Leading Off

10 pressing questions in the world of sports

▪ Even though the NCAA settled with Penn State and restored Joe Paterno as the winningest coach in major college football, can his reputation ever recover from the Jerry Sandusky scandal?

▪ After restoring 112 of Paterno’s victories as part of a settlement in a lawsuit by Pennsylvania state Sen. Jake Corman, did the NCAA “surrender,” as Corman proclaimed?

▪ The NCAA has been under a lot of heat recently, including over its handling of Penn State, so will we soon see the last of czar – er, president – Mark Emmert?

▪ When the 49ers announced the hiring of Jim Tomsula as their head coach, did you wonder if general manager Trent Baalke is enamored with the name Jim?

▪ During Thursday’s announcement of Tomsula’s hiring, Baalke said, “We feel good about the plan we have moving forward,” but do 49ers fans?

▪ If Jack Del Rio can lead the Jaguars (11-42 since his departure) to the playoffs, is there any reason he can’t do the same with the Raiders?

▪ After interviewing Del Rio, was Hooters the best Raiders owner Mark Davis could do for a late-night bite with fullback Marcel Reece and former defensive back George Atkinson?

▪ Even though quarterbacks Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State are projected as top NFL draft picks, are either good enough to be successful as rookies?

▪ The Patriots have outscored the Colts 144-66 in their past three matchups, so is there any reason to think Indy’s defense can stop Tom Brady in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game?

▪ NBA All-Star voting is a popularity contest, so does the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins have any chance of passing Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan and Marc Gasol to make the Western Conference starting lineup?

– Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


What to watch

NBA, Kings vs. Clippers, 7 p.m., CSNCA: The Kings wrap up their six-game homestand against Darren Collison’s former team.


What to do

College basketball, Eastern Washington at Sacramento State, 7:05 p.m., The Nest: The Hornets battle for first place in the Big Sky Conference.


Twitter chatter

@thebeatofsports: “Now that Paterno’s wins are restored, when does (Bobby) Bowden get his 14 wins back, which he lost b/c players got answers for an online music test.”


On this date

1961: Oscar Robertson, the Cincinnati Royals’ 22-year-old rookie, has 23 points and 14 assists in the West’s 153-131 victory to become the youngest MVP in an NBA All-Star Game.


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