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K4365 BC-FBN-49ERS-YOUNG 12-30 0581

49ers’ Young ends career

CLEVELAND —  It wasn’t how Bryant Young envisioned ending his 14-year career standing injured on the sideline while watching his team suffer its 11th loss of the year.

Young left the game early in the fourth quarter after an offensive lineman jammed a hand under his face mask. Young said his head jerked back, sending a jolt of pain through his neck and down his left shoulder.

It was the second so-called "burner" Young suffered in the game, but this one was so bad that Young briefly fell to his side in pain as trainers examined him on the 49ers’ sideline.

For the last few weeks, Young had hinted strongly that Sunday’s game would be his last but never had officially announced his retirement because he didn’t want it to be a distraction. Young made it official following Sunday’s game.

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Paterno eyes another title

SAN ANTONIO — One of college football’s poster boys for stability has outlasted yet another coach.

After a stinging 24-17 defeat to Penn State in the Alamo Bowl, Texas A&M is moving on from interim coach Gary Darnell to a new era under Mike Sherman.

In contrast, Penn State hasn’t made a coaching change in 42 years — and 81-year-old Joe Paterno is already starting to think about his record 43rd season on the sideline. With only four senior starters departing from a 9-4 team, could the Nittany Lions contend for a third national title in 2008?

"I always feel that way," said Paterno.

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