Kelly on Te’o — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o didn’t show any signs of being affected by the girlfriend hoax leading up to the BCS title game, but his play indicates it may have taken a toll, coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday. “Hindsight is 20-20. I didn’t think going into the game he was affected by it. But he didn’t play his best. Alabama had something to do with that, clearly. But I really don’t know," Kelly said. “It’s a lot to weigh on the shoulders of somebody. I think we can make the leap that maybe it did. But I think Manti would know for sure." Te’o said in an interview with ESPN after the news of the hoax broke that it did not affect his performance in the title game blowout. Kelly spoke to reporters Tuesday by conference call for the first time since the Irish were beaten 42-14 by Alabama in the BCS title game on Jan. 7.
Stanford tabs OC — David Shaw only needed to look down the hall from his corner office to find Stanford’s new offensive coordinator. Shaw promoted run-game coordinator Mike Bloomgren to offensive coordinator Tuesday, choosing continuity above all else given the Cardinal’s recent run of success. Bloomgren also will continue to coach the offensive line as he has the past two seasons. Bloomgren replaces Pep Hamilton, who left earlier this month to be reunited with Andrew Luck as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator.
U.S. draws — The United States prepped for its opening game in the final round of World Cup qualifying with a dull 0-0 tie against Canada on Tuesday night in Houston as defender Omar Gonzalez returned to the American national team lineup after a two-year absence. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed all 11 starters from November’s 2-2 tie at Russia and is likely to change the entire lineup again for the Feb. 6 qualifier against Honduras at San Pedro Sula. These players were auditioning for backup roles on next week’s trip.
Agent wants union chief out — Arn Tellem, one of the NBA’s most powerful player agents, is calling for the ouster of union chief Billy Hunter, a step he is urging his clients to take next month during the annual players’ meeting at the league’s All-Star weekend in Houston. Using stark, unambiguous terms, Tellem outlined his position in a 1,500-word letter sent to his players Monday night. In the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times, Tellem blasts Hunter’s record as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association and accuses him of using the union for personal gain. The letter comes two weeks after the release of an outside audit that criticized Hunter’s hiring practices and expenditures and questioned his judgment on an array of issues.
UCI ‘deceitful’? — The World Anti-Doping Agency called the UCI “deceitful" Tuesday for shutting down its independent doping panel and said it won’t participate in an amnesty commission set up by the cycling governing body. WADA said the UCI has “again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport" by disbanding the panel looking into claims that cycling leaders helped cover up Lance Armstrong’s suspicious doping tests and accepted $125,000 in donations from him. Instead, the UCI announced Monday plans to set up a separate amnesty-style “truth and reconciliation commission" (TRC) that it claimed was supported by WADA President John Fahey.
Moscow champs — Austria’s Marcel Hirscher and Germany’s Lena Duerr of Germany won World Cup parallel slaloms Tuesday on a giant ramp in downtown Moscow. Hirscher, the World Cup overall and slalom leader, edged Andre Myhrer of Sweden by 0.16 seconds in the final men’s run for his fifth victory this season. Ivica Kostelic of Croatia was third. Duerr beat Veronica Velez Zuzulova for her first victory this season. Third place went to World Cup slalom leader Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States. Women’s overall leader Tina Maze of Slovenia, who won Sunday’s slalom in Maribor, was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
— From wire reports