Amar’e Stoudemire’s caused a storm when he abused New York Knicks’ supporter Brian Ferrelli on Twitter.Ferrelli had sent a tweet to the star saying he’d ‘better come back a lot stronger and quicker to make up for this past season’, the New York Daily News reported.In response, Stoudemire, who is currently suffering from a hand injury, fired off a private message saying: ‘F*** you. I don’t have to do anything f**.’NBA officials then launched an investigation after Ferrelli posted a screen grab of the message on the social networking site that started trending.According to reports, Stoudemire has since apologized to the fan in a subsequent direct message. “I apologize for what I said earlier,” Stoudemire allegedly messaged. “I just got off the plane and had time to think about it. Sorry bro!! No excuses. Won’t happen again.”
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love made news Monday when he endorsed Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA MVP race. Now, normally that wouldn’t be much of a story — we’ve made the case for Westbrook ourselves — except for one not-so-tiny detail: Love picked Westbrook over his own teammate, LeBron James.Asked to choose between Westbrook (Love’s old college teammate at UCLA) and James by Dan Patrick on his eponymous radio show, Love said:They’re both having an MVP-type season, but I’m going to go with Russell Westbrook because … every single night you’re looking at his stat sheet, they’re fighting for a playoff spot, with Serge Ibaka going down now, Kevin Durant potentially being out the rest of the year and him still going out there and fighting for his team, and winning, and fighting for that seventh or eighth spot in the playoffs. … I think Russ is arguably having the better season.The supposed slight between teammates was later downplayed by James (“Kevin has his own opinion of who he believes is the MVP. No one should fault him for that.”). But to some, it added to the speculation about a growing rift between the two superstars — and what it could mean for Love’s future in Cleveland. If he chooses to, Love can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer.Then again, maybe Love was just following the same rubric that MVP voters have adhered to for over a half-century. Several years ago, Justin Kubatko (then of Basketball-Reference.com) analyzed historical patterns in NBA MVP voting, attempting to create an algorithm that would predict the front-runners for the award in-season. After going through a variety of statistical combinations, he found that four categories had by far the most influence on MVP results: team wins, points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game.That research forms the basis for Basketball-Reference.com’s MVP tracker tool, which currently gives Westbrook about twice as good a shot at the award as James. While James’ team has been better, winning 64 percent of its games — compared with 58 percent for Oklahoma City — Westbrook’s edges over James in points, rebounds and assists per game are traditionally more than enough to offset the difference in team records. The Thunder’s winning percentage would have to drop to 48 percent for Westbrook and James to have the same MVP probability per the Basketball-Reference.com model.(For what it’s worth, the metric also lists Houston’s James Harden and — especially — Golden State’s Stephen Curry as overwhelming MVP favorites, with Curry garnering a 41 percent probability of taking home the hardware. So it’s still unlikely that Westbrook or James will win the award.)In other words, Love isn’t necessarily going out of his way to disrespect James here. Perhaps the homer pick — publicly backing one’s teammate despite evidence to the contrary — is still a customary gesture of solidarity among colleagues. But by picking Westbrook instead, Love was at least highly consistent with the way media members have voted for players since the first MVP was handed out.
Senior forward Danny Jensen advances the ball down the field against a UC Santa Barbara defender. Credit: Ohio State AthleticsThe Ohio State men’s soccer team knew the stakes coming into Friday night. A loss meant the Buckeyes would start the season 0-5 and 0-1 in conference play.But when the lights were the brightest, coach John Bluem’s team finally shined.The Buckeyes were able to secure their first victory of the season on Friday night, as they beat the Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 1-0.The team had not gotten off to a good start, scoring just one goal through their first few games with an 0-4 record to back it up.With their first conference matchup against Northwestern looming, The Ohio State men’s soccer team knew that the time to start winning was right now.“The Big Ten Conference season gives you that new lift,” Bluem said. “Yeah we are off to a disappointing start but now conference games is a new chance, a new shot at it.” It looked like Ohio State would be in an unfavorable position in the early goings of the first period.In the 25th minute, Northwestern was able to put one into the back of the net off a corner kick. Their excitement would be short lived, however, as the Wildcats were called for being offside on the play, taking the goal off the board.The Buckeyes were eventually able to control tempo in the opening period, outshooting the Wildcats 9-1 with a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.In the 30th minute, sophomore midfielder Abdi Mohamed ripped a shot into the top left corner of the net, requiring a diving save by Northwestern goalkeeper Francisco Tomasino to keep the Buckeyes off the board.After a free kick by junior forward Marcus McCrary, junior defender Niall Logue stood alone with the ball on the right side of the box, but his strong shot flew just wide left of the far post.Ohio State continued their possession-dominating play right out of the gate after play resumed. Just four minutes into the second period, senior midfielder Ben Fitzpatrick was able to launch a shot off Tomasino and into the back right of the net for the Buckeyes first goal of the game and first goal at home this season.“I found a gap. Danny [Jensen] played a good ball to me,” said Fitzpatrick. “The keeper could not make the save so I got my first goal for the Buckeyes.”Fitzpatrick, who grew up in Hilliard, Ohio, is a transfer from Urbana University. Playing for Ohio State has always been a goal of his.“It’s surreal,” said Fitzpatrick. “Ever since I’ve been a little kid I’ve dreamed about playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Coming in and finishing my senior year here has been a really big thing for me.”Northwestern had numerous attempts to net the equalizer, registering seven shots in the second half.However, Fitzpatrick’s score would prove to be enough, however, as the game ended with the Buckeyes on top 1-0.The Buckeyes outshot the Wildcats 16-8 with a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. They move to 1-0 in conference play.“Our attacking play certainly was better tonight than it has been in previous games. We created a lot more opportunities,” said Bluem. “Our defense was very resilient again and Parker Siegfried had a very, very good game in goal for us tonight. Glad he got a shutout.For Siegfried, it was his first career shutout. He made two saves in the game.Ohio State will look to make it two in a row when they take on Penn State at University Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
On a day of many firsts for Ohio State football, Luke Fickell earned the most important one: His first win as coach. In his first start, redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman was 12-for-16 passing for 163 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for 32 yards and one touchdown in three quarters of work. Jake Stoneburner became the first OSU tight end to catch three touchdowns in a game and, along with a stingy OSU defense, the Buckeyes defeated the Akron Zips, 42-0, in front of 105,001 fans at Ohio Stadium. Saturday’s game was the team’s first since former coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign as OSU coach on May 30 after failing to self-report NCAA violations committed by his players. No. 18-ranked OSU (1-0) also had nine players suspended for the game, including DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Dan Herron and Solomon Thomas, who are suspended for the first five games of this season. Jordan Whiting was also banned from Saturday’s game, as were Corey Brown, Travis Howard and Jordan Hall, whose suspensions were announced on Thursday. “We’ll focus on what we have and not what we’ve lost,” Fickell said in his post game press conference. “We’ll continue to move forward. Even with everything that’s been outside and out and around us, the players have done a really good job of focusing.” As Fickell promised during a Tuesday press conference, Bauserman took the first snap of the game, and then made the most of his first drive as an OSU starter. Bauserman led the Buckeyes on an eight-play, 74-yard scoring drive. After eluding a tackle in the backfield, Bauserman scampered 15 yards into the end zone. The ensuing point-after attempt put OSU up, 7-0. After forcing a punt on Akron’s second possession, Fickell endured the first missed opportunity in his short time as the Buckeyes’ coach. Redshirt freshman tailback Rod Smith carried five times for 31 yards to help lead OSU into scoring position, but fumbled inside the 5-yard line. OSU’s defense forced a three-and-out and a third consecutive punt by Akron (0-1), however. Enter true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, who stepped onto the Horseshoe’s turf to lead his first drive. Miller kept the ball and ran for two yards on his opening play, however, his first pass attempt was bobbled and dropped by junior tight end Reid Fragel. Miller was then forced to smother the ball after an errant snap on his third play under center, and the Buckeyes punted. After Akron’s fourth punt of the game, Bauserman retook the offensive reins on OSU’s next possession. That drive, which covered 64 yards and lasted 5:35, resulted in a 28-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Stoneburner and a 14-0 lead for OSU. Kicker Drew Basil missed a 40-yard field goal with 2:52 remaining in the second quarter, but the OSU defense protected the team’s two scores by limiting Akron to a single first down to that point in the game. Senior linebacker Andrew Sweat intercepted a pass by Zips’ sophomore quarterback Clayton Moore just moments later, however. Sweat stomped his feet in-bounds before falling into the OSU bench area on Akron’s 35-yard line. “(Dominic Clarke) deflected it (the pass) and I just ran to the ball,” Sweat said. “I was just trying to assist on the tackle and it ended up deflecting upward and I was lucky enough to catch it.” By game’s end, Sweat had also tallied a team-high six tackles, two of which were for losses totaling eight yards. Moore, who completed only six of 16 passes 54 yards in the game, could only help guide the Zips to 90 total yards of offense. Sweat’s interception gave OSU a chance to redeem itself — and it did. Sophomore tailback Carlos Hyde opened the drive with a 24-yard run. Three plays later, Bauserman again connected with Stoneburner for an 11-yard touchdown pass to put the Buckeyes up 21-0. On the ensuing Zips’ drive, kicker T.J. Marchese’s 41-yard field goal attempt sailed left of the uprights as time expired in the first half. On the defensive side, the Buckeyes limited Akron to 100 total yards in the half. Sweat’s interception also marked the only drive on which the Zips didn’t punt. The Buckeyes’ dominance continued at the outset of the second half. Eight plays after sophomore kick returner Corey Brown returned the opening kick of the half to Akron’s 49-yard line, Bauserman threw his third touchdown pass of the day to Stoneburner — a 2-yard pass this time — and OSU led, 28-0. Stoneburner had four catches for 50 yards on the play. He also became the first tight end in the 122-year history of Buckeyes’ football to score three touchdowns in a game, as well as the eighth player at any position to accomplish the feat. Bauserman led the Buckeyes on six of their first seven drives before Miller took command of the offense for the duration of the game. “It felt good to get out there and get good timing and get comfortable with the seniors and offensive line,” Bauserman said. “I’ll watch film and critique it (the game) and move on.” On just his third drive as a collegian, Miller celebrated his inaugural touchdown pass. Miller found wide receiver and fellow freshman Devin Smith for a 14-yard touchdown after leading OSU on a six-play, 59-yard drive. At that point, the Buckeyes led, 35-0, and both teams began to clear their benches. Miller then guided a 38-yard scoring scoring drive that Smith capped with a two-yard touchdown run to put the Buckeyes up 42-0, and went on to win by the same score. For the game, Miller and Bauserman combined to help the Buckeyes tally 517 total yards of offense. “It was good for both Braxton and I to get out there,” Bauserman said. “Braxton came in and did well and moved the ball. We both were focused.” Smith finished the game with 74 yards on 18 carries while Miller ended his afternoon 8-for-12 passing for 130 yard and one touchdown. After notching his first victory on a day when the temperature on the field rose above 100-degrees, Fickell said that he had not spoken to Tressel prior to Saturday’s game and that he was solely focused on his players’ performance. “No, I have not talked with (Tressel),” Fickell said. “I know he’s rooting for us and for these guys. We are definitely excited about having a great day out there and looking forward to getting better.” OSU plays the Toledo Rockets (1-0) on Saturday at noon at the ‘Shoe.
As freshman quarterback Braxton Miller was given his first opportunity to take the reins of the Ohio State offense on Saturday, this much was clear: what looked to be a disappointing 2011 season a week ago had suddenly transformed into one full of optimism, not just for now, but for the next four years in Columbus. But even as Miller moved the ball with the most consistency the Buckeyes had seen since playing woeful Akron in the first week of the season, his success was the cause of more frustration for Buckeye fans. First, let’s examine the good that came along with Miller’s starting debut on Saturday. Thanks in part to a Colorado special teams unit that would have made former OSU coach Jim Tressel cringe, Miller led the Buckeyes to 37 points, the most the offense has scored since OSU’s win against Akron. He ran the ball well as he accumulated 83 yards rushing the ball and turned multiple would-be losses into gains with his feet. After last week’s debacle against Miami, the Buckeyes needed to find a new identity to tell poll voters that this wasn’t the same OSU team that couldn’t score a touchdown or even move the ball with any sort of consistency a week ago in South Beach. With Miller playing well as he took over as the undisputed starting quarterback for the Buckeyes, they accomplished just that. But with Miller playing as well as he did on Saturday, I’m sure that many OSU fans found themselves asking why Miller wasn’t named the starter earlier in the season. Despite turning the ball over twice against Miami, Miller moved the ball more consistently as the team’s quarterback than Joe Bauserman did, and one can’t help but think that giving Miller more playing time — especially versus Toledo, against which he didn’t take any snaps — would have better prepared him for the Hurricanes and the remainder of the 2011 season. The best way to get past that frustration is to tell yourself that it’s time to look forward and not backward. But even doing that raises more questions about the OSU coaching staff’s use of Miller. Throughout much of the game against Colorado, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman refused to take the training wheels off of Miller as the Buckeyes centered their offense around running the ball. On two separate occasions, OSU elected to run draw plays when facing third-and-long situations. Not surprisingly, both attempts were unsuccessful. Admittedly, I’ve never taken a meaningful snap at quarterback at any level, but even playing Madden on my PlayStation 3 has taught me that in order to maintain a successful passing game, it’s best for a quarterback to develop a rhythm, which would require attempting more than the 13 total passes that Miller attempted on his 11 offensive drives on Saturday. OSU’s negligence to its passing game resulted in a 5-for-13 throwing the ball performance for Miller, who wasn’t helped by drops from T.Y. Williams and Jaamal Berry and a questionably ruled incomplete pass to his new favorite target, Devin Smith. It was still good enough to beat Colorado, but it won’t be good enough to beat the Buckeyes’ next two opponents, Big Ten title contenders Michigan State and Nebraska. Both of those teams will bring defensive-minded coaches in Mark Dantonio and Bo Pelini who carry ties to OSU and will be making their best cases to take over for OSU coach Luke Fickell at the end of the season. And if Miller proves to be ill-prepared for the challenges brought by the Spartans and the Cornhuskers in the next two weeks, then it will be Fickell, more than anyone, who helped those coaches’ causes.
OSU senior quarterback Braxton Miller. Credit: Courtesy of OSUWhen Urban Meyer named the Ohio State football captains for the 2014 season, he seemed to set the tone for the rest of the year.Despite being out for the season, senior quarterback Braxton Miller was voted a captain by his teammates for the second season in a row. He headlined the list of five players who will lead the Buckeyes on the field.Coach Meyer said Miller was a “high vote getter” and the team will try bring him along when it travels as often as possible.“He’d be one of the 70 (players to go on the trip) if he can go. He won’t be able to go this time because of his (shoulder), but there will be times we have to make that decision,” Meyer said of Miller, who is currently in Florida to meet with Dr. James Andrews for shoulder surgery. Meyer said his surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.The other four players, all seniors, include cornerback Doran Grant, linebacker Curtis Grant, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and tight end Jeff Heuerman.Doran Grant, the only returning starter in the Buckeye secondary, has had impressive spring and fall camps, Meyer said Aug. 16, adding that Grant was playing like an all-Big Ten conference corner.Curtis Grant struggled for most of his Buckeye career to crack the starting lineup as he was constantly battling for time against former Buckeye Ryan Shazier, but then was eventually replaced by former converted fullback Zach Boren because of lack of production.Despite that, he’s emerged as a starter and team captain for the Buckeyes this year because he’s been putting the team first, junior linebacker Joshua Perry said.“Curtis has been here for a few years and he has tried a lot of different things to be successful and some of them have worked better than others,” Perry said. “This year his mentality was to be a guy who is about the team and to help everybody in our unit out. I think by doing that, that made him a better overall player and leader.”Meyer also made a point of singling out Curtis Grant, who has started 13 games in his Buckeye career.“That’s one of the great things about what we do for a living is to see young people grow up, and boy, has Curtis Grant done a nice job,” he said Monday.Bennett, who has remained a model of consistency at OSU, is coming off of a season in which he started 13 games and recorded seven sacks.Bennett is the fourth Buckeye from Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio, to be named an OSU captain along with now-ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit (1992), Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (2004) and Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk (2005). All three went on to be named team-MVP at the end of the year.He has played 34 games so far in his Buckeye career.Rounding out the captains is Heuerman, who, like Miller, is coming off of an offseason injury.Meyer said that although Heuerman still isn’t 100 percent healthy, he anticipates the tight end will play in the opener against Navy.The senior from Naples, Fla., recorded a career-best season in 2013 with 26 catches for 466 yards and four scores.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Navy Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon.
Police are searching for three potential witnesses who may have seen a missing RAF gunner on the night he disappeared, as they say it is possible he went off with someone.Senior aircraftman Corrie McKeague, of II Sqn RAF Regiment, has not been seen for more than a fortnight after he vanished following a Friday night drinking session with comrades in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.Detectives say they have now identified three young people seen on CCTV at the time who they want to speak to. Corrie McKeague was last seen in the early hours of September 24Credit:SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY Brown suede Timberland boots Corrie McKeague is thought to have been wearingCredit:Suffolk Police/PA SAC McKeague is described as white, 5ft 10in and of medium build, with short light brown hair. A pink Ralph Lauren shirt that Corrie McKeague was believed to have been wearing when he disappearedCredit:Suffolk Police/PA 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. Police and detectives have said the 23-year-old is believed to have set off to walk to his base at RAF Honington nine miles away and they fear he may have had an accident on the way.However his mother, Nicola Urquhart, of Dunfermline, has said she is convinced others are involved.Ms Urquart, herself a police family liaison officer, said: “Police are confident Corrie is not still in Bury and has not left on foot. “This includes the possibility that Corrie may have attempted to walk home but not been captured on CCTV, that he has willingly gone with someone else or that something else may have happened.“At this stage there is no evidence of criminality and nothing to indicate any third party involvement, however this continues to be subject to the ongoing investigation and nothing can be ruled out at this time.” “This can only mean there is third party involvement, there is just no evidence so far to prove criminality.Suffolk police said: “Police are continuing to keep an open mind as to what has happened to Corrie, and continue to investigate all possibilities.
A man who was subject to a citizen’s arrest following a suspected robbery has died in hospital.The 29-year-old had been restrained by two men who believed he had snatched a woman’s handbag on a residential street in Wolverhampton.Police officers were called in the early hours of 16 October to a suspected robbery Stafford Road. Two men who witnessed the alleged crime detained the suspect while waiting for police, the West Midlands force said. Officers arrived and arrested him but police said he then “became unwell”.They performed CPR on him before paramedics arrived to take him to hospital, but he died three days later. 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. The man’s family have been informed, police said, and are receiving specialist support.Detective Inspector Greg Evans, from Wolverhampton CID, said: “We are piecing together what happened on Sunday and it is really important that people who were in the area at the time come forward.“We know the man who made the original 999 call asked a passing member of the public to help him confirm the location as he was unsure. That passer-by then spoke to the 999 operator but left the scene… I really need him to contact me or one of my team so I can clarify what he witnessed.”Further tests are required following a post-mortem examination. The coroner and the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been notified of the incident.
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. Manchester United are believed to be among those included within an image rights “tax dodging” investigation, a Conservative MP has said.Charlie Elphicke added fans should be angry that top football clubs and players including United and England captain Wayne Rooney “stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax dodging”.Jennie Granger, HMRC’s head of enforcement and compliance, earlier this month said 43 players and 12 football clubs in British leagues – alongside eight agents – are currently under investigation around the issue of image rights.Speaking in the Commons, Mr Elphicke said: “HM Revenue and Customs says it’s investigating 43 Premier League players and 12 clubs for image rights tax-dodging, believed to include Manchester United.”Would you agree fans are right to be angry that big clubs, including players like England captain Wayne Rooney, stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax dodging?” Sports Minister Tracey Crouch replied: “I agree with you that those in football should protect the reputation of football.”But you are asking me to comment on a matter that HMRC is still investigating, and football players, clubs, managers are treated no differently to others and are expected to adhere to the same principles.”A Manchester United spokesman said later: “The club operates within the rules set by football’s governing bodies and HMRC has full visibility of all agreements and payments.” A spokesman for Wayne Rooney said: “All of Wayne Rooney’s tax affairs, including those involving his image rights, are conducted in full compliance with the law.”
Theresa May’s speech impressed some, as she laid out her 12 point plan to leave the single market but stay in Europe and get the “best deal” for Britain.However, some were less than impressed, including beloved television presenter Sue Perkins.After seeing Nigel Farage praise Mrs May’s words, tweeting: “I can hardly believe that the PM is now using the phrases and words that I’ve been mocked for using for years. Real progress.”Ms Perkins sarcastically replied: “Oh Theresa, you must be SO proud…”. Oh Theresa, you must be SO proud…. https://t.co/LLhbjVHOrV— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) January 17, 2017 Brexit means Clean Brexit, Deal means No Deal. No single market but best possible access to single market. #waffle— lily allen (@lilyallen) January 17, 2017 Brexit ?? Blah blah blah. Big L is not impressed #hotairvent pic.twitter.com/HqdPzSZsqT— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) January 17, 2017 Lily Allen, however, dismissed it as “waffle”. The Prime Minister used a major speech to warn that the EU will be torn into “tiny pieces” if it does not give Britain the deal it wants, insisting that she will walk away from negotiations with Brussels if they attempt to give Britain a “bad deal”.She promised to give MPs and peers a final vote on the Brexit deal, and confirmed we will leave the single market. And Larry the cat spent the majority of the speech lying on a hot air vent. Today, our Prime Minister @theresa_may found her voice. Strong, bold, courageous leadership. Bravo. 👏👏👏— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 17, 2017 She was also unimpressed by the Labour Party, accusing them of not being a real Opposition.The presenter wrote: “Democracy, of course, only really works when there’s an opposition…”Other celebrities and prominent figures expressed their views on the speech.Piers Morgan tweeted that Theresa May had “found her voice” and virtually applauded her. 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.