Michele Roberts Makes It Clear To The NBA She

Photo by Washington Post/Getty Images.Michele Roberts made history as the first women leader of a professional sports union when she was tabbed to take over the beleaguered NBA Players Association this summer. That done, in a few months she’s shown more vision and nerve than any of her predecessors.Refreshingly, her office is in Harlem, a departure from the Midtown Manhattan location of the past and an indication that she is rooted in her culture. Roberts has strong ideas about the league, the owners, the season. . . you name it. To ESPN The Magazine, the woman considered one of the best trial lawyers in the country said:*On the NBA rookie wage scale: “I can’t understand why the [players’ association] would be interested in suppressing salaries at the top if we know that as salaries at the top have grown, so have salaries at the bottom. If that’s the case, I contend that there is no reason in the world why the union should embrace salary caps or any effort to place a barrier on the amount of money that marquee players can make.”* On players splitting revenue with the owners, which has been in place since 1982: “Why don’t we have the owners play half the games? There would be no money if not for the players. Let’s call it what it is. There. Would. Be. No. Money,” she added, pausing for emphasis. “Thirty more owners can come in, and nothing will change. These guys [the players] go? The game will change. So let’s stop pretending.”* On the length of the season: “Every time a player gets hurt, I think, my God, they really are pushing their bodies. And back-to-backs, those are the ones I really find disturbing. . . So the answer, of course, is that everybody wants a shorter season. The tension is, Will that mean less money? And that’s something we need to talk about and think about. . . I don’t think it would hurt the game to shorten the season.”* On an age minimum to play in the NBA: “It doesn’t make sense to me that you’re suddenly eligible and ready to make money when you’re 20, but not when you’re 19, not when you’re 18. I suspect that the association will agree that this is not going to be one that they will agree to easily. There is no other profession that says that you’re old enough to die but not old enough to work.”If nothing else, Roberts is bold and smart—and willing to take on the establishment. Gotta love her. read more

Your Guide To The 2019 NCAA Mens Tournament

Midwest region East region South region Top seed outlook: According to the FiveThirtyEight model, top seed Duke has the best chance of advancing to the Final Four in the entire field (53 percent probability) as well as the best odds of winning the national title (19 percent).The Blue Devils are led by four soon-to-be first-round draft picks, including Zion Williamson, one of the greatest talents in recent memory. Duke is a walking highlight reel on the offensive end and far stingier on defense than many may realize. This is among Mike Krzyzewski’s most-balanced teams and projects to be his first since 2010 to rank inside the top six in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics. That team won the national title.1 Granted, they won the title again in 2015 with a team that fell below that benchmark on defense.What this team lacks, however, is touch along the perimeter. Duke shoots a ghastly 30.2 percent from beyond the arc, the worst mark among tournament-qualifying teams. In an offensive era increasingly dominated by space and perimeter scoring, the Blue Devils could buck the trend punishing the rim.On the other side of the region is the winner of the Big Ten conference tournament, Michigan State. As their reward, the No. 2 Spartans have the honor of a potential matchup against the top overall seed in the Elite Eight. Head coach Tom Izzo was none too pleased. The Spartans have been pummeled by injuries but remain one of the most balanced teams in the country, ranking inside the top eight in Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 4 Virginia Tech. Led by the star pairing of Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the Hokies are a balanced squad that ranks among Pomeroy’s Top 25 teams on both offense and defense. Although they’ve lost eight times, only two of those were by double-digits. Virginia Tech also has a not-altogether-unfriendly draw, with extremely winnable opening games against Saint Louis (87 percent) and the Mississippi State-Liberty winner (63 percent) before most likely running into Duke’s juggernaut. We give the Hokies a respectable 25 percent chance against the Blue Devils — and a 54 percent chance against whoever emerges from the bottom of the region if they do manage to knock off Duke.Don’t bet on: No. 3 LSU. With coach Will Wade embroiled in a pay-for-play scandal and his team probably overvalued as a 3-seed, the Bayou Bengals could be ripe for an upset in this tournament. They ranked only 18th in Pomeroy’s ratings — roughly the quality of a No. 5 seed — thanks in large part to a defense that didn’t even crack the nation’s top 60 in adjusted efficiency. (This showed up in the 51 second-half points they allowed to Florida while losing their first game of the SEC tournament.) Their NCAA path isn’t very easy, either: Yale is no pushover as a No. 14 seed, nor is potential second-round opponent Maryland, and we give the Tigers a mere 26 percent chance of beating Michigan State if the teams meet in the Sweet Sixteen. This is easily the lowest-rated top-three seed in the field.Cinderella watch: No. 11 Belmont. The East is top-heavy, with Duke and Michigan State soaking up most of the Final Four odds. But the Bruins are an intriguing lower-seeded team because of an impressive offense led by do-everything swingman Dylan Windler. According to Pomeroy, Belmont ranks 20th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency (and second nationally in raw points per game behind Gonzaga), while Windler was one of only three players nationally to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Although the Bruins do have to win a play-in game against Temple just to make the field of 64 — we give them a 59 percent chance — they would have a very competitive 39 percent probability of upsetting Maryland in the first round and an even better chance against the LSU/Yale winner.Player to watch: Cassius Winston, Michigan StateThree years ago, zzo said he thought his 6-foot-1 freshman could be Michigan State’s best passer since Magic Johnson. The Spartans’ do-everything point guard — one of the best facilitators in the country — is validating his coach’s comment. Only Murray State’s Ja Morant, a surefire lottery pick in this year’s draft, has a higher assist rate than Winston (46.0 percent). And behind Winston, the Spartans assist on the highest rate of field goals in the country.The junior also happens to be Izzo’s leading scorer and one of the country’s top perimeter threats, shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc. As injuries have relentlessly sapped the Spartans of their on-court production, Winston has elevated his game to compensate. As he put it to The Athletic, “I have to do a lot for my team to win.”Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Central Florida over No. 8 VCU (47 percent); No. 11 Belmont* over No. 6 Maryland (39 percent); No. 10 Minnesota over No. 7 Louisville (34 percent)(* Must win play-in game first.) Top seed outlook: Can No. 1 Virginia exorcise last year’s demons now that the team is at full strength? Our model thinks so. The Cavaliers have a 49 percent probability of cracking the Final Four and a 31 percent probability of reaching what would be the program’s first national title game.With De’Andre Hunter, who wasn’t on the court last year during UVA’s historic loss to No. 16 Maryland Baltimore County, the Cavaliers have been dominant on both ends — the only team ranking in the top five in Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics. Once again, Tony Bennett’s pack line defense is suffocating most every offensive opportunity and successfully turning games into rock fights. But this year’s team is even better on the offensive end and should breeze into the Elite Eight, where it could meet Tennessee. Thanks to Grant Williams and the wonderfully named Admiral Schofield, the No. 2 Volunteers are playing their best basketball in program history. We give them a 22 percent probability of reaching the Final Four.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 6 Villanova. Is it “sneaky” to pick the team that’s won two of the past three national titles? Maybe not. But this hasn’t been the same team that coach Jay Wright guided to those championships. After losing a ton of its best players from last year’s title-winning team, the Wildcats had an up-and-down year and lost five of their final eight regular-season Big East games. But they also got hot over the past week, capping off a season in which they still won the Big East regular-season and conference-tournament titles — and still had one of the 20 best offenses in the country according to KenPom (powered by an absurd number of 3-pointers). Our power ratings think they’re the fourth-best team in the South despite being the No. 6 seed, and they have a 5 percent chance of making it back to the Final Four for a third time in four seasons.Don’t bet on: No. 4 Kansas State. Coach Bruce Weber’s Wildcats nearly made the Final Four last season, but they might find it tougher this time around. K-State has an elite defense (it ranks fourth in the country according to Pomeroy’s ratings), but its offense is prone to struggles — and could be down its second-leading scorer, forward Dean Wade, who missed the team’s Big 12 tournament loss to Iowa State with a foot injury. A brutal draw that gives the Wildcats tough No. 13 seed UC Irvine in the first round, then places them opposite the Wisconsin-Oregon winner in Round 2, could limit their potential to advance deep into a second consecutive tournament.Cinderella watch: No. 12 Oregon. According to our model, the Ducks have the best Sweet 16 odds (24 percent) of any double-digit seed in the tournament, more than twice that of any other candidate. Oregon struggled to string together wins for most of the regular season, and its chances seemed sunk after 7-foot-2 phenom Bol Bol was lost for the season with a foot injury in January. But the Ducks have rallied to win eight straight games heading into the tournament, including a convincing victory in Saturday’s Pac-12 championship. Oregon fits a similar mold as K-State — great defense with a suspect offense — but that’s telling, given that the Ducks are a 12-seed and the Wildcats are a No. 4. If they meet in the Round of 32, we give Oregon a 47 percent chance at the upset.Player to watch: Grant Williams, TennesseeThe junior has come a long way from being “just a fat boy with some skill.” Williams, the de facto leader of Rick Barnes’s Volunteers, has bullied the SEC over the past two seasons, collecting two consecutive conference player of the year honors.The Vols might just feature the best offense of Barnes’s coaching career — and we’re talking about a guy who coached Kevin Durant! Much of that offensive potency can be traced to Williams, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, who ranks in the 97th percentile in scoring efficiency, according to data courtesy of Synergy Sports.Williams possesses an old-man game you might find at a local YMCA, a back-to-the-basket, footwork-proficient offensive assault that manifests primarily in post-ups, where he ranks in the 98th percentile in scoring efficiency and shoots an adjusted field-goal percentage of 56.1. He can get the Volunteers buckets in the waning moments of games, too, as he ranks in the 96th percentile in isolation scoring efficiency.Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Oklahoma over No. 8 Ole Miss (53 percent); No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Wisconsin (45 percent); No. 10 Iowa over No. 7 Cincinnati (34 percent) Top seed outlook: On paper, the Midwest seems to be the most open of the four regions, but we still give No. 1 North Carolina the best odds, with a 35 percent probability of reaching the Final Four and an 18 percent probability of appearing in the national championship game. Those odds are at least 8 percentage points lower than any other No. 1 team in the field, though, and for good reason: North Carolina’s offense depends on turning every play into a fast break. The Tar Heels struggle to get to the free-throw line and give up a ton of shots along the perimeter, which, in a slowed-down, half-court matchup, could be quite problematic.After getting waxed by Duke to open the season, No. 2 Kentucky has caught fire in recent weeks while finding balance on both ends of the floor and mostly abstaining from the 3-point line. No. 3 Houston, meanwhile, is in the midst of its best season since Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon were revolutionizing college basketball, and they boast a defense that ranks among the very best along and inside the perimeter.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 5 Auburn. When the Tigers steamrolled Tennessee 84-64 in Sunday’s SEC title game, it likely got the attention of a lot of bracket-pickers. That wasn’t a one-off — Auburn also beat Tennessee eight days earlier, part of a string of eight straight wins for the Tigers, and 10 in their last 11 games. With an explosive offense (No. 8 in KenPom efficiency) that got more of its points from downtown than any other team in the NCAA field, Auburn can heat up in a hurry. We give the Tigers nearly a coin-flip’s odds of making the Sweet 16 — and a very solid 37 percent chance of beating top-seeded North Carolina if the Tar Heels are waiting for Auburn there. The only kryptonite might be a hypothetical regional-final matchup with No. 2 seed Kentucky, which beat the Tigers by 27 in late February to sweep their season series.Don’t bet on: No. 4 Kansas. The Jayhawks went into the season ranked No. 1 in the AP’s preseason poll, and they appeared to validate the choice by starting the season 10-0. But a 15-9 record (and some key injuries) since then have cast doubt on Kansas’s NCAA Tournament potential. This is a well-balanced team, but to say it doesn’t shoot well from the outside is an understatement — see KU’s 3-for-18 performance from deep in Saturday’s Big 12 ouster against Iowa State. Add an unfavorable draw that puts them on a potential second-round collision course with Auburn (see above), and we give the Jayhawks only an 8 percent chance of making out of the Midwest with their championship hopes intact.Cinderella watch: No. 11 Ohio State. If a Big Ten team that has made 11 Final Fours can be a Cinderella, then you’re looking at it in these Buckeyes. (Hey, the committee’s increasing tendency to seed underwhelming power-conference schools this way really messes with the definition.) OSU went only 18-13 during the regular season, was defeated in its second Big Ten tournament game and has almost twice as many losses as wins since New Year’s. So why are the Buckeyes a potential Cinderella? Despite the seed, this is still a dangerous team, one that ranks 27th in Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive ratings and has star forward Kaleb Wesson back from suspension. So maybe they’ll give Big 12 champ Iowa State trouble. But mainly this tells you something about the other potential Cinderellas in this region: Seton Hall got a very tough first-round matchup with underseeded Wofford; none of the other low seeds here are world-beaters. That leaves the Buckeyes, a team that did all it could to play its way out of the tournament, but has some upset potential regardless.Player to watch: Cameron Johnson, UNCOn a team that doesn’t hoist a ton of shots from the perimeter, Johnson is as lethal as they come. Following an injury-riddled campaign in which he barely made more than one-third of his looks from beyond the arc, the grad student is canning 46.5 percent of his attempts, which ranks inside the top 25 nationally.Johnson has thrived in North Carolina’s every-possession-is-a-transition-opportunity scheme this season. He’s blossomed into one of the best scorers in the ACC, ranking between the 85th and 100th percentiles in scoring efficiency in transition, off screens and on spot-ups.Johnson has elevated his game in conference play, boasting the ACC’s top offensive rating (132.5) and true shooting percentage (64.6). Suddenly, a player who wasn’t seen as a guaranteed professional now projects to be a second-round pick.Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Washington over No. 8 Utah State (49 percent); No. 10 Seton Hall over No. 7 Wofford (37 percent); No. 11 Ohio State over No. 6 Iowa State (33 percent)Check out our latest March Madness predictions.CORRECTION (March 18, 2019, 3:10 p.m.): A previous version of this story misstated the number of Sweet 16s made by Villanova in recent seasons. Although the Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament’s “third round” in four of their past five seasons, that round was the Round of 32 until 2016 because of NCAA naming conventions. The NCAA Tournament is finally here! Will we see another No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed? Will Gonzaga finally win its first national championship? Will Zion Williamson’s shoe explode again? We can’t tell you exactly what will happen over the next three weeks, but we can help steer you in the right direction when picking your bracket using our March Madness prediction model. You can read about how the system works here, and read on to learn what the model has to say about the top seeds’ fates, dark horses and Cinderellas to watch, and favorites to avoid. Let the madness begin… West region From ABC News: Top seed outlook: Gonzaga is the best team in the West by a considerable margin, but the Zags, despite reaching the final two years ago, haven’t always performed well under the bright lights of the tournament. Still, Gonzaga has a 70 percent probability of reaching the Elite Eight, according to our model, and the third-best odds of any team to reach the national championship game (26 percent).Should Gonzaga face Syracuse in the second round, the zone defense of the Orange could give the Bulldogs trouble. This is the best offense Mark Few has had in Spokane, but it may be tested by any of the terrific defenses in the West: Four of the top 15 can be found in this region, including the top two in Texas Tech and Michigan.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 4 Florida State. A fixture in the KenPom Top 20 for most of the season, the Seminoles are hoping to build on last season’s tournament run, which saw them come within a 4-point margin of making the Final Four. FSU has a dominant defense (No. 9 in Pomeroy’s ratings) and a balanced roster that saw four players accumulate at least 2.5 win shares. This draw isn’t terrible, either: Vermont isn’t especially difficult as a first-round foe, and Marquette is very beatable (more on that below). No. 1 seeded Gonzaga probably looms after that, and we give FSU a 24 percent chance against the Zags — but the Seminoles would have a 48 percent chance of making the Final Four if they were to pull off the upset.Don’t bet on: No. 5 Marquette. Teams seeded fifth aren’t usually good bets to make it past the Sweet 16 anyway, but Marquette might be an especially bad pick. According to the FiveThirtyEight power ratings, the Golden Eagles are by far the worst No. 5 seed in the field, and a first-round date with breakout mid-major superstar Ja Morant didn’t do them any favors. Marquette has some star power of its own in junior guard Markus Howard, who ranks sixth in the nation with an average of 25 points per game, but this team lost five of its last six games and has a tough tournament road ahead of it.Cinderella watch: No. 10 Florida. The Gators may have been one of the final bubble teams to sneak into the field of 68, but they could be poised to do some damage now that they are here. They drew Nevada, a so-so No. 7 seed, in the first round, and we give Florida a 42 percent chance of pulling the upset there. Last year’s national runner-up, Michigan, likely waits in Round 2, and that is a tough matchup (23 percent odds for Florida) — but if the Gators win, they have a 38 percent chance of making the Elite Eight. In a region with a number of good-but-flawed options, Florida looks better than the typical 10-seed.Player to watch: Brandon Clarke, GonzagaThe linchpin of the Zags isn’t the consensus lottery pick, nor the two veteran guards who have together started 87 percent of Gonzaga’s games over the past two seasons. It’s Brandon Clarke, a transfer from San Jose State who is in his first active season with the team. He’s perhaps the most underappreciated player in the country.On a team that typically features a 7-footer protecting the rim, it’s Clarke, at 6-foot-8, who is tasked with protecting the paint this season. Clarke has responded by setting a single-season blocks record and posting the highest block rate of any team under Few.“If I feel like if I can get a good, quick jump first, I’ll pretty much jump with anybody,” Clarke told me. “I mean, I’ve seen Zion (Williamson) coming down through the lane before on TV, and if I can’t jump at the right time, I probably wouldn’t jump with him, but … I don’t really see myself not jumping with anybody.”Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Baylor over No. 8 Syracuse (48 percent); No. 10 Florida over No. 7 Nevada (42 percent); No. 12 Murray State over No. 5 Marquette (32 percent) read more

Frommhold Royce Johnson might be the future of Ohio State field hockey

At the end of this season, the Ohio State women’s field hockey team will lose four players, including its top three scorers, but the future seems to still be bright. Three women are playing in their first year at OSU — sophomore midfielder Mona Frommhold, freshman midfielder Emma Royce and freshman forward Peanut Johnson. — two of whom lead the team in minutes on the field. Growing up and playing field hockey in Berlin, Frommhold received multiple awards. She was named the best defensive back in 2006 and 2007 at the German indoor championships and the best player at the championships in 2006, 2008 and 2010. She is also a member of the U-21 Germany National Team . As a freshman, Frommhold played in Germany and then transferred to OSU. She said her biggest transition to playing here was combining school and her sport. “We don’t have a college league, we only play in club. The practice between the classes is different than Germany to here,” Frommhold said. Since the first game of the 2012 season, Frommhold has stepped into a starting role. She has started all 17 games, is fourth on the team in goals with six and has tallied four assists. She also has the second most playing time on the team with 1,197 minutes. Frommhold described one lesson she learned from this season so far. “Prepare to have a lot of practice, not only two times per week,” Frommhold said. “Everyday be prepared to practice.” Hailing from Kingston upon Thames, U.K., Royce has played in all 17 games this season and following the season opener has been part of the starting lineup. She has scored two goals and leads the team in playing time with 1,203 minutes. The mental toughness required by players is the biggest lesson Royce said she would take from her first season of college play. “People underestimate how much work and effort and strength you need,” Royce said. “I’m certainly going to prepare myself mentally for not just playing good teams but playing great teams.” Coach Anne Wilkinson said the biggest adjustment for the two international players would be the frequency OSU plays games. “There’s no time to let down … in international (leagues) they don’t, maybe, play three games a week. They’re not used to that grind here … going day in and day out,” Wilkinson said. When it came to Johnson, a Dayton native, Wilkinson said what she learned was “the physicality of the game.” The season opener was the only game Johnson has not played. Since then, she has started six games, come off the bench to play in ten other games and has scored five goals and three assists. Johnson also described the lessons she’s learned from her freshman season. “How much work you put forth as a whole team, like you have to have a common goal and make sure you are on the same page when you are going into the season and each game, and I think that will carry into next year as well,” Johnson said. read more

Commentary Reds Indians need more from All Stars to make run at

Courtesy of MCTMajor League Baseball’s All Star Game featured both up-and-coming players making their first appearance in addition to veterans who have been there many times before. This year’s Mid-Summer Classic saw a pair of Cleveland Indians who had never been invited to the game before and a trio of Cincinnati Reds that have been the part of festivities multiple times. The American League defeated the National League 3-0 Tuesday night, to earn home-field advantage in the World Series.Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has made an incredible turnaround after a tough start to the season. At the end of April, there was probably not a single Tribe fan who believed he would get invited to the All Star Game. With a batting average hovering around .200 at the beginning of May, it was difficult not to think 2013 may be a long season for Kipnis.However, the second baseman solidified his spot on the American League All Star roster with a terrific month of June, hitting a scorching .419 and posting an on-base percentage of .517, both of which led the AL. Kipnis leads the Indians in hits, RBI, batting average and on-base percentage at the break, and if the they have any chance of making the playoffs they are going to need more of the same from him.Aside from Kipnis, Justin Masterson is Cleveland’s other All Star. Also making his first appearance in the game, Masterson has been the one pitcher for Cleveland that the team has received consistency from during the first half.For the Reds, first baseman Joey Votto seemingly has cemented himself as a member of the All Star Game since winning NL MVP in 2010. He leads the National League with a .434 on-base percentage and is seventh in the league with a .318 batting average. The Reds star leads the league in on-base percentage because his plate discipline is something like we have never seen before, and he refuses to swing at pitches out of the zone.Three-time Gold Glove winner Brandon Phillips typically earns a trip to the All Star game due to his defensive abilities, but his bat is also a good reason he played in New York Tuesday. Phillips’ 74 RBI is second in the NL, and that kind of production from a second baseman can be attributed to him consistently hitting fourth in the lineup, a spot that is designated for driving in runs. Reds manager Dusty Baker has put Phillips in the leadoff or second spot in the lineup in years past, but leaving him to bat after Votto is where he really thrives.Aroldis Chapman made his second appearance at the Mid-Summer Classic Tuesday night. Known as the “Cuban Missile” across baseball for his fastball that tops out over 100 miles per hour, the Reds’ closer is on pace to finish the season with over 40 saves. If it were not for the bullpen in front of him blowing leads prior to the ninth inning, Chapman would easily have another five saves to his name.Kipnis doubled in a run in his only plate appearance Tuesday night, and Masterson was not sent to the hill by manager Jim Leyland. Votto and Phillips both went 0-2, and Chapman was able to show off his skills in the seventh inning as he struck out Adam Jones to end the inning.Regardless of each players production Tuesday night, it’s clear that both Cleveland and Cincinnati need their All Stars to keep playing like All Stars as they push toward the playoffs. read more

Tyvis Powell making dreams a reality as an Ohio State Buckeye

Redshirt-sophmore safety Tyvis Powell (23) makes a tackle during a game against Penn State on Oct. 25 in State College, Pa. OSU won in double overtime, 31-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorTyvis Powell is living a dream.The redshirt-sophomore safety and Bedford, Ohio, native, who came to OSU in 2012 as a top-100 defensive back according to ESPNU, committed to the Buckeyes when Luke Fickell was the interim coach in 2011, amidst the Tattoo-Gate scandal.Powell said Monday that it didn’t matter who the coach was, he was set on being a Buckeye from day one.“This is a dream. You’re not going to give up your dreams. No matter who is the coach, you grow up your whole life and you watch one certain team, and you root for this team all your life, that’s where you want to go,” Powell said. “Your heart is always going to be with that team. The only place I felt like I would give 100 percent effort all the time would be here.”Once in Columbus, however, Powell said he had thoughts about leaving OSU after being redshirted in 2012.“My redshirt year I struggled a lot,” he said. “Adjusting to college and everything, watching everybody else, all my teammates that came in with me were actually playing and me being a redshirt, it was kind of frustrating. I had some doubts about even being here in the first place, I can honestly admit that.”Powell said a talk with his high school coach Sean Williams helped him to realize OSU was the right place for him.“I had a serious conversation with my mentor, my high school head coach, about what I was going through,” Powell said. “He just kind of reminded me why I came here in the first place, and it kind of triggered some stuff off in my head. I just realized that if you really want something, you got to work for it. They are not just going to give it to you.”Just a year later, Powell was appearing in games for the Buckeyes, starting five as a redshirt-freshman and totaling 48 tackles.Powell said he stepped up his work ethic to earn playing time because he did not want to be just another footnote in OSU football history.“People get here and they say, ‘Oh I arrived, I am just happy with being here.’ I kind of fell (in) with that a little bit, but then, like, I wanted more,” Powell said. “I wanted to be known, I wanted to make plays.”His biggest play as a redshirt-freshman came against Michigan when he stepped in front of a pass from then-redshirt-junior quarterback Devin Gardner on a two-point conversion that sealed a 42-41 OSU victory.The play is considered by some to be one of the biggest plays in recent OSU history, but Powell said he was only thinking about one thing when he made the catch.“I just thought it was something that would help get my seniors get their last pair of gold pants,” Powell said.The gold pants being an accolade Buckeyes receive following a win over Michigan, in the form of a small charm that usually bears the players initials and score of the game.Now a redshirt-sophomore and a full-time starter, Powell has made his presence felt again this season as he is currently second on the team in tackles with 40 and is tied with three other players for first on the team for interceptions with two.The second interception proved to be one of the biggest plays of Saturday’s game against Penn State as Powell dove in front of a pass from sophomore Christian Hackenberg in the second half of a 31-24, double-overtime win.Cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs said he was particularly impressed with the play Powell made.“I thought that interception Saturday night was spectacular,” Coombs said. “Coming across the field, running in front of the receiver, laying out and making that play. That’s just typical of what Tyvis is doing right now.”Heading into Saturday’s game against Illinois at Ohio Stadium, Coombs added that the improvement of Powell from last season to this season has been exceptional.“I noticed, I think we all have, in Tyvis tremendous leaps and strides in this season,” Coombs said Monday. “Knowing that he is coming in, he is going to be a starter. There’s a difference when you are fighting to get a job and when you have a job. And he has got a job and so he can take another step, I think, in his development.”Powell said his development has resulted in a practice drill being named after him by the coaches.“We got a drill on Tuesday that he (co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash) calls the ‘Tyvis Powell drill’ where we (just) tackle,” Powell said. “He calls it that, because at first I dreaded it, but now I love it. I embrace it. You got to embrace the things that suck.”Now, being one of OSU’s leaders and having a drill named after him, he still credits Williams for helping him achieve his dream.“At first I thought it wasn’t going to be a reality, but then me and my high school head coach came up with this plan,” Powell said. “I told him I wanted to come here, he said ‘Tyvis, you have the talent to get there and I can show you the way.’ He showed me some things, he created the work ethic inside of me that I didn’t know that I had and that ultimately helped me get here.”Powell said being in Columbus was the only choice entering college, adding he would have walked on as a Buckeye before accepting a scholarship elsewhere.“(It was) OSU or nothing,” Powell said. read more

Baseball Former Ohio State player Mike Staffords journey to coaching alma mater

Ohio State associate head coach Mike Stafford played for the Buckeyes from 1994 to 1998, serving as the closer his last two seasons. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsMike Stafford had spent the last seven seasons coaching pitchers at Ball State on the staff of then-head coach Greg Beals. But when Ohio State head coach Bob Todd retired in 2010, Beals emerged as the front-runner to take over the position.Stafford played for the Buckeyes from 1994 to 1998, serving as the closer his last two seasons. After graduating from Ohio State, he dreamed of returning to his alma mater to coach. And with Beals potentially heading to Columbus, the dream looked like a possibility.All this excitement was stored in the back of Stafford’s mind while on a recruiting trip to Chicago. While evaluating a recruit, his phone rang.“[Beals] called me on his way home from somewhere and said that ‘[Ohio State Athletics Director] Gene Smith just called and said that he offered me the job,’” Stafford said. “And I remember I was in Chicago, I took the call and went running behind the stadium and I was like ‘Wow this is, this is another life-changing moment.’”The opportunity had been a lifetime in the making for Stafford, who recently became Ohio State’s associate head coach.Stafford was born into a baseball family. He’s the only son of pitcher Bill Stafford, who won two World Series titles with the New York Yankees in the 1960s.Stafford said he constantly felt pressure from the media in Canton, Michigan, to live up to his father’s level. “There was awfully a lot of pressure to either match what my dad did or be better,” Stafford said. “But at the same time I felt like I learned a lot from it and made me a better player and person, and now a coach because of that.”Growing up 9 miles from Ann Arbor, Michigan, meant a majority of Stafford’s friends attended either Michigan or Michigan State, but he wanted to do something different. He wanted to leave the state. His high school baseball coach knew Todd, and after a visit, Stafford knew Ohio State was the place for him.Settling into first base to begin his Ohio State career in 1994, Stafford saw little playing time until his redshirt junior year. The Buckeyes had several left-handed pitchers leave the program and an opportunity appeared.“The biggest thing I wanted to tell coach Todd was, ‘I pitched in high school, I can help this team as a pitcher,’” Stafford said.The coaches gave him a shot in fall workouts and he won the closing role in the bullpen.Stafford saved six games in his redshirt senior season of 1998, 12th most all-time in a single season at Ohio State. His ERA was the lowest on the team in both 1997 and 1998. The Toronto Blue Jays felt Stafford was worth a 41st-round draft pick and he played in the minor leagues for four seasons. His professional career came to an end with the High Desert Mavericks, the Advanced Class-A team of the Brewers, after the 2001 season.“I was looking in the mirror, just thinking, ‘I’m 27 years old, I’m in high-A. I’m not making the progress that I feel like I need to to make my career as a big leaguer,’” Stafford said. “I felt like the writing was on the wall and I really needed to think about my future, and my future was I wanted to stay in the game of baseball somehow.”Doors soon blew open. The Yankees called Stafford to ask if he would be interested in becoming a scout. He accepted the opportunity and made plans to train for the position. But his plans changed.“A week before I was supposed to go to Arizona to go to scout school, my dad passed away,” Stafford said. “Scout school’s only offered once a year, this many days. And I wasn’t going to be able to do that and make that a priority over my family.”After some time off to grieve, Stafford instead became the bullpen coach for the Columbus Clippers. His stint lasted two seasons, ending a short time before Beals entered the picture.“After my first year at Ball State, I realized that I needed to have somebody to take care of our pitching staff,” Beals said. “Coach Stafford’s name came up a couple of times from professional scouts.”The same scouts told Stafford about the opportunity and worked to get him a phone interview. Beals called him in fall 2003.For almost an hour, the two discussed pitching, coaching philosophy and player development. Both recall an instant connection. “It almost felt like we knew each other before we even knew each other,” Stafford said.After an on-campus interview it was a done deal. Stafford was Beals’ choice for pitching coach.Fast forward more than 14 years, Stafford has produced five players selected in the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft and more than a dozen total picks. He’s won two conference titles with Beals. Now, before the 2018 season, he has been promoted to associate head coach.“The promotion is a loyalty thing for me,” Beals said. “One thing that you never want to have in your program is status quo, so to say. I want for there to be progression. I want there to be progression in our program, and so I want there to be progression in our coaching staff.”John Kuchno, a player who failed to make the team at Wake Forest as a freshman, was recruited to Ohio State by Stafford. He finished his collegiate career as a draft pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Current major-league pitchers Brad Goldberg and Drew Rucinski still ask for Stafford to evaluate them and offer advice.“Whether they win 12 games or two games, the work they put in, the accountability and the commitment that they have to get their education and play baseball at Ohio State is second to none,” Stafford said. “I still have a great relationship with all of them.”Beals made clear that one of Stafford’s greatest attributes is his ability to relate to players.Redshirt senior pitcher Adam Niemeyer was a fan of Stafford’s personality before even arriving at Ohio State, having met Stafford when he was recruited.“He seemed like a really genuine, down-to-earth person that wasn’t telling me stuff for me to believe him just to get recruited,” Niemeyer said. “He was telling me stuff that I could genuinely learn from.”Through the years, Stafford and Beals have maintained a strong relationship that has clicked since the early days at Ball State. Stafford is more laid back and soft spoken. Beals is a high-energy guy.After 14 seasons together, the promotion is a signifier of the camaraderie between two coaches who might coach together until one or both retire.“We have a friendship that goes beyond just our jobs,” Beals said. “You develop a level of trust, there’s more than just ‘this is your job, this is my job’ when you spend that much time with somebody.”Stafford sees himself staying at Ohio State for the foreseeable future.“I don’t feel like I have any aspirations of going anywhere else,” Stafford said. “I’m a Buckeye, I’ve always been a Buckeye, and this is my home.” read more

Adam Johnson supporter jailed for harassing footballers child sex victim on Facebook

first_imgThis is one attention-seeking girl… Her family will be embarrassed. Like and sharepost on Steven Knox’s Facebook page 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. District Judge Katrina Harrison said it was a “very troubling case”.She said: “The bottom line seems to me that if people are allowed to get away with what he did in this particular case, it’s pointless having the rule of law.”The judge said complainants could be put off coming forward if they were named afterwards.”I did consider whether I could suspend the sentence but I have become absolutely convinced that the courts must make a stand against this kind of behaviour,” she said.Ms Johnson, who sat at the back of the court with her father, wept as her ex-partner was led away.Durham Police had previously warned internet users that it was a crime to identify alleged sexual assault victims.The ex-Sunderland winger’s young victim, who was said to be besotted with him, has been named on social media numerous times.Johnson’s trial at Bradford Crown Court heard that he had kissed and sexually touched the girl in his Range Rover in a secluded spot in County Durham.Trial judge Jonathan Rose was satisfied the girl had suffered “severe psychological harm” and that Johnson had taken advantage of “a young teenager’s adoration of a successful celebrity”. Johnson was jailed for six years. Adam Johnson A photo of the girl was posted too, and although it was obscured, it was the same as previously posted photos, Mr Hope said.The post was shared almost 1,000 times by the time the victim saw it. The court heard how people were urging Knox to name the girl, then delete the post five minutes later, so they could see it and spread it.Mr Hope said: “The prosecution case is that he is encouraging others to share pictures and as a consequence, revealing her identity further.”The prosecution said there was a further, similar Facebook message on March 23.Police tried to find Knox and he was finally stopped at an airport on May 31.In a victim impact statement, the schoolgirl said she felt “totally paranoid” whenever she went out, that the trial judge’s promise of life-long anonymity had been ignored and that she had been threatened. She has had to have counselling.Richard Rogers, defending Knox, said: “He apologises profusely, through me, to the young lady and wishes it had never happened.”The judge imposed an indefinite restraining order. She said she would not make any order of compensation, which the victim had not asked for, as it could be considered “insulting” to the girl.The judge said Knox could have been charged with contempt of court, but the prosecution decided not to charge him with that offence as the comments were not made during the trial. The day after the Sunderland star was convicted, Knox posted two photos of the girl on Facebook and wrote: “A don’t care if get locked up stand by my beliefs does this look like a girl who scared leave house who that young didn’t no what was happening who bragged and lied who Perseud and prolonged couldn’t give a slightest care in world (sic).”His Facebook profile was “public” and he had more than 3,000 Facebook friends, the court heard.The victim took a screen shot and sent it to the police.Jim Hope, prosecuting, said the next day Knox posted a picture of “pound notes”, with a photo of the victim partially obscured by a football, and the comment: “Guess who this is.”Durham Police issued him with a harassment warning on March 11, explaining the girl must not be identified and that she had been caused considerable stress and harassment.But on March 21 a relative of the victim told her there were a further 12 images of her on Knox’s Facebook page, with the message: “This is one attention-seeking girl. Away man, she f—— loves it.”It’s absolute joke. Like and share. Her family will be embarrassed. Like and share.”center_img Dave Johnson (right) and Faye Johnson (left), the father and sister of footballer Adam JohnsonCredit:Owen Humphreys/PA The former partner of Adam Johnson’s sister has been jailed for 16 weeks for harassing the disgraced ex-England footballer’s child sex victim in a series of Facebook posts.Steven Knox, of Sunderland, caused the 15-year-old alarm or distress by posting photos of her online and urging others to share them after Johnson was convicted of sexual activity with the child.The 30-year-old, who is unemployed, ignored a harassment warning by the police and continued to post about the girl, who as the victim of a sex crime was entitled to life-long anonymity.Knox, who has a child with Johnson’s sister Faye, appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court to admit the single harassment charge. Adam (right) and Faye Johnson (left), the sister and father of footballer Adam Johnson Footballer Adam Johnson pictured arriving for his trial at Bradford Crown CourtCredit:Nigel Roddis/Gettylast_img read more

GP and senior manager spared jail after defrauding £153000 from the NHS

first_imgA leading mental health GP and senior clinical commissioning manager have been spared jail after fraudulently taking £153,000 from the NHS winter budget to train doctors.Dr Ian Walton and Lisa Hill admitted raising a false invoice for GP training from a charity, on whose board they both sat, before diverting the cash into the bank account of a private company they controlled.Walton, a highly-regarded GP of more than 30 years, and Hill abused what a judge called their “considerable positions of trust” by having money to which they were never entitled. He said such actions could not help but “erode public confidence” in the NHS. The NHS paid out on the six-figure invoice, despite lacking any formal signed authority or a purchase order, in what the judge called “human error and a lack of proper scrutiny” of financial controls within the organisation, in 2013.Addressing father-of-four Walton and Hill in the dock, the judge said: “Your actions have now led to the loss of your good names and the ruin of reputations you spent 30 years building.”You brought those consequences on yourselves but I accept, by itself, it is a significant punishment.”Walton was a clinical lead on the CCG’s board, but outside the NHS ran a legitimate GP training firm with co-director and mother-of-three Hill, called Walton Hill Associates Ltd.Both Walton, of Wombourne, near Wolverhampton, and Hill also sat on the board of mental health charity Primhe, which they used to falsely invoice the NHS for the cash.The money had actually been set aside for the NHS “winter pressures” budget, the court had previously heard. Both were arrested and then charged at the end of 2015, before pleading guilty to a single count each of fraud in November this year. 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. Hill, 51, and Walton, 59, did use the money to train up more than 60 GPs. Judge Paul Farrer accepted the pair were never motivated by avarice, but had instead used the lion’s share of the cash to directly benefit mental health services.However, he said their decision to simply circumvent NHS financial controls “was both arrogant and dishonest”, he told them.The judge said it was partly for that reason that he suspended a two-year jail term handed down to both Hill, of Hagley near Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and Walton, for two years.Sentencing the pair at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday, the judge said: “You are both professional, caring and compassionate individuals who for many years have dedicated yourselves to improving mental health services.”He added: “You have worked tirelessly for the public good for many years and driven improvement in mental health services.”However, in a “misguided desire to improve” those services, the judge said, they had decided to defraud the NHS by invoicing Sandwell & West Birmingham clinical commissioning group (CCG).Mr Farrer said: “You allowed your passion for mental health services to override both your judgment and honesty.” You allowed your passion for mental health services to override both your judgment and honestyJudge Paul Farrerlast_img read more

Jockey Club restricts drink at the races to limit bad behaviour that

first_imgRacegoers believed to be professional footballers urinating into a glass at CheltenhamCredit: Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph 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. It is one of racing’s biggest showpiece events, but last year was marked by scenes of urinating footballers and women flashing in a hospitality box.Now the Jockey Club is to crack down on antisocial behaviour and drunkenness at the Cheltenham Festival by restricting racegoers to buying four alcoholic drinks at at time.Horse riding chiefs have ordered every public bar to have a water point and free bottles of water will be available at the end of the day. Complimentary bars in corporate hospitality boxes will also shut earlier at next month’s meeting.  Ian Renton, chief executive of the four-day festival, told The Times: “Our message is enjoy yourself and have a great day out at the races but don’t come here purely to drink.”It’s not want we want, it’s not the sort of publicity we want for the racecourse,” he said. “We want to ensure all racegoers can enjoy their racegoing unhindered by people drinking irresponsibly.”We are reinforcing our standard procedures, increasing the training of staff and the briefing of managers, and ensured that every member of bar staff has watched a video on responsible drinking.” Racegoers enjoying a drink during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse “We have taken steps to ensure those who have been errant in the past will be prevented from booking,” Mr Renton said. “We will look to ensure they are not booking under assumed names.”Ticket touts will also be curbed. As part of the co-ordinated approach with police and the local authority a bylaw has been passed to make street vending an offence. The law will be enforced by council officers backed up by police if necessary and will involve the confiscation of tickets.”Touting is moving towards the top of our list of issues to address,” Mr Renton said. “From the day I arrived four years ago we have tried to crack down to prevent this. It is slowly beginning to work.”The bylaw is a fantastic step forward and will assist us hugely. We have been cracking down on touts on the racecourse but cracking down on touts in the town is a sign of what we are trying to achieve and sends a strong message that they are not wanted.” Racegoers believed to be professional footballers urinating into a glass at Cheltenham The same limit will be enforced at key events at the club’s other courses, which include 14 of Britain’s best-known tracks, among them Aintree, the home of the Grand National, and Epsom, which stages the Derby.Cheltenham will also stop “making a virtue” in pre-festival publicity of the amount of drink consumed.The 2015 publicity said that 265,000 pints of Guinness, 120,000 bottles of wine and 20,000 bottles of champagne were drunk. Racegoers enjoying a drink during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham RacecourseCredit: Mike Egerton/PAlast_img read more

Supercar thief facing jail over stealing Saudi Princes £97000 car by hoodwinking

first_imgMohammed Humza is facing jail for stealing a Rolls Royce from a Saudi prince A supercar thiefwho stole a £97,000 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe from a Saudi prince is facing jail on Friday.Mohammed Humza, 26, conned the DVLA by falsely claiming he owned Sheikh Mohammed Alibrahim’s luxury motor parked in London’s exclusive Mayfair district.He then ordered new keys for the Rolls Royce and sold it to Shaks Specialist Cars in Huddersfield for £27,500 along with a Blue BMW 5 Series and a White Mercedes-Benz A Class. Humza also used the same scam to claim he was the lawful owner of a Porsche 911 belonging to Nicholas Cattelian, a Ferrari California belonging to Sara Duncan, and an Aston Martin DB9 belonging to Jake Urich.On Friday at Southwark Crown Court he admitted one count of theft and five counts of fraud by false representation.Humza, wearing a grey Hugo Boss sweater and smart blue trousers, spoke only to enter his guilty pleas and remained stony-faced during the brief hearing.  Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Judge Martin Griffith said: ‘You have pleaded guilty to what are clearly serious matters, I’m sure you have been told that the chances are you won’t be leaving this court in liberty the next time you come.’As an act of mercy I’m prepared to allow you time to sort out your family arrangements.’The court heard Humza fooled the DVLA by filing a bogus V62 form claiming he was the new owner of the Rolls Royce.Sheikh Alibrahim says he was unable to reply to the DVLA on whether the ownership had changed because he was abroad.The prince said only he and his chauffeur were allowed to get behind the wheel and claimed the car was inspected every week.  Rolls Royce Phantom CoupeCredit:Central News Mohammed Humza is facing jail for stealing a Rolls Royce from a Saudi princeCredit:Central News Humza, of Fuller Road, Watford, was released on conditional bail until his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court on 13 March.He has been ordered to observe an electronically monitored curfew between 8pm-7am while he is on bail. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Ian Bradys ashes will not be scattered in his native Glasgow city

first_imgMr Sumner delayed the body’s release until Thursday to allow Merseyside Police to negotiate with Mr Makin about arrangements for the funeral.Brady and Hindley were jailed for life for the killings of John Kilbride, 12, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, 17. Brady’s body had been held under police guard since his death at Ashworth High Secure Hospital in Maghull, Merseyside at 6.02pm on Monday.Opening an inquest into his death on Tuesday, senior coroner for Sefton Christopher Sumner delayed the release of his body to ask for assurances that a funeral director and crematorium willing to take it had been found.He also asked for an assurance the ashes of Brady would not be scattered on Saddleworth Moor, where the remains of four of Brady and Myra Hindley’s five child victims were found. They went on to admit the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and 12-year-old Keith Bennett.A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “Responsibility for the body has now transferred to the executor of Ian Brady’s will and Merseyside Police has no further involvement.” 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.center_img Moors Murderer Ian Brady will not be cremated and have his ashes scattered in his native Glasgow, the city council has said.The 79-year-old child killer died on Monday after spending more than five decades behind bars for murders committed with partner Myra Hindley.Brady’s body has been released to his lawyer and it has been reported he wished to have his remains burnt and ashes scattered in the city where he grew up.But Glasgow City Council has said it would refuse any request for the notorious murderer to be cremated in the area. A spokesman for the authority said: “We have not had such a request but we would refuse that request.”We would advise the private crematoria not to accept the request or any such request should it be forthcoming. There has not been any request made.” At a reconvened hearing on Wednesday the coroner’s court heard solicitor and executor of Brady’s will Robin Makin had said there was “no likelihood” the ashes would be scattered there.last_img read more

Spa boss cleared of sexually assaulting massage client

first_imgHuntingdon Spa and UK Sports Massage Brocklebank said she had expected to find the sports massage room empty when she went in dressed in a “quite boring, conservative” polka dot swimming costume, to fetch dry towels.She told the court she was alarmed to find the alleged victim lying the wrong way without a towel, because Mr Godfree had a history of inappropriate behaviour.”When I entered the room, (the alleged victim) looked shocked and embarrassed. I was pretty shocked and embarrassed myself because he was lying in an inappropriate manner,” she previously said.”As an ice-breaker, more than anything, because I felt awkward, was part of the reason I asked to massage his calf.”She added: “I think I may have interrupted something personal or inappropriate between him and Henry. It was the only thing that makes any sense as to why he reacted the way he did.”The businesswoman said freelance therapist Mr Godfree, who is in his early 20s, had once “exposed” her body while giving her a massage, and told her he wanted to cover her in strawberry sauce on another occasion.She claimed contact with her accuser lasted “for a matter of seconds”, before she stopped when he said: “No, I’m here for Henry.” Kerry Brocklebank outside Cambridge Crown Court Credit:SWNS 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. Kerry Brocklebank age 43 at Cambridge Crown Court  Huntingdon Spa and UK Sports Massage in CambridgeshireCredit:SWNScenter_img A health spa owner accused of drunkenly massaging a male customer’s thighs while wearing a bikini has been cleared of sexual assault.Kerry Brocklebank, 43, was alleged to have repeatedly rubbed down the man despite his protestations at Huntingdon Spa and UK Sports Massage in Cambridgeshire on October 11.While admitting to being “tipsy” and in swimwear at the time, she denied the charge – insisting she only touched the man’s calf muscles, which are not an “erogenous sexual zone”. Following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court, Brocklebank, who lives at the spa, was cleared by the jury of six men and six women of sexual assault, an alternative charge of battery and perverting the course of justice.Brocklebank, who broke down while telling the jury how the accusation had wrecked her life, hugged relatives in relief as she left the courtroom.Prosecutor Stephen Mather suggested Brocklebank had touched the alleged victim for her sexual gratification, a claim she denied. Mr Godfree then came and confronted her, she said during evidence.Overcome with emotion, Brocklebank told the court the ordeal had destroyed her profession and her home.She said the allegations had left her feeling “suicidal”, adding: “(Mr Godfree) had always been very jovial with me, I didn’t understand why he was turning nasty with me. I now know it was about money.”She claimed a series of texts sent to the alleged victim were an attempt to smooth things over.One read “I shouldn’t mix business with pleasure”, another said “Pplease forgive me”, while Brocklebank wrote in a third: “I was only trying to have a laugh with you”.Between October 10 and November 2 last year, she was also alleged to have messaged Mr Godfree, which prosecutors claimed was an attempt to pervert the course of justice.They said: “Sorry, did I interrupt your gay time?” and: “Believe me, if this goes to court I will ruin the pair of you.”But Brocklebank said: “I was informing him if he tries to tell lies about me, I will tell the truth … and expose him.” She said she had earlier flirted with the keen runner and called him “darling” as he waited for a sports massage from therapist Henry Godfree, but claimed there was no attraction.The trial heard that the qualified sports therapist had been “just a little bit tipsy”, having drunk a glass of prosecco and two flutes of champagne while celebrating a friend’s birthday.last_img read more

Brewery swaps woman in suspenders for fighter pilot to make beer more

first_imgInspired by the historical images of American war plane nose art, the original pump clip featured a blonde pin-up in a scanty pink top. She was given a “boob job” in 2007, fulfilling the beer’s motto: “Full bodied and totally irresistible.”Castle Rock managing director Colin Wilde said: “It is time to acknowledge that the sexualised presentation of Elsie Mo is not accepted by a culture that strives for, and celebrates, equality.”It has always been our intention to make all of our customers feel comfortable, and we recognise that we may have let some people down. A brewery has swapped its logo of a woman in suspenders for a fighter pilot to make the beer more female friendly.Nottingham-based Castle Rock has brewed a beer in honour of World War Two pin-up Elsie Mo since 1998 and it is one of the company’s top selling ales.But now its has been ditched in favour of a more politically-correct design, which pays homage to the Second World War’s female pilots.With no hint of cleavage or legs, the change marks an industry-wide move to get rid of sexist beer marketing. It’s the third re-brand for the award-winning Elsie Mo. Elsie’s now in the pilot’s seat, where perhaps she should have been all alongColin Wilde, Castle Rock managing director The stockings and suspenders are out as Nottingham brewery Castle Rock re-brands one of its best-selling beers The stockings and suspenders are out as Nottingham brewery Castle Rock re-brands one of its best-selling beersCredit:Angela Ward/BPM Mediacenter_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Wilde added: “Elsie’s now in the pilot’s seat, where perhaps she should have been all along.”The re-brand was overseen by the marketing department at Castle Rock, with marketing executive Liv Auckland being instrumental in the conceptual designs.Ms Auckland said: “We worked closely with our designer to ensure the new pump clip is spot on. While it pays homage to the war effort and the unsung bravery of these pilots, my aim was for it to be an empowering image – to be a pump clip that proudly celebrates women in all industries, including our own.”The new pump clip will be rolled out to pubs over the next few weeks but some of the old labels will remain until stocks run out. “Over the last few years, we’ve questioned the Elsie Mo branding ourselves, as well as customers. In 2014, we re-branded Elsie, wanting to better integrate the image within the historical context intended. The consensus from our customer base that the pump clip was improved, but the depiction of Elsie Mo remained a contentious issue.”While we never set out to offend, we acknowledge that the pump clip – in all versions it has appeared over the years – may have been regarded as offensive and we now think the time is right to move forward.”The re-brand has been designed to celebrate the “will and bravery of women both in times gone by and today”, without losing its original heritage.Inspiration has been taken from the Second World War’s women pilots, who took to the skies in Spitfires, Lancasters and Hurricanes to deliver battle-ready planes to RAF fighter pilots.last_img read more

British killer whale trainer is missing in Tenerife as family say disappearance

“We’re doing everything we can including trying to see if there’s CCTV that could help and speaking to taxi drivers.”We’ve spent the morning in the police station.”Her friends thought something was amiss on Friday and went to the police station but were told that they should come back the following day if she didn’t turn up at work as scheduled to officially report her as missing.”That was what they did when she didn’t show for work on the Saturday. She wasn’t due in to work on the Friday.”He added: “Amy wasn’t a big drinker. She had to be in good shape for her work so like her colleagues who work with animals, she just didn’t do the party lifestyle.”We’ve ruled out the idea she might have come out the pub the worse for wear and fallen somewhere on her way home because that was just not Amy.”She was with a female friend as far as we understand but we haven’t been able to speak to her yet. 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. A British killer whale trainer is missing in Tenerife as her family expressed fears her disappearance is out of characterAmy Louise Gerard, 28, was last seen outside an Irish bar in Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island, with friends and family flying out from the UK today to help with the search.University-educated Ms Gerard, from Grimsby, describes herself on social media as a killer whale trainer at Tenerife marine theme park Loro Parque, which is home to orca whale Morgan.She lives in Puerto de la Cruz and studied animal behaviour science at the University of Lincoln, has also worked as a marine mammal trainer at a zoo in France.She was last seen outside Molly Malone in Puerto de la Cruz just after midnight on Thursday.Her mother Julie and her sister Chloe, both from Grimsby, have flown out to Tenerife along with Chloe’s fiance Mike Dolan, 35.Mr Dolan said: “We are extremely concerned as this is totally out of character for Amy.”Because it is so out of character we flew out to Tenerife as soon as we could to speak to the police and friends. Amy Louise Gerard with her husband, Ryan Docherty Amy Louise Gerard with her husband, Ryan DochertyCredit:SOCIAL MEDIA Ryan Docherty, who she is still understood to be married to, is thought to be back in the UK. He has also shared appeals for information on Amy online.She is around 5ft 8ins tall, with curly blonde hair and blue eyes. A Spanish missing persons’ association has also appealed for information about her whereabouts, while Tenerife’s national police is leading the search.A spokesman for Tenerife’s National Police said: “An investigation is open and we are searching for her but I am not not in a position to specify what work is being done.”She was officially reported as missing by a friend yesterday morning/on Saturday morning.”The information we have is that she was last seen just before 1am on Friday in Puerto de la Cruz.” “The barman at the pub she was last seen in said she left just before 1am on Thursday but we’re still trying to piece together the events of that night. “We would urge anyone who has seen Amy or has any information on what happened that night or where she might be to contact police.”Amy has been using her maiden surname name Gerard in recent months – the one featuring on the missing posters in English and Spanish – rather than her married name. read more

BT offers iconic red phone boxes for community adoption for just £1

“With more than 5,800 payphones now adopted across the UK, this is a fantastic opportunity for communities to own a piece of history.”The opportunities are endless and we’ve already seen some amazing transformations.”Applying is easy and quick and we’re always happy to speak to communities about adopting our traditional BT red payphone boxes.”Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council, town council or a registered charity.Details on how to apply to Adopt A Kiosk can be found at www.bt.com/adopt where application forms are available. A village phone box in Michaelstone-le-Pit, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales being put to good use as the village library. Phone giants BT are offering up for “adoption” more of their iconic red phone boxes for community use – for just £1.The Adopt A Kiosk scheme means another 3,683 of the phone boxes across England can be adopted by communities to put them to good use. Hundreds more are up for adoption in Scotland and Wales.Instantly recognisable, the classic General Post Office phone box, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, has become a symbol of Britain.Already, more than 5,800 payphones have been adopted by communities since 2008.As mobile phone use has grown, demand for public telephone boxes has fallen with calls made from BT phone boxes having plunged by around 90% in the past decade. Old boxes have been brought back to life by being converted into mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres.One payphone in Devon was even turned into the “world’s smallest nightclub”.BT will continue to provide electricity to power the light for adopted kiosks, free of charge to communities.Where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used as housing for defibrillators – an increasingly popular and potentially life-saving conversion.Katherine Bradley, BT’s senior payphones commercial and operations manager, said: “We’re pleased to be giving even more local communities the chance to adopt a phone box. A village phone box in Michaelstone-le-Pit, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales being put to good use as the village library.Credit:A village phone box in Michaelstone-le-Pit, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales being put to good use as the village library./Getty 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. read more

Two policemen charged with businessmans murder

Acting Crime Chief Paul Williams“We are investigating the matter but we need the public to understand that there is a man who has made a confession when this crime was perpetrated. In his confession there is no way he implicated any policeman or even to the effect that any person whether a member of the security or the joint services would have been involved. Then a few months after there is a revelation that yes, these are the persons who plotted with him to commit the crime. We just cannot just take that statement for what it is and just run with that.“We will have to look for corroborative evidence to the effect that there would have been a time, a place of meeting, a place of discussion and everything else and so forth. And whatever is the corroborative evidence that can support that meeting; we will have to check it out. If there is any communication via telephone we will have to check those records. Now we have to understand very seriously that these are policemen out there fighting crimes. There are a lot of persons they would have put behind bars and if we hastily charge these policemen and put those behind bars and their lives are jeopardized that is a grave mistake on our part”, he said.Moreover, the acting crime chief deemed recent media publications about the possibility of Saga’s murder being linked to the recapture of prison escapee Royden “Smallie” Williams as “totally wicked and misinformed information fed to the public”.According to him Williams recapture came from intelligence gathering between both the police and the joint services and Saga had at no time provided any information. Former best cop Derwin Eastman and officer Jamison Williams who were implicated in the murder of businessman Godfrey Scipio called “Saga”, were on Thursday hauled before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts where they were jointly charged with the capital offence of murder.The accused men were not required to plead to the indictable offence read by presiding Magistrate Judy Latchman, to the effect that on October 12, 2017 at Stanley Place, David Street, Kitty, they allegedly murdered Scipio, during the course or furtherance of a robbery.Derwin Eastman (front) and Jamison Williams (behind) making their court appearance Defense Lawyers Nigel Hughes and Dexter Todd, raised concerns of the safety for their clients on the basis that the men are both involved in investigations of numerous persons on remand; therefore imprisonment would only place their lives in jeopardy.Responding to the Magistrate’s inquiry on the issue of safety, Police Prosecutor Steven Tellford cited the nature of the charge while indicating that the issue of safety would now lie in the hands prison authorities.  However, he reassured that these concerns will be communicated to the relevant authorities.Thereafter, Magistrate Latchman remanded the men to prison and adjourned the case to be heard on December 5, 2017 before the court of the Chief Magistrate.Murdered: Godfrey ScipioOn October, 12, 2017, Scipio, the 58-year-old proprietor of a Durban Street restaurant, was robbed of his jewelry and shot dead shortly after leaving a Kitty hotel.Aubrey Bob, 26, of the Kitty community was recently charged for the brutal killing but subsequent intelligence reaching the police implicated the former best cop and his colleague in the purportedly calculated murder.According to Bob, Eastman is the alleged mastermind of the killing; hiring the hitman and even providing the firearm used to execute the offence.Bob said he was reportedly forced to make a false confession as he was intimidated by Eastman’s presence at every step of the interrogation process. However, when he became aware of Williams’ arrest he grasped the opportunity to relate the true version of the story.The indictable charges against Eastman and Williams were laid mere days after Eastman turned himself over to police authorities at CID Headquarters at Eve Leary, Georgetown after contacting the media and proclaiming his innocence.Meanwhile, acting Crime Chief Paul Williams on Thursday cautioned members of the public to be aware of information being spread about the murder of Scipio while police seek information to nail the deceased’s killer. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCop implicated in businessman’s murder yet to be chargedNovember 21, 2017In “Crime”Ramnarine blasts GPF for increasing number of ranks chargedNovember 25, 2017In “Crime”‘Best Cop’ implicated in murder of city businessman says he was “set up”November 17, 2017In “Crime” read more