Thursday's State Sports Briefs: Philblin to take indefinte leave of absence from PackersWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will be away from the team indefinitely while he deals with the drowning death of his son Michael.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will be away from the team indefinitely while he deals with the drowning death of his son Michael.
McCarthy said he and the rest of his assistants on offense will divide up Philbin's duties for as long as they need to. He's expected to miss Sunday's NFC home playoff game against the New York Giants. McCarthy says he not talked to Philbin about his responsibilities -- and he won't do so. The coach said Philbin is in the right place with his family, and he can stay there until he feels he's ready to return. 21-year-old Michael Philbin drowned early Sunday after falling through the ice on the Fox River in Oshkosh. His funeral will be tomorrow in Green Bay. Police continue to investigate the incident. In the meantime, McCarthy says he's proud of what the Packers have been able to accomplish. He said the players showed a lot of energy at practice yesterday. Guard T.J. Lang, who lost his father recently, said Philbin's loss was tough -- but he says it will make the team stronger.
Tight end Jermichael Finley could be a major factor in the playoffs for the Green Bay Packers. That's the opinion of Pro Football Weekly publisher Hub Arkush, who says Finley has become a prolific pass-catcher. Arkush says the Packers, New Orleans, and New England are among the NFL's top offenses with productive tight ends. Finley has 55 catches for 767 yards and eight touchdowns. But Stats Incorporated says he also leads Green Bay with 11 dropped passes -- the third-highest in the NFL. Even so, Arkush says Finley is in the same class as tight ends Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots and Jimmy Graham of the Saints. Gronkowski broke the league record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,327 yards in the regular season. Finley will be a free agent in the spring. And publicly at least, there has not been much talk about negotiations for a new contract. It's possible that Green Bay could use its franchise tag on Finley next spring, locking him in for one year at five-and-a-half million dollars. But for now, Finley and the Packers remain focused on their Sunday NFC divisional playoff game at home against the New York Giants.
UW-Whitewater football coach Lance Leipold has received another national honor. The coaches' association named Leipold its Coach-of-the-Year for the NCAA's Division-Three. The fifth-year coach received a similar honor last month from D3football.com. Leipold has led the Warhawks to the Division-Three championship in each of the last three seasons. Leipold's teams have won four national titles in all. Whitewater also has the nation's longest winning streak in all of college football at 45 games. That's the fifth longest in NCAA history.
In men's college basketball...
UW-Whitewater 75, UW-Platteville 70
UW-Stevens Point 71, UW Stout 56
UW-River Falls 77, UW-La Crosse 59
UW-Eau Claire 79, UW-Oshkosh 67
Milwaukee School of Engineering 70, Concordia-Chicago 59
Edgewood 82, Wisconsin Lutheran 66
Lakeland 97, Marian 77
In women's college basketball...
UW-Stevens Point 73, UW-Stout 46
UW-River Falls 56, UW-La Crosse 47
UW-Eau Claire 52, UW-Oshkosh 47
UW-Whitewater 66, UW-Platteville 55
Carthage 55, North Park 33
In girls' high school basketball...
Milwaukee Riverside 82, Milwaukee Hamilton 24
Milwaukee Washington 67, Milwaukee Ronald Reagan 22