Larry Bird To Step Down As Pacers President

Larry Bird is expected to step down as president of the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.Team owner Herb Simon is scheduled to meet with Bird on Tuesday to plan Bird’s exit from the team, the Star reported. Last month, Bird told The Associated Press, he’d stay put as the Pacers team president for a few more years — if that’s what team owner Herb Simon wants.“I’d do it today if Herbie was here,” Bird said last month, drawing laughter. “We’ve got kids working out, we’ve got six free agents, we’ve got a lot going on right now. Obviously, I want to sit down with Herb as quickly as possible. I don’t like this (questions) at all. I’d like a three-year deal, but we have a handshake agreement. It’s hard coming in here and not having the answers.”

Tony Gonzalez in Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marnio Out

Tony Gonzalez’s retirement from the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL, in essence, cost Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marino their jobs as studio analysts on CBS’ The NFL Today pregame show.The network confirmed that Gonzalez will be added to the team and Sharpe, the outspoken former tight end, and Marino, the Hall of Fame quarterback, would not return — a shakeup few saw coming.“Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. “As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate.“While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade,” McManus said. “Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”Sharpe, who had been with the network since 2004, was an outspoken voice who at times took bold stands or communicated in a direct fashion, making him a controversial figure at times.  One of the all-time great quarterbacks, Marino had been with CBS since 2002. He was often bland and nondescript in style.Gonzalez, meanwhile, with his chiseled jaw and keen communication skills, seems a natural for television. He will, however, be under major scrutiny for being at the heart of this major shakeup. read more

How Tottenham Could Shock Us One More Time

Arsenal completed 459 open-play passes into or within the penalty area to Tottenham’s 310. And yet Spurs have created only about three fewer expected goals from open play.This speaks to an unusually direct attacking style. Tottenham no longer pins its opponents back with a strangling high press but instead builds its attacks quickly to free individual players to run at the defense, in an attacking style that has been compared to college football’s “air raid.” To make passes inside the penalty area, a team must have multiple players already in the vicinity, and if one of these high-risk passes is left incomplete, fewer players are in position to stop a potential counterattack. Without the ball-winners in midfield to recover possession, such a deliberate approach would put Tottenham under too much pressure in transition. So instead, the team works more directly, bypassing midfield and quickly feeding a forward to face a defender one-on-one.This is the attacking style that Liverpool will have to defend against on Saturday in Madrid. Liverpool has consistently been able to use its midfield press to control matches and hold possession. But against Spurs, Jurgen Klopp’s side will have to be particularly wary of the direct counterattacks that have become the team’s go-to play. If Liverpool takes risks to overload Spurs defensively in possession, looking for some of these killer penalty area passes, it will be the Reds who are at risk of being countered.The table may be set for a more slow-paced and tactical Champions League final than either Klopp’s or Pochettino’s reputations might suggest. In the most recent meeting of the two sides on March 31, there were just 2.6 expected goals created from 25 shots. This is almost exactly average for a Premier League match7Averages are 2.64 expected goals and 25.3 shots per match. but is far from the high-scoring barn-burner one might hope for from the matchup. If Liverpool won’t risk sending extra runners to support its forwards, while Tottenham invites some pressure and looks to counterattack, the game may slow down as it did at Anfield in March.The final, then, could come down to one team or the other relying on its superstar forward for a moment of magic. For Liverpool, this is not such a complicated question. Mohamed Salah had a great season, has returned to fitness after a head injury and is expected to be ready to go at full strength. Harry Kane is a bigger question for Tottenham. The English striker suffered his fifth ankle injury in the past three seasons against Manchester City in April and has not played since. He has rejoined the team and traveled to Spain, but can Spurs hope to get a vintage Kane performance?Last season when Kane returned from an ankle injury, his performance fell off badly. He had been running hot, averaging 0.98 expected goals and assists per 90 minutes in the 10 matches before he got hurt, and he dropped to about 0.73 in the 10 matches after his return. The same thing happened again this season after Kane suffered an ankle injury against Manchester United: His shot statistics declined from 0.88 xG+xA/90 to 0.52. But his ankle injuries in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 didn’t result in such a drastic downturn in performance. In 2017, he seemed to come back stronger than he was before the injury, going on a rampage down the stretch with 1.04 xG+xA/90 compared with 0.74 beforehand.Tottenham’s counterattacking style, and the team’s efficiency in turning passes around the penalty area into scoring chances, run best through an elite center forward. If Kane can return to form within a single game, that would give Spurs the best chance at a Champions League update. Getting an upset win probably requires a little bit of good fortune, and there is no better possible stroke of fortune for Tottenham than a fit Harry Kane.Check out our latest soccer predictions. In this same time, Tottenham has managed to increase its wage spending from about $85 million in 2009-10 to $187 million reported last season. The money saved on transfers has, to a significant degree, been reinvested into wages. By carefully managing the club’s incoming and outgoing funds on transfers, chairman Daniel Levy has built up the quality of the squad and paid to keep better and better players.And it’s worked. Tottenham has finished at least sixth in every season this decade, including now four consecutive berths in the Champions League.3A group stage place in the Champions League is now awarded to the top four teams in the EPL. Before 2018, the top three qualified for the group stages, and the fourth-place team had to win a playoff match first. In the previous decade, Spurs finished in the top six only twice (back-to-back fifth-place finishes in 2005-06 and 2006-07). Tottenham has become a regular Champions League competitor through a process of careful business management backing up good player development.This same “do more with less” mentality is reflected in the team’s performances this season under the management of Mauricio Pochettino. Faced with injuries up and down the squad, Pochettino has had to improvise. His team has given at least 1,500 minutes to 14 different outfield players,4The 10 players not in goal. most among the big six sides in the Premier League. Tottenham’s 10 most-used outfield players have covered only 66 percent of the team’s total minutes, the smallest share among the big six.The team’s injuries have hit the midfield particularly hard: Eric Dier missed most of the second half of the season after an appendectomy, Harry Winks has missed time with ankle and groin injuries, Victor Wanyama was unavailable for most of the season with knee problems, and Mousa Dembele was injured in November and has not played for Tottenham since.5Dembele was sold to Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese Super League during the winter transfer window. Dier, Dembele and Wanyama were three of Spurs’ four leading midfielders in tackles and interceptions won per 90 minutes this season; without them, the club had no true ball-winners in the center of the pitch. The loss of these more defensively sound midfielders changed Tottenham’s approach, forcing Pochettino to dial back his preferred high-pressing, high-possession style. The team’s pressing rate has dropped to its lowest level under Pochettino at 47 percent.6Pressing rate is defined as how often the team broke up new opposition possession in open play before the other team could complete three passes. Instead, Pochettino has had to develop a more counterattacking approach.Tottenham has remained one of the best attacking teams in the league, with about 50 open-play expected goals created — good for fifth overall. But unlike the other clubs that rank high in this metric, Spurs complete surprisingly few passes into or within the penalty area. This could finally be the year when a true underdog wins the Champions League again. The last time a club not among the world’s very elite hoisted the trophy was in 2012, when Chelsea won it all.1Even that team — with its gargantuan payroll and roster of aging stars — didn’t totally fit the profile of the underdog. In the six years since, the ruling class of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid captured Europe’s most prestigious club tournament each year. In this context, if Liverpool triumphs on Saturday, despite being clearly among the best teams in the world according to the FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index, the Reds would still be breaking ground.But the real underdog here is Tottenham. Spurs rate as the 12th-best club in the world by SPI. And in many ways, the story of Tottenham is the incredible journey it took just to get close to the world top 10. Spurs languished in the middle of the English Premier League table through most of the 2000s, and unlike Manchester City, which also made the leap to the EPL elite in this millennium, Tottenham didn’t luck into an owner willing to spend at a massive deficit to take the club up the ladder. Instead, Spurs had to ratchet up their spending slowly and play the market carefully. Of the Premier League’s current “big six” clubs,2Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. only Tottenham has come close to breaking even on its transfer dealings over the past decade — receiving about as much money in transfer fees as it has paid out. read more

The Vikings Are Running Like Its 1972

Cousins, of course, is no rookie. He’s 31 and in his eighth season. Yet he’s being treated like a game manager by his head coach, Mike Zimmer, who fired pass-happy offensive coordinator John DeFilippo last December after DeFilippo dialed up pass plays at a rate of 67.0 percent overall and 57.3 percent in wins. DeFilippo also reportedly ignored repeated instructions from Zimmer to run more. That message was received by new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski:1Stefanski served on an interim basis last year after DiFilippo’s firing and took over the job officially this year. In Minnesota’s three wins (in four games) since the firing, the Vikings have looked to throw just 37.6 percent of the time,2Including dropbacks on which the quarterback was sacked. including just 22.4 percent versus the Falcons this week.This is a radical departure in today’s game. From the start of the 2018 season through Week 1 of the 2019 season, winning NFL teams pass a majority of the time: 52.6 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Info.Don’t expect Zimmer’s Vikings to change their approach anytime soon. “I did not foresee us throwing the ball 10 times, but I’m happy we did,” Zimmer said after the game.Cousins doesn’t seem to mind.“Throwing 10 times is really unique,” the quarterback said. “Probably haven’t had a game with that few attempts since literally Pop Warner. I probably threw 10 times or more in most high school games, too. It was what the game called for, and I have no problem with being conservative. As long as we win the football game, that’s all that matters to me.”The Vikings and Stefanski adopted what is ostensibly a Mike Shanahan-inspired offense, bringing in former Shanahan disciple Gary Kubiak as an assistant head coach. But in reality, Zimmer may be looking even further back for inspiration, to the NFL’s last undefeated team3In the regular season and playoffs. — the 1972 Dolphins. Miami that year passed only 32.3 percent of the time. But the NFL then was all about establishing the run, running to win and then running to beat the clock — the Bears that year called pass plays just 17.5 percent of the time in their wins. The leaguewide passing average in 1972 was 37.2 percent, or almost identical to what Zimmer’s squad has averaged since jettisoning DeFilippo.This is a shocking turnaround for a team that went all in on Cousins in free agency, connecting him with a pair of elite receivers, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The receivers each posted 100-catch seasons with Cousins in 2018, but they were targeted only a combined six times on Sunday. Minnesota’s relatively low number of total plays (49) and slow pace (the Vikings controlled the ball for just under half the game) certainly helped keep the number of pass attempts down, but the share of passes should still worry the receiving tandem. In the four games since the coaching change, Diggs is catching balls at a pace of 64 per 16 games, and Thielen’s pace is even lower, at just 52. That would put them on track for just 116 combined catches for the duo, while Thielen by himself caught 113 last year — 103 of them in the 13 games where DeFilippo was calling plays.The Vikings may keep winning by making Cousins mostly a middleman in getting the ball from the center to the running back. And that would make Zimmer a hero to fans of a forgotten NFL, when teams were built to win in the trenches and defense and the running game were the stars of the show. But in 1972, most top quarterbacks made only about 10 times the league’s minimum salary. Zimmer’s Vikings are paying Cousins about 55 times the league minimum today — a lot of money to simply hand off the ball.Check out our latest NFL predictions. The Minnesota Vikings said this offseason that they were going to get Kirk Cousins, their $84 million quarterback, “to that next level to do the things he does best.” Based on the game plans the team has run since overhauling its offense December — especially in Sunday’s 28-12 victory over the Falcons — the thing he does best is apparently handing the ball off to a running back.Cousins threw only 10 passes all game, completing eight, good for 98 yards and a touchdown. That’s the fewest passes a Vikings quarterback has attempted in a regular-season win since 1977, in a game at Green Bay where the wind chill made it feel like it was minus 3 degrees. But Sunday’s game was played indoors. Since 2001, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, only one winning team has attempted fewer passes while playing indoors — the visiting Carolina Panthers at the Atlanta Falcons in a 10-3 victory in 2006. The Atlanta Falcons had the next fewest passes in an indoor home win, throwing 13 times in a 34-21 victory in 2008 — Matt Ryan’s first game his rookie season. read more

A decade of Jim Tressel

In his mind, Jim Tressel is old, his memory deteriorating. The highs and lows of 37 years of coaching have started to blend together for the Ohio State football coach. “I don’t know if it’s fortunately or unfortunately,” Tressel said, “but I’m old and I’ve had a lot of games.” Jan. 18 marked the 10-year anniversary of Tressel’s hire at OSU. In 15 seasons at Youngstown State, Tressel compiled a record of 135-57-2, winning four Division I-AA National Championships. In his 10 seasons at OSU, he has amassed a mark of 106-22, with one national title and seven Big Ten crowns to his credit. He earned his 100th victory at the Division I level after the Buckeyes’ 38-10 triumph against Indiana on Oct. 9. More importantly to Buckeye fans, the coach holds a 9-1 record against rival Michigan. Tressel spoke with The Lantern to reflect on his decade-long tenure in Columbus. Oh, but a dream Often, when universities or professional teams hire a coach, the new boss will gush about how he had dreamed of attaining his new gig since childhood. Tressel never considered the Division I college ranks, let alone OSU. Instead, he aspired to follow in the footsteps of his father, Lee Tressel, who racked up 155 victories coaching for 23 seasons at Division III Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. “I originally wanted to be a high school head coach and I never got there,” he said. “All the way up until probably the mid-’80s, through my first 10 or 11 years as a coach, I was thinking I’d like to be a Division III coach like my father was. Then I got the Youngstown State job and enjoyed 15 wonderful years there and I was convinced that I wanted to be there forever. So no, it wasn’t really anything that I thought about really until the day it opened.” OSU football historian Jack Park said Tressel’s acceptance speech blew him away. “He just made such a good impression on people in that acceptance speech,” Park said. “Some people can kind of speak well, but it’s kind of shallow; they’re just saying what they think they should to make themselves look good. This was not that. This was genuine.” Even if he can no longer recall specific emotions or moments in time from games past, Tressel remembers the onerous weight strapped upon his shoulders when he accepted the position at OSU. “Tremendous responsibility that having this position holds, great tradition, the meaning that this university has to all the students — that’s daunting,” he said. The night he was hired, Tressel gave a speech at halftime of the men’s basketball game. In his monologue, the new coach guaranteed his team would be prepared for nemesis Michigan 310 days later. “That’s going to be a big part of his legacy, I think,” Park said. “That night, he set up Michigan as a top priority. You could tell, and of course, look at what’s happened here, 9-1. He set that up as a high priority and followed through with that.” Rocky 1st year John Cooper was fired following a loss to South Carolina in the 2001 Outback Bowl that capped an 8-4 season. In Tressel’s first season at the helm, the Buckeyes compiled a 7-5 mark and another Outback Bowl loss to the Gamecocks. It wasn’t exactly an ideal start to his term. He suspended senior quarterback Steve Bellisari for two games following his arrest for drunk driving. “There were ups and downs that year,” Tressel said. “It was real disappointing when we, right near the end of the year with two games left, we still had a chance to be the Big Ten champs and we had a little off-the-field problem and we had to bench our quarterback for the last two games. So, that was a disappointing time, and then when we beat Michigan at the end, it was obviously a good win for us because they were a very good team.” Still, Tressel had intended to use his first year as a transition year, and he said he reached the goals he set pertaining to laying the foundation for a new era. “The thing I wanted to do was create a plan and then develop relationships,” Tressel said. “And then, of course, you wanted to win some games along the way. But I wanted to create a plan for a culture and a set of expectations and get to know the kids and have them get to know me and make sure they knew how much I cared about them on and off the field.” ‘A good deal’ Once the transition period ended, it was full steam ahead. The Buckeyes doubled their win total in Tressel’s second season, becoming the first team in college football history to attain a 14-0 record. OSU capped its perfect season with a 31-24 double-overtime victory against a heavily favored Miami Hurricanes team that entered the title game riding a nation-best 34-game win streak. “There were two things that I think made it possible,” Tressel said. “One is that we had grown in our relationships very close through the transition year, which is hard for everyone, and the adversity we faced that first year. Then the second thing that made it very doable was because we were talented — these kids were so hungry because they had been here, many of them, three, four, five years and really hadn’t had an Ohio State-type season. “So, there was a group of them that were seniors that were not going to leave here without having an Ohio State season. And then, the ball bounced right a couple times and our guys kept fighting and it ended up being a good deal.” The perfect season exceeded any expectations even the most idealistic Buckeye fans could have anticipated, Park said. “I don’t think the most avid, unrealistic Ohio State fan that thinks we’re never ever going to lose again, in their wildest dreams, would have thought that they would go 14-0 in their second year under Tressel,” he said. Along the way, the Buckeyes kept suspense high, narrowly escaping the jaws of defeat on a number of occasions. Half of the team’s victories came by seven points or fewer. “When you end a year like we did in ’02, with that group that had transitioned together and had grown to love one another and compete like crazy,” Tressel said, “it was a little bit melancholy after the game, the fact that we were never going to be together in that fashion.” Plan now, reflect later That’s how Tressel thinks. He lives in the moment and plans for the immediate future, opting to save reflection for when he’s in his “rocking chair.” “The moment a game ends or the moment a season ends, the immediate next logical question by any media person or any coach or young person who’s going to be returning to the squad the following year is that, ‘How are we going to be next year?’” Tressel said. “I’ve always said reflection is for the person who’s not coaching anymore or who’s not playing anymore. Just like a junior who’s heading into his senior year is not going to spend much time reflecting. He’s going to spend time thinking about that senior year. That’s just the nature of what we do. You really don’t reflect on that until it’s over.” Because of that mindset, Tressel couldn’t pinpoint a specific failure or disappointment that still haunts him. Instead, anytime he comes across a less-than-desirable result, it’s “on to the next one,” he said. “If we play a ball game I know we didn’t play anywhere near to our capabilities, obviously that’s disappointing,” Tressel said. “But immediately, my thoughts go to, ‘OK, what didn’t we do well? Why didn’t we do it well? What do we have to do to get the ship headed back in the right direction?’” Tressel said he hopes one day to have time to reflect on the missed opportunities. “After you’re done passionately working day-by-day, you might say, ‘Oh, that Purdue game from ’09 really bothered me,’ or, ‘That loss to Michigan in ’03, we weren’t ready. I didn’t have them ready,’” Tressel said. “I don’t spend any time today doing that. Hopefully, there will be time for that in my rocking chair.” The low point That approach to coaching helped him bear the pain of a National Championship Game defeat to Florida at the end of the 2006–07 season. OSU entered the game unbeaten and a heavy favorite after outlasting Michigan, 42-39, in the regular season finale seven weeks earlier. The Gators didn’t care, stymieing the Buckeye offense in a 41-14 rout. Tressel said the effort exhausted in the epic battle with the Wolverines left OSU ill-equipped for the demands of a national title bout. “Our ’06 team had been undefeated and had really emptied their emotional gas tank a month before with the Ohio State-Michigan game and No. 1 versus No. 2 and all that stuff,” Tressel said. “You could see it was a little bit difficult, as hard as we tried to be at that same level as we were that day in late November.” Feel-good story That game was the last time Troy Smith suited up in scarlet and gray. Five years earlier, Smith had accepted a scholarship to play for the Buckeyes. “Troy came in here as an ‘athlete.’ We did not promise him he would be a quarterback,” Tressel said. “He kind of had to prove that he could. It wasn’t easy for him at first and he didn’t approach it the right way necessarily at first. He let it really affect him through the beginning of his career.” After redshirting, Smith primarily saw action as a kick returner during his freshman season. He entered the 2004 campaign as the second-string quarterback before taking over the position when starter Justin Zwick suffered a shoulder injury. Smith only relinquished his grip on the starting gig after being suspended for the 2004 Alamo Bowl and 2005 season opener for accepting $500 from a booster. He eventually regained his spot under center and never looked back, leading OSU to a 34-20 win against Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl before taking the 12-0 Buckeyes to the title game against Florida. Tressel said he remains proud of Smith’s steady maturation, citing the rise of the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner as one of the highlights of his OSU tenure. “To watch him grow to understand to, ‘OK, I know what it takes to be a quarterback. I know what I have to study, what I have to work on, what I have to be, what I have to get better at and I know the type of leader I need to be,’” Tressel said. “To see him five years later end up the Heisman Trophy winner when he didn’t even come here to be a quarterback, or he did but we weren’t sure, to me, that was very rewarding. Now, it wasn’t without some consternation over the course of time, but it was fun to see the end of the day.” That progress made during the four or five years a student-athlete takes the field is what Tressel said makes him proud to coach at the collegiate level. “Those days that I see progress in each of the young people or a particular young person, you see a lightbulb go on in someone’s head or you see someone have a tough situation and then grow from it or handle it,” Tressel said. “My highlight would be progress.” A lasting legacy Speculation runs rampant about Tressel’s future. On Christmas Eve, as Tressel sat at home with his family, a rumor spread throughout the Internet claiming the coach was on his way out of OSU, despite failing to report if he was retiring or being forced out. OSU athletic director Gene Smith quickly hosed down that fire on Twitter, telling Buckeye fans to ignore the gossip. “The rumors about Jim Tressel had emerged, so I jumped up and that was probably (my Tweet) that has gotten the most attention,” Smith said. One thing is certain: Buckeye Nation respects and cares for its football coach. And although fans might be more appreciative of his 9-1 record against Michigan and the crystal football he helped win at the end of the ’02 season, Tressel values the job he’s done turning teenage boys into professional adults. “I’ve got a whole box sitting right across from me on the counter of about 15 rings. But you know what? Those rings, the dust is on them; they’re just memories,” Tressel said. “But the progress a person makes, even if they stumble and fall, we stumble and fall individually and as a group, what’s important is at the end of the day, they are ready to go out in this competitive world and see if they can battle their way through this tough, tough world.” Park said Tressel’s leadership ability will place him among the ranks of Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce, widely considered to make up the top echelon of past Buckeye coaches. “His legacy here not only will be success, but the way he’s done it and I would say he’s the complete coach,” Park said. “I don’t think he leaves anything to chance. He’s just the complete leader, the complete coach. He has a tremendously clear understanding of where football fits into the university, a player’s career and a player’s life.” When reflecting on his 10 years in Columbus, Tressel said the one thing he can hang his hat on when he decides to call it a career is the effort he has given. “I know this: I’ve tried very hard. And I know there have been some good things that have occurred and some ones that haven’t been so good, neither of which have been because we didn’t try,” Tressel said. “I think our intentions have been good and I’ll always feel whenever that day comes that we tried like crazy. I also know that at Ohio State, you can’t win enough games and you can’t visit enough patients in the hospital and you can’t write enough encouraging notes to the military and you can’t send out enough little football cards to the kids that write in. “I know you can’t be perfect and you can’t get everything done, but while you’re the Ohio State coach, you’ve got to work like crazy and do the best you can and feel good about trying.” read more

Ohio State football fall camp a learning experience for young players

OSU junior linebacker Joshua Perry walks into the Buckeyes’ team hotel, the Hyatt Place Columbus on Yard Street, Aug. 7.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern sports editorWhen the Ohio State football team moved into its hotel for the rest of fall camp, it was clear that the coaching staff had a plan in mind by pairing veterans with young players of the same position.Some of those veterans know exactly what to expect in camp, and have a clear set of rules for their room at the Hyatt Place Columbus on Yard Street.“Shut up, don’t snore, sleep when it’s time to sleep,” senior tight end Jeff Heuerman said outside the team hotel Thursday.While Heuerman and some other veterans know it will be important to get as much sleep as possible during the two-week grind heading into the season, noise level won’t be bothering all of them.“It’s not going to bother me,” junior linebacker Joshua Perry said. “I sleep like a rock.”The rule of the room certainly goes to the veteran player, but they aren’t paired with freshmen in order to intimidate.Senior cornerback Doran Grant said he is paired with freshman cornerback Marshon Lattimore at the hotel, but he said the pairing can help each of them get better for the season. He added it’s a chance to help the younger players get ready for their first go around as a Buckeye.“Just to help guide the freshmen…through camp,” Grant said. “When they get down, you know, pick them up, hug them up a little bit, show them that everything is good.”Grant, for one, said he didn’t try to enforce any power as a senior, even when it came to bed selection in the room.“I went up there and he (Lattimore) already called the window, he had his stuff on there, so it’s okay,” he said. “As long as we both get a bed, that’s good.”Junior offensive lineman Jacoby Boren said the same wasn’t the case when it comes to his pairing with freshman offensive lineman Kyle Trout, but added he wouldn’t have a set of rules for the room.“We don’t really have any rules,” Boren said. “I just took the bed closest to the window, so other than that we’re good.”At the end of the day, Heuerman, who is rooming with redshirt-freshman tight end Marcus Baugh, said the hotel is only a small portion of fall camp. He said when the players get back to the hotel after practice, they spend about half an hour awake before it’s lights out to get ready for another day.Heuerman also had a warning for the younger players, saying the first few days of camp didn’t touch on the “hard stuff.”“A lot of those younger guys, they don’t know what’s coming,” he said. “Two-a-days starts on Saturday I think. Once you move into the hotel it gets real.”Heuerman added that the players have to turn in their car keys during camp, and in years past had to turn in their cell phones during the day.Senior linebacker Curtis Grant said, once you move into the hotel, football takes over your entire life. He added it will be a difficult adjustment for any players going through their first fall camp.“It’s going to be a tough time in their life, because they’re stuck in the hotel, you can’t do anything,” Grant said. “By next week, everybody is going to hate their life because they can’t go anywhere.”Redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis Powell said the time in the hotel can also be used to make sure the young players are prepared, and still preparing, to step on the field once the season starts. Powell is rooming with freshman safety Erick Smith, and said he’ll be making sure Smith knows his assignments inside and out.“I know yesterday he was struggling a little bit on some plays, so basically I’m just going to kind of quiz him, make sure he’s got the playbook,” Powell said.While fall camp is certainly a new experience for the younger players, there are still some veterans going through it from a different perspective.Senior offensive lineman Joel Hale is participating in his fourth fall camp as a Buckeye, but just his first on offense. Hale spent his first three seasons as a defensive lineman, where he saw extensive playing time last season. He said it was a risk to make the switch, and has to be ready to go everyday no matter what, even as a senior.“I mean, I’m fighting for my life right now, I’ve got to fight everyday and I’m a senior,” Hale said. “That’s hard.”After Thursday’s practice, the Buckeyes are scheduled to have 14 more days of camp. Two-a-day sessions are set for six of those days, with the last coming on Aug. 20 while camp is scheduled to end Aug. 23 –– their last day in the hotel.OSU’s season is scheduled to start Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

Opinion Johnny Manziel solid in preseason debut shows growth as Browns QB

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) evades the Detroit Lions’ Kyle Van Noy during the second quarter in exhibtion action on Aug. 9, 2014, at Ford Field in Detroit.Credit: Courtesy of TNSAfter a tumultuous rookie campaign, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel proved Thursday night that he had officially taken a step in the right direction in becoming a true starting quarterback in the NFL.Professionally and personally, the Browns may have finally gotten a good idea of what the future of their franchise may look like.It has been well documented that the former 2014 first-round draft pick out of Texas A&M entered rehab this offseason for alcohol-related issues. Manziel has stayed out of the public eye and thus far in training camp, he’s looked more like a pro signal-caller rather than a college kid running around like a chicken with its head cut off.On Thursday night in the Browns’ first preseason contest against the Washington Redskins, Manziel looked calm and collected in the pocket. He didn’t force any throws into coverage and went through his progressions with relative ease, completing seven of 11 attempts for 42 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions through the air.Even when his helmet’s headset that communicated plays from the sideline went out for a period of time, Manziel kept his composure and continued to run the offense without any noticeable problem.Manziel said having his rookie year under his belt already allowed him to approach this year’s preseason opener with much more ease.“It’s way different,” Manziel said via the team’s official site on Thursday. “This isn’t my first rodeo like it was last year. It was a little bit of a whirlwind last year. I don’t want to forget about the first game against Detroit (last year), but it felt a little slower, I felt a little more comfortable and I did some good things. I want to improve and make some more out of those drives.”The highlight of the night came when Manziel scored a 12-yard rushing touchdown to give the Browns a 14-3 advantage early in the second quarter. With every patron and football fan alike expecting the trademark money sign from the man known as “Johnny Football,” Manziel instead opted for the collected, simple fist pump to celebrate.His overall performance wasn’t anything special, but he showed great improvement over his 2014 former self. Already eager to get back out onto the field, Manziel admittedly recognized that he has a ways to go in his progression at quarterback.“I wish we could’ve converted some of those third downs. There are little things like depths on some of those short routes, picking up some protections and making the right calls. For a first game, it wasn’t bad,” Manziel added. ”We scored 17 points so there’s a lot of room to improve. Going into this week of practice, we have seven days until another game. We will be eager to get back out there again, but there’s some work to put in from now until then.”Displaying further growth and maturation, the second-year quarterback is clearly looking for more in Cleveland’s next preseason matchup with the Buffalo Bills. While the Redskins were a solid first test, the Bills’ stingy defense enters the season as quite possibly the best in the NFL.Veteran quarterback Josh McCown may still hold serve as the Browns’ starter under center, but a strong showing versus the Bills could only help Manziel’s case for being the top dog in Cleveland. read more

Wrestling Kyle Snyder enacts his revenge defeats Adam Coon for Big Ten

Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder wrestles Steven Holloway in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorEAST LANSING, Michigan — Ohio State senior Kyle Snyder won his third Big Ten championship in dramatic fashion, earning his spot back atop the wrestling world at heavyweight. It took a second sudden victory round between No. 2 seed Kyle Snyder and Michigan’s No. 1 seed Adam Coon. Snyder finally hits on a shot, grabbing Coon’s leg to drag the 6-foot-6, 285-pound wrestler to the ground. Snyder chased him to the edge of the mat before bringing him down again for the takedown and 4-2 win.The only scoring up until that point was a pair of escapes from both of them.The win will likely solidify Snyder’s No. 1 national ranking going into NCAAs. With the win, Snyder becomes the fourth wrestler in school history with three Big Ten championships, including his teammate Nathan Tomasello.It seems odd that a wrestler as accomplished as Snyder still feels there is much at stake with the result of a single match. But expectations are obviously adjusted for a top-ranked wrestler. The person who has proven the most over the course of his career, had the most to prove going into the finals. That summed up the atmosphere at the Breslin Center Sunday evening, and Snyder did what he came to East Lansing, Michigan, to prove. read more

Womens Lacrosse McKayla Contis six goals lead Ohio State to 1413 win

Ohio State then-junior attack Molly Wood races up field against Penn State on April 12, 2016 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team picked up its second win of the season on the road Friday, defeating Binghamton 14-13. The Buckeyes (2-3) capitalized off their 10-day break by holding an advantage over the Bearcats (3-4) in shots, ground balls, and draw controls. Both teams were tied at 7-7 going into the half after Binghamton senior attack Tiffany Ryan  scored with 21 seconds left in the second quarter. After the Buckeyes fell behind 9-7 early in the second half, Ohio State responded with a goal from junior midfielder Baley Parrott, followed by three consecutive goals from junior attack McKayla Conti in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter.Freshman midfielder Lindsay Epstein scored the final goal for Ohio State on a free position shot with 9:28 left in the game. The Bearcats attempted to inch their way closer, but three fouls and two turnovers kept them from a comeback win. The final score of the game came when Binghamton redshirt senior attacker Brianne Arthur cut down Ohio State’s lead to one with less than five minutes left in the half. Conti led Ohio State with a game-high six goals while Parrott had four, along with three draw controls and one caused turnover. Both teams had 10 saves and the Bearcats gave up 18 turnovers compared to the Buckeyes’ 14. Ohio State was 7-for-12 in free position shots while Binghamton was 1-for-3. Ohio State will quickly turnaround to play Massachusetts at noon Sunday at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. read more

Millionaire businessman and his family in fight with wine bar bouncers after

first_imgVernon Yerkess was shouting and pointing at the door men whilst his wife Theresa was given a caution for hitting the officer over the head with her heelsMercedeh Jabbari, prosecuting 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. Today we are all in a sorry state with black eyes and broken bones. We won’t be visiting again and we are very upset about the whole thingTheresa Yerkess, TripAdvisor post The following day Mrs Yerkess gave the bar a “one out of five” review on Trip Advisor, following a post from another customer and accused the door staff of assault.She wrote: “Today we are all in a sorry state with black eyes and broken bones. The bouncers posed up with us just before kicking off. We won’t be visiting again and we are very upset about the whole thing.”In his police interview, Harrison insisted that he was the one who had been assaulted whilst Benjamin couldn’t recall any racial language being used. Their father admitted being drunk and angry but could not remember any racist language being used.In mitigation, Mr Yerkess’ lawyer, Marcus Stewart said: “He is a man of exemplary good character and who is embarrassed by his own behaviour. He cringed when he watched the events on CCTV and is mortified by what he and his family engaged in that night.”It started out as a happy family celebration for his mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. They decided to once those events finished to walk for one further drink in Brady’s wine bar. The first thing he was when he entered was that the doormen had hold of Harrison and were leading him out.”He was surprised and concerned about this but, there is no suggest at any stage that Mr Vernon Yerkess was physically violent to either of the two bouncers.”He accepts he became angry because one of his sons had been punched in the face and knocked out by one of the bouncers. Not only did Harrison get knocked to the ground but so did Mrs Yerkess.”This is an unfortunate incident but fortunately there were no serious injuries caused to anyone. He has never been in a police station before in his life, he has a decent business and he employs around 30 people. It is his business that he started from nothing.” A wealthy businessman and his family brought terror to a village wine bar when they went for a “nightcap” drink following his mother-in-law’s 60th birthday party.Company managing director Vernon Yerkess, 43, his glamorous wife Theresa, also 43, and their two sons Benjamin, 23, and Harrison, 18, went berserk after a row with door staff over entry.The youngest child Harrison, who works as a trainee software designer for his family’s £12.6 million a year IT firm – allegedly called one bouncer a “P**i b*****d” after being asked for his ID.Once he has been thrown out, university graduate Benjamin yelled, “Well you are”, before telling both doormen: “I don’t know what’s worse, you being a P**i or you defending a P**i.”As the 10-minute fracas spilled out into the street and police were called, Vernon Yerkess was seen shouting and pointing at the doorman whilst his wife hit an officer around the head with her stiletto high heels.Harrison threw a punch at one of the bouncers, missed, and was knocked to the ground in self-defence.Later, when news of the family’s arrest at Brady’s Bar swept around the village of Whalley, Lancs, Mr and Mrs Yerkess took to Facebook to give their account of events – and even wrote a critical review of the venue on Trip Advisor. Businessman Vernon Yerkess with his familyCredit:Facebook Businessman Vernon Yerkess with his family Miss Mercedeh Jabbari, for the prosecution, said: “Harrison Yerkess was asked for identification by Mr Khan. Benjamin Yerkess went in the bar but saw his brother being ejected by Mr Khan and Mr Davidson. He asked why and Mr Khan replied that he called him a ‘P*** b*****d’.”Benjamin Yerkess then said ‘well you are’. Harrison Yerkess was resisting being forcibly ejected from the premises and a physical altercation continued in the foyer, before then spilling out onto the street.”Benjamin then said ‘I don’t know what’s worse you being a P**i or you defending a P**i. Benjamin then started dragging Mr Khan into the road and pushed him over onto his back. Harrison Yerkess also dragged Mr Khan into the road.”Mr Davidson came over to them in a bid to get the defendant off Mr Khan. Harrison Yerkess threw a punch at Mr Davidson but missed. Mr Davidson returned that punch that did connect and Harrison Yerkess was knocked out onto the pavements where he was unconscious.”Benjamin Yerkess kneed Mr Davidson in the face. Harrison Yerkess regained consciousness and ran towards the door staff in an aggressive manner.”All three defendants continued to behave aggressively when the police arrived. Vernon Yerkess was shouting and pointing at the door men whilst his wife Theresa was given a caution for hitting the officer over the head with her heels.” It started out as a happy family celebration for his mother-in-law’s 60th birthdayMarcus Stewart, defending Defending Benjamin; who has a degree in Design, Business and Digital Media; and Harrison, defence counsel Hugh Barton said: “It cannot be suggested that they had gone out looking for trouble – they had been out with their grandmother. They know whatever happened it cannot excuse what they did.”Theses two young men were incensed and that defies everything we know about them. There was a trigger, and they are both deeply ashamed.”Mr Barton said both brothers intended to travel to Canada next year to train as ski instructors.Vernon was given a 12 month community order was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. Benjamin was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for a year and to complete 60 hours unpaid work.Harrison was sentenced to 12 weeks in a youth offenders institute, suspended for a year and must complete 60 hours unpaid work. Each were ordered to pay £500 costs.Passing sentence: Judge Ian Leeming QC told the family: “Each of you is usually well-behaved. You are all employed and work hard. The copious references all speak very highly of you.”But affray is a serious offence. It is not just the victims of the unlawful violence, but also any members of the public who witnessed the violence or the threats of violence.”The affray happened over a substantial period of time and must be dealt with firmly. Vernon you are the senior person here but regrettably you did not restrain your sons.”From what was said you saw what you perceived as the doormen giving rough treatment to your sons and reacted inappropriately. This was a disgraceful incident.” At the time, police took the unprecedented step of calling for calm on social media after the postings prompted a wave of online debate and comments.At Burnley Crown Court, Yerkess – who runs Cleverboxes – and his two sons, who live in a detached house in nearby Sabden, admitted affray.Mrs Yerkess, who also has a daughter with her husband, accepted a police caution for her involvement in the incident on February 20.The court heard that the family had been celebrating at a nearby restaurant when they decided to go for a further drink at Brady’s, where they encountered doormen Jabbar Khan and Tom Davidson.last_img read more