ESPN/SmithESPN personality Stephen A. Smith is in a bit of hot water again, this time for a perceived sexist comment he made on SportsCenter Thursday night. Smith, while doing a highlight of the Women’s World Cup, commented that Germany’s defenders didn’t want to “mess their hair up” while defending a free kick (which leveled the game) against Norway. Smith’s choice of words, which don’t even make sense given the replay, offended a number of people, including some of his ESPN colleagues.Here’s video, if you haven’t seen it:Kate Fagan, ESPNW writer, was among those who weren’t thrilled. There were others too.What happens when you’re uneducated about something, don’t get educated, but talk about it anyway? –> http://t.co/ZthyoQHhts— Kate Fagan (@katefagan3) June 12, 2015Smith has since apologized for his comments in a four-part Twitter message. 1-of-3: Folks, as usual, something I’ve said is gaining steam so let me address this right now: on @SportsCenter, doing highlights, I made a— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015Flip comment in fun about a women’s soccer team not wanting to mess up their hair. Obviously, my comments were in poor taste. I have nothing— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015But the utmost respect for athletes of all genders — Especially since most are better than I’ll ever be — so please KNOW I’m very sorry.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015I apologize. It certainly was not my intent to offend anyone.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015It remains to be seen as to whether ESPN will suspend Smith. It wouldn’t be the first time.[The Big Lead]
Big 12.The Big 12 dropped some interesting news Friday, announcing that starting in 2017, the league will bring back a conference championship game, despite the fact that it is staying at 10 schools. It was also announced by commissioner Bob Bowlsby that the league is considering moving to two five-team divisions and keeping its round robin scheduling. If you’re thinking that doesn’t make a ton of sense – you aren’t alone. College football fans and analysts are mocking the league for what seems like a pointless exercise. Why have divisions if you already play every other team? Couldn’t that potentially leave the league without its two best teams in the title game?What’s the point of divisions if doing round-robin? The Big 12 is clueless https://t.co/En2GE7PZ9D— Jason Brown (@JasonBrown96) June 3, 2016“two five team divisions”One one hand, that’s dumb.On the other hand, the Big 12 East featuring WVU, ISU, Kansas, KSU, and someone.— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) June 3, 2016So the Big 12 is going to five-team divisions. What is the point if the league is still playing a round-robin schedule?— Bobby La Gesse (@BobbyLaGesse) June 3, 2016If the Big 12 is going to have divisions, here’s how I recommend splitting the teams. pic.twitter.com/AYwXG73eeE— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) June 3, 2016“Sorry, TCU, we know you and OU both finished 8-1 in our round robin, but 6-3 WVU is going to the title game b/c they’re further north.”— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) June 3, 2016Entire idea of a championship game was because all teams did not play each other in bloated leagues..— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) June 3, 2016Love that the Big 12 is switching from round robin to two 5-team divisions with 5 crossover games.— Ben Swain (@TheBenSwain) June 3, 2016The only thing that will make the Big 12’s potential 5-team divisions better is to name them Leaders and Legends— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) June 3, [email protected] axis and allies— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) June 3, 2016We’ll see if the Big 12 changes its mind. This likely isn’t the last we hear on this topic.
A cohort of 18 nurses and five educators/supervisors will depart for the People’s Republic of China later this month to participate in a Nurses Training Exchange Programme. This was disclosed by Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his 2018/19 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 5). Another group is slated to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) to participate in a training programme in that country early next year. Story Highlights A cohort of 18 nurses and five educators/supervisors will depart for the People’s Republic of China later this month to participate in a Nurses Training Exchange Programme.Another group is slated to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) to participate in a training programme in that country early next year.This was disclosed by Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his 2018/19 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 5).Dr. Tufton said both arrangements resulted from bilateral agreements between the Governments of Jamaica and the partner countries.He indicated that these will enable Jamaican nurses to access hospitals in both countries, to complete their clinical rotation after concluding didactic classroom training locally.The Minister said the UK programme will also include faculty exchanges to strengthen nursing trainers locally.Dr. Tufton said this will, in the first instance, increase the number of critical-care nurses being trained by 100 per cent.“This is a novel concept being hailed as an innovative pilot that could be mainstreamed by other countries, if it works. It has involved significant negotiations between the countries, working out details related to nursing councils and training standards, immigration, teaching institutions and health institutions,” he told the House.Dr. Tufton said the Government of Jamaica is thankful for the support of their counterparts in the UK and China, as well as local stakeholders “for exercising creativity and flexibility to allow this pragmatic out-of-the-box but necessary thinking to work”.
VANCOUVER – Health-food eatery chain Freshii Inc.’s stock shed about a third of its worth Tuesday after the company scaled back its aggressive expansion plans.“Today’s announcement is extremely disappointing to me,” said founder and CEO Matthew Corrin during a conference call with investors Monday evening.After markets closed Monday, Freshii (TSX:FRII) announced its growth has been slower than expected, resulting in some store closures and a reduced target for net openings this year.The Toronto-based company’s shares fell $3.11 or about 35 per cent to $5.75 on Tuesday.Freshii’s revised outlook anticipates between 90 and 95 net new store openings in its 2017 financial year, down from 150 to 160 locations.The company also scaled back its longer-term expansion targets, saying it now plans to open between 730 and 760 stores by the end of its 2019 financial year, rather than the 810 to 840 stores previously anticipated.Robert Carter, executive director of food service at NPD Group, amounted the news to “growing pains” as the relatively young chain adjusts to “such dramatic growth.”In its 2017 financial year, roughly 60 fewer restaurants will be opened partly because Freshii and department store Target ended their relationship, the company said.It closed 17 of its eateries located in Target stores in the third quarter, ending Sept. 24. One additional Freshii Target store will close by the end of this year.Corrin attempted to reassure investors that the closures don’t signal an end to such partnerships in the future.Freshii launched an extensive review of its Target partnership and learned it can make future relationships more successful by, for example, offering fewer menu items to reduce prep work and improve labour efficiency, he said.The company remains excited about similar partnerships being a pillar of growth for Freshii in the future, Corrin said.Carter pointed to an announcement earlier this month that a selection of the company’s food will be served on hundreds of Air Canada flights daily starting next month as an example of the many opportunities Freshii will have for strategic partnerships.Freshii also said its expansion in the United Kingdom and several U.S. states has been slower than expected because its multi-unit franchisees have been more conservative in their real estate selection than anticipated.The company also faced delays facilitating “a far greater number” of store openings this year than last, which led to further challenges. Freshii has hired additional people and engaged a global project management firm to help with the logistics.Carter said the company is making the right moves to address these issues and once the stores are opened, Freshii will continue to experience growth.“This is a brand that’s here for the long term,” he said of the fast-casual restaurant that serves salads, wraps, bowls, burritos and other meals to health-conscious consumers.The company’s stock began trading publicly in January at $12 after a $125-million initial public offering of its stock.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s order quashing the RBI’s February 12 circular will give the government discretionary power to issue direction to the apex bank for referring a defaulting company to the NCLT on case by case basis in public interest, official sources said. The Supreme Court Tuesday quashed the RBI circular of last year that pertains to the provisions for referring the defaulter to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) even on a one-day overdue. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHowever, the SC had upheld the constitutional validity of Section 35AA of the Banking Regulation Act, which empowers the Centre to act, either directly or by directing RBI to take action against defaulters. Section 35AA empowers the central government to authorise the RBI to issue directions to any banking company or banking companies to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of a default under the provisions of the IBC. Sections 35AA and 35AB were introduced by an amendment to the Banking Regulation Act in May 2017. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had on February 12, 2018 issued the circular saying that lenders have to provide for resolution plan within 180 days in case of large account of Rs 2,000 crore and above. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAccording to sources, the Supreme Court order on the RBI’s circular does not limit government powers to give directions to PSU banks in resolving non-performing assets. Prior to February 12 circular, the resolution mechanism available to banks were CDR, Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A), and JLF. Following Tuesday’s SC order restructuring schemes like S4A may come back. Revised framework for resolution of stressed assets issued on February 12, 2018 invited criticism from various quarters like a parliamentary panel. The RBI substituted the previous guidelines with a harmonised and simplified generic framework for resolution of stressed assets in view of the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. “Although the new guidelines have been termed as harmonized and simplified generic framework, yet they are far from being so,” Standing Committee on Energy in its report tabled in Parliament last year said.
New Delhi: After a hot day at 36 degrees in Delhi, the capital city was swept by a dust storm followed by light showers as predicted by the Meteorological Department. The storm also resulted in a slight dip in temperature.The weather officials had earlier in the day, predicted party cloudy sky with possibility of light rains. “Delhi will witness partly cloudy sky with possibility of very light rain, dust storm, thunderstorm accompanied with moderate squall,” officials said. The Met department’s weather update for the night showed “thunderstorm with squall”. The weather officials also predicted a Thunderstorm or dust storm for Monday. The air quality also dropped to “unhealthy” with air quality index at 152.
Usain Bolt ran the 200 meters at the 2013 Areva Diamond League meet in Paris and despite hitting his fastest time this year, Bolt wasn’t pleased with himself.The Jamaican sprinter said his efforts were at about 70 percent after running the fastest 200 meters of the season Saturday with a time of 19.73 seconds.“I think I could have run the last 50 after the turn much better,” Bolt said. “I didn’t come in the straight as powerful as I used to. The last 30 meters, I was kind of, I won’t say struggling, but my technique wasn’t perfect.”Bolt slashed 0.01 second off the previous best time this year, set by American sprinter Tyson Gay at the U.S. trials last month. Gay appears to be Bolt’s only threat in the 100- and 200-meter race.Bolt will compete next in the 100 and 4×100 relay in London on July 26-27. That will be his final major races before the world championship, which begins August 10.
UPDATE (Sept. 3, 10:45 a.m.): Sure, Tom Brady can play a full season again after a judge reversed the league’s four-game suspension. But the Patriots still lost a first-round draft pick in the Deflategate fracas. In May, Neil Paine wrote that the draft pick was the real penalty for the Patriots. We originally published this article after the punishment was first announced. In the wake of the NFL’s Deflategate report, the league announced late Monday that it would fine the New England Patriots $1 million, suspend quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season, and strip New England of two draft picks — a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017.After news of the disciplinary action broke, much of the coverage has centered around the loss of Brady and how his absence will affect the Patriots next season. Certainly questions abound in that department; chief among them is whether backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo can steer the ship while Brady sits. In response to the punishment, sportsbooks in Las Vegas downgraded New England’s line by 4 points in their opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers and have scratched half a win off the team’s 10.5-win opening over/under (now it’s 10.0, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook).1A half-win may seem like a somewhat modest amendment — after all, whenever a future Hall of Fame quarterback is lost, there’s always the concern that the team will completely fall apart without him — but even an extra half-loss could have big implications for New England’s Super Bowl odds.Lost amid the hand-wringing over Brady’s suspension, though, is the value of the lost draft picks. Teams with New England’s 2014 Simple Rating System (SRS) score tend to pick 22nd in the first round of the draft two years later and 21st in the fourth round (or 117th overall) the year after that. Those numbers probably understate the quality of the picks, since without four games of Brady, the Pats may fare worse than the average 10.9-SRS team. But they serve as a good gauge of what the Patriots were stripped of in Monday’s decision.Turning to Chase Stuart’s invaluable research on the value of draft picks, those two picks are worth 19.2 points of marginal Approximate Value (AV) over the first five years of the draftees’ careers. Brady himself has averaged 15.7 AV per season over the past three years, and a replacement-level QB produces about 8.5 AV per 16 games, so Brady’s marginal value in the first four games of the 2015 season figured to be somewhere between 1.5 and 2 points of AV.In other words, according to AV, the cost of New England’s two lost draft picks dwarfs the cost of Brady’s four-game suspension (assuming its original length is upheld after appeals). While the latter will cause a glaring hole in the Patriots lineup on opening day, the former is a long-term disadvantage that may ultimately prove more damaging.
OSU sophomore Taylor White (21) and junior Shelby Hursh (19) during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorIts bats might have taken awhile to warm up Tuesday evening, but the Ohio State softball team was still able to sweep its neighbors to the southeast, the Ohio Bobcats, with 11 runs in the nonconference doubleheader. The Buckeyes (27-11-1, 9-4-1), hungry to redeem themselves from a losing weekend at Michigan, dominated Ohio (25-18), which sits in fifth in the Mid-American Conference’s East division.OSU sophomore Taylor White had three hits throughout the doubleheader, all of which were for extra bases. Junior infielder Anna Kirk went 3-for-4 in the second game after falling into an 0-for-5 slump last weekend.Game 1Tuesday evening’s first matchup ended up being a 1-0 pitching contest decided by a single play of small ball. Both OSU junior Shelby Hursh and Ohio redshirt junior Savannah Jo Dorsey threw complete games, and Hursh struck out six batters while only recording two walks.The game remained scoreless until the top of the sixth, when sophomore Ashley Goodwin laid down a squeeze bunt to give the Buckeyes the go-ahead run.After OSU stranded a pair of runners in the first inning, Hursh sent the top of the lineup back to the dugout in order. In the preceding inning, Dorsey, who struck out eight, echoed with three easy outs.Freshman Emily Clark and White led the Buckeyes once again with a double each, but Clark’s leadoff two-bagger in the top of the fourth could not produce a string of hits. The Bobcats briefly threatened in the bottom of the inning in a two-out, bases-loaded situation, but junior Casie Hutchinson popped out to OSU catcher Cammi Prantl.White’s double gave OSU a chance to score in the sixth, and after she advanced to third, Goodwin’s bunt brought her home. Freshman Becca Gavin shut down Ohio second baseman Taylor Saxton with her second putout to second base of the day, and the quick final three outs in the seventh gave the Buckeyes a return to the win column.Game 2In the second game of the twinbill and 70th all-time matchup between the teams, the Buckeyes quickly turned on their previously quiet bats to cruise to a 10-3 win.White added her fourth homer in the top of the fifth, which was also her third hit of the day, and sent the Buckeyes back to Columbus with a midweek sweep. OSU freshman Morgan Ray and junior Lena Springer teamed up in the circle to keep the Bobcats at three runs through the final five innings.White doubled for the second time of the day and eighth time of the year in the top of the first, bringing in two runs.Redshirt senior shortstop Maddy McIntyre jumped on the chance to make a clutch play of her own with an RBI single in the second inning. OSU bumped its lead to four with a steal of home, but Ohio responded with a two-out, RBI single from freshman Morgan Geno.The Bobcats took advantage of another two-out situation on a pair of singles in the third inning, bringing in two runs to tighten the game to a 4-3 contest. Ohio nearly scored in the bottom of the fourth, but Kirk charged a bunt from third to end the inning.White’s home run was the only noise OSU made in the fifth inning, thanks to Dorsey’s relieving effort after sophomore Danielle Stiene headed to the bullpen. Dorsey struck out six before freshman Jamie Wren stepped into the circle for the first time in her collegiate career. In the bottom of the inning, Prantl made a diving catch in left field to leave the Bobcats with another scoreless inning.Kirk led off the sixth inning with a line drive to right field, a stolen base and a trip home on McIntyre’s deep RBI single. Prantl stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded to slam a two-run double off of the outfield wall, which prompted the third pitching change for the Bobcats. Stiene reentered the game but gave up two more runs after Clark’s single found the gap. In the bottom of the sixth, Ohio went down in order on only five pitches, giving it one last chance to close in on the Buckeyes, who also went down in order in the final inning.Gavin caught her third runner at second base to end the day, sending OSU back to Columbus with its 26th and 27th wins.Coming upOSU is scheduled to return to Big Ten play from Friday to Sunday with a three-game series against Purdue. Friday’s game is slated to begin at 6 p.m. at Buckeye Field.
Thad Matta and the Ohio State men’s basketball team are already in the process of assembling a strong class for 2014, less than two months removed from this year’s National Signing Day for men’s basketball recruits. That class became stronger Friday night, when D’Angelo Russell verbally committed to the Buckeyes.Russell confirmed the commitment, which was first reported by Rivals.com, on his Twitter.Russell, a native of Louisville, Ky., is a shooting guard from Montverde Academy (Fla.). He is listed at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds by Rivals.Russell is ranked as the nation’s No. 11 overall recruit by Scout.com, No. 22 by Rivals and No. 24 by ESPN.com. Russell is rated as a 5-star recruit by Scout and a 4-star recruit by both Rivals and ESPN.With Russell’s commitment, the Buckeyes already have four verbal commitments in the class of 2014. Keita Bates-Diop, a forward from Normal, Ill., is rated as a 5-star recruit by both Rivals and ESPN. The Buckeyes also have commitments from Jae’Sean Tate, a 4-star forward from Pickerington, Ohio, and David Bell, a 3-star center from Garfield Heights, Ohio.The Buckeyes have two incoming recruits, both rated as 4-star recruits by Scout, Rivals and ESPN, for the 2013 season. Power forward Marc Loving is a two-time state Division I Player of the Year from Toledo, Ohio, while shooting guard Kameron Williams comes to the Buckeyes from Baltimore, Md.Sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle was the only member of the Buckeyes’ 2012 recruiting class.