Saturday’s annual spring kick scrimmage at Ohio Stadium is supposed to be the time when Buckeye special team players can earn a starting position for next year. After a full morning of kicking and punting, there are still plenty of question marks regarding who will start for Ohio State. The field goal kicking competition featured senior Devin Barclay, sophomore Ben Buchanan and freshman Drew Basil. Barclay and Buchanan demonstrated almost identical skills, with Barclay hitting eight of 15 field goal attempts and Buchanan succeeding on eight of 14 attempts. Basil only hit one of his four attempts. The Gray team, which included Buchanan, defeated the Scarlet team in the scrimmage 27-24. Buchanan’s last field goal proved to be the game-winner, as his 39-yard effort sailed through the uprights. Basil had a chance to tie the game, but missed wide left from the same distance. “Spring ball is the time we work on these [close game] situations, so when you’re in front of 105,000 people, we know we have done this before,” Buchanan said. The irony of this statement hits home for the Buckeyes because the kick scrimmage shared an eerie resemblance to the last Big Ten game of the season against Iowa. Ohio State won 27-24 in overtime on a 39-yard field goal by Barclay. Barclay, who received most of the kicking duties when Aaron Pettrey went down with an injury last season, was the front-runner coming into 2010. But, his performance on Saturday did not leave him satisfied. “Up until this day I have only missed two kicks in spring ball,” Barclay said. “So today was frustrating.” Barclay and Buchanan both struggled from beyond 40 yards as they hit one of seven field goals and two of six field goals respectively. Barclay’s advantage in securing the starting job seems to be his in-game experience. Though Barclay’s number has been called in the past, he understands Buchanan is not to be overlooked. “I like the competition,” Barclay said. “You don’t want to be complacent because you want someone to push you, but you also want to know that everything you have done in the past is appreciated and valued.” Though Buchanan believes he has put himself in contention for the starting kicker position, it seems he will edge out sophomore Derek Erwin as the likely replacement for last year’s punter, Jon Thoma. After hitting only a 34-yard and 35-yard punt early in the scrimmage, he was able to bounce back and hit two punts of 55 yards or longer from his own end zone. “I have to be honest, my nerves were getting to me a bit in the beginning, but I think that’s what comes with being a kicker,” Buchanan said. “Kicking is all about being cool under pressure and I was glad I was able to come back.” Basil, who enrolled at Ohio State this Spring quarter, was the only player to kick off. He proved to have the most powerful leg of all of the special team players. His role for the Buckeyes next season is still uncertain. Many spots on this Ohio State team are still up for grabs. Players are constantly competing to move up the depth chart. They will have a chance to prove themselves on a bigger stage for the Ohio State spring game on April 24.
Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett talks about his experiences in prison as a part of the United State Justice Network’s panel Wednesday at the Riffe Center in Columbus on May 3. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterMaurice Clarett’s story of college football superstar to convicted felon to inspirational advocate was told again on Wednesday night, but in a different context.At the Davidson Theater inside the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus, Clarett — along with the Director of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Gary Mohr, President of the Buckeye Institute Robert Alt and moderator Holly Harris, executive director of the U.S. Justice Action Network, which hosted the event — engaged in discourse on social justice reform in Ohio, specifically the Treatment Continuum Alternative Program (TCAP), which offers alternative sentencing to eligible offenders.Clarett is normally the sole speaker in front of hundreds of students, athletes or incarcerated individuals. His journey began at the bottom of drug and alcohol addiction and more than three years of incarceration after winning a national championship as one of football’s premier running backs at Ohio State. He then turned his life around and has shared his experiences through his speeches, as was the case Wednesday evening. But his experiences were complemented by facts Mohr and Alt referenced on the current social justice practices in Ohio compared to practices that work elsewhere.Clarett’s outpatient treatment organization, The Red Zone, supports the TCAP agenda Mohr and Ohio legislators are pushing in the state senate.“It was making me proud to know that we are doing the thing (Mohr’s) trying to promote,” Clarett said. “He doesn’t even know all what I do, but he’s talking about supporting that space because he knows that space works, which let’s me know I’m doing the right thing because this guy has 43 years of experience and the depth of his knowledge is with merit.”The event opened with members of the Inside Out choir from the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville pronouncing an uplifting message through its voice, which had a few members of the choir and the audience in tears. Republican state Sen. John Eklund and Republican state Majority Whip Robert McColley then spoke individually about efforts to pass Senate Bill 66, which addresses fourth- and fifth-degree felony sentencing and rehabilitation.Eklund is one of the bill’s primary sponsors along with Democratic senator Charleta Tavares, who was in attendance.Before Clarett, Mohr and Alt were called to the stage, a video played for the audience, showing highlights from the 2002 national championship game with Clarett’s 1,237 rushing yards flashed across the screen. Excerpts from the 2013 ESPN 30 for 30 film Youngstown Boys, which featured Clarett’s story, were shown with narration and the occasional interjection of Clarett or his coach at OSU, Jim Tressel.“I can’t cry about it,” Clarett said in one of the excerpts. “I can only move on.”The first question the moderator asked was to Clarett. It was simple: What went wrong?Maurice Clarett (center) listens to Gary Mohr (left) discuss the TCAP program during the criminal justice reform panel on May 3 in Columbus. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterHe had told this story over 200 times before in other speaking events across the country, he estimated. As each of those past 200 times, Clarett spoke without a script or notes. He told the story of taking illegal benefits while a student-athlete at OSU, then becoming dependent on drugs and alcohol for two years and struggling with his mental health before receiving help from his warden at the Toledo Correctional Institute, Khellah Konteh.Clarett said that when he first went into the correctional facility, it was an environment he wasn’t used to. As a boy growing up in Youngstown, he was used to being the toughest guy in his group, he admitted, but that wasn’t the case in prison.Konteh taught a class that Clarett was enrolled in, and instructed the members of the class to read “Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah. It’s a memoir about a man in Sierra Leone — Konteh’s native country — who became violent through the nation’s civil war, but was rehabilitated and eventually spoke out on his personal experiences and the atrocities of war.“After going through these classes every day, I was just tapping into something that I wasn’t tapping into before,” he said.Konteh told him that in Sierra Leone, when men get in trouble, their village works to rehabilitate them and send them back out to do their work. In America, Konteh said, society takes the troubled individuals and throws them out. Clarett wrote in the Columbus Dispatch earlier this week that he knows what it’s like to be forgotten about, which is why he’s taking action in criminal-justice reform.Mohr and Alt each said that many times with politicians, they look at numbers when contemplating criminal-justice reform rather than the faces of those incarcerated. Clarett is a rare case of someone who lost everything and was able to gain part of that back and give back much more to the community than he would have been able to give as an athlete. Clarett and the people of the women’s reformatory choir are the faces that Mohr, Alt and all legislators supporting Senate Bill 66 and TCAP want the public to see when considering prison reform.“Maurice has lived it in his almost four years of incarceration. He understands,” Mohr said. “He is more influential than any politician because he has lived it and he’s real. He doesn’t have some facade. He’s real. Quite frankly, I think it’s much more effective than being a politician because I think Maurice’s story is credible.”Mohr was appointed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to the position of director in January 2011, and said Kasich told him that one of Mohr’s first tasks was to reform the Ohio prison system. Wednesday, Mohr spoke about giving communities the proper resources to monitor former nonviolent felons and develop job skills for future success.“If we’re going to correct a problem, why would we invest the highest degree of dollars at the end of the problem? Don’t we want to intervene at some place where we can be more effective?” Mohr said. Mohr added that the TCAP program would fall within a $60 million bi-annual budget that gives communities resources to find effective drug addiction treatments and develop job skills for roughly 3,400 families.“It’s a win-win,” he said. “And think about it, the public and the communities become safer because we break the addiction cycle more effectively.”Maurice Clarett continues the discussion of prison reform based on what he experienced while incarcerated for nearly four years. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterClarett said he’s not a political person — one that doesn’t take sides in an argument. He doesn’t align himself with a political party, not even as an independent. He speaks from his substantial personal experiences, which is why all of his speeches are unscripted. He said he’s able to connect with people on a more genuine level if they know he’s speaking as a human and not just someone pushing an agenda.Yet, Clarett participates in these politically-motivated events because he believes in the cause from experience, not from data. He said he believes in the people, like the women of the Inside Out choir, because he was once that person needing to believe in himself.During the Q&A session at the end of the event, a man, who was holding back tears as he identified himself as a formerly incarcerated man, felt inclined to get up from his seat to acknowledge Clarett and thank him for what he’s doing.“It rejuvenates you because that’s why you do it. You do it to connect with people,” Clarett said. “You could go anywhere around the world, but that person will always talk about that experience you had with him. It’s a humbling thing.”When formerly introduced as the “former Ohio State star football player,” Clarett is reminded of a time before things became bad, before circumstances spiraled downward with no end in sight. As much as he might want to put that time in the past, it has defined him. Not just in Columbus, but it has defined his platform and enabled his career to take off. As much as he just wants to be known as Maurice Clarett the entrepreneur, the philanthropist, his mistakes and shortcomings when he was known as a football player have allowed him to become the entrepreneur and the philanthropist. The man who thanked Clarett continued to tell the modern-day Ishmael Beah that better days were ahead for him.Indeed they are.
According to reports in England, Toby Alderweireld is set to be targeted by Paris Saint-Germain with the club willing to pay for his £10m a year demandsThe defender looks increasingly likely to leave Tottenham in the summer after failing to agree on new terms for a new deal. Alderweireld has been demanding a new five year deal with a wage of around £200,000 per week, which is something that club chairman Daniel Levy is unwilling to match due to the Belgium international now being 29 years old.Now the Daily Mail has reported that PSG, among with Manchester United, are interested in securing Alderweireld’s services for the start of next season with the Ligue 1 leaders prepared to meet his demands in a bid to convince him to come to the Parc Des Princes.Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has told Alderweireld that he is free to leave the club at the end of the season with Levy now in charge of the matter.Neymar can win the Ballon d’Or, says Ander Herrera Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 An “excited” Ander Herrera believes new Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar is a contender for the Ballon d’Or alongside Kylian Mbappe.After suffering a hamstring injury against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages, back in November, Alderweireld has struggled to regain his place in the starting 11 with an ongoing set of fitness and injury issues having hampered his progress.Belgium coach Roberto Martinez warned Alderweireld, last week, that he must start getting regular game time at Spurs again, if he is to make the final squad for the World Cup.
The Barcelona defender has lately been pushing for a pay rise but with no success, which has led to many speculations for his future in the Catalan club.There have been many rumours that due to his dissatisfaction with his paycheck at Barcelona, Umtiti is currently looking for a new club to join and get the sought after pay rise. Manchester United have reportedly offered him a nine million euro after tax per season. This has led the defender to believe he could be getting the same salary at his current club.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…According to Sports Witness, ever since Umtiti has inquired about getting more money, he has not given Barca a single reason for this as he has been performing better in attack, than in defence.This could mean Barca are doing Manchester United a favour as Jose Mourinho has been looking for quite a while to upgrade the Red Devils defence and Umtiti might be the right guy for the job.
Former Liverpool player Danny Murphy insists that Eden Hazard’s potential move from Chelsea to Real Madrid.The former England midfielder believes that Hazard is enjoying life in London and doesn’t see him leaving the club anytime soon.The Belgium captain has gone on to become one of the finest attacking players on the planet during his time at Stamford Bridge.He has been linked with a move to Real Madrid all summer to replace the already departed Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved to Italy to sign for Juventus earlier this summer.Murphy isn’t convinced the 27-year-old swapping west London for Madrid, with a transfer possible until August 31, is a sure-fire thing though.“I don’t think it’s inevitable that Hazard will end up at Real Madrid,” Murphy told bwin.Zidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“I think he’s very comfortable in London and he has handled the situation very professionally this summer.”“Hazard always speaks highly of Chelsea and I think he has the potential to get even better, to score more goals and to provide more assists.”“He is Chelsea’s world-class player in an attacking sense and the club will need him firing if they’re to get back into the top four this season.”Reports in the Spanish press say Real Madrid will make one last move for Hazard before the transfer window closes on August 31.Los Blancos have already seen their initial approach for the player rejected this summer by Chelsea.
Diego Forlan believes that his former Uruguay strike partner Luis Suarez has spoken to the right professionals and put the biting habits behind himThe strike duo led Uruguay to the Copa America title in 2011, but were unable to match the feat at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.For Suarez, in particular, the tournament proved to be a defining moment in his career after he was handed a four-month ban from football by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s final group game.“You could see in that dressing room when he did that, you could see his face,” Forlan told CNN Sport.“You didn’t need to go there and talk to him because he knew he made a mistake.“There was nothing we could do it that moment. It’s better, when you know him, to give him space to talk with his family and to talk with people he needs to talk to, whether that’s me, another player or a coach.”Barca’s Umtiti out for weeks with broken bone George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.Last week, Samuel Umtiti withdrew from…Suarez was also involved in another two biting incidents and racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.“I know him, he’s a really nice guy. Sometimes he used to react in a bad way,” said Forlan.“He spoke to the right professionals so he could change it and now he’s at a great club.”He added: “Of course he made mistakes and he accepted it. I know what type of guy he is and I know he wanted to change it. I am really happy for him because he did it.”Suarez revealed that a therapist helped him cure an “impulse” to bite people after the 2014 World Cup.
John Chilman has joined electricity and gas utility organisation National Grid as group head of pensions.Chilman specialises in pensions, share plan design, executive reward, and total reward statements. He also has experience as a pension scheme trustee, as well as across the pensions and reward sector.Previously, Chilman worked as group pensions director at FirstGroup, and group head of reward at Halifax. He is currently an independent pension trustee for Nestle, a non-executive director at RPMI Railpen, and chairman of the Railway Pension Trustee Company.