On Friday, I noted that the Florida Gators had seen a decline in their chances of winning the NCAA men’s basketball tournament despite beating Albany in their opening game. What hurt the Gators’ prospects? They defeated No. 16 Albany by an underwhelming 12 points, and they drew a tough Round of 32 matchup against Pittsburgh and a looming regional final matchup against either Kansas or Syracuse.But the Gators had a terrific weekend. They thrashed Pittsburgh by 16 points. And they were helped by upsets in the other half of the South region, with No. 3 Syracuse and No. 2 Kansas both losing to opponents with double-digit seeds.The Gators’ game against UCLA on Thursday is no gimme — they have a 72 percent chance of winning it, according to our model. But conditional upon winning that game, they have an 83 percent chance of winning the regional final against either No. 10 Stanford or No. 11 Dayton and advancing to the Final Four.All in all, the Gators benefited more than any other team from the opening week of the tournament. Their chances of winning the national title are 18.4 percent, up from 14.5 percent before the tournament began.
2002College Park, Md.MarylandWNCAAB17~24 After Wisconsin upset Kentucky in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament Saturday night, there was a riot near Kentucky’s campus in Lexington. People threw bottles and set fires, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. The police used pepper spray and arrested 31 people. And this wasn’t the first time people in Lexington reacted violently after a big Wildcats game. Last spring, the police arrested dozens of people after riots when Kentucky lost in the national championship game. And they arrested dozens of people in two separate riots in 2012, after Kentucky’s wins in the national semifinal and final.Those are four of about 50 North American sports riots in the past five decades for which I’ve gathered media-reported data. The database tells a violent history of the aftermath of many sporting events: thousands of people arrested, hundreds injured, more than a dozen killed. The riots occurred in more than a dozen U.S. states and three Canadian provinces, in reaction to sporting events in all four major North American pro sports, plus college football, basketball and hockey. Nearly all the sports riots originated in championship celebrations. Just a handful followed losses for the home team.I put this together after finding no existing, comprehensive database of these events. Our data isn’t comprehensive, either. Among the limitations: Our Nexis and Google searches might not have turned up all media reports. Different jurisdictions and media outlets might use different thresholds in counting, say, injuries and fires. We often found differing counts for the same incident, and some incident reports did not include information on arrests, injuries and deaths (in those cases, we left the fields below blank). The numbers might have changed for some riots after the last media report about them. And some might not have been reported.Please let us know by email or in the comments if we’ve missed any. 2004BostonRed SoxWMLB>141 2014Storrs, Conn.UConnWNCAAB>30 1991ChicagoBullsWNBA>1002 1996ChicagoBullsWNBA650 1984Manhattan, Kan.Kansas St.WNCAAF24>24 1984DetroitTigersWMLB40801 2003OaklandRaidersLNFL>84 1990San Francisco49ersWNFL14 1989San Francisco49ersWNFL~90 2002Columbus, OhioOhio StateWNCAAF>50 1990DetroitPistonsWNBA141hundreds7 2010MontrealCanadiensWNHL252 1998DenverBroncosWNFL2260 1992ChicagoBullsWNBA>1000~190 1985San Francisco49ersWNFL>183 2015Lexington, Ky.KentuckyLNCAAB313 2014Storrs, Conn.UConnWNCAAB26 1995San Francisco49ersWNFL~1803 2001State College, Pa.Penn StateLNCAAB203 1993MontrealCanadiensWNHL115168 2008MontrealCanadiensWNHL160 1997ChicagoBullsWNBA 2012Lexington, Ky.KentuckyWNCAABdozens~20 to hospital 2008State College, Pa.Penn StateWNCAAF00 2002College Park, Md.MarylandWNCAAB2 2001College Park, Md.MarylandLNCAAB1 2014Lexington, Ky.KentuckyLNCAAB3123 2014San FranciscoGiantsWMLB403 1986MontrealCanadiensWNHL28 YEARCITYTEAMW/LLEAGUEARRESTSINJUREDKILLED 2015Columbus, OhioOhio StateWNCAAF<10 1971PittsburghPiratesWMLB100 2002Bloomington, Ind.IndianaLNCAAB4340 2012Lexington, Ky.KentuckyWNCAAB27 1993DallasCowboysWNFL2618 1968DetroitTigersWMLB200 1993ChicagoBullsWNBA6833 2012San FranciscoGiantsWMLB35 1999East Lansing, Mich.Michigan St.LNCAAB132 2010San FranciscoGiantsWMLB>4 2011VancouverCanucksLNHL~100 2000Los AngelesLakersWNBA>11 2006EdmontonOilersWNHL<400 1986Manhattan, Kan.Kansas St.WNCAAF<211 2004BostonPatriotsWNFL2911 1 2002Saint Paul, Minn.MinnesotaWNCAAH20 1996DenverAvalancheWNHL153 1994VancouverCanucksLNHLdozens>200 1982San Francisco49ersWNFL80125
With one game to go, the Golden State Warriors are 72-9, and having given San Antonio its first home loss of the season on Sunday night, they now have a 93 percent chance to overtake Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls for the best regular-season record in NBA history.Ahead of Sunday’s game, our CARM-Elo ratings gave Golden State a 31 percent chance to beat San Antonio. And through one quarter, the Warriors had just 14 points. But Stephen Curry, instead of his usual barrage from deep, took the ball inside and scored 37 points on 22 shots, including a number of ridiculous floaters, pull-ups and finger-rolls. (Curry also hit a 60-odd-footer at the end of the third quarter that was waved off.) The game remained close for most of the night, but Golden State pulled away about midway through the fourth quarter, when the Spurs scored just 4 points in a crucial three-and-a-half-minute run.The Warriors’ Saturday game against the Memphis Grizzlies was a little more dramatic, requiring a late tip-in from Draymond Green and two even later misses from Lance Stephenson, one of which was close enough to a foul that the league office was compelled to adjudicate the decision the following day. (The call was good.)As for the matchup between San Antonio and Golden State, it’s hard to say exactly what was going on. In four games against the Warriors this season, the Spurs have been awful around the rim (50.0 percent within 10 feet; 58.7 percent for the season) and forced deep into the shot clock far more often than usual (10.5 shots per game with four seconds or less on the shot clock; 6.8 regularly), which is always a bad sign. Worse yet, the number of “wide-open” looks from three with the nearest defender six or more feet away dropped from 8.3 shots per game to 5.5.San Antonio also shot just 36 percent on shots taken off of one or two dribbles — generally step-ins and quick drives from the perimeter or moves to the basket from the free-throw line or the high post — against 43.8 percent overall. The team is taking about four more of those one- and two-dribble shots per game, which usually isn’t a great sign, since they’re often counter-moves when the first look isn’t clean.Then again, it’s only been four games. For San Antonio, the hope will be that Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw, neither of whom played Sunday, will make up some of the difference. The Spurs are +5.6 points per 100 possessions with Diaw on the floor against the Warriors this season and -19.3 per 100 without him.Wednesday’s game against Memphis will be in Oakland and will come on two days’ rest for the Warriors, while the Grizzlies will be on the back-end of a back-to-back. We’ve seen these Warriors blow games with similar advantages in the past few weeks — they were 96 percent favorites to beat the Timberwolves, remember — but we’re likely to see the best the Warriors have, with one game to play to take sole ownership of one of the NBA’s most iconic records.Jay Boice contributed research.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
The wads of money, the fame and the high-profile life that comes with being a celebrity professional athlete?No, what Chad Johnson has missed most since his recent arrest and subsequent release from the Miami Dolphins has more to do with a popular video game.No longer in football, the former six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was hoping to get his football fix through Madden ‘13, only to find his own avatar no longer available.It was an epiphany of sorts for the enigmatic 12-year veteran.Tweeted Johnson: “That awkward moment when you realize you’re not on Madden13 and you have to create yourself.”Johnson tweeted that message Wednesday to his 3,733,709 followers. Since he’s no longer on a roster, his avatar was moved to the game’s free agent pool.That realization apparently led to some introspection. Through Twitter, Johnson then lamented his actions that led to his Aug. 11 arrest.Police in Davie, Florida booked Johnson that night on charges of domestic battery for allegedly head-butting his wife following an argument. The two had been married barely a month before the altercation.Johnson was released the following afternoon on a $2,500 bond, but the incident assured the end of his tenure with the Dolphins.His wife formally divorced him just days later, prompting Johnson to seek a clean start in all facets.Always an avid user of social media, he responded via Twitter to a fan who asked “why did you delete your bio?” by saying, “I got to start life over and create a new one.”Johnson then politely rebuffed a fan who was trying to offer him sympathy for his current plight, saying none was necessary.“I made the bed,” he tweeted, “now I gotta lay n it.”Johnson’s downward spiral from his heady days as one of the league’s premiere receivers has been a steady one. He managed just 15 catches for 276 yards and a touchdown while playing for New England last year.
On a cool, damp night in Detroit, the San Francisco Giants — who came back from seemingly insurmountable deficits in their two playoff series — completed a sweep of the Tigers in 10 innings to capture the World Series for the second time in three years.Their 4-3 Game 4 win capped a dramatic post-season for San Francisco, which trailed the Cincinnati Reds 0-2 in the divisional series and the St. Louis Cardinals 1-3 in the NLCS.Marco Scutaro, who has been outstanding, delivered one more key hit this October, a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning that proved to be the winning run.“Detroit probably didn’t know what it was in for,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. “Our guys had a date with destiny.”The Giants combined the most important elements of championship baseball. After three straight wins that looked relatively easy, they sealed this victory when Sergio Romo got Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to look at strike three for the final out.A wild on-field celebration ensued, and was carried into the clubhouse.“Tonight was a battle,” Giants star Buster Posey said. “And I think tonight was a fitting way for us to end it because those guys played hard. They didn’t stop, and it’s an unbelievable feeling.”Posey, the only player who was in the starting lineup when San Francisco beat Texas in the 2010 clincher, and the underdog Giants celebrated in the center of the diamond at Comerica Park.They built toward this party all month, winning six elimination games this postseason. In the clubhouse, they hoisted the trophy, passed it around and shouted the name of each player who held it.Benched during the 2010 Series, Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, went 8 for 16, including a three-homer performance in Game 1.“You learn,” Sandoval said. “You learn from everything that happened in your career. . . We’re working hard to enjoy this moment right now.”Cabrera delivered the first big hit for Detroit, interrupting San Francisco’s run of dominant pitching with a two-run homer that blew over the right-field wall in the third.Posey put the Giants ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer in the sixth and Delmon Young hit a tying home run in the bottom half.It then became a matchup of bullpens, and the Giants prevailed.Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single against Phil Coke, moved up on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice and scored on a shallow single by Scutaro, the MVP of the NL championship series. Center fielder Austin Jackson made a throw home, to no avail.“That’s what it makes so much special, the way we did it,” Scutaro said. “We’re always against the wall and my team, it just came through first series, second series and now we sweep the Tigers.”
After reports late last week that Antonio Brown was heading to the Buffalo Bills, the Pittsburgh Steelers will instead reportedly trade their star receiver to the Oakland Raiders for a third- and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft. When the deal is finalized on Wednesday, Brown will have a restructured contract from the Raiders — adding $30 million in guaranteed money — which will make him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. In a trade largely about money, the Raiders get perhaps the best receiver in the NFL for a pair of low-value draft picks, and the Steelers get to move on from a relationship that had become toxic and untenable for all involved.Brown will land atop an Oakland receiving corps that is sorely lacking in playmakers, and he’ll surely become the focal point of the passing attack. But how exactly will the Raiders deploy their new weapon? Under head coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders used West Coast passing concepts extensively in 2018. Quarterback Derek Carr’s average depth of target fell from 8.2 yards in 2017 to 6.9 in 2018 as Gruden reshaped the offense into one built on shorter curl, flat and slant routes that did not try to stretch the field. Under Gruden’s system, Carr’s completion percentage rose to a career high of 68.9 percent, padded in part by the bevy of high-percentage passes he was tasked with throwing. But when we adjust for the shorter, easier passes, Carr still recorded a completion percentage 3 percentage points higher than what we would expect, the first time in Carr’s career that he ascended into positive territory in completion percentage over expected (CPOE).1CPOE adjusts for depth of target by comparing a player’s completion percentage at each depth with league average. The short game under Gruden seems to be under control; instead, where Oakland can use help in the passing game is deep, with patterns like the go route that attack the defense vertically downfield.According to Sports Info Solutions, Antonio Brown was exceptional on go routes last season, catching four touchdowns and accumulating 216 receiving yards on 15 targets on the route. Meanwhile, the Raiders were atrocious targeting go routes over the same period, with Carr throwing two interceptions on just nine attempts. While Carr lacked receiving weapons after the trade of Amari Cooper to Dallas last season, it’s not clear that — even with good receivers — he has the ability to throw a reliable deep ball. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, Carr ranked 26th in Raw QBR on passes thrown 15 yards deep or greater in 2018. On go routes in particular, just four of Carr’s nine pass attempts were deemed catchable. Brown is likely to command more than nine targets on his own next season based on his past production, but Carr will need to do his part delivering the ball to him.There is some hope for Carr deep. He was excellent when targeting seam routes, a type of deep route that is run vertically up the hashes near the middle of the field. According to charting by Sports Info Solutions, 13 of Carr’s 17 pass attempts on seam routes were graded as catchable, and three of those throws went for touchdowns. Carr also threw zero interceptions when targeting players deep up the hashes. However, it’s hard to measure how much Brown offers in Carr’s go-to route: He was targeted on only one seam last season — though he caught it for a 17-yard touchdown.If we look at routes that the Raiders employed frequently and Brown did run more often in Pittsburgh, the new Oakland receiver doesn’t compare that favorably to the production offered by Oakland’s 2018 receiving corps. On slant routes — short patterns run across the middle of the field at an angle — his expected points added (EPA) per play relative to the Raiders’ receivers was pedestrian. Oakland was collectively more than half an expected point better per play on slants than Brown was in Pittsburgh — with Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook and Seth Roberts all more productive on the route. Cook may end up leaving in free agency and could free up some of those targets, but Brown may not be able to make much of an impact in the short-area portion of the Raiders passing game. route nameRaiders receiversAntonio BrownEPA Diff. Seam+0.94+1.80+0.86 Antonio Brown can help the Raiders most on deeper routesExpected points added in the 2018 season by route type for wide receivers on the Oakland Raiders and for Antonio Brown Positive EPA difference reflects routes where Antonio Brown was more productive than the Raiders receivers collectively.Source: Sports Info solutions Dig+0.29-0.20-0.49 Slant+0.61+0.05-0.56 Go-0.11+0.85+0.96 Post+0.27-1.03-1.30 Comeback-0.52+1.27+1.79 Fade-0.17-0.31-0.14 There are also other concerns. Brown was ineffective in the middle of the field in general in 2018, posting negative EPA on digs and posts — two other in-breaking routes. He increasingly ceded targets over the middle to Juju Smith-Schuster, who is bigger, younger and perhaps more eager to put his body on the line for a reception. With no guaranteed money in Brown’s contract, self-preservation could have been a contributing factor to his seeming unwillingness to catch balls over the middle last season. At least that’s what the Raiders are hoping is the case: The alternative — that Brown is declining and no longer able to produce over the middle — is slightly terrifying for a team that just made Brown the highest-paid receiver in the league.Ultimately, how Oakland chooses to optimize around its new weapon will define its 2019 season. The Raiders are a team between homes and lacking a coherent identity. It’s unclear if they are in the midst of a long-term rebuild or if they believe they can field a team that will contend with Kansas City for a division title. Brown is still in his prime, but entering his age-31 season, he’s a player with more productive years behind than in front of him. His final years are probably not best spent with Carr throwing to him. Instead, Gruden and rookie GM Mike Mayock could use their fourth overall pick in the draft on a QB like Kyler Murray — a player who actually can throw deep with accuracy. Such a move would make sense for a franchise looking to build and would leverage Brown’s talents with an eye toward the future. After all, there are few things better for a young QB’s development than the luxury of throwing to a player who is a likely future Hall of Famer and who remains one of the league’s greatest receivers. Flat+0.08+0.40+0.32 Curl+0.20+0.40+0.20 EPA per target Out+0.20+0.52+0.32 From ABC News:
OSU sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey (23) runs with the ball during a game against St. Louis on Aug. 28. OSU won 5-0. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz / Asst. Sports EditorThe Ohio State field hockey team (8-7, 4-3) couldn’t manage to keep pace with a high-powered Northwestern team (11–6, 4-3) during its second-to-last home game of the season on Friday. With an aggressive offensive edge, Northwestern’s Isabel Flens and Pascale Massey each scored once during both periods, respectively, to end the game with a final score of 2-0. Despite the tough loss and being outshot 29-2, the Buckeyes made it a priority to reel in the Wildcats through a strong defensive approach. Sophomore goalie Liz Tamburro tallied 15 total saves, giving her a total of 220 for her career, while sophomore back Caroline Rath added two defensive saves into the mix.The Wildcats’ quick reactions and confidence with ball possession never came to a standstill throughout the entirety of the game. However, the Buckeyes defense made it a priority to halt Northwestern’s movement back upfield with the score staying stagnant at 1-0 going into halftime. OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said that once Northwestern scored nearly 25 minutes in, it was hard to regain momentum.“Northwestern had a great gameplan coming in. They stepped up and played with confidence while we were a step behind,” Wilkinson said. “Once they got into a rhythm, they got us … (going forward) we need to find new ways to attack.”With most of the movement staying on Northwestern’s offensive side for the second half, it was difficult for the Buckeyes to break through for a scoring opportunity. The Buckeyes’ focus on defense wasn’t enough to stop Northwestern from scoring the second and final goal of the game 58 minutes in due to an unassisted shot off rebound from Massey.OSU sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey said the team’s mental motivation had begun to dwindle down as the game neared the end. “We were mentally prepared in the beginning, but once we let them start to play their own game we just sat back and didn’t play ours,” Humphrey said. “I think we lost mentally in the end more than anything.”With the final home game of the season approaching on Sunday, the Buckeyes will need a quick turnaround to evaluate their approach moving forward.Senior co-captain Emma Royce said she thinks creativity could be a catalyst for the quick turnaround.“Credit to Northwestern, I think they scouted us very very well and knew what to expect,” Royce said. “We need to understand (going forward) that the teams are going to know what Ohio State does. We have very specific patents and plays and we need to throw in new creativity and imagination.”Now tied with Northwestern in Big Ten standings for fourth place, OSU has one conference game remaining: No. 11 Michigan on Oct. 31. The Buckeyes are scheduled to host California for the last home game of the season on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Buckeye Varsity Field, with senior honors occurring before the match starts.
Ohio State then-sophomore Marcus McCrary (19) dribbles the ball through a group of Michigan players during a soccer game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, 2015. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State men’s soccer team lost 1-0 in double overtime to Virginia Tech in their first game of the 2016 season. Hokies forward Marcelo Acuna scored the game winner in the 106th minute on a header from eight yards out on a far cross from forward Alessandro Mion. Prior to the start of the game, the Buckeyes held a moment of silence in remembrance of teammate Fikayo Idowu, who tragically passed away this June. The team will wear patches that read “FI14” to honor him.Defense reigned supreme in the match, as neither team was able to find the back of the net through two regulation periods and the first overtime period.“I was pleased with us defensively,” coach John Bluem said. “They came at us with a lot of different things and we fought it off. There were definitely some positives defensively.”Both teams looked sluggish out of the gate, only managing a combined five shots in the first period.The first shot of the game for either team came in the 13th minute after Ohio State sophomore midfielder Abdi Mohamed created space up the middle with a few dribble moves. He then passed it to senior forward Christian Soldat, who fired a shot at net that went right to Hokie goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard. It was the only shot on goal of the half for either team.The Hokies came out firing in the second period, outshooting Ohio State 5-0 early on.Virginia Tech had a good scoring opportunity to start out the period but failed to score on an open net as the shot from forward Som Essome in the 49th minute went wide left.After a yellow card by Hokie midfielder James Kasak in the 83rd minute, Ohio State was given a free kick that senior defender Austin Bergstrom shot high over the net. Both teams had more opportunities in the two overtime periods, but it was Virginia Tech that came out on top.“We get the feeling of playing and understand that this is what a loss feels like,” Bergstrom said. “All the guys have this taste in their mouth and they are never going to want it again.”Ohio State looks to regroup against UC Santa Barbara this Sunday Aug. 28 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.“It’s a little bit bitter to lose late like that but the only thing we can do is talk to the guys and get ready for Sunday,” Bluem said. “There is no reason to panic. It was a tough game. Breaks did not go our way and they got one and we didn’t.”
Ohio State freshman forward Andre Wesson attempts a 3-pointer against Northwestern on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorAfter the injury to junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, freshman forward Andre Wesson has been receiving some valuable minutes off the bench for Ohio State in his first year at the college level.Wesson was a starter throughout his career at Westerville South High School. He averaged 17 points, six rebounds and three assists as the senior leader on route to a 2016 Ohio Division I state title. Now at OSU, he has been asked to be a role player in his first season, but is showing his coaches and teammates alike what his abilities are on the basketball court.After the injury to Bates-Diop, OSU coach Thad Matta has relied on Wesson, not to mimic the highly touted forward, but to play his own style of basketball when his number is called.“I love the way Andre (Wesson) is playing right now,” Matta said. “Kind of coming into his own, and he’s different than Keita (Bates-Diop) but can do some of the same things.”In limited minutes off the bench in Big Ten play, Wesson has averaged 2.6 points per game, with only three rebounds and one assist. However, averaging only 9.7 minutes of playing time, the freshman is third on the team with five steals and has two blocks in conference play.In the Buckeyes’ last game against Minnesota on Wednesday, Wesson played a career-high 19 minutes and was a factor in the 78-72 victory. He connected on 6-of-7 foul shots and nailed a 3 in the second half to extend the lead to eight with 10 minutes remaining.Wesson’s minutes and production has spiked as he becomes more acquainted with the college game.“Just being more comfortable, getting used to the speed of the game,” Wesson said. “That’s probably the thing that has helped. Also, just changing gears a bit more and not playing at one speed. Just slowing down and letting the game slow down.”From what Wesson has done in practice, junior forward Jae’Sean Tate thinks that his production in the actual games will come with time.“He just has to keep getting more comfortable in the game because in practice, I mean when we go scarlet and gray, he dominates. I don’t think he ever misses two shots in a row,” Tate said. “He’s been playing good minutes and has been a big part of our offense and defense when he checks in. We are going to need him to do that and continue to get better.”Going forward, Wesson has some areas of the game where he knows he can improve. When it is all said and done, though, the team comes first.“Probably just being more assertive, being more aggressive on the offensive end,” Wesson said. “Just continuing to just do my job, whatever the team needs me to do to win.”
After securing what Thad Matta called the biggest recruit he’s ever gone after, the Ohio State basketball program introduced former Buckeye player and NBA coach Chris Jent as the latest addition to the OSU’s coaching staff on Wednesday. A native of Sparta, N.J., Jent scored 1,007 career points and was a part of two Big Ten championship teams at OSU from 1988-92. He will fill the opening on Matta’s staff that was created when former assistant coach Brandon Miller resigned two weeks ago to spend more time with his family. Jent said that there were multiple factors he considered before taking the job at OSU. “It was definitely two-headed,” Jent said. “The pull to the university and also to work with coach Matta and his staff allows me to expand my experience in coaching. The fact that it’s my alma mater and a place I have a strong tie to, a strong gut feeling towards, and a great amount of passion to, made it easy.” Jent leaves behind him an assistant coaching and director of player development position with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While in Cleveland, Jent also served as a personal shooting coach to two-time NBA MVP LeBron James. Matta said that he expects Jent’s relationship with the former Cavaliers star to work to his advantage as he will be attempting to recruit players for the first time in his career. “It’s no secret that Chris was one of the best in the NBA at making players better,” Matta said. “I don’t know if I could have got anybody better in the country than what he’s going to bring to the table in that regard.” When Jent’s playing career at OSU ended in 1992, the 6-foot-7 Jent played professionally in the Continental Basketball Association and in Spain before he was signed by the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 1994. Jent won the 1994 NBA title later that season. After playing in a combined 14 regular season and playoff games for the Rockets, Jent returned to the CBA, and also played professionally in Australia and Italy before returning to the NBA when he signed with the New York Knicks in 1997. Jent played in three games for the Knicks and ended his playing career in 2001 after additional stints in Italy, Greece, and the United States Basketball League. Jent signed on to become an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2000–04 NBA season before taking a similar role with Orlando Magic in 2004–05. Jent compiled a 5–13 record as the interim head coach of the Magic after former head coach Johnny Davis was fired. Following his lone season with the Magic, Jent returned to Columbus to complete his degree at OSU. It was there that he first met Matta, and served as an unofficial assistant to the team. Jent said that he walked away from OSU impressed by the culture that Matta had created around the program in just his second year as the Buckeyes’ head coach. “At that time, I saw a group of driven individuals that really cared for one another,” Jent said. “Ten kids were in uniform and none of them missed a practice. They didn’t miss one practice. And that just showed how much they care for another.” Jent said that leaving Cleveland for his alma mater and the two-time defending Big Ten champions was a tough call. “Outside of real life decisions, this is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Jent said. “Loved every day I went to work (in Cleveland). For me to leave that, it could only have been this type of situation.” Dan Wallenberg, spokesman for OSU athletics, confirmed to The Lantern that Jent’s contract is not complete. The Buckeyes have not released their schedule for the upcoming season. Tyler Robinson contributed to this article.
The 29th time wasn’t the charm for the Northwestern men’s basketball team. For long stretches of the Wildcats game against Ohio State Thursday night, though, it looked like it might be. Winless in its last 28 trips to Columbus, Northwestern (13-12, 4-8) yet again fell victim to OSU (18-6, 8-4 Big Ten), 69-59. With the win, the Buckeyes, coming off losses to Indiana and Michigan, avoided their first three-game losing streak since February 2009. Northwestern didn’t fall without a fight, however, leading for most of the game before OSU pulled away late on a 17-5 run. “In today’s day and age, this is a heck of a win for us,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. Playing a zone defense because of a worry that they would get into foul trouble otherwise-Northwestern had just seven healthy scholarship players-the Wildcats stagnated the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Deshaun Thomas, and his team’s offense. “My center, he averages about three fouls every 10 minutes. I’m serious. I knew he couldn’t play one-on-one. Staying out of foul trouble was a major concern,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. Thomas, who leads the conference in scoring with more than 20 points per game, had just five points at halftime. Thomas showed up in a big way in the game’s decisive moments, though. He scored 15 points in the game’s final nine minutes. “Shots weren’t falling that I normally make,” the junior forward said. “I showed a lot of maturity tonight. When my teammates needed me, I got it done.” One teammate was there for Thomas when he wasn’t feeling it. Junior guard Aaron Craft spoke to Thomas multiple times during the game’s first 30 minutes-in which Thomas had just seven points-and told him to keep his head in the game. Matta told Thomas to listen to his fellow veteran teammate. “He’ll get you through,” Matta said to Thomas. The reason Thomas said he was frustrated, however, was because of how Northwestern was playing on offense. Nearly everything was falling for the Wildcats in the game’s opening twenty minutes. The No. 13-ranked Buckeyes went into halftime tied with the Wildcats, who had only nine players in uniform because of various injuries and suspension, 30-30. “That’s who Northwestern is. When they’re making shots, they’ve a very good basketball team,” Craft said, who finished with seven points, including two critical late buckets. For twenty minutes, Northwestern’s stingy zone defense frustrated the Buckeyes. On the other end of the floor, the Wildcats were patient, many times waiting until the shot clock was set to expire before firing a shot. They usually converted, too, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half, capped by a banked 3-pointer at the buzzer from freshman guard Tre Demps. “Every time you play these guys it’s a grind. It weighs on you more mentally than physically,” Craft said, speaking of Northwestern’s tendency to try to slow the pace down. OSU made an emphasis to attack the paint in the second half. They were successful, getting the ball to sophomore center Amir Williams down low on back-to-back possessions to start the game’s final half, who converted both times. The Buckeyes got hot from deep as well, with sophomore forward Sam Thompson and Craft each hitting 3-pointers early. But Northwestern wasn’t going away. Every time OSU looked like it might go on a pull-away run-after Craft’s three or following a block in transition by sophomore guard Shannon Scott or when Thomas had a two-handed slam on a breakaway-the Wildcats had an answer. The Schottenstein Center’s crowd was on its feet for a majority of the second half, clapping and cheering in hopes to push the Buckeyes over the figurative hump. Northwestern’s bench was on its feet in jubiliation a lot though, too. OSU took the lead on three separate occasions in the second half’s first 15 minutes. Each time it happened, Northwestern got back in front. The Wildcats used 3-pointers (NU made 11) to counter the Buckeyes’ athleticism on defense. The fourth time OSU took the lead, they did it for good. Northwestern had its chances, possibly best highlighted by a missed layup by senior guard Reggie Hearn that sat on the rim for nearly three seconds, but the Buckeyes’ defense rose to the occasion. Matta used a small lineup featuring Thomas as the tallest player on the court down the stretch, and it worked, allowing OSU to press and trap the Wildcats. That lineup helped Thomas on the offensive end, too, allowing him to post-up on the slower, less athletic Wildcat big men. “It was all going to be on the defense, in terms of what we had to get done defensively and defend the 3s,” Matta said. OSU is set to play at Wisconsin on Sunday at 1 p.m. This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Correction: February 15, 2013 An earlier version of this story said that the Buckeyes have won against the Wildcats in their last 28 meetings at the Schottenstein Center. In fact, OSU has a 10-0 record against the Wildcats in the Schottenstein Center and have won the last 29 played on the Buckeyes’ home court.
Redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby walks out of the tunnel in sweatpants before the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium. OSU lost, 40-35.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhen it comes to sports, anyone who watches and cheers for a particular player or team has the opportunity to formulate their own opinions.Some teams and players get more attention than others, and when it came to the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes, it is difficult to find a player more widely criticized or loved than redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby.Upon taking the field on Senior Day Nov. 23 before the Buckeyes took on Indiana, Roby was subjected to a loud mix of both cheers and boos from Buckeye Nation.Just three days before, OSU coach Urban Meyer confirmed that Roby, a projected first-round pick by CBSSports, would forego his final year of eligibility.This seemed to only be the beginning of what has become an enthralling saga of OSU’s star cornerback.After suffering a knee injury late in his team’s 34-24 loss in Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State Dec. 7, the All-American’s status was unclear for the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson. Roby ultimately did not suit up against the Tigers because of the injury, resulting in backlash from OSU fans on social media.Fans berated Roby before, during and after the Orange Bowl on Twitter, and the name-calling has continued, to some fans still calling him a p—- and saying he quit on his team as recent as Monday.Roby offered a stern response early Saturday morning on Twitter.“The fact that people tweeting at me sayin all this negativity is crazy to me,” the tweet, published after 1 a.m., read. “It makes me ashamed to even have played for y’all.”Not everything was negative, though, as Roby sent another tweet just two minutes later thanking members of the OSU fan base for their support.“To the true fans I truly appreciate it the support you have given me and this team over the years,” the tweet read.The disrespect toward Roby was so bad that ESPN college football analyst and former Buckeye quarterback Kirk Herbstreit offered his support.“Hey man. I’m sorry you or any player has to be subjected to ridiculous fans like that. Keep ur head up & stay positive,” Herbstreit’s tweet sent to Roby’s personal account, @BradRoby_1, read.No one will ever know if Roby’s presence on the field against the Tigers during the Orange Bowl would have given OSU what it needed to win the game. But his replacement, sophomore cornerback Armani Reeves, was beaten by Clemson junior wide receiver Martavis Bryant for two touchdowns in the game.Regardless of what everyone was saying about him playing or not, Roby responded with yet another tweet later Saturday, giving thanks to those fans who supported him.“S/O to the REAL Buckeyenation for showing so much love,” the tweet read. “We truly have the best fans in the land! And I enjoyed playing for you.”Whether Roby will have a successful NFL career remains to be seen, but as he and OSU’s season came to a close early Saturday morning, he surely left his mark.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) greets coach Urban Meyer after a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 in Minneapolis. OSU won, 31-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorLess than two hours after redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the sixth time, coach Urban Meyer said Barrett’s name is in the Heisman Trophy conversation.Meyer spoke to the media during his weekly Monday luncheon and addressed Barrett, the Buckeyes’ 31-24 win against Minnesota last Saturday and an upcoming game against Indiana. He also took note of exactly what a potential return trip to the Big Ten Championship Game means for OSU.On Barrett“He’s a Heisman candidate,” Meyer said of Barrett. The third-year OSU coach has had players in the Heisman conversation in the past, including one winner (Tim Tebow) while at Florida.He said the Wichita Falls, Texas, native is in the conversation, but could’ve played much better against Minnesota despite racking up 389 yards and four total touchdowns.Meyer said Barrett’s 86-yard touchdown was a called quarterback run, but many of his carries are scrambles.“If it’s not there, he puts his foot in the ground and gets six yards,” Meyer said of Barrett’s scrambling ability.He said the Rider High School product does a good job of getting to the ground and avoiding big hits.UpdatesMeyer said senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, redshirt-junior tight end Nick Vannett, redshirt-senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin, Barrett and sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott graded out as champions against the Golden Gophers.He said Vannett has “earned some more playing time.”He said senior wide receiver Evan Spencer was the offensive player of the game for OSU.Meyer said junior linebacker Joshua Perry, senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett, redshirt-freshman cornerback Eli Apple and senior cornerback Doran Grant graded as champions on defense.He said he’ll nominate Grant for All-Big Ten consideration.Two sophomores — safety Vonn Bell and defensive lineman Joey Bosa — were OSU’s defensive players of the game, Meyer said.He added that Heuerman was the special teams player of the week.Meyer said it’s “great to come back home” after a two-game road trip. He added that the Buckeyes should have redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn back for Indiana.He said OSU hasn’t lost confidence in redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall despite a pair of fumbles last week.Meyer said he’s “having a lot of fun coaching this team.”When asked about a potential future restructuring of the College Football Playoff format, Meyer said: “We play Indiana, man, I’m not sure.”On Indiana junior running back Tevin Coleman, Meyer said: “I see his stats are ridiculous.” Coleman had 307 rushing yards in a loss to Rutgers last weekend.He added that Coleman is “the threat, the No. 1 threat on their team.”“I can’t imagine a team works harder on tackling than we do,” Meyer said about his defense in practice.He said junior defensive lineman Tommy Schutt is close to earning more playing time “but he’s got to play better.”“I want a real aggressive team that’s not afraid of making mistakes, and I think we have that,” Meyer said of the Buckeyes. OSU had three turnovers against Minnesota.Meyer said Apple has come a long way since he arrived in Columbus. “He was not what we wanted when we signed him,” he said.Meyer said the Buckeyes’ goal hasn’t changed: “We wake up everyday to compete for championships in November.”He added that the team as a whole has come a long way since August. “We are lights out a better football team than we were at the beginning of the year,” he said.Meyer said he doesn’t know enough to call the Buckeyes a top-four team, but said he knows they are one win away from locking up a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game.He said crediting the weather for mistakes against Minnesota is a “dog ate my homework excuse.”Meyer said earning a trip back to the Big Ten title game is “everything” for the Buckeyes.OSU is scheduled to take on the Hoosiers on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.
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 study, which involved 270 from the areas around Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes, found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon. It did not matter what species of bird they were watching. Last night, University of Exeter research fellow Dr Daniel Cox, who led the study, said: “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being.”The researchers, who included academics from the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland, also found that those who spend less time outdoors than they are used to are more likely to report they feel anxious or depressed. You don’t have to be a professional bird watcher to benefit from the lower levels of depression, anxiety and stressCredit:Matt Cardy/Getty Images Officer workers can de-stress by watching birds out of their window, a study has suggested after it found it makes people less anxious and depressed. Being able to see birds, shrubs and trees can help mental health, even if people are not in a rural area, the academics found. The positive association between birds, shrubs and trees and better mental health applied, even after controlling for variation in neighbourhood deprivation, household income, age and a wide range of other socio-demographic factors.Dr Cox added: “Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.”Previous studies put the change in well-being down to the fact people feel relaxed and connected to nature when looking at birds and trees. The research was published in the Bioscience journal. This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-beingDr Daniel Cox, who led the study
It is known that repeated exposure to external stresses such as noise, pollution and crowded areas can lead to a range of long term physical illnesses and behavioural issues. Recent studies have found links between noise and heart related diseases. The research was published in the journal Information Fusion. Noisy cities could damage heart healthCredit:Anna Berkut / Alamy Stock Photo The team are also calling for decision-makers to develop, implement and improve guidelines and standards to protect public health around urban spaces.“Repeated human exposure to environmental pollutants such as noise, air pollution, traffic or even crowded areas can cause severe health problems ranging from headaches and sleep disturbance to heart disease,” added Dr Kanjo.“Many people live in and around urban areas and every day will walk along city streets and get around by cars, trains or buses.“It’s important that the issue of noise is considered when designing city landscapes. Most importantly, local authorities should look at the multiple environmental factors that might affect our health at street level.” The cacophony of noise town centres could trigger heart problems, a new study suggests, after scientists found that fluctuating sounds on busy high streets disturb normal cardiac rhythms.Researchers from Nottingham Trent University found that constant changes in noise – even at low levels – had an immediate and disruptive effect on the patterns of participants’ normal heart rates.The team says their findings add to a growing body of research which shows how our everyday surroundings could have wider implications for long-term health.For the study, shoppers were asked to wear mobile body sensors to monitor their heart rates as they moved about Nottingham city centre for 45 minutes.“We found that rapid changes in noise resulted in rapid disturbance to the normal rhythm of participants’ hearts,” said researcher Dr Eiman Kanjo of Nottingham Trent’s School of Science and Technology.“If this pattern is repeated regularly then there is a danger it might lead to cardiovascular problems.” But the study is the first to use sensors to attempt to model the short-term impact that city environments can have upon the human body.The researchers, from the university’s School of Science and Technology, also found that air pressure had an effect on heart rate as well as an impact upon body temperature.Environmental data including noise, air pressure and light levels were compared to data from participants relating to heart rate, body temperature and movement and changes in the electrodermal activities of the skin.None of the participants had heart problems, but the researchers say it would be useful to study whether people with heart conditions suffered a greater impact. 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.
His short life caused waves abroad. Donald Trump weighed in, tweeting his support for the child’s parents. So too did Pope Francis. In the US, Charlie’s parents’ battle became a political stick used by the American Right to undermine ‘socialised medicine’ at a time when the Trump administration has been attempting to overturn Obamacare. Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son CharlieCredit:PA The heartrending case of the 11-month-old baby has both gripped and divided a nation. Great Ormond Street Hospital, the world renowned children’s hospital, had gone to court to request his life support be withdrawn; Mr Gard, a postman, and Ms Yates, a carer for young adults with learning difficulties, had argued for him to be given the chance of experimental therapy. As parents, they felt they knew what was best for their child; the hospital, and in the end, the courts felt otherwise. Back in the High Court, Mr Justice Francis again rejected the parents’ appeal to be allowed to take Charlie to new York. Prof Hirano said scans showed his muscles had deteriorated so badly there was no hope. Ms Yates and Mr Gard accused the hospital of causing delay that meant they were too late to intervene to save Charlie.Even then it wasn’t the end of it. Further court hearings were held to decide how he should die. The parents wanted a week at home in their flat with Charlie. Instead, they got a few hours in a hospice in London. Chris Gard and Connie Yates leave the Royal Courts of JusticeCredit: AFP It is understood a paediatric intensive care team took Charlie to the hospice with his parents in an ambulance. He was brought into the hospice and kept alive for a few hours on a ventilator. Morphine, to relive any possible pain, was administered via an intravenous drip.At a predetermined time, a paediatric intensivist – specialising in care for children with serious illnesses – gently pulled back the tape holding in place the breathing tube connecting Charlie’s lungs to the ventilator.The tube would then have been removed. Charlie’s lungs are unable to work without the artificial ventilator; he doesn’t have the muscle strength. Death would have taken minutes. Show more Charlie Gard has passed away. He died in a hospice, a week short of his first birthday.At just after 6.30 this evening, his mother, Connie Yates, announced: “Our beautiful little boy has gone”. The breathing tube attached to a ventilator had been removed. He is thought to have died a few minutes later.Ms Yates and Charlie’s father Chris Gard were at his bedside, their last precious hours spent with him after a tortuous legal battle fought in vain – first to try to prolong his life; and then in the past week to gain an extra day or two with their “sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy”. A banner is hung on a fence as supporters of of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard protest outside the High Court Credit:Carl Court/Getty Images “It’s as if Charlie is being sentenced to death,” explained Ms Yates. A month later, Mr Justice Francis had sided with the hospital in its plea to let Charlie “die with dignity”. The judge has to decide what course of action to take in the child’s best interests. It’s not enough to know what the parents want; Charlie has to come first in the law. The judge decided his life support be switched off.It wasn’t the end of it. The parents kept fighting, showing a remarkable tenacity just as Charlie was showing in remaining alive.They took their case to the Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court followed by the European Court of Human Rights. They lost at every turn.But on July 3, the American president following on the tails of the Pope got involved. He tweeted his support and then the White House telephoned Prof Hirano and requested he call Great Ormond Street. Born on August 4 last year, Charlie was diagnosed with the incurable disease in the autumn when his parents realised he was losing weight and strength. He was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital and never returned to the family home in Bedfont, west London.Throughout the ensuing ordeal, his parents moved out too and into a flat around the corner from the hospital provided by the trust for families in desperate need. His parents were told by specialists as long ago as November “that all his organs would fail”. Ms Yates said experts told her then he had “only days” to live.Ms Yates began exploring treatments and discovered an American doctor Michio Hirano, an eminent professor of neuroscience at Columbia University in New York, who was developing a therapy for children with a similar – but not exactly the same – mitochondrial condition. The hospital, fearing further legal action, including a possible private criminal prosecution, went back to court to ask the judge to hear alleged new evidence from Prof Hirano.A team of American pro-life campaigners travelled to London to back Charlie’s parents. Their fight for his life had become a proper cause celebre. More than £1.3 million was raised to pay for the treatment and care. The fund will now be used to help other children in similar positions to Charlie. It will be called the Charlie Gard Foundation. The hospital began exploring the option but in January Charlie suffered a series of seizures that continued for 17 days. GOSH determined Charlie had suffered irreversible, structural brain damage and that there was no hope for him. His parents refused to give up hope. The ground was set for a bitter, drawn out legal battle. In March, the parents went public on the eve of a first, preliminary High Court hearing expressing their terrible anguish. At the heart of the row was a little boy. Charlie had been born with a rare genetic illness – mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome – for which there is no cure. Charlie’s short life was over. But his life and subsequent death had touched hearts and prompted a furious debate. Ms Yates had said in a statement just a few days ago: “Charlie has had a greater impact on and touched more people in this world in his 11 months than many people do in a life time. We could not have more love and pride for our beautiful boy.”Today in her statement she said again: “We are so proud of you Charlie.”The couple will now have to get on with life as best they can. Without, sadly, Charlie in it. Connie Yates, mother of critically ill baby Charlie Gard, wears pendant in honour of her son as she arrives at the Royal Court of Justice in LondonCredit:AP Photo/Frank Augstein 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’s 15 years since Ian Huntley murdered Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in a crime that shocked the nation. After killing the two girls in August 2002, Huntley repeatedly lied to the media – alongside his fiancee Maxine Carr – before being arrested two weeks after the ten year-olds were reported missing. What happened to Holly and Jessica? 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. While Huntley was sentenced to 40 years behind bars for the murders in 2002 and is not eligible for parole until 2042, Carr was released in 2004. After slipping out unnoticed of the Wells home after a Sunday barbecue on 4 August 2002, Holly and Jessica went wandering around the streets of Soham, the small Cambridgeshire town where they lived….
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. Mr Todd said he believed the case would also encourage other patients who had been denied funding for other drugs to appeal. “This case may well serve to highlight the fact that it is possible for patients to access funding through appealing through this procedure, where there are exceptional circumstances,” he said. A High Court judge has overruled the NHS’s decision to deny a life-changing drug to an autistic boy, in a ruling which the family’s lawyer said would lead to “scores” more patients challenging the health service. The NHS should review its decision not to fund the drug for the seven-year-old boy, known as S, who is suffering from a rare condition which makes him intolerant to protein, Mrs Justice Andrews ruled. His autism means he struggles to stick to the special diet which forms the standard treatment for the disease, called Phenylketonuria or PKU, so his doctors sought funding for the drug, Kuvan, which would allow him to eat a more standard diet. But the appeal was refused by the NHS, leaving S at risk of the consequences of poorly controlled PKU, including brain damage, his counsel Ian Wise QC told the High Court.The judge quashed the NHS’s decision, ruling that the health service had been wrong to decide that the drug was not effective enough to be funded. She ruled that there was “no room for a rational conclusion that Kuvan is not clinically effective or that the evidence of its clinical effectiveness (for the precise purposes for which it is sought to be used here) is insufficient”. The judgment does not automatically mean that the child will receive the drug, she warned. But Peter Todd, of law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, who represented the family in the case, said it would be “wholly extraordinary” if the NHS continued to refuse funding. He added that he expected “scores” more families to come forward to apply for the drug as a result of the judgment. A spokesman for NHS England said: “We note that the judge accepted that NHS England had met its statutory duties under the Children Act and rejected the assertion that NHS England was acting in breach of the Human Rights Act. “While the outcome of this case is limited to the particular circumstances of this funding request and does not have any wider implications for how NHS England makes decisions regarding the funding of treatments, we will of course take a further look at the individual funding request in question in the light of any further information provided to us.”The funding policy for Kuvan is currently under a routine review, but an outcome is not expected “for some time”, the court heard. A spokeswoman for charity NSPKU said the drug was “an established treatment that has been available in the EU since 2008. It is already widely used in almost every other European country outside the UK, including lower income countries such as Bulgaria and Turkey.”
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 had senior level discussions with the contractor to emphasise the importance of the work, following which they have added to their team. “The contractor will only receive full payment for the work when we are satisfied.”The pilot, which was due to be implemented in Liverpool, Leeds and Kingston-Upon-Thames crown courts, follows a successful scheme for other vulnerable witnesses, mainly children, which was due to be rolled out across more widely this autumn. This has also been delayed because of the technical issues. The Ministry of Justice was unable to say how long the schemes would be delayed for, or what exactly the “quality issues” were. Liz Truss’s plan to allow rape victims to pre-record their evidence before a trial has been delayed because the technology doesn’t work properly. The Ministry of Justice had planned to begin a pilot allowing victims of rape be cross-examined ahead of a trial on tape to save them the trauma of coming to court as part of a £1bn scheme to modernise the court system.But the pilot, which was due to be introduced in three crown courts in September, has been delayed after problems arose with the quality of the videos. In a letter sent to Bob Neill, chair of the Justice Select Committee, Justice Minister Dr Philip Lee said: “In the testing of the upgraded technology that will record and playback the cross examination, some quality issues have arisen. “I want to ensure that all these are completely resolved before we go ahead.”In March the then-Justice Secretary Liz Truss was criticised by then-Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd after she announced that the scheme would be rolled out nationally from September.He said this was a “serious misapprehension” as the scheme would only run on a pilot basis initially.A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “Some quality issues have arisen during testing, which must be completely resolved so we get it right for the most vulnerable victims who come through the court system.
It is thought that William and Kate, who is pregnant with her third child, will not take their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to the Christmas Day church service.Where will Meghan and Harry stay at Christmas?There is speculation that Harry and his bride-to-be might stay with the Cambridges at their nearby home, Anmer Hall.But if they are accommodated by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham, they will follow a German tradition observed by generations of the royal family. Prince Harry meeting members of the public as he attended the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham in 2016Credit:Chris Jackson /Getty Their appearance at St Mary Magdalene Church’s morning service on the royal estate is a traditional event where they meet well-wishers.Back at the house, lunch is served at 1pm and they indulge in a giant turkey, reared at Sandringham.They then settle down to watch TV, including – most importantly – the Queen’s Christmas Speech. Christmas Day walkabout a chance to meet publicThe event also usually attracts hundreds of well-wishers who watch the royal party walk from Sandringham House to the nearby St Mary Magdalene Church, and make the return journey after the Christmas Day service is over.Members of the royal family usually go on an impromptu walkabout, chatting to local residents, and this could be another opportunity for Ms Markle to meet more of the British public. Christmas at Sandringham is likely to be the first of many for the American actress, who will wed Harry sometime in May in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.During a television interview to mark their engagement, Harry and Meghan revealed that the former actress had met the Queen.But if she has not been introduced to the rest of the family, the Christmas gathering will be the opportunity to chat to the Princess Royal, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke of York and his daughters, who are all expected to attend. The former Suits star was also a big hit with the Queen’s beloved corgis, with the prince joking: “I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at; this one walks in, absolutely nothing…”Traditions of a Royal Christmas at SandringhamThe traditions and customs followed by the royal family at Christmas are likely to come as a surprise to Meghan Markle.While most people across the country open their presents on Christmas Day, the royal family still keep to the German practice of opening their gifts on Christmas Eve.The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other royals usually congregate in the White Drawing Room at Sandringham House the day before Christmas to put the finishing touches to a 20ft (6m) tree cut from the estate.Presents are placed on a white linen-covered trestle table, with cards marking exactly where the piles of gifts should be put.And what should Ms Markle buy the woman who is head of state and lives in palaces? Something useful as the Queen apparently likes practical presents, but not overly extravagant ones.The Duchess of Cambridge revealed that she was left stumped over what to buy the Queen for Christmas.”I thought ‘I’ll make her something’. Which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny’s recipe of chutney.” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the day their engagement was announcedCredit:Chris Jackson /Getty At 5pm, guests enjoy tea, scones, sandwiches and cakes from sideboards in the Saloon. Afterwards, they dress for dinner, with the table set with the finest china. Meghan Markle will join the Queen and other senior members of the Royal family for Christmas at Sandringham, Kensington Palace has confirmed.Ms Markle and fiance Prince Harry will be seen in public with other royals when they attend the traditional Christmas Day church service on the Queen’s private estate in Norfolk.The couple got engaged on November 27 and a few days later a proud Harry introduced his bride-to-be to the nation during a series of official events in Nottingham.Buckingham Palace has said the Queen and other members of the royal family will join the congregation for the morning service at St Mary Magdalene Church on December 25.A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day.” A few months into the relationship, Harry said he had to have “some pretty frank conversations” with Meghan about how her life may change when she entered the royal family.He added: “But I know that at the end of the day she chooses me, and I choose her, and therefore whatever we have to tackle together or individually we’ll always be us together as a team, so I think she’s capable… she’s capable of anything.” The couple disclosed that Ms Markle had met the Queen twice, an individual she described as an “incredible woman”. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla lead members of the Royal family as they attend the Christmas Day church service last yearCredit:PHIL NOBLE /Reuters The Queen shelters from the rain during the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham in 2015 Credit:Chris Jackson /Getty Christmas presents are opened on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day, a legacy of the German heritage of the monarchy.’All the stars were aligned’: How the couple metAfter announcing their engagement, the couple gave an insight into their 16-month romance in a BBC interview – and described how they met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend. Ms Markle will be separated from Harry later in the evening as, sometime after 10pm, on a signal from the Queen, the corgis are led out and the ladies adjourn, leaving the Duke of Edinburgh to serve port or brandy to the men.On Christmas Day, the royals awake to find stockings filled with small gifts and fruit at the foot of their beds. Ms Markle told how she could not wait to say “yes” to the prince when Harry got down on one knee a few weeks ago as they cooked a roast chicken dinner at his home, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.Indicating the depths of his feeling for his bride-to-be, Prince Harry said: “The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was sort of confirmation to me that everything, all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect.”It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life.” Full interview: Harry and Meghan reveal engagement joy 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.