Live By The Three Die By The Three Is Mostly A Myth

Were the Warriors just unlucky? Their opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were not a particularly good defensive team during the regular season, either overall or against perimeter shooters, although they may be better with Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson getting more minutes because of injuries. The Cavs forced the Warriors into some bad possessions, but the Dubs also missed on some good looks, shooting just 2-for-11 on corner threes.But there’s also the old adage: Live by the three, die by the three. If your shooters are going to get crazy hot on some nights, isn’t it inevitable that they’ll shoot a bunch of bricks on another, rendering a team’s offense more inconsistent and making it more upset-prone?Let’s look at some data from the 2014-15 regular season. In the chart below, I’ve sorted teams by the percentage of their field goals that were taken from 3-point range. Then I’ve looked at their game-by-game scoring, calculating their scoring range (as I’ll describe it throughout this article) as the span including the middle 80 percent of their games (that is, throwing out their top 10 percent and bottom 10 percent of performances).The Warriors, for instance, averaged 110 points per game in the regular season, while their scoring range ran from 98 points (at the 10th percentile) to 126 points (at the 90th percentile), a 28-point difference. That seems like a wide range … but it’s perfectly normal. The average NBA team this season had a 27-point scoring range. The average range since 1979-80 (when the 3-point shot was introduced) is 28 points.The Warriors weren’t the league’s most three-happy team, however. They were just seventh — behind the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. So maybe the Dubs were pretty steady, but were those other teams inconsistent?The Cavaliers were inconsistent: Their scoring range spanned 33 points, tied for the second-highest total in the league after Oklahoma City.2Like the Thunder, who dealt with injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Cavs went through numerous lineup changes and new “looks” over the course of the regular season. So that may reflect personnel changes more than inconsistency per se. But Houston, which took 39 percent of its attempts from long range (easily an NBA record), had a scoring range of just 25 points, below the NBA average. The three-happy Atlanta Hawks had a scoring range of just 24 points.What’s going on here? Are teams that shoot a lot of threes actually more consistent than others? (Maybe they’re more resilient when facing different types of defenses or benefit from having better floor spacing?)Actually, it’s mostly just because this data is pretty noisy. I ran a regression on all NBA teams since 1979-80 to predict their scoring range based on (i) the percentage of their field goal attempts that came from behind the arc and (ii) their per-game scoring average. Both variables have a positive and highly statistically significant relationship with a team’s scoring range. Teams that score more points have a wider scoring range, and, once you control for that, teams that shoot more threes do also.But statistical significance is not the same thing as practical significance. In the context of an actual basketball team, this result will make very little difference.Suppose, for instance, that a team scores 100 points per game and that 40 percent of its field-goal attempts are 3-pointers — higher, even, than this year’s record-setting Rockets. Its scoring range, according to the regression analysis, projects to be 29.7 points.What about a team that scores 100 points but does so with only 10 percent of its shots being threes? No team has shot such a low percentage of 3-pointers since the 1999-2000 Philadelphia 76ers, but we’ll run the numbers just for fun. That team, according to the regression, would have a scoring range of 28.0 points. So it’s more consistent, but only barely so; its scoring range is only 6 percent narrower. This just really doesn’t matter much.What matters a lot more, of course, is how effective a team is at scoring overall. The Oklahoma City Thunder, as I mentioned, had the most inconsistent offense in the regular season. But their 10th percentile score, 88 points, was still better than two-thirds of the league because they had a high per game scoring average.And Golden State’s 10th percentile score, 98 points, was better than what almost a third of NBA teams scored on average per game. The Warriors will have better shooting nights than they did Sunday, but their bad nights aren’t indicative of a fundamental problem — they’re just bad nights.CORRECTION (June 9, 11:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that if the Golden State Warriors had made 3-pointers at their regular-season accuracy rate, they would have won Sunday’s NBA Finals game 117-95. They would have won 111-95. “You’ll shoot your eye out,” I kept thinking while watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. The Warriors hoisted 35 3-point attempts and made only eight of them en route to scoring just 93 points. It was a maddening, sloppy game full of what-ifs. So … what if the Warriors had sunk threes at their normal accuracy rate?1The Warriors shot .398 on 3-pointers during the regular season, which would equate to making 14 of 35 shots. They would have won 111-95. read more

Pace Is the Most Consistent Pitching Stat

In my article Friday about what’s slowing down Major League Baseball games, I use a relatively new stat called “pace.” It’s a measure of how much time elapses between pitches in the same plate appearance, making use of the PITCHf/x tracking system installed in every major league park. It can be applied to pitchers for all batters they face; and to batters for their plate appearances.One thing we already knew about pace is that it’s remarkably consistent from year to year. FanGraphs makes it possible to test that with a tool for calculating correlation between the same statistic across seasons. Pace’s year-to-year correlation is 0.859 among the 1,554 pairs of consecutive pitcher seasons for which FanGraphs has pace stats — from 2007 to 2013 for pitchers with at least 40 innings each season. That’s far higher than strikeout-to-walk ratio, which has a year-to-year correlation of 0.528; Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), an ERA-like stat (0.443); winning percentage (0.081); and other fielding stats. The correlation persists over a gap of more than one season: It’s 0.757 from one season to another three years later.That suggests that the biggest factor affecting pace is the pitcher. Pitchers can change catchers, teams or leagues; face a mix of batters; and pitch in front of a different defensive alignment or in different contexts. Yet their pace of play stays largely the same from season to season.This is evident in the leaderboard: Five of the 10 slowest pitchers with at least 100 innings last year were among the 10 slowest in 2012.Like other new stats, pace is a work in progress. For example, there are two versions — one on FanGraphs, the other on Baseball Prospectus — akin to the competing versions of wins above replacement. FanGraphs registers more average time, typically, which BP’s Ben Lindbergh attributes to his site’s exclusion of pickoff attempts.One mystery is whether pace is associated with other pitching attributes. In a quick check using the FanGraphs correlation tool, it looked like pace was modestly correlated with FIP and Win Probability Added. But that was probably because relievers tend to have better stats than starters, and also a slower pace. There’s no reason to think one causes the other. When I restricted the sample to only pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched — thereby excluding most relievers — I found there was essentially no correlation between pace and FIP or WPA. Pitchers don’t seem to get any particular value out of a slow pace, though it’s possible they would have worse results if they had to hurry between pitches. In the spirit of their deliberate play, we won’t rush to judgment. read more

Does Tennis Need a Shot Clock

Tennis players are allowed to take 20 seconds before serving at Wimbledon, as they are in all Grand Slam tournaments. Some players think it’s time for this rule to start being enforced — with a “shot clock,” a phrase borrowed from basketball and other sports.“I think it’s the only way to go, to be honest, because how are you supposed to know as a player how long 20 seconds is, or 25 seconds, between a point?” asked Andy Murray, last year’s champion, in a post-match press conference Monday. Two other players — Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki — have also endorsed the idea.The 20-second rule is almost never enforced. Some players complain this gives those who abuse it an unfair advantage, by giving them extra time to recover. Slow play can also turn off fans and disrupt tournament schedules. Yet some players value extra time to gather their thoughts, catch their breath and wipe their brows. The issue starkly divides the men’s game’s two living legends, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have comparable career accomplishments but very different paces of play.A first-time violation of the 20-second rule at a Grand Slam match earns merely a warning. The next and all subsequent violations cost a point. But because umpires almost never hand out time violations, players often flout the rule — sometimes dozens of times in a single match.That last sentence is qualitative, not quantitative, because data isn’t readily available. Umpires are supposed to track time between points from their chairs, but unlike other stats and events they monitor during a match — the score, aces, first serves in — time between points isn’t reported as an official stat. And the Grand Slams, the men’s tour and the women’s tour don’t include time violations among player stats.Without an official shot clock to refer to, I took an unofficial one — the stopwatch on my smartphone — to two men’s matches on Centre Court at Wimbledon on Saturday. The first pitted Nadal, known for his slow play, against Mikhail Kukushkin. The second featured Federer, famously fast between points, against Santiago Giraldo.1I counted the time between when the prior point was officially over — the ball landed out of play or bounced twice — and when the server made contact with the ball for his first serve. I didn’t count the time before a player’s first serve in a game, nor his first of two serves in his serving turn in a tiebreaker, nor just after changing sides of the court in a tiebreaker. I didn’t include any serves which were delayed by factors outside the server’s control — such as a challenge to a call, or a loose ball on the court. I also missed a handful of points in Federer-Giraldo because, hey, I’m not a human stopwatch.According to my stopwatch, Kukushkin and especially Nadal were in no hurry, while Federer and Giraldo raced through their encounter. Kukushkin averaged 18.7 seconds before serves, and went over the 20-second limit about one-third of the time. Nadal averaged 22.5 seconds before serves, and went over the limit more than two-thirds of the time.Meanwhile, Federer averaged 15.3 seconds before serves, and went over 20 seconds on just 4 percent of his service points. Giraldo averaged 16.6 seconds, and went over the limit 18 percent of the time.2If Nadal and Kukushkin had played at Giraldo’s pace, their match would have been faster by 13 minutes and 57 seconds. If they’d served at Federer’s pace they would have been done 19 minutes and 9 seconds sooner.The pace of these Saturday matches was particularly relevant because two days earlier, Nadal’s defeated opponent in the second round, Lukas Rosol, complained that Nadal wasn’t penalized for slow play. In his post-match press conference Rosol said, “The referee was not going with the rules.” He added, “Always best players, they’re taking much more than the normal players, you know, and nobody is telling them nothing.”Federer weighed in that same day, saying, “I just think it’s important that we, as players, play up to speed.” He added, “What I don’t want is that we lose viewers because we play too slow” — noting that he recently found himself among such impatient viewers while watching a match on TV. “They were playing so slow I was like, ‘OK, I really — I can’t watch it.’”Raw averages don’t tell the whole story. Perhaps Nadal and Kukushkin were playing bruising rallies that required longer recovery time, or were playing many pivotal points, at deuce or break point. To see which factors were significant drivers of how long players took between points, I cross-referenced each serve with stats that Wimbledon data-provider IBM offers journalists at the tournament: how many strokes the prior rally had, and whether it ended with a winner, an unforced error or a forced error. I also tagged each point as either significant or not. Significant points included any point in which the server trailed — since breaking serve is so rare on Wimbledon’s fast grass — plus 30-all, 40-30, deuce and any advantage or tiebreaker points. Then I combined all the serve timings I had for each player from Saturday’s matches — 302 timings in all, at least 50 for each man. And I ran a series of ANCOVA regressions.It turns out long rallies do make a difference: According to the regressions, each extra stroke in a rally adds about four-tenths of a second to the time the server takes before the next point. The four players also added about two seconds to their pre-serve routine before crucial points. But even after controlling for these factors, the identity of the man serving mattered, too. Kukushkin added about two seconds per serve compared to Federer, while Nadal added seven seconds.3Giraldo didn’t add a significant amount of time, nor did it matter how the prior point ended — by winner, or forced or unforced error — so I removed that from the final analysis. Rally length, importance of points, and the presence of Kukushkin and Nadal all were highly statistically significant (p<0.0005).Many tennis fans know that Federer plays faster than Nadal. The two all-time greats often have been compared on pace of play — such as in this video showing Federer finishing a service game in the time it takes Nadal to play one service point — as well as on more significant accomplishments, such as number of Grand Slam titles won. This analysis, of just one match for each, won’t settle anything — and I have better things to do than time every match.4Federer and Nadal sometimes go against the grain. I timed a handful of their serves in their Tuesday matches. Federer sped through his penultimate service game of his fourth-round match against Tommy Robredo, but he slowed down significantly when serving for the match — not when a man in the crowd yelled out, “Roger, marry me!” but after Robredo won three straight points and threatened to break. Nadal, meanwhile, was brisk, by his standards, late in the second set of his fourth-round match against Nick Kyrgios. In the next set, as he bounced the ball before serving at three games apiece, umpire Carlos Bernardes gave Nadal a time violation — a mere warning Nadal shrugged off to win the point. However, Nadal went on to lose the match in four sets. Without more comprehensive data, the analysis does suggest that Nadal’s pre-serving routine — including toweling off, picking between at least three balls, touching his face and clothing, bouncing the ball and then rocking his body — affects his pace of play more than the punishing rallies he’s known for.There are other, incomplete or indirect indicators of players’ pace of play, many of which corroborate the finding that Nadal takes his time before serving. I’ve stopwatched players at prior Grand Slams and found there, too, that Federer is fast and Nadal is slow. Occasionally television broadcasts report average time between points during matches. “You can see on TV the stat, sometimes the average time is 28 or 30 seconds,” Wawrinka said. Federer was told in his press conference that a broadcast of Nadal-Rosol showed Nadal averaged 25 seconds between points. These stats are unofficial, however, and not recorded or compiled in a systematic way.The crudest method to approximate pace of play is to divide the total time a player is on the court by the number of points he or she plays. Nadal ranks first among men’s tour regulars in time per point, at 46.5 seconds over the last year. Federer is among the fastest, at 38.5 seconds.5The WTA Tour, which governs women’s events outside Slams, doesn’t report as many stats as the men’s ATP World Tour, making comparisons difficult. Also, time between points has been a bigger priority for the ATP, which attempted to crack down on slow play at the start of last year with rule changes and an emphasis on greater enforcement. The WTA, like the Slams, allows 20 seconds before serves at its events.Simply dividing time by points is crude because it doesn’t account for time elapsed during points themselves. It also bundles together Grand Slams — where players get 20 seconds before serving — and tour events, where men get 25 seconds. One indicator that the Slam rules aren’t enforced and aren’t heeded by players: Nadal, Federer and the average man all take longer per point at Grand Slams than at tour events.At Wimbledon, Nadal averaged 40.7 seconds per point, while Federer has averaged 7.2 fewer seconds — with Novak Djokovic and Murray, the other two men to win Wimbledon in the last decade, closer to Nadal’s pace. Again, this measure includes actual tennis, not just time in between tennis. Just 23 percent of rallies in Federer matches through the fourth round extended past four shots, compared to 27 percent for Nadal and 39 percent for Murray.Will Wimbledon take up players’ suggestions for a shot clock? It’s not clear. I saw Pascal Maria, the umpire who presided over the Nadal-Kushkin match, outside Centre Court on Tuesday and asked him about my data and about time violations. He declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the All England Club, which hosts the tournament, told me umpires had handed out 33 time violations as of Tuesday — or fewer than one every six matches. Some of these were mere warnings; she didn’t know how many times players lost points for playing slow. She declined to comment about slow play and the possibility of a shot clock.CORRECTION (July 2, 6:14 p.m.): An earlier version of this article said the analysis consisted of a series of logistic regressions. It was a series of ANCOVA regressions. read more

By the numbers Ohio State versus Bowling Green

OSU center Pat Elflein wraps his hand around the football during the first game of the 2016 season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditCoach Urban Meyer couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season as 107,193 fans watched his Ohio State Buckeyes put on a historic offensive showing as they beat Bowling Green State University 77-10 in the ‘Shoe.  A dominant showing by the Buckeye defense combined with redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett’s seven touchdown performance helped the buckeyes start the season on a winning note.Despite finishing the game strong, Barrett started off sloppy.  With the Buckeye offense driving towards the end zone, Barrett threw an interception that sophomore Brandon Harris returned 63 yards as Bowling Green took a shocking 7-0 lead.  However, Barrett rebounded putting together an impressive number of total yards on way to a rout over the Falcons.With Barrett in control, the Buckeyes scored three unanswered touchdowns in quick succession.  By halftime, the Buckeyes had already racked up 456 yards of offense and 24 first downs, led by five touchdowns from Barrett.  The Buckeye defense also stepped up to limit the Falcons to only 244 yards on the day and a measly 3-for-16 on third down.Despite getting taken out in the third quarter, Barrett still finished the game with seven total touchdowns, tying his own school record of six touchdown passes, while completing 21 of 31 passes for 349 yards.  Junior H-back Curtis Samuel had an incredible day as he rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while adding nine receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns.  Redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber pounded out 136 yards rushing on 19 carries.On the defensive side, redshirt sophomore Malik Hooker had two interceptions and freshmen Rodjay Burns added an interception for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to pad the score even further.By the Numbers776: Ohio State racked up a program record 776 yards of offense for the day.15: Head Coach Urban Meyer might have had a case of déjà vu today, as he began his head coaching career with the falcons fifteen years ago.95: With the win over Bowling Green, Ohio State has now gone an incredible 95 years without losing to another in-state school.  Their last loss to an Ohio school was to Oberlin in 1921.5: This was the fifth meeting all time between Bowling Green and Ohio State, with the buckeyes coming out on top in every matchup.4: A total of four redshirt freshmen or true freshmen scored for the Buckeyes on Saturday.67: The buckeyes won the game by 67 points, which was their largest margin of victory since defeating FCS school Florida A&M 76-0 in 2013.9: A total of nine Buckeyes caught a pass on Saturday.41: OSU gained 41 first downs against Bowling Green, the most since Cincinnati in 2014 where OSU had 45 first downs.7: Not only did Barrett account for an individual program record seven touchdowns, redshirt freshman Joe Burrow threw his first touchdown pass with the Buckeyes making a total seven team passing touchdowns. That ties a school record that occurred in 1995 against Pittsburgh. read more

Football Scouting Rutgers Scarlet Knights

BreakdownRutgers is on the rise as a team, improving in multiple positions statistically from last season and earning its way to a .500 record thus far.But it will take more than just a little improvement to knock off an OSU team that is outscoring opponents by more than 44 points, and averages 3.7 takeaways a game.OSU has too strong of an offense and too stout of a defense for Rutgers to potentially upset the Buckeyes. With Big Ten play opening this Saturday, the Scarlet and Gray should have no problem emerging with an unblemished record. OffenseThe offense of Rutgers benefitted from the dynamic play ability of Grant, who currently leads the team in both rushing touchdowns and receiving yards. But the Scarlet Knights will need to look elsewhere for offensive production this week.Leaning heavily on a potent running attack led by junior running back Robert Martin, Rutgers has averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Overall, the team has totaled 881 rushing yards, a mere 38 yards behind OSU’s rushing attack.In terms of passing, senior quarterback Chris Laviano has struggled to provide consistency. Completing just 52.5 percent of his passes, the team has struggled to put the ball in the hands of its receivers, resulting in a passing offense that ranks 110th in completion percentage.Senior wide receiver Andre Patton has recorded three of Laviano’s five touchdown passes this season, He averages 13.5 yards per reception. Sophomore wide receiver Jawuan Harris is second on the team with 183 yards, trailing only Grant.The offensive line has struggled to keep pressure away from Laviano. On average, he has been sacked 2.3 times per game. With the play of OSU’s defensive lineman so far, it could be a long day for the senior. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights make their entrance before an NCAA football game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sept. 24 at High Point Solutions Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of TNSIt’s been more than a week since the Ohio State football team took the field against an opponent. With rain expected this Saturday, Buckeye fans will most likely need to don their ponchos and rainboots to watch OSU open Big Ten play against Rutgers.Led by former OSU defensive coordinator Chris Ash, the Scarlet Knights have earned their way to a 2-2 record so far, with wins over Howard University and New Mexico. Last week, Rutgers fell to Iowa 14-7 in a defensive battle that saw each team netting more than 350 total yards a piece, but failing to frequently find the endzone.While Rutgers is in good hands with Ash at the helm, the Buckeyes appear to have the upper hand in this matchup, both statistically speaking and in terms of skill.Two top performers for the Scarlet Knights — wide receiver Janarion Grant and defensive tackle Darius Hamilton — were lost to injury last week. OSU coach Urban Meyer gave his sentiment to the team and the injured players.“Any time a young guy gets hurt you just wish them the best, and they’re both really good players,” Meyer said. DefenseRutgers has struggled to slow opposing offenses this season. Surrendering 399 yards per game, the Scarlet Knights have not produced similar numbers with Ash at the helm as OSU did during his tenure in Columbus.Although the team has not shown a stout defense this year, Meyer said the schemes Rutgers runs are Ash’s through and through, and look nearly identical to the Buckeyes approach.“Yes, it’s our defense,” Meyer said.Redshirt sophomore Kiy Hester currently leads the team in total tackles, followed by sophomore linebacker Deontre Roberts. Last season, Rutgers ranked nearly last in pass yards allowed. After ranking 118th nationally in that category, the Scarlet Knights have underwent a complete overhaul of the position.Opposing offenses have been limited 206.7 yards per game against Rutgers. Even with the improvements of the secondary, the team’s defense has been gashed so far this year against the run.OSU has leaned heavily on its rushing attack this season, while the Scarlet Knights have struggled to keep opponents under 200 yards per game on the ground. read more

Josh Dezse poses dual threat for Buckeye baseball team

Josh Dezse’s name has been written on coach Greg Beals’ lineup card before all 25 games this season. He begins each game as either the designated hitter or the first baseman. But when the eighth and ninth innings roll around, Dezse can be seen jogging down to the bullpen. The 6-foot-5 freshman is a two-way player. In one game, he can play the field, get in some at-bats and make a relief appearance. He is not used in these ways simply because he can do it. He has succeeded in all facets of the game, and the Buckeyes’ coaching staff recognizes that. “He’s a great athlete, and when you have a great athlete like that, you need to get him on the field and use him as much as possible,” Beals said. As of Saturday, he is batting .316, leads the team with 17 RBIs and has the team’s second-most hits (30) and third-most doubles (5). In his 12 relief appearances this season, he has posted a 3-1 record with three saves, 13 walks, nine strikeouts and a 6.14 ERA. “It’s a special tool to work with,” pitching coach Mike Stafford said. “He has got a lot of arm strength, he’s got a good frame and his ability is ahead of him. It’s very exciting to work with a guy at that high a caliber of talent.” The Powell, Ohio, native was a three-year starter at Olentangy Liberty High School. As a high school junior, Dezse batted .348, drove in 19 runs and was 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA as a pitcher. His senior year he hit .410 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. On the mound, he was 5-2 with a save and a 2.44 ERA. His performance as a senior earned him a spot on the All-District first team and an honorable mention for the All-State team. The New York Yankees drafted Dezse in the 28th round of the 2010 first-year player draft. He turned down the pinstripes for the chance to be a Buckeye. “It would be a dream to play pro ball. To play for the Yankees, it’s like a whole different level,” Dezse said. “It was tough, but I’m proud to be at Ohio State.” He knew he was going to be a two-way player in college, and he was pleased to find out that Beals and Stafford had coached Kolbrin Vitek, a two-way player they trained while at Ball State. “That made me feel pretty comfortable,” Dezse said. Vitek was a second baseman and starting pitcher for the Cardinals. He, like Dezse, was drafted in 2010. The Boston Red Sox selected him with the 20th overall pick. Dezse was used as a two-way player in consecutive games on April 3 against Northwestern and Wednesday against Miami (Ohio). Dezse played an integral role in the 15-14 win against Northwestern. He was 1-for-3 as the designated hitter with an RBI, two walks and two strikeouts. With a 14-10 Buckeyes lead, Beals called for him to pitch the ninth inning. “Your mindset is totally different,” Dezse said. “To jump on that mound, it’s almost like a different mentality, absolutely different. You just got switch it on.” He struggled getting ahead early in the count and the Wildcats tied the game, 14-14. Dezse gave up four runs on as many hits, and walked a batter. He failed to preserve the lead, but he earned the win when OSU won the game in the bottom of the inning. The Buckeyes did not have much to be happy about after a 12-4 loss to the RedHawks on Wednesday, but Beals said he was most pleased with Dezse’s performance on the mound. “We had a little talk with him before the game about his mental preparations to pitch and handling the dual duties that he has,” Beals said. “Just being able to switch back and forth and be mentally prepared, and he had at it tonight.” Dezse was 0-for-4 at the plate that night, but he showed poise as he transitioned smoothly to the pitching mindset. In his only inning of work, he gave up one hit but he struck out the side. He said the outing was a huge confidence booster for him. “It’s challenging at times because two-way players in college are not around as much as single players,” Stafford said. “You have to manage your time wisely and put in double the work. It takes a special person mentally to do that.” The freshman was selected as the Big Ten’s first Freshman of the Week. In that week, Dezse hit .583 at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge to lead the Buckeyes, and finished both games he entered as a pitcher. Dezse had multiple hits in his first three games for OSU. He had two hits and an RBI in a loss to Cincinnati, two hits against No. 28 Louisville and three hits, a run scored and an RBI in the win against St. John’s. The right-hander allowed one run in one inning of work against No. 20 Louisville. He also picked up the win in against St. John’s, a game in which he pitched two shutout innings. He was selected as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week again two weeks later, after leading the team offensively in its 7-1 victory against Army on March 13. He was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Dezse scored the first two runs of the game, and broke the matchup open with a bases-loaded double that gave the Buckeyes a 6-1 lead. He is the first two-time winner of the award. “He has proven that he can hit, and has proven he could pitch at this level,” Beals said. “Now it’s just a matter of he and our coaching staff polishing him up and getting him the best he can be.” read more

Jokes over Ohio State needs to give JK Dobbins the ball

Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in the second quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 24-55. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Monday after No. 6 Ohio State’s 39-38 comeback win against Penn State in which freshman running back J.K. Dobbins took 13 carries for 88 yards, head coach Urban Meyer was adamant he would not “micromanage” which backs deserved carries. Two days following the victory, Meyer said he deferred to running backs coach Tony Alford and co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson when determining who carries the ball. Two days after that, Wilson said Alford controlled carry counts and had no idea the total number of carries Dobbins had until he was told because he is a “big-picture guy” and was focused on “getting the offense going.”Dobbins, who leads the team with 119 carries for 914 yards (7.7 yards per carry), carried the ball four times for 50 yards in the first quarter against the Nittany Lions, then did not touch the ball again until the third quarter.In the Buckeyes’ 55-24 loss to Iowa, the issue resurfaced after Dobbins had four carries for 45 yards in the first quarter, but finished the game with just six carries for 51 yards. On Monday, Meyer said the coaches discuss running back carry counts and added he believes the star freshman deserves more touches.Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) warms up prior to the game against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“We have conversation about it,” Meyer said. “If there’s a huge disparity between — I think, [redshirt sophomore Mike Weber is] playing hard. I think J.K. is our starter, had a couple of nice runs. Those are things we talk about. But once again I think coach Alford does a nice job. He should have more than six carries, but we got behind and started throwing it a lot.”Dobbins’ usage against Iowa and inconsistent playing time against Penn State come in stark contrast to his high carry counts at the beginning of the year. Starting in his first-ever collegiate game due to Weber’s injury, the freshman totalled 29 carries for 181 yards, more carries and yards than both Weber or former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott had in their debuts.In six of the next seven games, Dobbins received between 12 and 14 carries. He has not rushed for less than 5.5 yards per carry in a single game. “I want to wear him out,” Meyer said on Oct. 11 following Dobbins’ 13-rush, 96-yard performance against Maryland. “Seriously, I want to wear him out.”That has not happened. In contrast, Ohio State fans have worn themselves out yelling for Dobbins to get more carries.This is not the first time Ohio State’s star skill position player has not consistently received touches. On nearly every occasion, quarterback J.T. Barrett has tallied more carries than the running back or H-back. While Dobbins had just six carries against Iowa, Barrett rushed the ball 14 times for 72 yards, averaging four yards less per carry than the freshman.In Ohio State’s loss to Oklahoma earlier this season, Barrett had 18 carries for 66 yards while Dobbins took 13 carries 72 yards. In the loss to Penn State last year, Barrett had 17 carries for 26 yards while former H-back Curtis Samuel had two rushes for 71 yards and caught six passes for 68 yards. In a 2015 loss to Michigan State, Barrett rushed 15 times for 44 yards while Elliott had 12 carries for 33 yards. Like many other teams during Barrett’s tenure as Ohio State’s quarterback, Iowa focused on keeping the ball out of the running back’s hand and forcing the dual-threat to beat them on the ground. Meyer said he and the offensive coaching staff must figure out how to improve the game plan to get more handoffs to the running backs.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) tosses the ball to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the first quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 24-55. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“A lot of times when you’re struggling, [Barrett running is] your kind of get-out-of-jail-free card,” Meyer said. But Barrett’s increased runs have not got the Buckeyes out of jail. Instead, they take the ball out of the more dynamic playmaker and give it to Barrett who, despite being a dual-threat quarterback, averages 2.6 less yards per carry than Dobbins.Meyer said he prefers his quarterbacks to run between eight and 12 times per game, and noted he does not want Barrett to run as much. However, he also said he and the assistant coaches have talked about whether Ohio State has passed the ball too much in favor of trying to focus on improving the aerial attack, which struggled early in the season.“We discussed that as well,” Meyer said. “Really through about a six-game run there, we were a nice balance as far as run-pass ratio, throwing for a little bit more than we have. But, yeah, that’s much different makeup right now than when we were a heavy, heavy — used to be about a 70 percent run. It’s about 65 [percent run], about 55/45 now.”Ohio State has rushed the ball on just 52.2 percent of its plays this season. Last season, the Buckeyes rushed the ball on 58.8 percent of offensive plays. In Meyer’s four prior seasons, his teams did not run the ball on less than 62.8 percent of its plays.Since Meyer wants less quarterback runs and has considered whether Ohio State has become too pass-happy, only one antidote exists: increased running back carries.It should be an easy change. All Ohio State must do is hand the ball to one of its most explosive skill position players. Yet Meyer has dealt with this issue in years prior and it continues to surface. The time to “micromanage” Dobbins’ carries is not now. It was before Iowa embarrassed Ohio State and eliminated it from playoff contention. read more

Womens Basketball The 113 run that propelled Ohio State past Minnesota and

Ohio State redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga attempts a shot during the Buckeyes’ game against Minnesota in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament on March 3, 2018. Ohio State won 90-88 to advance to the championship. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Assistant Sports DirectorINDIANAPOLIS — Trailing Minnesota 85-79 with 4:40 remaining in fourth quarter, the Ohio State women’s basketball team had a sliver of hope to come back for a victory.A six-point lead does not seem like much on paper, especially with nearly five minutes left. But on a night in which free throws were not falling and baskets suddenly seeming hard to make, six points seemed like a lot to overcome. Coincidentally enough, a game full of runs was decided by one final run to close out the game. Ohio State made an 11-3 run in the final four-and-a-half minutes of the game to advance past the upset-happy Golden Gophers in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. The full 40 minutes almost weren’t enough to decide the outcome of the back-and-forth matchup filled with 16 lead changes and 11 ties. But midway through the fourth quarter, it seemed like there would finally be no more lead changes.A layup with 4:40 left in the fourth quarter by redshirt junior guard Kenisha Bell resulted in a timeout called by Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff. At that point in time, the Buckeyes were shooting 2-of-11 in the quarter and had not scored in more than two minutes.He only had one message to his team: keep fighting.“I thought both teams played really hard, and for a stretch in the third quarter I thought Minnesota played harder than we did, and I thought we played harder in the fourth quarter,” McGuff said. “They were getting a lot of 50-50 balls, then we were getting them down the stretch. That was what we kept emphasizing, just make sure we play hard.”A jumper by redshirt senior Linnae Harper on the Buckeyes’ second possession after the timeout sparked a much-needed run. Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell followed the bucket up with an and-one, pulling Ohio State within one point.The Buckeyes clamped up forcing Bell to miss her second shot in as many possessions. After a missed layup by senior forward Alexa Hart and redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga’s missed put-back attempt, Hart got a second opportunity after sophomore guard Jensen Caretti’s offensive rebound and buried a shot from the block to give Ohio State an 86-85 lead with 2:40 remaining.After a defensive stop, the Buckeyes did not score, but had a possession McGuff called “probably the possession of the game.”Mavunga essentially killed a minute-and-a-half of time by herself. Strong effort on the glass resulted in two offensive rebounds by her. The rebounds didn’t result in points, but they minimized the Golden Gophers’ chances of a comeback. With the rebounds, she became the first player in Big Ten tournament history to pick up at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in one game. “It’s really an honor, I had no idea,” Mavunga said. “I wasn’t even going after trying to get a certain number of stats, whatever the team needed me to do is what I was there to do.”Mitchell ended the possession with a missed jumper, and Minnesota finally got a defensive rebound and pushed the ball in transition. Mitchell was the only player able to get back in time and as Bell went up for a layup, she stuck her hand in and pried the ball out. With only 34 seconds left, initially it was ruled Minnesota’s ball, but after a couple minutes of review, the officials was determined the ball came off Bell’s knee as it went out of bounds. For the remainder of the game, Minnesota played the foul game, in hopes of Ohio State slipping up. But the Buckeyes, who shot 50 percent from the free-throw line, did just enough to come out with a win.A pair of made free throws put the Buckeyes up three with 29 seconds remaining. Mavunga was forced to defend guards as a result of switching onto them and blocked two shots in the final 20 seconds of the game.Minnesota made a late 3-pointer to pull within two points with five seconds remaining and Ohio State missed four of its final six free throws, but the Golden Gophers missed their final shot and allowed the Buckeyes to move on to the tournament final Sunday against Maryland. read more

Passengers face Christmas chaos as unions threaten Gatwick strikes

first_imgA spokesperson for Unite said that members were “understandably angry”. Earlier this year, Gatwick announced a 77 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £141million.“Gatwick is highly profitable and we believe rather than closing the scheme, steps can be made to make up the modest shortfall in the scheme,” the spokesperson said.Unions are preparing to vote on strike action but would need to give Gatwick at least seven days notice before any walk out. A spokesperson for Gatwick said: “Gatwick Airport, like any business, will regularly monitor reward packages to ensure that they remain competitive and to safeguard the long-term future for our employees, passengers and local community.”We fully appreciate that pensions are a personal and sensitive topic and it goes without saying that we are taking this forward in a collaborative manner. We will continue to engage, consult and collect the views of employees and encourage members of the defined benefits plan to use the consultation process to air views, understand the issues facing the scheme and ask questions.”The south London airport is currently vying with Heathrow for permission to build a new runway, with a decision expected this month. Gatwick currently handles about 42 million passengers a year, but has a capacity for 45 million. Unions could strike in the busy period running up to ChristmasCredit:Getty Unions could strike in the busy period running up to Christmas British holidaymakers are facing the prospect of travel chaos in the run up to Christmas after unions at Gatwick moved to shut down the airport over a pension dispute.Firefighters, security staff and maintenance workers are preparing to vote on strike action, after Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which owns Gatwick, said it would close their final salary pension scheme because of a reported £90million shortfall.A security worker at the London airport told the Sun that GIP was trying to bulldoze the move through without a discussion with the unions. “If there is no fire service it could shut down the whole airport,” the worker said.last_img read more

Rolf Harris cleared of new child sex charges spanning four decades after

first_imgRolf Harris video link Judge Alistair McCreath summing up at Southwark Crown Court where Rolf Harris (right) was on trial Judge Alistair McCreath summing up at Southwark Crown Court where Rolf Harris was on trialCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA Harris, wearing a pale blue shirt, suit and patterned tie, showed no reaction as the not guilty verdicts were read out by the jury forewoman.Judge Alistair McCreath discharged the jury from deliberating on the further four counts he faced.The prosecution team asked for one week to decide if it will apply for a retrial. Rolf Harris performing on the main stage at Glastonbury  Show more Rolf Harris, the disgraced entertainer, has been cleared of three sex charges after a second trial.A jury took just under a week to find the 86-year-old Australian not guilty of three of the seven alleged assaults said to have taken place over four decades, following a second trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court.Harris is currently in jail following a 2014 trial which saw him convicted of 12 sex offences against four female victims, one aged as young as seven or eight.But his defence team claimed the jury in the first trial had “got it wrong” and that the media frenzy had “without doubt made him vulnerable to people making accusations against him”.The pensioner declined to give evidence at his second trial, instead silently watching proceedings first on video from Stafford prison and then later from the dock with a hearing loop.center_img It also cleared him of groping a blind, disabled woman at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in 1977.And he was also cleared the most recent charge he was accused of – sexually assaulting a woman in her forties after the filming of a television show in 2004.Judge McCreath told Harris he must be present for a hearing next Wednesday, but not necessarily in person, to which he replied: “Thank you.” Harris was allowed to follow the first part of his trial by video-link from prisonCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA The jury took 26 hours and 16 minutes to clear Harris of two charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.The seven women and five men found he was not guilty of indecently assaulting a young autograph hunter when she visited him at a radio station in Portsmouth with her mother at the end of the Seventies. Rolf Harris performing on the main stage at Glastonbury in 2002Credit:Toby Melville/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

HSBC to offer customers choice of ten titles to show they are

first_img“This was demonstrated earlier this year by Lloyds Banking Group, who came number one in our top 100 LGBT inclusive employers in Britain”. 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 new titles are available to people who do not identify as a particular gender, or who do not want to be identified by gender. They include Ind, which stands for “individual”, Mre, which is short for “mystery” and Pr which means “person”. The titles, which come in today, will be applied across a customer’s account, including their bank cards and correspondence.LGBT charities welcomed the move and praised the banking sector in general for taking “huge strides” to making people with transgender issues feel valued.A Stonewall spokesperson said: “It’s great to see an increasing number of organisations prioritise issues affecting trans people. The banking sector has taken huge strides towards making lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees and customers feel valued.  transgender But the move was met with criticism from some Christian groups, who suggested the new titles were simply a PR stunt to make the bank appear socially progressive. Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive Denial of Christian Concern, described HSBC’s gender neutral titles as a “denial of reality”.She said: “This plays into the hands of a new political ideology. HSBC thinks this is progressive but it is actually regressive and absurd and will confuse people. I think its sad if people want ‘mystery’ as a title. It is a denial of reality.””Major public institutions are beginning to pander to this latest fad of political orthodoxy for fear of being seen as illiberal.” Stuart Barette, trans lead for the HSBC UK Pride network, said: “We are a commercial enterprise and we want to appeal to all our customers. If we don’t improve then the transgender community won’t bank with us and we don’t want that.”This is what our trans customers have been hoping for as they want their identities to be better represented in the community. Ultimately this isn’t us trying to lay claim to the ground and do a PR stunt, this is a genuine effort.” Last year Metro Bank became the first UK banks to welcome customers who don’t identify as male or female. The decision came about after Scottish teenager, Kaelin Farnish, raised concerns about not being able to be recognized as non-binary when trying to open a bank account.HSBC added that it has also made it easier for customers who wish to change their gender on their bank account. It said customers simply need to bring a passport, driving licence or birth certificate that supports the change of gender to update their details in branch. A retired industrial photographer formally known as Peter has come out as transgender at the age of 90 and is now thought to be the UK’s oldest transgender personCredit: Mikey Jones/Mercury Press Show more For most people it takes nothing more than a mindless flick of a pen, but for thousands of people in the transgender community selecting an appropriate title when filling out forms is not so simple. When asked to choose between ticking “Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms”, many individuals who do not identify with a particular gender have for decades felt forced into choosing the wrong box.But finally it appears that their voice is starting to be heard and the conundrum addressed.In 2015 a new gender neutral title ‘Mx’ joined the usual honorifics on driving licences and other official documents in what was the first change to officially recognized titles in living memory.And now one of Britain’s biggest banks, HSBC, has gone further, by offering customers the widest ever choice of titles as it has unveiled a selection of ten gender neutral options.last_img read more

Racehorses are failing drugs tests because their grooms are peeing in stables

first_imgDean Ivory at Goodwood “It’s cost me dearly,” he said.“Let’s hope something can be learned from this.” Dean Ivory’s fortunes improved at Goodwood, winning the showpiece Qatar Stewards’ CupCredit:Dan Abraham I’m very embarrassed that a member of staff has urinated in the stableDean Ivory, trainer “I had no idea you could get cross-contamination like that,” Ivory told the Racing Post. “I’m guilty because I’m responsible for my staff, but if I was more aware I could have made my staff more aware.“This could happen to other trainers.”Ivory, who has since updated his yard’s health and safety policy to explicitly ban urinating in the stables, said he suspected the practice was going on at other establishments and in stables at racecourses.The trainer was fined a total of £1,500 by the BHA for not taking all reasonable precautions to prevent contamination in the case of Wotadoll, and following a failed drug test by another of his horses, Links Lady Drive, after she won a race at Windsor in June last year.In that case, traces of the antihistamine cetirizine were found, which were traced to both a stable girl and the horse’s jockey, who were both on the medication.There is no suggestion, however, that Links Lady Drive, whose win was subsequently quashed, was contaminated through urine.The trainer revealed he had reimbursed the horse’s owners for their loss of earnings and waived a months’ training fees by way of apology.“I’m very embarrassed that a member of staff has urinated in the stable considering we’ve a new toilet block here,” said Ivory. Racehorses may be failing drugs tests because grooms taking painkillers and hay fever medications are urinating in their stables, a trainer has said.For months a cloud has hung over long-time Hertfordshire trainer Dean Ivory after two of his horses tested positive for banned substances in 2016.But a disciplinary panel has now concluded the drugs entered at least one of the animal’s systems via an innocent, if unsavoury route. An investigation was launched when traces of the analgesic O-desmethyltramadol were found in the system of then 2-year-old sprinter Wotadoll, after she came ninth in a race at Wolverhampton last November.A distraught Ivory, who has an unblemished record going back 16 years, was at a loss to explain the breach.However, the groom responsible for looking after the horse has since stepped forward to admit a habit of relieving himself in Wotadoll’s stable.The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) established that the staff member, Shane Cuddy, who is no longer employed at the yard, had been recovering from surgery in the lead-up to the race and had been taking the opioid painkiller tramadol, which metabolises into O-desmethyltramadol. 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.last_img read more

Commonwealth Games swimmer raped woman who was passed around by a member

first_imgA Commonwealth Games swimmer raped a woman who was “passed” on by a fellow athlete from the Team GB Olympic team, a court heard on Thursday. Otto Putland, 23, is accused of getting into bed with the 19-year-old student after she had consensual sex with his best friend Ieuan Lloyd. Otto Putland denies rapeCredit:Wales News “Then he took off his boxers. He asked: ‘Do you want me to put a condom on?'”I was crying and turning my head away from him.” The student said she slept with Mr Lloyd, who swam for Britain in both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic games, after bumping into him at a nightclub.But she claimed he then “abandoned” her and welcomed his friend Putland into the bedroom, before switching off the bedroom light and closing the door behind him. 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. Otto Putland Otto Putland denies rapeCredit:Wales news Ieuan LloydCredit:Clive Rose  She refused sex, telling Putland she would not be “passed around”, Cardiff Crown Court heard.In a statement read out in court, the girl said: “Otto and Ieuan were both having a conversation outside the room with the door open.”Otto came in and started taking his shoes off. So I text my friend for help because I thought something might happen.”I told him: ‘What are you doing – you can’t just pass me around’. He said: ‘We’re not passing you around’.”I told him I didn’t want to have sex with him and he kept trying to kiss me.  Ieuan Lloyd Glam (right) nightclub, Greyfriars road, Cardiff He said: “She spoke normally to me. I was on the bed and moved up so I was against the headboard.”She was flirtatious to me and we started kissing.”She didn’t say anything to make me believe she didn’t want to engage.”She hadn’t said anything about being passed around at that point. Had she done so I would not have had sex.”It lasted about a minute. Then she said she felt like she’d been passed around. She sounded frustrated.”I said: ‘OK let’s get your stuff and you can go now and I let her out.”It wasn’t a memorable evening.”I didn’t know her name, where she was from.”Timothy Evans, defending, warned the jury about the “subtleties” involved in the case. Glam (right) nightclub, Greyfriars road, CardiffCredit:Rob Browne  He said while he did not know her name or where she was from, the pair had consensual sex after the girl began flirting with him. Otto Putland Otto PutlandCredit:Media Wales He also pointed out no text sent by the girl to a friend asking for help had ever been found, and called witness statements from the girl’s friends “ridiculous” due to their contradicting accounts.Mr Evans said: “There’s nothing consistent at all in the evidence from the witnesses.”Putland does not know why she’s made this up.”Putland, of Dinedor, Hereford, denies two counts of rape.The trial continues. But she claimed Putland then entered her and she ran to the bathroom to text her friend for help before passing out. She later woke to find Putland raping her again, but she was able to push him off and leave the house, the court heard.Prosecutor Janet McDonald said: “She is a lady just out of school, celebrating freedom from exams.”She fell for Mr Lloyd… but she did not consent with Putland. She did not consent to being passed around.”When Mr Lloyd abandoned her, as she said, he was no help to her.”Miss McDonald said the allegation was not reported to police until last July – 16 months after the incident – because the woman, now 22, was “upset and annoyed with herself”.Putland who swam for Wales in the 2014 Commonwealth Games told police he was introduced to the girl at Mr Lloyd’s home in Adamsdown, Cardiff, after coming home from Glam nightclub in the city centre. Otto Putlandlast_img read more

Property developer Scot Youngs final phone call in which he offered wife

first_imgExterior of Scot Young’s apartment in Montagu Square, Marylebone, where he fell to his deathCredit:Ray Tang/REX/Shutterstock Exterior of Scot Young's apartment in Montagu Square, Marylebone, where he fell to his death 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. There were lengthy divorce proceedings in the courts with his wife Michelle Young, picturedCredit:John Swannell She told him she had evidence that he had hidden billions and branded him “disgraceful” warning that the other option was to press criminal charges and go to HMRC“OK you are going to end up with sweet f—- all,” he said. “On that basis, it’s a waste of time.“I’ve tried to be nice, I’ve signed up to £30 million to get rid of this so you think about it and never threaten me again.”Dai Davies, former head of the royal protection squad, who has been working for Ms Young, said they had found credible evidence of Mr Young living a lifestyle that was “not of a pauper,” secretly filming him with large wads of £50 notes.L Burke Files, an international asset recovery specialist working with Ms Young and based in the US, said: “Scot was meticulous in all his business dealings.“He was very clever. At no time during the divorce or up to his death was there ever any evidence that he had a bank account with his name on it.“He, through nominees, lawyers and offshore agents controlled a vast amount of cash, property, and securities in private and some public companies.”Where did all the money go? We might never know. “If you get £30 million plus 50 per cent of any asset you find, how can you ask for any more than that?” Ms Young has now spent nearly 12 years trying to uncover what she claims are his missing millions, having once suggested he was “worth a few billion at least”.She told the Telegraph one Coutts account contained £318million.During the BBC2 documentary, to be broadcast on Wednesday, she produced a document found on her daughter’s computer called Project Marriage Walk, which contained a detailed list of properties he was said to own worth around £400 million.In their final conversation, before double checking that his former wife was alone, Mr Young admitted that he had “f—– up” and that she had been a “good wife” who had run him baths, made him tea and was always there for him.He said: “The judge has awarded you £20million. If I gave you £20million tomorrow, would you be happy?”When she asked whether the money would come from, he said he would “get cracking on a couple of ventures” before rounding it up to £25 million “because it’s a nice round number” and later, to £30 million.“Do you want a f—— deal or do you not want to do a deal?” he asked, audibly frustrated. There were lengthy divorce proceedings in the courts with his wife Michelle Young, pictured The coroner ruled there was insufficient evidence to conclude that it had been suicide. “But I doubt he lost it.” The final phone call made by tycoon Scot Young to his ex-wife a month before he was found impaled on railings after falling from a fourth floor London flat is to be broadcast for the first time.The 52-year-old property developer, who had been locked in a multi-million pound divorce battle with Michelle Young, offered her £30 million before angrily warning that she would end up with “sweet f— all” when she refused to accept the deal.The pair had been engaged in a bitter, eight year divorce battle since their marriage ended in 2006, costing Ms Young around £17 million.A judge awarded her a £26 million settlement but Mr Young never paid her a penny, prompting her to liken the judgement to “an empty paper bag”.He declared bankruptcy, even spending time in jail for refusing to disclose his finances to the courts. But five weeks after that final phone call, he was dead.Ms Young and his two daughters are convinced that he was murdered.Friends of the Dundee-born entrepreneur, who was the fifth member of a close circle of friends to die in similar circumstances, said they feared he may have been killed by the Russian or Turkish mafia after getting into debt,  citing the strange deaths of four associates, including Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged in 2013.last_img read more

Black cab rapist John Worboys denied legal aid in battle to keep

first_imgThe ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys has been refused legal aid in the High Court battle to keep him in jail. Two of Worboys’ victims are challenging the Parole Board decision to free the serial sex attacker after serving a minimum eight-year jail sentence. They raised the money to pay for their lawyers through an internet appeal for funds. Worboys’ application for taxpayer funding to pay for his lawyers was turned down by officials, the Telegraph can disclose. The judge in the case Sir Brian Leveson had urged authorities to give Worboys’ legal aid to ensure he was properly represented at the judicial review due to be held in March. But sources have confirmed that Worboys’ application was turned…last_img read more

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pick carriage for Royal Wedding procession

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will make a “short journey” through Windsor in an Ascot Landau carriage to allow the public to catch a glimpse of them after their wedding, Kensington Palace has confirmed.The newlyweds will travel in the same carriage Prince Harry used in the procession at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, when he was surrounded by small bridesmaids and page boys.His own wedding procession, on May 19, will use just the one open-topped carriage, meaning the public will not see the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, or their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and newborn Prince Louis.Prince Harry and Ms Markle visited the royal mews at Buckingham Palace to select the Ascot Landau, which will now be the centre piece of public celebrations after they marry in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.Kensington Palace said: “Prince Harry and Ms Markle are very much looking forward to this short journey which they hope will be a memorable moment for everyone who has gathered together in Windsor to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day.” The Ascot Landau carriageCredit:PA Crown Equerry Colonel Toby Browne, who runs the royal mews, said the type of carriage chosen is one Harry knows well as two Landaus were used during William and Kate’s carriage procession after they married in 2011. Prince Harry in the Ascot Landau at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s weddingCredit:AFP Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will travel in this carriage  A postilion rider, sat on one of the two lead carriage horses, will drive the coach and another rider will sit behind him on a Windsor Grey in the second row. Two footmen will sit behind the newlyweds at the back of the Landau.State cars from the Royal Mews include Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and Daimlers and they will be used to transport members of the royal family on the day. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their weddingCredit:AP Philip Barnard-Brown, Senior Coachman to the Queen, will ride Milford Haven for the procession and describes him as a “special horse”.He said: “He normally has a lead position because he’s a very quiet horse and you’ll naturally try and put your quietest horses in the lead.“Because it’s going to be a very busy day and very noisy, we always choose our safest, most reliable horses. We tend to go for the older horses that have been around and done it before and we know are reliable.” The Ascot Landau carriage Six horses, Windsor Greys, will be included the procession ride.A team of four, Milford Haven, Plymouth and father and son Storm and Tyrone, will pull the Landau and two others – Sir Basil and Londonderry – will be outriders.All have been involved in high profile events before, including the Spanish state visit last year, Royal Ascot, Trooping the Colour, the State Opening of Parliament and the Lord Mayor’s Show. Storm is a veteran of Royal weddings, also working on the streets of London for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.  He explained the Landaus are also used at the end of the annual St George’s Chapel Garter Service to drive members of the royal family up the hill to Windsor Castle, and Harry’s carriage is in pristine condition as it was refurbished last year. If it rains on the wedding day, the wet weather option is the Scottish State Coach. Built in 1830, a new top was created in 1969 with large windows, and a partial glass roof, to allow spectators to see the passengers.Col Browne added: “The fair weather option, the Ascot Landau, it was selected because it’s a wonderfully bright, small, lovely carriage. Very easy for people to see, the passengers can sit up quite high – so there’s lots of visibility for everybody.”It was built in 1883, it’s one of five that we have, most of them are down in Windsor, we always keep one in London for occasions.” Prince Edward and Sophie during their Windsor wedding carriage ride Prince Edward and Sophie during their Windsor wedding carriage rideCredit:AFP Other members of the Royal Family will not join the carriage processionCredit:Getty “They will be just a short distance in front of the carriage itself and of course in front of them and behind the carriage will be the Household Cavalry travelling escort.” The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their wedding Col Browne said: “He was best man at his brother’s wedding so he rode in one of these with the bridesmaids and pages as part of the procession following the wedding.”But he’s also been in the Queen’s procession at the royal meeting at Ascot, so he’s ridden in these quite regularly.”The carriage procession will begin at 1pm after the wedding service, with the newlyweds driven along Castle Hill, into Windsor town centre before returning along the famous Long Walk for their reception. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will travel in this carriage Credit:PA Other members of the Royal Family will not join the carriage procession Prince Harry in the Ascot Landau at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding The Crown Equerry added: “We’ve always had two outriders and traditionally they acted to clear the path and herald the arrival of the principal in their carriage. read more

Cowardly killer on run after beating 85yearold widow to death at her

Detectives are now appealing for any information about the incident  An 85-year-old great-grandmother was was battered to death in a “despicable and cowardly” attack in her own home, police have said.Rosina Coleman was found dead by a handyman at the bungalow where she lived alone in Romford, east London.Scotland Yard believe she was subjected to a “cowardly assault” between 7.30am and 11.30am on Tuesday before being left to die alone. She was found later in the day.Following the attack the killer fled the scene and remains on the run, whilst police taped off the road to her home.Ms Coleman, who is believed to have two children and five grandchildren, lived in the property alone after her husband died a few years ago.Today neighbours were shocked upon hearing the news.Pensioner Freda Bridges, who lives on the same, said: “She was a very nice lady. She has a very nice family, but they live a long way away. A murder investigation has been launched following the incidentCredit:BPM Media “It is imperative that we find those responsible for this horrendous offence.”The incident comes in the wake of news that there was an increase in violent crime in Havering – including harassment, assault and grievous bodily harm – from 6,094 incidents in 2016-17 to 6,119 in 2017-18.There were also four murders reported in the borough between April 2017 and March 2018. The victim who has suffered serious injuries was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem is expected to take place tomorrow.Det Insp Paul Considine, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “This is a despicable incident in which the victim, an elderly lady who lived alone, had been subjected to a cowardly assault that left her with serious injuries.”She was discovered by a handyman working at the address.”We suspect the incident to have occurred between 7.30am and 11:30am on Tuesday.”I want to ask anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious to call police immediately.”Did you hear anyone in distress or notice someone in the area who may have looked out of place? Even a fragment of information is beneficial to our investigation. 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. Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, added: “We do not know what has happened at the moment – she was just a really nice neighbour.”I have not seen her for a month as we have been out of the country. I have known her for the 28 years we have lived here, she was very nice.”Detectives are now appealing for any information about the incident after launching a murder probe today.Police were called by paramedics just after 11.30am on Tuesday to reports of a woman found deceased at an address in Ashmour Gardens, Romford. “The police have been here all night and forensics, and the road is closed. We used to get on the bus together and go into London, she was still very active and used to clean her windows and everything.”Her husband died a few years ago but she was still going out with friends and that sort of thing.” A murder investigation has been launched following the incident Detectives are now appealing for any information about the incident Credit:BPM media read more

Queen bounces back from illness that saw her cancel St Pauls Cathedral

The Queen watched the 2017 Remembrance Sunday service from a balconyCredit:Samir Hussein /WireImage  A guard of honour for the Queen at the palace was formed by Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of ScotlandCredit:PA A guard of honour at the palace was formed by Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.Pipes and drums were provided by The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland with music by the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.The ceremony on the palace forecourt marks the traditional start to the monarch’s stay at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Last Tuesday, Her Majesty met a host of people at Buckingham Palace including David Beckham and Sir Lenny Henry for the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony.A day later, she hosted the the High Commissioner for Tonga, Titilupe Fanetupouvava’u Tu’ivakano, and her husband Siaosi Kiu Kaho at the palace.But Thursday’s royal engagement was a step too far for the Queen. The Telegraph understands no doctor was called and Her Majesty was not taken to hospital.A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace last week said: “The Queen is feeling under the weather today and has decided not to attend this morning’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral marking the 200th anniversary of the Order of Michael and St George.”Her Majesty will be represented by the Duke of Kent as the grand master of the order.”The event was attended by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, who was invited as a recipient of an honour from the Order, which is granted by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II during the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at The Cenotaph  She caught measles when Prince Charles was two months old in 1949 and had to be separated from her baby son. The Queen in Edinburgh on Monday The Queen has bounced back from an illness that saw her cancel engagements last week to take part in an ancient ceremony which formally welcomed her to Edinburgh at the start of Holyrood week.The annual Ceremony of the Keys saw the monarch handed the keys of the city and welcomed by Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross.On Thursday, Her Majesty pulled out of a service at St Paul’s Cathedral because she was feeling “under the weather”.But she battled through her sickness, thought to have been a cold, and is scheduled to complete a full itinerary in a sun-drenched Scotland this week. As part of Monday’s ceremony, The Queen was symbolically offered the keys to the city by the Lord Provost and tradition dictates that she then returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to Edinburgh’s elected officials. Holyrood week includes an investiture and garden party at the palace while the Queen will also host a reception for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force 603 City of Edinburgh squadron and attend the annual Order of the Thistle Service at St Giles’ Cathedral. 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 first time the Queen was actually admitted to hospital was in July 1982 when she had a wisdom tooth extracted at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London.The Queen’s no-fuss approach to injury and illness was perfectly illustrated in 1994. She broke her left wrist when her horse tripped during a ride on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later when her arm was X-rayed and set in plaster at a hospital.It was the first time she had fallen in many years and the Queen had simply brushed herself down, remounted her horse and trotted on back to Sandringham. Her first hospital stay in 10 years came in 2013 when she was 86 after she suffered symptoms of gastroenteritis and missed an engagement in Swansea when she was due to present St David’s Day leeks to the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh.On March 3 2013, she was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital to be assessed. A week of engagements, including a two-day trip to Rome, was cancelled. The Queen leaves the King Edward VII hospital in March 2013 following a short stayCredit:Alastair Grant /AP There was a short gap between May 4, when she held an investiture, and May 15 when she undertook a series of jobs including hosting a garden party and welcoming the President of the Republic of Turkey and Mrs. Erdogan to the palace. The Queen, who is in good health, is known for her robust constitution. In 2013, she had her first hospital stay in 10 years when, at the age of 86, she suffered symptoms of gastroenteritis and missed an engagement in Swansea.A week of engagements, including a two-day trip to Rome, was cancelled and the Queen spent one night in hospital. She usually attends hospital for an annual routine check-up. A guard of honour for the Queen at the palace was formed by Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland The Queen, who placed great importance to her role as Head of the Commonwealth, did however attend the Commonwealth Reception at Marlborough House on the evening of March 11 to sign the new Commonwealth Charter.Buckingham Palace insisted it was just the “tail end” of the symptoms and that her condition had not worsened.But the next day she cancelled her engagements for the rest of the week, with her son, the Duke of York, saying later that it was sensible not to risk her coming out, but that she was not ill.Her illnesses have been few and far between over the years. She has suffered from back pain, and also had operations to remove torn cartilage from both knees. The Queen was not well enough to attend the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene church and also missed the New Year’s Day one. She later described it as a “particularly grisly mixture of cold and flu”. At the beginning of the month, it was revealed the Queen had undergone eye surgery to remove a cataract, but wore sunglasses in public rather than cancel her long-planned engagements. The Queen wears sunglasses during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle on May 13Credit:Steve Parsons /PA She turned 90 in 2016 and, the same year, used the lift rather than stairs to enter Parliament for the State Opening, avoiding the 26 steps of the royal staircase at the Sovereign’s Entrance.Buckingham Palace said the “modest adjustment” to arrangements were made for “the Queen’s comfort”. The decision was attributed to the Queen suffering from knee pain.In 2014, the Prince of Wales stood in for the Queen for part of the Order of the Bath service to avoid her having to make an extra journey up and down some steep steps in full regalia.In November 2013, the Duke of Cambridge stepped in to represent the Queen at an investiture ceremony after she suffered some “mild discomfort” with her ankle after a busy weekend of engagements including the service of remembrance at the Cenotaph.Video: The Queen’s life on screen The Queen’s robust health over the yearsThe Queen is known for her robust health. Her son the Duke of York once described her as being incredibly fit for her age, and the 92-year-old monarch still rides her Fell ponies at Windsor, and drives, mainly around her private estates.She has called time on her overseas travels, leaving long-haul destinations to the younger members of her family. But she still has a busy diary of events, and in 2017 carried out 296 engagements.In November 2017, the Prince of Wales led the nation in honouring the country’s war dead on Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph.It was the first time that the Queen, as head of state, had watched the ceremony from a nearby balcony, and was seen as a sign of the royal family in transition and an acknowledgement of her age.Just before Christmas 2016, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both fell ill with heavy colds, forcing them to delay their trip to Sandringham by a day. Angelina Jolie arrives at St Paul's Cathedral II leaves the King Edward VII hospital following a one-day stay caused by a stomach ailment Angelina Jolie arrives at St Paul’s CathedralCredit:Leon Neal/Getty The Queen spent one night in hospital and left thanking staff and smiling before being driven to Buckingham Palace to rest.It was thought her public appearances were back on track until Buckingham Palace announced on the morning of the Commonwealth Day Observance service on March 11 that she regrettably could no longer attend “as she continues to recover following her recent illness”.It was the first Commonwealth Day Observance service she had missed in 20 years, the last occasion being when she had flu in 1993. The 92-year-old monarch underwent the successful procedure in May, Buckingham Palace confirmed, and in the following weeks the Queen has been seen wearing sunglasses at a number of events including the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Buckingham Palace garden parties.It was business as usual for the head of state, who did not cancel or postpone any engagements.The Court Circular, the public record of the working life of the Royal family, shows no major break in the Queen’s work in May, from receiving official visitors at Buckingham Palace to attending the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with the Duke of Edinburgh, who had recovered from a hip replacement operation. Queen Elizabeth II during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle The Queen in Edinburgh on MondayCredit:PA read more

New acid testing kit developed by governments secret military research lab to

Officers would be able to stop and search a person or vehicle in a public place if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting they will find a drone used to commit an offence under the Air Navigation Order 2016, or if they suspect they will discover a laser pointer intended to commit the newly created offence of shining or directing a beam at a vehicle, thereby dazzling or distracting the person in control.In the year to March 2017, police in England and Wales carried out 303,845 stops and searches – the lowest number since current data records started in 2001/02. Acid attacks have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2017 there a record were 465 such incidents recorded in London, up from 395 the previous year.The Home Office also unveiled proposals to extend stop and search powers to cover offences relating to misuse of drones and laser pointers, with more than 1,000 incidents reported instances annually since 2010. Police will be issued an acid testing kit to be developed by the government’s secret military research lab, to determine whether suspects are carrying corrosive substances.Officers will also be able to use expanded stop-and-search powers on those they believe may be carrying a corrosive substance, under Home Office proposals published on Saturday.It follows the introduction earlier this year of the Offensive Weapons Bill, which will create a new offence of possessing a corrosive substance in a public place.Ministers say the expanded powers, alongside the testing kit which they have commissioned from experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, will enable forces to take better preventative action.Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: “A bottle of acid can be as lethal as a knife or a firearm, and these new powers will enable police officers to prevent these despicable thugs from carrying out their terrible crimes.” Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for corrosive attacks, said: “Officers should be confident to use stop and search – proportionately and respectfully – because it’s an important investigative tool.” Officers can currently stop and search individuals they suspect of being in possession of a corrosive substance and intent on causing injury. The proposed extension will allow police to search anyone they suspect of carrying a corrosive in a public place. 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. read more

Soaring numbers of children forced to have teeth taken out in hospital

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 number of children having teeth removed in hospital has risen almost a fifth in six years, new figures show.Dentists said it was a “scandal” that so many teeth were being left to rot, amid a diet of too much sugar and too little toothbrushing.The NHS figures show more than 45,000 hospital operations to remove teeth from teenagers and children in 2017/18 – a rise of 18 per cent since 2012/2013.The severity of the tooth decay means that the treatment has to be undertaken in a hospital under general anaesthetic, rather than a dentist.They included 75 cases in which children had to have every single tooth removed – a 40 per cdnt rise over the period.The Local Government Association (LGA)  urged ministers to introduce measures to cut sugar consumption – including labels showing how many teaspoon labelling on food packaging.Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “These figures, which have risen sharply, highlight the damage that excessive sugar intake is doing to young people’s teeth.”The fact that, due to the severity of the decay, 180 operations a day to remove multiple teeth in children and teenagers have to be done in a hospital is concerning and also adds to current pressures on the NHS.”This trend shows there is a vital need to introduce measures to curb our sugar addiction which is causing children’s teeth to rot.”There must be a reinvestment in innovative oral health education so that parents and children understand the impact of sugar on teeth and the importance of a good oral hygiene regime.Mick Armstrong, chairman of the British Dental Association said: “The Government says prevention not cure is the mantra, but still treats dentistry as an optional extra.”Tooth decay remains the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children, but ministers have not put a penny of new investment into early years prevention.”In the NHS’s 70th year ministers need to offer more than unfunded gimmicks. We require a dedicated and properly resourced national effort to end the scandal of childhood decay.” read more