With apologies to the ESPYS and the WNBA, Wednesday was what has come to be known as the deadest day on the sporting calendar. That’s because the day after Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game (which was held Tuesday) traditionally sees no activity whatsoever from North America’s “Big Four” sports leagues (the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and MLB). This barren day doesn’t always occur on the same date, but the All-Star Game has taken place during the week between July 10 and 16 for more than a decade.In honor of the occasion, we thought we’d chart the average number games per day in those leagues on any given date in a typical year:That noticeable dip in July is what we’re in the midst of, but there’s another time that is, on average, every bit as vacant as ESPYS day: Dec. 24. Christmas Eve is usually an off-day for the NBA and NHL; aside from a stray Friday game in 2004 and Monday Night Football in 2007, the only thing keeping it from complete emptiness is that it fell on a Sunday in 2006 (meaning it had a full compliment of NFL games) and a Saturday in 2005 and 2011 (both years in which the NFL shifted its Week 16 games to Saturday to avoid playing on Christmas Day). Even so, Dec. 24 averaged only four contests per year, lower than any other date over the past 10 years.Christmas itself is always the date of a few notable NBA games, but it has averaged only 4.7 games over the past decade. Combine that with the fact that the MLB All-Star Game is not held on a constant date (July 12 was the most common, seeing an average of 5.1 games), and the holiday season is, statistically, the time in which the fewest games are played per day.
Tia Norfleet, the first African American female licensed by NASCAR, made her debut at the Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Virginia, August 4, 2012. In its 67-year history, she is the first and only African American woman to compete in NASCAR.“It gives us great pleasure to officially announce Tia Norfleet’s historical accomplishment to the world. It has been a long time coming and we are extremely elated and expect nothing but the best from her,” said Guernica Williams of the The Platinum Marketing and Public Relations Group, which is representing Norfleet.“While this has been an enduring journey for the entire Norfleet team, it has taught us patience and perseverance in all things,” said Norfleet. “Today is the result of persevering. I am truly honored and truly blessed to be able to experience this moment with my family and to race with some of the best drivers in the sport.”Tia Norfleet, the multi-talented Suffolk, VA native, is the daughter of 20-year veteran NASCAR driver, Bobby Norfleet. Tia started racing, under her father’s tutelage, at the age of 9 and has a true passion for the sport.“Getting here has taking much hard work and dedication, there are so many people who have helped to make this happen and we are very thankful for their devotion and support. At Bobby Norfleet Racing, Inc., it is a family affair and we all stand strong and firm behind Tia. We are extremely proud of her and the hard work that she has put into this program,” stated Allen L. Ellison, President of Bobby Norfleet Racing, Inc.Read more: Target Market News
Photo by www.foxsports.comTony Dorsett, the Hall of Fame running back with the Dallas Cowboys, has symptoms of CTE, a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions.Dorsett, 59, speaking on ESPN’s Outside The Lines, said he has experienced memory loss, depression and thoughts of suicide.Scarily, the former superstar said that when he took his Oct. 21 flight from Dallas to Los Angeles for testing, he repeatedly struggled to remember why he was aboard the plane and where he was going. Such episodes, he said, are commonplace when he travels.Autopsies of more than 50 ex-NFL players, including Hall of Famer Mike Webster and perennial All-Pro Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, found such tau concentrations. Doctors told Dorsett on Monday that tests revealed he has the symptoms of CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.Dorsett said he also gets lost when he drives his two youngest daughters, ages 15 and 10, to their soccer and volleyball games. “I’ve got to take them to places that I’ve been going to for many, many, many years, and then I don’t know how to get there,” he said.But there is more. Emotional outbursts occur frequently enough that his wife and daughters are afraid of the 1976 Heisman Trophy winner.“It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me.” After a long pause, he tearfully reiterated, “It’s painful.”Dorsett said doctors have told him he is clinically depressed.“I’ve thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, ‘Why do I need to continue going through this?’” he said. “I’m too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it’s crossed my mind.”“I’m trying to slow this down or cut it off,” said Dorsett. “I’m going to be 60 years old here next year, so I’m hoping that I’ve got another good 30 years or so.”CTE is a disease with no known cure, but Dorsett said he was seeking answers to explain his cognitive and emotional difficulties. “I want to know if this is something that has come about because of playing football.”Dorsett’s 12-year playing career ended a quarter-century ago, and he said he doesn’t know how many concussions he suffered, but that they were numerous and he believes their consequences are, too. “My quality of living has changed drastically and it deteriorates every day,” he said.
San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) kneels in front of teammates during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)DETROIT (AP) — Colin Kaepernick’s protest movement rolled on without him Sunday, as his fraternity marched in Detroit and players around the NFL sat or knelt during the national anthem.Kaepernick remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the 49ers. His supporters believe he’s being punished for protesting police brutality by refusing to stand during the national anthem last season.About 50 members of the Kappa Alpha Psi alumni chapter in Detroit marched about a mile Sunday in a peaceful protest that ended just outside Ford Field, where the Lions hosted the Arizona Cardinals.“When you look at some of the recent incidents like what happened to Michael Bennett in Las Vegas, it validates the stance that Colin Kaepernick has taken,” said Eric Brown, a former president of the fraternity’s alumni chapter in Detroit.Brown said Kappa Alpha Psi planned to have similar gatherings in Dallas and Atlanta before future NFL games.San Francisco safety Eric Reid knelt for the anthem with several teammates standing around him. Reid joined Kaepernick in the anthem protest last season. He did not kneel at the start of the preseason but resumed his protest following the rally in Charlottesville, Va., last month that involved a loosely connected mix of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists.Bennett recently released a statement alleging racially motivated excessive force against him by Las Vegas police. The Seattle defensive end sat on the bench during the national anthem before Sunday’s game at Green Bay.Bennett sat for the national anthem during the preseason as well, with teammate Justin Britt standing next to him with his hand on his shoulder. Britt again stood next to Bennett during his anthem protest Sunday. Defensive linemen Frank Clark and Cliff Avril each went back during the anthem to shake hands with Bennett.On the other sideline at about the 30 yard-line, Bennett’s younger brother Martellus, a tight end for the Packers, stood at the end of the line next to his teammates but raised his right fist in the air during the anthem.Green Bay safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix helped hold a giant American flag on the field as the anthem was played.In Cleveland, the Browns ran onto the field for their opener against Pittsburgh accompanied by police, firefighters, emergency workers and military personnel.After being criticized for kneeling during the national anthem before a recent exhibition, several Browns players met with owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam about how to connect better with the community. They later met with Cleveland’s police chief and one of the ideas hatched was the pregame introduction. The public servants stood alongside the players for the anthem.“I thought it was pretty cool,” said 10-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas. “I think doing that shows the unity that this team is trying to promote between our football team and first responders, military, police, and hopefully, show a positive effort to move forward and to try to make America a better place for everybody.”Before the anthem, a video featuring several Browns players, including Thomas and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, was shown on the scoreboard. During the video, players asked for unity, equality and cooperation during a time of division in the country.Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch also sat during the national anthem in Tennessee.
Players as short as Isaiah Thomas aren’t supposed to make it in the NBA, let alone be elite scorers. To find the last player who was 5-foot-10 or shorter and averaged 20 points per game in a single season, you have to go back 20 years.1To Damon Stoudamire, in 1996-97. It’s been almost 40 years since someone that short averaged 25.2Calvin Murphy, during the 1977-78 season. No one that size has ever averaged 30, which Thomas — who is currently scoring 29.5 points a night — is threatening to do.For someone who is much shorter than the best athletes in the world, an incredible amount of talent is necessary to succeed, especially at the all-star level that Thomas has. But there’s also a ton of skill involved, and the 5-foot-9 Celtics star has honed one tactic well over the past two seasons. Thomas, who is second in the league in points per game, has found a trick for avoiding the big men planted close to the basket: He’s become excellent at using the rim as a fence to stop defenders from blocking his close-range shots.These plays usually start with the lightning-quick Thomas (who leads the NBA in drives per game) getting a step on his man. He then leaps for the shot but glides out to other side of the basket where the defender can’t realistically do anything to bother the attempt, since he’s still stuck on the other side.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/thomashandswitch.mp400:0000:0000:10Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/itreverse.mp400:0000:0000:07Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The 28-year-old has gone to a reverse layup 29 times this season, for almost 8 percent of his layups — a rate similar to last season, but one that’s almost double what it was in 2014-15, according to NBA Savant, a site that tracks unusual statistics and the specific sorts of shots players take.The sleight of hand at least partially explains how Thomas has been able to get to the basket so much more often over the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, a whopping 33 percent of Thomas’s field-goal attempts have come from within 3 feet, up from just 22 percent over the four seasons before that. He’s converting those attempts nearly 60 percent of the time.This isn’t the only move that Thomas has pulled out of his bag to compensate for his size. He’s also been successful with a now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t sort of half-spin at the perimeter, where he essentially lulls his defender to sleep for just enough time to blow past him for a shot at the rim.No matter how pretty the reverse move looks at times, the display — and other ones that get him close-range looks — is more about survival at the basket. Think of Thomas as the star of one of those National Geographic films that shows a weaker animal trying to fend off much bigger predators. Thomas isn’t always able to scamper away from the bigger players who are hunting him while he’s en route to the basket: He still gets rejected more than any player in the league. But using the reverse has added an extra layer of sophistication to his finishes, likely stopping opponents from being able to block even more of his shots than they already do.Less than 10 percent of Thomas’s layups have been blocked this season, the lowest rate of his career. That number also represents a considerable drop from last season, when 13 percent of his close-range looks got swatted and the 2014-15 season, when 15 percent of his layups got stoned, according to NBA Savant.So in other words, yes: Thomas gets blocked more than anyone in the NBA. But that doesn’t mean other vertically challenged players shouldn’t look up to him and his ingenuity around the rim. It’s helped turn him into the scoring machine he is today.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
After Moyer’s retirement, the reigning kings of slow-pitch became Jered Weaver of the Angels and Mark Buehrle of the White Sox and Blue Jays. Buehrle especially belongs squarely among the crafty lefty lineage, alongside Moyer and Glavine; however, he retired after the 2015 season. Over the past two years, in particular, we’ve seen a distinct lack of outlier starters at the bottom of the velocity rankings, the place where the craftiest of pitchers once lurked.To call a pitcher “crafty” is a kind of backhanded compliment. After all, if a guy has overwhelming velocity or electric stuff, we would just talk about that as an explanation for him getting hitters out. (Strikeouts may be fascist, but they are also impressive.) However, Moyer, Buehrle, Hudson and — especially — Maddux and Glavine worked the formula out to perfection. In fact, the 1990s were a heyday of sorts for finesse pitchers, with perfect games from Kenny Rogers and David Wells to go with regular All-Star appearances from the likes of Andy Ashby, Brad Radke and Charles Nagy. None were big strikeout artists, but all were very good pitchers nonetheless thanks to a combination of sharp control, smart situational pitching and keeping the ball in the ballpark.Yet as baseball’s overall velocity bar has raised and preventing home runs has become more difficult, there’s evidence the control-and-command approach has progressively lost its effectiveness. While breaking pitches such as sliders and curves are moving more sharply than ever, it’s not the crafty junkballers of yore who are benefiting most from it.Bill James once broke pitchers into equally sized “power,” “finesse” and “neutral” groups based on their rates of strikeouts plus walks per inning (theorizing that high-velocity pitchers get lots of strikeouts and walks — think Nolan Ryan — while our crafty group doesn’t record much of either). If we do that for qualified starters each season since 1950, we can see the balance of leaguewide pitching wins above replacement1Averaging together the values from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. has tilted strongly in favor of power pitchers since the early 1970s: Pitching has always been about throwing a baseball really hard — there’s a reason so much of the game’s mythology grew around how quickly hurlers like Walter “Big Train” Johnson and Bob Feller could get the ball from the mound to home plate. But for those who lack overwhelming stuff, there’s another core aspect to pitching: the art of throwing strikes and tricking batters into getting themselves out. Velocity makes a pitcher’s life easier, of course, but plenty of greats from history have thrived on guile instead of a dominating fastball.The craft of finesse pitching, however, might be a dying one in today’s game. A few, such as Arizona’s Zack Greinke and the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, have managed to remain effective with a slow fastball and pinpoint control. But the number of star pitchers following that formula has dwindled in recent seasons, in conjunction with the ever-increasing velocity of the average pitch across Major League Baseball. Just a decade ago, we saw Jamie Moyer gutting out complete-game shutouts with an 81-mile-per-hour fastball at age 47 (!) — but are the Moyers of 2019 now getting squeezed out of the sport?Moyer, the southpaw formerly of the Phillies and Mariners (among other teams), was plainly a special pitcher no matter how you measure him. He won only 34 games by his 30th birthday yet still managed to finish with 269 total victories before retiring in 2012 at the age of 49. But Moyer also exemplified a very particular kind of hurler: the prototypical “crafty lefty” who gets by on smarts and makes the best of less-than-stellar velocity readings. In 2002, the earliest year of pitch-speed data at FanGraphs, Moyer — then a youthful 39 — averaged just 82.8 miles per hour on his fastball. (He and Tim Hudson were the only non-knuckleballers with an average fastball under 83.) It was a radar reading that only went down with the passage of time.Back then, though, 11 percent of qualified starters clocked in under 85 mph on average, and 70 percent threw under 90 mph. Moyer even had Hall of Fame company at the bottom of the velocity list, including the likes of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. But things changed by the mid-to-late 2000s, when Moyer was perennially the only qualified starter anywhere near the low 80s. In 2010, roughly 1 percent of qualified starters averaged under 85 mph, and only 29 percent were even averaging under 90 mph. Today, nobody averages below 85 mph — Hendricks is baseball’s softest-tossing qualified starter at 86.7 mph — while 16 percent of starters are above 95 mph on their average fastball: Aside from briefly closing the gap a few times over that span — specifically in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s, aka the Moyer and Maddux eras — the finesse pitchers have consistently lost ground value-wise to the hard throwers. The 2017 and 2018 seasons were the first two since 1950 in which the net gap in WAR share between power- and finesse-type starters was at least 18 percentage points in consecutive years. Of the 20 most valuable starters of 2018 by WAR, only one (Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals) was classified as a finesse pitcher; the other 19 were all either power (12) or neutral (7) pitcher types.What accounts for the trend? For one thing, balls in play are at an all-time low, setting a new MLB record for the fewest per game in each of the past five seasons. (We’re down to just 24 balls in play per contest in 2019 so far.) Although most pitchers have little to no control over hits allowed on balls in play during a given season, there are legitimate differences in skill that emerge over entire careers. And part of the crafty-pitcher archetype involves inducing a disproportionate amount of weak contact that fielders can more readily turn into outs.“I didn’t really have swing-and-miss stuff,” Maddux told Dan Patrick in an interview this year. “I wasn’t really worried about giving up singles, but I did what I could to keep the ball in front of the outfielders, not walk anybody and make them get three singles to score.”When there are fewer balls put in play to be had, that formula has less of an effect.There’s also the matter of teams turning to increasingly younger pitchers in recent seasons. Since just about every indicator of power pitching — from pure velocity to strikeouts — is strongly correlated with possessing a younger arm, it makes sense that as young pitchers account for a larger share of the value across MLB, so too will a larger share of WAR be associated specifically with power pitchers (and a smaller share associated with finesse pitchers). Which direction does the causation run? It isn’t totally clear, but it doesn’t especially matter. Whether teams are prizing youth or velocity, it’s squeezing out pitchers who lack either (or both) attributes.“If you look at pitching these days, everything is max effort,” Moyer told the Orange County Register in January. “Look at the younger generations — high school, college, minor leagues, everybody’s trying to light up a radar gun, throw 100 mph. Our bodies aren’t made to perform in this game as a pitcher at max effort.”Although Bartolo Colon, who pitched last season at age 45 as another exemplar of craft triumphing over stuff, the game is generally trending against pitchers like him and Moyer, in many ways.With all of this, it’s fair to wonder whether it would even be possible to dominate with an arsenal resembling, say, Maddux’s, in the modern game. The two-seamer, Maddux’s bewildering weapon of choice, has fallen quickly out of favor in the last decade or so, and a peak-era fastball that barely scraped 90 would rank among the slowest in the league today. Maddux’s specialty, changing speeds, can still be as disruptive as any tactic (just ask Cincinnati ace Luis Castillo). But it’s telling that Maddux himself recognizes what worked in his era might not be as effective now.“I was taught to throw strikes and get hitters out in the strike zone,” Maddux told Patrick. “And now, pitching has kind of turned the other way, where they try to get hitters out outside of the strike zone. I don’t know if I would have adapted to that or not. I’d like to think I could, but who knows what would have happened?”Perhaps the craft of pitching is making something of a comeback this season, with more finesse-oriented pitchers such as Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees off to great starts already. Certainly, there always will be a place for pitchers who can transcend the radar gun with intelligence and skill. But just the same, the obsessive quest for velocity in today’s game will probably continue to squeeze out the soft-tossing finesse archetype of yesteryear. Sadly, that means it will be harder than ever for crafty, Moyer-esque pitchers to carve out a place in baseball.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
Jim Tressel is officially the former head coach of Ohio State football and the impact of his resignation will be felt far beyond the towering walls of Ohio Stadium. Many campus area businesses said game days are also big paydays. According to a 2005 study published in the “Journal of Sports Economics,” OSU athletic programs generated an estimated $100 million for the local economy in 2003. But with the football program in turmoil, will football Saturdays still be a windfall for local businesses? Michael Weisgarber, a fourth-year in English and history, said he attended almost every home football game last season. Next year, however, he is considering sitting out some games because of the scandal. “A lot of the popularity of the football team has to do with image,” Weisgarber said. “I think Tressel is pretty integral to that image.” John Miles has been working the register at Tommy’s Pizza and Subs on West Lane Avenue for five years and he said it’s not easy to predict if a lot of fans will skip games and impact sales. “It’s hard to say, it might drop off a little, but nothing major,” Miles said. Tommy’s often does about $2,000 of business on a Friday, but game days can bring in $10,000 to $15,000, Miles said. During the University of Southern California game in 2009, that figure was about $17,000. But Tommy’s has been serving pizza and subs to the OSU community for more than 25 years, and Miles said it is confident business will remain strong, even without the Senator at the ‘Shoe. “I think people care more about the school than Tressel,” Miles said. That is true for Nathan Rodriguez, a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering. Rodriguez said he goes to a couple games every year. “I don’t see myself being any less likely to go,” Rodriguez said. “I still will go to a couple games.” Buckeye Donuts on North High Street is another game day favorite and owner Jimmy Barouxis said it’s common for the restaurant to serve more than 1,000 customers. “It definitely matters how well the team is doing,” Barouxis said. “As the tension and excitement builds when the team is doing well, we definitely do more business.” Barouxis said game-day business might drop off by a few percentage points now that Tressel is gone, but the donut and sandwich shop will be fine. “We’re not worried,” Barouxis said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” Some businesses are even hopeful their sales will improve. Leah Reynolds is a Columbus artist who sells prints of hand-drawn portraits of Tressel and former OSU football coach Woody Hayes through the online crafts site, www.etsy.com. Reynolds said page views for her Tressel prints went up after the embattled coach resigned. Her online store sells full portraits as well as cards and magnets that feature the legendary OSU coaches and other artwork. “Right before football season I sell more Woody Hayes and coach Tressel prints,” Reynolds said. “If you live (in Columbus), you have to be a fan.” Reynolds said she has no intention of taking down the Tressel prints. “They won’t go off (the website),” Reynolds said. “There will still be Tressel fans, just like there are still Woody Hayes fans.” The artist said some people might buy the Tressel prints as a gag gift for a Buckeye fan. But Reynolds isn’t dwelling on the past, in fact she is already working on her latest piece: a portrait of coach Luke Fickell. “I will absolutely have a print of him (Fickell),” Reynolds said. “I’m planning on getting that up just as soon as I can.”
Ed Beathea became the interim head coach of Ohio State’s men’s track and field in April, following an abrupt end to Robert Gary’s coaching tenure.Beathea’s interim tag was removed when he was officially named the program’s head coach Thursday.Beathea, who joined OSU as associate head coach in 2006, will receive a five-year contract as the team’s new head man. He will also lead the OSU men’s cross-country program.His annual salary will be $95,000, according to an OSU spokesman.Beathea told The Lantern that it is “certainly a big relief” to continue having the opportunity to lead the Buckeyes.“It’s very exciting for me, it’s very exciting for my family,” Beathea said. “The guys on the team are all very excited, they were very supportive and certainly supported me throughout the process.”Prior to joining the OSU coaching staff, Beathea coached sprinters and hurdlers at Indiana University for 10 years, including four seasons as associate head coach. An alumnus of Ball State University, he was also an assistant coach for two seasons at Northern Arizona University prior to his decade at Indiana.OSU fired Gary April 6, according to public records obtained by The Columbus Dispatch. OSU athletic spokesman Dan Wallenberg told the Dispatch that the decision to terminate Gary was made following the university’s discovery of “financial reporting irregularities.”On April 18, Gary was named the head coach of Furman University’s men’s and women’s track and field/cross country program. Furman also hired is wife, Rita, as his assistant coach.Beathea took over head coaching responsibilities for the remainder of the 2012 season following Gary’s firing. Beathea, who coached the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, said he was pleased with the team’s performance during his time as interim head coach.“I thought the team performed really well,” Beathea said. “Considering the situation … me having to come in midway through the season, I thought the team was very focused, I thought they were very competitive.”While Beathea was satisfied with his team’s result this spring, he has higher expectations going forward.“It was a tough conference meet outdoor this year,” Beathea said. “I think that our goal is always to be in the top three. I think that our goal in the Big Ten in the next two or three years is to win the conference.”Beathea said he believes the team’s incoming recruiting class is very strong, but that he and his coaching staff will place a greater emphasis upon recruiting.“I think that certainly we will try to recruit more aggressively,” Beathea said. “We’ll certainly have a plan in place for that. Our goal for the national standpoint is to be a top-five or a top-ten team, and the only way that we’re going to be able to do that is to continue to add recruiting classes like the one we had this year.”The team’s incoming recruiting class includes three Gatorade State Track and Field Athletes of the Year. Ohio’s Donovan Robertson, a two-time winner of the award, also won two consecutive Division I state outdoor championships in 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, and set the indoor national high school record in 60-meter hurdles in March. Rhode Island’s Joe Velez won the 2012 outdoor national championship in hammer throw, while Pennsylvania’s Billy Stanley had the nation’s second-farthest javelin throw among high school athletes in 2012.Beathea said he is still evaluating his current coaching staff, and whether any changes will be made is “still to be determined.”Beathea said that while his coaching style is different from Gary’s, he does not anticipate significant changes to be made as a result of the coaching change.“I think there’s certainly differences in how Coach Gary led the team and how I led the team, how I lead the team,” Beathea said. “But there’s certainly some similarities … I’m very focused on having a strong culture with a team, having the guys understand what the expectations are, have them understand what’s going on around them with other event areas and other guys on the team.Beathea said he planned on changing things that needed to be changed, but that he wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel.“I think that we always are open for new ideas.”
It feels like depth has always been an issue for Thad Matta-coached basketball teams. It’s not that the Ohio State players who are on the bench aren’t talented, but more that those players on the bench stay on the bench. Matta has a tendency to find a few guys that he really trusts, usually five or six guys, and rotate that small group instead of giving them a rest and letting younger players grow. Although Matta’s success here at OSU can’t be questioned, his system has started to show its weakness in recent seasons when fatigue begins to set in during the NCAA Tournament. This year though, that formula has changed out of necessity rather than revelation. Matta has been swapping about eight players consistently, with three players – junior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. and junior forward Deshaun Thomas – averaging about 30 minutes a game. But outside of Thomas, the Buckeyes don’t have a consistent second scoring threat. A few players have stepped into the role on a game-by-game basis (like Craft, Smith Jr. or sophomore forward Sam Thompson) but aren’t able to keep it up over an extended stretch. It is a perplexing problem, but many fans think they have the solution. Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross has been singled out by some fans for his natural scoring ability as the obvious choice to take some of the pressure off of Thomas’ shoulders. Against Wisconsin Tuesday, Ross totaled eight points on 3-of-4 shooting. For the most part, Matta has remained defiant and Ross continues to sit on the bench for many of OSU’s contests this season. Ross is only averaging 17 minutes a game, despite being second on the team behind Thomas in terms of scoring efficiency. And while, relatively, Ross’ time on the court isn’t anything to snicker at, it’s not reflective of a player with the potential to be an elite scorer. But why wouldn’t Matta play Ross if OSU is so desperate for a second option? Thomas can’t carry the team on his own forever. Although the fans have a point about Ross being a talented scorer, the problems with Ross might outweigh the rewards. As good as Ross is on offense, he is equally bad on defense. It is hard to imagine that on an OSU team, a squad that has been known for its defense since Matta took over the program in 2004, that someone who is such a defensive liability would get significant playing time. Notice during the final five or so minutes how rare it is for Ross to receive minutes. He might aid in games during the middle stretches, but never starts and never closes, a sign of Matta’s lack of trust in the young forward. Although his outing against the Badgers shows marked improvement, it is still not enough to convince Matta to give Ross a more significant role. He might see more playing time come his way during certain games this season, but don’t expect for him to play vital minutes against Michigan Tuesday or Indiana on Feb. 10. For the Buckeyes to make a run in the NCAA Tournament similar to last season’s, they need someone to come out of the woodwork to help Thomas. Ross might be that guy someday. But for now? He’s not quite the answer.
Junior forward Jake Lorbach (34) takes a shot during a game against Bryant Dec. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 86-48. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhen Ohio State junior forward Jake Lorbach made the men’s basketball team as a walk-on before last season, coach Thad Matta had only one thing to say to him.“He (told me), ‘I don’t want another Mark Titus. So just try not to do that.’ But sometimes you can’t help yourself,” Lorbach said Friday.Titus, a former OSU walk-on who graduated in 2010, gained stardom in his Buckeye career after starting a blog known as Club Trillion. He has since written a book called “Don’t Put Me In, Coach,” chronicling his time as OSU’s goofball whose goal was to play in as many games as possible without recording any statistical significance.Matta’s lighter side is mentioned throughout Titus’ book, but the former player’s antics — making faces behind his head coach after the team won the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, for example — led some to believe his popularity got on the coach’s nerves. Lorbach hasn’t taken the goofing around to Titus’ level quite yet, but did photobomb LeBron James during a sideline interview when the football team was taking on Wisconsin Sept. 28.Matta denied having told Lorbach to avoid following in the footsteps of Titus, though.“I don’t think I told him that,” Matta said with a laugh Friday. “I love Mark, still do … (but) Jake’s done a tremendous job for us.”Lorbach made a splash Wednesday when he entered OSU’s 86-48 victory against Bryant and scored six points, the first two on a breakaway dunk where he barely jumped high enough to put the ball over the rim.“When I was sitting on the bench for the majority of the game, my knees were feeling kind of tired from that week of practice and so I think once I got the ball on the breakaway, it was just like a lot of adrenaline and then me thinking about my knees and whether or not I was going to get high enough,” Lorbach said. “It was a split second, so fortunately I was able to get up high enough and put it down and that’s all that matters.”The Schottenstein Center crowd — and his teammates on the bench — erupted every time Lorbach got the ball and scored against the Bulldogs, but if he had missed the dunk attempt, they might not have been so nice.“I’m pretty sure the crowd would have reacted a lot differently,” Lorbach said with a smile.“We might have laughed a little bit but told him to get it the next time,” junior guard Shannon Scott said Friday, speculating on the team’s reaction if Lorbach’s try had been unsuccessful.Lorbach, who played volleyball in addition to basketball at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, said his performance against Bryant has been recognized on campus and social media as well.“(I’ve) definitely gotten a lot more (Twitter) followers after that debut. People have come up to me a lot and said good job,” Lorbach said. “It’s cool getting the attention, it’s a lot different. Usually, I just walk through the shadows and now I’m kind of out there and people know who I am.”Having only played 10 minutes the past two seasons combined, the majority of Lorbach’s time is spent on the practice court getting the scholarship players ready for their next opponent. His hard work on his own game, though, doesn’t go unnoticed by his coach.“He does everything we need him to do,” Matta said. “For Jake, wanting to be a part of this basketball team and knowing that his role was never going to be significant by any stretch for the team, but we’re going to require him to be a great teammate and have a great attitude every single day and he’s definitely exceeding our expectations when it comes to that. For (the other players), basically the work he’s putting in, he’s here every second that they’re here and not getting to do the majority of the things they are, so when something happens, I think they’re excited for him.”Not getting the playing time others do is something that comes with being a walk-on, and even if he does not get a chance to play Saturday when the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on North Dakota State at 8:15 p.m., Lorbach said he is just happy to get any opportunity after all his hard work.“It definitely feels like it’s paying off finally,” Lorbach said. “I come to practice every day and do what I can to help the team and then finally, I was able to go out there and showcase what I’m able to do.”
Senior guard Shannon Scott (3) and freshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) both helped lead the Buckeyes past Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament on March 12 in Chicago. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorCHICAGO — The Ohio State men’s basketball team was struggling through a rough first half in the Big Ten Tournament against Minnesota as it opened the game shooting 1-of-12 from long range.Enter the Yin-and-Yang combo of senior guard Shannon Scott and freshman D’Angelo Russell.The pair combined for 44 points Thursday night as the Buckeyes defeated the Golden Gophers, 79-73, in Chicago to advance to the tournament quarterfinals.Scott scored 21 points, setting a new career-high, in the win and said he was aggressive from the start of the game.“I just looked for my shot a little earlier in the game. I think a lot of times I settle and pass the ball around the perimeter,” he said. “I think I looked at the rim a lot more and when I felt I was open I attacked from there.”Scott finished 7-of-12 shooting from the field and added a team-high six assists to go along with five rebounds.He said a motivating factor for his performance, and the team’s performance as a whole, was a 72-48 drubbing at home on Sunday against Wisconsin.“Our biggest thing was after our senior night loss, just to play our best basketball now. We went out at the (Schottenstein Center) not playing how we wanted to play,” Scott said. “So we had to move on past it and get going again.”Freshman forward Jae’Sean Tate, who scored just four points in his first college tournament game, said looking to seniors like Scott is important as March gets in full swing.“We definitely have to look close to them, because they have been there before,” Tate said. “They know the atmosphere, and being freshmen, they may know what we’re feeling.”OSU coach Thad Matta said after the game that he was proud of the way his team responded coming off of a tough loss.“We had a couple great practices leading into this,” Matta said. “I talked about it before the game tonight, I think, in terms of the way we came out. I was excited to see that.”Russell who had five turnovers against Wisconsin on Sunday, started Thursday’s game 0-of-6 from long range with eight points in the first half. He said it was Matta who woke him up in the second half.“Coach told me, ‘It’s time,’ and I started making shots for some reason,” Russell said. “I don’t know what it was. They started calling plays for me and putting me in positions to score and capitalize and create for others, and that’s what I did.”Russell’s biggest play of the game came with 1:41 on the clock when the Louisville, Ky., native stepped into a 3-point shot with the shot clock winding down and buried it to extend the OSU lead to seven and ultimately out of reach for Minnesota.Scott said even though he has only played with Russell for one season, he has come to expect those kinds of plays from the freshman.“That’s what he does … The whole year he has made some spectacular plays for us. He is uncanny scoring the ball,” Scott said. “When he has the ball in his hands, we know there is a good chance it is going in.”The game marked Russell’s first post-season college game and now that it is out of the way, he said he is looking forward to Friday’s matchup with Michigan State.“It’s win or go home, anything can happen,” he said. “Whoever our opponent is, we are just going to treat it like another game and trust the system.”The Buckeyes dropped their only matchup with the Spartans this season on Feb. 14 in East Lansing, Mich., 59-56, something Russell said he has not forgotten.“They only beat us by a buzzer beater,” Russell said. “I give a lot of credit to them. They played the gaps well, they were physical on me. They capitalized when we made mistakes.”The Buckeyes and Spartans are set to tip about 25 minutes after the Maryland vs. Indiana matchup on Friday night.
The Buckeyes celebrate as redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley (8) intercepts the ball during the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorAmidst accusations of rape that were reported Tuesday, former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley has been selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 24th pick in the first round.On Tuesday, Conley was accused of raping a woman in the Westin Hotel in Cleveland on April 9, and decided after the accusations were made that he would not be attending the draft. The investigation is ongoing and no charges or arrests have been filed or made.Conley is the second OSU cornerback taken in the draft, coming 13 picks after former teammate Marshon Lattimore was selected with the 11th pick in the first round. Conley originally declared for the draft on Jan. 3, a day after former teammate safety Malik Hooker declared and eight days before Lattimore announced his intentions to enter the draft.The junior cornerback played all three years he was eligible at OSU without redshirting in any season. He only played in nine games as a freshman in 2014, but was a starter in 2015 alongside current New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple.In 2015, he played all 13 games and totaled 49 tackles and seven passes defended, two of which went for interceptions and five were just broken up. As a junior last season, he again played in all of the team’s 13 games, racking up 26 tackles with 12 passes defended (eight broken up and intercepting four). Conley and Lattimore helped the Buckeyes own one of the most airtight passing defenses in the NCAA last season. OSU allowed the seventh fewest passing yards last season (172.2 ypg). The unit also picked off 21 passes last season, fourth most among Division I schools, and returned a Division I-leading seven of them for a touchdown. At the combine, Conley participated in six of the seven events outside of the 60-yard shuttle, placing within the top-10 finishers among defensive backs in four of the six. He finished seventh with a 37-inch vertical jump and completed the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds (11th best).The Raiders allowed the ninth most passing yards last season (4,120) and were tied for the 10th-most passing touchdowns allowed (27).Conley and the Raiders will play in their first game of the NFL regular season on Sept. 10 when they travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans.
Ohio State added to its future depth at running back Monday, with 2019 four-star prospect Sampson James tweeting he was committing to the Buckeyes.110% C O M M I T T E D @OSUCoachMeyer @CoachTonyAlford @SWiltfong247 pic.twitter.com/Fp6z0Q6wGn— Sampson (@Sjames_2) March 19, 2018James is listed as the 142nd-best overall prospect in the 2019 class, while also ranking eighth at running back and second from Indiana, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings.The 6-foot-1, 211-pound running back is the third recruit to commit to Ohio State, joining four-star offensive tackle Doug Nester and three-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby. Though still very early in the recruiting process for the 2019 class, Ohio State is now listed as having the 21st-best national and sixth-best Big Ten class.James will join what will be an impressive class of running backs returning to Ohio State in 2019. The Buckeyes landed three four-star running backs in 2018: Jaelen Gill, Brian Snead and Master Teague. The three are listed as the No. 30, 80 and 228 top overall prospects in the class, respectively.
Ohio State sophomore safety Isaiah Pryor (12) takes to the field in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Sept. 8. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorRedshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones remembers how the Ohio State defense lined up on what ended up being a historic play for the group in the second quarter against TCU. Originally a base call for the group, Jones said he was in his gap and a blitz was not called. He said junior defensive tackle Robert Landers moved over and, when the ball was snapped, he tried to do what he always does: get around the offensive lineman in front of him and get into the backfield. After starting the drive with an incomplete pass, TCU sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson handed the ball off to junior running back Darius Anderson. Finding a hole through the A-gap on the left side of the line, Anderson was off, flying past junior linebacker Malik Harrison in the middle to get out into open space.The only player with an opportunity to get to the Horned Frogs running back was sophomore safety Isaiah Pryor. After the ball was snapped, Pryor began to move toward the right side of the field, forcing him to turn around at a bad angle to chase Anderson in the open field. Pryor almost got to the running back, attempting a shoelace tackle when Anderson ran down the sideline. Instead, the safety missed the tackle and Anderson scored on a 93-yard run, the longest touchdown any Ohio State defense has allowed in school history. For the secondary, this has been a problem before. In the season opener against Oregon State, Ohio State allowed two touchdown runs of at least 75 yards to junior running back Artavis Pierce. In his first Big Ten Coaches Teleconference on Tuesday, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said plays like this need to be addressed and corrected. “On defense, too many big plays, and that’s just obvious,” Meyer said. “Get aligned and get the guy down if he makes the second level.”For junior safety Jordan Fuller, a team captain in the Ohio State secondary, these types of plays have never been the expectation of a group of this caliber. “I’ll say that’s definitely not our standard,” Fuller said. “We are doing everything we can to erase those.”He said, as an aggressive defense, some plays are going to be misread, especially in the passing game. He also said the big plays by opposing offenses are a combination of many little things that need to be improved — schematically and experience-wise. However, that does not mean that Fuller is placing blame on any particular member of the secondary. “I definitely don’t like people saying that ‘Isaiah should have gotten it, [redshirt sophomore safety Jahsen Wint] should have gotten it right there.’ There’s still 11 guys on the defense too,” Fuller said. “Sometimes it’s that narrative. I don’t like that.” Fuller said both Pryor and Wint played solid, with each player getting more comfortable by the game. But there are always things to work on. However, after a play of that magnitude, a 93-yard touchdown run, the longest touchdown run in TCU history, Fuller said he did what the defensive back unit does as a whole: pick up the player who is down. “Obviously, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t competitive, didn’t get upset when you had bad plays and stuff,” Fuller said. “But we all rally around each other and pick each other up.” Fuller said Pryor handled the aftermath well. The sophomore safety ended the game with four tackles, including three solo tackles. Even with the encouragement from other members of the defense, Jones said this is a glaring issue that needs to be fixed soon before a touchdown like this costs them more than just a place in the history books. “We just got to work. We got to find a better way to fix those little issues because eventually those little issues become bigger and we end up losing,” Jones said. “We have to find a way. I don’t know exactly what the point of emphasis to change that, but we have to work together as a unit.”
In 2014 – a year after marrying Kira – he used money from the sale of property he owned in Russian with his mother Vera to pay £2.5m for another property in Withdean Road.He then swapped another house in the street in order to purchase one next to the new property.The tycoon then spent a further £2m on renovating the two homes, including building a summer house, swimming pool and marble fittings.Complicating the case is the fact that Mr Fedotov transferred the two Brighton houses into his wife and her father’s names.He claims he only did this in order protect himself against negative publicity in his native Russia, and that he is still the rightful owner. Sergey Fedotov and his wife Kira Castle Grant in Morayshire, Scotland – bought by Sergey Fedotov for £1 million in 2014Credit:David Gowans/Alamy He denies using stolen money to buy the 16th century Highland castle.During a Moscow court hearing, Mr Fedotov insisted that Castle Grant was bought lawfully and the purchase was modest as the castle was worth only the price of a small apartment in Moscow. In a 19-page writ issued against his estranged wife, Mr Fedotov accuses her of arranging for a team of lorries to remove the valuable items from their extensive properties in Brighton’s Withdean Road.In 2012 Mr Fedotov bought two houses in the street – located in one of the city’s most expensive areas – for £2.8m and £1.5m each. Mr Fedotov says he was subjected to a barrage of criticism in Russian about his ownership of properties in the UK property ownership.He says this culminated in a threat to his son made in 2014 after a business partner leaked details of his houses and confidential business dealings to the Russian press.Mr Fedotov says he took the decision to temporarily move to the “safety of his properties in Brighton” and transferred their ownership to his wife and her father Egenii Tupitsyn so his names did not appear on the buildings’ documentation But the tycoon’s own recent behaviour has not been without controversy.He was ousted as head of the Russian Authors’ Society – the body which collects royalties for writers – in September, after being accused of a series of financial scandalsThree months earlier he had been charged in Russia with carrying out a multi-million pound fraud to fund what was described as his lavish lifestyle.Mr Fedotov, 39, was arrested in Moscow and was held in custody accused of a massive embezzlement in order to fund his purchase of Castle Grant in Moray for £1 million in 2014. He says that because he trusted his wife he did not have a formal deed drawn up.The writ claims that when Mr Fedotov decided to sell the houses for £3.3m in March this year, she refused to sign the relevant documents and claimed the property was hers, before trying to sell the house herself behind his back.Mr Fedotov now wants the High Court in London to declare that he remains the rightful owner of the two Withdean Road properties as well as a third house on the street.His wife and father in law made no financial contributions to the items, and he is their sole owner, the writ claims.He claims Mrs Fedotova has refused to return them and he is now seeking their return, as well as a declaration that he owns contents she removed.It is understood Mrs Fedotova denies her husband’s claims and plans to contest them in court.UPDATE: Following publication of this article, Mr Fedotov withdrew his claim against his wife. A wealthy Russian businessman is involved in a bitter £4 million legal battle with his estranged wife after accusing her of stealing dozens of valuable items from their homes in Britain.Sergey Fedotov has accused his wife Kira of carting off sculptures by Dali and other valuable works of art in a fleet of lorries as part of the dispute which followed the collapse of their marriage.Kira Fedotova is accused of removing £800,000 worth of sculptures, paintings and antique furniture from the £3m houses she shared with her husband, taking some of them to her new home in Switzerland and auctioning the rest.These included three bronzes by Salvador Dali bought for £95,000 each from an antique fair in Paris; a £30,000 bronze sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn; paintings, prints and photos by Savid Lachapelle worth at least £100,000; and items tailor-made for his London flat.Mrs Fedotova is also accused of arranging for the removal of suits of armour and £26,000 worth of antique furniture, as well as the user and owner manuals for his extensive collection of Rolls Royce and Bentley vintage cars.Mr Fedotov is now suing Mrs Fedotova in the High Court for return of the art work and other property. 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.
Got to stop saying that: “London’s about an hour away from Brighton”- it’s not. Ever. @SouthernRailUK make sure of that. @GOVUK— greg mchugh (@gregjmchugh) November 30, 2016 National Rail has warned passengers there will be “severe disruption” with no services on most routes. The problems are expected to last “every day… until further notice”.A spokesman for Southern welcomed the decision by the RMT to cancel a three-day strike that was due to take place immediately before Christmas but added that he believed the new dates, from December 19, were still planned to cause “maximum disruption”. Her average daily commute had, in recent months, risen to more than four hours a day, when it should be around two hours, she said. “Like many parents trying to commute between London and Brighton, a half-hour delay can be the difference between getting to see your children and reading them a bedtime story,” she said. “The service has been diabolical and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.” Rush hour? No it’s the 22:50 (left Vic at 23:05) @SouthernRailUK to Brighton with 4 carriages. This service is a disgrace around the clock pic.twitter.com/931QEuUYFZ— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) November 30, 2016 Southern rail staff have been embroiled in a bitter dispute with the company for months over changes to the role of conductors on trains. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union is concerned about potential job losses as well as safety. In a separate row, the general secretary of Aslef, a separate union, has also argued that driver-only operated doors are “inherently unsafe”. Southern has insisted no jobs are at risk and says its plans are safe. Yesterday, Abigail Nairne, the HR manager for Southern, said that the company believes it is experiencing “unofficial” industrial action with staff members increasingly calling in sick. Strike action is expected to severely disrupt services from 6 Dec.Plans are being drawn up, keep checking https://t.co/WSDM1qafAp for latest pic.twitter.com/p0Hj5F6fuv— Southern (@SouthernRailUK) November 30, 2016 “By announcing new dates in the same week, they will still be disrupting passengers’ travel plans at this busy time,” he said, as he urged for all industrial action to be called off.RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our guards on Southern are in daily contact with passengers and the support for our fight to defend safety remains phenomenal.”He added: “It is from that daily feedback from passengers that the union has taken the decision to alter the dates for action over Christmas. That’s the difference between us and Southern. We listen, they don’t.” Unofficial rail strikes are causing chaos across the south of the country, a Southern boss has claimed as passengers were warned to expect severe disruption every day “until further notice”.Hundreds of thousands of passengers are facing daily delays and cancellations, with problems set to get worse next week when combined rail and Tube strike action is expected to bring services to a standstill. Her comments came after Aslef ordered members not to take up any “non-contractual” work, such as overtime, which the company relies on to carry out a full service.Commuters will face major delays from Tuesday, with combined strike action by hundreds of drivers at Southern and Transport for London (TfL). Drivers will stage further strikes on December 13, 14 and 16 as well as January 9 to January 14. Conductors from the service will strike on December 19 and 20, and from New Year’s Eve to January 2. 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 half-hour delay can be the difference between getting to see your children and reading them a bedtime storyEleanor Harris The problem has got so bad that the head of Britain’s latest tourist innovation – the i360 in Brighton – announced on Tuesday that she had decided to quit her job as poor rail service meant she no longer sees her children.Eleanor Harris, the chief executive of the observation tower, said her commute from Clapham Junction, in south London, to the seaside town – just 60 miles away – had been made “increasingly difficult”. “We do believe we are experiencing unofficial industrial action,” she said. “Our sickness rate has more than doubled. I know it is the season for illness but even for our normal sick levels we are experience a lot more and it’s definitely unofficial action.”She insisted Southern was not going to reduce services but said the company could not plan for the increased sickness. “I hope it will change,” she added. “Whilst there is the action, it is going to be a struggle… Things will get better.” On Wednesday, 13 trains were cancelled due to driver sickness.
Police are hunting a man who labelled himself “The Silver Shadow” after he was spotted on top of a train travelling at up to 100mph.Officers say he put the lives of himself and others on the train at risk when he waved below to passengers as it passed through Bromborough Rake station in Wirral, Merseyside.The man was seen boarding the exterior of the train in between two carriages at Rock Ferry station at about 1.30pm and waited for the doors to close.Seven minutes later, he was spotted on CCTV on top of of the train at Bromborough Rake before he got off at the next stop. He then concealed his face as he briefly spoke to booking office staff at Bromborough station as he told them he had travelled from Birmingham and was called “The Silver Shadow”, said British Transport Police. Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016, quoting 141 of 21/12. The man later told staff he had travelled from Birmingham and was called ‘The Silver Shadow’Credit:British Transport Police Police said the man boarded the exterior of the train in between two carriages at Rock Ferry station Speaking about the incident on December 11, investigating officer Pc Andrew Richardson said: “Even attempting to get on the top of a train is a nonsensical and idiotic thing to do.”The man concealed himself between two carriages above electrified rails and so one slip could have easily killed him and endangered the lives of those on the train.”This isn’t cool, it isn’t funny. It’s dangerous and we will not stand for it. If you recognise the man in these pictures, please get in touch.” Think train surfing is cool? We don’t.We’re looking for the self-styled “Silver Shadow”.Know him? Text 61016 👍https://t.co/I7p6JBEcTl pic.twitter.com/aMLGl45fSp— BTP (@BTP) December 21, 2016 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.
He made a terrible error in how he sought to deal with his problemsMichael Garvey, defending He stopped after she pleaded for her life, reminding him about their children and grandchildren.At Leicester Crown Court, Shipp admitted attempting to murder his wife at their former home in Lutterworth, as well as stealing £17,686, two rings and the bracelet, which he pawned for £3,000. But in extraordinary scenes, he was spared jail and handed a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, after she indicated that she still loved him and did not want him to go to prison.Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said the “highly unusual case” called for a “merciful and compassionate” sentence due to the view of the victim.The court heard the Shipps married in 1985 after meeting five years earlier. Their relationship was described by the judge as “loving and happy… for many years” before Shipp, who used to run a successful dental practice in Poole, Dorset, became the victim of fraud. Mrs Shipp, who suffered no physical injuries although was said to be deeply shocked, accompanied her husband to a GP after the incident and he was treated for depression and received counselling, the court heard.He later told police about the overseas investment scam and openly admitted to trying to kill his wife. She is now living separately from him in a housing association property.Michael Garvey, defending, said: “It’s a sad case and until then he had led an entirely blameless life. With the benefit of clarity and hindsight he’s able to say how much he regrets what he did.”He’s been extremely foolish in his financial dealings and made a terrible error in how he sought to deal with his problems and it’s inflicted a burden on his wife which she shouldn’t have had to put up with.”Mrs Shipp accompanied her husband to and from the court, but when asked if she forgave him, she replied: “I’m not sure, I’ll have to think about that.”Speaking at her home after the case, she added: “We’re both adults and we want to leave what happened in the past. We remain good friends and are still in contact.” Neighbours described the couple as “lovely”. Shipp was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and attend a 20-day rehabilitation programme. A retired dentist who tried to strangle his wife with a tie after he was conned out of £200,000 has been spared jail after she begged the judge not to send him to prison. Christopher Shipp, 63, invested his entire pension savings into an overseas investment scam, expecting a £500,000 pay out.But when he got nothing back, he raided more than £17,000 from his wife Shirlianne’s bank account and stole jewellery from her including a £15,000 bracelet.It was when the 73-year-old confronted him about the missing money on March 10 last year that he tried to kill her, confessing that he was planning on committing suicide straight after. Christopher Shipp leaving Leicester Crown CourtCredit:Leicester Mercury / SWNS.com When his wife confronted him about the missing money, he strangled her from behind and said: “It’s the only way, I’ll be with you in half an hour, I’ve got the tablets downstairs.”The court heard that he thought killing his wife would “spare her the anguish” over his own suicide and the scam coming to light.Philip Gibbs, prosecuting, said: “She tried to plead with him about their children and grandchildren and he relented and let her go.”He then lay on the bed staring into space. She could see he was in a desperate state.”The victim is in court and she’s told officers she doesn’t want him to go to prison because he wasn’t himself at the time. She believes he didn’t want to harm her but he thought he was acting in their best interests. They continue to be friends and he remains in her life.” She [his wife] believes he didn’t want to harm her but he thought he was acting in their best interestsPhilip Gibbs, 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.
Cameras were permitted to film the Queen, her husband and children, at thebreakfast table, at work, and enjoying a barbecue, giving the public an unprecedented and controversial insight into them as a “normal” family. 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. Matt Smith and Claire Foy in The CrownCredit:Alex Bailey/Netflix With his family in 1965Credit: Cinetext / Allstar Collection Smith played the Duke as charming and handsome innovator, pushing the Queen into modernising the Royal family by televising her coronation.The Palace have never commented on the drama, with the Duke of Cambridge last month laughing as he told Radio 1 he been asked for his thoughts on it many times. The Duke himself has been the subject of numerous documentaries including the groundbreaking The Royal Family, aired in 1969 and showing the royals at home for the first time. The Duke continued to participate in on-camera interviews until the end of last year, when he undertook several brief interviews in an ITV documentary with Phillip Schofield to commemorate the 60th anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh Award.A comically curmudgeonly final appearance saw the Duke wonder aloud about interviews: “How many more times have we got to do this?” Suzanne Mackie, producer, has said of the series: “I think Philip is someone who is often misunderstood or we only see one dimension to him, and yet theirs is a marriage that has survived.“[People will see he was] incredibly, surprisingly vital, progressive, modernising, energetic; a real alpha-male. Someone who was allegedly very very good at more or less everything he turned his hand to. Really athletic, capable and clever.”In particular, the drama showed his as a caring father to Prince Charles and Princess Anne, playing with them and in one scene worrying the “darling” children will miss their parents while they were away on overseas tour. The reputation of the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed something of a revamp in the last year, as big-budget Netflix drama put his life as a young man on screen.The series, starring Matt Smith as a young Prince Philip, tracked the early days of the Queen’s marriage, coronation and young family to critical acclaim.Producers said they hoped to show a new generation a different kind of consort, overturning the stereotypes to remind the public about his innovations, passion and role as doting father.
For female tennis players and their fans, the road to true equality may seem long and hard.Go back a century, though, and the seeds of parity between the sexes had already been sown, according to an unseen archive of films.A treasure trove of tennis films, due to be made available to the public for the first time, shows how the enlightened tennis establishment push the sport as “the most democratic game for both sexes” as far back as 1924.Players in corsets were lauded on film, with girls encouraged to pick up a tennis racket to emulate their role models.As the years rolled on, adverts aimed at women tried to woo them via tennis, promising hair products and Nimble bread would improve their game. More than 70 films, from 1903 onwards, are to be released by the British Film Institute; most available to the public for the first time since they were originally broadcast.They include famous faces such British tennis star Fred Perry, Australia’s multi-grand slam winner Ken Rosewall, and a 15-year-old Sue Barker playing in 1971.One of the most remarkable, from 1926, shows George VI – then the Duke of York – playing at Wimbledon. A 15-year-old Sue BarkerCredit:BFI The earliest film in the collection, entitled “Jumping Over the Tennis Nets”Credit:BFI Archive 1926 newsreel entitled “Detachable Dress for Sportswomen” Credit:BFI Archive It is followed in 1964 with an extraordinary advert promising women can “eat all the bread you want” while being a tennis ace, promising: “Eat Nimble, be nimble”.More serious films show player Ann Jones speaking in 1968 about equal pay, arguing women should receive for two thirds of the men’s salary: an improvement from the £300 prize money for women and £1000 for men in her recent British Hard Court Championships.Gosta Johansson, curatorial consultant on the BFI Tennis on Film collection, said the films would give tennis fans the chance to see big names they will have read and heard about in action on film for the first time. Detachable Dress for Sportswomen, 1926 A 1926 newsreel entitled “Detachable Dress for Sportswomen” details a fetching new fashion, for a hidden pair of baggy shorts hidden behind a loose skirt to protect players’ modesty. “There’s very little feeling of women’s tennis being inferior to men’s at any point.”He and his team scoured the BFI archives, National Archive and regional collections to come up with the best films, which are likely to have been shown on cinema screens or at local clubs even before television was invented and in many cases have not been seen in public since. The collection, Tennis on Film, is available to watch for free on the BFI Player from Monday. Playing in the Men’s Doubles with Louis Greig, with his wife watching on from the stands, he lost in the first round.A film from the same year, 1926, sees King George V and Queen Mary present trophies to Wimbledon winners, including the rather portly Maud Watson, by then the oldest female competitor.The hugely successful player had first entered the tournament in 1884, wearing a white corset and petticoats.Similar outfits can be seen in the earliest film in the collection, entitled “Jumping Over the Tennis Nets” and taken from a collection of home movies by Alfred Ernest Passmore.Showing his family in holiday spirits, Edwardian women are seen attempting – not always successfully – to hop over a low tennis net in full skirts and hats.By the 1920s, filmmakers appear determined to convince women to pick up their tennis rackets.