Affordable College Textbook Act Seeks to Ease Students’ Financial Burdens

By Andrew Carney

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – UTC students rejoice upon hearing about a bill that could provide them with free textbooks.

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, explains that the Affordable College Textbook Act (S.1704/H.R.3538) “will reduce the cost of textbooks at U.S. colleges and universities by expanding the use of open textbooks (and other open educational resources) that everyone can use, adapt and share freely.”

This fact sheet offered by SPARC details what benefits the Affordable College Textbook Act will offer to students, teachers, and universities:

  1. Creates a grant program to support pilot programs at colleges and universities to create and
    expand the use of open textbooks with priority for those programs that will achieve the
    highest savings for students.
  2. Ensures that any open textbooks or educational materials created using program funds will be
    freely and easily accessible to the public.
  3. Requires entities who receive funds to complete a report on the effectiveness of the program
    in achieving savings for students.
  4. Improves existing requirements for publishers to make all textbooks and other educational
    materials available for sale individually rather than as a bundle.
  5. Requires the Government Accountability Office to provide an updated report on the price
    trends of college textbooks to Congress by 2017.

The Affordable College Textbook Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate in November 14 of last year by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.). Senator Durbin has previously worked in his state to lower the cost of textbooks for students. In his press release, Durbin mentions, “Over three years ago, I worked to secure funding for the University of Illinois to complete an open textbook project.”

Senator Durbin’s efforts led to the release of a textbook, Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation, which has been used at Illinois University campuses. This textbook is part of a “Massive Open Online Course” that Durbin says has been used by at least 60,000 students and the University has been contacted by other colleges about using it.

Had you heard about the Affordable College Textbook Act before this?

The previous successes of Senator Durbin will be expanded upon by this bill, by making future textbooks like it available. Senator Franken was happy to support the bill after seeing the success of Durbin’s prior efforts. He said in the press release, “In the fight to make college more affordable and accessible for Minnesota families we can’t overlook the rising costs of textbooks,” said Franken. “I’m proud to introduce this bill with Senator Durbin because it will help provide cheaper alternatives to traditional textbooks and keep more money in students’ pockets where it belongs.”

This bill expands upon the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which sought to provide students with more information about college textbook costs. Senator Durbin’s press release explains that the law “required textbook publishers to disclose to faculty the cost of a textbooks to their students, required schools to publish textbook information in course catalogues when practicable, and required publishers to offer unbundled supplemental materials so students had choices.”  The provisions of this law took effect on July 1, 2010 and are still in effect.

Even with students receiving extra information from publishers, a 2013 GAO report released information that textbook prices are continuing to rise. Despite the Higher Education Opportunity Act requiring more information be provided to students through compliance of the publishers, it does not mandate a limit on the amount that a textbook can cost. This has translated to an increase in the already $30 billion industry and strains students further.

Credit: Jon Sall

Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act in October 2013

 The Affordable College Textbook Act does not intend to set limits on the price structure of textbooks released by publishers, but it does intend to provide more open source resources to students, which will create more pressure on textbook publishers to remain competitive in pricing and offer reasons to choose their textbooks over otherwise free ones. U.S. PIRG Higher Education Associate Ethan Senack praises Durbin and Franken for the bill, and said that “for students, the cost-saving potential of open textbooks is massive – around 80-100% compared to published textbooks”, which will lead to a better education for students. U.S. PIRG found that “seven of ten current college students have skipped buying a textbook because it was too expensive”, a concerning figure which this bill hopes to alleviate.

The Affordable College Textbook Act was assigned to a Congressional committee on November 19, who will consider the bill before sending it to a vote in the Senate. To follow along with the progress of the bill, visit its page on Congress.gov. Govtrack.us, a site that monitors government bills, gives more information about the bill’s progress, and offers it a grim prognosis of passing committee with a 1% pass rate. It references that “only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 3% were enacted in 2011–2013.”

Students interested in seeing this bill progress further in Congress should express this to their local legislators and assist in raising awareness about it as it is examined by a Congressional committee. This will show Congress that mandates are important to providing students with assistance in easing their financial burdens in the face of continually rising educational costs. They can also visit http://www.congressweb.com/sparc/23 to take action.

For other coverage about the textbook industry and issues students encounter with them, visit these other links:

Phoenix Woman Pleads “Not Guilty” to Child Abuse Charges

PHOENIX (AP/UTC The Loop) — A Phoenix woman who left her two young children in her vehicle during a job interview has pleaded not guilty at her arraignment.

Shanesha Taylor’s case has attracted attention with her tearful police mugshot and people rallying to her defense online to raise money for the 35-year-old mother. She faces two counts of child abuse.

Court documents say Scottsdale firefighters found hot air coming into the car and both children sweating profusely.

The baby was described as wearing a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt, as well as a blanket. The documents say Taylor arrived back at the car more than an hour after her interview time.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery says it’s too soon to determine if Taylor will receive a prison term or face losing custody of her children.

Should Shanesha Taylor Be Charged With Child Abuse?

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Like any busy mother, Shanesha Taylor was trying to do it all.

The 35-year-old Phoenix woman, who relies on food stamps, left her two children in her car last month during a job interview in Scottsdale.

That decision has led to Taylor being scheduled for arraignment Monday morning on two charges of child abuse.

But Taylor’s booking mugshot, where tears are streaming down both her cheeks, has also won her supporters and donations.

A New Jersey woman set up a fundraising website for Taylor which has now collected nearly $90,000.

According to court documents, a witness on March 20 reported to police that Taylor’s 2-year-old son and 6-month-old baby were unattended in the car.

Scottsdale firefighters say they found both children sweating profusely and hot air coming into the vehicle.

 

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tennessee headed to Sweet Sixteen after beating Mercer 83-63

By Andrew Carney

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Mercer couldn’t have picked a better matchup for its first NCAA tournament game — or a worse one for its second one.

The Bears’ tournament run came to a decisive end Sunday night when Tennessee routed them 83-63.

Mercer pulled the signature upset of the tournament two days earlier by knocking off Duke.

But the 14th-seeded Bears had no answers for a powerful Tennessee inside game. They were outrebounded 41-19.

Someday they’ll appreciate what they accomplished by ousting the Blue Devils.

Just not yet.

“I think hopefully by the time (reality) sets in, we’ll all be able to put a smile on and realize that what we’ve been able to do at our school, and for the city, has been phenomenal,” forward Jakob Gollon said. “It’s kind of hard to see right now.”

Jarnell Stokes had 17 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds for Tennessee. Josh Richardson had a career-high 26 points and Antonio Barton had 18 for the 11th-seeded Vols (24-12), who are making the most of their first tournament appearance since 2011.

“NIT two straight years, I guess that’s what you’d call starting from the bottom,” Stokes said. “A lot of people doubted us, and that just makes the ride much better.”

This rout followed the same script as their 19-point thumping of Massachusetts two days earlier: They outrebounded Mercer 41-19 to keep the Southeastern Conference perfect in the tournament.

They joined Florida and Kentucky in the regional semifinals — the first time three SEC teams made it that far since 2007.

“I’ve been hearing that the SEC has been a football conference for a long time but I don’t know how you can still say that when you’ve got three SEC schools in the Sweet 16,” Tennessee guard Jordan McRae said.

Tennessee will face second-seeded Michigan (27-8) in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday night in Indianapolis.

Stokes broke his 2-day-old school tournament record for rebounds.

Langston Hall had 15 points to lead the Bears (27-9) of the Atlantic Sun.

Mercer trailed by double figures for the entire second half before the Bears threatened to give themselves yet another fantastic finish.

They had the ball down 12 with about 2½ minutes left when Gollon — one of the heroes of the Duke upset two days earlier — threw the ball away in the lane, then fouled out a few seconds later.

McRae hit two free throws, and Richardson added a fast-break layup to push the Tennessee lead to 77-61 with 1½ minutes left.

McRae finished with 13 points for the Volunteers, who have won eight of nine with the only loss coming to the top-ranked Gators in the SEC tournament.

They are in the round of 16 for the fourth time in eight years, and the third team to go from the First Four to the Sweet 16 since the introduction of the extra round in 2011.

They also got a bit of payback: Mercer ended Tennessee’s season last year with a 75-67 win in the first round of the NIT.

Ike Nwamu scored 12 points, Anthony White Jr. had 11 and big man Daniel Coursey added 10 for Mercer, the plucky Atlantic Sun Conference school trying to match Florida Gulf Coast’s run last year to the regional semifinals.

They were bigger, more experienced and more precise than a Duke team loaded with high school All-Americans and a leaky defense, carving them up down the stretch in a 78-71 victory that ranks among the top upsets in the history of the tournament.

Mercer starts five seniors and has seven on the roster — but the Bears were down one with 6-foot-11 Monty Brown out with a possible concussion.

Even with him, a Tennessee team with Stokes — who set the school’s short-lived tournament record with 14 rebounds in that 86-67 rout of UMass — was going to be a challenge.

Without him, it was nearly impossible.

“It’s hard to match up with them, but at the end of the day, mainly it was probably my fault towards the end,” Coursey said. “They had a lot of rebounds, and I should have boxed them out.”

___

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Once Upon a Time in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…There Was a Sequel

By Andrew Carney, Megan Montgomery, Sid Sadler

LOS ANGELES (AP/UTC The Loop) — The new “Star Wars” has an official timeline and one confirmed returning character: robot R2-D2.

Director J.J. Abrams will begin shooting in May on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” which is set three decades after 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said Tuesday.

Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Portland, Ore., Iger said the movie would feature “some very familiar faces along with a trio of new, young leads.” Abrams has a penchant for secrecy, and Iger said R2-D2 was the only “official cast member” he would announce.

“Episode VII” is set for release in December 2015.

Credit: Matt Stroshane

Credit: Matt Stroshane

Iger also said Pixar plans a third “Cars” movie and a sequel to 2004’s “The Incredibles.”

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chattanooga City Council Approves Eco-Beneficial Resolution 27798

By Andrew Carney CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC / The Loop) – Chattanooga City Council unanimously approved Resolution 27798, authorizing the Administrator for the Department of Public Works to partner with Green|Spaces to assist in the development and implementation of the Green Infrastructure Design Competition.

This resolution finalizes plans to implement the first Green Infrastructure Design Competition, a Low Impact Development (LID) program which is being funded by the Lyndhurst Foundation in the amount of $85,500. Chattanooga City Council previously approved Resolution 27657 on September 24, 2013, which authorized the Administrator for the Department of Public Works to accept the grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation.

This resolution was integral in providing the necessary funding to allow for the creation of the design competition, while this recent resolution allowed for the Administrator for the Department of Public Works to assist in its development.

Credit: Lyndhurst Foundation

Lyndhurst Foundation Logo

The Lyndhurst Foundation “identifies and invests in initiatives, institutions, people and programs that contribute to the long-term livability and resilience of the greater Chattanooga region.” It has been important to the development of Chattanooga and has previously provided funding for such initiatives as:

  1. The Main Terrain Park in Chattanooga’s Southside neighborhood
  2. Revitalization of downtown in partnership with the RiverCity Company
  3. The SimCenter (National Center for Computation Engineering) at UTC
  4. Continued support for the Tennessee Aquarium’s sponsorship of Bike Chattanooga
  5. Matching support for the Chattanooga History Center’s Let’s Make History capital campaign

The Chattanooga Public Works’ Water Quality Program describes the Design Competition as “Chattanooga’s first Low Impact Design (LID)/ Green Infrastructure design competition will challenge design teams to demonstrate efficient, sustainable, cost-effective approaches to stormwater management and beautification of city infrastructure,” and that this “collaborative effort includes participation and input from Chattanooga’s Public Works Department (Engineering and Water Quality) and Chattanooga-Hamilton County RPA, and is funded by the Lyndhurst Foundation through a contract with Green|Spaces.”

According to an article by The Chattanoogan, the “competition participation requirements include a design team consisting of three licensed participants: engineer, architect, and landscape architect” and that “at least one member of each team based in Chattanooga and team leaders must be licensed in Tennessee.” This helps to ensure that the teams are well-qualified for the design competition and knowledgeable of both the region and state. The Chattanooga Times Free Press quotes Lee Norris, the current Administrator for the Department of Public Works, as saying,”the goal here is to get the architects, engineers and developers to get on the same page to see how green infrasture [sic] can work on different areas.”

Credit: Green|Spaces

Green|Spaces Logo

According to their mission statement, Green|Spaces “works towards regional sustainability by progressing the way we live, work and build.” It has been integral to achieving sustainability in Chattanooga since the initiative began in 2008 and has been involved in many projects in the region that include 17 LEED-certified projects.

 

The Chattanoogan article quotes Mayor Andy Berke on the Design Competition, “This is an important partnership that can highlight Chattanooga’s commitment to innovative, sustainable practices. Through a competitive process, we will empower talented individuals to explore solutions that can ultimately make our neighborhoods stronger and create a positive impact in every district of Chattanooga.”

Involved organizations are currently discussing when the design competition will take place; more information should be available after a timeline for the design competition is decided. For more information, visit the respective links to the organizations’ sites and to the two resolutions passed by Chattanooga City Council.

Raising Awareness for Gender Bias in STEM Majors

By Andrew Carney

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC / The Loop) – UTC students and faculty request higher awareness for gender bias in STEM fields – an understated issue in academia.

A senior computer science major here at UTC, Rachel Frye, raises the issues with gender bias in this field, “I constantly hear how I’m not good enough, how I didn’t really earn my grade…the professor just goes ‘easy on me’. Some of my classmates constantly discredit any female students’ work that earned a good grade, destroying our self-confidence and causing some girls to quit the program.”

Gender bias in STEM fields is not a new issue in academia, but it is one that appears to have not progressed as much as other social issues, nor has it received as much attention as it needs to, to be properly addressed. ToolsforChangeinSTEM.org provides more information and resources to overcome this important academic and social issue.

Women have just as much place in STEM fields as men.

Women have just as much place in STEM fields as men.

Dr. Claire L. McCullough, PE, a professor in the computer science department, encountered gender bias early in her career and recently conducted research to test if gender bias still exists within her field today. Other researchers at top-tier universities have conducted similar research on this burgeoning academic concern.

  • Harvard University created a test known as the “Harvard Implicit Association Test” (IAT), which seeks to discover implied associations between topics. Results from students taking the Gender-Science version of the IAT, highlight the gender bias in STEM fields. The test can be taken at this link after signing up and requesting the Gender-Science IAT.
  • UTC students enrolled in CPSC 3610, “Ethical and Social Issues in Computing”, were asked to take the Gender-Science IAT, and the results are similar to those found by Harvard, which raises concerns over gender bias in our own university.

In her study, Dr. McCullough believes that “simply increasing the number of women entering programs will not be sufficient to affect significant change: in addition, attitudes of male students must be addressed.” Students’ self-confidence in university is a necessity and degradation by their peers is an unnecessary addition to the learning process; one that must be changed for students to thrive academically.

Frye believes that this issue can meet resolution and that it starts within herself. She believes that it is a constant battle and is always trying to prove something. Not to herself, to her professors or friends, but to the world…that gender isn’t a determining factor in someone’s skill in STEM.

Team Rice Beats Team Sanders 22-21 in 2014 Pro Bowl

By Andrew Carney

HONOLULU (AP/The Loop) — The NFL’s all-stars are defending their effort in the lowest scoring Pro Bowl in eight years — a game that pitted teammates against each other in a contest decided in the final minute.

“The game was as good as an all-star game or Pro Bowl could ever be and it’s been a great week,” said New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught an 8-yard touchdown from Saints teammate Drew Brees in the second quarter Sunday en route to a 22-21 victory for Jerry Rice over Deion Sanders.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds left and Carolina running back Mike Tolbert plunged into the end zone for a 2-point conversion to give Rice the win in the first NFL all-star game to stray from the AFC versus NFC format.

Rice also earned fresh bragging rights on Sanders nearly a decade after both players retired from the NFL.

“They called my number the whole way,” Tolbert said on the field after the game. “Philip (Rivers) told them to give it to me. My old teammate, he told them to give it to me.”

Baltimore’s Justin Tucker missed a 67-yard field goal on the game’s final play after missing a 66-yarder earlier in the game.

Rice’s team came back after Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles threw a 12-yard touchdown to Cleveland tight end Jordan Cameron with less than 5 minutes to play to give Sanders a 21-14 lead.

The touchdowns by Cameron and Murray were the only scores of the second half in a game that had eight turnovers — including six interceptions — and nine sacks.

“It was definitely sloppy. There was a lot of turnovers because of the weather,” said Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who was a captain on Sanders’ team. “There was a lot of rain, so obviously that factored into it.”

The game was played in consistent rain, but little wind and temperatures in the high 70s.

Foles was the only quarterback of six in the game to not throw an interception. He was named offensive MVP, finishing with seven completions for 89 yards.

Nick Foles named Offensive MVP, passing for 89 yards.

Nick Foles named offensive MVP, passing for 89 yards with seven completions.

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Carolina quarterback Cam Newton also had touchdowns for Team Sanders. Graham and Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon caught touchdowns for Team Rice. Gordon led Team Rice with six catches for 66 yards, while Washington running back Alfred Morris had four catches for 69 yards.

The Pro Bowlers were split up by the NFL greats in a new draft format meant to improve the game. The picks made earlier in the week created matchups that pitted usual teammates against each other and challenged Rice and Sanders to compare the all-stars against one another. That led to plenty of trash talk between Rice and Sanders and some bruised egos among players used to being on top of their sport.

“Great Job Goat!!!!” Sanders tweeted toward Rice after the game. “Enjoy this moment cause u know I’m hot right now.”

The result Sunday was a game that appeared more competitive than in years past, with some big hits — even between teammates — and fewer shenanigans.

“It was crazy, but we had fun with it,” Gordon said. “I loved it and enjoyed it.”

Gordon was flipped by teammate T.J. Ward on one of the biggest hits in the game.

“I don’t think he knew what he was doing, but I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt on that one,” Gordon said. “I’ll get him back in Cleveland.”

Jackson caught the game’s first touchdown pass from Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck threw the ball 36 yards into double coverage in the end zone on a flea flicker, where Jackson wrestled it away from Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner.

Graham caught an 8-yard fade in the second quarter from Brees, turning around Brees’ slow start. Graham dunked the ball over the crossbar in celebration, but San Diego safety Eric Weddle jokingly defended the attempt.

Newton scored on 1-yard run up the middle for a touchdown, making up for an earlier interception on a ball Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden wrestled away from Jackson.

Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson — who had a big hit in the first half on Chiefs teammate Jamaal Charles — was selected as the game’s defensive MVP for Team Rice.

“I didn’t expect it, but he’s out there doing his thing,” said Charles, who was knocked out of Kansas City’s playoff loss to Indianapolis with a concussion. “I can’t get mad at him — it’s just about football and you’ve just got to be ready.”

“If you stand back, he’s going to make you look pretty bad, so I had to go out and really give it to him,” Johnson said. “I would never try to hurt my teammate at all, but compete a little bit.”

Johnson had nine tackles, including eight solo tackles. Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly had 12 tackles, including 11 solo tackles.

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez caught three passes for 50 yards in his final NFL game. The retiring receiver likely headed to the Hall of Fame was a replacement in the game for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

Gonzalez said there is “no chance” he’ll return next year.

“This is it for me. I had the privilege of a nice, long career in this league and I was blessed to have done so,” Gonzalez said. “It was nice to be able to come back to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl one last time and end it out here.”

___

Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

49ers Strike Gold in Win Against Panthers

By Andrew Carney

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Michael Crabtree only had three catches for 26 yards in San Francisco’s 23-10 NFC divisional playoff win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

His numbers, however, hardly told the whole story of his contribution.

The 49ers (14-4) made it seven straight wins since Crabtree returned from a torn Achilles on Dec. 1.

Anquan Boldin said Crabtree was one of the reasons he was able to spring free and catch eight passes for 136 yards, saying the Panthers turned their attention to double-covering Crabtree after his big game the previous week in a wild-card win at Green Bay.

“I guess they thought they were going to try and take Crab out of the game,” Boldin said. “That’s the good part about our offense — we have weapons all around. Try and take one guy out, we still have two, three guys left who can make big plays.”

The Panthers did a number on the 49ers in the last meeting.

They limited Kaepernick to 91 yards passing, 16 yards rushing and sacked him six times in a 10-9 win over the 49ers on Nov. 10.

But that was without Crabtree.

“It makes me very comfortable,” Kaepernick said of having his full complement of receivers. “It opens the offense up. It spreads the defense out and they can’t just key in on one player.”

All that stands in the way of the 49ers returning to the Super Bowl is beating the Seahawks in Seattle next Sunday.

That’s no easy task.

Seattle beat the 49ers 29-3 this season, although that was without Crabtree in the lineup.

“Honestly we know it’s going to be a fight,” linebacker Patrick Willis said. “Any way you look at it Seattle is a good football team. They won our division this year. Hopefully we can have a great week of practice and go up there and win the game that counts the most. We look forward to it. We are embracing it.”

Five things we learned from San Francisco’s 23-10 win over Carolina:

EXPERIENCE MATTERS: The 49ers have been to the playoffs before and it showed.

The 49ers kept their composure while the Panthers struggled with mental errors. Carolina was penalized eight times for 73 yards including two unnecessary roughness penalties and an unsportsmanlike conduct.

In all the 49ers picked up five first downs on Carolina penalties.

“Guys played smart,” Boldin said. “We played right up to the edge. In these games, you don’t want to hurt your team. That’s the thing you don’t want to do. You saw guys out there taking swings at guys. That’s just stupid.”

Said Panthers coach Ron Rivera: “We have to learn and understand (that) we have to maintain our composure — and that falls on me.”

OFFICIATING QUESTIONED: Several Panthers expressed concern over the officiating in Sunday’s game.

Safety Mike Mitchel took exception to a couple of calls, including the officials’ decision to penalize teammate Captain Munnerlyn for head-butting Crabtree in the first half, but not throwing a flag when Boldin did the same thing to him later on.

“I mean, it’s just ridiculous. A couple of things that weren’t called the same way,” Mitchell said. “I made a good play taking his legs out and he’s gets up in my face and head butts me, which is the same exact thing that you saw Captain Munnerlyn do. … I mean, it was the exact same play. One team gets the call, another team doesn’t.”

Mitchell also disputed an unnecessary roughness penalty called on him when he hit Vernon Davis after a tipped pass. That penalty, like the one on Munnerlyn, led to San Francisco field goals.

STEVE SMITH IS TOUGH: We knew this, of course, but Steve Smith is one tough guy.

The Panthers 34-year-old receiver battled back from a sprained knee ligament and had four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown despite not being close to 100 percent.

49ERS CAN RUN IT TOO: They aren’t the New England Patriots, but the 49ers proved again they can run the football in the playoffs. Frank Gore ran for 84 yards on 17 carries and San Francisco racked up 126 yards against the league’s second-ranked defense.

HARBAUGH CAN COACH: Jim Harbaugh continues to make the right calls in the postseason. Harbaugh became the first NFL coach since the AFL-NFL merger to lead his team to the conference championship game in each of his first three seasons as a coach.

Even though Harbaugh ran on the field during a play to argue a call and cost his team 15 yards, his players said they have his back.

“He’s passionate,” Kaepernick said. “I can’t be mad at him for trying to get a call and trying to get things right. He’s a great coach to play for.”

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.