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Bill Snyder, 76, says he will return for another season as Kansas State’s football coach

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas State

Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder and his team prepare to take the field against Arkansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

(Bo Rader / Wichita Eagle)

Kansas State football Coach Bill Snyder announced Monday that he will return next season, ending months of speculation that the 76-year-old Hall of Famer might retire for the second time.

Snyder said he spoke with his family after a loss to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl. They told him to keep coaching as long as he was in good health, he was having a positive impact on his players and Kansas State officials wanted him on the sideline.

Snyder is entering his 25th season, a period interrupted by a brief retirement. He needs seven wins to reach 200, and figures to have a good shot at it with plenty of talent returning. Kansas State went 6-6 this season, despite a slew of injuries on both sides of the ball.

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Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith announced he will skip his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft despite sustaining a serious injury to his left knee in the Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State.

With many projecting Smith as a possible top 10 draft pick, the decision to forgo his senior season was expected before his injury in the first quarter against the Buckeyes. Smith has led the Irish in tackles the last two seasons and this year won the Butkus Award, given to college football’s best linebacker.

Smith is the fifth Notre Dame player with eligibility remaining to declare for the draft this season.

Nebraska defensive tackle Vincent Valentine also plans to skip his senior season and enter the draft.

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Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly has decided to return to school for his senior season. The 6-foot-2 Kelly — who is the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly — was considering jumping to the NFL after leading the Rebels to a 10-3 record this season, including a Sugar Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. He threw for 4,042 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

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A judge in Harrisburg, Pa., cleared the way for former Penn State president Graham Spanier to pursue a defamation lawsuit against an ex-FBI director whose team issued a university-commissioned report critical of Spanier for his handling of complaints about Jerry Sandusky.

The decision comes despite a pending criminal case against Spanier that accuses him of covering up allegations about Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach who was later convicted of sexually molesting boys, including some on campus.

Judge Robert Eby ended a two-year hiatus in the lawsuit against Louis Freeh, saying he will deal on a case-by-case basis with any issues related to constitutional protections against having to give any self-incriminating testimony.

Spanier’s lawyer, Libby Locke, said the case “comes down to exposing just the false and defamatory conclusions that Freeh reached in the Freeh report.”

She added: “We’re very excited to move the case forward and to vindicate Dr. Spanier’s reputation.”

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Spanier, still a Penn State faculty member, does not intend to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Locke said, but that could be an issue for his co-defendants in the criminal case, former university vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The Freeh report said Spanier told Freeh’s investigators that he never heard anyone say Sandusky was sexually abusing children. Freeh said it was more reasonable to conclude that Spanier, Curley and Schultz, along with longtime head football coach Joe Paterno, “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the university’s board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.”


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