lockout were scuttled Thursday when players began voting to reauthorize Donald Fehr, the union’s executive director, to disclaim interest in representing the union. If Fehr disclaims, it would effectively dissolve the union and open the way for players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league. The result of the vote is expected to be announced Saturday. “The players retain all the legal options they have always had," said Fehr, who did not meet with Commissioner Gary Bettman at Thursday’s sessions. The two sides were expected to reconvene today.
Vonn training — Lindsey Vonn is feeling better and has returned to Europe to train. Meanwhile, it’s less likely Bode Miller will race this season. Vonn has started training for a return to the World Cup circuit after a midseason break to recover from an intestinal illness. Rainer Salzgeber, the racing director of Vonn’s equipment supplier Head, told The Associated Press that the four-time overall winner arrived in Austria on Wednesday and began light training on Thursday. He said Vonn plans to race in the downhill and super-G on Jan. 12-13 in St. Anton, Austria. Miller still hasn’t started training, working his way back after left knee surgery at the end of last season, according to Salzgeber.
Northug leads — Olympic champion Petter Northug Jr. of Norway took the overall lead in the Tour de Ski after winning Thursday’s 35-kilometer free pursuit cross-country race in Dobbiaco, Italy. Northug surged ahead from a four-man lead group on the final uphill section of the fourth stage from Cortina to Dobbiaco, near the Austrian border, and won in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 32.7 seconds. In the 15-kilometer women’s race, three-time defending champion Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland won in 37:15.1. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was second, 18.3 seconds behind and Therese Johaug of Norway was third. Kowalczyk entered the stage with a 50.3-second lead on Johaug, but is just 23.0 ahead of Kalla.
Pastrana racing more NASCAR — X Games star Travis Pastrana will drive the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this year in Roush Fenway’s No. 60 Ford Mustang. Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush and Pastrana announced the move Thursday. Roush said the 11-time X Games gold medalist in motorcycle events is serious about making a full-time move to NASCAR and plans to drive in all 33 Nationwide races. He has made nine career Nationwide starts.
Olympic mountain biker killed — Burry Stander, a two-time Olympian from South Africa and one of the world’s best mountain bikers, was killed while training Thursday when his bike collided with a taxi. He was 25. The circumstances of the accident near his home in Shelley Beach, south of Durban, were still being investigated, Cycling South Africa said. Stander competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, finishing fifth at the London Games. He was a former under-19 and under-23 world champion.
— From wire reports