Terry has high hopes for 2014

first_imgCaptain John Terry believes Chelsea are capable of moving clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League in 2014. Press Association “The point still keeps us up there and amongst everyone,” Terry told Chelsea TV. “We all know – and the fans have seen it home and away – that we can get better. “So whilst everyone is dropping points around us, hopefully in the new year we have to start firing and put ourselves on a good run of games. “If we do that we’re more than capable of pulling away from everyone.” Mourinho called for a raucous backing from the Blues faithful when Swansea and then Liverpool visit in quick succession on Thursday and Sunday, with Chelsea firmly in title contention. “I hope Stamford Bridge is there for us; Stamford Bridge with noise,” he added. “On the last Boxing Day Chelsea were 11 points behind the leader, out of the title race. And we are there. Two points behind both leaders. “We are there so we have reasons to keep going. The way to get the first objective, which is top four and Champions League – which will be hard for everybody – is to be close in the title race. Chelsea have won one Premier League title since Jose Mourinho’s departure in September 2007 – when Carlo Ancelotti led the Blues to a league and FA Cup double in 2009/10 – and were out of contention by Christmas in the last two seasons. The Blues were 11 points behind last Christmas, but after Monday night’s goalless draw at Arsenal are fourth, two points behind Liverpool, who visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday and lead the Gunners on goal difference. “Let’s enjoy the moment.” Chelsea showed a steeliness reminiscent of Mourinho’s first team at the Emirates Stadium to frustrate Arsenal. Prior to the match at Arsenal, the Portuguese spoke of building a new dynasty after leaving a lasting legacy from his first spell. Yet, ever the perfectionist, Mourinho demands continual improvement, particularly in front of goal. “We are building a team not for one season, we are building a team for more than one season, the same way 2004/05 we build a certain profile of team, that was the profile of team that was Chelsea’s base for almost one decade,” Mourinho added. “In this moment we are building another team with different people, with different qualities and with a different profile. “If we score goals in a direct relation with what we produce, we would be in a fantastic situation, because we are not scoring enough goals. “It’s not just a problem of the strikers not scoring goals, it’s also a problem of the other people don’t transform half-chances to chances and goals.” Chelsea’s defence has also come under scrutiny in recent weeks, and Terry was pleased with just a second clean sheet in 12 league games. “A lot of people have been speculating about us conceding too many,” Terry added. “I think we’re third in the league in conceding (the fewest) goals and we’ve had a couple of games where we’ve conceded far too many than we’re used to, but overall we’ve been very solid defensively.” Mourinho is still to be beaten at Stamford Bridge after 68 home league games as Chelsea manager, and Terry hopes the Blues will show their class in the coming days to extend the record. Terry said: “We’ve been great, ever since the manager was first here a long time ago. We’ve held on to that and it (Mourinho’s record) means an awful lot to us. “A couple of (home) games we’ve conceded early goals, which has probably given us a kick up the backside earlier than we would’ve wanted to. “(But) we seem to be more flamboyant at home and at it, which is what you expect and what people want to see. “We’re very confident at home and we score a lot of goals at home.” Terry could be rested for the Swansea fixture with Liverpool in mind, but, fitness permitting, he will make his 600th Chelsea appearance in the coming days. last_img read more

From university to university: How football stars thwart punishment

first_imgFootball is a violent game.Anyone who watches it, who loves it, will tell you that.It’s a game about perseverance, about hard blows and ferocious tackles, about indomitable will and raw masculinity honed into 60 minutes of adrenaline-fueled aggression. The violence is disciplined into first downs and legal hits, but at its core, football taps into a love of physical competition.Fans cheer for it on the gridiron. In the confines of the white lines painted on the grass of a football field, the violence is understandable, enjoyable. But what happens when that violence follows our stars off the field?The game of football is riddled with accusations of domestic and sexual violence. And as more cases come to the surface, the question remains — what can be done?The name of the gameAlthough male athletes only make up 3.3 percent of the student body of an average college campus, a study by the National Coalition Against Violent Student Athletes found that they account for 19 percent of the sexual assaults on their campuses.Additionally, the study found that one in every three reported campus sexual assaults was committed by a student-athlete. Over 300 cases of sexual assault committed by student-athletes have been filed in the Nexis — a comprehensive database for public records and legal information — in the last two decades alone.The issue of sexual assault in athletics is at its peak when applied tofootball. Last year, both sexual and domestic violence in football dominated the headlines throughout the college and NFL seasons.USC was in the spotlight in August 2016 after former linebacker Osa Masina was charged with rape in Utah and California. Although Masina and former teammate Don Hill were both removed from the football team immediately following their arrest, and were later expelled by USC, the incident was thrown into a pile of other NCAA football indiscretions headlined by Joe Mixon’s return to Oklahoma’s starting lineup and the Baylor football sexual assault scandal.The past few seasons of college football have opened the eyes of fans, coaches and players to the underlying issue of violence in the sport. And at USC, Masina’s case in particular forced the administration to review the ways the school tackles the issue when dealing with an athlete.Although USC athletes are often treated differently than other students, discipline for sexual misconduct is applied in the exact same way regardless of a student’s athletic status, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry. This is meant to provide all students with a level playing field, where no athlete is protected by their on-field contributions to the school.“It is the student code of conduct, not the student-athlete code of conduct,” Carry said. “The University has one code of conduct, and it is for all students. We follow the procedure to the letter for any member of the community. Our procedures are indifferent to what you participate in as a member of the University community.”A spokesperson for USC Athletics said that the athletics department defers to student affairs in handling student conduct issues regarding student-athletes.“This assures that student-athletes are treated like all students and do not receive special treatment because of their athletic standing,” the spokesperson said in an email to the Daily Trojan.This situation is not unfamiliar for USC Athletics — in the last three decades, the school has seen four separate sexual assault charges or accusations, including one involving former quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2006. Only Masina’s case resulted in an expulsion, although former tight end Bryce Dixon was banned from the football team despite being allowed to re-enroll at USC. Two of the accused former players are now NFL athletes.Violence off the field is not an issue that is unique to USC, and it continues all the way into the NFL. In 2015, Vice reported that 44 active NFL players charged with or accused of sexual or domestic violence in their careers as college and professional athletes were still playing in the NFL. Three were starting quarterbacks. On average, each brought in a yearly salary of more than $2 million.Some of these men were acquitted by juries. Others were acquitted in the eyes of fans and owners who value on-the-field performance over off-the-field disciplinary issues. It’s a debate that tears at front offices throughout the league — what should teams do when facing a question between a talented future and an allegedly violent past?The answer is typically the same. In a business like football, aptitude trumps anything else.Second chance universitiesBut what happens when a player is dismissed?In the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs rode the success of wide receiver Tyreek Hill all the way to an AFC West championship, less than three years after he pinned his ex-girlfriend to the wall with one hand around her throat, beating her face with his other fist. The incident occurred in his first season as a wide receiver at Oklahoma State University. Hill pled guilty to domestic abuse after defending himself as not guilty for half a year and in the meantime, he was kicked out of the university.Now, he’s a starter for an NFL team, successful, beloved by fans after a breakout season in Kansas City. The question is obvious — how did a man who was kicked out of Oklahoma State for beating his pregnant girlfriend bloody end up back in the NFL?When players are removed from their Division I programs, they often find a new home in a lower division or junior college program. These schools feed off of the talent of athletes with Division I talent who couldn’t cut it for myriad reasons — grades, attitudes or student conduct violations.The vast majority of transfers to junior colleges or Division III programs are simply athletes who needed a second shot at college ball. They use a year or two in a less prestigious program to pull up their grades, rehab from an injury or earn new looks from other potential programs. This system helps many athletes find their footing in the competitive world of football — stars such as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson got their start in these schools.But a small percentage of these athletes are overcoming past violence to get ahead. For instance, Lane College accepted a transfer last August despite his dismissal from Vanderbilt University due to five charges of aggravated rape. Another player charged in the same case transferred to Alcorn State University, a Division I school that already fields a registered sex offender.This is how Hill found his way back to a university even after his expulsion. He was picked up by the University of West Alabama, then by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the draft. Many teams dropped Hill from their draft boards even after he ran an impressive 4.24-second 40-yard dash.But teams such as the Chiefs, who were grasping for any opportunity to kick-start their offense, were willing to ignore past crimes in order to bring in new talent. The team’s front office did its best to address the issue, with head coach Andy Reid issuing statements about Hill’s improvement.“This country gives you a second chance, if you handle yourself the right way,” Reid said following a Chiefs practice in an interview.But despite Reid’s sureness, the discomfort of handling the issue was clear. Even more uncomfortable was the decision fans were forced to make every Sunday — whether or not to cheer for a former domestic abuser.“It always gets into those fine lines of second chances,” NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth said during Kansas City’s game against Denver last season. “Maybe you don’t deserve a second chance sometimes.”Masina awaits pending litigation for the charges in Utah, the charges in Los Angeles having been dropped in March. If he is cleared, Masina, like Hill, could be picked up by a smaller school and funneled back into the NFL.It’s not an easy path to follow. But history has proven that even when athletes commit crimes and receive punishments in full, a future in the NFL is still in the cards. The result is a system in which athletes circumvent punishments through raw talent and a faith in second chances.Looking downfieldThis can’t last forever.Across the country, college and professional programs are beginning to catch on. The University of Indiana recently enacted a policy that bans its athletics programs from recruiting or adding any new players with histories of domestic or sexual violence. And the NFL refused to invite star athletes like Joe Mixon, who was suspended for a season after breaking a female student’s jaw in his freshman year.But the solution involves more than simply preventing athletes with a history of violence from reentering the system. The NCAA developed a nationwide training program called Step UP!, which aims to teach administrators, coaches and athletes how to approach issues ranging from drug addiction to domestic violence and sexual assault.Through the program, former Arizona and NFL wide receiver Syndric Steptoe has used his knowledge as a former athlete to advocate for preventing assaults. In order to truly solve the issue of violence in athletics, Steptoe believes that the culture of male-dominant sports must change as a whole.The main problem, he said, is the treatment that comes with an athlete’s stardom.Steptoe watched this culture unfold in his own life, and it started young — high school coaches scouted youth leagues, mentoring prospects from a young age. Those same coaches built plays and programs around their stars when they reached high school. They also rearranged players’ class schedule, wrote passes to get them out of class early to travel to games and talked to teachers to smooth over failed midterms or papers.When a star reaches a college like USC, Steptoe said, the bubble surrounding them has only widened. From personalized meal plans to one-on-one tutoring sessions, universities do their best to cater to the physical and mental needs of their stars in order to maintain their academic eligibility and overall well-being. But at the same time, Steptoe believes that this level of attention can serve to feed the egos and ignore the missteps of a school’s biggest stars.“There’s this idea of what it means to be a star, what it means to be a man,” Steptoe said. “We have to change the little things, the little ways that we’re talking to our boys. When we’re looking at the sport, we have to look at how we’re raising kids in it and start at the very beginning of it.”According to Step UP! founder Becky Bell, this is where the emphasis of preventative education must begin. Her program teaches that attitudes surrounding sexual assault are often communicated in day-to-day conversations. For athletes, this means that violence prevention must come from coaches, trainers and fellow teammates.“A lot of this is breaking down the stigma and the culture that has been built up for so long surrounding athletics,” Bell said. “We need, as a whole, to be having honest conversations about these topics and to be encouraging our students and our athletes to be having the same honest conversations. It’s as small as correcting an inappropriate comment in the locker room, but those little details [can] be the start of finding a bigger solution.”Bell is quick to emphasize that there isn’t a single solution for ending sexual assault in athletics. But the path toward finding an answer involves these steps — putting pressure on athletes to correct behavior on a daily basis while implementing no-tolerance policies at the administrative level.The future of sexual assault prevention in athletics is young and still uncertain, Bell says. However, she believes that college programs and NFL front offices now have the tools, the information and the resources to begin fighting back against this issue.For now, the ball is in their hands.last_img read more

DPS warns of student drug abuse, opioids

first_imgMultiple University officials, including DPS Chief John Thomas, have sent messages to the community to raise awareness of drug abuse and the resources USC offers students. (Daily Trojan file photos) According to Thomas and Van Orman, students should be aware of the risks posed by prescription medications such as oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, morphine, fentanyl and heroin.  In an interview with the Daily Trojan, DPS Captain Edgar Palmer said the recent student deaths sparked increased concern regarding drug use. While Palmer said DPS hasn’t noticed a formal pattern indicating higher rates of drug use, he has witnessed an increase in students calling the department and seeking help. “What I have seen more of is students that are calling because they need assistance, and we are happy for that in that the person recognizes they need help and they call us,” Palmer said. “We get to the scene, and we are able to connect them with some type of service.” “In addition to the direct effects of each substance, drugs shared for recreational use can be tainted or mixed with other substances to increase its effects, sometimes without a user’s knowledge,” the letter read. “This practice is rising and is linked to overdose and deaths.” California has also recently faced issues with recreational drugs such as cocaine being laced with fentanyl, an opioid that has caused thousands of deaths across the nation. “If you’re feeling like you might harm yourself, or you’re feeling like you’re having trouble coping, and you are using drugs and alcohol, there are means to get that student help,” Palmer said. “But it is something that we need to be made aware of.” In a letter to the USC community, Department of Public Safety Chief John Thomas and Chief Health Officer Sarah Van Orman warned students about the risks of drug use, particularly opioids. Since the start of the semester, at least nine students have died. Three of these deaths have been confirmed as suicides, and some of the others are still under investigation, but University officials suspect some of the deaths could be related to drug and opioid use. “I think that when you’re rooming with another student and that student is having issues, it is certainly my belief that someone is aware, and when someone is anywhere, I think the thing that people tend to do is keep quiet about it and pretend like it’s not there,” Palmer said. “And when something happens, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I saw that coming,’ so I think when you see someone in need or there is a problem, I think that — even anonymously — you need to alert someone.” The letter encouraged students to seek treatment and to speak with their medical providers to discuss options. Thomas and Van Orman also told students about Naloxone, a nasal spray that can reverse the impacts of an accidental overdose that can be found at the on-campus pharmacy. In 2016, the American College Health Association released a set of guidelines to help universities prevent and create strategies for treating opioid misuse among students. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, accidental drug overdose is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for individuals under 50, and nearly two-thirds of overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription medication or illegal opioids. Students are able to anonymously ask for help from the University or recommend a peer by contacting Trojans Care 4 Trojans, an initiative from the Office of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention.  “There have been several recent overdose deaths or what are perceived as overdose deaths,” Palmer said. “We just don’t know [the cause] yet because the coroner’s report has not come back. So this is just an assumption, but in these recent deaths, narcotic abuse is something that has been considered.” Palmer encouraged people in the community to support one another by identifying students who need help.last_img read more

Syracuse men’s basketball to play Eastern Michigan on Dec. 19

first_img Published on July 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossman Related Stories Syracuse basketball will reportedly host Georgetown on Dec. 17Syracuse basketball reportedly to play Connecticut at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 5Syracuse basketball to host St. John’s on Dec. 21Syracuse will host North Florida on Dec. 3Syracuse basketball will host Cornell in 122nd all-time matchup on Dec. 27 Syracuse added another nonconference game to its 2016-17 slate on Tuesday. Eastern Michigan will come to the Carrier Dome on Dec. 19, led by head coach Rob Murphy, formerly an SU assistant coach from 2004-11.The Orange leads the all-time series between the teams, 3-1, most recently beating the Eagles, 70-48, on Dec. 31, 2013. Senior guard Raven Lee led EMU with 15.1 points per game last year, rounding out the team’s top three scorers that will return next season.Eastern Michigan finished last season 18-15 while Syracuse landed in its sixth Final Four.Syracuse now has 13 nonconference games on its 2016-17 schedule with announced or reported dates. Here’s a list of them, including a three-game, five-day stretch created because of the EMU-SU game.Nov. 11 — vs. ColgateNov. 15 — vs. Holy CrossNov. 18 — vs. MonmouthNov. 22 — vs. South Carolina StateNov. 26 — vs. South Carolina (Barclays Center)Nov. 29 — at WisconsinDec. 3 — North FloridaDec. 5 — Connecticut (Madison Square Garden)Dec. 10 – vs. BostonDec. 17 — vs. GeorgetownDec. 19 — vs. Eastern MichiganDec. 21 — vs. St. John’sDec. 27 — vs. CornellBold = Brooklyn Hoops Holiday InvitationalAdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Fonbet lauds link with “strongest football League in the world”

first_img Submit Betway and Dafabet grow La Liga sponsorship portfolios August 14, 2020 Share Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Russian bookmaker Fonbet has become an official partner for Spain’s La Liga on a three year deal, which is set to see “ground-breaking activation’s and brand promotion” begin this year via Project11.Dubbed “unique” for the firm, it marks the time that such a partnership with one of the world’s leading football leagues has been made. Alina Yakirevich, Marketing Director of Fonbet, stated: “It is important for us to become a partner of the strongest football League in the world. Last season’s ratings showed that in Russia, LaLiga is one of the greatest interests to the audience. “This season we have planned several joint activities with the League, including a trip to El Clasico for our clients. Fonbet offers a wide variety of events through the League. We are confident that this will be a long-term and effective partnership with LaLiga.”Under the terms of the partnership, Fonbet is to see its branding appear throughout the games of the country’s leading sides, including current champions Barcelona and Champions League holders Real Madrid.Furthermore, Fonbet details that a number of “exciting activation’s” have been prepared for clients and the wider footballing community, including valuable prize giveaways and online activities.Grégory Bolle, Head of Global Partnerships at LaLiga, commented: “Fonbet is the leading betting brand in Russia, a strategic market for LaLiga in which we have had a presence in Moscow since 2016 through our innovative Global Network program. “The partnership further reinforces the relationship with the Project11 Agency and the best league in the world, LaLiga. Making the possibility to expand and penetrate in new markets a reality. Our goal is always to keep growing in emerging territories and bring LaLiga closer to our fans worldwide.”More detailed information regarding the agreement is to be released in due course, with a press conference featuring both parties scheduled to take place in Russia next month.Scott Taylor, Partner at Project11, added: “A fantastic signing for LaLiga and Fonbet alike. Growing the league’s global fan base and reach year on year, this enhances the timely and close relationship between both LaLiga and Project11. “Working with the Fonbet team and LaLiga’s partnership team is a pleasure, maximising the activation and experience for Fonbet in its chosen region. “Project11 continues its growth in placing partners both with LaLiga and in global sports, complemented by its significant perimeter advertising rights.” David Lampitt, Sportradar: F1 presents betting’s most sizeable opportunity August 14, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Sharelast_img read more

Clippers putting perfect preseason behind them

first_img Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum PLAYA VISTA — Take that feel-good 5-0 preseason, select all, and delete.The Clippers start over Wednesday when they host the Denver Nuggets on opening night at Staples Center.“We’re not getting excited about the results in preseason,” veteran center Marcin Gortat said before practice Saturday at the Clippers Training Center, noting that two of their preseason victories were against objectively inferior teams from Australia and Israel.“The real stuff starts on Wednesday,” Gortat added. “That’s what we’re trying to focus on.” Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Beyond refining their transition, there are many other important areas of focus on Rivers’ syllabus.“The key still will be can we rebound well enough? How do we finish games? Can we stop scoring droughts? And defensively, how good will we be?” Rivers said. “If we do all those things well, then we’re going to be a great basketball team. If we do half of them, then … I don’t know what that translates into.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.The Clippers’ long-range marksmen can get sharper too. Collectively, they shot 30.4 percent (42 for 138) from behind the arc in those five preseason contests, including just 24.2 percent (8 for 33) against Maccabi Haifa.“I think we have a lot of (outside shooting),” Rivers said. “Now we have to get some of them to go in.”BOBAN ‘UNSTOPPABLE’After spending the past month guarding Boban Marjanovic in practice, Gortat has insider’s knowledge about stopping him: You won’t.“I mean, Boban is unstoppable,” Gortat said of the Clippers’ popular 7-foot-3 backup center, who averaged 12 points in 10.2 minutes this preseason. “We’ve gone at it in practice and my trick is don’t let him get to the paint. If he gets to the paint, I foul him, that’s all I can do. You can’t block him, you can’t stop him from inside, he’s just too big. He’s too big and just too physically skilled, so you’ve just literally got to foul him, wrap him around and don’t (let) him lift the ball.”And even then, Marjanovic wins. A guy who shot 14 for 17 from the free-throw line in the preseason is hardly hack-able for defensive purposes.“At the end of the day, you’ve got five fouls and you’re going home,” added Gortat, who said he’s really gained an appreciation for Boban’s skill set.“I’m just surprised how incredibly skilled he is for his size and incredibly smart,” said Gortat, who averaged nine points in 18 minutes through four preseason games. “People have a tendency to look (at the) physical aspect of him, they’re thinking he’s a little funny. But it ain’t funny when he’s out there on the court and you’ve got to guard him.“You’ve got to be really focused on the guy to guard him right because otherwise he’s going to get you 20 (points) and 12 (rebounds) in eight minutes. That’s what he did, he showed up every game, he checked in for eight minutes, and he got double-double.“I mean … that’s better than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”ARTIS SIGNED, WAIVEDA day after announcing they signed 6-foot-7 guard Jamel Artis, the Clippers said in a statement Saturday that they waived Artis.Related Articles And so the Clippers will spend the next few days filing down their flaws.“We’ve just got to get sharper,” Coach Doc Rivers said after the Clippers put a bow on the organization’s first perfect preseason. “The greatest thing about this team is that each day, we literally should be better because we’re so new together, and we’re still learning.”In particular, Rivers said he hopes his squad heads back in the right direction on the break.“We kind of lost our transition game,” Rivers said Saturday. “Even though we ran and got a ton of open-court layups, I think our spacing, as each game (went on), we started creeping in more and more. Coming out of the gate, I thought it was beautiful how we were playing, and then each game, we got worse at it.”In each of their first two preseason victories, against the Sydney Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Clippers had 25 fast-break points. In win No. 3 against the LeBron-less Lakers, they had 10 fast-break points, then 11 against the Denver Nuggets. Finally, against Israel’s Maccabi Haifa, the Clippers again had 25 – but that was in an entirely lopsided 124-76 victory. What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory last_img read more

Missouri will miss postseason after NCAA rejects appeal

first_imgMORE: Six best storylines of Rivalry WeekThe sanctions are particularly frustrating for Missouri, for multiple reasons: None of the players who received help from Kumar — whom the NCAA indicated acted alone — is on the Tigers’ current roster. Missouri also self-reported the violation and cooperated with the NCAA in its investigation, only to wait months for a final decision that comes days before its final regular season game of the season against Arkansas. Had the NCAA accepted Missouri’s appeal, the Tigers (5-6) would have gained bowl eligibility with a win against the Razorbacks, who are winless against Power 5 teams this season.“We are deeply disappointed and appalled by the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee’s decision to shirk its responsibilities and simply uphold sanctions that are not consistent with precedent or even common sense,” Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk and Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said in a joint statement. “Despite this frustrating and disappointing outcome, the University of Missouri and Mizzou Athletics will continue to stand for integrity, and we will become stronger despite the challenges we are faced with today.”SEC commissioner Greg Sankey also released a statement condemning the NCAA’s upheld postseason ban:”Throughout this process, the University of Missouri has conducted itself with great integrity and has been praised by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions for its exemplary cooperation in this matter. While there is no excuse for the actions of a single academic tutor and the small number of student-athletes involved, the penalties applied are unusually severe when fully considered.It is regrettable that so many innocent current Missouri student-athletes across three sports will miss postseason opportunities due to actions for which they were not responsible. Our disappointment related to the application of a postseason ban and the Infractions Appeals Committee’s upholding of the decision after more than four months of deliberations is magnified by recent decisions in other cases with similar fact patterns.While it is important to hold accountable those individuals who engage in unethical behavior and conduct that fails to meet our expectations for integrity in college athletics, it is also important to fully consider the nuances and unique set of circumstances present in each case when setting penalties.Mizzou is presented with considerable challenges as a result of this decision, however it is a university of proud heritage that will persevere thanks to its strong leadership and high ethical standards.” The NCAA on Tuesday rejected the University of Missouri’s appeal of a postseason ban for three of its sports, including football.The NCAA initially announced the postseason ban and scholarship reductions for Missouri on Jan. 31 after it was found tutor Yolanda Kumar helped players in the school’s football, baseball and softball programs complete their coursework. Missouri filed an appeal in March and appeared before the NCAA in July.last_img read more

Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in case of Medicaid payment for sex-change surgery

first_imgDES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday in the Department of Human Services appeal of a district court ruling that said the state Medicaid program has to pay for sex-change surgery for two transgender individuals.The lower court ruling says the state violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act and the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution by refusing payment, but lawyer Matthew Gillespie argued that is not the case.”This case is not about whether transgender Iowans have suffered and continue to suffer from pernicious discrimination. This case is not about whether transgender Iowans have legitimate medical needs related to gender dysphoria,” Gillespie says. ” In fact, this case is not about transgender Iowans at all.”He says the case centers on the rules followed by the state. “This case is about whether Iowa Medicaid appropriately denied coverage for surgeries performed primarily for psychological For the reasons outlined in our brief, and I will discuss here today, the answer should be ‘yes’,” according to Gillespie.Gillespie says the rules were not specifically written to discriminate against transgender Iowans.”The petitioners have argued that transgender Iowans seeking coverage for procedures to treat gender dysphoria are similarly situated to non-transgender Iowans seeking treatment for the same procedures to address nonphysiological conditions,” according to Gillespie. “And in doing so, it reveals the true nature of the crux of the issue is not gender identity — but is instead focused on psychological versus non-psychological health.”Gillespie also disputes the idea that the issue violates the Iowa Civil Rights Act. “Had the Iowa Civil Rights Act been intended to apply in circumstances such as this, there would have been a more clear indication that it was meant to. Again, the application of that act to policy decisions of the executive is a massive expansion unprecedented in the state and contrary to both federal and other state law,” Gillespie argued.The attorney for the other side, John Knight, says the state has tried to move the target. “The state in challenging the district court’s ruling has in a sense taken on the role of medical expert. And they’ve proposed a different set of facts with respect to the regulation,” Knight says. He says the state is wrong about the need for the surgery.“In a sense they have recharacterized the nature of this surgery here as cosmetic by their use of the language psychological services. The record evidence however shows that this surgery is medically necessary, and that it is really life-saving treatment for a number of individuals — including my clients,” Knight says.Knight was asked about how big an impact this would have. “Everyone with gender dysphoria does not need surgery. My clients do, and so there would certainly be medical people involved — both a surgeon and a mental health professional, at least one and sometimes two who are assessing the necessity of the coverage,” according to Knight. “And the reality is, this is a very small population, so we are not talking about a about significant number of people.”Knight says the state also has it wrong when it comes to the denial of payment violating the Iowa Civil Rights Act.“Section B of the public accommodations definition talks about units of government and it talks about services provided by a unit of government. There’s nothing that limits those services to on-site services. So I think you’d have to be basically writing an exception in that isn’t there,” according to Knight.The Supreme Court will issue a ruling on the case at a later date.last_img read more

Hall of Fame to correct ‘Pete’ Hill’s information

first_imgIn addition, the Hall of Fame will concurrently update Hill’s library file to fix his birth year.“New information has shown that the genealogical information and history of his birth were not correct,” said Brad Horn, senior director of communications and education at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.The organization’s formal acknowledgement of the new data is based on a packet of documentation and source materials Culpeper historian Zann Nelson submitted to them in January, following six months of intense research that included field visits to the local mountainside hamlet where Hill was born.“What this does is shed new light on the person of Pete Hill,” said Horn, adding, “Zann’s research was excellent.”In shedding that light, Culpeper can now officially lay claim to its second Hall of Famer, John Preston “Pete” Hill, born circa 1884, the son of former slaves, in the rural community of Buena, near Rapidan in the county’s southeastern corner. Eppa Rixey, a White National League ballplayer born 1891 in the town of Culpeper, was inducted into Hall of Fame in 1963, two months before his death.Hill was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame in 2006, more than five decades after his death in 1951. He went by the nickname Pete and was considered one of the greatest outfielders and hitters in Negro League history.“He was a hit machine,” noted baseball historian Phil Dixon at the time of his induction.During his 20-year career, Hill, standing a powerful 6-1 and weighing 215 pounds, hit better than .300 eight times and twice topped .400.“I’m yet to find a box score in which he doesn’t have a hit,” Dixon said.When Hill finally got his due from the Hall of Fame four years ago along with 16 other Negro League Players he was erroneously named “Joseph” on his plaque. Further, Hall of Fame library records and research reported that he was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1880.Baseball researchers from around the country have sought to right Hill’s personal Hall of Fame information for years, but it wasn’t until Nelson picked up the trail that things started happening.Former director of the Museum of Cul­peper History, Nelson wrote a comprehensive three-part series, “Correcting History,” for the Star-Exponent and starexponent.com in December, documenting indisputable evidence that Joseph Hill was actually John Hill and that he was born in the rural south and not in urban Pittsburgh.“I am just ecstatic about being part of something that rights a pretty significant inaccuracy significant in the sense that this was a real, living human being,” Nelson said. “When the wrong name and wrong birthplace are given, the individual’s true heritage is eradicated.”Ron Hill of Penn Hills, Pa., the great-nephew of Pete Hill, agreed.“Up to this point, I didn’t know where we came from,” said the retired major with the Allegheny County Jail. “It has brought a lot of closeness to our family.”Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, Ron Hill had heard about a baseball player somewhere in the family tree, but never knew the extent of his great-uncle’s achievements.In fact, Pete Hill started his career with the Pittsburgh Keystones in 1899 before joining the Cuban X-Giants in 1901. The child of Lizzie Seals and Reuben Washington Hill, Pete, by 1900, had left his Virginia birthplace on the side of Cedar Mountain the same name as the Civil War battle that occurred nearby in 1862 and was living in Pittsburgh with his mother, stepfather and two brothers, census records show. Lizzie Seals was born 1857 in Orange County, just south of Culpeper, likely into slavery, contended Nelson.“I cannot find her father or Pete’s grandfather on his father’s side living as freemen in the 1860 census,” she said. “If they were free, they would have been listed.”Nelson believes Hill’s humble roots drove him to work harder, to do what was necessary to achieve more, even if meant leaving home.“They had their eyes set on something a whole lot better, and that is what they kept focusing on,” she said of struggles faced by Blacks in the newly emancipated South, and later the restrictive Jim Crow years.“They went where the work was where they could get an education. It’s those kinds of characteristics perseverance and resilience that were instilled in Pete and his siblings.”Ron Hill said today’s youth should embrace the example of his great-uncle.“Children today should be able to go out there and do anything,” he said. “He came out of nothing and made something of himself his mother was only 20 years out of slavery when she came to Pittsburgh.”Life in the North wasn’t easy for Black ballplayers of the time either, Ron Hill said, describing how if they wanted to eat in area restaurants, they had to go around back.“It was rough these guys went through hell,” he said.Nevertheless, many in the Negro League like Pete Hill accumulated impressive stats on the field. An outfielder for the Philadelphia Giants, Leland Giants and Chicago American Giants, Hill was a “giant among Giants,” the Hall of Fame described “one of the greatest line-drive hitters of his era.”As captain of the legendary Leland Giants, he helped lead them to a record of 123 wins and six losses. With Philadelphia, he participated in two league championships.Hill also starred in the Cuban Winter League, playing against major league clubs, including the Detroit Tigers and Ty Cobb.Pete Hill “could do anything a White player can do,” the Chicago Defender wrote in 1910. “He can hit, run, throw and is what is termed a wise, heady ballplayer.”Hill ended his baseball career in 1925 as manager/player with the Baltimore Black Sox and a career batting average of .326. Perhaps not coincidentally, Ron Hill sponsors the Pittsburgh Black Sox, a Little League team.In the 1920s, census records show Pete Hill living in Chicago with his wife, Gertrude, and son Kenneth. By 1930, he was divorced and living in Buffalo, N.Y., working as a railroad porter, which he did until his death some 20 years later, Nelson found.There, the trail of Pete Hill goes cold. Many of the same researchers dedicated to correcting the story of Hill’s roots are now focused on determining his final resting place. His death certificate only says that he was buried in Chicago.Researchers contend Hill is the only Hall of Famer whose burial site is unknown, though Horn, the organization’s communications and education director, said it is not uncommon for older inductees, particularly 19th century stars, to have unknown death sites.Either way, the fact that the Hall of Fame will verify and correct Hill’s first name and birthplace will hopefully go a long way in the search for his grave, a search that may include help from PBS’s “History Detectives,” according to Nelson.For now, the focus remains on what is to come in John “Pete” Hill’s legacy, that is, the unveiling of a new plaque Oct. 12, his birthday, in Cooperstown. When inducted the first time, no family members or supporters were present because Joseph Hill was unknown to them.This time, various family members from around the country plan to travel to New York for the redo. Relatives from Los Angeles, Boston, Ohio and Pennsylvania came to Culpeper last month to retrace their ancestor’s steps, proudly embracing their history.Horn said this is not the first time the Hall of Fame has recast a plaque. It’s the third this decade alone.In 2008, the Hall of Fame redid Jackie Robinson’s to reflect the star hitter for the Brooklyn Dodgers’ contributions to breaking the race barrier.In 2000, the plaque of Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente Walker was redone to reflect Walker, his mother’s maiden name, as his last name. It was previously cast as Roberto Walker Clemente.“It’s important to have this information correct,” Horn said, noting Hill’s plaque was cast in 2006 using the best available information at the time. He said all the changes to Hill’s history would be made in unison.Kent State University professor Leslie Heaphy has written extensively on the Negro Leagues, including articles referring to Pete Hill as Joseph Hill from Pittsburgh. She said last week that Nelson’s updated information “continues to fill in the gaps of the Negro Leagues’ history, especially the earlier years.”“It is always important to try to be as accurate as possible with our understanding of history and facts,” she said. “We need to keep checking and finding new information and updating what we know so we are always learning.” “PETE” HILL by Allison Brophy ChampionCULPEPER, Va. (AP)—When the National Baseball Hall of Fame recasts the plaque of Negro League standout and Culpeper native “Pete” Hill later this year, changing his given name and birthplace, it will officially give Culpeper County its second inductee into the game’s most sacred institution. CAST IN BRONZE —This handout photo from the National Baseball Hall of Fame is the bronze Hall of Fame plaque of Pete Hill. Hill was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, July 30, 2006 in Cooperstown, N.Y. last_img read more

Champions Savannah held in opener

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU: The 2015-16 Charley’s JB Rum Western Confederation Super League season got cracking on the weekend with six matches, including a less-than-auspicious start for defending champions Savannah Sports Club, who were held to a scoreless draw by Lucea FC at Frome Sports Complex on Sunday. This year’s staging has the 12 teams aligned in two groups of six based on how they ended the last campaign, with Savannah, Granville, Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Club (MBBGC), Salt Marsh, Petersfield, and Lucea in Group One. Group Two comprises Wadadah, Sandals Whitehouse, Beaches Negril, Village United, newcomers Reggae Youths and Clarks Town, the St James and Trelawny champions, respectively. Another new development of note is that Livingston Berley has taken the hot seat as coach of the defending champions. RONIEL WHYTE ON TARGET While his team failed to shine against Lucea, Roniel Whyte was on target in the 19th and 36th minutes in leading Petersfield FC to a 2-0 victory over Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Club. Former St James Premier League kingpins, Wadadah FC, were also in the winners’ corner as forward Javier Peak struck twice in Saturday’s 3-1 win over newly promoted Clarks Town of Trelawny. Ajai Black also found the net in that match for Wadadah, while Dwayne Brown netted the consolation for Clarks Town. Also on Saturday, Reggae Youths and Beaches Negril ended 1-1, with Oshane Russell getting a late equaliser for Reggae Youths in the 81st minute to cancel out Ashley Forrest’s 18th-minute strike. In another game on Saturday, Salt Marsh edged Granville 1-0 as Marvin Reynolds scored in the 20th minute to give them three points and a share of the early lead in Group One with Petersfield. Wadadah are early leaders in Group Two on three points. The league continues on Sunday with four matches, the pick of which should be the Granville-Petersfield FC clash, starting 3 p.m. at Granville Community Centre.last_img read more