Hot Takedown If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Dec. 8, 2015), we ask whether the Carolina Panthers’ perfect start has been great or relatively mediocre. With a quarter of the NBA year gone, we wonder whether the Golden State Warriors can beat the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record season. Plus, we take a look at how Leicester City is leading the English Premier League and whether the team is about to regress. And a Significant Digit about the unequal distribution of games on artificial turf in men’s and women’s soccer after the U.S. women’s team called off its game against Trinidad and Tobago in Hawaii because field conditions were unacceptable.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Links to what we discussed are here:Neil Paine on the mighty Golden State Warriors.Kyle Wagner on whether the Warriors can go 73-9.Ben Morris says Stephen Curry is the revolution.Allison McCann talks about why the continued use of artificial turf in women’s soccer is unfair.Neil Paine takes the Perfect Panthers down a peg.Mike Goodman asks whether Leicester City is as good as its league position suggests.The Guardian’s Stuart James on Leicester’s rollicking start.Significant Digit: 8 out of 10. The number of games played on artificial turf during the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory tour after it won the Women’s World Cup. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS
Maria Sharapova, seeking back-to-back Grand Slam championships, was eliminated from Wimbledon on Monday, losing 6-4, 6-3 to No. 15-seeded Sabine Lisicki in a match played in windy, rainy conditions.Sharapova, the No. 1 seed who took the French Open title last month for her fourth Grand Slam, was outplayed by Lisicki, a German who won the 2004 Wimbledon title.After blasting an ace down the middle on her third match point, Lisicki collapsed to her knees on the grass and shook both fists. Among those cheering for Lisicki in the guest box was German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.“It’s just unbelievable,” Lisicki said. “For the third time I’ve beaten the French Open champion here. I’m just so happy. I’ve lost the three previous meetings against her. Now I just played well and beat her for the first time.”Sharapova was trying to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2002 to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. But Lisicki was better.“I just went for my shots. Really from the first point on I felt great out there,” Lisicki said. “It’s my favorite tournament, I love playing on grass, I love the crowd here. I just love it.”Lisicki will next face fellow German and No. 8 Angelique Kerber, who drubbed Kim Clijsters 6-1, 6-1. Clijester, the 47th-ranked Belgian, has said she is retiring after this year’s U.S. Open – this time for good, having returned to the sport in 2009 after a two-year break.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant says he received the “green light” to workout harder in practice, but he still hasn’t set a return date as he recovers from the Achilles tendon injury he suffered last April.“I just keep it all open right now,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I don’t know why you guys are so hell-bent on timelines. It’s like the most ridiculous thing to me. It’s entertaining. When I’m ready, I’m ready.”Bryant is currently working on developing explosive strength and power, and targeting exercises to build up his Achilles tendon.“I do a lot of calf raises during the day, just trying to get it as strong as possible and constantly pushing the flexibility of it, the mobility,” said Bryant.Bryant said after his Achilles tendon is fully healed, he’s going to need three weeks of hard conditioning to get back to his playing weight.“I need to get my fat ass in shape,” Bryant said. “Six months of eating whatever the hell I wanted to eat and not running has caught up to me a little bit. So, I got to get in shape.”
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said Sunday he will sit during the national anthem this season to protest social injustice and segregation.Bennett sat on the visiting bench during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Seahawks’ preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams, a decision he made prior to protests by white supremacists at the University of Virginia over the weekend. But what happened in Charlottesville, Va., including the death of a young woman when she was struck by a car deliberately driven into a group of counter-protesters on Saturday, solidified Bennett’s decision.“With everything that’s been going on the last couple of months and especially after the last couple of days, seeing everything in Virginia, seeing what’s going on out there earlier today in Seattle, I just wanted to be able to use my platform to be able to continue to speak over injustice,” Bennett said.“First of all, I want people to understand I love the military. My father was in the military. I love hot dogs like any other American. I love football like any other American. But I don’t love segregation. I don’t love riots. I don’t love oppression. I don’t love gender slander,” he said. “I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve, and I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that, you know, and keep journeying out and keep finding out how unselfish can we be as a society.”Bennett was at least the third prominent NFL player to protest during the anthem in the first full week of preseason games. Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, a former teammate of Bennett’s in Seattle, also sat during the anthem. Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, continuing his approach from last season following then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem.Kaepernick is a free agent, and the controversy over his decision to protest the anthem and the form he used has not quelled, even as he remains unsigned.Bennett said he is willing to deal with similar fallout.“Of course I’m going to face backlash,” Bennett said. “This is bigger than me. This is bigger than football. This is bigger than anything that we have. This is about people. This is about bringing opportunities to people, giving people equality. This is bigger than a sport.”Bennett said he had spoken to several other NFL players about possible protests but had not talked with Lynch yet. While he acknowledged the possibility of more widespread and formally organized protests happening later, Bennett wanted to express himself.“I think everybody has a time where they feel like they need to be who they are and stand up for what they believe in,” Bennett said.Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did not have a response to Bennett’s actions, saying he only became aware of it after the game.Bennett said the aim of his protest is to make people uncomfortable. In the process, he hopes to spur greater communication, understanding and involvement across racial, gender and socio-economic lines.“Everyone is in their comfort zone right now,” Bennett said. “Get out there and become uncomfortable. Go out there and see what it’s like out there in society right now.”
Scoring 50 goals in 50 games is the crowning achievement of an NHL goal scorer. Players who do so join a club of legends including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Maurice Richard. The club is exclusive — it has only five members, and it hasn’t accepted a new application in 25 years. There are dozens and dozens of active NHL players who weren’t alive yet the last time someone scored 50 goals in 50 games, when Brett Hull did it during the 1991-92 season.As with throwing dead octopuses onto the ice and shaking hands with the opponent after a playoff series, the 50 in 50 club is like many things unique to the NHL: steeped in history and perhaps devoid of logic. The attention bestowed on the exploit dates back to the days when there were only 50 games on the schedule. So when Richard became to first to do it in 1945, it meant he averaged a goal a game for a whole season. When the schedule expanded to 60 games — and then to 70 games, and then 74, 76, 78, 80 and 84 games, finally settling at 82 games — 50 in 50 remained a thing. Because, you know, why not?Like with many exclusive clubs, there are also a lot of rules. To gain access, you must score 50 goals in your team’s first 50 games, not your own. Alexander Mogilny scored 50 goals in his first 46 games in 1992-93, but an injury forced him to miss three weeks at the beginning of the season. Mogilny’s 50th tally came in his team’s 53rd game, so he’s not allowed in. No exceptions!It’s not easy to sustain a goal-per-game pace for 50 consecutive games, but so far this season, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov is doing almost exactly that. With 14 goals in 15 games, the young Russian with a hellacious shot has set himself up to make a legitimate run at hockey’s goal-scoring holy grail.Of course, many others have started the season on a similar tear in recent years — and all of them ended up way short of the benchmark. Here’s how every player who notched at least 14 goals in his team’s first 15 games post-lockout stacked up against the last three 50/50 players. Amazingly, only one of these players (Jaromir Jagr in 2006) exceeded 50 goals on the season, let alone in 50 games. In the 2005-06 season, winger Simon Gagne scored 17 in the Flyers’ first 15 games, but he ultimately scored only 17 more in the next 35. In that same season, both Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson had 15 goals through the first 15 games. They both cooled, too — like Gagne, they each netted 17 goals in the following 35 games.But there’s reason to believe this year might be different: The league itself seems different.So far this season, goalies are stopping pucks with less success than they have since 2008-09. But not all of the blame can be placed on lackluster goaltending — a number of rule changes have led to an increase in power play opportunities per game. More power play opportunities equal more high-quality scoring opportunities, which means more goalies left hung out to dry.It’s not shocking to see an analog in the 2005-06 season, when Jagr, Gagne, Heatley and Alfredsson each flirted with a goal-a-game pace: The league instituted rule changes in the wake of the 2004-05 lockout with the express purpose of increasing the number of goals per game, which had tanked in the NHL of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Chief among those rule changes was the elimination of the two-line offside pass. Defenses were slow to adjust to the rule change, which led to a preponderance of breakaways and two-on-one situations.In the 1980s and early 1990s, the NHL was a wide open league, and goaltending often seemed like an afterthought. From 1980-81 to 1993-94, the goals against average for the league never dipped below 3.0 — and the 50 in 50 was accomplished seven times.1Mike Bossy, Gretzky (three times), Lemieux, Hull (twice). From 1994-95 to the present, the goals against average has risen higher than 3.0 in only one season. It hasn’t climbed quite that high this season, but it’s close.2It currently sits at 2.89.Kucherov isn’t the only one taking advantage of the increase in scoring. Like during the 2005-06 season, this year’s NHL has a handful of players vying for NHL legend status. Alex Ovechkin has also started the year on fire (13 goals in 16 games), while Islanders’ captain John Tavares has 12 goals in 15.Of course, a goal scorer is nothing without dime-dishing linemates, and Kucherov has benefited from playing with the league’s leading point getter in Steven Stamkos (who missed 65 games last season, and the Bolts missed the playoffs). Stamkos is known best for his goal scoring prowess — he’s a two-time recipient of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the league’s top goal scorer — but this year it’s his passing that has him at the top of the NHL’s scoring list. He’s still scoring goals, but his 18 assists pace the league. And 10 of those helpers have come on goals scored by Kucherov.Every player to hit the 50-goals-in-50-games milestone played on a line with one (or two) very good passers. Lemieux — who also unofficially scored 50 in 50 in two other seasons3Super Mario scored 50 goals in his first 50 games in both the 1992-93 and 1995-96 seasons, but neither exploit came on or before his team’s first 50 games. Sorry, Mario: Hockey conservatives say this doesn’t count. — played the bulk of his career on lines with some combination of Jagr, Kevin Stevens and Ron Francis. Hull played on a line in St. Louis with Adam Oates. Gretzky had Jari Kurri, Mike Bossy had Bryan Trottier and Clark Gillies, and Richard had Elmer Lach and Toe Blake. And it’s not a stretch to place Kucherov and Stamkos among these all-time great duos and trios.Kucherov’s gaudy numbers aren’t surprising — he’s scored no fewer than 29 goals in each of his three full NHL seasons and has an astounding career shooting percentage of 15.1. But that historically good shooting percentage is up dramatically this season: At the moment, Kucherov is scoring on 24 percent of the shots he’s taking. That’s destined to regress to the mean, but for now, Kucherov’s shot looks damn near unsavable.Who knows if Kucherov — or Ovechkin or Tavares — can sustain a goal-per-game pace for all 50 games. Even if they don’t, they’ve already made the NHL feel a little bit like the wild old days of the ’80s and early ’90s. And they’ve given every hockey nerd something to pull for.
In the lead-up to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, NBC’s television coverage noted on several occasions that the Los Angeles Kings were “overwhelming favorites” to beat the New York Rangers in the series. And if you pay attention to informal straw polls such as this one, it seems like that’s the case. As FiveThirtyEight’s Eric Tulsky pointed out in this preview, the media have been near-unanimous in predicting the Kings will win the Cup. Indeed, the Kings prevailed in Game 1.But they didn’t dominate, and the percentage of respondents who predict a certain outcome is not equivalent to the predicted probability of that outcome — especially when there’s little to no accountability for failed predictions, and the real possibility that herd behavior will produce non-independent picks. The most accurate and unbiased predictor of a given sporting event is usually the Las Vegas betting line, not a pundit. And according to Vegas, the Kings did not enter the series a markedly dominant favorite relative to other pre-series Stanley Cup front-runners.Unfortunately, archived futures odds like these, which gave the Kings a 59.6 percent probability of winning the Cup, are not available for past seasons. But the useful site SportsDataBase.com does offer money lines for individual NHL playoff games going back eight postseasons. Using those for Game 1 of every final since 2007 (combined with the assumption that, in the NHL, a home team will beat an evenly matched road opponent about 55 percent of the time), we can infer the probability of each team winning a game at home and on the road — and thus the probability of winning the series.Prior to the Kings’ Game 1 victory, they had a -146 money line in Vegas, and the Rangers were listed at +135. Converting those numbers to probabilities and accounting for the “juice” that bookmakers add to each line to make a profit, Vegas thought that Los Angeles had a 58.2 percent chance of beating the Rangers on home ice. Armed with that number, we can rearrange Bill James’s log5 formula to extract the implied probability that the Kings would beat New York at a neutral site (53.3 percent), on the road (48.3 percent) and in the series (58.7 percent). (The difference from the 59.6 number listed earlier is due to using data from different sportsbooks.)Using SportsDataBase.com, we have data for eight Stanley Cup Finals played. If we apply the method above to them, the average expected win probability for the favorite in those eight series was 61.3 percent — higher than the Kings’ pre-series odds this year. Here’s the rundown of all eight series:Instead of being “overwhelming favorites,” the Kings were actually less favored than the typical Cup front-runner. I expected them to be favored before the series began, and their odds have certainly improved after winning Game 1. The idea that this is a notably one-sided matchup, though, just isn’t supported by the market.
The Steph Curry Pull-Up Vigil has been going on for weeks now.Curry is the pagan god of long-range pull-ups, a shot that doesn’t seem to have a place in a league obsessed with efficiency. But over the last three seasons, Curry has made it work anyway, leading the league in pull-up threes — taken and made — and hitting them about 40 percent of the time. But this season he got off to a slow start, making 21.4 percent of his pull-up threes in December, and today he’s sitting at 33.3 percent, just a hair below Russell Westbrook’s mark. Curry’s swoon is hard to explain, but he’s shooting 43.3 percent in his last 10 games and 48.5 in his last five. Smart money says he’ll be just fine.Glance at that pull-up leaderboard, though, and you’ll notice that Curry’s seat hasn’t been vacated, it’s been overtaken. Where just a few years ago Curry was the unrivaled king of pumping efficient points out of a traditionally inefficient well, today an armful of players are doing convincing Steph impersonations off the bounce.The logic against the pull-up three is simple: It’s far, far easier to shoot a spot-up jumper than it is to shoot off the dribble, and it’s far, far easier to find an open look by moving without the ball than it is while holding the ball. This is why most modern offenses are built to work the ball around to players in motion off the ball, looking for an open catch-and-shoot three, preferably from the corner. If the goal of an offense is to seek the most efficient shots, and the best offenses are chasing spot-up threes, then the alternative is clearly less than ideal.The argument in favor of the shot is somehow even simpler: If it goes in, it’s unstoppable. For a player with a certain set of skills, it’s a shot that’s both always available and always open.For the last three seasons, Curry has been unstoppable. For all the intricacies and nuance built into the Warriors’ offense, the single most unguardable piece of it was always Curry pulling up from 30 feet or sliding around a ball screen and flicking up a jumper. Fans, announcers and coaches all learned to recite the Steph Curry mantra: That’s a bad shot if anyone else takes it. Except, increasingly, it isn’t.This season, 26 players are taking at least two pull-up threes per game, up from 17 in 2013-14 and 21 last season. Of the guys taking at least two per game this season, 12 are hitting at least 36 percent (the league average for all threes), up from five in ’13-14. Kemba Walker is taking 4.5 per game and hitting 37.3 percent; Kyle Lowry is taking 4.1 per game and hitting 41.5; James Harden is making less than 32 percent of his, but he’s taking 6.4 a game, tied for the most in the four years the NBA has kept track of pull-ups. We can’t write off this wave of Steph-like gunners who have emerged as mere early-season noise this deep into the schedule. These players aren’t just taking Curry’s signature shots — they’re making a good number of them as well. And that says something about the way teams are approaching modern offense.Not many players can approximate the totality of Steph Curry, but they can emulate him piecemeal. The Rockets, for instance, are shooting from the parking lot this year, distorting the basic shapes of NBA defenses. And while not many teams can duplicate the ball movement of Houston or Cleveland — movement that sets up all those open threes — a good number of them have a guy who can shake his man and rise up for a three. In a league dominated by the long ball, teams seem to be coming around to the idea that sometimes one player can make his own shot, especially if the guy can hit it regularly.The shift in the league’s approach is noticeable at the team level as much as at the player level. In 2013-14, teams averaged 5.1 pull-up threes per game; by last season, that had climbed to 5.9 per game, and this season we’re up at 6.6. A shot and a half per game doesn’t sound like a lot, but that represents an increase of about 30 percent. For context, compare that to what’s happened during the league’s “scoring explosion” — that has come with just a 25 percent rise in overall 3-point attempts over the same four seasons. As teams try to cram ever more threes into each game, a little revolution within the revolution is changing the ways that these shots are created. Hero ball is allowed back on the court, so long as it’s at the 3-point line.This spike in pull-ups isn’t just about the NBA’s faster, rip-and-run style of play these days. When I looked at numbers for the traditional image of a pull-up three — a point guard dribbling the leather off of the ball 30 feet from the rim for ages, only to pull up from deep without ever sniffing the paint — I still saw an uptick in volume and performance. Eleven players are taking at least one three per game on plays where they took seven or more dribbles before the shot (that’s the proxy we’re using for half-court, rather than transition, shots). Six of them are shooting at least 40 percent. Back in 2013-14, those numbers were seven and three.Because the NBA only has reliable data on pull-ups for a few seasons, it’s tough to say how much of this comes down to luck from year to year, like a player’s BABIP in baseball. Walker went from shooting 31.9, 25.6, and 32.2 percent on pull-up threes in years past to 37.3 so far this season; Lowry was a mid-30s guy until this season, when he’s jumped up to 41.5 percent; Kyrie Irving has consistently been in the high 30s to low 40s, except last season, when he slumped badly to 29.1. The individual players peaking from season to season can and likely will shift around. But even with a revolving-door cast, the trend can live on. If it does, it might just give the 3-point revolution a little more flavor.Whether it’s the razzle-dazzle of Curry’s Shammgod or Kemba’s UTEP two-step, or Westbrook hitting the handbrake and going from top speed to perfectly perpendicular in one bounce, or LeBron and Harden casually walking into an unblockable shot, the pull-up done right is a beautiful thing. And if its most proficient practitioners have reached a point where we can reclaim it from the analytics-say-it’s-bad graveyard, perhaps NBA fans won’t be so quick to mourn the next time Steph Curry has a bad December.
Ray Small saw it all – and did most of it, too – during his four years suiting up in scarlet and gray. Small told The Lantern on Wednesday he profited off of memorabilia while at Ohio State, adding that some student-athletes “don’t even think about (NCAA) rules.” “I had sold my things but it was just for the money,” Small said. “At that time in college, you’re kind of struggling.” Small, who played receiver at OSU from 2006-2010, capitalized on the Buckeyes’ success during his college career. “We had four Big Ten rings,” he said. “There was enough to go around.” Small said he sold the rings to cover typical costs of living. “We have apartments, car notes,” he said. “So you got things like that and you look around and you’re like, ‘Well I got (four) of them, I can sell one or two and get some money to pay this rent.” The wheeling and dealing didn’t stop with rings. The best deals came from car dealerships, Small said. “It was definitely the deals on the cars. I don’t see why it’s a big deal,” said Small, who identified Jack Maxton Chevrolet as the players’ main resource. The Columbus Dispatch reported on May 7 that OSU was investigating more than 50 transactions between OSU athletes and their families and Jack Maxton Chevrolet or Auto Direct. Representatives for Jack Maxton Chevrolet did not return repeated requests for comment. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from benefiting from the sale of their merchandise. Small said he wasn’t the only one. Ray Small interview with The Lantern by The Lantern OSU “They have a lot (of dirt) on everybody,” Small said, “cause everybody was doing it.” Although he understands how athletes are easy targets for getting deals, Small said anyone can take advantage. “(People say) ‘Oh you got a deal, it’s because you’re an athlete,’” Small said. “Playing for Ohio State definitely helps. But I know a lot of people that do nothing and get deals on their cars.” The Lantern obtained a police report from shortly after 2 a.m. on Sept. 18, 2007, when Small was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license. According to the report, Small was driving a 2007 Chrysler 300 that he told the officer he had just purchased. The vehicle had a dealer plate on it instead of a temporary tag. Police then received a call from Aaron Kniffin later that morning, wanting to know why the car had been impounded. Kniffin, a salesman at Jack Maxton Chevrolet, told the officer the dealership “gives a lot of coaches and faculty cars and that Mr. Small’s family is purchasing the car,” according to the report. Kniffin told the officer that paperwork for the car had not yet been worked out. On Dec. 23, the NCAA suspended quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas for five games for selling memorabilia and receiving discounted tattoos from Eddie Rife, owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. Linebacker Jordan Whiting earned a one-game ban. OSU handed coach Jim Tressel a five-game suspension and $250,000 fine for failing to report the players’ actions. Malcolm Jenkins, who played cornerback for OSU from 2005-2008, said the tattoo violation was overblown. “The tattoo thing is whatever. It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s one of the dumb rules that the NCAA has,” Jenkins told The Lantern on Wednesday. “I don’t see what advantage getting free tattoos has to a university to be a violation, but it’s whatever. It’s in the rules, so it’s whatever.” Small said he isn’t surprised players couldn’t resist the temptation of discounted tattoos. “If you go in and try to get a tattoo, and somebody is like ‘Do you want 50 percent off this tattoo?’ You’re going to say, ‘Heck yeah,’” Small said. The NCAA’s notice of allegations sent to university President E. Gordon Gee on April 21 details the infractions that the six aforementioned athletes committed. It also lists a seventh violator, noted under letter “g” in its document. The NCAA accuses that player of having repeated interaction with Rife for a year-and-a-half. Small said he didn’t know much about Rife or Fine Line Ink. Among the items this mystery player sold to Rife was a 2010 Rose Bowl watch for $250. However, Small, defensive end Rob Rose and running back Bo DeLande were suspended for the 2010 Rose Bowl for a “violation of team rules.” According to athletic department spokesman Dan Wallenberg, that means Small didn’t receive a watch. “Postseason awards are limited to student-athletes who are eligible to participate in such contests under NCAA and Big Ten Conference regulations,” Wallenberg said Wednesday in an email to The Lantern. Rife declined The Lantern‘s request for an interview. Small spent much of his four years at OSU in Tressel’s doghouse. “When I was in college, in my opinion, I was the bad guy,” Small said. “I mean I knew that I was being the bad guy. I had took on that role.” Small said the allure of deals and discounts overshadows the rules education that the athletic department’s compliance office provides. “They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you’re not really listening to all of them rules,” Small said. “You go out and you just, people show you so much love, you don’t even think about the rules. You’re just like ‘Ah man, it’s cool.’ You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back.” Jenkins said the athletic department makes a concerted effort to prevent such scenarios, but not all players follow instruction. “What the players go out and do on their own time and make their own decisions is on them,” Jenkins said. “I know (the compliance department) puts things in place to give us knowledge of the rules, give us education on how to deal with those situations, but what the players do with that is another story.” The Lantern reached out to Doug Archie, head of the OSU compliance department, but instead received a comment from Wallenberg. “We educate as best we can and expect student-athletes and staff to follow our messaging and policies,” Wallenberg said in an email. Jenkins said some players fail to resist the temptation of discounts. “When I was in school, I never really encountered too many offers and stuff, and the ones I did, it wasn’t hard to say no,” Jenkins said. “But some guys who have less self-control feel like they can get away with it.” Although six players have been penalized, Small said players mostly kept their wrongdoing under wraps. “(It) was kind of hush-hush. I mean, you tell … probably your close friend, or a close friend to your close friend,” Small said. “As far as everybody just talking about it in the locker room, that wasn’t really a big thing. So if somebody is giving them a deal, it was probably a situation where they kept it to themselves.” Small did not provide details on who bought his memorabilia. In a September interview with The Lantern, athletic director Gene Smith said outside influences are to blame for players’ misjudgments of NCAA rules. “At the end of the day, everyone’s trying to do what’s right. There’s some things you can’t control,” Smith said. “Do we have some bad people in the business? No doubt. But 99 percent of our people are trying to do it the right way, and outside influences take them to where they are. “It worries me constantly that our education sessions might not work, might not make it to a particular family member.” But when speaking to the media at the announcement of the players’ suspensions on Dec. 23, Smith said the compliance department could have done more. “We were not explicit with these young men that you cannot resell items that we give you,” Smith said. “They stated in their interviews with us and with the NCAA that they felt those items were theirs, that they owned them, that they could sell them to help their families. … We were not explicit, and that’s our responsibility to be explicit.” Smith said the compliance department reaches out to those who might interact with athletes to make sure everyone is on the same page. “We focus more on education, education, education. Our education is marvelous,” Smith told The Lantern in September. “We go out and meet with the car dealers, we’ll go into the bars and restaurants with cover charges and nightclubs and educate those people so they don’t give our athletes freebies.” Former OSU basketball player Mark Titus wrote Tuesday on his blog, Club Trillion, that the perks within the football program are far from a secret. “Any OSU student in the past five years could tell you that a lot of the football players drive nice cars,” Titus wrote. “You’d have to be blind to not notice it.” Titus declined further comment when The Lantern contacted him, but said he has received “all sorts of hate mail. … If people are this upset with me for pointing out the obvious, I can’t imagine how mad they must be at all the guys who actually broke the rules and got OSU into this mess in the first place.” In his four years in scarlet and gray, Small – who is back at OSU pursuing a degree in sociology – totaled 61 receptions for 659 yards and three touchdowns. He returned a fourth-quarter punt 69 yards for a touchdown to seal a 26-14 victory against Ohio University on Sept. 6, 2008. Small spent time on the practice squads of the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins. OSU has until July 5 to respond to the NCAA’s notice of allegations. The university will present its case to the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12. Small said players get deals just based on affiliation with the university. “Everywhere you go, while you’re in the process of playing at Ohio State,” Small said, “you’re going to get a deal every which way.”
The OSU women’s volleyball team celebrates after a win against Michigan State on Oct. 22, 2016. The Buckeyes won the match 3-0. Credit: Luke Swartz | For The LanternNo. 24 Ohio State (5-3) played two matches against Notre Dame this weekend, one at St. John Arena Friday night, then in South Bend, Indiana, on Sunday. Although the Buckeyes beat the Fighting Irish, 3-0, at home, they were not as successful in Notre Dame territory as they dropped the match, 3-1.During Sunday’s loss to Notre Dame, freshman libero Hannah Gruensfelder set an Ohio State record for most digs in a four-set match with 38.In winning the first game of the two-match series, which was scheduled because of the cancellation of the Coastal Carolina Classic due to Hurricane Irma, Ohio State handed Notre Dame its first loss of the season, ending the Fighting Irish’s 6-0 winning streak.“Notre Dame, they’re undefeated for a reason. They’re a very good team.” Carlston said.Ohio State started off its first set Friday evening strong and was able to maintain the lead through most of the set. Its defensive line proved successful in the first set with four blocks and 24 digs.The Buckeyes established their rhythm quickly and won the first set 25-20.The second set was no different for the Buckeyes as they took the lead early once again.Outside hitter Luisa Schirmer and setter Taylor Hughes contributed four kills each, adding to their team’s total of 18 kills and leading Ohio State to a 25-21 victory.The Fighting Irish matched the Buckeyes point for point early in the third set, even taking the lead a 6-4 lead at one point. They stayed neck and neck with the Buckeyes all match long.As tensions rose, Ohio State called a timeout with the scored tied at 23. The Buckeyes were able to pick up the pace and win the set 25-23 with two final kills by Hughes and middle blocker Lauren Witte.Although the Buckeyes won the match 3-0, coach Geoff Carlston thought neither team played as well as they could have.“I have a feeling there are going to be some adjustments by both of us since we play them on Sunday, “ Carlston said. “I would say that was an ugly win, but a win over a really good team.”Outside hitter Ashley Wenz also thought the Buckeyes could have played a stronger game against Notre Dame.“I think that we have a lot that we can work on,” Wenz said. “[We could work on] having better eyes on defense, being able to kind of read the hitters a lot better and play balls that should be easier than they were tonight.”Coming off the 3-0 sweep of the Notre Dame Friday, the Buckeyes said they expected the Fighting Irish to be more difficult to put away in their match Sunday.“Both teams will play harder, it’ll be a lot closer,” Wenz said. “I definitely think they’re going to try and play against our strengths and we’re going to try to do the same.”After a full day of preparation, the Buckeyes traveled to Indiana Sunday for their second match against Notre Dame.Ohio State was able to lead for most of the first set, but Notre Dame came back to take the lead near the end of the set, winning 25-22.The Buckeyes picked up the pace in the second set and played a close game throughout most of the set. Wenz was responsible for nine kills of the set, leading the Buckeyes to a 25-21 victory.Ohio State proceeded to drop its final two sets in convincing fashion, losing the third set 25-14 and dropping the fourth and final set 25-17 to close out the game. Although Ohio State racked up 61 kills and 109 digs, its .141 hitting percentage paled in comparison to the Fighting Irish’s .244 hitting percentage. The Buckeyes will be back at St. John Arena Friday to begin the Buckeye Invitational. They host Western Kentucky at noon and Northern Illinois at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, they will go against Dayton at Capital Center in Bexley, Ohio.
Ohio State freshman guard Luther Muhammad (1) joins teammates after the game in the second half of the game against Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament on Mar. 14 in Chicago. Ohio State lost 77-70. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorCHICAGO — With 10:02 to go in the game down 56-46, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann stood courtside with his arms crossed. He looked toward his bench, saw sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson sitting and watching, already with four fouls to his name. He looked out onto the court to see redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods and senior guard C.J. Jackson, who combined for seven fouls at the end of regulation. He looked out on the court at Michigan State. Junior guard and Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston had already heated up, erasing his two-point start in the first 18 minutes of the game with six points in the final two minutes of the first half. Even with junior forward Nick Ward back in the rotation, sophomore Xavier Tillman used his size as the one of two guys for Wesson and Ohio State sophomore forward Kyle Young to focus on. Holtmann saw what his team has never truly had in any of the three matchups against the Spartans: depth. Even without the depth of the Spartans, the Buckeyes found a way to remain close in each of their three matchups against what Holtmann considers to be the best conference opponent he has seen in his two seasons as head coach. Holtmann said he feels Ohio State matches up better with Michigan State than other teams in the league, giving his team an advantage and ability to keep the score close, finding halftime leads in each of the first two games against the Spartans. But the storyline has remained the same for the Buckeyes in each of these matchups against the Spartans. “In the first half, we play them tight in the post and we stay at it and then we have spurts in the second half where we drop off,” Wesson said. “With a good team like Michigan State, a top-10 team in the country, you can’t have a drop off. That’s when they take advantage of the mistakes we make.” But leaving the court at the United Center, coming off its third loss in three games against the No. 6 team in the country, Ohio State had confidence. Maybe it was the run. Trailing by 21 points with 4:21 left in the game, Woods hit a jumper, beginning a 17-0 run that may have been too late, but followed a recent trend, one Ohio State saw late in the second half of its final regular season game against Wisconsin. “Our whole motto is not giving up and Duane, Luther, Musa, Dre, all those guys that were out there were still playing hard and not giving up,” Woods said. A 21-point drubbing turned into a seven-point loss, the closest of the season between Ohio State and Michigan State. Instead of leaving the court with heads down, the players and coaching staff walked to the locker room quiet, but confident. The Buckeyes knew what was likely coming next: the NCAA Tournament. The general consensus was that Ohio State earned a spot in the Tournament after its second-round win against Indiana Thursday. But scoring 17 unanswered points against what many consider to be a Final Four contender may have secured it in the minds of the players. “If they do, they do. If they don’t they don’t, but I feel like our body of work speaks for itself,” Wesson said. “We played hard throughout the year. I feel like anywhere we go, we will play hard.” Wesson still stands by the comment he made after the team’s first loss to Michigan State on Jan. 5: when the team is at full strength, Ohio State can compete with anyone in the country. Ohio State has two days before Selection Sunday to try and get to full strength and remedy the late-season fatigue that had a clear effect on the roster. Moving forward, the Buckeyes’ focus should be on consistency, something it never had in its four games against Michigan State. “We needed to make them work 40 minutes instead of 30 minutes, 38 minutes,” freshman guard Luther Muhammad said. “I feel like we always play hard for three-fourths of the game, but we just have to put a whole game together as a group.” But after the Buckeyes’ 17-0 run at the end of the game, heading into the Tournament with a loss and some sort of momentum, Muhammad said Ohio State was heading in the right direction.
We literally JUST redecorated the canteen at the BBC 😒 #GBBO pic.twitter.com/sWWP3EKWzE— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) September 12, 2016 You beat me to it @juliamacfarlane! A decorating disaster. Could there be a programme in that? The Great British Paint Off?— ritula shah (@ritula) September 12, 2016 It is enough to leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Hours after the BBC lost the rights to its most successful show, The Great British Bake Off, the corporation revealed it had only just redecorated the canteen with images promoting the programme.According to one BBC employee, large images of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the baking show’s judges, had only just been put up on the walls of the staff canteen.BBC producer and reporter Julia Macfarlane tweeted: “We literally JUST redecorated the canteen at the BBC” with an unimpressed emoji.Accompanying the tweet is an image of the large pictures in the canteen. Berry is quoted saying: “The terror of a soggy bottom has been keeping me up all night.”Hollywood is illustrated with another quote from the show: “Keep your biscuits erect, you’ve got four hours to do so.” A BBC spokesman told The Telegraph: “We have pictures of many much-loved BBC stars in our buildings.”Channel 4 poached the show from the BBC after the corporation refused to pay £25 million a year to hold on to it.The company behind the baking show, Love Productions, announced on Monday afternoon that it would withdraw the programme from the BBC at the end of the current series, having failed to seal a new deal after “more than a year of exhaustive negotiations”.Channel 4 then announced it had a three-year deal with the production company, and will be broadcasting the show after the current series. Ritula Shah, another BBC member of staff, joked they could begin a “Great British Paint Off”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. It is unclear whether the BBC will keep the decorations up, or whether they will have to re-decorate the canteen after the show is moved to Channel 4.Ms Macfarlane suggested the company “may have to wallpaper over it”. @ritula They’re going to have to wallpaper over it surely. How awkward!— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) September 12, 2016 Love is understood to have rejected bigger offers from both Netflix and ITV.However, the BBC’s canteen images may remain relevant – as it is unclear whether the presenters of the BBC show will move to Channel 4.Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, as well as hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, have all previously expressed a desire to stay with the BBC.Perkins used her Twitter profile to share a BBC statement in which the corporation said that Bake Off was a “quintessentially BBC programme”.
Ched Evans is accused of raping a woman in 2011. His original conviction was quashedCredit:Steve Parsons/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. The woman who accused footballer Ched Evans of raping her slept with another man two weeks after the alleged incident and used the same phrases during sex, a court has heard.Giving evidence in the player’s retrial at Cardiff Crown Court, the man who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he had gone home with the complainant “two or three times” and believed she was lying about having being raped by the player in a hotel in Rhyl in May 2011. Ched Evans was jailed for five years but his conviction was later quashed on appealCredit:Steve Parsons/PA But under cross examination from the prosecution, he denied being motivated by the £50,000 reward offered by Evans for information that would lead to his acquittal.Simon Medland QC, prosecuting, asked him: “Have you received any money?”The witness replied “no”, but Mr Medland pressed on: “Would you agree with me that £50,000 is a lot of money,” to which the man agreed “yeah”.Mr Medland also accused him of “inventing” the phrase that Evans had told jurors the woman had called out during sex.Mr Medland said: “You invented that phrase out of a desire to help Ched Evans. She did not say that to you did she?”The witness replied: “She did.”Evans was convicted of raping the woman after joining in while she was having sex with his best friend, Clayton McDonald in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.The original conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal however and a retrial ordered after the footballer claimed to have found new evidence that the woman was lying.Evans told jurors that the woman had not seemed drunk and he had not had any concerns about her not consenting.The trial continues. But the key defence witness, who did not give evidence at the original trial, denied coming forward after the footballer offered a £50,000 reward for fresh information,.Prosecutors claim the woman, who was 19 at the time was too drunk to consent to sex with Evans and had no memory of doing so.But the witness said the woman, who he had known for a number of years, had once woken up in bed with him with no memory of what had happened the night before.He told the jury that she had used the same sexual phrase that Evans had claimed she had used while with him and believed she was lying about not consenting.
Theresa May is preparing to abandon plans for a British Bill of Rights after Britain leaves the European Union, Government sources have suggested.Ministers have confirmed that the Government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act have been shelved until after Brexit.However sources told The Daily Telegraph that the plans may now be abandoned entirely because Brexit will significantly strengthen the sovereignty of British courts.They also highlighted the Brexit judgement by the Supreme Court earlier this week which made clear that Britain will no longer be subject to European Court of Justice rulings after Brexit. He said: “If they dropped the whole thing it would be deeply disappointing because the problem is there and it would not go away.”The European Court of Human Rights is not an EU institution and we will still be subject to its jurisdiction after we leave the EU. We can get Brexit out of the way then come back to think about it again.”Mrs May, who served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016, spoke in the past of her desire to quit the ECHR, which frustrated her plans to extradite the hate preacher Abu Qatada.In April, Mrs May said: “The ECHR can bind the hands of Parliament, adds nothing to our prosperity, makes us less secure by preventing the deportation of dangerous foreign nationals, and does nothing to change the attitudes of governments like Russia’s when it comes to human rights.”However during her leadership campaign Mrs May said pulling out of the ECHR was not something she could pursue in this Parliament because of the Conservative’s slim majority.The details of the Bill of Rights plans were drawn up by Michael Gove, the former justice secretary, who was sacked as part of Mrs May’s summer reshuffle. “But does my Right Honourable and Learned Friend agree that leaving the European Union and freeing the United Kingdom from the bonds of the charter of fundamental rights must be their top priority?”Sir Oliver replied: “I do agree with that. I think it important for us to sort out the EU side of matters, and the exit from the EU, before we return to that subject.”His comments suggest that a decision on whether to introduce a British Bill of Rights will not be made until after the General Election in 2020.However government sources said it is now unlikely to happen at all amid concerns that Mrs May could face a rebellion by Conservative MPs over the issue.Martin Howe QC, who has advised the Conservatives on plans to scrap the human rights act, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the suggestion that they could be dropped. Mrs May has also already pledged to end legal witch hunts against British soldiers by using existing exemptions to suspend human rights laws on the battlefield.David Cameron, the former Prime Minister, had vowed to scrap the human rights act and replace it with a British bill of rights to stop it being exploited by foreign criminals, terrorists and others.However Sir Oliver Heald, a justice minister, disclosed earlier this week that plans to scrap the human rights act – which were part of the Conservative manifesto – will be delayed until after Brexit.David Nuttall, a Conservative MP, asked Sir Oliver in the Commons: “It is of course right that our manifesto commitment to replace the Human Rights Act remains on the Government’s agenda. I think it important for us to sort out the EU side of matters, and the exit from the EU, before we return to that subjectSir Oliver Heald, a justice minister David Cameron, the former Prime Minister, had vowed to scrap the human rights act and replace it with a British bill of rights to stop it being exploited by foreign criminals, terrorists and othersCredit:REUTERS/UK Parliament 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.
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. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has been accused of patronising behaviour after he was caught on video in a heated discussion with a voter while campaigning in Oxfordshire. The argument came about when 65-year-old Malcolm Baker branded a visibly annoyed Mr Farron a “disgrace” and accused the Lib Dem leader of calling Brexit voters racist.He said: “You think Leave voters are all racist”.Tim Farron replied: “Loads of my mates voted Leave and I don’t think they’re racist”.Mr Farron took Mr Baker, who said he thought Tim Farron was “running this country down” and that he hoped the Lib Dems secured only six seats. Not a great look for @timfarron to accuse a Leave voter of letting down his grandchildren.— Mark Wallace (@wallaceme) May 3, 2017 If @timfarron wants to win anything he needs to learn to stop grinning and patronising people. When will politicians learn to just listen? https://t.co/OwjEGhxUfO— CT (@IndoorHeroes) May 3, 2017 Tim Farron later said: “That wouldn’t have happened to Theresa May because she doesn’t talk to anybody normal. He added: “Don’t tell people who voted Leave that they didn’t know what they were voting for.”The pair parted with Mr Farron wishing Mr Baker, who turned 65 on Wednesday, a happy birthday.But the pensioner was not the only aggrieved voter to make their feelings known during the Oxford West campaign event. “I was wound up. He listened to me”: More from Malcolm Baker, the man who confronted @timfarron in Oxfordshire pic.twitter.com/iY1iYZzrcl— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 3, 2017 Happy Birthday to Malcolm. Unlike @theresa_may I don’t ship in activists or close my events. I am happy to meet & debate with anyone. https://t.co/W7V4Av0KtK— Tim Farron (@timfarron) May 3, 2017 The Lib Dem leader said: “Are you proud that [your grandchildren] will inherit a poorer, less powerful and less secure country?”Mr Baker angrily retorted: “I’m proud that they’ll be coming out of Europe and we’ll have our own policy and won’t have to pay a 100 billion bill to leave!”He then said: “I hope you only get six seats!”Mr Farron sarcastically replied: “Thank you very much!”Mr Baker said he had voted Labour all of his life, but was planning on voting for Theresa May.Tim Farron was out campaigning in the Oxford West constituency, which is currently held by Nicola Blackwood, a Conservative. Seventy per cent of voters in Oxfordshire supported Remain at the EU referendum last June.One of the people out campaigning with Mr Farron branded the man a “f—-ing idiot” for saying he was planning on voting for Theresa May. Shortly before Mr Farron arrived in Kidlington High Street, a passer-by shouted at the group of Lib Dem activists waiting for the leader: “You and the coalition, bloody Cameron” before booing.But Mr Farron insisted the party is winning back the voters who deserted it last time round.”The canvassing that we have been doing already is very, very clear that people who are progressive minded voters don’t need any persuading to know that the Liberal Democrats have the only real hope for them in terms of beating a Conservative here and in terms of providing Britain with a different direction of travel from the one the Conservatives are taking us on.” “So, God bless him. He’s a regular human being”.Some Liberal Democrats booed Mr Baker. They were quickly rebuked by Tim Farron, who said: “Don’t boo him – we’re not Corbyn”.After initially walking off, Mr Baker returned for a less heated chat with Mr Farron, joking: “I’ve got no eggs on me whatsoever.”
A 33-year-old woman was lucky to escape serious injury when she fell in front of a bus after colliding with a jogger, police have said.Dramatic CCTV of the incident shows a man running along Putney Bridge, west London, and appearing to push the woman into the road.The oncoming bus is forced to swerve into the adjacent lane to avoid hitting her.Investigating officer Sergeant Mat Knowles said: “The victim was put in extreme danger when she was knocked into the road.”It was only due to the superb quick reactions of the bus driver that she was not hit by the vehicle.”The Metropolitan Police said the bus stopped and passengers tended to the woman – who received minor injuries – following the incident on Friday, May 5 at about 7.40am.Officers said the jogger ran the other way across the bridge around 15 minutes later and the victim attempted to speak to him, but “he did not acknowledge her”.An appeal has been launched for witnesses or anyone who recognises the jogger in the CCTV.The jogger is described as white in his early to mid-30s, with brown eyes and short brown hair.He was wearing a light grey T-shirt and dark blue shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. 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.
Fran Woodard, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Director of Policy and Impact said: “Missing this target is a worrying indication of the NHS falling at the first hurdle of cancer care as performance slips under mounting pressure on the health system.“To be told you may have cancer and then be left waiting for those fears to be confirmed, or even allayed, can be incredibly traumatic for people and their families, and may cause concerning delays to treatment,” she said.The charity urged the Government to do more to improve cancer care, and to ensure earlier diagnosis and treatment of those with suspected cancer.A spokesperson from NHS England said: “NHS is now seeing nearly two million urgent GP referrals a year, with a record 14,000 people receiving their first treatment following an urgent referral in June, equating to an extra 130 people each week compared to last year.”Catching cancer earlier is vital, which is why the NHS is deliberately putting itself under pressure by significantly increasing the number of people referred for checks.” Just 80.8 per cent of cancer sufferers began treatment within 62 days, a fall from 82.3 per cent in the previous quarter.It means that a target for 85 per cent of cases to start treatment within this timeframe has now been missed for more than four years.Senior policy fellow Tim Gardner, from the charity Health Foundation which analysed the figures, said: “This data suggests the health service’s capacity to diagnose and treat those patients promptly has not kept pace with need and the 14 day wait target from GP referral for suspected cancer to first outpatient appointment has been missed for a whole quarter for the first time since records began in 2008/09.“This is concerning at a time of the year when the NHS should have some respite from winter pressures, and there is a similar picture of longer waits for emergency care and planned surgery as demand exceeds capacity.” Quarterly targets for patients with suspected cancer to see a hospital consultant within two weeks have been missed for the first time. GPs are supposed to identify patients whose symptoms suggest cancer for “urgent referral” to a hospital specialist.NHS targets state that 93 per cent of cases should be seen within a fortnight, so that tests and treatment can be started.But analysis reveals this target was missed for the whole quarter ending June 2018, with the worst performance since records began in 2008.In the latest quarter, 91.4 per cent of patients with suspected cancer urgently referred by a GP were seen within 14 days.The proportion of suspected cancer patients who started treatment within two months of being urgently referred by a GP also fell.Just 80.8 per cent of cancer sufferers began treatment within 62 days, a fall from 82.3 per cent in the previous quarter.It means that a target for 85 per cent of cases to start treatment within this time frame has now been missed for more than four years. 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. Quarterly targets for patients with suspected cancer to see a hospital consultant within two weeks have been missed for the first time.GPs are supposed to identify patients whose symptoms suggest cancer for “urgent referral” to a hospital specialist.NHS targets state that 93 per cent of cases should be seen within a fortnight, so that tests and treatment can be started.But analysis reveals this target was missed for the whole quarter ending June 2018, with the worst performance since records began in 2008.In the latest quarter, 91.4 per cent of patients with suspected cancer urgently referred by a GP were seen within 14 days.The proportion of suspected cancer patients who started treatment within two months of being urgently referred by a GP also fell.
“It’s like a row of soldiers. You knock one infection down but then another one pops up. You go home and you feel okay but then it’s all hiding there underneath the skin.“It starts off as a little pimple or a red spot and then the skin turns black and gets swollen and incredibly painful,” he says. She predicted a future “where the types of intervention we routinely deliver today, such as caesarean sections, chemotherapy and hip replacements become extremely dangerous… due to drug resistant infections”. Officials estimate that at the current rate, 10 million people a year will die worldwide by 2050 because of the rise of superbugs. 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. What Mr Tilley has gone through is still rare, says Dr Williams, but resistant infections are not.“The numbers are going up and up. There’s a straight correlation between the number of antibiotics we use and the number of resistant infections,” he says.Mr Tilley underwent the amputation in November and nearly two months later his stump is healing well and he is looking forward to having a prosthesis fitted in the next few months. Paradoxically, he says he will be more mobile without his leg – he has spent much of the last six years using sticks and crutches to get about and has been heavily reliant on his wife, Andrea. He says adjusting to life as an amputee will be hard but once he gets the hang of his prosthesis he hopes to be back to his previous, active self. The pain of the infection was the worst thing, said Mr Tilley. It was so intense during a walking holiday in Spain he considered throwing himself off a mountain path. In the end he opted to have his leg amputated. “Between the microbiologist and the surgeon you could see they were fighting their way through this. They didn’t know what to do with me. There are no antibiotics for this – this is the end of the line,” he said. John Williams, an infectious diseases consultant at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, said Mr Tilley had various resistant infections over the years.“If you look at the figures on knee replacements about two per cent become infected – it’s a bit higher for the second knee and a bit higher for the third knee.“The more operations a patient has there is less and less bone and soft tissue for the surgeon to work with so the replacements become that much more difficult,” he said. Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security A British man has had his leg amputated after contracting a superbug infection following what should have been a routine knee replacement.He is one of a growing number of NHS patients for whom common operations are going horribly wrong because of the rise of antibiotic resistance.Paul Tilley, 68, a former catering manager from Dalton in North Yorkshire, had his right leg removed before Christmas.He contracted the bug after a simple knee replacement. Doctors battled to fight the infection over the course of six years and a series of follow-up operations but without success.“The doctors don’t tell you you need a leg amputation – you have to take the decision yourself. But after six years of pain and not being able to live my life it was the only choice,” he says. Mr Tilley is one of a growing number of NHS patients to have fallen victim to the epidemic of antibiotic resistance that has been building over the last few years.Data suggests there are at least 2000 superbug-related deaths in the UK each year, many linked to common but invasive operations such as hip and knee replacements.Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, warned in The Telegraph last year of a dark future for modern medicine unless the blight of antibiotic resistance could be tackled. “When bone becomes infected you need to get high concentrations of antibiotics into it and not all oral antibiotics achieve that. And if you have a resistant organism it becomes harder because you have a limited number of options. The infections are treatable but you don’t have as many choices and you end up relying on drugs from the 1950s and 60s,” he says. Mr Tilley problems began almost as soon as his knee was replaced.“Within a matter of days I was in the most tremendous pain. I was shaking and vomiting. The nurses had to call the surgeon out in the middle of the night because they didn’t know what to do with me,” he said.His medical notes show a series of infections set in, including the superbugs meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterobacter cloacae. He received a wide range of antibiotics and endured three follow-up knee replacements but the infections could not be killed off. Surgeons even tried an artificial knee coated in silver, a metal known for its anti-bacterial properties. Mr Tilley said last week he had never heard of superbugs or antibiotic resistance before his first operation. Now he has become an expert, losing track of the the number of different antibiotics he has taken orally and by drip over the last few years. Paul Tilley contracted the bug after a simple knee replacementCredit:Charlotte Graham/The Telegraph
David Bowie thanked his childhood friend for punching him in the face, after the blow gave the star his different coloured eyes.George Underwood, who was friends with Bowie from the age of nine, punched the singer when they were teenagers after they both became romantically interested in the same girl.Describing the incident as a “short-lived falling out” in 1962, Mr Underwood told the Telegraph that tensions boiled over after Bowie meddled in his attempt to take Carol Goldsmith out on a date after she came to his 15th birthday party.“Just to get the story straight, it was about a girl we both fancied,” Mr Underwood, now an artist, said. “She came to my 15th birthday party – everyone was drunk at about eight, including David.“I was sensible and managed a date with her. David phoned me on the day and said she had told him she didn’t want to meet me because she wanted to go out with him.”However, this did not stop Mr Underwood from going down to their local youth club later that evening, only to find out that Miss Goldsmith had been waiting for him all along. The scrap left Bowie with a blue right eye, whilst his left appeared dark or brown, after he reportedly suffered a deep corneal abrasion and paralysis of his iris sphincter muscle.His different coloured eyes have been described as “one of the enduring legends” behind his “genuinely unearthly aura” that made him – and his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust – so distinctive.“The uncanny appearance of Bowie’s eyes was ideal for a performer who embraced ideas of the alien, the outsider, the otherworldly and the occult,” Kevin Hunt, senior lecturer in design and visual culture at Nottingham Trent University, wrote in the Independent.“In an increasingly visual world seemingly preoccupied by perfection, Bowie’s damaged left pupil became an intrinsic and arresting part of his enigmatic identity,” he said.He embraced his iconic feature right up to his death in 2016, with his different coloured eyes featuring in the advertising campaign for his last album Blackstar. Throughout his career, he produced 27 studio albums, 128 singles, four soundtracks and 72 music videos.Bowie – whose real name is David Robert Jones – was born in 1947 and raised in Bromley, east London.He met Mr Underwood when they were nine-years-old after enrolling for the Cubs in 1956 and they both later went on to study at Bromley Tech school. “So I was very p*ssed off with him, and in the morning I got on the bus to school and overheard him talking about this girl he was going out with,” he said. “At break time I hit him [inadvertently causing one pupil to become permanently dilated, so Bowie’s eyes appeared to be different colours]. Later David said I did him a favour – everyone talks about his eyes, don’t they?” “We started talking, mostly about music,” Mr Underwood said. “When we got a bit older, we used to go around Bromley High Street chatting up girls and trying to impress people. David was just learning how to do that.”Despite their falling out, the pair remained friends for the rest of their lives and played in several bands together. “I got out of the music business; painting was all I wanted to do. And David progressed into the stratosphere. People ask: ‘Did you always know he was going to be such a massive star?’ Of course not, no one knew,” Mr Underwood 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.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPreparations being finalised for Exxon to commence drilling Liza-5 well soonMarch 5, 2018In “latest news”Exxon Mobil confirms new oil discovery in Snoek well offshore GuyanaMarch 30, 2017In “Business”Exxon begins drilling at Payara locationNovember 11, 2016In “latest news” -MARAD calling on vessels to avoid areaEsso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd (EEPGL), an affiliate of oil giant ExxonMobil, is slated to commence a three-month drilling operation at a new well within the Stabroek Block.This was revealed following a notice from the Guyana Maritime Administration Department (MARAD). It is understood that drilling of the well, dubbed the Ranger=1 Well Site, will commence from October 11.The Stena Carron drill shipThe Department noted that there would be five vessels partaking in the operation which would be displaying the relevant international signal for oil exploration: the Stena Carron; the MV Cat Island; the MV Fast Titan; the MV Hannah Chouest and the HOS Commander.The drill site, according to MARAD, is 160 nautical miles from Guyana’s coast and covers a square kilometre. The coordinates, the Department noted, are 08 degrees, 56.340’, 08 degrees, 56.340’, 08 degrees, 55.250’ and 08 degrees 55.250’ at Latitude North.At Longitude West, the coordinates were 057 degrees, 18.680’, 057 degrees, 17.590’, 057 degrees, 17.590’ and 057 degrees, 18.680’. These are all in Zone 21.Urging that ordinary vessels in the zone stay clear of the operation and these vessels, MARAD also encouraged vessels to navigate with caution when in the vicinity and to radio on VHF Ch. 16 or via the Georgetown Lighthouse.Drilling has consistently encountered oil reservoirs since ExxonMobil’s 2015 oil find in Guyana. In May of that year, Exxon confirmed that more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs was encountered at its Liza 1 exploration well.In late June 2016, Exxon’s drilling results at Liza 2 revealed more than 58 metres of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs in Upper Cretaceous formations. The well was drilled to 5475 metres at 1692 metres water depth. Drilling results confirmed recoverable resources to be between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Data from the Liza 2 well test is being assessed.The company had announced that it made its third significant discovery in its drilling explorations offshore Guyana. Its partner, Hess Corporation, had noted that the Liza 3 exploratory well’s net value could be US$6.2 billion based on calculations from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Capital Markets.Drilling on Payara began on November 12, 2016, with initial total depth reached on December 2, 2016.In January of this year, the oil giant had announced it had struck oil in its Payara-1 well, targeting the same type of reservoirs as the well’s Liza counterpart. The lesser known Orinduik oil block has been under the administration of Eco Guyana and Tullow, after they signed a 10-year Petroleum Prospecting Licence and Production Sharing Agreement with Government last year. (Jarryl Bryan)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWest Indies hope to end series drought in decider against BangladeshDecember 13, 2018In “Sports”Cottrell, Hope guide West Indies to crushing T20 winDecember 17, 2018In “Sports”Hope leaps into ODI top 10December 17, 2018In “latest news” Shai HopeWest Indies cricketer Shai Hope was today awarded the Man of the Series trophy, following the third one-day international (ODI) between Bangladesh and West Indies at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.The trophy was accompanied by a US$2,000 prize.Bangladesh beat West Indies by eight wickets in the third and final one-day international to win the three-match series 2-1.Hope fought a lone battle for the West Indies, scoring his second successive hundred of the series but it was in vain as no other batsman provided support.Fresh from an unbeaten 146 off 144 balls in the previous match, he struck another unconquered knock of 108 off 131 to prop up the visitors, taking his tally in the series to 297 runs.However, West Indies could score just 198 in their stipulated 50 overs after Bangladesh spinner Mehidy Hasan recorded his career best figure of 4-29.Bangladesh won the first match by five wickets on Sunday before West Indies levelled the series with a four-wicket win in the second match two days later. (ESPNCricinfo)