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In Brief | Nation Sports | 1-12-14

January 11, 2014 - 11:44pm

New Penn State coach Franklin: ‘This is the best day of my life’

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — James Franklin stepped out of a small jet and into what he called his “dream job” on Saturday afternoon.

Franklin, who spent the past three years coaching the Vanderbilt Commodores, was named Penn State’s 16th head coach in the program’s 127-year history. The 41-year-old coach stepped into the Beaver Stadium media room wearing a dark blue suit over a light blue shirt. A blue and white tie coupled with a Nittany Lion pin on his right lapel completed his look.

“This is the best day of my life,” Franklin said.

He then glanced at his wife, Fumi, and two daughters, Ava and Addison, and added: “Third best day.”

Penn State and Franklin agreed to a six-year contract. Franklin will earn a total of $4 million in year one and will receive a $100,000 raise to his base salary annually, increasing his guaranteed compensation to $4.5 million in the sixth year.

Franklin will earn $2.2 million annually for radio and TV appearances in addition to $500,000 from Nike.

His buyout, should an NFL or other college team wish to pursue him, is $5 million over the first two years of the contract. It drops to $2.5 million in 2016, $2 million the next year and $1 million over the last two years.

Franklin, who arrived earlier in the afternoon after addressing his former players in Nashville, described the day as an emotional one. He said he was leaving behind 107 sons and gaining another 95, talking about Penn State players.

“I’m a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart,” Franklin, who’s from Langhorne, said. “I think I am the guy to come back and unite this state.”

Franklin spoke for nearly an hour as Director of Athletics Dave Joyner and Penn State President Rodney Erickson flanked him. Franklin said he will work quickly to construct a staff, meet with Penn State’s players who are still flocking back to campus for classes that start Monday and scout a home for his family.

Missouri receiver’s arrest tied to drugs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was arrested in southwest Missouri after an officer found about a pound of marijuana in the vehicle he was in with two other men.

Green-Beckham, a sophomore who led No. 5 Missouri in receptions last season, and the other men were released without formal charges after their arrest late Friday, Springfield police said in a statement.

Green-Beckham, John W. McDaniel and Patrick Prouty, were pulled over late Friday because the vehicle McDaniel was driving had expired license plates, police said. The statement said the officer smelled marijuana in the vehicle and found “approximately a pound of marijuana and assorted drug paraphernalia” in the vehicle.

Green-Beckham, McDaniel and Prouty were booked into the Greene County jail for distribution of a controlled substance. All three were released without bond or charges while the case is investigated.

Gold wins US figure skating title; Wagner 4th

BOSTON — Gracie Gold won her first U.S. figure skating title Saturday night and all but guaranteed herself a spot at the Olympics.

Still to be decided is who joins her in Sochi after two-time defending champ Ashley Wagner finished a distant fourth after a mistake-marred free skate.

Fifteen-year-old Polina Edmunds was second, and 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu was third in a resurgent performance. U.S. Figure Skating officials will announce Sunday which three women go to the Winter Games, taking into account past performances.

They will have a lot to think about.

Gold wasn’t perfect, but she didn’t need to be after building a big lead in the short program. When she finished, she buried her face in her hands. She had 211.69 points to beat Edmunds by more than 18.

In ice dance, defending Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White earned their sixth consecutive national title.

They finished with 200.19 points for a cushion of almost 20 points over the second-place team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates. Their sixth national championship broke the record for ice dance set by Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.

Bates and Chock were second with 181.44 points. Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani 170.44 were third.

Earlier, Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli won the pairs championship.

The U.S. Olympic figure skating teams will be announced today. The top three in dance and top two in pairs are expected — but not guaranteed — to get spots.

By wire sources