Megatron May Retire But He Isnt Washed Up

Based on data from 2Antonio Brown27PIT6,016 6Demaryius Thomas28DEN4,330 5Calvin Johnson30DET4,355 8Eric Decker28NYJ4,142 4A.J. Green27CIN4,816 Projected future yards, active wide receivers age 25+ And though 2015 certainly wasn’t the best year of Johnson’s career, he hasn’t shown any unusual swings in his production — even the “cliff” after his record-setting 1,964 yards in 2012 is consistent with regression to the mean (not to mention he missed several games yet scored far more touchdowns) — and is still well above average.Retirements by receivers still producing at a level as high as Johnson are almost nonexistent. The closest example is probably Packers receiver Sterling Sharpe, who had to retire after a severe neck injury at age 29. Sharpe finished his career with 8,134 receiving yards and 65 receiving touchdowns, while Johnson has 11,619 receiving yards and 83 receiving touchdowns. Johnson’s total is actually the second-most yards by a receiver by age 30 since the merger, and most of the other top receivers on that list still had thousands of yards ahead of them: (Note that combining Johnson’s current receiving yards with his projections would put him ahead of Terrell Owens for second on the all-time yards list behind Rice, though Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall both project even higher totals than Johnson.)If Johnson ultimately decides to leave, good for him. If he ultimately decides to stay, good for football. 10Larry Fitzgerald32ARI3,957 Of course, both of these curves are skewed by Jerry Rice. Moreover, Johnson has had to shoulder a heavy burden in his career. So, I experimented with a number of variables to predict production among NFL players in their late 20s and beyond (call it back-of-the-envelope modeling). I found that — in addition to age — the most recent season is the most significant predictor, but that both past performance and burden are statistically meaningful as well.2I wanted to account for all of present season performance, past performance, how explosive the player has been, and how much of a load they’ve had to carry — all while remaining predictive and statistically sound — in a short period of time. Ultimately, the model that paid some tribute to all of those factors and performed best among those I tested was a linear model using age, yards and TDs gained in the present year, total TDs prior to the current year, and total receptions prior to and including the current year: lm(aftYds ~ Age + Yds + TD + cumTDs + thruRec, data=wrseas[Year<=2011 & Age>=25]. There is likely much room to improve on this, but it works as a first pass.With all of this taken into account, the balance of Johnson’s career projects to be the fifth-most productive among those of active NFL receivers age 25 and older: 3Brandon Marshall31NYJ5,050 1Julio Jones26ATL6,213 Further, Johnson’s 1,214 yards this season are the 14th-most for a 30-year-old since the merger. Production as a 30-year-old is a pretty good predictor of future career success for receivers, and it also suggests that Johnson might have 4,000-plus yards left in him: 7Doug Baldwin27SEA4,293 This rumor has been around for a while, but ESPN reported more details Sunday about the Calvin Johnson retirement saga, citing sources who suggest Johnson is “content” with his decision to call it quits. Johnson may have his reasons — health-related or otherwise — to retire, and he can do what he pleases. (I, for one, enjoy seeing players come and go for the sheer information value of it all.) But whatever is going on, it should be clear this isn’t a matter of Megatron’s career having run its natural course.Johnson, who won’t turn 31 until September, would be one of the most shocking retirements since fellow Detroit legend Barry Sanders bowed out of the league after the 1998 season. But Sanders – also 30 at the time and considered by some to be in his prime – had just matched the lowest yards per attempt of his career for a 5-11 team. And more importantly, he was a running back. Running backs don’t age nearly as well as receivers.Since the 1970 merger, there have been 294 seasons of 1,200-plus rushing yards and just 24 of them came from running backs aged 30 or older. Meanwhile, there have been 258 seasons of 1,200-plus receiving yards, with 56 by players aged 30 or older. While most starting receivers are usually in their mid-to-late 20s, we do start seeing significant attrition around the 30-year mark. It isn’t surprising that non-productive older receivers are quickly replaced by younger, cheaper alternatives. But for those with the skill and good fortune to stick around, there isn’t any drop-off in average performance.Here’s how Johnson compares to the gaggle of receivers who started the majority of a season since 19701I know there are more advanced wide receiver statistics than “yards,” but I’m not certain any are significantly more predictive of future career prospects.: 9Jeremy Maclin27KAN4,069 RANKPLAYERAGETEAMYARDS read more

How the NFLs Top Receivers Stats Would Change If They Played With

The New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham lost an arbitration hearing Wednesday in which he sought classification as a wide receiver rather than a tight end. Graham’s desire to be a wideout might seem counterintuitive to fantasy football players used to a game where being a tight end makes Graham even more valuable. But in the NFL, Graham will lose money as a result of the decision. He’s been designated with the Saints’ franchise player tag, which means that his compensation is determined by the top salaries in the NFL at his position. The five highest-paid NFL wide receivers make an average of about $12 million per season — more than the $7 million the top tight ends do.The arbitrator’s decision might seem unfair to Graham. Over the past three NFL seasons, Graham ranks eighth in the NFL in receiving yards, fourth in receptions and first in receiving touchdowns. He’s put up stats comparable to the best wide receivers — but he won’t be paid like one.But there’s a catch, and it has nothing to do with Graham’s position. Instead it involves his quarterback. Over the past three NFL seasons, Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees has ranked first in the league in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completions. Graham has been a big part of that. But even if we subtracted Graham’s receiving statistics from Brees’s totals, Brees would rank seventh, third and sixth in those categories.So we can say Brees’s numbers would still be very strong with an average tight end (or even with no tight end at all). But what would Graham’s numbers look like with an average QB?We can come to some reasonable estimates by using ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating. Unlike most other quarterback statistics, Total QBR seeks to isolate the contribution of the quarterback as opposed to his receivers and his offensive line. It does so by using play-by-play tracking to account for things such as misthrown balls, yards after the catch and defensive pressure.Unfortunately, there’s not yet any analog to QBR for wide receivers and tight ends. But we can use QBR to estimate the effect a quarterback has on his receivers’ statistics. The next couple of paragraphs, which detail the method, are going to be a little dry; scroll down if you want to see just the results.To come up with these estimates, I used a subcomponent of QBR called Pass EPA, which focuses on a quarterback’s passing performance (as opposed to Total QBR, which also accounts for his rushing statistics and his propensity to avoid sacks and draw penalties). I ran a series of regressions on team totals from the 2011-13 NFL regular seasons, which estimated a team’s receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns as a function of its Pass EPA. In essence, this reflects what a team’s passing statistics would look like given average receivers and pass protection but its actual quarterbacks. For example, a team with the quarterbacking of the 2013 Dallas Cowboys (mostly Tony Romo) would project to about 360 receptions, 4000 passing yards and 29 touchdowns given average receivers and offensive linemen.We can then divide a team’s projected statistics by league-average figures to estimate what effect its quarterbacks had on its receivers. For example, the average team since 2011 has had 24 passing touchdowns. Since the 2013 Cowboys projected to 29 touchdowns instead based on their QBR — about 20 percent higher than average — this implies that Romo boosted his receivers’ touchdown totals by 20 percent. Thus, we can reduce the touchdown totals for Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and other Cowboys receivers by 20 percent to estimate how they would have done with league-average quarterbacking.Let’s return to Graham. His quarterback isn’t the good-but-not-consistently-great Romo; it’s the spectacular Brees. Here’s what I estimate Graham’s numbers would have looked like with an average quarterback instead of Brees:In the table above, REC, YDS and TD represent a receiver’s unadjusted receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.Graham has been averaging about 90 receptions and 1,200 yards per year under Brees. I estimate that his totals would be more like 75 receptions and 900 yards with an average QB. And he’d go from having about 12 touchdowns per season to seven or eight instead. (Quarterbacks have an especially large impact on their receivers’ touchdown totals, in part because it requires consistent quarterbacking to get a team into the red zone.)These revised totals would still qualify Graham as an exceptional tight end — but they’d only be very good by the standard of a wide receiver. In the next chart, I’ve listed the actual and QB-adjusted receiving statistics for the top 50 players in the NFL as ranked based on a fantasy football scoring system of one point per reception, one point per 10 receiving yards and six points per receiving touchdown. (Fantasy football scoring systems place too much emphasis on touchdowns rather than yardage, but I’ll leave that argument for another day.)Based on his average fantasy points (FP) per season since 2011, Graham ranks third among all receivers and tight ends. But his FPs decline by almost 25 percent using his QB-adjusted statistics, so he falls to 14th place instead.Graham has benefited as much from his quarterbacks as any player in the NFL. Other pass-catchers for the Saints have been helped almost as much. So has Wes Welker, who left the New England Patriots and joined the Broncos just as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady began to show some signs of age. In Denver, Peyton Manning, apparently ageless, had perhaps the best QB season of all-time.The biggest gainer is the Browns’ Josh Gordon, who has posted excellent statistics despite a horrible quarterbacking situation in Cleveland. If Johnny Manziel lives up to the hype, Gordon could be a fantasy football monster next season (if he plays; Gordon failed a drug test and will be suspended for a yet to be determined number of games).For most other players, the effects are not so dramatic. Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall rate as the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers according to both raw and QB-adjusted statistics.But the league’s best tight ends tend to fall with the adjustment for quarterback quality. Rob Gronkowski drops from No. 20 to No. 39, for instance. Witten falls from No. 21 to No. 31 and Antonio Gates from No. 42 to No. 48.This could be a fluke — it’s a small sample of players. But it could also mean that tight ends are especially dependent on having good QBs. Along with slot receivers like Welker (it might be best to think of tight ends like Graham as being analogous to slot receivers), they tend to rely on routes based on precision and timing rather than beating their man downfield. Running those routes — and catching passes in traffic — requires a lot of skill. But the quarterback’s impact may be proportionately higher. That may be part of why NFL teams do not pay the best tight ends as well as the best wideouts. read more

201516 NBA Preview The Suns Have Talent But Lack Shooting

Last year’s Phoenix Suns won 39 games, and despite their dramatic offseason — which included being spurned by primary target LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as a ton of player turnover — we don’t see them doing much better or worse. They settled for 33-year-old true center Tyson Chandler, who is probably more of a sure thing (in the short run) anyway. The Suns traded 26-year-old power forward M. Morris (Marcus) to Detroit, but kept 26-year-old power forward M. Morris (Markieff). Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas are also gone, leaving the Suns with only two point guards on the roster instead of four. While our projections aren’t high on No. 13 draft pick Devin Booker, don’t be surprised if the rookie gets a good amount of playing time as a shooting guard taller than 6-foot-3.FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projects Phoenix to go 40-42:1In the following chart, we assume that in addition to the listed players, some portion of Phoenix’s minutes will be filled by generic players of “replacement level” quality — that is, the type of players who would be freely available off the waiver wire during the season. The big question everyone has about Markieff Morris seems to be how he will respond to the Suns’ decision to get rid of his twin brother, Marcus, and how he will respond to the fact that his team unsuccessfully tried to upgrade him to LaMarcus Aldridge. Note: CARMELO does NOT account for offseason drama (maybe in version 2.0). Brandon Knight is a longtime point guard who has been (and will likely continue to be) pushed into a shooting guard role. Last year, in a limited number of games with the Suns, this didn’t go very well. His .472 true shooting percentage in his 11 games with Phoenix is by far the lowest he has posted for a team in his career. With experience at shooting guard under his belt and the Suns’ dearth of options at that spot, P.J. Tucker may be due for another role shift. Since arriving in Phoenix, he has actually seen his shooting guard minutes decline — from 78 percent to 41 percent to 21 percent over the past three years. He’s also one of the team’s more efficient shooters (Tucker’s TS% of 54.1 percent was second only to Bledsoe) and is the best 3-point shooter among players with substantial minutes remaining on the team. Though that’s less because his .345 3-point rate is great than because the Suns dumped all four players ahead of him (Thomas, Morris, Dragic and Gerald Green). Eric Bledsoe is the Suns’ most prolific offensive (read: “star”) player and will continue to be their playmaker. It’s less clear who will be consummating those plays, as four of the Suns’ top scorers from last year have departed. And in worse news, Bledsoe is a small, offense-oriented point guard with a questionable 3-point shot (.326 from downtown last year and .325 for his career). That particular species of player is not known to flourish in the modern NBA. According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, Tyson Chandler arrives in Phoenix as already their best player. The 7-1 defender/rebounder had the fifth-highest defensive plus-minus (DRPM) among centers, and despite not being a top scorer he posted the eighth-highest offensive plus-minus (ORPM). The main issue with Chandler is that, at age 33, CARMELO expects him to decline fairly rapidly, projecting him as providing 5.9 wins above replacement this year — down from 8.1 last year – and then to 4.3 next year. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Finally, we must mention Devin Booker, not so much because he’s projected to do much, but because circumstances might press him into action. The main accomplishment for Booker — one of approximately 475 players drafted out of Kentucky last year — probably was getting more than 20 minutes a game on that squad. The good news is that he took about half his shots from 3-point range and hit a respectable 41.1 percent (note that college 3-pointers are easier). Sadly for Suns fans, he had only 17 steals in 38 games, so he’s obviously doomed. Last year, the Suns were about league average on both offense and defense. This year, CARMELO expects them to have an improved defense (thanks to Chandler) and a worse offense. With so few offensive options, it seems that something has to give (like, will Chandler be given more offensive responsibility than he’s used to?). We’ll see.Here’s what CARMELO has to say about the Suns’ key squad members: read more

Ohio State womens volleyball sees 20 lead evaporate in loss to No

Members of the OSU women’s volleyball team during a game against Michigan on Nov. 14 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 3-0. Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern PhotographerAfter taking the first two sets from fourth-ranked Minnesota on Wednesday night, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team had the Big Ten leaders on the ropes.But the No. 16 Buckeyes (22-9, 11-8) couldn’t deliver the knockout blow, dropping three consecutive sets to fall to Minnesota (25-4, 17-2) for the second times in as many matches this season (27-25, 31-29, 17-25, 15-25, 9-15).The loss marked OSU’s second straight and its seventh over its last 11 matches.Meanwhile, the win for the Golden Gophers guaranteed them at least a share of the Big Ten title.Minnesota junior middle blocker Hannah Tapp put forth a dominant performance with 20 kills on a .500 hitting percentage and added seven blocks to lead all players with 24 points.Also breaking the 20-point mark were junior outside hitter Sarah Wilhite (20 kills, three blocks, two aces) and senior outside hitter Daly Santana (17 kills, three aces, three blocks).With hard-fought, extra-point wins in the first two sets, OSU looked poised to pull off the upset in Minneapolis, but unforced errors proved to be the difference down the stretch as it blew the two-game advantage.The Buckeyes committed only one hitting error and attacked .348 in the first frame, though it took all they had to fight off the Golden Gophers. Faced with set point on three different occasions, OSU was able to force extra points and flipped a 25-24 deficit into a 27-25 win.The Scarlet and Gray didn’t find as much success on offense in the second set, but held Minnesota in check (.068 attack percentage) behind five blocks. The teams battled even further into extra points than they did in the first set, but the OSU was again able to find its way to a win.An upset looked even more certain for the Buckeyes when they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but things unraveled from there as they would lead only once more — for a brief time in the fifth set — in the remainder of the match.OSU was significantly out-hit, .375-.140, over the final three frames as it committed 19 attack errors (versus only six for Minnesota) and had nine shots blocked.Three Buckeyes notched double-doubles in the loss: senior outside hitters Elizabeth Campbell (18 kills, 15 digs) and Katie Mitchell (11 kills, career-high 14 digs), along with freshman setter Taylor Hughes (career-high 54 assists, 15 digs).Reigning Big Ten freshman of the week and outside hitter Audra Appold led OSU with 19 points by way of 18 kills and one solo block.As it tries to get some degree of momentum heading into the NCAA tournament, OSU is scheduled to wrap up the regular season on Saturday in St. John Arena on senior night against Rutgers. In the teams’ previous matchup in Piscataway, New Jersey, the Buckeyes handled the Scarlet Knights rather easily in three sets. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. read more

Clippers catcher Santana named league player of the week

Catcher Carlos Santana earned the International League Player of the Week award in his first week with the Columbus Clippers.  Santana came to the Clippers from Class AA Akron to start the year and is considered a top prospect in the Cleveland Indians farm system.  In four games for the Columbus Clippers last week, Santana compiled a batting average of .438, a league-leading four home runs and eight RBIs.  “Santana is our guy. He had a great year last year with me in Akron,” Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “He’s a real exciting player, a switch-hitter who is really good from both sides of the plate. He has a great arm and is outstanding defensively behind the plate.” The awards keep rolling in for Santana, who was named Most Valuable Player of the Class A California League in 2008 and Most Valuable Player in Class AA Eastern League in 2009. read more

Opinion Columbus Blue Jackets shouldnt give in to Ryan Johansens agent

Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen (19) carries the puck up ice in front of the Florida Panthers’ Drew Shore (15) during a game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on March 1, 2014. Columbus won, 6-3.Credit: Courtesy of MCTThe Columbus Blue Jackets would be smart to move on from Ryan Johansen. Not because they don’t need him, but because he needs them. And he’ll realize that soon enough.Following a breakout season where he posted a team-leading 63 points, Johansen has yet to sign a new deal with Columbus. He’s sitting on his restricted free agent status while his teammates have begun preseason play. All signs point to Johansen’s agent Kurt Overhardt as the reason for the contract impasse. In a recent press conference, Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said Overhardt wanted to double a contract offer worth $6 million over two years. On Monday, a CBS Sports report said Overhardt had lowered that asking price to $2.6 million per season.The Blue Jackets have already offered $32 million over six years and $46 million over eight years, Davidson said. Overhardt rejected each offer.While team executives don’t normally publicize contract negotiations, Davidson and Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen had apparently grown tired of Overhardt’s antics.Consequently, in the midst of training camp, Columbus is no longer shaping its lines around the 22-year-old who led the team with 33 goals last season.The Blue Jackets are pushing forward and it’s a smart move from a side that holds leverage.Johansen’s numbers were abysmal through his first couple seasons. He recorded 33 points through 107 games before last year, and was a left out of the 2013 American Hockey League playoffs despite being healthy.Regardless of what happened last season, the Blue Jackets would be irresponsible to offer Johansen a hefty contract based on such a small sample size. What happens if their star center licks the envelope and mails it in next season?It seems the only agreement between Columbus and Overhardt has been on the length of the contract. Both sides are working toward a two-year deal, according to The Columbus Dispatch.Davidson said Overhardt wants his client to be paid more per year than Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn, who signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract in 2013 and had 64 more points than Johansen through his first three years in the league.While the term of Benn’s deal is longer, Davidson’s comparison between Overhardt’s wishes and Benn’s contract is enough to justify Columbus’ frustration.Johansen is foolish not to sign the Blue Jackets’ two-year, $6 million offer. The deal could position him for a huge payday if he continues his production through the 2015-16 season.Speculation suggests Overhardt is lobbying for a contract similar to Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene’s. After registering 150 points through his first three seasons, Duchene signed for $7 million over two years in June 2012.Unfortunately for Johansen, a two-year, $7 million deal is normally reserved for players who produce more than 14 goals through their first two seasons.The Blue Jackets tabling $6 million over two years is a gift to Johansen. He’s getting $3 million per year to prove he’s worth a long-term, big-money deal.But the longer Johansen waits, the more he might cut into his production for this upcoming season.He’s already missing the preseason, and while training camp isn’t the fitness wake up call it used to be, Johansen is still missing the benefit of playing alongside new linemates before the games start to mean anything.It’s time for Johansen to realize his position and sign a new deal.Columbus is ready. read more

Penalty kicks spark doom Ohio State mens soccer

Senior defender Kyle Culbertson (3) attempts a penalty kick during a game against Indiana on Oct. 12 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 2-1, as Culbertson made one penalty kick, but missed another in the game’s closing minutes.Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternFacing a top-10 opponent, the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s goalscoring on Sunday afternoon lived by a penalty kick — and ultimately died with a penalty kick.The Buckeyes (4-5-3, 2-2-0) played a tight game throughout the 90 minutes against the No. 10 Indiana Hoosiers (8-1-3, 2-1-1), but were ultimately unable to match the play of their opponent, falling at home, 2-1.A penalty kick by junior defender Kyle Culbertson — his second try of the day following a successful one — was knocked away with just over a minute remaining to seal the Indiana victory.“I’m heartbroken for the guys right now, because although there were stretches of the game where we made some bad mistakes and hurt ourselves, we played well enough to win the game and I think deserved to win the game,” OSU coach John Bluem said.The Hoosiers broke a 1-1 tie in the 78th minute with a goal by freshman forward/midfielder Jay McIntosh. Heavy pressure in front of the net allowed McIntosh to take a pass and knock it into the far-right post, where it ricocheted into the net.McIntosh’s goal — the first of his collegiate career — came less than 50 seconds after the Buckeyes had tied the game.An Indiana defender attempted to clear out the ball in front of his goalkeeper, but did so with his hand, granting the Buckeyes a penalty kick. The kick was taken by Culbertson, who rolled a shot to the left side of the net while Indiana sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb dove to the right.The goal was Culbertson’s second of the season, and seemed to turn around the momentum of the game until McIntosh’s strike seconds later.“Their quality combined with the amount of effort we put in during the first 25 or 30 minutes, maybe we got a little bit tired,” junior midfielder Zach Mason said. “But I think it’s just something where we had moments, and they had moments, and unfortunately they took better advantage of their moments.”With just more than a minute remaining, it was déjà vu for the Buckeyes and Hoosiers, as another handball gave the Buckeyes another penalty kick — which was again taken by Culbertson.However, there was no such luck on Culbertson’s second try, as Webb again dove right, only this time directly to where Culbertson shot the ball. The sophomore knocked it away, sealing the win for the Hoosiers.“That’s very hard to make two penalty kicks in one game,” Bluem said. “But we felt confident that he could do it, so we went with him, and I wouldn’t change the decision. I felt it was the right decision then and unfortunately their goalkeeper came up with a big play.”Indiana opened the scoring early in the second half, when heavy traffic in front of the net allowed the ball to bounce out to junior forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who deposited the shot into the empty net.“We defended poorly, on both goals against us today,” Bluem said. “That’s all I’ll say about that, we just defended poorly.”The Buckeyes controlled the ball throughout the majority of the first half. However, their aggressiveness did not lead to any scoring, as three goal-scoring opportunities — two shots by sophomore forward Danny Jensen wide of the net and a rocket off the foot of senior midfielder Max Moller knocked away by a diving Webb — all went for naught.“I think that we had the opportunity to score, myself included, and we didn’t put them away” Jensen said. “At the end of the day, you have to put those chances away to win the game against a top-10 team in the nation.”OSU is set to have five days off before traveling to Madison, Wisc., to take on the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday. That match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. read more

Ohio States Kelsey Mitchell named 1st team USBWA AllAmerican 2nd team AP

OSU freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) dribbles past James Madison junior guard Angela Mickens (32) during a NCAA Tournament first-round game on March 21 in Chapel Hill, N.C.. OSU won, 90-80.Credit: Courtesy of OSU athleticsOhio State women’s basketball guard Kelsey Mitchell become just the fourth freshman to be named a first team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers of America on Tuesday after leading the nation with 24.9 points per game.Mitchell, the Big Ten co-Player of the Year, was also named an Associated Press second team All-American.Her 873 total points this season set a new program and conference record, helping her become one of just five Buckeyes to make the AP first or second team. Mitchell’s debut collegiate campaign also saw her set an NCAA record with 127 3-pointers.The Cincinnati native led OSU in both points and assists this season.According to an OSU release, the USBWA All-American team consists of 10 players regardless of position. Being named among those 10 players makes you a finalist for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, given by the USBWA to the nation’s best player. That award is set to be handed out on Sunday.Mitchell led the Buckeyes to a 24-11 record and a 13-5 mark in conference play. OSU won its first two Big Ten Tournament games before earning a five-seed in the NCAA Tournament.The Buckeyes knocked James Madison out of the tournament in the first round with a 90-80 victory before losing to North Carolina on a last-second shot on March 23. Mitchell scored 25 points in the season-ending loss and tied the game at the free throw line with five seconds to play, completing a 21-point OSU comeback. The Tar Heels went on to score with less than a second on the clock to win the game.Along with leading the team in points and helpers, Mitchell averaged 4.2 rebounds per game and shot 83.5 percent from the free throw line.Mitchell’s honor comes a day after Ohio State men’s basketball freshman guard D’Angelo Russell was named a first team AP All-American after leading the Buckeyes in scoring in his first collegiate season as well. read more

Football Ryan Day talks depth and recruiting on National Signing Day

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day stepped up to the podium on National Signing Day without much doubt as to what his class would look like. He began the day with 15 players who had signed their letters of intent in the 2019 class, including five-star defensive end Zach Harrison, five-star center Harry Miller and five-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson, bringing the roster total to 83. He added two more linemen:  four-star offensive guard Enokk Vimahi and three-star offensive guard Dawand Jones, making the roster at a full 85 players. After the Vimahi signing, Ohio State was ranked as having the No. 13 class in the country and the No. 3 class in the Big Ten. But to Day, after taking over the head coaching job from Urban Meyer, establishing relationships with the current recruiting class and planning ahead for the future, this 2019 class represented much more than that ranking entailed. “When you look at what we’ve done as a culture since August, with the coaching change, we’ve only had two guys leave the program,” Day said. “When you keep the retention like, it shows about the culture in the coaching change, but also it isn’t about signing 27 guys because you’re retaining guys. Guys want to stay in the program. That’s the strength of our team right now.” Even with the retention, Ohio State did lose depth at quarterback. Redshirt freshman Tate Martell transferred to the University of Miami, and is attempting to gain eligibility with the Hurricanes for the 2019 season.Day said he was disappointed to see Martell leave and wishes him nothing but the best moving forward.“First off, it’s hard to recruit a highly recruited guy, then recruit guys behind them,” Day said. “If they leave, after their third year in the program, it gets really hard. That’s the constant struggle of right now with college football and the quarterback situation. It’s very sensitive.” With former Georgia freshman Justin Fields coming in to replace Martell, it leaves Ohio State with only three scholarship quarterbacks: Fields, freshman Matthew Baldwin and junior Chris Chugunov. Day said he still wants a room with four quarterbacks, the roster would is full. “You have to adjust with what you have,” Day said. “You take it year by year, do the best you can to put the best product on the field, go from there.” Regarding Fields’ eligibility, Day said he is hoping to hear a ruling in the next few weeks, but is “holding his breath” and is unsure at what the ruling would be. According to the head coach, the ruling would determine how many reps Baldwin would get at quarterback in the spring. No matter if it’s Fields or Baldwin behind center at the start of the 2019 season, Day said the youth at quarterback is “a big challenge.”The head coach said he is approaching the 2019 season similarly to what he believes Clemson did last season when it started Trevor Lawrence, a true freshman at quarterback. This is something recruits want: to play immediately when they start college. However, it is not something that usually happens at Ohio State, something that Day is aware of and does not hide from recruits. “Guys want to play right now,” Day said. “The best way to combat that is to be honest in the recruiting process. To tell someone they’re going to come in and play right away is not right. I think you have to be honest with them, tell them it’s a competition. There’s no expectation problems when they get here.” But with one signing day under his belt, his first as the head coach, the future is here for Ryan Day, shown through the recruiting class he has helped shape in his first month on the job.Story updated at 6:43 p.m. after Dawand Jones commits to Ohio State. read more

Mens Volleyball Ohio State ends nonconference schedule against Penn State

Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes (16) prepares to hit the ball over the net at the game against George Mason on Jan. 18 at St. John Arena in Columbus. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Senior Reporter.The Ohio State men’s volleyball team will follow up its straight-set victory against Lees-McRae with a trip to State College, Pennsylvania, Tuesday to take on its final nonconference foe this season at Penn State. The Nittany Lions (8-12, 5-2 EIVA) enter the matchup with the Buckeyes (7-14, 2-6 MIVA), having lost four straight matches to top-15 teams, all of which have previously defeated Ohio State. In matches against then-No. 11 USC, then-No. 5 UCLA, No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne and No. 15 Ball State, Penn State managed to win four out of 16 sets. In matches against those same teams, Ohio State won three out of 15 sets. While the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions haven’t fared well against common opponents, both teams have experience against each other.In a Jan. 5 match at St. John Arena, a healthy Ohio State team defeated Penn State in four sets. Senior setter Sanil Thomas guided the Buckeyes to a .360 hitting percentage and added 46 assists while sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes hit at a .413 clip, tallying 24 kills. On Tuesday, Thomas will likely return for his first start since injuring his right hand in late January, and Hanes, his most frequent collaborator, will be on the court once again after resting against Lees-McRae.Hanes’ 202 kills and 21 aces lead the team, while Thomas will try to add to his team-leading 284 assists, 25 of which he added in two sets off the bench against Lees-McRae. For the Nittany Lions, redshirt junior outside hitter Henrik Falck Lauten paces Penn State with 181 kills, adding 13 aces, 41 total blocks and 86 digs. Defensively, redshirt freshman libero Will Bantle and redshirt junior middle blocker Jason Donorovich lead the way, accruing 130 digs and 63 total blocks on the season, respectively. Along with his defense, Donorovich ranks No. 1 in the conference and No. 11 in the country with his .387 hitting percentage. The Buckeyes hope to thwart Donorovich and the Penn State offense with a defense that has totaled 125 blocks and 623 digs this season. Redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson and redshirt senior libero Aaron Samarin have played a big part in the defensive success for Ohio State this season, accounting for 63 total blocks and 117 digs, respectively. Leeson and Samarin are the only two Buckeyes who have started every match this season, and Ohio State will need to lean on its defense to complete a season sweep of Penn State Tuesday. Ohio State takes on Penn State at 7 p.m. Tuesday in State College, Pennsylvania. read more

North Greenwich tube device suspect charged

first_imgDamon Smith Smith was arrested by armed police last Friday on Holloway Road in North London.Last Saturday, another device was discovered at an address in Devon leading to evacuations, however it was found to be not viable.The Met police has said more officers, including armed police, would be seen around “transport hubs” to reassure those with safety concerns.In a statement, the Met said: “Officers continue to encourage the public to remain vigilant and alert at all times, and report anything suspicious to police.” North Greenwich station He is alleged to have made or acquired the substance between October 18 and October 21 contrary to section 3(1)(b) Explosive Substances Act 1883.The station was evacuated after the item was discovered last week, and the Ministry of Defence subsequently warned military personnel of the danger of a ‘severe’ threat on the Tube.A controlled explosion was carried out on the device, which was reportedly handed to the Tube driver and possibly had wires and a clock. A 19-year-old man has been charged with making or possessing an explosive substance with the intent to danger life in relation to an incident on the London Underground last week. Damon Smith, of south-east London, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning, Scotland Yard said. A “suspicious item” was found on a tube carriage on the Jubilee Line at North Greenwich station, near the O2 arena last Thursday. The teenager is charged with unlawfully and maliciously making or possessing an explosive substance with an intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, the Metropolitan Police said. The device was found at North Greenwich stationCredit:Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP / Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Termtime holidays Government launches last ditch attempt to defend ban

first_imgJon Platt appealed against a fine for taking his daughter on holiday to Disneyland Florida during term-time Lee Peckham, a partner at Roach Pittis solicitors firm, who is representing Mr Pitt in the Supreme Court, said: “Our hope is that they will uphold the High Court decision which we felt was correct.”A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “We have been notified of the Supreme Court’s decision to give the Isle of Wight Council permission to appeal. We will now work with the Isle of Wight to consider the next steps.“Our position remains that children should not be taken out of school without good reason. That is why we have tightened the rules and are supporting schools and local authorities to use their powers to tackle unauthorised absence.” Jon Platt appealed against a fine for taking his daughter on holiday to Disneyland Florida during term-timeCredit:Marsaili McGrath “If they want to clarify the law, the correct way to do this is through the parliament, not through the courts,” he said.“But they don’t have the courage or courage or conviction to do that. They don’t even have the support of their own MPs on it.“They will never get it through parliament so they are trying to get the Supreme Court to do it. They are relying on the judiciary to do something that is politically toxic.”The Telegraph understands that the Supreme Court documents passed to Mr Platt’s solicitors showed that the Supreme Court was considering making a protected costs order, meaning he would potentially be immune from incurring any financial loss as a result of the case.He went on: “This will cause real distress to parents across the country. Any parents planning to take children out of school one day early for a Christmas holiday will now worry they have committed a criminal offence.”Mr Platt added that he has “huge confidence” that the Supreme Court will find in his favour. “I am sure they will see through the nonsense,” he said. 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. Official figures show that 7.6 per cent of pupils missed at least half a day because of a family holiday in the autumn and spring terms of the 2015-16 academic year.That was up from 7.2 per cent the year before. The figures include holidays approved by head teachers as well as those that were unauthorised.Mr Platt said that he has used money from a crowdfunding page – originally set up to pay his legal fees – to fund a solicitor to represent parents who are being prosecuted by local councils over term-time holidays.So far all six cases have been successfully fought against local councils in Suffolk, Swindon and Blackpool, with solicitors using the same arguments that were used in his High Court case. Jon Platt won his term-time holiday challenge at the High CourtCredit:Matthew Chattle/REX/Shutterstock Jon Platt who appealed a fine for taking his children to Florida during term time Jon Platt won his term-time holiday challenge at the High Court In May, the High Court ruled in favour of Mr Platt, 44, who argued he should have the right to take his daughter away without permission from her school because no evidence could be produced that she had failed to attend school “regularly”.Mr Platt was fined by Isle of Wight council after he took his family on the holiday, which included a visit to Walt Disney World, without permission from his child’s school, but the decision was overturned by magistrates. The council appealed against the decision but it was upheld at the High Court.Following the High Court decision, Schools Minister Nick Gibb told schools to ignore the ruling as teaching unions said the ruling had created “confusion” about their statutory obligations.Figures from the DfE show that the proportion of pupils missing school for family holidays has risen to a five-year high despite the ban, which was bought in by Michael Gove in 2013. The Government has launched a last-ditch attempt to defend its ban on term-time holidays,  as Supreme Court justices  grant a local council permission to appeal against a landmark ruling. Earlier this year the High Court ruled that it is not illegal to remove a child from school as long as they have a good attendance record, in a decision that was hailed as a “victory for common sense”.However, the Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that the Isle of Wight Council – backed by the Department for Education (DfE) which will foot the legal bill – has permission to appeal the ruling.Businessman Jon Platt, who has vowed to fight the case to the end, told The Telegraph that he finds it “staggering” that the Government is going through with an appeal. Jon Platt who appealed a fine for taking his children to Florida during term time If they want to clarify the law, the correct way to do this is through the parliament, not through the courtsJon Plattslast_img read more

Bishop of Guildford says he was victim of barrister accused of child

first_imgThe Right Reverend Andrew WatsonCredit: The Right Reverend Andrew Watson “A while later one of my friends attempted suicide on the eve of another session in the shed (a story movingly told in the Channel 4 Report), and at that point I and a friend shared our story. “I have been in contact with the Hampshire police over the weekend, and as such it would not be appropriate to say much more at this time, except that my profoundest prayers are with all those affected by this, and my heartfelt desire is that lessons might be learnt so this never happens again. “I am grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his apology to survivors on behalf of the Church, and don’t begin to believe that he knew anything of Smyth’s violent activities until his office was informed in 2013.”I would also like to express the concern of myself and some of my fellow survivors that we are seen as people and not used as pawns in some political or religious game.”Abusers espouse all theologies and none; and absolutely nothing that happened in the Smyth shed was the natural fruit of any Christian theology that I’ve come across before or since.”It was abuse perpetrated by a misguided, manipulative and dangerous man, tragically playing on the longing of his young victims to live godly lives.” The Bishop of Guildford Andrew Watson has revealed he was one of the boys allegedly subjected to savage sadomasochistic beatings by barrister John Smyth.In a statement, he said: “I am one of the survivors of John Smyth’s appalling activities in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I am also one of the Bishops in the Church of England.”This has placed me in a unique and challenging position when it comes to the events of the past few days. My own story is certainly less traumatic than that of some others.” 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. John Smyth QC, a one-time acquaintance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is being investigated by police over claims that he beat 22 teenagers in his garden shed in the late Seventies.A report by the Iwerne Trust, the charity that ran the Christian camps at which Mr Smyth met many of the victims, documents how he persuaded one of the boys to assist with the attacks.The Right Reverend Watson added: “I was drawn into the Smyth circle, as they were, and the beating I endured in the infamous garden shed was violent, excruciating and shocking; but it was thankfully a one-off experience never to be repeated. Abusers espouse all theologies and none; and absolutely nothing that happened in the Smyth shed was the natural fruit of any Christian theology that I’ve come across before or sinceRight Reverend Andrew Watsonlast_img read more

Dan Aykroyd threatens to sue Isle of Wight hot sauce company after business

first_imgDan Aykroyd, second left, in Ghostbusters The sauce is based on the recipe of Mr Powers’s Mexican grandmother, while Blues Brother Mr Aykroyd’s vodka is filtered through diamonds. Crystal Head Vodka cocktail hosted by Dan Aykroyd  Mr Powers has just bought 10,000 skull shaped bottles, enough to last for more than two years. The couple, who make the sauce in their mother-in-law’s kitchen, were shocked to receive a letter from the star’s solicitors, accusing them of trademark infringement and insisting they destroy all their stock.They founded Bloody Hell Hot Sauce as a hobby three years ago and the £12 condiment is now sold at food shops on the Isle of Wight and across the UK, including Harvey Nichols and Fenwick.”I can’t believe this big company is trying to shut down a small family business on the Isle of Wight,” said Mr Powers.”They don’t just want us to stop selling our sauce, they want us to destroy absolutely everything.”When I read the letter, I was physically sick. It’s so unfair. So many products are sold in skull bottles, and ours has nothing to do with their market.” Dan Aykroyd, second left, in GhostbustersCredit: Everett Collection / Rex Features Dan Aykroyd at a Crystal Head Vodka event last monthCredit:David M Benett/Getty Dan Aykroyd, the Ghostbusters star, has threatened to sue an Isle of Wight hot sauce company after a business pitch by the family firm to the actor went horribly wrong. Mr Aykroyd has demanded Bloody Hell Hot Sauce makers Bobby and Rosie Powers stop selling their family recipe chilli sauce in a skull shaped bottle, claiming the design is too similar to his £350 a bottle Crystal Head Vodka.The legal row was sparked after Mr Powers approached Crystal Head Vodka to suggest a skull-themed Bloody Mary collaboration – an idea he admitted had backfired. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Tour de France has led to copycat cyclists struggling on country roads

first_imgWhen the Tour de France departed from a rural town in Yorkshire it prompted an influx of cyclists coming to enjoy the country roads, but councillors are now warning that bike lovers visiting the dales might not be as fit as they think they are.The caution comes as new figures reveal that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured went up nearly 90 per cent in the North Yorkshire region of Richmondshire in 2016 compared to the average for the previous four years. Local councillors have raised fears that the new popularity of Richmondshire after hosting the Grand Depart in 2014 has resulted in cyclists who are unfamiliar with country roads overstretching themselves. We do try to explain and advise cyclists that cycling in the dales isn’t the norm and it is challengingRichmond council leader Yvonne Peacock East Richmond councillor Louise Dickens said: “Rural life is very different to living in the city and with the influx of cyclists it’s clear that the challenges out here are different and people aren’t as fit as they think they might be.“People who come out to the countryside think it’ll be a nice country ride, but it’s hard work. These are steep, winding roads. I do think that those coming to enjoy our roads do need to be aware of how difficult they can be, you’re not in the Tour de France.” … but many aren’t equipped to take on the tricky routeCredit:Nigel Roddis/Getty Richmond and Darlington Cycling Club chairman Mike Drake said: “There has absolutely been an increase in the number of people coming to the region and they are just not used to the routes and the problems that come with that. ... but many aren't equipped to take on the tricky route “If there were a lot of accidents on a bend, we might look at whether a surface is too slippery.” Currently there are road warning signs which are aimed at motorists, but there are no specific alerts for cyclists. It was said at the meeting that a study was in the initial stages, but that the authority may consider installing signs for cyclists at known danger points, such as where roads cross with cycle tracks. A council spokesperson added: “We urge all cyclists to wear appropriate safety clothing and helmets and we ask all road users, motorists and cyclists to drive to the condition of the road and to respect all other road users.center_img The Council’s Annual Road Casualty Report revealed that while the number of people killed or seriously injured on the district’s roads fell by 17 per cent in 2016 compared to the average for the previous four years, there had been an increase of nearly 90 per cent for cyclists over the same period.Richmond council leader Yvonne Peacock added: “Our roads can be dangerous, the roads are getting more congested and people aren’t familiar with the lay of the land here if they’re visiting which can be a hazard.“We do try to explain and advise cyclists that cycling in the dales isn’t the norm and it is challenging. It can be very steep and very narrow and not everyone is prepared for that, they just love the scenery and forget about the risks.”Since Yorkshire hosted the Grand Depart cycling groups have reported memberships growing year on year and in 2016 the number had swollen to 11,914.Department for Transport records for North Yorkshire show in 2005 there were 34 cyclists killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.In the three years before the Grand Depart, the number had risen to 186 and in the three years after to 246. A North Yorkshire County Council meeting heard that there had been a fall in incidents for every category of road user in the district, apart from cyclists. “We have beautiful countryside, but narrow winding roads and so I’d recommend cycling with a club as here is much different to cycling in a city and the ‘rules of the road’ are different.”Following on from the county council meeting work is now expected to commence to try and identify accident hotspots in the area.The area’s highways manager Richard Marr said: “There is work going on to see if there is anything different we can do from a highways authority perspective to deal with that. “There is some evidence to show that the bottom of steep hills are hazardous to cyclists and we therefore put up warning signs in necessary locations.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Police give green light to antiroyal wedding protesters

That led the pressure group Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with an elected head of state, to seek reassurances from Thames Valley police that they would allow peaceful protests to take place. It said it did not want to see a repeat of what the arrests of people seeking to protest against the monarchy during the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, in April 2011.At one stage activists who were planning a mock execution of Prince Andrew to mark the wedding were detained. 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. Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive for a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, Graham Smith, of Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy Republic are not planning to organise protests themselves, as the event coincides with an international republican conference in central London, but Mr Smith this week wrote to Francis Habgood, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, asking for police not to disrupt those that do take place. “Everyone has a right to express their views peacefully, however anyone looking to disrupt the event will be dealt with in a robust yet proportionate manner.”There were calls earlier this year for protests outside the wedding after it emerged that Simon Dudley, the Tory council leader in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, had urged police to clear the area of rough sleepers and beggars before the event. Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive for a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London,Credit:Reuters/Pool That could include anti-Monarchist chanting, but only if it was seen as leading to friction and confrontations with sections of the huge pro-Monarchist crowd attending the event.The prospect of demonstrations has prompted condemnation, with royalists describing would-be protestors as “killjoys”.Tricia Wright, from Godalming, Surrey, wrote on Twitter: “Why would you want to protest at a couple’s wedding? Spiteful and totally unnecessary.” Graham Smith, of Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchyCredit:Christopher Pledger/The Telegraph Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic, told the Daily Telegraph: “Senior officers implied at the time that royal events such as weddings should be kept special, but it’s not for the police to say one day should be out of bounds to protests.“In a democracy people should be able to protest against the head of state and its institutions or issues such as the treatment of the homeless.”He added: “The Monarchy cannot be off limits, especially if it is going to turn the wedding of one of its members into a huge PR stunt.” When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry in Windsor’s St George’s Chapel next month they can be sure of a warm reception from the thousands of people expected to line the streets outside.But they may also have to contend with less-than friendly chanting and placard waving after police yesterday gave the green light for protesters to stage demonstrations against the monarchy.Senior officers have indicated they will not arrest or attempt to remove anyone mounting protests in Windsor on May 19, unless their behaviour threatens to disrupt the event itself.It is anticipated that anti-monarchists groups could use the wedding – which will see the royal couple take a two mile carriage ride past the crowds outside Windsor Castle – as a high-profile opportunity to highlight their cause.In a statement Thames Valley Police, who are mounting a huge security operation to safeguard the event, said: “We will be working closely with our partners to deliver a safe, secure and happy event for all. He wrote: “Any attempt by the police to disrupt protest in order to serve the interests of the royal household would be wholly inappropriate. Comments from police forces in the past have suggested that there is a real danger this will happen in Windsor.  “Your assurance that a royal wedding is no grounds for banning peaceful protest will be welcomed, not just by protesters or republicans, but by millions of people who believe the right to protest is a fundamental part of British life.”Mr Habgood has yet to reply to Mr Smith, but Thames Valley Police have said it would be for senior commanders on the ground to decide what would constitute a threat to the wedding or an attempt to disrupt proceedings and intervene accordingly. read more

Family festival cancelled amid fears over bad batch of drugs thought to

It is a family-friendly event, attended by young children and pensioners who enjoy the jazz and swing music on offer. However, this weekend events at Live at The Bandstand have been cancelled by Portsmouth Council over fears of a dangerous batch of drugs which reportedly claimed the lives of two young people last weekend.At Mutiny Festival, also held in Portsmouth, an 18-year-old care worker and a 20-year-old father of two both perished after allegedly taking drugs.Now, the council has cancelled Live at The Bandstand amid fears of copycat behaviour.Leader of the Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson spoke to the Portsmouth News, explaining: “We had specific concerns with Bandstand having open access to people with no tickets where dealers could just walk in and sell drugs.”It was also felt that with the type of music at this weekend’s event being similar to Mutiny there could be similar behaviour from those attending.” Many voiced their disapproval, pointing out that the bandstand events are relaxed, family-friendly affairs.Deborah Austin wrote on Facebook: “Absolutely ridiculous! Went last 2 years with my grandson, daughters and son in laws, friends even my 80 year old ex-father-in-law joined us at one point. Completely different event from Mutiny way over the top knee jerk reaction.” Tina Emery agreed, writing: “We have been going every Sunday sometimes Saturdays for years and never any trouble down there, it is mixed age groups pensioners, families, kids most people are probably over 30. Georgia Jones died after taking two pills at the Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth, according to her mother, Janine MilburnCredit: Facebook “It’s not just drugs though, it’s the possibility of people looking to continue the ‘good time’, let off some frustration over the recent events and and you should always err on the edge of caution. But most importantly, I still think it might be too soon to start ‘celebrating the summer festivities’ when two young lives were lost only last weekend.” Georgia Jones died after taking two pills at the Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth, according to her mother, Janine Milburn Announcement: Live at the Bandstand has been postponed this weekend (2nd and 3rd June). As this wouldn’t be the usual Bandstand but a much larger show on Castle Field, performances have been cancelled in light of tragic events at Mutiny Festival. Details:— Visit Portsmouth (@visitportsmouth) May 30, 2018 “Is this a excuse for the council to stop the bandstand forever? I hope not. I promise I won’t taking drugs. An over reaction in my opinion which has left me fuming.”And Keith Jenkins said: “While I can understand the councils sentiments surely the Mutiny Festival is more of a dance event that seems to attract the drugs. The Bandstand is more of a Sunday afternoon listening to music.”The Urban Vocal Group, which was due to perform this weekend, told The Telegraph that while it was disappointing for the event to be cancelled, they understood the decision.They explained: “People put a lot of effort into organising these events and the music festivals including Mutiny, it’s always devastating for everyone when they are cancelled.  “We felt this could create a market which may open the gates to the batch that was used last weekend. It is a real worry. We have to be very careful as we don’t want a repeat of what happened”The event is held at the picturesque bandstand on the beach, and is free and open to all. While Mutiny Festival, which cancelled its second day after the tragedies, is an electronic music event, this weekend’s line-up at the bandstand included an RnB singer, a choir of underprivileged youths and upbeat tunes from a cover band. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Duchess of Sussexs royal masterclass as she joins Queen for first engagements

Three plaques, eight posies, one royal train later, and a unmistakably significant gift from the Queen herself, and the Duchess of Sussex had passed her masterclass in the day-to-day life of the Royal family with flying colours.   The two women appeared to get on famously, all smiles in front of the camera as the Duchess waited to take her cue from the Queen in… The Queen offered the Duchess the wisdom of her lifetime of experience in an “away day” to Chester, the first time the former actress has made a public visit without her husband.   As introductions into The Firm go, it was quite the welcome.   As if to underline her support, she also gave the newlywed a pair of pearl earrings as a gift. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

GPs can refer patients to new therapy gardens in town centres as

Today Prof Tim Kendall, national clinical director for mental health, NHS England, said: “Gardening is good for our mental health as it offers physical exercise, which improves depression and anxiety, and also helps people find companionship and support. This is why the NHS is supporting social prescribing schemes which include gardening, to help people stay fit and healthy in ways that go beyond pills and medical procedures.” Tilly Williams, a clinical psychologist at the Camden and Islington Mental health Trust, added: “Getting involved in gardening or other ‘green’ activities such as conservation, can be a crucial part of a person’s recovery, perhaps as part of the healing process after various illnesses, or learning to live well while coping with long term conditions.“Gardening can be a peaceful, solitary and immersive activity. Sitting alone in the tranquillity of a green space can give time for quiet reflection or meditation, and perhaps offer a refuge away from a troubled life.“For people who may struggle with depression or low motivation, garden activities can energise them and bring a new enthusiasm and sense of purpose.” Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist at the RHS, said: “Gardens, in all their myriad forms, promote good health and wellbeing but their designs can also be tweaked to serve a specific purpose.“Sensory gardens have educational and recreational applications and use plant choice, features and installations to stimulate each of the senses. This might include tall grasses or bamboos that can help exclude everyday noise and promote a calming sound even in light breezes for those that need a space to relax of textured plants like lamb’s ears and silver sage to encourage interaction from, for example, those with dementia.”Ministers have urged GPs to prescribe hobbies such as gardening, art classes, and even ballroom dancing as part of efforts to boost activity, lift mood and reduce reliance on medication.In January, health officials detailed plans to refer almost 1 million patients to “social prescribing” schemes offering more personalised care.Research from trials found that family doctors who referred patients for hobbies such as gardening and fishing saw a 25 per cent reduction in visits to Accident & Emergency units. GPs are being urged to refer patients to work on allotments and herb gardens under a new scheme funded by the Royal Horticultural Society.Doctors have teamed up with the plant charity as part of a pilot scheme to prescribe gardening to patients with mental health issues and dementia.One of the gardens is in Highgate, where patients at the NHS Simmons House Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit will be working with the local allotment association. Together, they will create a haven for bees and butterflies by digging a wildlife garden full of insect-friendly plants.The other, Owd’ Martha’s Yard in Barnsley, will hold gardening activities for people referred by their GP to the area’s social prescribing scheme. With the aim of promoting social inclusion and light exercise, those attending will grow herbs in new raised beds that can be used to make tea including liquorice, mint and jasmine.A garden from Chelsea Flower Show will also be dug up and planted at an NHS trust in coming weeks, with 23 of a total 54 mental health trusts applied for the RHS show garden. This is after the success of last year, when Camden and Islington Mental health Trust was the successful recipient of a Chelsea garden to help patients. This year’s show features many gardens with well-being and mental health as a theme, including one designed by the Duchess of Cambridge, which aims to encourage parents and children to reduce stress by getting back to nature. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Custodial sentences for small amounts of marijuana to be abolished President

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCustodial sentences for 30 grams or less of marijuana removedJuly 2, 2019In “Court”Taxpayers face huge burden of maintaining prisonersMarch 4, 2019In “latest news”Jagdeo supports decriminalizing possession of small quantities of marijuanaMay 24, 2018In “Crime” After mounting pressure from stakeholders, the Opposition and even parties within the coalition Government, the Administration will be looking to pass legislation which will see the removal of custodial sentences for the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.This is according to President David Granger on Friday during his third press engagement since APNU/AFC took office in 2015.“We have a long legislative agenda and we have taken a decision in principle that custodial sentences for the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use would be legally abolished but after the National Assembly comes off its recess, you could look forward to that legislation being passed. It is already a decision which was agreed within the cabinet and we have no difficulty implementing it,” he asserted.Back in May, the Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had pressed his support towards the call for the decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana in Guyana.“We can’t continue to send somebody, a young person or even an older person to jail for less than a quarter ounce of marijuana. A quarter ounce of marijuana for three years when we have people who are traffickers and we have people that have produced or [are] growing large quantities of marijuana and because they have money they get off from the system,” the PPP General Secretary told media operatives.However, Jagdeo asserted that he does not believe persons who are found with the illegal substance in their possession – small amounts or not- should go about unpunished either.“I’m not in favor of them going scot-free. Let us find another [way] of sentencing. Sentence them to community work, sentence them to rehabilitation. Let them go in and spend a month in rehabilitation because the mothers and brothers and sisters and fathers who are doing this, you don’t want them locked away. Let us sentence them to rehabilitation. A month of rehab you have to go in for to say ‘stop smoking the marijuana’. They can go and get help,”  he explained.The former President further said that he does not believe that the decriminalizing of small quantities of marijuana is as contentious as the “death penalty” and as such, is certain that every Guyanese family would prefer for the custodial sentences to be removed for the small crime.“This cuts across politics. You have young people in PPP and PNC families who are caught with marijuana. Young kids. It’s not a political issue,” Jagdeo maintained while outlining that his support however  does not stretch to the complete legalization of marijuana.“I’m not supporting the legalization of marijuana- growing marijuana, trading marijuana, selling marijuana in Guyana. You go to jail for that sort of thing. That’s our law. I’m not supporting it. Let’s be clear about that one,” he asserted.Prior to this, the AFC –a party within the coalition Government- expressed its “outrage” and “deep concern” regarding the sentences being handed down via the judicial system for persons who are found in possession of small quantities of cannabis.The decriminalisation/legalisation of marijuana movement is gaining much momentum worldwide, with several countries taking steps to decriminalise and legalise the drug.In fact, a Caribbean Community (Caricom) Commission on Marijuana has made recommendation for the decriminalisation of marijuana across Member States, saying that the substance can be controlled and regulated as in the case of alcohol.This recommendation was placed before the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caricom, which was held in Jamaica in July.During the conference, it was recognised that Member States would need to review the report in more detail to determine action at the national level in relation to law reform models as proposed by the Commission.In Guyana, the issue came to the fore with the sentencing of a 27-year-old father and poultry farmer, Carl Mangal earlier this year, to three years’ incarceration for the possession of eight grams of marijuana. read more