In Brief: A legend returns to Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The future of Nebraska football is in the hands of its patriarch.

Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne returned to Nebraska on Tuesday as interim athletic director, a day after the firing of Steve Pederson.

Osborne, 70, will determine whether Bill Callahan stays or goes as Nebraska coach, but he won't make the decision until after the season.

"I don't want to be someone who micromanages, watches over people's shoulders," Osborne said. "If they want me to come to practice or go to meetings, I'll go. If they want to stay away, I'll stay away."

It was 10 years ago that Osborne finished a celebrated 25-year coaching career that culminated with three national championships in his last four seasons.

But the team has lost no fewer than four games a year in four seasons under Callahan (who wasn't available after practice to comment on Osborne's hiring). The 4-3 Huskers have lost their last two games by a combined score of 86-20, and their defense is one of the worst in the country.

Since leaving coaching, Osborne has served three terms in Congress, made an unsuccessful gubernatorial run, taught in the university's business school and worked as a consultant for local college athletic departments. ...

Evan Sharpley will start at quarterback for 1-6 Notre Dame against No. 13 Southern Cal, making the junior the third starting signal-caller for the Fighting Irish this season.


British Open champion Padraig Harrington carded a 3-under 67 and led by one shot in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at the Mid-Ocean Club in Tucker's Town, Bermuda.

U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera nearly caught him until his 15-foot eagle putt came up short on No. 18, giving him a 68. Masters champ Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk each had a 71.

The Mid-Ocean Club measures only 6,666 yards but still offered a stern test with swirling breezes, hidden pins and greens so pure the players at times got too aggressive.

"You feel like you can hole the putts," Harrington said. "I ran my putt by 6 feet on the 17th because I was thinking I could hole it from 20 feet."


Since transferring to the Portuguese club Benfica from Real Salt Lake, Freddy Adu has played just 64 minutes over 2½ months. Now Adu, 18, is training with the U.S. national team that plays tonight in Basel, Switzerland. "Freddy is a great talent," said U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley. "He just needs to keep his head straight and not get too down on himself, and when he gets his chances to take them."


Tickets for the 61st Davis Cup Final between the U.S. and defending champ Russia, set Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at Portland's 12,000-seat Memorial Coliseum, sold out in under 30 minutes. ... Serena Williams retired with a sore right thigh while trailing Patty Schnyder 6-0, 3-0 in the first round of the Zurich Open.


The WNBA will announce today that it has awarded a franchise to Atlanta, a person familiar with the deal said.

Motor Sports

Champ Car star Sebastien Bourdais walked away from a high-speed crash during a promotion involving a rally car in Surfers Paradise, Australia.