ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The women’s tennis tour approved rule changes Monday that are meant to ensure players are not penalized after they return from pregnancy or an injury that causes a long absence.The changes were prompted, in part, by the experiences of former No. 1 players Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, both of whom returned to competition after giving birth.Serena Williams returns a shot against Krystyna Pliskova during their first-round match of the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France. T(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)The WTA announced that players returning to the tour may use a special ranking for up to three years after the birth of a child, and the exemption can be used for seedings at big events.Williams, who owns an Open-era record 23 Grand Slam singles titles, was unseeded at this year’s French Open in her first major since the birth of her daughter — despite having won the previous major she played, the 2017 Australian Open. Williams was seeded 25th at Wimbledon and 17th at the U.S. Open, and she reached the finals and lost at both of those majors.Players who return from an injury that keeps them out of competition for a year or longer may use a special ranking in 12 tournaments. No player will be bumped from her earned seeded position.“These changes,” WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon said, “are designed to fully support players in their return to competition, while maintaining the highest standards of athletic competition and fairness.”The tour also said it will ensure women at WTA tournaments “are not penalized or prohibited from wearing leggings or compression shorts without a skirt, dress or shorts over them.”Williams wore a black bodysuit at the French Open, where she pulled out with an injury before the fourth round. Williams said she wore the compression suit because of a history of blood clots, including after childbirth.This fall, the president of the French Tennis Federation said Williams could no longer wear the black bodysuit at the French Open.Azarenka, a member of the WTA Players’ Council, said she wants to make sure the WTA is “the most progressive and inclusive association in sports.”“Our players should feel comfortable and confident to take time away from the courts to have a family or recover from injury,” Azarenka said.
OSU redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett (16) carries the ball while redshirt senior tight end Nick Vannett (81) looks for a defender to block during a game against Michigan on Nov. 28. OSU won, 42-13. Credit: Samantha Hollinshead | Photo EditorFor most of the season, the Ohio State offense seemed to have a flat tire. It was moving forward, but something was present that hampered it from rolling at its expected pace.Then, against Michigan State last week, the wheels fell off.The offense sputtered to just 132 yards in a puncturing loss, leaving behind a storm cloud of questions about what was vitiating a unit with so much talent. Amid the aftermath, OSU coach Urban Meyer seemed to stumble upon a solution. It had nothing to do with someone wearing shoulder pads or a helmet. Rather, it lied with those wearing headsets. The fix? Moving offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner from the sideline up to the coaches box for a better vantage point in calling plays.It might be a small sample size, but judging off Saturday’s 42-13 shellacking of 10th-ranked Michigan, it worked.“He did a marvelous job,” Meyer said of Warinner. “We had to make the move … On Tuesday, I just said, ‘We’re going to do this.’” The decision to alter Warinner’s gameday location might appear to be past due after the offense’s struggles throughout parts of the year, but there are reasons for its late arrival. It is Warinner’s first season with the title “offensive coordinator” in front of his name after former offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Tom Herman left Columbus for a head-coaching job at Houston. Tim Beck was brought in from Nebraska to coach quarterbacks and be co-offensive coordinator. For much of the early going, Beck, Warinner and Meyer all collaborated through the headsets on gameday about play-calling, with Beck being upstairs. With the loss of a key coach, especially one of Herman’s abilities, growing pains should be present as the coaches settle on gameday roles. For the defending national champions, it just so happened that the growth took some time. The other main reason, Meyer said, was because of Warinner’s job as the offensive line coach. “To coach all five guys, and call a game, to be involved in the play calling — that’s tough,” Meyer said. “It’s difficult. You can only do that with a veteran offensive line.”Fortunately for the Buckeyes, a veteran offensive line is exactly what they have. Four of the five starters were on the O-line that engineered massive holes down the stretch en route to winning the title. The only new starter — right tackle Chase Ferris — happens to be a fifth-year senior. Without having its position coach on the sideline, concerns over how the offensive line is to deal with in-game adjustments are valid. It just took hitting rock bottom against the Spartans for the coaching staff to confront those concerns. To fill his void during the game, Warinner said tight end coach Tim Hinton traded the warmth of the coaches box for a spot on the sideline. In addition, they also relied heavily on graduate assistant and former NFL offensive lineman Jim Cordle and senior center Jacoby Boren.Warinner was heavy in his praise for Cordle and Boren, noting that he communicated with Boren a few times over the headset when he had comments or concerns. “Jacoby understands what everybody does,” Warinner said. “I knew that if something was going on that we needed to make adjustments, that we could just call him and he would understand.” Since a way to address all the concerns had been concocted, it allowed Warinner to go upstairs, where play calling becomes easier because of increased vision of the field. With that addition, it allowed the Buckeyes to play up-tempo for sustained periods of time.“Part of playing fast is, ‘What’s the next call? Is it second-and-10, or second-and-5?’” Warinner said. “The situations, you see them. You don’t have to wait for someone to tell you. You just see it all and go.” With its new set of wheels and a reduced operation time, the offense sure did go, racking up 482 yards, 369 of which came on the ground. At one point, it scored touchdowns on five of six possessions. The up-tempo scheme worked, as the Michigan defense became notably fatigued as the game worn on. “You saw what happened when he went up there and called the plays today,” senior left tackle Taylor Decker said. “He’s a very capable coach and that criticism he was taking was unwarranted … The game plan wasn’t very complicated. It was very simple but it was high execution.” Warinner said he was “real comfortable” up in the coaches box, noting that during early stops in his career, he called plays from upstairs. He also said the transition to working alongside Beck during the game was “very smooth.” Because of the offense’s success against the Wolverines, there is reason to believe Warinner will remain upstairs for whatever postseason play comes the Buckeyes’ way. But the coach was quick to deny it was a permanent. He instead tried to deflect attention off his migration to the coaches box to the players and their performance.“It’s real gratifying for our team, our players, for the whole program when you win this game,” Warinner said. “It’s all about that, it’s not about me or do I feel better. Sure, I feel better because we won. Anything after that is fine but, it’s for the kids.”
After the decommitment of Tyjon Lindsey earlier this week, and the announcement of former wide receiver Torrance Gibson’s transfer to Cincinnati, the Ohio State football team has landed another recruit to play wideout. This time, the commitment comes from Ohio native and four-star receiver Jaylen Harris.Harris, hailing from Cleveland Heights, is the sixth-ranked wide receiver in the state of Ohio, according to 247Sports.com. He joins the likes of Josh Myers, Brendon White, Amir Riep and Marcus Williamson as top Ohio players to make the decision to play in Columbus.OSU scooped up Harris over the likes of Michigan State and Penn State. The big-bodied wide receiver brings a height advantage in nearly every matchup, standing at 6-foot-5, according to 247Sports.com.Harris is just the second wide receiver commit from the 2017 class for OSU, and the 19th verbal commitment the Buckeyes have received for this year’s class. He joins Trevon Grimes as incoming freshman receivers who could receive a role in Urban Meyer’s team next season.The C O M M I T M E N T#HolyHungryHumblehttps://t.co/jtLthKf3b5— Jaylen Harris (@JHarris5_) January 13, 2017
Ohio State did not have a special teams coordinator in Urban Meyer’s first season as coach, but it will next season. OSU announced Friday that Kerry Coombs, who is also the team’s cornerbacks coach, has been promoted to special teams coordinator.“Kerry Coombs is an excellent coach who has a great deal of experience and expertise with special teams,” Meyer said in a press release. “He is an outstanding teacher, an excellent motivator and he has a true passion for special teams.”Before joining Meyer’s staff as cornerbacks coach last May, Coombs was the special teams coordinator at Cincinnati from 2009-2011, and was their defensive backs coach from 2007-2011. Prior to Cincinnati, Coombs coached from 1983-2006 within the state of Ohio at the high school level.“I am incredibly excited and honored to be given the responsibility of special teams coordinator,” Coombs said in a press release. “The special teams have always been a part of the game that I have enjoyed coaching. These plays are so critical to the success of a team, and they can really swing momentum. I look forward to having an increased role in the development of them.”Coombs will continue to coach OSU’s cornerbacks in addition to his new role.Without a special teams coordinator last season, the Buckeyes blocked three extra points, two punts and a field goal, but also had three punts blocked.The Buckeyes scored two punt return touchdowns and one touchdown off punt blocks last season, but gave up four special teams touchdowns (two punt returns, one kickoff return, one blocked punt).
The OSU baseball team celebrates during a game against Northwestern on March 27 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won 5-4. Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State baseball team was struggling near the midseason mark last year to find consistent success in Big Ten conference play. Before playing Purdue from April 29 to May 1, the team was sitting at 5-7 against conference opponents and seemed to be treading water.A three-game sweep on the road against the Boilermakers helped turn the tide for the Buckeyes’ season, as they finished 15-9 in Big Ten games and wound up winning the tournament.With the team winless in conference play after getting swept by Minnesota, coach Greg Beals and the Buckeyes (10-14, 0-3) are hoping to get back on track this season by again finding success against Purdue to get back on track.“Looking forward to Purdue this week. Yeah, that was absolutely a turning point in our season last year,” Beals said. “We went there and we swept the series, and we’d certainly love to do that again this weekend. But I think it’s critical that we go one game at a time and attack it one game at a time and take care of the things that are in the moment.”Redshirt senior starting pitcher Jake Post watched last year’s team struggle early before finding success against Purdue and believes that all it takes is one strong weekend to help propel the team.“Last year at this time, we kind of had it tough. We were kind of battling out, seeing what pieces fit where,” Post said. “In reality, that was the first Big Ten weekend of the year. We got time to adjust, and I think this weekend against an opponent like Purdue would be a good spark for us.”Scouting PurdueSitting at 13-10 on the season and 1-2 in the Big Ten, the Boilermakers have not been able to find consistency to this point in their season. They dropped their last two games against Iowa in their conference opener, coming right on the heels of a six-game winning streak.The struggles against Iowa can be summed up in offensive inefficiency over their three games, combining for just five runs and 22 hits. However, despite the anemic offense this past weekend, the Purdue bats have been able to reach base with relative frequency in 2017. Four hitters in their everyday lineup are batting over .300 and five of them have slugging percentages over .500. One such batter who has been a force in the team’s lineup is sophomore catcher Nick Dalesandro. The second-year backstop is tied for second on his team in home runs with two, and with the second-highest batting average at .360. He also leads the team in slugging average at .506, and is a perfect eight-for-eight in stolen bases. The team’s ability to make consistent contact even in two-strike counts stands out to Beals, but he has a strategy for helping his team succeed against the Boilermakers’ hitters.“We’ve got to make sure that we are ahead in the count; that we’re throwing a bunch of strikes, we’re pitching at the bottom of the strike zone and go ahead and pitch to that contact,” Beals said. “They make contact, let’s go ahead and make quality pitches to the contact, and I think we can get some early outs and pitch very efficiently if we’re able to do that.”Post hoping to continue building off early season workIn his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Post has been counted on heavily by the Buckeyes. He has been serving as the team’s Friday night starter and recently turned in a steady outing in the team’s Big Ten opener against Minnesota last weekend.Post lasted six innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.But Post was not satisfied with his outing and was quick to point out flaws in his performance.“I wouldn’t grade myself very high last weekend,” Post said. “A bunch of hits scattered, two runs, that’s fine, that’s great, all that stuff, but my first-pitch strike percentage was pretty low. Offspeed, I need to get that offspeed strike percentage up. So there’s definitely a lot of room for me to improve.”He believes that the key to success will be to start commanding the strike zone against both left and right-handed hitters and will need to be able to effectively mix in his offspeed pitches.“From a pitching point of view, it’s just executing fastballs for me,” Post said. “Commanding the ball outside, commanding the ball inside to both lefties and righties. If you can manipulate the zone a little bit, work in, work out, then you can mix in an offspeed, it’s fine.”Key pitchers remain out for Purdue seriesFor the second straight weekend, the Buckeye pitching staff will be without redshirt junior pitchers Adam Niemeyer and Kyle Michalik. Beals confirmed on Wednesday that both pitchers are still rehabbing through their respective injuries and will not be available to pitch for his team.“They are both out. They will not be available for the weekend series,” Beals said. “They’re both progressing. They’re slow progressions. (Michalik’s) an ankle, so he’s got to post on that ankle and plant and push off. It’s getting better, but it’s not ready to go full speed. Niemeyer has a little tendonitis in the elbow. Tendonitis is a nagging thing. Again, getting better, but not ready to go full blast.”Last weekend, the team had a rotation set that consisted of Post starting on Friday and sophomore pitchers Connor Curlis and Ryan Feltner starting Games 2 and 3 on Saturday’s doubleheader, respectively.The series against Purdue gets started on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium. Saturday’s game will start at 6 p.m. and Sunday’s will begin at 1 p.m.
With online gaming firm W88 named new first-team shirt sponsor for Wolves’ return to the Premier League, an alternative sponsor was sought for junior shirts – and managing director Laurie Dalrymple was thrilled to secure the deal with Silverbug, a report in club’s website says.In responding to praises showered on them by the managing director Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Silverbug managing director Owen Daley said:“We are deeply proud of our long association with Wolves and are delighted to partner on a project like this.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“Wolves were one of our first clients 18 years ago, and the club continues to be part of the fabric at Silverbug.“Part of our business focuses on IT support for primary and secondly schools, so along with our family ethos, it really feels like a perfect fit.“We believe it is important to support projects in the community and the younger generation, and we are honoured to be junior front of shirt sponsor for such an historic and exciting season.”
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was the subject of racist abuse during Saturday’s Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, and the Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident.A Chelsea fan appeared to racially abuse Sterling while he was retrieving the ball from behind the goal line, during the first half of the match at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.Chelsea Football Club and the London Metropolitan Police have now confirmed the incident and announced they will be investigating the matter, according to Sky Sports.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…A Chelsea spokesman said: “We’re aware of reports and video footage. We will investigate the matter and take the strongest possible action where necessary.”The Met Police said: “We are aware of a video circulating online in which it is claimed racial abuse was allegedly directed at a player at a Chelsea v Manchester City game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 8.“We will review the footage to determine whether any offenses have been committed.”
Assistant Superintendent for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District John O’Brien: “Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program focused on suicide prevention but also addresses other issues such as substance abuse violence, and other adverse child experiences that many of our students face.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享With a suicide rate more than twice the national average, prevention efforts are among the top priorities for communities throughout the state. GCI has announced plans to donate $100,000 to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes in the state of Alaska. Visit the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund website to apply. Non-profit or equivalent organizations – including tribes, schools, churches, local government agencies and programs – are eligible. In 2018, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District received support for program training for 300 students and 100 adults in Sources of Strength, a school-based program in middle school, high school or college, and also often used in community and cultural settings; it promotes and focuses on connectivity, school bonding, peer-adult partnerships, and help-seeking behaviors. KPBSD reported an increase in students flagged as high risk of suicide since the start of this school year. The district administers a suicide risk assessment whenever a student talks about harming himself/herself, or if there is concern that a student has thoughts about hurting himself/herself. In a release from GCI, to bolster those efforts, GCI has pledged $100,000 in 2019 for the third year of the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund. Since 2017, the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund has provided $330,000 in grants to Alaska non-profits. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 26.
Smoke was heavy east of the fire last night along the Sterling Highway and in Refuge campgrounds Andy Alexandrou, Division of Forestry: “As of last night it got within 3 miles of the Sterling Highway, still to the North of the highway. It was listed as 2,400 ares in size, which is about a 700 acre gain from the day before.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Swan Lake Fire is burning adjacent to the 2017 East Fork Fire. This fire grew south to a size of 2,400 acres on Monday. Firefighters are working on the 13.8-acre Coal Creek Fire which is burning northwest of Tustumena Lake in the 2014 Funny River Fire burn area. This fire is 25% contained after initial helitack water drops with more progress being made on the ground. As the fire burns in black spruce, its smoke column can be expected, visible from eastern Soldotna, Sterling and possibly the Anchorage hillside. Residents may be experiencing increased smoke due to the prevailing winds, especially off the Sterling Highway near MP 68 due to the Swan Lake Fire. According to Alexandrou, there were two additional fires both located in Soldotna that were human caused on Monday: “We can’t have that, there is no burn ban in place right now, but if you are going to have a burn pile in place keep it legal and be there.” The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge experienced two days of thunderstorm weather last week, resulting in eight lightning-caused fires. Six of these fires are active on Refuge lands as of today.The other fires:177 – #WatsonFire (0.2 acre)178 – #Mile70PowerlineFire (0.1 acre)180 – #KolominLakeFire is 100% contained and controlled (1.2 acres)186 – #BearLakeFire (0.1 acre)189 – #PetersonFire had no heat or smoke detected as of 6/8190 – #KellyPetersonFire had no heat or smoke detected as of 6/8 Alexandrou: “The powers to be have decided to put a type 3 fire organization in place at the Soldotna Forestry office to handle this fire as it has increased in size. They also ordered up a couple of more helicopters for water delivery. They are capable of carrying very large water buckets.” Updates will be posted as they are made available. Fire danger remains high throughout the Kenai Peninsula.