Jordan Jefferson, the former LSU quarterback whose career was interrupted over a bar fight, reported to a Louisiana jail on Tuesday after a judge revoked his bond in a 2011 simple battery case. This follows Jefferson’s arrest last week with three other ex-Tigers on possession of marijuana.Jefferson’s simple battery charge stems from an August 11 preseason bar fight, when he was accused by authorities of beating a man near the LSU campus. He was indicted by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury in September 2011 and has pleaded innocent.On Tuesday, Jefferson reported to the jail of East Baton Rouge Parish.“I have one way of doing things. I try to be fair,” the judge said, according to The Advocate newspaper. “I have a problem with someone who’s out on bond being re-arrested. . . I have a real problem with what’s going on.”He had been free for more than a year on a $5,000 bond.Moore ordered Jefferson to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation. Jefferson was expected to appear before Moore again on Wednesday.Jefferson, 22, had been playing in the Canadian Football League as a quarterback but his lawyer says he is not playing there now.Moore also ordered that Jefferson be arraigned Dec. 12 in the case involving his arrest with the other ex-players.Lance Unglesby, Jefferson’s lawyer, said Jefferson is innocent of any charge prosecutors might issue against his client in the drug case.The attorney added: “Jordan is a humble, fine young man and looks forward to putting all this behind him.”Jefferson was arrested last week along with former LSU players Tyrann Mathieu, Derrick Bryant and Karnell Hatcher. They were taken into custody at Mathieu’s apartment after police said they found marijuana. They were booked into jail, but Jefferson has not been charged by prosecutors in that case.Mathieu, a one-time Heisman Trophy finalist, has no criminal record. He played cornerback until he was dismissed from the team in August after reportedly failing a drug test.
Tonight’s NFC North showdown between Minnesota (2-2) and Chicago (1-3) will mark a potentially historic moment for the Bears as quarterback-of-the-future Mitch Trubisky will officially take the reins of the reeling franchise. But how much can we expect from the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft? Watch the video above to find out.
7Roy HibbertDEN220.127.116.11.3 LEAST DEFENSIVE PLAYERAndrew Wiggins, Minnesota TimberwolvesThanks to a draft-day trade, Tom Thibodeau is reunited with defensive stopper Jimmy Butler, and not a moment too soon. Butler will be joining forces with the single most catastrophic defender in the league: Andrew Wiggins.Using the NBA’s player-tracking data to look at shots defended and how those shots turned out,1These values are based on shot location, defender location and other variables. The “expected” value is based on what a shooter would make against an average defender given shot distance and the time on the shot clock, and the net value displayed is the difference between that expectation and the result that the defender allowed. we can see who’s making a positive impact, who’s making a negative impact, and who’s making the most impact. WORST LINEUPLos Angeles Lakers’ youth On the one hand, it’s frustrating that the Lakers have to sell off their best young players in order to get out from under contracts that were bad news from the moment they were signed. On the other hand, hoo boy, those young players really, really didn’t play well when they were all on the court together.D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance, Jr. played 108 minutes across 20 games this season — not a huge sample, but not quite nothing, either. By pure net rating, they were the second worst lineup in the league (-28.3 points per 100 possessions), trailing an especially grim configuration of Sacramento Kings. But it’s not so much the margin that was demoralizing about the group as it was the humiliating way in which it was run up.Out of 103 non-free-throw scoring plays against this Lakers’ lineup, 24 were dunks. (For comparison’s sake, the league-average team would figure to allow 10.3 dunks for every 103 buckets.) Not mere layups, not simple wide-open shots — dunks! A quarter of all points from the floor scored on the Lakers’ Team Of The Future were on dunks, as though the goal of the defense was to corral the opposing team into the most efficient route possible on the way to the rim. MOST OVER-AMBITIOUS DUNKERMarquese Chriss, Phoenix SunsThe missed dunk is one of the more universal plays in basketball. In a split-second, it has a neat little narrative arc: the audacity to leap in defiance of gravity and the instant comeuppance. Some players experience this more than others. Marquese Chriss experiences it more than anyone.Chriss missed 26 dunks this season, four more than second-place DeAndre Jordan … on 146 fewer attempts. Chriss’s 79.8 shooting percentage on dunks is the worst mark Basketball Reference has on record for any player who tried at least 100 dunks in a season.Not all missed dunks are of equal difficulty, of course. Dwyane Wade getting stuffed by the bottom of the rim in a playoff game is not the same as Chriss blowing in-traffic NBA Jam dunks. But there’s a certain charm to Chriss’s misses, like he knows they aren’t “all worth two points” and he’s determined to collect the difference, even at the cost of the two points. Tonight at New York’s Pier 36, the NBA will host its first annual awards show, heaping praise on the best and most outstanding players of the season. We are here today to do the opposite. MOST OVER-AMBITIOUS SHOOTERMarcus Smart, Boston CelticsAt a certain point, you just have to admire the confidence.Marcus Smart was not the worst 3-point shooter in the league this season. But he was the worst 3-point shooter who routinely took a lot of threes. Smart took 4.2 3-pointers per game in 2016-17 and made 28.3 percent of them. Only two players in the 3-point era have taken four or more 3-pointers per game and shot a worse percentage than Smart did this season: Mookie Blaylock in 1997-98 and Latrell Sprewell in 1994-95. And it’s not like Smart was launching nothing but bad shots, either — 3.1 of his 3s per game came on spot-ups, which are usually high-quality looks. But Smart shot 31.2 percent on those.Smart contributes in other ways — mainly through being Point Guard Ben Wallace — and his shooting percentage did, briefly, see an uptick in the playoffs. That’s enough to make him useful, at least on a team that gets stomped by the Cavs. 1Jakob PoeltlTOR18.104.22.1684.8 10Willie ReedMIA22.214.171.1249.1 9Omer AsikNOP126.96.36.1998.5 PLAYERTEAMMIN. PER GAMEPTS. PER GAMEOFFENSIVE REBOUNDSTOUCHES PER 36 MIN. 3Salah MejriDAL188.8.131.527.0 Possession by possession, there are a few defenders who are as bad as Wiggins. When Wiggins contests a shot, opponents have a 56.1 effective field goal percentage; when they are unguarded, they have a 56.4 eFG percentage. Fundamentally, getting a shot up against Andrew Wiggins is the same as getting an open shot.Wiggins’s deficiencies are too many to list quickly, but at root the issue seems to be basic effort. He barely jumps to contest shots, doesn’t run hard to close out, and gets lost watching the ball.But the truly destructive part of Wiggins’s defense is how much of it there was. In the way that defenders like Draymond Green or an in-his-prime Tony Allen seem to be in all places at all times, challenging seemingly every shot on the floor, Wiggins is omnipresent in his awfulness. He defended the 10th most shots in the league, by far the most by a below-average defender. Most teams do their best to hide their weak defenders, but opponents seek Wiggins out like no other defender in the league. Unsurprisingly, the list of players who don’t see much of the ball fit a profile: big men who are on the floor for defense and rebounding, not scoring. Strictly speaking, Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira see the least of the ball on a per possession basis, which is probably to be expected on a team with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. But a little ways down the list is another name, and a bigger number: Tristan Thompson played 30 minutes per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was passed the ball just 14.6 times per game and 17.5 times per 36 minutes.Thompson isn’t as offensively bereft as many of the other players on the list this season or in seasons past. He has good instincts in pick-and-roll and finds space off the ball (or at least, puts himself in positions where LeBron James can find him). But he also has by far the smallest offensive role on the team. Kevin Love, who has seen his role reduced drastically from his superstar days in Minnesota, got 37.8 touches per 36 minutes. James got 66.8; Irving got 67.2; even Iman Shumpert, who cannot dribble, pass or shoot, got 30.1. Richard Jefferson, who was drafted when Thompson was 10 years old, got 26.8.Like Marcus Smart, Thompson has other skills that are important to the Cavaliers. They trust him with important responsibilities. Just not with the basketball. 2Lucas NogueiraTOR19.04.41.416.7 4Noah VonlehPOR184.108.40.2067.5 Source: nba.com LEAST OFFENSIVE PLAYERTristan Thompson, Cleveland CavaliersThe player to whom no one passes the basketball is a typically a well-earned title, and one held by the inimitable Bismack Biyombo for the last few years. This season, however, Biyombo’s offensive role has, erm, flourished. He averaged a robust six points per game for the Orlando Magic after posting the highest usage rate of his career, at 13.2. But with Bismack abdicating the throne, who is the least passed-to man in the league?Finding players to whom no one passes is easy thanks to the NBA’s player tracking data. Take the number of “front court touches” (that is, the number of times a player touches the ball on the offensive end of the floor) and subtract the number of offensive rebounds he collected, and you’ve got something close to the number of times he was passed the ball. 8Miles PlumleeCHA10.82.50.818.3 5Tristan ThompsonCLE30.08.13.717.5 6Ed DavisPOR220.127.116.11.0 WORST SINGLE GAMEJamal Crawford, Los Angeles ClippersIn a lot of ways, 36-year-old Jamal Crawford is miraculous. In his 17th season, Crawford played 26.3 minutes per game and averaged 12.3 points on 52.6 percent true shooting, just a hair under his career mark. But on the nights he doesn’t have it, he really doesn’t have it.On January 8, Crawford played the single worst game of the season by any NBA player. In a home win against the Miami Heat, Crawford put in 31 minutes and went 1-for-12 on 2-point shots (0-for-4 from three) while collecting one rebound, one assist and two turnovers. He came out of the game with a break-even plus-minus, though any success the Clippers had was mainly due to a great game from Chris Paul (19 points, 18 assists, 1 turnover) and Heat players Dion Waiters, Rodney McGruder, Wayne Ellington and Willie Reed going a combined 7-for-32. The players no one passed toNBA players with the fewest touches per 36 minutes, 2016-17 WORST USE OF TIMEOUTSLos Angeles ClippersFor the most part, teams know that defenses play better coming out of timeouts than offenses. There’s no cross-matching to worry about, and no early-shot-clock semi-transition rush job to stamp out. Every time an offense called a timeout in 2016-17, the ensuing play was worth about 3.5 points per 100 plays for the defense compared to typical halfcourt offense. So the offense generally needs to cram enough value into that time to make it an even proposition — advancing the ball late in the game, or subbing in shooters, or trying to take the air out of a run. For some teams that’s possible. For a team that digs as deep a hole as the Clippers, good luck.The Clippers got 10 points worse per 100 plays every time they called a timeout. This is confusing, because the Clippers had one of the best halfcourt offenses in the league, ranking fourth at 98.6 points per 100 plays. But after timeouts, that rate shrunk to 88.7. It’s not just a matter of inferior bench players coming in after the timeout, either: Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, both excellent halfcourt players, fall off significantly after timeouts. Paul’s typical halfcourt offense is good for 101.2 points per 100 plays; he falls to 87.7 after timeouts. Griffin’s falls from 96.6 to 84.7.After timeout stats tend to be noisy, and in 2015-16 the Clippers were one of the better teams in the league in those scenarios. But in 2016-17, no team lost more steam during breaks than the Clips.
So, a streak like this isn’t all that uncommon, even among the league’s cadre of great players. But it’s still worth dissecting what’s wrong with Sid the Kid during this particular slump.For starters, the Penguins just aren’t lighting the lamp when Crosby is on the ice. In 19 games this season, they’ve scored only 23 goals during his shifts, and 14 of those have been on the power play. At 5-on-5, they’re notching only 1.5 goals per 60 minutes with Crosby in the game, which ranks 12th-worst among forwards who’ve logged at least 200 minutes. And defensively, the numbers have somehow been even worse — the Pens are yielding a staggering 4.4 goals per 60 minutes with Crosby on the ice during 5-on-5 play. Among that same group of qualified forwards, only his fellow Penguin Conor Sheary ranks worse. (It’s beginning to seem like the Pens have some defensive issues.)But the more troubling sign for Crosby is that he’s just not generating the same level of possession metrics we’ve been accustomed to seeing from him over the years. Crosby’s expected +/- — the plus/minus rating we’d expect a player to have based on the volume and quality of shots his team (and opponents) took while he was on the ice — is easily the worst of his career so far in 2017. For the past three seasons,2The stat is new, so it has only been calculated back to 2014. Crosby’s expected +/- has hovered around 15, but in 2017 it has dipped below zero. And it’s not just a quirk of one model: Crosby’s expected goals +/- at Corsica Hockey has also been in the red. Which is to say that, remarkably, in 2017, Crosby’s play appears to be hurting the Pittsburgh Penguins.To Crosby’s credit, he seems unfazed by his scoring dearth. “No matter who you’re playing against, just try to keep doing the right things and trust they’ll go in,” he told NHL.com.But it’s not like Crosby hasn’t had chances to score: In 2017, 61 percent of his possessions have begun in the offensive zone. That’s good for the second-highest percentage of his career, trailing only last year. The number of faceoffs you take in opposing territory can have an immense effect on your possession rates, so Crosby doesn’t have much of an excuse for not not converting some of those scoring opportunities into goals.During a season where goals are up and goaltending is down, you’d expect the most prolific scorer of his generation to be reaping the benefits — but so far, Crosby has been a ghost. As a result, his Penguins are reeling — they’ve lost more games than they’ve won, and if they hope to win a third consecutive Stanley Cup, they’ll need their captain to score some goals. Although some of Crosby’s woes will probably reverse themselves eventually, Pittsburgh will hold its collective breath until that happens. Of course, Crosby’s résumé as one of the greatest to ever play the game means that he is often held to an unrealistic standard. But his relatively precipitous dip begs the question: Are any NHL superstars slump-proof?Looking at the top 20 scorers whose careers started after the 2005 lockout, seven of them had an 11-game stretch that was worse than Crosby’s current skid at some point in their careers. (Crosby’s current teammate, Phil Kessel, had an 11-game streak with Toronto in 2015 where he notched only 3 points and posted a -16 plus/minus.) And now that Crosby has finally joined the club, every single player on the list can gripe about at least one 15-game run where their SGV was below replacement: Source: Hockey-Reference.com Jonathan ToewsCHI2017145-3-0.04 STATS DURING 15-GAME SLUMP Paul StastnyCOL2009246-10-0.56 Jeff CarterPHI2007033-11-1.52 Thomas VanekBUF2012224-8-0.48 Zach PariseMIN2016246-14-0.99 Claude GirouxPHI2010134-11-0.99 Corey PerryMDA2006033-6-0.64 Nicklas BackstromWSH2014167-9-0.37 Sidney CrosbyPIT2018437-11-0.17 Anze KopitarLAK2017257-13-0.72 Evgeni MalkinPIT2015/16246-7-0.12 Alex OvechkinWSH2014527-18-0.80 Joe PavelskiSJS2013123-5-0.58 Ryan GetzlafANA201211011-15-0.44 Patrick KaneCHI2009134-8-0.70 PLAYERTEAMSEASONGOALSASSISTSPOINTS+/-SGV Mikko KoivuMIN2006011-4-0.83 Steven StamkosTBL2009167-10-0.30 Jussi JokinenFLA2017101-9-1.35 Phil KesselTOR2015246-17-1.30 It’s time we talked about Sidney Crosby. Crosby is the best hockey player of his generation — and among the best to ever lace up a pair of skates — but he’s been a virtual nonentity on the Penguins’ stat sheet this season. You read that correctly — two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, two-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner, two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner, and two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner Sidney Crosby seems to have forgotten how to score.In his past 11 games, Crosby has scored zero goals, contributed just 3 assists, and has a -9 plus/minus. It’s the second-longest goalless streak of his career — but even during his longest goalless streak in 2011-12, he still dished out 17 assists in those 12 games. More importantly: That streak occurred when he was dealing with recurring concussion symptoms and actually bookends a three-month absence from the team.In terms of overall production, this is by far the worst 11-game stretch of Crosby’s career. We figured that out using a simple regression that estimates a forward’s goals versus threshold1GVT was developed by Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus and is similar to baseball’s value over replacement player, in that it seeks to determine a player’s value in terms of goals above what a replacement-level player would contribute. based on his scoring stats, plus/minus and time on ice in a given game. Using this metric — which we’ll call “simple goal value,” or SGV — Crosby has been worth 1.1 fewer goals than a replacement-level scrub during this miserable 11-game streak. If you broaden the window slightly beyond his scoreless streak to look at his last 15 games, this has been the only 15-game period of Sid’s entire career where he performed at a below-replacement clip. John TavaresNYI2010044-15-1.64 Everybody’s gotta slump sometimeWorst 15-game stretches according to simple goal value (SGV) for NHL’s top 20 scorers whose careers started after the 2005 lockout, 2005-2018
Round of 64Davidson1261% Sweet 16Kansas State968 Is Kentucky’s toughest South region game already behind it?Kentucky’s pregame chance to win by round, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index Kentucky’s Elite Eight win probability is based on a weighted average of its chances of facing each opponent.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group With two rounds of the NCAA men’s tournament in the books, it’s clear that there’s no overwhelming favorite to win the national title. No. 1 overall seed Virginia was gone less than 36 hours into the tourney,1Excluding the play-in games, because, come on. and defending champ North Carolina didn’t last a whole lot longer. Although most of the Cinderellas have cleared the dance floor (save for South region No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago2Yes, Syracuse is also a No. 11 seed, but sorry — nobody is considering the six-time Final Four entrant a Cinderella.), the next few weeks could belong to any of about a dozen teams.Here’s what jumped out to us during the tournament’s first weekend-plus of action:This is the Strange 16Glance at the seed numbers of the teams left standing, and you’ll notice an odd mix. Only two No.1 seeds survived the tournament’s first weekend — the fewest since 2004 — and as many teams seeded seventh or worse (six) advanced as teams seeded in the top three of their regions. The resulting Sweet 16 isn’t necessarily stocked with scrappy opening-weekend flukes, as many of the first-round giant killers — such as UMBC, Buffalo and Marshall — didn’t make it past their second opponent. As a result, plenty of other years had more double-digit seeds reach the tourney’s second week. So this year’s Sweet 16 is just … well, strange.To measure this, I compared the distribution of this year’s Sweet 16 teams by seed to the average from 19853When the NCAA tournament’s 64-team era began. to 2017. This year’s glut of 5-, 7-, 9- and 11-seeds stands out, as does the general dearth of top seeds:In fact, if we compute the squared difference between this year’s number of Sweet 16 teams at each seed and the historical average for every year since 1985, this is the most aberrant distribution of seeds in any modern tournament, surpassing even 2000 (when 12 of the 16 surviving teams were seeded between slots 4 and 10).Underdogs are winning bigPerhaps more surprising than the barrage of upsets that highlighted opening weekend was the sheer magnitude of those unexpected wins. As No. 16 seed UMBC personified with its historic 20-point thrashing of No. 1 Virginia, these weren’t games in which the underdog squeaked by on a last-second shot; no, the favorites tended to be mercilessly crushed when they lost.Including both the rounds of 64 and 32, games won by lower-seeded teams this year have come by an average of 10.6 points, only the third time in the 64-team era that the average upset at this stage of the tournament came by a margin of 10.5 points or more. The others were in 2000 (yes, that tournament again), when underdogs won their games by an average of 10.9 points per game, and 1997, when they won by 10.6 on average. But those years’ first two rounds saw only 12 and 13 total upsets, respectively, by teams with an average seed number of 8.9. This year’s tourney has featured 15 upsets, by teams with an average seed of 10.1, which makes this collection of underdog landslides even more impressive.Kentucky can cruiseBefore the tournament, we relegated Kentucky to “dark horse” status in the South region, if simply because its path to the Final Four was shaping up to be a daunting one: First, a tough Davidson team in the round of 64; then, most likely, Arizona, Virginia and Cincinnati, all in a row. For all of Kentucky’s talent, that seemed like a tall order.Then, Arizona lost. And Virginia. And now, Cincinnati. (Not to mention Tennessee, Miami and Texas, too.) Suddenly, Kentucky finds itself as the sole team seeded better than seventh in its region, with a relatively clear road ahead. Our model currently gives UK the best Final Four odds of any team remaining in the field, at 57 percent.According to the Basketball Power Index system developed by ESPN’s Stats and Information Group, Kentucky’s toughest game along its path to the Final Four will end up being its opening-round matchup against Davidson — which is an astounding testament to the ease of the Wildcats’ path if they do wind up winning the South: Round of 32Buffalo1376 Elite EightLoyola-IL/Nevada11/766 RoundOpponentSeedWin Probability Of course, given the underwhelming performances by favorites in the tournament so far, there’s no telling if Kentucky will be able to take advantage of its big opportunity here, either. But no team can potentially benefit from the opening weekend’s shake-ups as much as the Wildcats — and it’s not even close.There’s still no tournament favoriteFor all the wackiness of the tournament’s first weekend, a look at our model’s list of most likely tournament winners reveals plenty of tried-and-true programs at the top, from 2016 champion Villanova at No.1 to 2015 winner Duke in second place, 2012 champ Kentucky in third and ‘08 winner Kansas in fourth. Although some would-be inaugural champions — such as Gonzaga, West Virginia and Texas A&M — are lurking right below, the odds are pretty strong we’ll see a familiar team cutting down the nets in San Antonio a few weeks from now.However, it’s still anybody’s guess which team that will be. Even Nova, as the nominal favorite, has but a 22 percent probability of winning the championship, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Only four teams have double-digit title chances right now, which is just one more than there were before the tourney began. And remember, last year’s champ, North Carolina, was only at 9 percent at this stage of the NCAAs.It’s only fitting that a season as wide-open as this one continues to be clouded with uncertainty about who the best team is — and whether it will even be the last one standing in two weeks. After a wild, weird first two rounds of the tourney, we can only hope for more of the same when play resumes Thursday.CORRECTION (March 19, 2:45 p.m.): Because of an error in data collection, 38 games from the 2015, 2012, 2009, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1990 and 1987 tournaments were not accounted for in the original article, while 38 games were counted twice. This caused several factual errors in the distribution of seeds in the Sweet 16 and margin of victories for those years. All text and charts have been updated with correct numbers.
The Cleveland Indians have had a rough start to the 2010 season with a 10-14 record, and many fans are ready to see if some of the top prospects from the Class AAA Columbus Clippers can make a difference.The player that many are eager to see in an Indians uniform is Columbus Clippers catcher Carlos Santana.In 2008, Santana was acquired along with pitcher Jon Meloan in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Casey Blake.Santana, a switch-hitter, has proven to be valuable on offense and defense for the Clippers, and is considered the top prospect in the Indians’ organization.Offensively, Santana has started off the 2010 season with a .324 batting average, five home runs, and 22 RBIs.“I think he has a really great bat,” Clippers infielder Brian Bixler said. “He’s a great player. He has a plan when he’s at the plate and you can see that.”Santana leads the team in walks, home runs, RBIs and on-base percentage, and was the International League Player of the Week in his first week with the Clippers.“Right now, I’m happy to be thought of as a top prospect,” Santana said. “I’m continuing to put in the hard work especially on the defensive end.”Last year, Santana played for the Class AA Akron Aeros, for which he hit .290 with 23 home runs and 97 RBIs.Santana was named the MVP of the Eastern League in 2009, becoming only the third Aero to earn the award along with Jordan Brown and Victor Martinez.This was his second-straight league MVP award as he earned MVP of the California League in 2008.While he spent the final six weeks of the 2008 season with the Class A Kinston Indians in the Carolina League, he finished second in the California League with a .323 batting average. He also had 96 RBIs, 69 walks and a .431 on-base percentage.The Indians hope that Santana can step in and produce as they try to replace departed catchers Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach.Martinez was traded last July for pitching prospects Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price. Martinez, who played for the Indians for eight seasons, consistently hit for power and a strong batting average.Shoppach was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after the 2009 season for pitchers Saul Rivera and Mitch Talbot. Shoppach showed some promise for the Indians, batting .261 with 21 home runs in 2008.The Indians have featured two catchers this season, Lou Marson and Mike Redmond.Marson has received the majority of the playing time and has a .224 batting average, with no home runs or RBIs in 16 games played.Redmond has a .233 batting average with two RBIs and no home runs in nine games.While Santana has only played catcher for three years, he has proven to have the talent and arm strength to contribute from the position. He previously had played third base and outfield.“It’s a great feeling as a pitcher to have somebody back there with a really good arm, and knowing that you have somebody behind the plate that will give you a good chance of throwing a runner out if you make a bad pitch,” Clippers relief pitcher Jess Todd said.In spring training with the Indians, Santana batted .250 in eight games, but was sent to the Clippers for the start of the season to improve his defense.“I think I’m having a good season,” Santana said. “I’m just working with the pitchers and trying to improve at game-calling. After playing with the Indians in spring training, I feel comfortable with their pitchers. I know what kind of arms they have and some of their pitches so I would be comfortable with them.”There has been no word of a possible call-up to the Indians at this point in the season, even given the struggles of Marson and Redmond. For now, Clippers fans have an opportunity to watch one of baseball’s top prospects in a minor league uniform.“He’s here until further notice,” Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said.
Following the resignation of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, The Columbus Dispatch reported that quarterback Terrelle Pryor — already facing a five-game suspension — is being investigated by the NCAA for receiving discounts on cars and other improper benefits. The report said the NCAA and OSU’s compliance department are conducting a separate investigation of Pryor involving allegations that he received discounts on cars and questioning his relationship with Ted Sarniak, a 67-year-old business man from Pryor’s hometown of Jeanette, Pa., who has been described as Pryor’s mentor. Pryor has been connected with more than six vehicles since he arrived at OSU in 2008, according to the report. Pryor has been stopped three times while driving cars owned by car salesman Aaron Kniffin or a Columbus used-car dealership where Kniffin worked. Kniffin told The Dispatch that he allowed Pryor to drive a car to Jeanette to show his mother. He said Pryor did not purchase the vehicle. OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said he could not comment on the investigation of Pryor. “The university continues to work with the NCAA as they investigate matters involving our football program, and we will continue to do so until the conclusion of the investigation,” Lynch said. “We are unable to comment on specific players’ situations because of federal law.” Pryor, along with teammates Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas and Mike Adams, was suspended for the first five games of the 2011–12 regular season for receiving improper benefits, but was allowed to participate in OSU’s 31-26 victory against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. It later was revealed that Tressel knew about the infractions and failed to report them. Tressel resigned Monday. A Sports Illustrated report published Monday night said Pryor personally brought in more than 20 items, including helmets, Nike cleats and game pants, to Fine Line Ink, a Columbus tattoo parlor. In 2008, Pryor was investigated for the ownership of a vehicle before he arrived on campus for his freshman year. He later won the starting quarterback job from senior quarterback Todd Boeckman, becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start at OSU since Art Schlichter in 1978. In 2009, Pryor raised eyebrows for his defense of Michael Vick after the NFL quarterback was accused of participating in illegal dog fighting rings. “I mean, everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever,” Pryor said. “I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick, and I always will.” Pryor won the Rose Bowl MVP in 2010 and passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns as the Buckeyes defeated Oregon, 26-17.
Ohio’s two Major League Baseball clubs had two very different tales to tell at the end of last season. Up in Cleveland, the Indians put together one of the most painful seasons in franchise history, erasing a strong start with an unfathomable 5-24 record in August, putting them at 68-94 for the year and in desperate need of some changes. At the other end of the state, the Cincinnati Reds enjoyed their second National League Central division title in three seasons, finishing with the National League’s second best record at 97-65. While the season would eventually end on a sour note after blowing a 2-0 series lead over the eventual-champion San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series, the Reds were put in good position to only improve on an already balanced club. For the Indians, it was a mystery to everyone involved what general manager Chris Antonetti’s approach to the offseason would be after the abysmal year. As it turned out, the club decided to open up the checkbook and make a series of unprecedented moves. Never known for spending much on free agents, the Indians signed two of the biggest ones available, first baseman Nick Swisher and center fielder Michael Bourn. That was not all for the Tribe in the free agent market, as they also inked designated hitter Mark Reynolds and starting pitcher Brett Myers to sizeable deals. Antonetti also tried his hand in the trade market, opening the offseason with a minor deal, moving relief pitcher Esmil Rogers to Toronto for utility infielder Mike Aviles, and later making a huge splash, trading right fielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds as part of a three-team deal, getting back outfielder Drew Stubbs from the Reds, and top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from the Arizona Diamondbacks, along with two relief pitchers, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers. Many attribute this aggressive offseason to new manager Terry Francona, whose presence and influence seems to have ushered in a new era of Indians baseball. Signed as a bit of a surprise move in October following the firing of former skipper Manny Acta, Francona brings with him two World Series rings from Boston and a great deal of respect from around the league. So what can be expected from Francona’s Indians this year? The lineup certainly looks dangerous on paper, blending speed from Bourn, Stubb and Michael Brantley; power from Swisher, Reynolds and Carlos Santana; and all-around hitting from Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera and Lonnie Chisenhall. The individual team defense, especially from the outfield, is among the league’s best, and should be able to save the pitchers several runs. The Indians also bolster a strong bullpen, led by closer Chris Perez and set-up man Vinnie Pestano. What will likely keep the Indians out of the postseason, however, is the starting rotation. Their ace, Justin Masterson, had a 4.93 ERA last season, Ubaldo Jimenez has been a disaster since being acquired from Colorado in 2011, Myers did not start a game for Houston or Chicago last season, Zach McAllister is unproven, and Scott Kazmir was last seen struggling for the independent Atlantic League Sugar Land Skeeters after pitching his way out of the MLB. The Indians do have strong depth for the bottom of the rotation at Triple-A Columbus, including Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but the holes at the top are just too big for a strong lineup to overcome. Expect the Indians to finish with about 80 wins, though it’s not unreasonable that they could contend for a wild-card spot if Masterson or Jimenez can regain their old form. Moving south, the Reds had a far less busy offseason. Already owning an elite lineup, rotation and bullpen, anything they added would simply be icing on the cake as they go for their second consecutive NL Central title. As a result, the Reds will be putting out a very similar team to the one Cincinnati fans witnessed last season. The only major change is in center field, where Stubbs was swapped with Choo. The rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake is identical to last season’s, as is the bullpen, led by all-star closer Aroldis Chapman, who was considered being moved to the rotation but ultimately stayed in the bullpen, and set-up men Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton. The lineup also remains strong, adding Choo to a group that includes all-stars Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, as well as power hitters like Todd Frazier and Ryan Ludwick, and defensive specialists Zack Cozart and Ryan Hanigan. Visit www.thelantern.com to read the rest of this story. If a weakness had to be pointed out for Cincinnati, it would have to be its outfield defense. Choo, who struggled in right field for several years in Cleveland, is now being forced to play the more treacherous center field by default. If he struggles, manager Dusty Baker might be forced to explore other options. This could open the door for top prospect Billy Hamilton to make his debut. Hamilton, who stole a minor league record 155 bases last season, is considered one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. There’s not a ton of mystery for how strongly a team as well-balanced as the Reds will perform. St. Louis could challenge for the NL Central title, but it’s hard to imagine the Reds falling short of a wild-card berth. Pencil them in for 88-96 wins and a third trip to October baseball in four years.
Junior guard Shannon Scott (3) sets up in defensive position during a game against Morgan State Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 89-50.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Ohio State men’s basketball team is coming off a defensive showing coach Thad Matta called one of the best performances by a team since he’s been at OSU.“I thought we were as tuned in, as dialed in as we could possibly be,” Matta said Tuesday, referring to the 52-35 win against then-No. 17 Marquette (2-1, 0-0) Saturday. “I thought guys used their length, their athleticism, they understood what we were trying to take away … It was probably about as good defensively as we could play.”The Buckeyes held the Golden Eagles to only 18.9 percent shooting in that game, and submitting a similar effort against American University (1-1, 0-0) Wednesday remains the focus. The American Eagles run an offense that has given the No. 8-ranked Buckeyes (3-0, 0-0) fits in the past.“We know they run the Princeton Offense. That’s going to be fun to guard like always,” said junior guard Shannon Scott Monday with a smile. “We just gotta treat them like any other team. Just because they’re not ranked doesn’t mean they can’t come in here and beat us.”The “Princeton Offense” is a style predicated on constant motion, quick cuts behind defenders and solid outside shooting. Matta said it takes extra time to prepare for the offense itself, and the Eagles shoot a high number of shots from beyond the 3-point arc.“It’s just the cutting is unique, you’ve got five guys out there that can shoot,” Matta said. “I think 47 percent of their field goal attempts are threes.”An in-conference foe, Northwestern, also runs the Princeton Offense, and the Wildcats have given the Buckeyes all they can handle in recent memory. Two seasons ago, OSU slipped by to beat Northwestern on the road, 75-73, as then-Buckeye forward Jared Sullinger scored the game-winning basket in the waning seconds. Last year, OSU needed late runs in both games against Northwestern to put them away.“It’s one of those deals where you may give up a lay up, you may give up a (3-pointer) here or there,” Matta said. “But it’s the possession after possession after possession of doing what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it. And then in the end, you hope that you can rebound long shots, long rebounds. We gotta scoop those up. We’ve definitely learned our lesson over time playing Northwestern in that regard.”Staying disciplined on the defensive side of the ball is going to be key, as the Buckeyes look to win their fourth straight to open the season.“We have to be really sound on defense. We can’t gamble like we probably would,” Scott said. “I know for myself, I like to be in the passing lanes, I probably can’t do that too much cause they’re going to back-door it. Just playing honestly, defensively. Staying between the man and the basket is a huge key for us.”Tipoff between the Buckeyes and Eagles is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
OSU coaches (from left) Dave Dickerson, Jeff Boals, Thad Matta and Greg Paulus look on during a game against Penn State Jan. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 71-70, in overtime. The coaches wore tennis shoes to show support for Coaches v. Cancer.Credit: Lantern file photoThe non-conference schedule for the Ohio State men’s basketball 2014-15 season was announced by coach Thad Matta Monday.The Buckeyes’ season will be its first in the three-year, newly-launched CBS Sports Classic, which pits OSU against North Carolina Dec. 20 at Chicago’s United Center. The round-robin style tournament will also see Duke match up against UCLA this season, while OSU is scheduled to play Kentucky in 2015 and UCLA in 2016.OSU’s regular season is set to begin Nov. 14 against University of Massachusetts Lowell at the Schottenstein Center.After playing Marquette on Nov. 18 at home for their second game of the season, the Buckeyes are slated to travel to Louisville on Dec. 2 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes currently hold a 6-6 record in the tournament, and the face-off will be OSU’s 13th game of all-time in the challenge.The team is set to play North Carolina A&T on Dec. 17 in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, satisfying an NCAA requirement “to play a regular-season game at the site where 2015 NCAA Tournament Second and Third Round games will be played,” according to a press release.Games against Sacred Heart on Nov. 23, Campbell on Nov. 26, James Madison on Nov. 28 and Colgate Dec. 6 are part of the 2014 Buckeye Classic.The Big Ten Conference schedule is set to be released at a later date, according to an OSU press release.2014-15 Ohio State Men’s Basketball Non-Conference ScheduleNov. 9 — Walsh (exhibition)Nov. 14 — UMass-LowellNov. 18 — MarquetteNov. 23 — Sacred HeartNov. 26 — CampbellNov. 28 — James MadisonDec. 2 — at LouisvilleDec. 6 — ColgateDec. 10 — High PointDec. 13 — Morehead StateDec. 17 — North Carolina A&T at Nationwide ArenaDec. 20 — North Carolina at United Center, ChicagoDec. 22 — Miami (Ohio)Dec. 27 — Wright State
The OSU men’s gymnastics team poses for a photo after the NCAA championships on April 16 at St. John Arena. Credit: Luke Swartz | Lantern reporterThe No. 3 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team ended their last meet of the season with a victory at No. 4 Illinois on Friday, 417.350-415.250. The Buckeyes now turn to the postseason for Big Ten and NCAA championships.“I’m very proud of how our team fought (Friday),” coach Rustam Sharipov said. “Now that the regular season is over, it’s time to get ready for a successful postseason run.”Illinois freshman Sebastian Quiana set the stage for his team on the floor and posted a career-best score of 14.950, his second title this year. Sophomore Alex Diab added a 14.800, leading the Illini to a 70.700 on floor.The Buckeyes received event titles from redshirt junior Sean Melton (parallel bars and rings), sophomore Alec Yoder (pommel horse) and redshirt senior Jake Martin (all-around). Melton’s title on rings, with a tally of 15.200, was the best of his season and is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA this season. Melton closed out with gold on the parallel bars with a readout of 14.600.For the second meet in a row and third time this season, Yoder registered a pommel horse routine of greater than 15 points. He received the event title with tally of 15.100 points and now has four pommel horse titles this season.OSU earned a season-high score of 71.700 on the vault with performances from Seth Delbridge (14.600), Yoder (14.550), Melton (14.500), Martin (14.300) and sophomore Joey Bonanno (13.750). Martin received an event title in the all-around with an overall score of 80.900.Additionally, on Friday, team captain Martin was named a finalist for the 2017 Nissen-Emery Award — an award presented annually to the nation’s top senior gymnast by the College Gymnastics Association.“It’s a really big honor to be named one of the finalist,” Martin said. “The list has included some of the all-time NCAA greats, including the ones from Ohio State such as Blaine Wilson, Kip Simons and Jamie Natalie, so to be put on this list is a really big honor.”Martin has had a successful career in the gym and classroom. He is set to graduate with dual degrees in international studies and political science in May. He is a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten selection and a 2014 CGA All-America Scholar Athlete.Despite suffering two injuries, Martin has excelled throughout his career. As a sophomore in 2014, Martin was the Big Ten champion on the vault and was selected to the first-team All-Big Ten. He also achieved two All-American performances in the all-around and vault at the NCAA championships.“It’s been pretty difficult to return from my injuries, but in the long run I feel like it’s made me stronger,” Martin added. “I feel like I’m in a good spot and I’m a lot further along than some people expected, and that makes me excited for the rest of the season.”The winner will be announced on April 20 in West Point, New York, before the NCAA championships begin.Up next, Ohio State will travel back to Champaign, Illinois, for the Big Ten championships from April 7 to 8.
I can’t sleep at night because I have visions that the snake is going to lash out at me.Patricia Bullock A woman was bitten by what is suspected to be an escaped snake on her way back home from grocery shopping in Worcester.Patricia Bullock, 57, a mother-of-two, was injured on Saturday after the reptile slithered out of the bushes and sank its fangs into her calf.The vicious bite left her suffering from shock and flu-like symptoms,She believes the snake was attracted to the raw chicken she had bought from an Aldi supermarket.The reptile struck as she walked back home after a trip to the city centre. Environmental experts have warned it could be an “exotic pet” on the loose after escaping from a home nearby.Mrs Bullock said: “It was about 3pm and I had just been into town and I was walking back past some hedgerows.”I had bought a raw chicken from Aldi and I was carrying it in a carrier bag in my left hand.”It was brown-coloured and very quick. I caught it from my side view and it just lashed out at me from the bushes and grabbed my leg.”As it lashed out, it hit the carrier bag to get the chicken, but it got my leg instead. It bit me and then it was gone. I was absolutely shocked.”The pain was like having a glass cut and my leg started to burn like it was on fire. “I rushed home as quickly as I could and I had a massive red ring around the bite on my calf from my base of my foot to the top of my leg.”I sat down and I pushed the edges of the red ring and I squeezed out most of the poison until it started to bleed.”That’s when I noticed the two marks from the snake’s teeth.”For the first few days, I was in shock more than anything. I was shaken and nauseous.”I can’t sleep at night because I have visions that the snake is going to lash out at me.”I went to the doctors on Thursday just to have a check-up. My blood pressure was slightly high but it was nothing to worry about.”Mrs Bullock has recovered, but wants to warn others of the reptilian threat.Nigel Hands, a snake expert, said: “In the middle of Landsdowne Crescent, it’s unlikely to have been an adder, it’s more likely an escaped ‘exotic pet’.”In urban areas, occasionally grass snakes turn up in gardens, but adders are very choosy about their locations.”I think someone may well have lost a pet, but snakes aren’t out to hurt people, it was most likely frightened.” 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 has a long and controversial history, gracing the covers of countless magazines and catching the eye of many a gentleman.But the cleavage has had its day, Vogue has declared.Vogue magazine, the fashion bible, has claimed “the cleavage is over” as women fight back against the judgment of social media to pack away their push-up bras.An article in this month’s edition claims fashionistas are turning their backs on showing off their breasts, choosing instead to show more demure flashes of the shoulder, stomach or leg in a bid to outwit “creepy” online feedback.Even high fashion labels renowned for their “ample displays” have this year “sent out girl after girl with legs, midriffs and cut-outs on show but no cleavage”, it said, adding it was a clear sign “something’s up. Or more pertinently, not up.” The push-up bra was beloved in the 90s Earlier this year, retail analyst NPD reported that sales of traditional bras are down 19 per cent as millennials turn to sports bras for “comfort and ease of movement”.Women now put “long-term comfort, durability and support” as the most important elements in finding a bra, it said.Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, said: “Comfort is a dominant theme throughout the fashion world, and today’s bra consumer, especially Millennials, is seeking both physical and personal comfort. Keira Knightley at the Harper’s Bazaar Woman of the Year awardsCredit:Rex Gillian Anderson photographed at the Harper’s Bazaar awards this weekCredit:REX In an article headlined “desperately seeking cleavage”, a Vogue writer states: “Rejecting the stereotypes of gender has been brought sharply into focus, with the days of women as eye-candy, their sexuality positively smouldering rather than subtly played out, officially over.”The December issue of the magazine is out now. Sophia Loren offers perhaps the most famous side-eye in photographic history to Jayne Mansfield’s cleavageCredit:REX In May, the Telegraph reported that soft cups now make up 30 per cent of Net-a-Porter’s bra sales, with the most common request among cosmetic surgery patients is now for a mid-C cup rather than a double-D.Celebrities attending the Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year awards appeared to confirm the trend, with winners Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, Donatella Versace, Gillian Anderson all opting for high necklines while model and lingerie designer Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley wore an off-the-shoulder top. “Seamless bra styles are increasingly top of mind for consumers of all ages, and can no longer be an afterthought for manufacturers and retailers.”Online retailer ASOS has launched a “side boob bra” to suit the trend to have clothes cut low at the sides rather than cleavage, while supermodel Heidi Klum, who produces her Intimates range, has said she is seeking “less underwire and padding, something simpler, more racer backs.” Vanessa Kirby shows off her modest red carpet glamour at the premiere of The Crown todayCredit:PA “The cleavage – those magnificent mounds pushed together to display sexual empowerment, to seduce, to inspire lust or even just to show off – is over, or at least, taking a well-earned break,” the magazine declares.“The tits will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter.”Elizabeth Saltzman, stylist, said she now has to take online harassment into account when dressing those in the public eye, with the open public comments on sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook leaving stars open to scrutiny. Referring to an anonymous top-heavy actress, she said: “On those occasions where her cleavage is more visible, I see what happens on her Instagram feeds afterwards, and out of about 100,000 comments, 90,000 will be about her boobs.“That’s not healthy, that’s creepy.”The trend appears to be backed up by recent sales of bras, with soft-cupped natural shapes over-taking the push-up cleavage so beloved in the 1990s. Eva Herzigova, star of the iconic Wonderbra advert, during London fashion week this yearCredit:Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
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. A respected solicitor plundered £4 million from clients to fund her luxury holidays, vintage wine collection and an “obsession” with clothes.Linda Box, 67, a senior partner at Yorkshire solicitors Dixon, Coles & Gill, almost caused the firm to collapse after her fraud.Leeds Crown Court heard that during 12 years of deception, Box, a registrar and a “pillar of the community”, led a lavish life that included £800-a-night stays at luxury hotels and an £800,000 wine collection. Box had forged the signature of a fellow solicitor on probate documents as part of her offending and forged the signature of another colleague to access a trust fund.Some 75 individual client files, many involving estates of deceased, and 10 files relating to the Church, showed misappropriation. Box told police she took the money for her own use and her husband knew nothing.Mr Bashir added: “She said she was excessive in her spending. She said it developed into an obsession.”The judge called the scale and enormity of the breach of trust “staggering”.The mother of one deceased client said: “How can there be a more vile crime than pretending to be my friend when I was obviously overwhelmed with grief?”Joe Hingston, defending, said Box had been struck off after more than 40 years as a solicitor, adding: “Her reputation lies in ruins.” She said she was excessive in her spending. She said it developed into an obsessionNadeem Bashir, prosecutor She funded mortgages for friends, paid private school fees for her granddaughter and splashed out on work at her home as well as fancy holidays abroad.Once, the court heard, £11,000 was spent to take her family to the Edinburgh Festival.Her scheming even extended to the Church of England as she stole £63,000 in cash from the Bishop of Wakefield’s Fund. Box was jailed for seven years yesterday after admitting nine counts of fraud, two of forgery and one of theft.Jailing her, Mr Justice Blake said it was a tale of misplaced trust “all because of your unrestrained and out-of-control greed”.Nadeem Bashir, prosecuting, said the offences came to light in December 2015 when another partner, Julian Gill, became concerned over a £5,000 payment from a client account.Further checks revealed sums paid out on a wider scale, including to Box’s American Express account.The court heard that the Dixon, Coles & Gill building had since been sold off and staff made redundant as a result of Box’s fraud.The firm, which had offices in Wakefield and Horbury, shut its doors in January 2016 during the fraud investigation.
The three young Royals will join runners at the London Marathon with their Heads Together headbands this weekend “To open up and model that it’s very important to speak about grief helps change and move the dial in our understanding about grieving, because it’s still a taboo.”Dr Fiona Pienaar, from children’s mental health charity Place2Be, said: “Prince Harry’s willingness to talk so intimately about the impact of the loss of his mother 20 years ago, as well as how he has processed his grief, is a gift from the young royal. “I am sure Diana, who was always brave in the causes she embraced, would have been proud of him.”Julia Samuel, founder patron of Child Bereavement UK and author of Grief Works, who was also a friend to Princess Diana and is godmother to Prince George, said: “I wholeheartedly support the campaign and I’m so grateful for him having the courage to speak out. 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. “Men like Professor Green, Freddie Flintoff and Rio Ferdinand have led the way and made films for Heads Together showing the conversations they have had about pressures on their mental health.“The recent interview by Stormzy about his depression was incredibly powerful and will help young men feel that it’s a sign of strength to talk about and look after your mind as well as your body. The Duke of Cambridge has praised the high-profile public figures now speaking openly about their mental health, as he warns no-one should try to keep a stiff upper lip at the expense of their own wellbeing.The Duke, whose brother Prince Harry has disclosed he has had therapy to help come to terms with their mother’s death, said there has for too long been a “taboo” about speaking about such important issues.Saying the idea that successful, strong people do not suffer their own emotional difficulties is false, he added: “We all do. It’s just few of us speak about it.” “I can assure you this is actually a sign of strength.”The Prince, 32, was roundly praised yesterday after speaking to Bryony Gordon’s new podcast Mad World about the “total chaos” he experienced in his 20s as he struggled to process his mother’s death.Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said: “Prince Harry speaking so candidly is a true turning point that shows that as a society we must no longer adopt a ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude and that we need to talk openly about mental health, something that affects us all directly.” Rosa Monckton, charity campaigner and one of Diana, Princess of Wales’ close friends, said: “It is a very courageous act and I hope it will encourage many others to confront their own demons. Brothers Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge, and their father the Prince of Wales On Monday, the Daily Telegraph published an exclusive interview with Prince Harry in which he spoke candidly about the difficulties he endured after shutting down his emotions after the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.In it, he told how the Duke had tried to help him, telling him: “This is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk about stuff, it’s OK.”In an interview for CALMzine, the charity magazine aimed at tackling mental health in men, the Duke has now said: “Attitudes are changing and this is being helped by high-profile people talking about their experience. “There may be a time and a place for the ‘stiff upper lip’, but not at the expense of your health.”One how best to tackle stressful situations, he added: “Sometimes, emotions have to be put to one side to get the job done, but if you have been through an especially traumatic or stressful situation it is essential to talk it through after the event. The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of how he and wife Catherine want to encourage Prince George and Princess Charlotte to talk about their emotions “If you don’t acknowledge how you feel it will only bottle up, and could reassert itself later as illness.”The interview, released now but conducted before Prince Harry’s podcast was aired, also saw the Duke speak of his hopes for the future after noticing a new generation of emotionally articulate children during his work in schools.“Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” he said.Prince Harry also told the magazine: “We will all go through tough times in our lives, but men especially feel the need to pretend that everything is OK, and that admitting this to their friends will make them appear weak. The full interview is published in CALMzine, out now Prince Harry and the Telegraph’s Bryony GordonCredit:Andrew Crowley “Friends and family are vitally important when we experience grief and loss, and we would hope that everyone would have a Prince William in their life to gently keep nudging them towards seeking help; but a professional will have the skills to guide the grieving process so that we may – rather than ever ‘get over’ a loss – begin to ‘grow around’ it, taking our memories of, and connection to, the person we have lost with us through life. “As a charity that supports children and young people’s mental health in schools, we are immensely grateful to Prince Harry for his willingness to share his own experience of the impact of the loss of his mother, and to talk so openly about how he has sought help to process his grief.”
Police are warning anyone who was taken the drug to seek immediate medical attentionCredit:PA “His death comes as four others are in a critical condition after a total number of 11 were hospitalised over the weekend after taking the drug.“This is incredibly worrying and, with our colleagues from the NHS, we are doing all that we can to warn people against taking the drug and help those who may have taken it.“So please, if you believe that you or somebody you know has taken the drug and begins showing symptoms then get yourselves to the hospital immediately. Ch Supt Neil Evans, Territorial Commander for Oldham, Rochdale & Tameside said: “Sadly a man has now died as a result of taking what we believe is an MDMA-based drug. One man has died and four others are in a critical condition after taking the drug MDMA over the weekend, Greater Manchester Police have said.Ten people had to be admitted to hospital over the weekend after falling ill as a result of taking what is believed to have been a form of the drug known locally as ‘pink champagne’ or ‘magic’.Police said one 26-year-old man from Rochdale had died, while four others were receiving treatment in intensive care.One other person remains in a stable condition, while three people who received treatment have since been released from hospital.Police are warning people in the area to beware of the drug which is thought to come in a crystal form and is described as being ‘highly potent’.They have also advised anyone who may have taken the drug to seek immediate medical attention.A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs but has since been released under investigation.A number of local drug users told detectives they had not seen or heard of the substance before and medical professionals are said to be extremely concerned about its effects. 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. “We have a full team working on the police investigation and we are appealing for anyone with any information about where this drug is coming from to get in touch as soon as possible. “An urgent line of inquiry is to understand exactly what the substance taken is and steps are being taken in that regard.”“I would like to reiterate the dangers of taking this or any recreational drug. We have sadly had one person tragically die as a result of taking MDMA this weekend and others are fighting for their lives.”We will be supporting their devastated families, I hope we don’t have to support even more families, cases like this are ones that we always hope we don’t have to deal with.”
It is one of those longstanding traditions – such as the last night of the Proms or the overnight queue for Wimbledon tickets – which appears to be a unique feature of British life.But the fear of a potential terror attack has now forced the organisers of the King’s College Chapel carol concert to scrap its queue for seats and replace it with ticket-only entry.For decades crowds have formed long queues outside the Cambridge college in the hours before its annual concert of Christmas carols and readings.In recent years hundreds of people have waited overnight in order to claim one of around 500 seats.However, members of the public who want to attend will now have to buy a ticket in advance, allocating them a specific seat.They will also no longer be able to bring the large number of parcels and Christma shopping many of them used to take into the chapel after a day of festive spending in the city centre and will be limited to just a small bag. 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 changes come after a spate of terror attacks against soft targets in Britain.These included the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May, in which 22 mainly young music fans were killed, and the London Bridge attack in the following month, which saw eight people killed and 48 injured when an Isis inspired terror cell went on the rampage.It also follows a call by the Isis terror group for its followers to kidnap non-Muslim children in Europe. Its call, published in the group’s monthly Rumiyah magazine, was illustrated with a photograph of British choir boys.Amid this atmosphere of an increased threat level and heightened security concerns King’s College felt it had no alternative but take measures to protect the safety of the crowds attending the carol concert.The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry, the Dean of King’s College Chapel, told The Telegraph: “We made this change after careful appraisal of our own situation in the light of the current level of security risk across the country. It is a break with tradition but we all recognise that if traditions are to survive they need to respond to the reality of the world we live in today.”He added: “For us the most important things are that we maintain the service as an occasion that is familiar, beautiful, spiritual and inspiring, that it is broadcast to millions of people around the world and that we are able to welcome to the service hundreds of local people and international visitors. After Christmas we will reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the new system. On the whole, people appreciate that we are doing what we can to look after them and to ensure it’s a great occasion.”The concert, properly known as A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, was introduced by former WWI Army chaplain Eric Milner-White in 1918 “to bring a more imaginative approach to worship” and first broadcast in 1928.The service, which is broadcast to millions of people around the world, always opens with ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, and includes a new, specially commissioned carol.This year’s festival begins at 3pm on Christmas Eve and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 and at 2pm on Radio 3 on Christmas Day.Those wishing to attend should come in person to the College after 7.30am on Christmas Eve with photographic identification. Here they will be issued with a ticket for a specific seat at the service and asked to come back after 1:30pm for admission to the Chapel.Members of the congregation are asked not to bring anything larger than a small handbag with them to the Chapel.In a note to the congregation Dr Cherry explained: “By issuing tickets in this way we will maintain the generous spirit of the occasion without requiring members of the congregation to stand outside in the cold all morning.” People queue for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College Cambridge just after dawn 24th December 2013. Some slept overnight to get a good place in the queue.Credit:Julian Eales/Alamy
Eyewitness Paul Cave, 33, said: “I was on Broad Street having a drink with the wife when we heard this deafening noise.”It was like a bomb going off and that’s what we feared. Everyone stayed pretty calm though but you could see people thinking the worst.”Police were there very quickly and have done a good job cordoning off the area and diverting traffic.” Images from Warden Andy showing the Police cordon following the incident at Birmingham Rep. @BirminghamRep @WestsideWardens pic.twitter.com/MJle4VGAGf— Westside BID (@westsidebid) February 13, 2018 Birmingham city centre was put on lockdown tonight following reports of a “massive” explosion.There was panic on the streets after it was rocked by the huge blast at around 8.15pm, with police, fire and ambulance crews were all scrambled to the area. Roads surrounding Centenary Square and Broad Street, the city’s main entertainment district, were also closed.West Midlands Police soon revealed the explosion had originated in a staff area of the Repertory Theatre following a “technical fault” and there had been no injuries.The force tweeted: “All emergency services are currently at Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre, Broad St following reports of an explosion.”Initial indications are that this was a technical fault in a staff only area. No casualties are reported.”Everyone has been evacuated and are being kept safe. All roads around @BirminghamRep & @LibraryofBham are closed following an explosion in a staff only area of the theatre.”Please stay away.” A spokesperson for the theatre said: “We can confirm there was a technical fault this evening and the theatre was evacuated as a precautionary measure. We’re pleased to report there were no injuries. Many thanks to the emergency services for their help.” We can confirm there was a technical fault this evening and the theatre was evacuated as a precautionary measure. We’re pleased to report there were no injuries. Many thanks to the emergency services for their help.— The REP (@BirminghamRep) February 13, 2018 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. West Midlands Fire Service also took to Twitter and said: “We are currently supporting @WMPolice at an incident at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Broad St, Birmingham. Please AVOID the area.”Earlier on, social media users told how the deafening noise was heard up to a mile away in the Jewellery Quarter.Guests at the neighbouring Symphony Hall, Hyatt Hotel and International Convention Centre were also told to stay inside.