Greg Olson to interview for Bears job
CHICAGO, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Greg Olson, fired as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator, will interview for a coaching job with the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The team announced interviews have been scheduled with four candidates to fill out Lovie Smith's coaching staff. An NFL source said Olson, who served as quarterbacks coach for the Bears in 2003, will interview this week for the passing game/quarterbacks coach vacancy, the Tribune reported Thursday.
Previously revealed candidates for the position include former Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, former Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and University of Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.
Tampa Bay Online said Olson lost his job with the Bucs when Raheem Morris was ousted as head coach Jan. 2. Morris hooked on as Washington's secondary coach Wednesday.
Tebow tops ESPN sports poll
BRISTOL, Conn., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- ESPN said its monthly Sports Poll dubbed Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow as the favorite currently active pro athlete in the United States.
The December poll of 1,502 U.S. residents ages 12 and up found Tebow was the favorite pro athlete of 3 percent of respondents, followed by Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant with 2 percent, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with 1.9 percent, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning with 1.8 percent and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with 1.5 percent, ESPN.com reported.
"To put this in perspective, Tim Tebow rose to the top before the end of his second pro season. It took Tiger Woods three years, LeBron James eight years and Kobe Bryant 11 years," said Rich Luker, founder and director of the ESPN Sports Poll. "I think we may be at the front end of a new era in sports stars."
The previous No. 1 athletes on the poll included Brett Favre, Manning, Woods, Bryant and LeBron James.
Penn St. president: Paterno to be honored
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The president of Penn State University said longtime football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired in November, will be honored by the school.
President Rodney Erickson told an alumni meeting he will organize a public ceremony to honor Paterno, who was fired after 61 seasons Nov. 9 amidst allegations of repeated child sex abuse against former assistant Jerry Sandusky, USA Today reported Thursday.
"There is no plan in place at the present time, but there will be," Erickson said. "I can't tell you yet what it will be or when it will be, but we will publicly honor Joe and his wife, Sue, for all the many things they have done for the university, both from an athletic standpoint and an academic standpoint."
Erickson, who formerly served as provost and was promoted to president when his predecessor, Graham Spanier, was fired alongside Paterno, said he has not spoken to the former coach since he was fired but he sent him a note Wednesday thanking him for his contributions to the school and wishing him the best in his battle against lung cancer.
Last seeded players lose in Sydney
SYDNEY, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Upsets by Marcos Baghdatis and Denis Istomin in Thursday's quarterfinals ousted the last seeded players from the Apia International tournament in Australia.
Baghdatis eliminated No. 1-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 and Istomin was a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) winner over third-seeded Richard Gasquet.
Baghdatis won one more -- 68-67 -- point than del Potro and took the match with a second-set break. Each player had a break in the first set before Baghdatis claimed the tiebreaker on the 16th point.
Istomin was on the court nearly two hours before finishing off his first win over Gasquet in three career meetings. Each dropped serve twice in the seesaw second set.
Also Thursday, Jarkko Nieminen beat Bobby Reynolds 6-3, 6-3 with five breaks in nine receiving games and Julien Benneteau defeated Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-2, 6-3 despite being good on just half of his first serves.
Istomin goes against Nieminen in one semifinal Friday while Baghdatis plays Benneteau in the other.
Friday's winners are to meet Saturday in the title match with the champion earning $78,360 and the runner-up taking home $41,290. The semifinal losers each receive $22,365.