2012 Sportscover Sponsorship Fund Grants

first_imgApplications for the 2012 Sportscover Sponsorship Fund (SSF) are now open, with 20 grants to be awarded to clubs and associations across a broad cross-section of sports. The 20 grants, worth US$750 each, will be awarded to a variety of amateur sports clubs, associations and people who are striving to achieve sporting greatness in their community.Sportscover’s desire to assist community sports led to the creation of the SSF,  and over the last few years, the SSF has donated over $70,000 in grants to grass-roots sporting clubs and associations.The first round is now closed, however the second round of grants, in which seven grants will be awarded, will run from the 1st August – 15th September, and the third round of grants seeing six awarded will be open from the 1st October – 15th November.To view eligibility criteria please visit the following link:§  http://www.sportscover.com/sp_criteria.asp The application form can be found at:§  http://www.sportscover.com/ssf/ For more information on the SSF, please visit the Sportscover website by following the link below:http://www.sportscover.com/supporting-sport.asp?id=1610last_img read more

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NSWTA Position Vacant

first_imgThe New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA) currently has a vacancy for a State Development Officer in the NSWTA office. The position of State Development Officer is responsible for the management and delivery of the New South Wales Touch Association development and education programs for playing, coaching, refereeing and selecting throughout the state. The Development Officer also assists associations in the development of the sport of Touch Football, working with the Sport Manager, Development Manager, Events Manager, NSWTA State Development Officers and Regional Committees to maximise opportunities for Touch Football to be a first choice sport among current and prospective participants. Applications for the State Development Officer position close on Monday, 20 August. For more information and to view job description, please visit the NSWTA website – www.nswtouch.com.au/jobs.Related LinksPositions Vacantlast_img read more

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BRIMSON: From Touch Footy to NRL

first_imgScott Prince and Benji Marshall are among a number of NRL stars to have waxed lyrical about how the touch football skills honed in their youth enabled them to maximise their talents as professional league players.In his autobiography, Marshall went as far as to say that “everything I would eventually do when I played rugby league came because of what I learnt on the touch football field”.The 19-year-old Brimson played alongside rising NRL star Kalyn Ponga in the Queensland under 15 touch side that swept all before it in 2013 before joining powerhouse Gold Coast league school Keebra Park High.“Touch was my life back then,” Brimson told NRL.com.“When I went to Keebra Park when I was 15 I didn’t really know how to play rugby league.“I knew how to step and run around people but I didn’t know how to play as a halfback, but I reckon touch helped me with my ball skills, agility and with defensive movements.“In touch it is all about trusting inside defenders. That all comes together in league especially as a halfback defending on an edge.”It has all come together for Brimson since his move to Keebra Park and then his development in the Titans system.He was the Titans’ Mal Meninga Cup player of the year in 2016 and the club’s joint NYC player of the year in 2017, while also making that competition’s team of the season at five-eighth.He set himself the goal in 2017 of making the Queensland under 20s side and did so.Brimson, who is contracted to the Titans until the end of 2020, paid tribute to the systems that have been vital in his development.“It was just so professional at Keebra Park and with previous students like Benji Marshall, Corey Norman and Te Maire Martin all coming through there it gave me great belief in the programs they had set.“A lot of really good halves have come through there.“I really like it here now at the Gold Coast Titans. I have a lot of respect for the club and I am stoked to be in the rookie squad.“I am still in and around the first graders and I am getting a lot out of it.“I am learning as much as I can from Ash Taylor and asking him questions every time we train.”Greg Lenton, Brimson’s former schoolboy coach at Keebra Park, has no doubt his former pupil will carve out an NRL career like so many naturally gifted players who have come to the game relatively late.“AJ definitely can go all the way,” he said.“There are a few kids who have come through the program and gone on who didn’t come out of the coaching manual.“Benji had virtually never played rugby league and Te Maire Martin was the same. Greg Eastwood and Bodene Thompson were both soccer players.“They don’t come to you as robots because they haven’t had rugby league jammed into them since they were five-years-old.“AJ Brimson had these outstanding skills that you could see had come from touch football, like Benji and Te Maire.“I have always believed that what makes players special is their unique gifts and not the actual coaching they’ve had.”Lenton said Brimson’s off-field qualities would also assist his rise to the top.“AJ took a while to learn the complexities of the game but slowly and surely he has climbed the rungs and is now getting everything he deserves,” he said.“He is a very mature young guy who always tries to do the right thing. He was always first to training and last to leave. He never missed sessions and did all his gym work.“He is a very focussed kid.“I reckon he could be a good foil for Ash Taylor, who I think is a great footballer, because everyone will be zeroing in on him.”This article first appeared on NRL.com The path from touch football to the NRL has been trodden by some of the leading halves of the modern game, and Gold Coast Titans teenager AJ Brimson is determined to follow in those footsteps.last_img read more

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Photos: Ohio State Groom Marries Michigan Bride In The Big House

first_imgOhio State fans holding Go Bucks signs during a football game.INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 02: Fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes cheer as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers during the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)How many die-hard Ohio State football fans have gotten married at Michigan’s Big House? Well, at least one. ESPN is reporting that Mike and Stephanie Stout got hitched recently and held their reception at the Wolverines’ football stadium, despite the obvious rivalry between the two fan bases. While it would appear that Stephanie won the overall argument, Mike certainly did all he could to make the wedding feature both schools.The photos, produced by E. C. Campbell Photography, show Mike spelling out O-H-I-O in Michigan’s tunnel. He also had his groomsmen wear Ohio State socks and grey tuxedos. Finally, there were Buckeyes koozies and pom-poms for each guest.When an Ohio State groom marries a Michigan bride and the reception is at the Big House … [Credit: E.C. Campbell Photography]A photo posted by espn (@espn) on Jul 31, 2015 at 8:08am PDT(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));A fun feature on ESPN today. 🙂 #lovewinsPosted by E.C. Campbell Photography on Friday, July 31, 2015(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));What happens when a Buckeye fan falls in love with a Wolverine fan? Check out Mike and Stephanie’s wedding day to find…Posted by E.C. Campbell Photography on Thursday, July 30, 2015You can check out all of the photos over at the photographer’s website. Ohio State fans – is this acceptable?last_img read more

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Why The Warriors And Cavs Are Still Big Favorites

1959-60Boston Celtics1,1051of8 1995-96Chicago Bulls2,0691of29 1984-85Los Angeles Lakers2,0332of23 1966-67Philadelphia 76ers1,0843of10 Los Angeles Lakers-2.8-3.4-0.6– 2014-15Golden State Warriors72915of30 1952-53Minneapolis Lakers8521of10 2001-02Los Angeles Lakers1,8303of29 2011-12Miami Heat1,7255of30 1982-83Philadelphia 76ers1,7781of23 2012-13Miami Heat2,7782of30 2008-09Los Angeles Lakers1,9763of30 1989-90Detroit Pistons1,8343of27 2005-06Miami Heat1,9103of30 Golden State Warriors+9.1+10.8+1.7– Los Angeles Clippers+2.2+2.1-0.1– Sacramento Kings-5.7-5.8-0.1– 1955-56Philadelphia Warriors598of8 2006-07San Antonio Spurs2,3631of30 1988-89Detroit Pistons1,4913of25 Brooklyn Nets-4.4-5.0-0.6– Show more rows* Average number of career playoff minutes, weighted by each player’s share of regular season minutes played.Source: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM 1951-52Minneapolis Lakers4922of10 Charlotte Hornets+1.4+1.4-0.1– Memphis Grizzlies-1.9-2.0-0.1– 1965-66Boston Celtics1,7141of9 1991-92Chicago Bulls1,6844of27 Philadelphia 76ers-0.7-1.3-0.6– SEASONCHAMPIONSAVG. PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE*LEAGUE RANK 1994-95Houston Rockets1,3925of27 1954-55Syracuse Nationals6783of9 1996-97Chicago Bulls2,6181of29 1987-88Los Angeles Lakers2,8442of23 1998-99San Antonio Spurs1,4596of29 1985-86Boston Celtics2,2043of23 1981-82Los Angeles Lakers1,4363of23 1983-84Boston Celtics1,3813of23 New York Knicks-4.2-4.7-0.5– 1993-94Houston Rockets78312of27 Minnesota Timberwolves+3.4+3.3-0.1– 1957-58St. Louis Hawks9881of8 You might be wondering if we’re confusing cause and effect. For instance, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls were really great; as a result of being great, they made deep playoff runs every year and won six NBA titles, accumulating lots of playoff experience along the way. Playoff success causes playoff experience and not the other way around, you might say.We’ve found, however, that there’s predictive power in accounting for playoff experience above and beyond other measures of team quality. In particular, playoff experience provides information beyond a team’s Elo rating, which accounts for its record, strength of schedule, and margin of victory or defeat in recent games. In the NBA postseason since 1980, the team with the higher initial Elo rating has won 74 percent of playoff series. But if a team has both a higher Elo rating and much more playoff experience,4A difference of at least 1,000 average lifetime playoff minutes played. that win percentage shoots up to 86 percent. Conversely, teams with the higher Elo rating but much less playoff experience have won just 52 percent of playoff series. These differences are highly statistically and practically significant.Based on past research on the topic, we were expecting to see teams reap some benefit from playoff experience, but we were surprised that the effect was this strong. What we’re less sure of is why this effect exists. Playoff basketball is a different beast than regular-season basketball, with much tighter defensive play, among other stylistic changes. It may simply be that nothing predicts playoff success quite like past playoff success. Or it may be that some players really are “clutch” — or can learn to be clutch with experience — and have the psychological skills to thrive under postseason pressure. It’s also possible that teams like LeBron James’s Cavs aren’t overachieving in the playoffs so much as they’re underachieving — or pacing themselves — in the regular season. The NBA season is exhausting, so it’s probably a good idea to pace yourself if your goal is to maximize your chance of a deep playoff run rather than to accumulate gaudy regular-season statistics.All we know for sure is that playoff basketball is different from regular-season basketball — different enough that it makes sense to maintain what amounts to two sets of ratings for each team, one for the playoffs and one for the regular season. And that’s essentially what our new system does: It keeps two sets of ratings. Below, you’ll find each team’s projected margin of victory or defeat against a league-average opponent in the regular season and the playoffs, respectively.5These margins of victory differ slightly from the average projected point differential on the “CARM-Elo” interactive graphic because those “CARM-Elo” point differentials account for the strength of a team’s schedule, whereas my calculations for this article do not. Note that the most experienced teams, like the Cavaliers, project to be 2 or even 3 points better per game in the playoffs than in the regular season, which is similar to the magnitude of home-court advantage in the NBA. So when an experienced team plays an inexperienced team in the playoffs, it has the equivalent of home-court advantage — more experienced teams don’t always win by any means, but the breaks tend to go their way. 2010-11Dallas Mavericks2,1534of30 1980-81Boston Celtics35913of23 1975-76Boston Celtics2,0881of18 2015-16Cleveland Cavaliers1,9072of30 1973-74Boston Celtics1,5662of17 2004-05San Antonio Spurs1,4811of30 NBA champs almost always have a lot of playoff experience 1967-68Boston Celtics2,2451of12 1990-91Chicago Bulls1,2456of27 1960-61Boston Celtics1,3791of8 2007-08Boston Celtics86610of30 2009-10Los Angeles Lakers2,5091of30 Milwaukee Bucks+0.8+0.4-0.4– Atlanta Hawks-5.8-6.3-0.5– Portland Trail Blazers+0.3+0.0-0.3– Indiana Pacers-3.5-3.9-0.3– Orlando Magic-1.7-2.3-0.6– 1992-93Chicago Bulls2,1342of27 Detroit Pistons-2.8-3.3-0.6– Cavs are boosted most by accounting for playoff experience 1999-2000Los Angeles Lakers1,7295of29 1986-87Los Angeles Lakers2,4962of23 1971-72Los Angeles Lakers2,4711of17 Oklahoma City Thunder+5.2+6.0+0.8– 1953-54Minneapolis Lakers1,0621of9 2003-04Detroit Pistons71513of29 2002-03San Antonio Spurs1,1956of29 Denver Nuggets+2.5+2.2-0.4– EXPECTED MARGIN OF VICTORY AGAINST A LEAGUE-AVERAGE TEAM 1970-71Milwaukee Bucks6267of17 1969-70New York Knicks6496of14 Boston Celtics+1.6+1.7+0.1– Phoenix Suns-3.5-4.1-0.6– Cleveland Cavaliers+5.0+7.6+2.6– 1976-77Portland Trail Blazers15222of22 Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are favorites to win their respective conferences and reach the NBA Finals.That’s according to FiveThirtyEight’s “CARM-Elo” projections, which we’ve just launched for the 2017-18 NBA season. The Warriors and Cavs project to be the best regular-season teams in their respective conferences, although the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder — and perhaps the San Antonio Spurs — could represent formidable rivals for the Warriors in the West. Cleveland has less competition in the East. (Our projections are bearish on the Boston Celtics.) But Cleveland and Golden State could have an even larger advantage in the postseason.Apart from one new wrinkle, our methodology for making these projections is essentially the same as it has been for the past two seasons. So I’ll spend the bulk of time here discussing what has changed. The new wrinkle: Our forecasts account for the amount of playoff experience on each team’s roster. Throughout NBA history, teams with extensive playoff experience have often found a higher “gear” in the playoffs. Put more precisely, they have a tendency to win more playoff games than you’d expect from their regular-season performance. This group of teams includes the Cavs, a team that our forecasts have often underrated once the playoffs began — and that won 12 of its first 13 playoff games last year after a mediocre regular season.Indeed, it’s extremely rare for teams without at least an average amount of playoff experience to win the NBA title. We calculate a team’s playoff experience by averaging the number1Only playoff games from previous seasons count toward the calculation; we don’t give a player credit for the experience he’s accumulating in the current season’s playoffs until the next season. of career playoff minutes played2Minutes played aren’t available before the 1951-52 NBA season; for the earlier seasons, we estimate the number of minutes played based on the number of playoff games played. for each player on its roster, weighted by the number of minutes the player played for the team in the regular season.3For our 2017-18 projections, we use projected minutes based on our depth charts. (Teams don’t get any credit for signing a playoff-experienced veteran if they never play him.) For instance, last season’s NBA champions, the Warriors, entered the playoffs with a weighted average of 1,966 career playoff minutes, which ranked third in the league after Cleveland and San Antonio. By contrast, the Portland Trail Blazers — the Warriors’ first-round opponents — averaged just 493 minutes of playoff experience.Each of the past 36 NBA champions have ranked in the top half of their respective leagues in playoff experience. So have 62 out of the past 66 champions; the lone exceptions were the 1980-81 and 1956-57 Boston Celtics, the 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers and the 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors. San Antonio Spurs+3.5+5.1+1.6– TEAMREG. SEASONPLAYOFFSPLAYOFF EXPERIENCE BONUS 1997-98Chicago Bulls2,7521of29 Houston Rockets+6.2+7.0+0.8– 2000-01Los Angeles Lakers2,2583of29 2013-14San Antonio Spurs2,4362of30 1977-78Washington Bullets1,3832of22 Washington Wizards+1.5+1.5+0.0 1958-59Boston Celtics8492of8 Chicago Bulls-5.1-5.8-0.7– Toronto Raptors+1.0+1.1+0.2– Utah Jazz+1.9+1.7-0.2– Miami Heat-0.8-1.3-0.5– 1972-73New York Knicks1,8092of17 1962-63Boston Celtics1,6891of9 1963-64Boston Celtics1,6371of9 Dallas Mavericks-3.6-3.3+0.3– 1974-75Golden State Warriors5989of18 2016-17Golden State Warriors1,9663of30 Finally, just some general background on these projections. We call these “CARM-Elo” forecasts because they combine our CARMELO projections for individual players, which are used to set the initial ratings for each team, with our Elo-rating based method of simulating out the rest of the season. As part of this process, we’ve built depth charts for each team to estimate playing time over the course of the regular season. There is unavoidably some guesswork involved in creating the depth charts, which reflect a rough consensus of depth charts from RosterResource.com, ESPN.com and CBS Sports and account for injuries. However, CARMELO projects an expected amount of playing time for each player, and when building our depth charts, we usually stick fairly closely to this recommendation for a team’s rotation players. In fact, our model punishes players who are “forced” to play substantially more than their CARMELO-forecasted playing time by lowering their efficiency rating. For example, Doug McDermott of the New York Knicks is projected to play 20 minutes per game in our depth charts when CARMELO recommends that he only plays 15 minutes per game, so our forecast assumes that he’ll become somewhat less efficient as a result.Our CARMELO projections themselves underwent some changes earlier this year, which you can read about here. In particular, we’ve switched back to a system that rates players based on a combination of Real Plus-Minus and Box Plus/Minus instead of solely using BPM, as we did last year. Both RPM and BPM have their weaknesses, though: Neither is especially accurate at accounting for defense; both can struggle with players with extremely high usage rates (say, Russell Westbrook or DeMar DeRozan); and they don’t take much advantage of the NBA’s new wealth of player-tracking data. If it sounds like I have strong opinions about this stuff, it’s because I do; we’re working on our own player-rating metric, which we hope to unveil in the relatively near future.In the meantime, good luck to the 28 NBA teams hoping to knock off the Warriors and the Cavs. It’s never easy, and it won’t be easy this year, especially once the playoffs come around. 1956-57Boston Celtics5655of8 New Orleans Pelicans+1.1+0.9-0.2– 1979-80Los Angeles Lakers1,0785of22 1961-62Boston Celtics1,3941of9 1968-69Boston Celtics2,8051of14 1964-65Boston Celtics1,7071of9 Overall, the Warriors — who have the second-most playoff experience after the Cavs — have a 38 percent chance of repeating as NBA champions, according to our projections. If you’re not sure whether that is low or high, consider that the New England Patriots had only an 18 percent chance of repeating as Super Bowl champions at the start of this year’s NFL season, according to our NFL Elo projections. But 38 percent is somewhat lower than where Vegas odds have the Warriors, which imply more like a 45 percent or 50 percent chance that they’ll repeat.6The combined probability of the 30 NBA teams winning the NBA title is 132 percent, according to the odds listed at VegasInsider.com. Obviously, this can’t be right — the odds must add up to 100 percent exactly — but the inflated numbers reflect the house’s cut. The Warriors’ probability of repeating is 62 percent taken at face value but falls to 47 percent once you correct for this. The competition is a bit deeper this year, and the Warriors are no longer a young team. Still, the playoff bonus helps them — without it, their chances would be 34 percent.The pecking order behind the Warriors changes as a result of the playoff adjustment. In the playoff version of our ratings, there’s a fairly clear second tier after Golden State that consists of the Cavs, Rockets, Thunder and Spurs. The Cavaliers, who benefit from playing in the Eastern Conference, have the easiest path of this group, with a 21 percent chance of winning the title. (Without the playoff bonus, the Cavs’ chances would be 13 percent.)After that, there’s a pretty big gap before you get to anyone else. Teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves might not be that far behind teams like the Spurs and even the Cavs in the regular season. But because of their relative inexperience, they’re less likely to take advantage of their playoff opportunity and make a deep postseason run. 1978-79Seattle Super Sonics9977of22 read more

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Meyer other Big Ten coaches welcoming challenge of nine conference games

OSU Coach Urban Meyer sounds his whistle before the first game of the 2016 season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorIn 2013, the Big Ten Conference released the 2016-17 schedules for football, along with plans for a nine-game conference schedule for each of its 14 teams. The adoption of the schedule brought the Big Ten in line with the Pacific-12 Conference and the Big 12 Conference, and brought about discussion of the rest of the Power 5 conferences adopting a similar conference.Nebraska coach Mike Riley praised the approaching nine-game conference schedule at Nebraska’s Monday press conference according to Brian Rosenthal of Huskers.com. Riley is familiar with the format, after spending time with the Pac-12 as the head coach of Oregon State.“I like it this way,” Riley said. “I know you have to play everybody in your division, and since our conference is so big, I think having those other league games that aren’t in your division are good games for everybody to play in and to watch.”With the addition of an extra in-conference matchup, the resume for a team vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff can be bolstered by a win against a team within its league. The spot taken by the extra Big Ten game will replace one out-of-conference opponent.The three previous opponents of the fourth nonconference game for OSU have been Florida A&M, Cincinnati and Western Michigan. All games resulted in wins for the Buckeyes.When asked about his viewpoints on the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coastal Conference adding an extra intraleague game, OSU coach Urban Meyer felt Riley had a point. However, he also said he doesn’t worry much about anyone other than the Buckeyes.“I’ve given it zero thought. I think coach (Mike) Riley’s got a good point there,” Meyer said. “But I couldn’t tell you what conferences do and what conferences do not.”Unlike recent years, including this season, the change in the number of conference games has also changed the format of the schedule. Most Buckeye fans are used to having all out-of-conference games to start the season before opening Big Ten play, but this isn’t the case anymore.For instance, OSU will open against Indiana in Bloomington before returning to Ohio Stadium for a matchup against Oklahoma. In 2018, OSU begins the year against Oregon State before facing Rutgers in the second game of the year.With the new format and longer Big Ten schedule looming, Meyer knows how important the next nine games will be. With five teams currently ranked within the top 20, the difficulty level is high for the Buckeyes.“I think our conference is very strong right now,” Meyer said. “Our division is, has to be one of the strongest if not the strongest in college football.”OSU opens Big Ten play after a bye week. The first in-conference foe for the Buckeyes is Rutgers at home next Saturday at noon. read more

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Ohio State defense strives to be best in America

As the Buckeyes football team put spring practice behind them, players and coaches know they have much to improve upon in the coming months before the 2012 season kicks off. Although the team was ruled ineligible for a bowl game this coming season and have no championships to chase, players said that hasn’t made them any less motivated. “All we’re thinking about is beating everybody that comes into the ‘Shoe and wherever we go,” sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby said. “We just want to win every game. That’s our plan.” Players said the initial news of their team’s ineligibility was frustrating, but when word came that new coach Urban Meyer was taking the reigns, their focus began to shift. “Everyone was pretty down about the whole thing,” sophomore cornerback Doran Grant said. “We thought first all that stuff (from the previous season), now this? But Coach Meyer came in and gave us a plan and we just took off with it.” And that plan, according to players, involved winning. One of the newest addition to Ohio State football practices has been the winner and loser days, where every drill is either counted as a win, or a loss for the offense and defense. “It’s really competitive out there,” senior cornerback Travis Howard said. “Our goal is to compete every practice and win every play.” And the increased competition has made an impression on the defensive players, who want to get back to the hard-nosed “Silver Bullet” defense OSU has been known for in years past. “We kind of fell off a bit last year,” Howard said. “But everybody has come back strong, has the right mentality and the right attitude. We’re ready to take on that role of a ‘Silver Bullet’ defense again at Ohio State. It’s definitely our time this year.” Roby said he is confident that will be the case in 2012. “We’re going to be so much better this year, it’s going to be crazy,” he said. “We just have to take in the competition and work on making plays.” But in order to achieve that “Silver Bullet” title, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said the team needs to “tighten up the details.” “It’s the small things,” Coombs said. “We’ve got to tighten up our fundamentals. We’re getting a lot of plays at game speed, and when that happens, a lot of fundamentals get exposed. We need to overcome that and sharpen the sword a little bit.” But despite those mistakes, Coombs said he couldn’t be happier with his team. “Nobody is practicing harder than we are,” Coombs said. “I think (the team) just individually and collectively wants to be the best they can be, and that’s just very impressive to me. It makes it very exciting to come to work everyday.” Grant and his teammates have the bar set high. “We’re just trying to be B.I.A.,” he said. “Best in America.” read more

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No 15 Ohio State womens soccer team ready to host top 10

OSU junior defender Nicole Miyashiro (3) during a game against Illinois State University on August 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 6-2. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAfter a victorious match at home last Friday, the No. 15 Ohio State women’s soccer team looks to remain on the winning path as it hosts a set of games this weekend.The Buckeyes are set to face the West Virginia Mountaineers on Friday at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium before squaring off against the Bucknell Bison on Sunday at noon. The team had a few crucial days off before returning to practice to prepare for the weekend’s matchups.“We had a little bit of time off after our game on Friday,” coach Lori Walker said. “We needed that for some rest and recovery, so practices have been tight and intense and have been at a high level. I really like where the team is at and what they’re doing. It seems like the rest really paid off.”The Scarlet and Gray enter Friday’s match 4-0-1 on the season, but Walker says the team’s record is not the most important thing.“We really don’t focus on where our record is. The word ‘undefeated’ isn’t really part of our vocabulary. We just focus on the small things that have gotten us to where we are,” Walker said. “Our defending and the speed at which we’re transitioning into attack and into defending I think has been key to us.”Junior defender Bridget Skinner said she believes in the work the team has done thus far.“I think we are just leaning on each other and building off of our concepts,” Skinner said. “And we have been following this concept to kind of build a ship, and I think it’s coming together and we kind of know what our ship needs to look like. We’re not all individual players this year, which is really helping.”Skinner said improved leadership on the team — by one player in particular — has been a critical component to the Buckeyes’ undefeated start.“(Redshirt junior) Morgan Wolcott, our center back, is really stepping up this year. She has been on and off with injuries in previous seasons, but this year she has been out and she’s been stepping up and I really think she’s the driving force of our team,” Skinner said.With the No. 8 Mountaineers coming to Columbus, Walker said she knows the team needs to be playing at its best. In order for that to happen, she is counting on individuals to step up.“Whenever you’re playing against an opponent, such as West Virginia, who we’re very familiar with, you need personality players to step up,” Walker said. “Personality comes in all kinds of ways. Personality can just be somebody that shows up with extra energy, personality can be somebody that does something special, personality can be somebody that’s willing to do extra work defensively or in transition.” read more

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Football Justin Fields granted eligibility to play for Ohio State in 2019

Ohio State freshman quarterback Justin Fields speaks to the media for the first time on National Signing Day on Feb. 6. Credit: Colin Gay | Sports EditorOhio State has officially gained its third quarterback heading into next season.Freshman quarterback Justin Fields has been granted eligibility heading into the 2019-20 academic year, allowing him to play for Ohio State in the upcoming season.“I am happy for Justin and his family,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said in a release. “I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin.”Fields transferred from Georgia and committed to the Buckeyes on Jan. 4, but would typically be forced to sit out a season due to transfer rules.“I thank God for His guidance during this time of uncertainty,” Fields said in a statement. “I would like to thank the NCAA for its approval of the waiver allowing me to be eligible to play football this fall.  I also want to thank all those who supported and encouraged my family and me during this process.” Fields said that he and his family did not feel it was appropriate to speak publicly about the events that led to his transfer publicly while the decision was being made. The former five-star quarterback applied for a transfer waiver application, allowing him to forgo sitting out a season due to problems at Georgia involving a baseball player who yelled a racial slur toward him during a game.“I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program. My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Fields said. “A part of me will always be a Georgia Bulldogs fan.”On Wednesday, Fields said he wasn’t sure when a decision would be made on his waiver, and that he was hoping it would come soon.“I don’t really control that. They do,” Fields said. “I’m just trying to get here to be the best quarterback I can be.”At Georgia, Fields threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 266 yards and four touchdowns in limited time throughout his freshman season.Fields said in his statement he “will not be speaking” on the subject of his transfer moving forward, instead focusing his attention to the upcoming season.“To Buckeye Nation: thank you for your warm welcome,” Fields said. “I will work hard to represent you and The Ohio State University in a professional and respectful manner.  My dad always tells me that ‘you can’t get to where you are going by looking in the ‘rear view mirror.’’ I’m ready to move forward and embrace the next season of my life.” read more

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