VB : SU junior Homann steps into leadership role on young team

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on October 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: nctoney@syr.edu | @nicktoneytweetscenter_img There was no sugarcoating the in-your-face spike South Florida’s Andrea Rodriguez Gomez blasted at Lindsay McCabe.Syracuse was barely leading late in the fourth set, and Rodriguez Lopez, the Bulls middle blocker, hardly jumped at the net before making McCabe pay for a late defensive slide. Behind the backdrop of loud USF cheers, McCabe wasn’t the only SU player cursing under her breath after the point.But as her team regrouped before the next serve, Laura Homann wasn’t swearing. She was laughing. It was alright, she told her teammates. She rolled her eyes and smiled before breaking the huddle.‘She keeps things in perspective,’ McCabe said. For a team whose roster features 50 percent first-year players, Homann, a junior, is a leader by age. Homann is also a setter, which means she’s a leader by position, too, SU assistant coach Kelly Morrisroe said. Experience or ability aside, Homann also leads Syracuse (11-6, 2-1 Big East) by easing pressure-packed situations. She talks her teammates through tough games, de-emphasizing opponents when they score and consoling teammates when they make mistakes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘She’s this team’s rock,’ middle blocker Samantha Hinz said. ‘Without her, we’d all be going crazy.’The team leaned on that type of leadership early in the season. Homann, named co-captain by head coach Jing Pu, maintained a smile on the SU side — even when the Orange trailed Youngstown State by two sets early in the season. Before the start of the third set, Homann turned her back to the net, told her teammates to get ready for a comeback and clapped her hands in preparation.SU won the next three sets and took the match in five.‘That’s something I do naturally,’ Homann said. ‘I’m loud.’Homann can lead quietly as well. The Orange lost those first two sets to Youngstown State by a total of four points due to hitting errors and a few service errors. During that time, Homann wasn’t joking with teammates when she told them to step up.‘We weren’t getting outplayed.’ Homann said. ‘We were just beating ourselves. I had to say something.’But in the third set, freshman Ying Shen entered the match for the first time and was given a simple pat on the back by a calm and collected Homann. It was exactly what the freshman needed in her first game, Morrisroe said.Shen ended the match with eight kills and a pair of service aces in the last three sets of a comeback victory.Morrisroe said Homann can easily relate to each of the team’s nine freshman, a valuable skill for SU.‘Laura’s been there before,’ Morrisroe said. ‘She played every game as a freshman, and she’s still playing as a junior. She won her playing time by playing the way she has.’Morrisroe, in her first year, wasn’t on the SU coaching staff to watch Homann’s ascent. What she sees now is the nearly finished product of two-plus years of hard work. Homann had 50 assists in a loss against Utah Valley. She hit the 50-assist mark twice two weekends ago against USF and Niagara.Senior defensive specialist Ashley Williams said Homann backs up what she says on the court with how she plays.‘She’s a very, very good setter,’ Williams said. ‘And she makes us play better.’The team needed better play last weekend to stop a two-game losing streak. With outside hitter Erin Little inserted into the lineup and a new libero — Noemie Lefebvre — behind her, Homann helped secure two victories against Big East opponents.Against St. John’s, Homann assisted kills by Little and Lefebvre to key a game-clinching 25-22 third set. Homann’s 37 assists the next day at Connecticut gave her 3,000 assists for her career, making her only the sixth SU player to do so. Both victories were 3-0 sweeps.Homann’s ability to lead vocally and by example has helped SU one year after losing three key seniors. As this team tries to make up for its disappointing end in 2010 — missing the Big East tournament — her leadership will play a big role for the Orange.‘Whenever things are quiet out there, she makes sure we hear her,’ Lefebvre said. ‘On the court, she’s vocal, and we need that.’nctoney@syr.edulast_img read more

Badger Herald Q&A with Benjamin Worgull of BadgerNation.com

first_imgOn Wednesday, hundreds of high school players across the country will sign commitments to play collegiate football at various schools as part of National Signing Day.With a new head coach and coaching staff at the helm, Wisconsin will close out its recruiting efforts for the 2015 season Wednesday as the newest batch of Badger football players will sign on the dotted line to come to Madison.With National Signing Day just a few days away, Eric Kohlbeck of the Badger Herald talked to Benjamin Worgull of BadgerNation.com to discuss all things Wisconsin recruiting. Worgull is the publisher of BadgerNation.com – a member of the Scout.com Network – and covers Wisconsin recruiting and athletics for the website.The Badger Herald: How would you say Wisconsin’s recruiting class for 2015, overall has made it through the coaching change?Benjamin Worgull: Well, it’s gone through some peaks and valleys, without question, just because of the different ways these coaches attack, as I’ll try to explain. Gary Andersen extended a lot of scholarship offers to a lot of prospects of the 2015 class. Probably about 250 or so kids he offered. And he extended to a lot of kids that maybe had questionable – who needed to do work in the classroom to be admitted.So now that Chryst is here, we’ve seen a couple of those kids decommit from the program and they’ve lost throughout the entire recruiting process, they’ve lost four kids because of academic related issues. The Thursday after the national championship game, I believe, is when you can start doing in-home visits; you can start going out and see prospects at their school. So he’s been very aggressive over these last several weeks. He’s added some kids to this recruiting class that probably will help add depth that Wisconsin has to add at quarterback, they added a nose tackle, they added an in-state athlete who’s going to play outside linebacker.So, Gary Andersen set a really good foundation for this class. He went to a lot of different areas of the country, attacking a lot of really high-character players, lot of guys who have a high ‘star ranking’ and Chryst has come in and really done a good job at hitting in-state kids hard. So, where both these coaches have done a really nice job is Gary Andersen has set the foundation and kind of built the walls and now Chryst is building the roof and trying to get everything else set up inside for National Signing Day, if that makes sense.BH: Would you say the number of players that have decomitted since Andersen left and Chryst has taken over, is that typical of what you would see when there’s a coaching change?BW: Yeah, and I think there’s more coming to be honest with you. We sit at 23 [commits] right now but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost three more. Probably it’s a little bit more than normal just because Gary Andersen took fliers on some kids. So you had some kids who, like I said, that needed work to do in the classroom to get there, while maybe some other coaching staffs don’t have that type of problem with the academics or the previous coaching staff recruited guys who were academically set. So, there’s probably been a little bit more than usual, but that’s part of the reason why, because of the academics.When you lose the head coach and you lose most of the assistant coaches, you’re going to have some kids that realize this isn’t the program I committed to; I don’t know any of these new coaches and sometimes new coaches come in and they, maybe there’s one coach that likes you but the next coach doesn’t, so they want kind of their own guys. None of these kids are the, what I would call, the main players in this recruiting class. So, is it a little more than normal? Yes, but I don’t think Wisconsin will get hurt by this in the long run.BH: How important was it that Chryst kept defensive coordinator Dave Aranda on his staff, and if they would’ve lost him, would Wisconsin have lost even more recruits?BW: I would throw Thomas Brown in that mix as well. You keep both of those guys and it’s been huge. I’ll start with Dave Aranda. Aranda recruited the state of Florida really hard. You look at a guy like Nick Thomas, who’s enrolled early. Nick Thomas, with a big spring, with 15 spring practices, and a good summer and fall camp; he could, I’m not saying he could start at inside linebacker, but could certainly be in the rotation to play as a true freshman. I mean he’s a very, very talented kid and he was recruited solely by Dave Aranda. Jordan Griffin, same thing. He’s an inside linebacker from Seffner, Florida who is on the fence right now deciding between Wisconsin, South Florida and Vanderbilt. If Dave Aranda wasn’t here, I think Wisconsin would have no shot at Jordan Griffin. I think Griffin’s one of the best players in Florida. You look at his numbers, he put up a ton of tackles this past year, really solid athlete.And then Thomas Brown, in one year look what he’s done in terms of recruiting running backs. He got Jordan Stevenson. Bill Busch recruited Jordan Stevenson initially and after Busch left, Thomas Brown took over and really calmed the waters there. Bradrick Shaw from Hoover, Alabama, — the best high school in Alabama — Thomas Brown was the lead on that, and especially the 2016 kid, Antonio Williams from North Carolina, a four-star running back. He was the leading recruiter on him. So, I think retaining both those guys were key in keeping some key pieces to his class. If both those guys had left, or one had left, the numbers right now would look very different. They would be losing some of their top-end players.BH: You had mentioned earlier how Chryst is trying to make more of an emphasis on recruiting the state of Wisconsin. What top prospects from the state has he recruited and which ones has he flipped to commit to Wisconsin?BW: Well, he offered four kids. He offered Alec Ingold from Bay Port. He flipped him from Northern Illinois. He offered Vincent Hughes from Franklin a gray shirt offer. Vincent Hughes was committed to Northern Illinois, he’s still committed to Northern Illinois, and he declined that offer. He offered Jake Whalen from Wausau West — a gray shirt offer to play fullback and Whalen is visiting this weekend. He’s down to between Wisconsin and Iowa. And he bumped Zack Baun from Brown Deer up from a gray shirt offer to a full scholarship offer. He offered Robert Windsor of Fond du Lac a full offer but Windsor signed a commit to Penn State.Ingold is a very talented athlete. You look at his numbers; he had over 4,000 total yards last year, passing and rushing and 45 some touchdowns. He was named the state offensive player of the year, the Gatorade state player of the year and Wisconsin and Gary Andersen was going to let him go to Northern Illinois because he didn’t see him as a fit to what he wanted to do. Well, Chryst recruited him at Pittsburgh and knew how good of an athlete he was. I mean, Ingold is the typical guy that Wisconsin has done well with in-state for years. They have that passion for playing in-state, that kids from Texas, or Florida, or Virginia or wherever doesn’t have because Wisconsin is not their home-state school. So I think Ingold’s history as a wrestler, his football IQ being a quarterback, that’s going to help to translate to be a solid outside linebacker. Same with Zack Baun. Zack Baun was a tremendous quarterback for Brown Deer and he has the knowledge and the skill set, and he signed to be a good outside linebacker.So, Chryst is a guy who obviously values in-state kids. He won a state championship at Platteville, played at Wisconsin, coached at Wisconsin. He knows the high school scene around here. So I think going forward, you’re going to see Wisconsin not just recruit the top players in the state, but maybe that next tier of players.Update: Jake Whalen did visit Madison this weekend and has committed to Wisconsin. BH: Along with Wisconsin, have there been any new areas that Chryst and his staff will focus on recruiting? Are there new areas in the country, outside of Wisconsin, that Chryst and his staff will try to recruit?BW: I think it’s a little early to say, because they don’t have a wide receivers coach in yet. So, I think they’re still trying to find their recruiting areas. So far they haven’t gone out into any new areas. They’ve kind of spent this chunk of time finishing up the 2015 class.But I would be very surprised if Wisconsin wasn’t in Florida. Florida is a huge recruiting area and it always has been even since Bielema was here. They will be hunkered down in the Midwest. I would imagine they will go back into Ohio and western Pennsylvania. I think they will go to the west coast a little bit. It remains to be seen how successful they will be. They’ve been able to pull some kids out of that area that past couple of years. I think maybe they’ll have a better head start than they did when Bielema came and Bielema tried to recruit California and failed miserably. Daronte Jones, the new secondary coach, recruited the east coast for Hawaii and that’s a hard sales pitch to be able to go from the east coach all the way to Hawaii. That’s a 15-hour plane flight or whatever it would be. I think he’ll have more success now, recruiting that area for Wisconsin. But these are all areas that Wisconsin has already been in.I don’t see them doing a lot in Utah or the upper Pacific northwest, but I really think the Midwest, which was lacking under Andersen, will be the main focal point for Chryst and his staff.BH: Out of all the recruits that are expected to sign on National Signing Day, and the ones that have already enrolled early, who do you think has the best chance of seeing significant playing time right away next year as a freshman?BW: Probably Jordan Stevenson, the four-star running back out of South Oak Cliff in Dallas. And I say that because you look at the running back roster right now and there’s Corey Clement and there’s nobody else. I think one of those true freshman will play. I think Stevenson is a talented athlete. He’s such a mean runner. To put up those kinds of numbers in Texas high school football is just so impressive and he plays at a really good high school too that has a number of D-I prospects on it. He’s just a smooth, natural runner. He was committed to Texas for a long time and he took an official visit up here in late September for the USF game and just fell in love with the running back tradition that was here.Obviously one of the inside linebacker that I mentioned, Nick Thomas, I think has a great shot to play early. I would say a wide receiver but they only signed one wide receiver in this class. But I would also maybe keep my eye on Jon Dietzen from Seymour just because Wisconsin needs a right tackle and Dietzen can play either tackle spot. He’s enrolled early, so he’s going to get a full year with the program and if he has a big offseason, I could see him possibly getting an opportunity to play early. But other than that, I really don’t see anyone else making that big of an immediate impact. History suggests that probably between four and six true freshman will probably play this year.BH: This isn’t necessarily a recruiting question, but with quarterback Austin Kafentzis coming in, do you see him making a push to see playing time at quarterback and overall, who do you think is going to win the starting quarterback job?BW: I would be surprised if Kafentzis played this year, but having known him and having seen how determined he is and how intelligent he is, I wouldn’t count him out. He’s a very good athlete and without question is probably the highlight of this class. He’s been committed for so long. He committed back in June of 2013. So he’s a really good athlete. I don’t really know a lot about [Alex] Hornibrook. He’s a lefty and he strikes me more as a pocket passer. For him to be enrolled early is key.You look at that quarterback group and there’s going to be a lot of quarterbacks and not a lot of reps in spring so it’ll be interesting to see how they vary it up. I don’t think Tanner McEvoy will be quarterback under Paul Chryst and he shouldn’t. So I kind of think right now, Joel Stave is the leader in the clubhouse and I know that’s going to rattle some people but Joel Stave has a ton of experience. He’s won a lot of games for Wisconsin. He just won a bowl game — well Melvin Gordon won the bowl game — but, you know what I’m saying. Paul Chryst recruited Bart Houston and if anyone can get Bart Houston going on the right track it’s Paul Chryst. D.J. Gillins has taken steps forward. He’s dual-threat that Wisconsin, under Gary Andersen, was looking for and he’s made some nice strides. So I think just to see how these quarterbacks fare in the spring under Paul Chryst who, unlike Gary Andersen, Paul Chryst has an offensive background and really can impact these quarterbacks.last_img read more

Darnold changes football outlook

first_imgIt is amazing what a star quarterback and an aggressive, blitzing defense can do for a football team. There is no better evidence of this than USC’s win on Saturday night against the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils. While not perfect, the Trojans came out of the Coliseum with a victory against a quality opponent. That alone serves as a milestone in the Clay Helton era.There are still a litany of issues plaguing the program, primarily a woeful offensive line. However, great players have a knack for covering up problematic issues. That is exactly what redshirt freshman sensation Sam Darnold is doing as he leads the Trojans at quarterback.With the potential to join the pantheon of Trojan stalwart signal-callers like Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, Darnold is clearly the latest prize from the Orange County area-prep pipeline for USC quarterbacks. His rifle arm has routinely made the exceptional look normal. Whether it was turning a failed trick play into a 40-yard gain with a flick of the wrist, off his back foot no less, or turning a broken draw run into a 15-yard pass gain, on Saturday, Darnold demonstrated he has “it” in spades. Whatever you want to call it: moxie, leadership or just that glimmer in his eye, Darnold is a revelation.He’s still a freshman, so he isn’t perfect by any means. His pocket presence and decision-making will continue to improve, which is a truly tantalizing thought for Trojan fans. Comparing him to Palmer and Leinart, both Heisman winners, is admittedly a bit premature, but similar accolades may be in Darnold’s future, barring catastrophic injury. It’s now obvious why heralded quarterback recruit Ricky Town didn’t even last through summer camp last year — no one was beating Darnold for the job.The thing Darnold brings to the table that other Trojan quarterbacks haven’t is mobility. It isn’t that he needs to break long runs. The threat of the quarterback run is enough to keep defenses honest. USC should know as they have been burned by mobile quarterbacks for as long as I have been watching them. One of my first unfortunate memories of USC football was Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson carving the Trojan defense up and ripping it to shreds. It is nice to finally have a quarterback who is giving opposing teams a taste of the medicine USC has had to swallow for years and years.The run pass option that has vexed USC defenses is now flummoxing opposing teams. USC still needs to work on the run aspect, as the Trojans’ worst play on offense is the repeated shotgun handoff to be stuffed a nanosecond later. However, the threat of the pass should continue to soften defenses up as the season progresses.The dimension of mobility combined with his cannon of an arm and ability to stand strong in collapsed pockets evokes comparisons to NFL all-pros Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck. Again, only two games into the Darnold era; these comparisons are somewhat hyperbolic, but the young quarterback has routinely made the improbable seem natural. Only the best do that.Darnold didn’t win this game on his own. The defense and their coordinator, Clancy Pendergast, deserve kudos for pressuring the quarterback and stifling a dangerous Sun Devil attack. Junior linebacker Uchenna Nwosu has stepped up for the Trojans and looks to have a career playing on Sundays very soon. Defensive backs senior Leon McQuay III and junior Jonathan Lockett also turned in impressive performances.One area where the Trojans can make further strides is potentially moving sophomore Iman Marshall from cornerback to safety. His physicality and size leave him better suited for that position than in coverage where he seems to gets beat or commit pass interference each game. Marshall is too talented of an athlete to limit his immense potential being forced into the cornerback position.On offense, Darnold was helped tremendously by junior wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and senior tailback Justin Davis. Davis, who had his original breakout game against Arizona State three years ago, finally looks to have regained his fluidity and graceful running style that makes him so dangerous and effective. He should be the Trojans’ workhorse moving forward. Smith-Schuster is back to dominating opposing defensive backs and making great plays after the catch.The Trojans showed up on Saturday, and Helton deserves credit for rallying his troops and having his team come out with fire and intensity. I liked his decision to go for it on fourth down early in the game. The play call was lacking to say the least, but the aggressive decision set the tone for the game.With Darnold at quarterback, a wide array of deficiencies are covered in gameplay and scheme. Hopefully his talent can continue to carry the Trojans as Helton grows and develops. Saturday exemplified the best case scenario for the Trojans for the rest of the season and the emergence of the next star signal caller for the USC football team.Jake Davidson is a senior majoring in accounting. His column, “Davidson’s Direction,” runs Mondays.last_img read more

Caledonian Publishing launches BetOnPolitics.co.uk

first_img StumbleUpon Share Industry affiliate media owner, Caledonian Publishing has increased its betting-related inventory by announcing the launch of dedicated political betting website BetOnPolitics.co.uk.Caledonian’s new portal aims to be the leading destination for all punters seeking political betting insight and knowledge on a number of UK and international politics markets.Ahead of the UK General Election on 8 June, BetOnPolitics.co.uk offers its users a fully comprehensive feed of live odds for every UK constituency. Furthermore, the new website offers information and odds on all candidates contesting UK seats this General Election.BetOnPolitics.co.uk will be managed by lead Editor Phil Lowe, who commented on the launch“Polls and Election betting markets may suggest that Prime Minster Theresa May is going to win the Election with a large majority, but political punters will still be expecting twists and turns in the coming weeks, and the ability to check out live odds from around the United Kingdom all day, every day between now and June 8th will help them to make financial gains.“In addition to our constituency search tool, the BetOnPolitics team will also be looking at the battles in the marginal seats over the next few weeks, and we’ll have all the latest General Election odds, with live betting updates on Election Day itself from 7am right through to the polls closing at 10pm.”Caledonian Publishing Editor Neil Roarty was pleased to add BetOnPolitics.co.uk to his firms industry portfolio which includes Bettingpro.com and Footballtips.com,“We have been an active industry analyst in the sports betting field for over a decade and have built up trust within our readerships thanks to providing interesting and accurate information and advice. We felt that the time was right to now branch out into politics and we’ve used the same focus on innovation and user experience that has served us well in our sports properties to build a political betting experience that we believe is the best anywhere on the web. We not only provide high-quality political analysis but our unique ConstituencySearch Bar feature allows users to instantly access all information pertaining to every election market and so make informed wagers on the 2017 General Election”. Related Articles Genting begins £1.6m upgrade of Glasgow property October 30, 2019 Share Sportradar: The uncertain ‘guess’ driving the IRP’s data proposals for tennis October 23, 2018 Internet rumours see bookmakers suspend Rangers relegation markets January 9, 2018 Submitlast_img read more

Anthony Rendon moving closer to debut with Angels

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ALSOJulio Teheran, who arrived to camp late after a bout with the coronavirus, is scheduled for a three-inning outing with the Angels’ reserve squad in Long Beach on Tuesday. After that, he could be ready to join the team, pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. Although he wouldn’t be built up enough for a traditional start, the Angels have extra relievers to cover the difference…Jose Suarez, who would have been a candidate for the rotation if he’d been with the team at the start of the camp, arrived over the weekend and has been playing catch, Callaway said…First base coach Jesus Feliciano has been away from the team for two days, but Maddon said he’s fine. He has been dealing with a personal matter.Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone OAKLAND — Joe Maddon expects Anthony Rendon’s debut with the Angels to come on Tuesday.The Angels’ $245-million, free-agent acquisition was not in the lineup on Monday for the fourth game of the season with his new team because of oblique tightness.He has taken ground balls and batting practice three days in a row, though. Maddon said the Angels considered having him play on Monday, but decided to take the cautious route and wait at least one more day.“I think he will be (ready Tuesday),” Maddon said after Monday’s game. “I talked to him before the game. Bright-eyed. Ready to rock and roll. It was a close call for today but we thought it was prudent to wait one more day. So (barring) any unforeseen circumstances that I’m not aware of, he should be able to play tomorrow.” Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter last_img read more

Aaron Rodgers-Jordan Love QB controversy in Green Bay? Ex-Packers exec urges fans to ‘relax’

first_imgFormer Green Bay Packers executive Andrew Brandt urged fans to “relax” over the surprising draft selection of Aaron Rodgers’ heir apparent in Jordan Love.The most stunning move of Thursday’s first round saw the Packers trade up to land Utah State quarterback Love, a physically gifted but raw prospect who has drawn comparisons with Patrick Mahomes. The selection was reminiscent of Green Bay picking a sliding Rodgers in 2005 when they had future Hall of Famer Brett Favre entrenched as the starter, a position he would hold onto for the next three years.Favre initially bristled at the idea of being a mentor to Rodgers, and there is a fear the current incumbent could react to Love’s selection with similar frostiness, particularly as the Packers passed on getting him help at receiver in the first round.However, Brandt – who was with the Packers when the team drafted Rodgers – understands why his old franchise opted for Love.”It’s deja vu -15 years ago I was there and we had the exact same situation,” he told Stats Perform.”We had a quarterback [Favre], who was 35 years old, in his prime, Hall of Fame quarterback, franchise player and yet we took a quarterback [Rodgers] and here they are again.Utah State Green Bay@jordan3love | #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/qo4jjOErSW— Green Bay Packers (@packers) April 24, 2020″The difference is of course that back in 2005, the numbers came to us and we were sitting there and Aaron Rodgers fell to us. This time, the Packers traded up a few spots to go get this player Jordan Love and, pardon the pun, they loved him.”The selection of Love has caused quite a stir, yet Brandt referred to one of Rodgers’ own famous phrases in response to that furore.He added: “This is something where people are going, ‘What the heck? And Rodgers? Don’t they want to win now?’””I guess what I’m trying to tell people is relax. Number one. “Number two, they will get help for Rodgers. And number three, they have to secure the future.”The Packers obviously felt that this was a player that was their top quarterback prospect and they could not get him later in the draft, there’s no way. “So they went and did it and, yes, it does not help them this year, it may not help them next year, it may not help them for quite a while. But I feel like, if they feel like this is the guy, why not get him and let him learn from Aaron?”Now, in Aaron’s case he’s sat in the bullpen for three years, that seems like an extraordinarily long time and I don’t know if that will happen.”Jordan Love won’t be the quarterback this year, but after that you just don’t know. Football moves so much faster than it did 15 years ago.”last_img read more

The NFL is ditching pass interference replay review for all the right reasons

first_imgThis confirms two things. First, requesting accuracy from replay review on an inherently subjective call is nonsensical. This league has proved even something that should be objective — like simply whether a player made a catch — is not necessarily made clear by instant replay. It had no chance to adequately navigate the nuances of pass interference when the gray areas of the foul are amplified by slow motion.MORE: Winners & losers of NFL schedule release”In my opinion, we were trying to apply something that we’ve always been fearful of,” McKay allowed. “We didn’t know what the total outcome would be, but we were always fearful of putting a totally subjective play into replay. The majority of replays is objective, and what I mean by that is that it’s a line. ‘Did the ball cross the plane or not? Did the ball touch the ground or not? Were two feet in or not?’ There’s a lot of objective lines involved and it’s an objective review.”When we go into subjective, which is, ‘Was this enough for a foul? Did he grab him enough? Was the restriction enough?’ We knew there would be problems, because your subjectivity and my subjectivity on a particular reviewable play can easily be different. The fact that whether a ball was caught or not caught — we might disagree once in a 100 (times), but about 99 percent of the time we are going to agree because we can see it on replay.”That’s not true in a subjective world, so I think when you did what we did which was try to catch that really egregious big-time play and put that standard of clear and obvious, even then, I think you’re adding a subjective standard to a subjective play and I think we set ourselves up for not having agreement on results, and I think that showed itself during the year.”Secondly, the NFL’s admitting its fear of the pass interference review rule and its ditching the amendment after one year confirms the league was simply overreacting to the non-call that cost the Saints a trip to Super Bowl 53.We can’t blame the NFL for taking action after Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman’s blasting Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis was not called as the obvious pass interference it was, considering the officiating error occurred at such a crucial moment in the NFC championship game. But, as we’ve written here before, the league addressed the wrong issue.The problem was not that such an egregious missed call could not be reviewed. The problem was that such an easy call was missed in the first place.Many believe the NFL has allowed the quality of its officiating to slip, in part because only about 10 percent of the 120-plus game officials are on board as full-time employees. Former NFL vice president of officiating and current Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira recently told DAZN’s Pat McAfee he believes the league is simply unwilling to invest more resources in its officiating department. The NFL’s experiment in allowing pass interference calls or non-calls to be subject to replay review was never going to work. Now it seems the league knew all along it was merely putting a Band-Aid on a deep, comprehensive wound.A year after the league’s owners passed a one-season rule they claimed would help eliminate egregious officiating errors related to pass interference, the temporary rule is being dropped for 2020. “Nobody is putting forward the OPI/DPI review again, so that dies a natural death,” NFL competition committee Rich McKay said Thursday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I get it because it’s a negative,” Pereira said in October as part of a discussion about the NFL’s officiating issues. “Nothing positive comes from officiating. They don’t generate any money with the league. They’re a huge expense to a league, by the way, that values its money. So the value’s not there.”This is the root of the issue that sent the wrong team to Super Bowl 53. Which is why it’s encouraging that NFL team owners this year will consider a proposal (made by the Ravens and Chargers) that would add a “booth umpire” as an eighth game official to the crew. Another proposal, made by the same teams, would add a “senior technology advisor” to the referee for assistance.These are much more logical routes to take in the NFL’s quest to eliminate horrendous calls or non-calls. As the 2020 season confirmed, reviewing pass interference only gave the league more chances to make them.last_img read more

LWSC Inaugurates First Ebola Waste Storage

first_imgThe Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and its support partners last week inaugurated the first Ebola virus waste site at a symbolic ceremony held at the water agency’s Fiamah facility in Sinkor, Monrovia.Ensuring the eradication of the deadly Ebola virus and preventing its renewed outbreak in Liberia is now the major focus of the Liberian Government. To safeguard the gains in the fight to defeat the virus, the identification of a site or facility for the disposal of Ebola wastes from various Ebola Treatment Units was, from the onset, one of the crucial concerns of government and other stakeholders.LWSC, a member of the WASH Consortium in Liberia, said its facility in Fiamah, has been selected after several consultations with experts from the World Health Organization and other major support partners in the country. These partners included the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ministry of Health (MOH), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).They suggested that the LWSC storage tank in Sinkor be used for the treatment of Ebola wastes until a more appropriate arrangement could be identified for such disposals.“We were asked where to store the disinfected wastes. WHO, CDC, EPA, UNICEF, IRC and other partners and ourselves had continued to discuss and assess the facility and we came to the understanding that it was possible to inspect and prepare to store the treated Ebola wastes here for now, until it becomes harmless to society before disposing of it,” Frankie Cassell, LWSC Deputy Managing Director for Technical Services said.According to him, the storage tank that has been identified to store treated Ebola wastes has the capacity to contain 2.4 million gallons of liquid substances.He further noted that every step that requires ensuring maximum protection in the process of the storage would be followed to the letter. The time for transporting the treated Ebola wastes from ETUs falls between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Liberia National Police is aware of the process to provide security and free passage.Mr. Cassell also indicated that each ETU has a route through which the treated Ebola wastes will be collected and transported to the storage site in Sinkor. He disclosed that the LWSC crew is responsible to carry out the storage as they are already trained to perform the task.Residents in the neighbourhood of the facility had initially expressed concern about their safety during the period of storage.The LWSC deputy boss said it may be for seven months or more until CDC can declare the wastes harmless. There is a social mobilization component of the process of intervention that deals with those concerns emanating from the community dwellers.This component, he noted, is headed by the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), which is charged with creating public awareness to allay fears and apprehensions among those residing around the premises of the storage tank.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“May Day or No Day! Workers around Liberia must unite and ensure that the…

first_img“The failure of the National Legislature to pass the Decent Work Bill after almost three years is inexcusable and constitutes an indictment on the conscience of our nation,” Attorney-at-Law Samuel Kofi Woods, II has said.Woods, speaking to some workers via telephone recently said it has been more than four years since the Decent Work Bill has languished at the House of Legislature without passage. During this period, several bills have been passed. Majority of those bills may have offered lucrative possibilities for individuals rather than the nation.“May Day or no day! Workers around Liberia must unite and ensure that the Decent Work Bill is passed,” declared Woods. In the case of the Decent Work Bill, which contains a framework for improvements in the welfare and dignity of workers, this has been delayed, a reflection of the real interest of our Lawmakers, Woods charged. He explained that Liberian workers continue to suffer the burden of indignities and working conditions remain unacceptable. This bill should offer the legal framework for claims that workers and employers as well as government can make. The recent senate elections should have added impetus to this process but there are frightening signs so far. Woods reiterated what he said in October 2013 at events marking 10 years of peace in Liberia. “The Executive has been accused of mortgaging the country’s resources. True this is. However, the Legislature is the marketplace where the unfair bargaining of our resources takes place.”Woods maintained that “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will” quoting Frederick Douglas. He called on Liberian Workers through the Liberia Labor Congress, representative Labor Organizations and Civil Society Organizations to organize a series of peaceful actions leading to May Day, International Workers Day to put pressure on the National Legislature to complete the passage of the Decent Work Bill into law.It may be recalled that the process of review of the Labor Laws of Liberia was initiated during the administration of Atty. Woods, when he served as Minister of Labor. He was credited for repealing and amending several laws detrimental to the working class of Liberia. Notable among these laws were the Decree 12 of the People’s Redemption Council prohibiting strikes throughout Liberia and 1508 © which accorded employers the right to hire and fire without cause. These ad hoc actions were inadequate. He sought international assistance to embark on the more comprehensive review process.Atty. Woods has also termed as grossly inadequate the fine levied against The Liberia Agricultural Company in Grand Bassa County for its negligence in complying with basic environment and other safety measures that led to an explosion that claimed the lives of several workers. He declared that the workers and their families may seek alternative legal action to provide adequate legal redress for grievances. This can be done and must be done for Justice to be served.He called on individual workers and their unions to further pursue this case and offered to assist in any meaningful way.“May Day or no day! Workers around Liberia must unite and ensure that the Decent Work Bill is passed,” declared Woods.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Handball Ass’n Demands US$94K from LNOC

first_imgMr. Saweler, president of the Liberia National Handball Association.-Accuses LNOC of undermining its leadership; asks MYS to investigate claimThe Liberia National Handball Association (LNHA) has sent a letter to the Minister of Youth & Sports complaining about the president of the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC), Philipbert D. Browne’s intervention in its administration.In a letter dated Nov. 5, a copy of which was sent to the Daily Observer, LNHA president Mason Saweler said the LNOC has ‘grossly interfered and undermined the leadership of the LNHA, thereby slowing down its development in the country.Saweler said on January 29, 2018, the LNHA received an invitation to participate in the International Handball Federation Africa Zone 3 Handball Competition in Niamey, Niger.He said Liberia was to join seven other countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and the Ivory Coast with two teams. “The teams were the junior for those born in 1998 and the youth team for players born in 2,000,” he said.“Upon receipt of the invitation,” Saweler said, “we immediately communicated with the ministry and we confirmed our participation.”He said training began thereafter and subsequently submitted the list of the delegation, comprising 34 persons, which included 28 athletes and six officials.He said officially the organizing committee wanted them to travel by road to Niger and, realizing difficulties to travel by road made further appeal to the Organizing Committee who later agreed to fund the two delegations by air at the cost of US$42,500.While awaiting the money to complete travel arrangement, on March 12, 2018, “We received a letter from Mr. Browne, through Cllr. Sylvester Rennie, chairman of the LNOC arbitration committee, that the IHF has authorized the LNOC to investigate leadership crisis between the association and some aggrieved executive committee members of the LNHA.”In a seven-count statement that he wants MYS to investigate, Saweler said on April 1, 2018, “we received an email from Hristo Boroskoski-Tiki that he has received a communication from Liberia indicating there was a problem in our association, therefore, he will not make any payment until he gets clarity from the LNOC within three days.”On April 5, 2018, the LNOC Arbitration Committee “invited us to a hearing on April 7, but we inform the committee we were scheduled to travel on April 8 to Niger and therefore that we would not be in the capacity to honor but upon our return from Niger we would attend the hearing.”Saweler said, “the LNOC refused to allow us to attend the games because Philipbert Browne has instructed that we should not travel for the games and he had gotten in contact with Hristo Boroskoski-Tiki to cancel our participation.”At the hearing on April 9, “we provided clarity that coaches, referees, and players were not executive committee members. On April 8, the delegation went to Mr. Browne’s Benson Street office.“He said he did not want me, president of the LNHA to travel with the delegation and said he could only allow the coaches to head the delegation,” Saweler alleged.Saweler said the LNHA leadership tentatively agreed to Mr. Browne’s suggestion just to put him on record. Thereafter, Browne asked LNOC Secretary General Fred Pratt to email Boroskoski-Tika with their decision.However, the Organizing Committee took a decision to leave Liberia out of the competition.Saweler’s complaint to Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson also included what he said was the ‘gross violation of the bylaws and constitution of the LNOC by the appointment of Mr. Malcolm Joseph, who was a public relations officer, to serve as vice president for technical affairs and Fred Pratt as secretary general.In 2012, Saweler claimed, the LNOC carried a money changer as its athlete to the London Olympic Games that brought shame to the country, under Browne’s leadership.“In view of the foregoing, we write to forward the LNOC complaint to your office for immediate investigation and we are demanding him to pay the damage fees of USD94,000,” Saweler said.Copies of the complaint were sent to Chief Patron of Sports, President George Weah, House Committee on Youth and Sports, IHF, IOC, LNOC President and the media.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more