OSU coach Urban Meyer is interviewed during media day on Dec. 29. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorNational Signing Day will come a little earlier for student-athletes in the 2018-19 football recruiting class.The NCAA announced on Monday that it has officially adopted an early signing period for football recruits following the approval by the Collegiate Commissioners Association, the governing body for the National Letter of Intent program. The new rule will allow recruits to sign a letter of intent to play for a collegiate program within a 72-hour period between the dates of Dec. 22 and 25.As expected, the Collegiate Commissioners Association has approved a 72-hour football early signing period beginning Dec. 20. pic.twitter.com/m8AzLf8crN— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) May 8, 2017Previously, prospective student-athletes for football were unable to officially sign a letter of intent until the first Wednesday in the month of February.The CCA added in their release that while this will change the signing period for high school recruits, the period for junior college students to transfer remains between Dec. 20, 2017 and Jan. 15, 2018.The rule change had been approved on April 14 during a meeting held among the NCAA Division I council and the American Football Coaches Association, but the change could not be made official until the CCA approved the change in a vote.Ohio State coach Urban Meyer spoke out against the proposal back on Sept. 26, 2016, saying that an early signing period would be forcing young kids to make a decision too early. He also said that as a coach, it would be difficult for him to be able to know exactly where a kid will be physically by the time he starts playing collegiate football, citing the physical development of his son during a six-month period.“Bodies change and the game of football, I want as much time, I want to watch them play their senior year,” Meyer said. “I wish we would move it back. Everybody is talking about moving it forward and having an early signing period — and I heard July, early signing date. That means they’re going to be visiting here, some of them, 16 years old. Most 17 years old. Without some of them SAT or ACT score. Doesn’t make sense. And if I’m a high school coach, I’m not in favor of that at all either.”
OSU senior Lena Springer (26) pitches during the game against Rutgers on April 1 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Emily Hetterscheidt | For The LanternIt’s hard to believe Minnesota shut out Ohio State’s softball team 6-0 in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday when you hear the Buckeye players speak.“I just think we’re kind of firing on all cylinders right now,” senior pitcher Shelby Hursh said. “The pitching’s doing well. Hitting is back around. Our defense, we were amazing last weekend.”“I just think, when all that comes together, we’re so good and I don’t think you can ignore that.”The team was happy with the result — OSU’s first appearance in the Big Ten tournament championship game in 10 years — but believes there is more to be accomplished.“We have a lot of unfinished business to handle and we’re not going to just bow down,” sophomore infielder Lilli Piper said.The Buckeyes (36-16) will look to back up their words when they head south to take on South Carolina-Upstate (41-11) in Tennessee at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.OSU earned an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament and was placed into the Knoxville Regional as the No. 2 seed with USC-Upstate, Longwood and No. 8 Tennessee. Last year, OSU also competed in the Knoxville Regional, but was knocked out after falling to Arizona (2-0) and Tennessee (10-1).If the Buckeyes beat USC-Upstate, they will face the winner of Friday’s Tennessee-Longwood matchup. But if they lose, they will face the loser of Tennessee-Longwood and would have to win their next four games to avoid elimination. “Just knowing that coming out as strong as possible so people then know that we mean business and we’re there. Coming out and playing strong the very first game, knowing that no one’s going to stop us,” Piper said.Unlike OSU, who throwsfour pitchers, only two players have thrown more than 20 innings in the circle for the Spartans all season — seniors Lexi Shubert and Holly McKinnon.McKinnon is 24-7 with a 1.36 ERA, having pitched 196 innings with 207 strikeouts. Shubert has a 19-4 record with a 1.43 ERA in 156.1 innings. Despite the duo’s success, Piper is certain her team will be able to get on base and accumulate runs.“I think just being relaxed, knowing that our offense is going to be better than their pitching and that’s what, in our head, is important to us,” Piper said. “That there’s no one that they’re going to put that we’re not going to go right through them.Piper, a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection, leads the team in batting average (.424), home runs (17), RBIs (51), runs (46), slugging percentage (.785) and on-base percentage (.420). Seven OSU starters maintain a batting average higher than .270.Upstate batters don’t struggle to reach base either as eight players have batting averages higher than .285. The Spartans have proven dangerous once they get on base as five of their players have stolen at least 10 bases. Sophomore shortstop Ashley Gilstrap leads the team with a .343 average and has converted 32 steals on 34 attempts.OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said Hursh will likely be the starting pitcher against Upstate on Friday. She feels confident in Hursh and her other pitchers because they’re facing fresh competition.“I think it’s an advantage to our pitchers that these hitters haven’t seen them again and again,” she said. “I mean, Michigan State saw us for the fourth time in like three weeks (in the Big Ten tournament). I think it will help our pitchers have a better mindset because they know that these hitters haven’t seen them.”Hursh holds a 15-5 record with a 2.33 ERA. She leads the team with 129 innings pitched, 115 strikeouts and five shutouts. Kovach Schoenly signs extensionOn Wednesday, OSU announced Kovach Schoenly would remain the Buckeyes’ coach through the 2020 season as her contract was extended four years.The softball coach came to OSU after spending six seasons at the helm of Miami (Ohio). Since she took over in Columbus in 2013, the Buckeyes hold a 163-105-1 record and the team has made the NCAA tournament twice. OSU’s 35 wins this season are the team’s most since 2010.“The program is in a good place as athletes have excelled in the classroom, on the field with back to back NCAA bids and in the community with increased fan support,” said T.J. Shelton, associate athletics director for sports administration in a press release. “This is a clear sign that it’s heading in an upward trajectory.”Kovach Schoenly’s 163 wins at OSU are the most by any softball coach in their first five years at the school in program history.
Then-OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) leaps over a defender during a game against Western Michigan on Sept. 26 at Ohio Stadium.Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe NFL suspended former Ohio State and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for the first six games of the season without pay, the league announced Friday. The league also added that he should have no more violations of league policy, and could face a potential ban from the league if he is found to be in violation of any more rules.In a letter addressed to Elliott from the NFL and its chief disciplinary officer Byron Todd Jones, the league cites that Elliott used physical force against his alleged girlfriend Tiffany Thompson in 2016. A separate incident in which Elliott pulled down a woman’s shirt at a bar this year was also cited, though the letter states that it will not be considered separately for any additional discipline.According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension. He must file the appeal within the next three business days, and a subsequent hearing must be scheduled within 10 days after the appeal is made official.Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to appeal 6-game suspension, per sources. Has three business days to file appeal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017Elliott’s incident with Thompson allegedly took place during the week of July 16, 2016, and had been investigated by the city of Columbus. However, the Columbus Division of Police made no arrest, and a decision by the Columbus City Attorney’s office was made to not prosecute Elliott for the incident.The NFL investigated Elliott and determined that there was substantial evidence backing Thompson’s claims, citing three separate instances in 2016 on July 17, 19 and 21 where Thompson was physically abused by Elliott.On July 17, he reportedly caused injuries to Thompsons’ arms, neck and shoulders, claims that were backed up by several photographs of the injuries. Two days later, he reportedly again caused injuries to Thompson’s face, arms, wrist and hands. There were more photographs provided to back up the claims. Then on July 21, he was reported to have used force again to injure Thompson’s face, neck, arms, knee and hips. More photographs were provided, and medical experts confirmed the photographs backed up the claims made by Thompson.Though Elliott was never charged with any crimes, the letter states that players may still be suspended if evidence is found to support conduct prohibited by the league.The league finished the letter by saying that Elliott is also required to engage in a clinical evaluation by a qualified professional. He is expected to follow through with any recommendations of treatment or counseling provided by that professional.
The former Leeds and Aston Villa player Fabian Delph said his diet helped him to cut out the muscle injuries that had dogged his career. It also helped him persuade Guardiola to make him part of his plans despite his major overhaul of the City squad.He also admits he is one of the best examples of a player who has benefited from Guardiola’s influence both inside and outside the pitch, according to Daily Mail.“I changed my diet in terms of getting it more balanced. I cut out red meat and sugar and started eating more greens, more vegetables,” said Delph. “We’ve got a fantastic nutritionist at the club, Tom Parry, and he has helped me tremendously. I only had a couple of niggles all season which is fantastic for me.”Everton’s 25 million pound man Gbamin out for 3 months George Patchias – August 26, 2019 Everton’s 25 million pound summer signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin has been ruled out for up to 3 months.The Ivory Coast international, joined the Goodison Park…“He’s fantastic. For me, he is a genius,” said Delph. “He has opened my eyes to so much. I didn’t picture football like Pep does. He’s painted the pictures for me.“I stayed mentally strong, and I knew if I got my opportunity to play I could contribute and help the lads win games.“I’m a very traditional English guy who believes in hard work and dedication and giving it absolutely everything. I’m there to fight and pick up second balls, to be that old English type of player, but he has reinvented me.
Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales’ controversial sacking of Julen Lopetegui was met with a wide range of criticism, but he says that former United States President Barack Obama reassured him he had done the right thingLopetegui was fired by Rubiales after he had stunned the football world by being announced as Zinedine Zidane’s replacement at Real for next season with the intention of taking charge once the World Cup was over with Spain.However, Rubiales did not take kindly to the news and promptly fired Lopetegui less than 24 hours after his big announcement with just two days prior to Spain’s World Cup opener against Portugal.And now the RFEF president has revealed that he has been personally assured by Obama that he had made the right decision.The former US president visited Spain on holiday earlier this month and met Rubiales, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and King Felipe VI in his few days spent in Madrid.“What surprised me is that he knew much more than I thought he did,” Rubiales told Cadena Cope radio, via ESPN.Rumour: Ben Yedder on his way to Monaco George Patchias – August 13, 2019 Wissam Ben Yedder has emerged as a target for Monaco, and a deal is rumoured to be close.According to two Spanish outlets, estadiodeportivo.com, and…“There was a reference to certain issues in which he said some decisions made in the United States had a patriotic tone whereas here, they were more difficult to take, something along those lines.“What he tried to tell me is that inaction generally produces less rejections and less criticism, but that at times, you have to act. And, from what I can gather, he and his entourage were in line with the decision we had taken. I never doubted my decision, I had it clear, it was a case of values, philosophy … but I respect all points of view.”Sporting director Fernando Hierro was appointed as Lopetegui’s stand-in for the World Cup and managed to lead Spain out of Group B as the winners.But the former Real Madrid defender’s success would not last long with hosts Russia shockingly knocking out the 2010 winners in the first knockout round.Hierro has since left the RFEF with former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique being announced as the new permanent head coach of Spain.
Official Graziano Cesari said the red card for the Juventus Portuguese footballer should not have been shownJuventus Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo debuted with his team in the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League season.But his debut only lasted 29 minutes, after a clash with Valencia player Jeison Murillo.And now a former Lega Serie A referee has come in defense of the footballer.“Juventus attacked from the left. Felix Byrch follows the action diagonally, checking the development correctly,” referee Graziano Cesari was quoted by Calcio Mercato.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“Within the penalty area of Valencia, Murillo and Cristiano Ronaldo try to get the best position while waiting for the ball.”“The two make contact with each other but without any impropriety, but the Colombian falls to the ground simulating a blow from the Portuguese,” he added.“CR7 demands correct behavior on the part of the defender by resting his hand on his hair and urges him to get up.”“Maybe he disheveled him, he removed the gel and ruined the hairstyle. He did not pull his hair, it does not cause pain, in short, no violent behavior,” he concluded.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is pleased with his team’s performance and their strong start to the season as they thrashed Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage.Brooks David’s goal sandwiched between Callum Wilson’s brace gave the visitors a convincing victory on Saturday and took Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth side to 20 points in ten Premier League games.“I’m very pleased today. I thought that we were very good in most disciplines” Howe told AFCB.“Without the ball, we restricted them to few chances and we had to be patient, we were good with the ball and also good on the counter-attack too.Eddie Howe pleased with attacking poise, but feels Wilson was too honest Stuart Heath – August 25, 2019 A.F.C Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe felt as though his striker Callum Wilson was too honest against Manchester City and may have won a penalty,…They had a lot of the ball at times, but our positioning and mentality was good. The second goal was a big moment and I think it was key in the game.We changed system today, it was a challenge and the players adapted well. It was a blow to miss Joshua King, but Callum Wilson got us two goals today and we really needed it.”