PITTSBURGH — Beano Cook, the college football commentator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport he dearly loved, died Thursday.
The 81-year-old Boston native had worked for ESPN since 1986 and was the sports information director at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, from 1956 to 1966. The school announced Thursday that Cook had died in his sleep.
“He was one of a kind,” ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer said. “There never was and never will be another Beano. His combination of humor, passion, love of college football and his engaging personality left an indelible mark on the sport and touched anyone who knew him.”
In recent years Cook was a frequent contributor on ESPN Radio and did a weekly podcast with ESPN college football writer Ivan Maisel.
SANDUSKY LETTERS: Jerry and Dottie Sandusky wrote defiant letters to his judge before sentencing, attacking the motives of his victims, expressing a loss of faith in the judicial system and insisting he isn’t a child molester.
The letters were released Thursday by Judge John Cleland, two days after he sentenced the former Penn State assistant coach to at least 30 years in prison for 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
FLORIDA STATE: Although coach Jimbo Fisher built his team to win it all this year, he doesn’t think it’s a now or never situation.
Some fans are skeptical after Saturday’s loss to North Carolina State, the fifth loss to a double-digit underdog in Fisher’s 2 ½-seasons as head coach.
The Seminoles (5-1, 2-1 ACC) play Boston College (1-4, 0-2) on Saturday.
OKLAHOMA: The Sooners’ offense got a major boost when coach Bob Stoops announced that Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders has been cleared to play.
Saunders, a junior wide receiver, had been ruled ineligible to play because of NCAA transfer rules but was cleared during Oklahoma’s evening practice and is expected to play Saturday when the 13th-ranked Sooners face No. 15 Texas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.