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Jordan Spieths Collapse Also Required A Great Comeback

1987U.S.Tom Watson5.48Scott Simpson0.045.44 Spieth isn’t the first golfer to experience an unceremonious meltdown on Sunday at a major championship; YouTube is littered with the bones of players snatching ignominy from the jaws of victory. That doesn’t make it any less jarring to see a player as good as Spieth, leading by 5 midway through the Masters’ final round, fresh off of one of the greatest seasons at the majors in modern history last year, fall apart in such spectacular fashion. And that he was beaten by Danny Willett, who had just one career top-10 finish at a major before this week, made Spieth’s defeat all the more stunning.In measuring Spieth’s performance in majors last year, I used “major shares,” a statistic that estimates how many majors a player would have been expected to win given his scoring relative to the field average in past majors. Fractional “shares” of wins accumulate over time for good players; the number is nailed right around zero for the also-rans. Going into the Masters, Spieth had 1.48 career major shares,1A few notes, since I tweaked the methodology a bit since last season: Instead of using z-scores, I’m now basing major shares on a player’s strokes above the field average in a tournament. (Research by Daniel Myers shows that converting those to z-scores needlessly adds statistical noise to a player’s rating.) I also listed two versions of major shares last season — one that adjusts for other performances in the field, one that does not — and I’ve averaged those together here. the 10th-most of any active player; Willett, on the other hand, had 0.01 major shares. That difference, 1.47 major shares, was the 17th-biggest disparity in résumés between a major’s third-round leader and the player who eventually overtook him since 1958.2Out of the 139 instances in that span where the leader after three rounds didn’t go on to win the major. In other words, there have been less likely candidates to come from behind, but not many. STROKES GAINED AGAINST FIELD 1997Tiger Woods+3.7+5.8+7.2+4.2+11.5+21.0 1977BritishJack Nicklaus12.50Tom Watson0.8511.65 2010Phil Mickelson+3.9+1.5+5.6+4.9+10.5+16.0 1985Bernhard Langer+1.2-1.3+6.0+4.8+10.8+10.6 STROKES GAINED AGAINST FIELD 1978PGATom Watson1.78John Mahaffey0.531.25 YEARPLAYERR1R2R3R4WEEKENDTOTAL 1978Gary Player+1.2-0.4+3.1+8.2+11.3+12.1 YEARPLAYERR1R2R3R4WEEKENDTOTAL Considering Spieth’s immense potential, the difference between the two golfers would likely have been even higher if Willett had pulled this upset later in Spieth’s career. Spieth is no Tiger Woods, but before Sunday, he’d developed a reputation for steadiness, particularly in majors. After he birdied the ninth hole on Sunday to go up 5 strokes, a third major — and second Green Jacket — in the span of 12 months seemed imminent. (Ken Pomeroy — who maintains a golf win probability feed on Twitter in addition to his indispensable college basketball stats site — gave Spieth a 92 percent chance of winning at that point.) Then, a pair of bogeys to give a few strokes back. Then, quadruple-bogey.But epic collapses such as Spieth’s are often accompanied by incredible comebacks. And for all the water-cooler chatter about Spieth’s disastrous final trip through Augusta’s back nine, Willett also had to play tremendous golf over the weekend, particularly on Sunday. In the final 36 holes of the tournament, Willett outplayed the field average by 9.4 strokes, the ninth-best weekend enjoyed by any Masters winner since 1958. And 5.7 of those strokes were gained against the field in Round 4 alone, representing the eighth-best final round performance by a winner since ’58. 2016Danny Willett+2.3-0.3+3.7+5.7+9.4+11.5 1995U.S.Greg Norman3.23Corey Pavin0.242.99 1989MastersBen Crenshaw2.09Nick Faldo0.851.24 2009PGATiger Woods10.85Y.E. Yang0.0010.85 2011Charl Schwartzel+2.0-0.5+4.1+5.7+9.8+11.3 2013U.S.Phil Mickelson4.58Justin Rose0.244.34 1994Jose Maria Olazabal-0.8+5.0+5.4+4.9+10.3+14.5 2008BritishGreg Norman3.45P. Harrington0.343.12 1995Ben Crenshaw+0.7+3.5+2.3+5.3+7.7+11.9 1986Jack Nicklaus-0.6+1.3+2.0+7.0+9.0+9.7 1965Jack Nicklaus+4.1+2.9+9.1+4.6+13.7+20.7 YEARMAJORPLAYERMAJOR SHARESPLAYERMAJOR SHARESDIFF 2016MastersJordan Spieth1.48Danny Willett0.011.47 LEADER THROUGH 3 RDSEVENTUAL WINNER SourceS: ESPN, Yahoo 1990MastersRaymond Floyd2.66Nick Faldo1.051.61 Best weekend performances at Augusta, 1958-2016 2016Danny Willett+2.3-0.3+3.7+5.7+9.4+11.5 1959Art Wall+0.8-1.6+1.8+7.4+9.2+8.4 1990Nick Faldo+1.1+0.9+6.6+4.2+10.8+12.8 1971MastersJack Nicklaus7.29Charles Coody0.097.20 1967Gay Brewer+0.6+5.1+1.7+7.2+8.9+14.6 1996Nick Faldo+2.1+4.8+0.8+6.7+7.5+14.3 1993PGAGreg Norman2.92Paul Azinger0.482.43 1973Tommy Aaron+6.0-0.5+0.2+6.1+6.3+11.8 Biggest major upsets since 1958 Few sports offer as much potential for dramatic, heartbreaking collapse as golf. Jordan Spieth learned as much on Sunday: 2009BritishTom Watson5.98Stewart Cink0.375.61 1984BritishTom Watson5.33Seve Ballesteros2.053.28 1989Nick Faldo+5.3+1.3-2.9+6.7+3.8+10.3 1985MastersRaymond Floyd2.22Bernhard Langer0.251.97 1987MastersBen Crenshaw1.84Larry Mize0.021.81 1983U.S.Tom Watson4.44Larry Nelson0.703.73 1986PGAGreg Norman1.60Bob Tway0.021.58 1978Gary Player+1.2-0.4+3.1+8.2+11.3+12.1 2005Tiger Woods-1.2+6.2+7.2+2.2+9.4+14.4 2006U.S.Phil Mickelson3.45Geoff Ogilvy0.033.43 2011Charl Schwartzel+2.0-0.5+4.1+5.7+9.8+11.3 2012U.S.Jim Furyk1.25Webb Simpson0.001.25 Best Sundays at Augusta, 1958-2016 The quality (or lack thereof) with which Spieth hit the ball at the 12th hole was shocking, but Willett’s weekend charge was also pretty historic. It took a combination of the two to generate a Green Jacket ceremony this awkward: read more

2012 Peachtree Road Race Kicks Off July 4th

On Wednesday, July 4th the Atlanta Journal Constitution Peachtree Road Race will kick off its annual festivities. Organized by the Atlanta Track Club, the event attracts runners of all ages from around Georgia to enjoy the scenic city course and festive atmosphere. The road race was originated in 1970 and has been a Fourth of July tradition ever since.The famed road race starts in Buckhead near Lenox Square Mall and ends in Piedmont Park. The wheelchair race begins at 6:45 a.m. while the footrace begins at 7:30 a.m.Registration for the event is closed, and organizers suggest that all event participants and spectators take MARTA, which will begin running at 5 a.m. on race day.The course starts at Lenox Square and travels down Peachtree to 10th Street in Midtown and finishes on 10th Street just outside of Piedmont Park. read more

Watch Clip of Ken Norton Breaking Muhammad Alis Jaw

Watch the fight that changed the late Ken Norton‘s life. On March 1, 1973, Norton shocked the world when he fought the champion, Muhammad Ali for 12 rounds, leaving him with a bloody, shattered jaw.“I was taking out the mouthpiece and there was more and more blood on it. My bucket with the water and ice in it became red. In every other fight, between rounds, I’d take the mouthpiece out and put it in the bucket and there was just slobber on it. But here, after each round, I had to shake the mouthpiece to get all the blood out of it into the water.”Nobody expected Norton to be a worthy opponent for Ali, but by the end of the sixth round, it was clear that Norton not only was winning: he had seriously injured the champ.After wiring Ali’s jaw shut, Dr. Gary Manchester told the media, “It was a very bad break. The bone which was broken had three or four jagged edges. The edges kept poking into his mouth. He had so much pain during the fight that he’s totally exhausted right now.” read more

There Are Officially Zero Mens Grand Slam Winners In Their 20s

Happy 30th birthday, Marin Cilic! Don’t worry about feeling over-the-hill: You’re still the youngest Grand Slam champion active on the men’s tennis circuit — the most unexpected, and improbable, phenomenon in the sport’s history.For the first time ever, male pros ages 30 and up own all the major singles titles won by currently active players, according to data since 1930 from the ATP World Tour. There are seven active men in all who have won major titles: Roger Federer (age 37), Stan Wawrinka (33), Rafael Nadal (32), Andy Murray (31), Novak Djokovic (31), Juan Martin del Potro (30) and Cilic, who won the U.S. Open four years ago and turned 30 today. Together, those men have won 59 major titles dating to Federer’s first in 2003, at Wimbledon. Overall, this elite group of men own 16 majors at Wimbledon, 15 at the U.S. Open, 14 at the Australian Open and 14 at the French Open. The field still under 30 can boast of nothing better than losing in a major final to the current champions. Younger men continued to dominate for dozens of years, which made sense: Tennis is a taxing sport that requires speed, power and stamina. In modern tennis, the best players — men like Laver, Ken Rosewall, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi — have won major titles in their 30s. But it didn’t happen that often. After Agassi, then 32, won his last major title at the Australian Open in 2003, talented youth — and especially Federer — took over. Players younger than 30 won 37 straight major titles until Federer won his first over-30 major at Wimbledon in 2012.The young still ruled after that, with Nadal, Djokovic and Murray winning most of the titles. But then a funny thing happened: Federer and his younger rivals, Nadal and Djokovic, kept thrashing opponents and winning majors, no matter their ages. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have continued to dominate tennis among the players still active, winning the last eight major titles (that’s two years). Overall, Federer has won 20 major titles, while Nadal and Djokovic have won 17 and 14, respectively, for an improbable pile of 51 majors. Before them, only Sampras had reached that level of dominance with 14 Grand Slam wins, which was a record until Federer broke it.Some who have watched this unprecedented run wonder if the younger players are weaker than usual. More likely, three all-time-great champions — Federer, Nadal and Djokovic — have randomly risen up in the same era. They’re also likely motivated by their rivals’ achievements, using the others’ wins as inspiration to improve their tactics, technique and conditioning.This unlikely occurrence can’t last forever — a man born in the 1990s has to win a major one day. But don’t be too surprised if this continues for a while, even another year, as long as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic remain healthy and Murray fully recovers from his hip surgery. Djokovic, who has won the Australian Open six times, will be the favorite there in January, and Nadal might well be in shape for his 12th French Open title. That would bring this wild period of 30s dominance to 11 straight majors. But whatever happens, the chance of any generation matching this accomplishment in the future is slim — and perhaps impossible. Even more absurd: The male winners of the past nine major titles have all been in their 30s — and in fact they were all at least 31. The next longest streak of major titles won by 30-somethings happened in 1969, when Rod Laver set it by himself, winning all four major titles at ages 30 and 31. Other than that, every season from 1925 through 2016 had at least two Slam winners under 30.Men’s tennis never used to be this way. The winners have usually been young and dominant. From 1955 through 1966, men under age 30 won 48 consecutive major titles, the longest streak on record. read more

Why The Spurs May Have A Down Year

The 1997-98 NBA season had little in common with today’s league. There were teams in Vancouver and Seattle; the Warriors were lousy and won only 19 games; and the Utah Jazz shared the NBA’s best record while hitting just 3 threes per game. But the one thing that was the same then and has never changed: The Spurs won at least 50 games.San Antonio’s regular-season success has been so consistent, we’ve all largely come to assume it over time. The only year the Spurs didn’t win at least 50 games in the past 20 seasons was 1998-99, when there were only 50 games total because of a lockout: San Antonio won 37 games and the NBA title. And given the club’s relative roster stability this summer after last year’s 61-win campaign — one in which a legitimate superstar was born — it would seem prudent to expect another such year from the team in silver and black.But if there’s ever been a season to wonder whether the Spurs are due for a real regression toward normalcy, this may be the one.Player health could loom larger than usual this year for San Antonio. The team will begin the regular season without Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, who was held out of the preseason and now will miss at least the season opener because of a right-quad injury sustained last season. A lack of athleticism on both ends of the floor, particularly if Leonard is forced to miss significant time, figures to stand out more this season than it did last year after a couple of free-agent defections.And it’s unclear how much longer the Spurs can keep finding moderate success with players who, at least in some ways, seem to go against the grain of the analytics movement that the club has been at the forefront of.Heading into the start of this season, FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions1These are compiled by mixing team and individual-player ELO ratings. peg the Spurs at exactly 50 wins — tied for fourth with Minnesota, an up-and-coming team that may have its own growing pains, and just one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets, who are estimated to finish No. 6 out West. Only the Atlanta Hawks (projected to have 17 fewer wins) and Chicago Bulls (-14) — teams that started the rebuilding process this summer — are projected to have steeper drop-offs than San Antonio’s 11-game decrease. And if anything goes wrong for them, the Spurs could easily miss that 50-win mark.Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has never been shy about resting his best players. But being down two starters to begin a season would be navigating uncharted territory. (No public timeline for a return has been set for Leonard.) As such, longtime Spur Manu Ginobili acknowledged that San Antonio might be a bit slower out of the gate this season while teammates try to develop a rhythm without two key players. “We are not going to start full-throttle,” he said. “We’re not going to start as ready to compete as in previous years. But we’ll figure it out.”The Spurs will have to learn how to create offense without two or three of their most aggressive scorers from last season. Parker, Leonard and Jonathon Simmons, who’s since joined the Orlando Magic, accounted for a whopping 68 percent of the team’s drives to the basket on a per-game basis.2Ginobili had the fourth-highest rate among Spurs’ regulars, at just 2.6 drives per contest. If both Parker and Leonard are simultaneously forced to miss considerable action, it would put a strain on their teammates, who, despite boasting some of the best 3-point shooting in the league, aren’t necessarily the best shot creators.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/spursawry.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/greendrive.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.There’s also the question of whether some of San Antonio’s players are meant to play specific roles — ones that only work with teammates who accentuate their best attributes. Patty Mills, who had largely perfected his gig off the bench, is the best example here. Mills is a dangerous spot-up shooter off the bench, but he hasn’t proven capable of truly running an offense himself for more than a minute or two at a time.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/millsstripped.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Part of what sets Mills apart is the frenetic pace at which he plays. He ranked among the NBA’s top-five players in terms of how fast he moves around the court in each of the past four seasons. Yet the energy it takes to play as fast as Mills does — he basically plays a high-speed version of the playground game Tag in order to get open shots — can only be provided in spurts.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/millsexhausted.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Because of how deep the Spurs have historically been, spurts were generally all they needed from Mills. But with Parker out another month or two, that will change this season.To be totally clear: None of this is to suggest that the Spurs won’t be a good team this year. They just may not be Spurs good. If there’s a team that can overcome these sorts of flaws, it’s one coached by Popovich, who regularly motivates his teams not only to play above their heads but also to adapt from year to year to the ever-changing NBA. (FiveThirtyEight’s preseason forecast had the Spurs winning 52 games last season; they blew that out of the water, winning 61 games.)The vast majority of their league-best defense is still intact. And the team’s basketball IQ — for example, its ability to know exactly who to leave open, evidenced by its league-best defense against corner threes — is uncanny, sometimes making up for what the Spurs lack in athleticism. While the Spurs didn’t land Chris Paul this summer, convincing Rudy Gay to sign on was a coup — he’s someone who can help fill in for Leonard if need be and reasonably match up as a small-ball power forward against teams like the Warriors and Cavaliers.The Gay signing fit a recent trend for the Spurs, one that both explains how they’ve remained contenders and illustrates what could end up making them mortal again at some point: San Antonio has developed a knack for picking up players who aren’t necessarily a perfect analytical fit based on where the league is headed.LaMarcus Aldridge, for instance, joined the Spurs in 2015, right after he’d fired up a league-high 11.1 shots per game from midrange — a look today that’s widely considered to be the most inefficient shot on the floor. Upon leaving the Trail Blazers, he said he didn’t want to play center exclusively, even as scores of power forwards have made that shift in light of the small-ball movement. Yet the Spurs got considerable mileage out of him despite his inefficiencies and did so by playing him often at the center position. A year later, they added Pau Gasol, who also seemed a dubious fit because of his lack of defensive mobility. But San Antonio, which deserves credit for allowing Gasol to let it fly from 3-point range, also managed to withstand his defensive shortcomings as the team logged the league’s best defense last season. (The Spurs surprisingly gave the 37-year-old Gasol a new three-year, $48 million contract this past summer.)Gay fits better than either Gasol or Aldridge did, both in terms of his contract and his playing style. But it’s also not clear yet whether he’ll be himself, given that he’s coming off an Achilles tear. He played well the past few years but did so for losing teams out in Sacramento. Before that, the analytics friendly Grizzlies and Raptors both dealt him away and then immediately saw their on-court product improve.The Gay signing is the type of head-scratcher that the Spurs have proved their doubters wrong about in the past. But at some point, going against the grain will stop working for the Spurs. And between those gambles and the injuries to Leonard and Parker, there may finally be enough loose strings to bring San Antonio’s amazing 20-year run to an end. After all, no team — not even the Spurs themselves — can be Spurs-level good forever.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Football Malik Hooker declares for NFL draft

would​ ​be​ ​staying​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​​ ​for​ ​at​ ​least​ ​another​ ​season,​ ​it​ ​now​ ​appears​ ​as​ ​though​ ​the  pic.twitter.com/lND6uVLO1v— Malik Hooker (@MalikHooker24) January 2, 2017 Although​ ​Ohio​ ​State​ ​redshirt​ ​sophomore​ ​safety​ ​Malik​ ​Hooker​ ​made​ ​a​ ​statement​ ​this​ ​season​ ​he  eligibility.  The​ ​2017​ ​NFL​ ​draft​ ​is​ ​scheduled​ ​for​ ​April​ ​27​ ​in​ ​Philadelphia. Hooker​ ​could​ ​draw​ ​major​ ​attention​ ​from​ ​teams​ ​needing​ ​safety​ ​help,​ ​after​ ​the​ ​Pennsylvania​ ​native drew​ ​comparisons​ ​to​ ​NFL​ ​greats​ ​Sean​ ​Taylor​ ​and​ ​Ed​ ​Reed.​ ​The​ ​Reed​ ​comparison,​ ​which​ ​came from​ ​OSU​ ​co-defensive​ ​coordinator​ ​Greg​ ​Schiano​ ​after​ ​Hooker​ ​returned​ ​three​ ​of​ ​his​ ​six interceptions​ ​for​ ​touchdowns before picking up another pick on Saturday. All-Big​ ​Ten​ ​selection​ ​has​ ​had​ ​a​ ​change​ ​of​ ​heart,​ ​deciding​ ​to​ ​forgo​ ​his​ ​final​ ​two​ ​years​ ​of​ ​college  On​ ​Monday,​ ​Hooker​ ​took​ ​to​ ​Twitter​ ​to​ ​reverse​ ​his​ ​previous​ ​statement,​ ​thanking​ ​Buckeye​ ​Nation for​ ​his​ ​time​ ​with​ ​OSU.   Although​ ​many​ ​draft​ ​eligible​ ​players​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​refrained​ ​from​ ​making​ ​any​ ​statements​ ​on their​ ​draft​ ​intentions​ ​following​ ​OSU’s​ ​31-0​ ​loss,​ ​Hooker’s​ ​change​ ​of​ ​heart​ ​comes​ ​less​ ​than​ ​two days​ ​after​ ​Urban​ ​Meyer​ ​and​ ​company​ ​were​ ​shutout​ ​in​ ​the​ ​College​ ​Football​ ​Playoff​ ​semifinal.  to​ ​grown​ ​into​ ​a​ ​man,”​ ​Hooker​ ​said​ ​in​ ​the​ ​statement.  “I​ ​can’t​ ​thank​ ​my​ ​OSU​ ​family​ ​enough​ ​for​ ​taking​ ​in​ ​a​ ​small​ ​town​ ​kid​ ​like​ ​myself​ ​and​ ​allowing​ ​me  Against​ ​Clemson,​ ​Hooker​ ​was​ ​a​ ​bright​ ​spot​ ​in​ ​a​ ​disappointing​ ​team​ ​performance.​ ​​ ​He​ ​finished the game​ ​with​ ​seven​ ​tackles,​ ​a​ ​half​ ​tackle​ ​for​ ​loss,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​highlight​ ​reel​ ​interception​ ​in​ ​the​ ​endzone.   OSU redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker (24) returns an interception during the second half of the Buckeyes game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor pic.twitter.com/lpi34QAzHN— Malik Hooker (@MalikHooker24) January 2, 2017 read more

Joey Bosa wins NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Elliott misses out

Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas (73) blocks the San Diego Chargers’ Joey Bosa during the second quarter on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe Ohio State 2016 NFL Draft class will likely go down in history as one of the best there ever was. Its highest draft pick earned a major achievement on Saturday.Former OSU and current San Diego Charger defensive end Joey Bosa was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. Bosa played just 12 games and had the most sacks (10.5) for a rookie since Aldon Smith (14) in 2011. Along with his 10.5 sacks, Bosa had 41 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits.The game-altering defensive end gained notoriety in his first game wearing No. 99 for the Chargers. He was just the fifth rookie in NFL history to have two sacks in his first NFL game. After a rather lengthy contract holdout, Bosa injured his hamstring which kept him out until Week 4. Even with that, he had arguably the most dominant defensive rookie in a decade.Bosa was the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.The fourth-overall pick, former Buckeye and current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott finished behind teammate quarterback Dak Prescott for the league’s offensive rookie of the year. Elliott led the NFL in rushing in his rookie season with 1,631 yards and had 15 touchdowns. read more

Commentary History remembrance at stake in Ohio StateMichigan game

This is it for the Ohio State seniors. On Saturday, they’ll walk into Ohio Stadium gladiators – warriors at the top of their form – ready for perhaps their biggest battle against their most hated enemy. But when they walk out, their careers will be over. There will be no lingering in the sunset of a career, no choice to return for one more season, no resurrection from retirement. They will exit stage right – most of them never to play a meaningful down again – and take their place in history. This senior class has already had most of their history written for them, though. It’s filled with the trials of a turbulent program, a deep-cutting scandal that rocked the team and its supporters to the core and a revolving door of three head coaches in four years. Ten or 20 years from now, those looking back at this period will remember the program’s troubles more than its triumphs. Saturday is an opportunity for the troubled group though. It’s an opportunity for them to control part of their legacy and carve out their own place in the OSU history books instead of having it defined for them. Only nine Buckeye football teams have gone undefeated in the program’s history. Michigan – and only Michigan – stands in the way of this team becoming the 10th. It’s remarkable when you think about it. In 2011 the then-juniors contributed to a team that went 6-7 and lost to Michigan for the first time since 2003. When a postseason ban robbed the group of a bright-lights bowl game in their final year, it would have been easy to throw in the towel. Yet again, factors beyond their control were dictating their future and their place in OSU history. A new coach, who undoubtedly had his gaze transfixed on the future more than the present, had no reason to hold any loyalty for them. The bowl ban meant that the most important aspect of 2012 season quickly became how it would set up the 2013 team. The 2012 team – and its seniors – would be lost in the transition. But somehow, this team became something. It’s on the brink of something great. Sure, the Big Ten is weak this year and sure the out-of-conference schedule was even weaker, but as Kansas State and Oregon proved last Saturday, going undefeated is no picnic, regardless of the opponent. This Buckeye team isn’t dominating. It doesn’t overpower many opponents and the defense (though it has improved lately) is one of the weakest in recent memory. But they keep winning. Often ugly. Often barely. But winning nonetheless. A win Saturday completes the job. It makes the team that everyone was ready to forget memorable. It will spark an endless wonder of “What could have been if they were eligible?” The stakes are high. Lose Saturday and most of it goes down the drain. For the first time in a long time, it all really does comes down to Michigan and that’s what makes this Saturday’s game special. It’s been a long time since there was so much on the line for a Michigan game. The Rich Rodriquez era at Michigan was not kind to the rivalry and neither was a 6-6 Buckeye team last year. Even in years where both teams came into The Game highly ranked, there was always bowl positioning and conference championships at stake. During the years of the legendary Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, there was still the Rose Bowl. For the Buckeyes this year, there’s none of it. Only Michigan. “This is what it all comes down to – playing Michigan,” said little-known senior wide receiver Taylor Rice, whose career will surely end after this game. “Winning or losing. This is what determines the outcome of our season … It’s been a great season but this is what really counts. This is what our season comes down to. This is our Super Bowl.” The Game carries the prize of remembrance and the spoil of irrelevance – especially for the seniors. “We’re forever indebted to (the seniors) because they didn’t have to do what they did,” said coach Urban Meyer. That’s true. Their leadership helped put a broken program back together and leave it in a position to compete at the highest level of college football for years to come. But The Game Saturday is a chance to leave something for themselves – a history that’s worth remembering. read more

Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith supportive of unlimited food for

OSU Director of Athletics and Vice President Gene Smith in an interview with The Lantern Jan. 29.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorDivision I college athletes are now able to keep their bellies as full as they want with food from their respective institutions, and Gene Smith is pleased to hear they won’t be going hungry.The NCAA Legislative Council approved criteria Tuesday allowing Division I student-athletes an unrestricted amount of meals and snacks in accordance with their respective scholarships, and OSU’s director of athletics and vice president approves.“We have always been supportive of this type of legislation,” Smith said in an email to The Lantern Thursday. “It is deregulation of student-athlete welfare benefits and permissive, meaning schools can choose to do as they please based on their needs and capabilities.”The NCAA’s announcement comes more than a week after University of Connecticut senior guard Shabazz Napier said at times he goes to bed “starving” because he doesn’t have enough money to spend on food.“We as student-athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities,” Napier said April 7 after he and his team defeated Kentucky, 60-54, to win the National Championship. “But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed.”The rule — which is not to be made official until the Division I Board of Directors meet and vote on it April 24 — not only applies to student-athletes who are on full scholarship, but walk-ons as well. If passed, the rule becomes effective Aug. 1.“The provision of meals approved (Tuesday) is in addition to the meal plan provided as part of a full scholarship,” the NCAA statement read. “Prior to this change, scholarship student-athletes received three meals a day or a food stipend.”Smith did not give the monetary figures requested by The Lantern representing how much is spent on snacks or meals for OSU student-athletes, instead forwarding the question on to Associate Athletics Director for Finance Peter Hagan. Hagan did not immediately respond.The decision to remove the straps and allow Division I athletes full access to as much food as they want also comes nearly three weeks after the National Labor Relations Board’s Chicago district gave Northwestern football players the right to formally establish a union March 26, and could be another step in the movement of college athletes becoming employees.Smith’s comments on the expansion of the food benefits echo what he said in a Jan. 29 interview with The Lantern, during which he said he does “not believe student-athletes are employees.”“But I do believe we need to find ways to continue to provide additional benefits,” Smith said Jan. 29. “For example, I am a big believer in coming up with a cost of attendance model … I believe we need to lift some of the other small restrictions we have in place, whether it’s meals or travel or things of that nature that will help out a little bit.”In an attempt to get a comment from OSU football coach Urban Meyer on the situation, an OSU athletic spokesman told The Lantern in an email Tuesday that since there hasn’t been a vote from the board of directors on the issue, there was no comment. Meyer did not respond to an email requesting comment Thursday.One of Meyer’s players however, senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett, did say he would enjoy getting more of a stipend as a football player.“I mean the cost of living’s going up and I don’t think that our stipend is going up,” Bennett said after practice March 27. “So obviously a little bit more money is nice, but I’m not really in the business of trying to force people to do that.” read more

Opinion Twitter not all fun and games for studentathletes

Photo illustration by Mark BatkeImagine not being able to say whatever you want on Twitter because one bad tweet will make headlines all over. That’s often the case for student athletes when it comes to social media, and it’s particularly true for Twitter.In 2009, Texas Tech University linebacker Marlon Williams decided not to keep his comments to himself when he tweeted about his coach being late to a team meeting.“Wondering why I’m still in this meeting room when the head coach can’t even be on time to his own meeting,” Williams tweeted.Williams’ tweet and account were deleted soon after.In 2011, then-Western Kentucky University and current Tennessee Titans running back Antonio Andrews had something to say to the fans of WKU.“One thing I can say bout #UKfans is they loyal. No matter how sorry they team is they always support them. Can’t say that bout #WKUfans smh,” Andrews tweeted.Andrews was sidelined the following game.Finally in 2012, Ohio State’s very own quarterback, Cardale Jones, then a freshman, made headlines for his controversial tweet about his opinion on attending classes and playing football.“Why should we have to go to class if we have came to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are pointless,” Jones tweeted.Shortly after, Jones’ tweet and his Twitter account were deleted, but the tweet was already captured by many.Student athletes become the face of their school whether they like it or not. They are obligated to represent their university in everything they do, including the tweets they create on Twitter. Any and everything they say will be judged by many.“It’s tough knowing that everything you do is watched pretty closely because I’m doing the same stuff I’ve always done. It’s just now people actually care what I do,” former Texas A&M quarterback and current Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel said to USA Today in January of 2013.Being a student athlete is not always easy. Yes, they might get the perks of having thousands of Twitter followers, but someone is always watching to make one simple tweet into headlines across the globe. Therefore, ask yourself, “Do I really wish to be Cardale Jones and have thousands of followers that watch my every move?” Some might say yes and some might say no, but I personally would rather stay as the average student whose tweets do not make headlines. read more

Wrestling Snyder and BoJo go for individual titles in St Louis

Ohio State redshirt junior Bo Jordan (center) celebrates after defeating Cornell’s Brian Realbuto (left) 11-7 to advance to his first NCAA Championship. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsST. LOUIS — After two days of wrestling, two Buckeye wrestlers remain alive in their hopes of winning an NCAA championship: junior Kyle Snyder and redshirt junior Bo Jordan.Snyder is making his third appearance in the NCAA finals having won one previously, while Bo Jordan is making his first appearance in the match.Both Buckeyes faced a large degree of difficulty to enter the finals. Jordan had to come from behind in the semifinals against the only opponent to hand him a loss this season – Cornell’s Brian Realbuto. Snyder is battling a rib injury, but it hasn’t seemed to slow down the reigning Olympic and world champion.To seal his victory in the 174 semifinals, Jordan employed a move reminiscent of a somersault to counter Realbuto in the closing seconds against Realbuto to tally a takedown and near fall points, giving him an 11-7 lead that would take him to the finals.Jordan will take on a familiar foe in the finals: Penn State’s Mark Hall. Jordan beat Hall 6-4 in overtime at the Big Ten Championships on March 5 to seal his title win.Jordan said he still remembers the move that earned him the win, but isn’t sure exactly how he did it.“Honestly, I don’t know,” Jordan said. “I knew he was going to go mixer when I came to my feet, so i was kind of expecting it. But, for whatever reason, I just landed on top, which was nice, and I was able to get back points out of it.”Snyder’s injury was apparent in his quarterfinals matchup against Penn State’s Michael Kroells, especially by Snyder’s lack of scoring in the third period of that match.However, battling Duke’s Jacob Kasper in the semifinals, the injury didn’t seem to bother Snyder.“I felt pretty good. I got shots after the 165 match,” Snyder said about his matchup with Kasper. “I felt it crunching a little bit. I could hear it. But I didn’t feel the pain because of the shots.”Kasper had called Snyder out earlier in the season, and that seemed to be at least partially on Snyder’s mind as he won 19-6.“I was excited to wrestle him because I heard about some of the stuff he said, seemed a little arrogant to me,” Snyder said. “And I was hoping he would back it up. But not too much.”Snyder will also face the same foe he took on at the Big Ten Championships: Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery. Snyder beat Medbery 7-5 on March 5, but Medbery was able to get a last second takedown to make the score close.As a team, the Buckeyes sit in second place with 89 points, behind only Penn State at 121. read more

Sheridan Smith pulls out of Royal Variety Performance after death of her

first_imgShe said: “My parents are a Country and Western duo called The Daltons. They used to perform seven nights a week and when I was four I joined them on stage doing little dance routines. It wasn’t long before I was standing on a stool joining in the singing.”They don’t often have gigs at weekends now but if they do I’ll be there joining in. I love to perform. But these days it’s more likely we’ll all go to support my brother Damian’s gig. He is a guitarist in the band Torn.”The Royal Variety Performance is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, formerly the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, of which the Queen is patron.This year’s show will be hosted by David Walliams and has other big names such as Gary Barlow, Emeli Sande and Britain’s Got Talent winner and magician Lance Corporal Richard Jones on the bill. Smith received rave reviews for her role in Funny Girl Smith playing  Charmian Biggs in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs Smith, 35, revealed in March this year that her father had been diagnosed with cancer. Following the news, she pulled out of a performance of the West End musical, Funny Girl.She shared the news with her Twitter followers writing: “Had s–t news 2day, sorry I can’t make the show for u loyal fans, if u ask they give u tix to the Savoy!”She added: “it’s one, hate missing shows but pappa needs me x”She spent nearly two months away from the show suffering ill health, said to have been suffering from “stress and exhaustion” among “very difficult” personal circumstances. The actress made a successful return in July, receiving rave reviews and selling out the Savoy Theatre.  Sheridan Smith has pulled out of this year’s Royal Variety Performance following the death of her father, Colin, this week.The Funny Girl star was due to perform alongside other celebrities such as Sting and Robbie Williams in the show, which will take place in front of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.A statement said: “Sheridan’s much loved father sadly passed away this week.”We can confirm that she will not be performing at the Royal Variety Performance this Tuesday.”At this difficult time for Sheridan and her family we would ask that you please respect their privacy.” The cast of Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles Love show will fly over from Las Vegas for a special performance to mark its 10th anniversary.The money raised from the Royal Variety Performance helps people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance.It will take place at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on December 6 and will be broadcast on ITV. Smith on the Bafta red carpet in 2016 The actress’s eldest brother Julian died from cancer at the age of 18.Smith starred in the BBC1 drama, The C Word, last year which saw her portraying blogger Lisa Lynch.Smith’s parents – Colin and Marilyn – formed the Country and Western duo, The Daltons.The band’s Facebook page describes their sound as being inspired by the work of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Dolly Parton.A young Sheridan often performed with her parents, and her brother Damian, who is part of the band The Torn, also often joined his parents on stage.In an interview with The Telegraph in 2010, Smith described her family as being “a bit like The Waltons”.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Smith received rave reviews for her role in Funny Girl Smith playing  Charmian Biggs in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs Smith on the Bafta red carpet in 2016 Smith attending the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November Smith attending the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in Novemberlast_img read more

Private school housemaster cleared of abusing boys after victims father writes to

first_imgStephen Mooney, defending Griffin – a religious studies teacher and housemaster at Sedbergh for 17 years – told the jury the boy was “confused” after suffering an illness earlier in the day.The barrister suggested the first boy may have learned of the text and went on to use it to his advantage to invent a pack of lies about Griffin.Mr Mooney said the first complainant – described widely as “a difficult pupil” – seized on the moment to get himself out of his own problems at the school by fabricating the allegations against Griffin.”What he has done is an evil thing. He may not appreciate how evil it was,” he said.A jury took less than a hour to find the “highly regarded” housemaster not guilty of five counts of sexual assault.Griffin, of New Road, Ingleton, North Yorkshire, had earlier been cleared of a sixth count of attempted sexual assault on the directions of Judge Tony Lancaster because of “insufficient evidence”.Speaking later alongside Sally, his wife of 35 years, Mr Griffin said: “It has been a harrowing 13 months. I am delighted it is over.”Andrew Fleck, headmaster of Sedbergh School, said the school was “pleased” with the outcome and “committed to the highest standards of safeguarding for pupils”. Christopher Griffin who has been cleared of sexually touching the feet of two pupils in their bedrooms late at night Christopher Griffin who has been cleared of sexually touching the feet of two pupils in their bedrooms late at nightCredit:Scott Heppell/PA Carlisle Crown Court heard the second complainant had texted a friend over his concerns about Griffin shortly after the housemaster left his room.Griffin, 58, denied he had a foot fetish and said the contact had been innocent as he checked on students during nightly rounds at Sedbergh School in Cumbria – founded in 1525, with term fees of £10,590.The father of the second boy even provided a statement of support for Griffin to the court in which he said he had “nothing but praise for Chris Griffin’s pastoral care of my son”.center_img A private school housemaster has been cleared of abusing boys after one of the alleged victim’s fathers wrote to the court to defend him.Christopher Griffin, a housemaster at the prestigious £10,000-a-term boarding school, was accused of “sexually touching” pupils’ feet in their bedrooms late at night.Two teenage complainants said they were pretending to be asleep when they claimed the married teacher came in and placed his hand under their bed covers.An investigation was launched in March 2016 after a pupil told authorities that Griffin would regularly place his hand under his duvet after midnight and stroke his feet and massage his lower legs for up five minutes.A second boy then alleged that the year before he had both his feet stroked and “lightly squeezed” one night by the defendant with his door closed. He also described how he could feel the defendant’s breath on his feet as he lay in his cabin bed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

130 schools have shown no improvement for 10 years Ofsted reveals

first_imgHe said: “We are targeting the areas that need the most support through our Opportunity Areas and by investing £280 million over the next two years to target resources at the schools most in need to improve school performance and deliver more good school places.”Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said schools were struggling with Government policies, which had created problems with teachers’ pay and recruitment while driving up their workload. It is not about areas in particular, it’s schools that are still not able to raise their standards and raise their gameAngela Rayner, shadow education secretary Amanda Spielman Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretaryCredit:Lauren Hurley /PA Amanda Spielman, the head of OfstedCredit:Ofsted Ofsted’s annual report found that around 80 primary schools and 50 secondary schools have not recorded a good inspection in the last 10 years despite receiving “considerable attention and investment”.The report noted the similar characteristics of these schools, such as a high staff turnover and unstable leadership. Many of these schools had higher than average proportions of white British pupils from low-income backgrounds, and pupils with special needs. Speaking about the difficulties posed by certain faith schools which resist teaching children about British values, she said: “We have a proud tradition in this country of respecting religious freedom.“But there are occasions when multiculturalism can and does comes into tension with the expectation that students should be prepared for life in modern Britain.”School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said that standards are rising in schools, but added that more must be done to tackle “consistent under-performance”.center_img Angela Rayner Speaking at the launch of Ofsted’s annual report, she said: “A few years ago, you couldn’t go into a school without being told the number of home languages spoken by pupils. “Now, it often seems that school leaders are constantly comparing notes about how high their pupil premium or SEND (special educational needs and/or disability) rates are.“Even more depressing, we still hear things like ‘If you met my pupils’ parents, you’d understand why results are as they are’.” Around 80 per cent had high proportions of pupils from deprived areas, the report said. “It isn’t that there aren’t many children facing disadvantage and difficulties: they are there in all our schools, and more in some schools than others,” Ms Spielman said.“But the narrative of disadvantage can become all-absorbing. Fixating on all the things holding schools back can distract us all from working on the things that take them forward. Schools with all ranges of children can and do succeed.”Ofsted published the names of schools which have not been rated good in the past ten years, but was forced to apologised after several schools were mistakenly featured on the list. Ms Spielman also used her speech to criticise “well-meaning” school leaders who are turning to conservative religious institutions for advice. Up to 130 schools have shown no improvement for the past decade, a major Ofsted report has found, as teachers are trapped in a narrative of “disadvantaged one-upmanship”.Amanda Spielman, the education watchdog’s chief inspector, warned that pupils from deprived backgrounds should not be used as an excuse for chronically under-achieving schools.She spoke of her “frustration” with the culture that has emerged in some parts of the country, where schools appear to compete with each another on the number of  underprivileged pupils they cater for. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Ryanairs Michael OLeary threatens to ground planes after Brexit to make voters

first_imgRyanair is threatening to ground its planes after the UK withdraws from the European Union to persuade voters to “rethink” Brexit.The Dublin-based carrier’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said he wants to “create an opportunity” by making people realise they are “no longer going to have cheap holidays”.He told an audience of airline leaders in Brussels: “I think it’s in our interests – not for a long period of time – that the aircraft are grounded.”It’s only when you get to that stage where you’re going to persuade the average British voter that you were lied to in the entire Brexit debate.”You were promised you could leave the EU and everything would stay the same. The reality is you can leave the EU, yes that’s your choice, but everything will fundamentally change.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr O’Leary warned that there would be a “real crisis” as flights between the UK and the EU are disrupted after Brexit.He said: “When you begin to realise that you’re no longer going to have cheap holidays in Portugal or Spain or Italy, you’ve got to drive to Scotland or get a ferry to Ireland as your only holiday options, maybe we’ll begin to rethink the whole Brexit debate.center_img “They were misled and I think we have to create an opportunity.”EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren, who was on stage alongside Mr O’Leary, interrupted him to say: “If you start grounding your planes, I’m flying.”Carsten Spohr, the boss of German carrier Lufthansa, added: “In theory, if we could use this industry to prove to the British how wrong the decision was, that might be a good thing.”The single market for aviation, created in the 1990s, means there are no commercial restrictions for airlines flying within the EU.Mr O’Leary has repeatedly warned that airlines will be forced to cancel post-Brexit services from March 2019 if no agreement is reached in the Brexit negotiations by September, because schedules are planned about six months in advance.Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in January that he is confident flights will not be grounded because “it’s in the interests of everyone” to maintain the open market for aviation.last_img read more

BBC gender pay row hits Wimbledon as Martina Navratilova says John McEnroe is

first_imgMcEnroe Asked if she would take a case against the BBC over equal pay, she said: “If I find that I was entitled to have been paid at a different rate during the time I was there of course I would.”Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, said the BBC is in a “big fight here for the best ideas, the best talent”.“We don’t think we have acted illegally in regard to equal pay,” she said.”That doesn’t mean, however, there won’t be instances and cases where there is inequality and we need to address those.”The gender pay gap has been in the headlines since the salaries of top BBC talent were revealed.Radio 2’s Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2 million, while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.A review commissioned by the BBC found a 6.8 per cent gender pay gap – but “no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making”.Its conclusions were criticised by BBC Women, a group that includes presenters such as Jane Garvey, Mishal Husain and Victoria Derbyshire.Panorama: Britain’s Equal Pay Scandal, airs  at 7.30pm on Monday on BBC1.  She said: “I do know that I have sat beside men on TV doing the same job, probably (with) the same experience or I might have been even more experienced, and I know they were earning more than me.” BBC Sport said McEnroe’s role was of “a different scale”Credit:Karwai Tang/Getty  “(I’m) not happy… It’s shocking… It’s still the good old boys network.”Navratilova, who was crowned Wimbledon ladies’ champion nine times, said that her agent will ask for more money in future.BBC Sport told the programme, to be broadcast on Monday that “John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment,” adding: “They are simply not comparable. John’s pay reflects all of this, gender isn’t a factor.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Martina Navratilova JohN McEnroe “It was a shock because John McEnroe makes at least £150,000… I get about £15,000 for Wimbledon and unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon he’s getting at least 10 times as much money”, she said.Navratilova said that she was told she was getting paid a comparable amount to men doing the same job as her, adding: “We were not told the truth, that’s for sure…. Martina Navratilova, the tennis player and broadcaster, has accused the BBC of running a “good old boy’s network” which saw John McEnroe paid at least ten times the amount she receives for Wimbledon.Navratilova, who said she was “shocked” to discover the discrepancy after McEnroe appeared on the list of top-paid BBC talent, claimed the corporation had lied to her with assurances she was paid the same as men doing the same job.Saying she was “not happy” at the situation, she added: “The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”McEnroe’s pay packet, which falls between £150,000 to £199,999, was revealed in a list of the BBC’s best-paid broadcasters last summer.Navratilova, 61, told the BBC’s Panorama programme she is paid around £15,000 for her commentator role at Wimbledon. Martina Navratilova won Wimbledon nine timesCredit:KAI-UWE WAERNER/AFP McEnroe is remembered for his “you cannot be serious” outburstCredit:Tony Duffy /Getty Panorama said it estimated that McEnroe, 59, who was crowned Wimbledon champion three times, appeared around 30 times for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, compared to Navratilova’s 10 appearances.The programme, which explores the pay gap at the corporation, follows damaging claims about unequal salaries paid to broadcasting stars. Carrie Gracie, who resigned from her role as China editor in protest at being paid less than male foreign editors and now works for the BBC in London, told the programme she may yet have to leave the corporation over the dispute.Former BBC news presenter Maxine Mawhinney said she is considering bringing a case against the broadcaster over pay.She had just left the BBC after 20 years when the pay list was published last summer.last_img read more