The Washington Times-Herald

Sports

December 23, 2011

Sports In Brief

Los Angeles — LOS ANGELES (AP) — FOOTBALL

Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley has decided to return for his senior season and put off the NFL.

With USC coach Lane Kiffin and his family in attendance at USC's Heritage Hall, Barkley announced that while he feels prepared for the NFL, he has unfinished business with the Trojans.

"I am staying so I can finish what I started," Barkley said.

Barkley is coming off a spectacular season in which he led the Trojans to a 10-2 finish and the No. 5 ranking in the country. Because of NCAA sanctions, USC wasn't allowed to play in the postseason. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound quarterback has been projected as a first-round pick in the NFL draft, in the top 10 overall on some boards.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh hired Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst as head coach and charged him with providing a much-needed dose of stability.

Chryst replaces Todd Graham, who left for Arizona State last week after spending less than a year on campus. Graham's departure — he resigned when the Panthers wouldn't allow him to talk to the Sun Devils and notified players he was leaving via forwarded text message — was an embarrassing turn for a program that thought it had seen it all over the last year.

Instead, his abrupt move left the Panthers searching for their fourth coach in just over a year. It also opened the door for Chryst, who was in the mix when Pitt was looking for someone to replace Dave Wannstedt and Mike Haywood a year ago.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M senior offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio was killed in a car accident, the university said.

Witness reports said Villavisencio swerved to avoid a buzzard and veered head-on into the path of an 18-wheeler near the town of Normangee about 40 miles from College Station.

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