Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love made news Monday when he endorsed Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA MVP race. Now, normally that wouldn’t be much of a story — we’ve made the case for Westbrook ourselves — except for one not-so-tiny detail: Love picked Westbrook over his own teammate, LeBron James.Asked to choose between Westbrook (Love’s old college teammate at UCLA) and James by Dan Patrick on his eponymous radio show, Love said:They’re both having an MVP-type season, but I’m going to go with Russell Westbrook because … every single night you’re looking at his stat sheet, they’re fighting for a playoff spot, with Serge Ibaka going down now, Kevin Durant potentially being out the rest of the year and him still going out there and fighting for his team, and winning, and fighting for that seventh or eighth spot in the playoffs. … I think Russ is arguably having the better season.The supposed slight between teammates was later downplayed by James (“Kevin has his own opinion of who he believes is the MVP. No one should fault him for that.”). But to some, it added to the speculation about a growing rift between the two superstars — and what it could mean for Love’s future in Cleveland. If he chooses to, Love can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer.Then again, maybe Love was just following the same rubric that MVP voters have adhered to for over a half-century. Several years ago, Justin Kubatko (then of Basketball-Reference.com) analyzed historical patterns in NBA MVP voting, attempting to create an algorithm that would predict the front-runners for the award in-season. After going through a variety of statistical combinations, he found that four categories had by far the most influence on MVP results: team wins, points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game.That research forms the basis for Basketball-Reference.com’s MVP tracker tool, which currently gives Westbrook about twice as good a shot at the award as James. While James’ team has been better, winning 64 percent of its games — compared with 58 percent for Oklahoma City — Westbrook’s edges over James in points, rebounds and assists per game are traditionally more than enough to offset the difference in team records. The Thunder’s winning percentage would have to drop to 48 percent for Westbrook and James to have the same MVP probability per the Basketball-Reference.com model.(For what it’s worth, the metric also lists Houston’s James Harden and — especially — Golden State’s Stephen Curry as overwhelming MVP favorites, with Curry garnering a 41 percent probability of taking home the hardware. So it’s still unlikely that Westbrook or James will win the award.)In other words, Love isn’t necessarily going out of his way to disrespect James here. Perhaps the homer pick — publicly backing one’s teammate despite evidence to the contrary — is still a customary gesture of solidarity among colleagues. But by picking Westbrook instead, Love was at least highly consistent with the way media members have voted for players since the first MVP was handed out.
Florida 10-113%<1%23%68%18% Iowa 11-030%14%46%>99%20% TeamPlayoff ChancesLose nextWin nextWin outWin out likelihood Utah 8-3<1%<1%<1%<1%89% North Carolina 10-110%<1%17%39%25% Oklahoma 10-164%7%>99%>99%62% Oregon 8-3<1%<1%<1%<1%96% Michigan St. 10-147%<1%61%98%47% Oklahoma St. 10-110%<1%25%25%38% Clemson 11-071%40%77%>99%50% Notre Dame 10-121%<1%49%49%42% Florida State 9-2<1%<1%<1%<1%46% Thanksgiving week: time for turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. And college football, too! For many teams, it’ll be their last game of the year. But some are eyeing the College Football Playoff. Thirteen, to be exact.A baker’s dozen teams have more than a 1 percent shot at one of the four playoff spots, according to FiveThirtyEight’s model. For some (Alabama, Clemson), their paths are simple enough: just win out. For others (Ohio State, Baylor), their paths are a chesslike endgame: win the rest of their games and hope for some better-situated team to stumble. And still other teams (Michigan, North Carolina) don’t have a clear line to the playoff: instead they need a messy highway pileup for them to swerve into the mix.The Thanksgiving weekend games are a precursor to the Dec. 5 conference championship matchups, which leaves only two weeks before the College Football Playoff committee makes its final picks. To break down how each of these 13 squads can get in, let’s cluster the teams into five groups according to their playoff chances if they win all their remaining games (including any conference championship game). We’ve grouped them based on their chances if they win out rather than on FiveThirtyEight’s current playoff odds because, at this stage, almost no team can afford to lose, so it’s better to think of playoff odds in the event that they don’t slip up.The odds are presented in our what-if table below: Northwestern 9-2<1%<1%<1%<1%64% Baylor 9-121%<1%43%46%46% Washington St. 8-3<1%<1%<1%<1%33% Toledo 9-1<1%<1%<1%<1%61% Mississippi 8-3<1%<1%<1%<1%49% Navy 9-1<1%<1%1%2%27% Michigan 9-27%<1%15%16%42% Temple 9-2<1%<1%<1%<1%37% Alabama 10-164%29%78%>99%51% Mississippi St. 8-3<1%<1%<1%<1%45% Stanford 9-216%<1%28%52%30% In control of their destiny (> 98 percent): Clemson, Alabama, Iowa, Oklahoma, Michigan StateAt FiveThirtyEight we have a policy against labeling any prediction “100 percent.” So, sure, for Clemson, Alabama, Iowa and Oklahoma, their chances of making the playoff if they win out are “> 99 percent,” and Michigan State isn’t far behind at 98 percent. But that’s just a formality; these teams are locks if they can prevail over the next two weeks.The No. 1 Tigers1All the rankings I use in this article are the College Football Playoff committee’s. will face South Carolina on Saturday (they have an 86 percent chance of winning) and then UNC in the ACC championship (62 percent shot at victory). Alabama has a tougher lineup: the Iron Bowl rivalry with Auburn (’Bama is a 78 percent favorite) and Florida in the SEC title game if Alabama wins the SEC West. Clemson and Alabama — unlike anyone else — have a little wiggle room should they lose this weekend. A one-loss Tigers team that wins the ACC championship gets into the playoff in 72 percent of the 5,000 simulations we run for our model, and a two-loss Tide team that loses to Auburn but beats Florida gets in 65 percent of the time.Iowa, meanwhile, is one of two undefeated teams remaining in the country. And despite their weak schedule (the one knock against them), if the Hawkeyes win out, our model thinks they are a lock for the playoff. They have a tough test, though, at Nebraska on Friday (the game is a coin flip).Another Big Ten team is in this group: Michigan State. If the Spartans beat Penn State (the Football Power Index says that’s an 80 percent likelihood), they’ll face Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. So if both Big Ten teams win out, that conference final becomes a de facto playoff of its own. Michigan State is just a tad behind the Hawkeyes, with a 98 percent shot at the playoff should the Spartans win out. That Ohio State win was a season-maker for them.The last team fully in control of its destiny, by our model’s reckoning, is Oklahoma. The one-loss Sooners can lock up a playoff spot and win the Big 12 with a win against Oklahoma State (they’re favored even though it’s a road game). But if Oklahoma loses on Saturday, their odds fall to 7 percent, effectively eliminating them.A special case (68 percent): Florida The Gators are an odd duck — to mix our species. The committee docked them for being pushed into overtime by Florida Atlantic, so they fell four spots to No. 12. But look at Florida’s remaining schedule: Florida State on Saturday (with a 52 percent shot of winning) and then someone in the SEC championship, most likely Alabama (we estimate that Florida beats the Tide 31 percent of the time). If the Gators win both games, they’ll finish as a one-loss champion of a strong — if not the strongest — conference. In that scenario, our model puts their odds at 68 percent. Good, but not great. It’s not clear whether Florida winning the SEC with one loss would offset the otherwise harsh grades the Gators have received from the selection committee.A matchup of 50-50 chances (49-52 percent): Notre Dame, StanfordNotre Dame and Stanford face off on Saturday, but even the winner won’t control its own destiny. Both teams are probably left out of the playoff if Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and either Iowa or Michigan State win out; in that case, Notre Dame would very likely miss the playoff even if it beats Stanford, for example.Should the Fighting Irish beat the Cardinal — Notre Dame is the underdog — then their playoff odds rise to 49 percent. Notre Dame fans find it unjust that Oklahoma and Iowa leapfrogged them in the committee’s rankings, especially because the Sooners’ sole loss came against Texas, a team the Irish whooped 38-3. But who ever said the cries of injustice would end with a four-team playoff?On the flip side, should Stanford beat the Irish at home Saturday, which they have a 62 percent shot of doing, and then go on to win the Pac-12 title match over USC or UCLA, they’ll have a 52 percent chance of making the playoff. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ( 46-48 percent): Ohio State, BaylorThe Buckeyes and the Bears get crowned with that hallmark of sound statistical analysis: the shruggie. Both teams have contingent playoff paths — that is, either team getting in is heavily dependent on another team losing. There’s high uncertainty over how the committee will judge them should they win out.Ohio State’s playoff picture is complicated. It has two ways in. The team can still win the Big Ten title, but for the Buckeyes to do so, two things need to happen: (1) The Buckeyes beat Michigan at The Big House — which they’re just 58 percent favorites to do — and (2) Michigan State loses to Penn State (not very likely). Should the one-loss Buckeyes have such good fortune and then go on to beat Iowa to become conference champs, our model gives them a 94 percent shot at being picked for the playoff. On the other hand, if Ohio State merely beats the Wolverines, but can’t compete for the Big Ten title because Michigan State takes its place, then its playoff odds will be 38 percent. Those aren’t great odds; but they’re not terrible either.Baylor, too, has a split path. First, the Bears need to beat TCU on Friday (a prospect that’s little better than a coin flip). But Baylor needs Oklahoma State to win over Oklahoma, too. Then if the Bears beat Texas on Dec. 5, they will be one-loss Big 12 champs. In this scenario, Baylor makes the playoff 74 percent of the time. However, if the Bears win out without winning the Big 12, their odds are only 28 percent. Conference championships matter.Need lots of help (16-39 percent): North Carolina, Oklahoma State, MichiganThis is the group of chaos. Take one-loss UNC, for example. Even if the Tar Heels beat NC State on Saturday (a 64 percent likelihood) and No. 1 Clemson in the ACC championship game, it’s not clear they’ll get into the playoff. The Tar Heels’ playoff chances are 39 percent if they win out, but their chances were better last week. That’s because Ohio State lost and Michigan State is ascendant, and either team is now a better bet to be chosen over UNC. The Tar Heels, even if they should win, might be squeezed out by a one-loss Notre Dame or possibly a one-loss Ohio State that misses the Big Ten title game. Stanford, which ranked five slots ahead of UNC in this week’s rankings, could be another concern.Oklahoma State is an even longer shot. To win the Big 12, it needs to beat Oklahoma and have Baylor lose to TCU or Texas. But even if all that happens, our model gives the Cowboys only a 41 percent shot. In addition to Oklahoma and Baylor, Notre Dame probably needs to lose — that’s because a one-loss Irish team looks like a better bet than a one-loss, Big 12 champion Cowboys team.And then there is Michigan, which needs a lot to break its way. Yes, the Wolverines need to beat the Buckeyes, but Penn State needs to also upset Michigan State and then the Wolverines have to win the Big Ten championship over Iowa. If — and that’s a lot of ifs — all that happens, Michigan (as a two-loss Big Ten champ) has a 68 percent shot at the playoff. On top of winning the conference, Michigan — like all the teams in this final group — probably needs Notre Dame to lose, too.Read more: As The Playoff Nears, Notre Dame Is Running Out Of TimeCORRECTION (Nov. 25, 11:09 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the division that Florida Atlantic’s football team plays in. It plays in the FBS, not FCS. The article has also been updated to make clear that Notre Dame, Stanford, Oklahoma State and North Carolina have more difficult paths to the playoffs than the article originally described. UCLA 8-3<1%<1%<1%1%15% Ohio State 10-125%<1%45%48%51% TCU 9-2<1%<1%<1%<1%50% Playoff chances if they …
Three young Black sisters have resisted the pitfalls of their circumstances to achieve greatness as star athletes and cover models.According to Sports Illustrated Kids, runners Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard are siblings whose goals soar higher than their past tribulations.But the shift wasn’t easy. In 2013, their 17-year-old half-brother died from gunfire, and the family wound up in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, New York, with their mother, Tonia Handy, in Sept. 2015. Upon their arrival, they faced an infestation of vermin that Handy had to exterminate herself.However, after overcoming such adversity, the girls found their way to an indoor track meet last winter. Coached by Jean Bell as members of the Jeuness Track Club, it was then that their love of racing blossomed.The sisters have achieved astonishing results as runners and have now set their sights even higher. Eleven-year-old Tai and 10-year-old Rainn each qualified in the 4×400 relay at the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games in 2015, where they helped lead their team to a gold medal. This past year, Rainn also earned gold in the 3,000 meters.Tai said she would like to qualify for the Junior Olympics each year, and Rainn hopes to go back to the AAU Games.“I plan to go to the Olympics one day in [a distance race],” Tai said. “My track and field goals are just to keep getting emotionally and physically stronger. It’s all about what’s inside, in your mind.”Not to be outdone, youngest sister Brooke, 9, also seeks to improve her endurance.“My goals are to get faster as a runner and jump higher,” she said. “For college, I would want to stay nearby, so I can see how the team’s doing.”The Sheppard sisters (Sports Illustrated Kids)But athletics is not the only area where the Sheppard sisters shine. Handy said they earn stellar grades, too. Because of that, she initially had reservations about her daughters joining the team.“The first thing I thought about was, ‘Will their education be interrupted?’” she said. “Because these are great kids. When it comes to schoolwork, they are No. 1. They were never into sports, so I was kind of leery, but [the parents and coaches] were so welcoming.”That proved not to be a problem. The girls all earn A’s and B’s in their classes, and their training has led them to branch out into other activities, including participating in a school performance of “Alice in Wonderland.” The Sheppard sisters pose with coach Jean Bell and her sister, fellow coach Karel Lancaster (Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated Kids)
This is Significant Digits, your daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. With Walt Hickey away on vacation — and with the third round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament getting underway tonight — I’m hijacking SigDig today and tomorrow in the name of March Madness. Enjoy! 6 ACC schoolsSix schools in the Sweet 16 — Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse — hail from the Atlantic Coast Conference, setting a record (at least, since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985). The ACC had tied the previous record of five last season, so at this rate they’ll claim all 16 slots by 2026. [USA Today]24.5 pointsIn their two NCAA Tournament wins thus far, Villanova has outscored foes by 49 combined points, or 24.5 per game — more than any other team in the Sweet 16 field. Granted, one of those games was against 15th-seeded UNC Asheville, but the Wildcats also beat No. 7 seed Iowa by 19 and have exceeded the scoring margin our Elo ratings would expect by 11.8 points per contest. They’ll try to keep that hot streak going tonight against Miami. [Sports-Reference.com]63 pointsOklahoma’s Buddy Hield has enjoyed a season for the ages this year, and it’s carrying over into the NCAA Tournament, where he’s scored a tourney-best 63 points (31.5 per game) on a scorching 73.2 true shooting percentage. But maybe it’s best for the Sooners if Hield doesn’t keep that average up against Texas A&M tonight — Oklahoma was 4-5 in conference play this season when Hield scored 30 or more points, and 8-1 when the Sooner scoring attack was more balanced. [Sports-Reference.com]5 startersEach basketball team has five starters, and in the case of Maryland’s game against Kansas tonight, each Terrapin starter will be taller than the Jayhawk lined up across from him at tip-off. As a team, Maryland has the fourth-biggest roster in the nation, with an average height a good inch and a half taller than Kansas. But will it matter against the skilled Jayhawks? Our model says “probably not” — we’ve got Kansas favored with a 73 percent probability of winning, despite Maryland’s size advantage. [KC Kingdom]109th bestIf defense really does win championships, nobody clued in Oregon or Duke. The combatants in tonight’s late game ranked 43rd and 109th, respectively, in schedule-adjusted defensive efficiency this season, per Ken Pomeroy’s stats. Aside from their 116th-place finish in 2013-14, this year’s Blue Devils have given Coach K more defensive fits than any Duke squad since Pomeroy started crunching numbers 15 seasons ago. [KenPom.com]More than $30 millionWith those aforementioned six entries in the Sweet 16, the ACC stands to make a cool $30 million, at least, from an NCAA cash pool that rewards conferences when their teams go deep in the tournament. Naturally, none of that money will ever be seen by Brice Johnson, Malcolm Brogdon, Grayson Allen, Angel Rodriguez or any of the other players who powered those teams to the Sweet 16. [ESPN.com]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey — or to @Neil_Paine, I guess, if you want.CORRECTION (March 24, 5:35 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly described the average height difference between the starters on Kansas and Maryland’s men’s basketball teams. Maryland’s starters are, on average, about an inch and a half taller, not a foot and half.
Within 20 days of the its first game, the Ohio State women’s hockey team has hired former Minnesota Golden Gophers assistant coach Nadine Muzerall as its head coach, announced in the second quarter of the Ohio State football game on Saturday.Muzerall fills a hole left by former coach Jenny Potter who left the program on Aug. 18, just five weeks before the first game and five days before classes began. OSU was 10-25-1 under Potter in 2015-16.“We’ve all heard such good things (about Muzerall),” junior defenseman Dani Sadek said. “She has a winning mindset and I think that’s what this program needs.”The first thing to know about the new Buckeye coach is her connection to the Golden Gophers’ women’s hockey program.Muzerall was on the bench of last year’s Minnesota squad that won the national championship over Boston College. She spent the past five seasons at Minnesota coaching in five national championship games and claiming four championship rings.As a player at Minnesota from 1997-2001, she began her extensive trophy case by collecting two All-American honors in 1998 and 2000. Muzerall was also on the Gophers team that won an AWCHA national championship — women’s hockey was not an NCAA-sanctioned sport until 2000-2001 season — and a 2001 Western Collegiate Hockey Association conference championship.Muzerall still holds the all-time goals record for Minnesota women’s hockey with 139 career goals. She also leads the all-time goals per game mark with 1.08. She ranks third all-time in career points with 235.The Ontario, Canada, native was the first women’s hockey player inducted into the hall of fame at the university. She is still the youngest athlete to be inducted into Minnesota’s hall of fame.Muzerall is OSU’s third coach in as many years following Porter’s departure and the resignation of former coach Nate Handrahan amidst sexual harassment allegations.OSU opens the season on Friday, Sept. 30, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team’s run in the NCAA tournament was cut short by a devastating loss Saturday night. The NCAA Tournament began Friday night when the Buckeyes faced Cincinnati in the first round. Behind a team-high 17.5 points from junior Katie Dull, the Buckeyes defeated Cincinnati 3-1 to advance to the second round. In the first set, two kills from freshman Emily Danks and two ace serves from junior Susan Halverson brought the Buckeyes out of a 16-12 deficit. Two Dull kills sealed the first game 25-20 for the Buckeyes.The second game had quite a different rhythm as the Buckeyes fell 25-16. The Buckeyes felt the pressure and came back in the third 25-15 and a Dull kill in the fourth ended the game 25-23 and the match 3-1. The victory was short-lived as the team was focused on its next task, No. 9 California, who defeated Lipscomb earlier in the night. Both coach Geoff Carlston and Dull were excited to get the opportunity to play California on Saturday. “First of all, I thought it was a great match,” Carlston said. “You are going crazy through it but in the end, to be able to win a match like that against a great team is neat.”Excitement immediately turned to focus.The Buckeyes met California in St. John Arena on Saturday night. The Buckeyes were slow to start in the first and trailed the entire game, falling 25-13. Seniors Ashley Hughes and Kristen Dozier exploded in the second game, opening a run early. Ohio State edged California 25-18, and tied the match 1-1.The third game was nothing short of a nail-biter. With 13 ties and four lead changes, the Buckeyes battle ended just short, 25-23. California held the lead throughout the fourth game. The Buckeyes only trailed by as many as eight points in the game, but fought back to stay within three points.The Buckeyes fell 25-20 in the fourth and 3-1 in the match. Carlston credited the players for their success just as much as the players credited the coaching staff for believing in them. “We knew we had a good team and we had something to prove,” Carlston said. “More than that, the coaching staff believed in us so every day. We came in determined to do something good with this season.”Good is an understatement. The Buckeyes finished last season 15-20 overall. This season they finished 25-11 overall and received an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes will have to say goodbye to three seniors this year, Kristen Dozier, Ashley Hughes, and Chelsea Noble. The team recognizes them for all they have given to the season and the program as they look to the future. “This year was our year to prove to the Big Ten that we are back on track and we are who we are,” sophomore Kelli Barhorst said. “We are Ohio State. We are looking forward to building on it next year.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) is run down by Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso as he scrambles toward the sideline during first-quarter action at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland Oct. 3.Credit: Courtesy of MCTIn 1996 the Cleveland Browns were forcefully relocated to Baltimore and renamed the Ravens by owner Art Modell, also known as Cleveland’s most hated man, save for, perhaps, LeBron James.In 1999 the NFL held true to its promise of bringing football back to Cleveland and the Browns returned as an expansion team.Since then, the Ravens have gone on to win two Super Bowls while the Browns have managed a whopping one playoff appearance, of which the team lost in the first round.During the time since that 1999 season the Ravens have fielded 13 starting quarterbacks. While still high, that number pales in comparison to Cleveland’s 19 signal callers in said period.Over that time, only one quarterback has started all 16 games in a single season for Cleveland: Tim Couch during the 2001 campaign. That year also marked one of only three times the Browns finished a year 7-9 or better. The other two times you ask? In 2002, when Couch started 14 games and 2007, when Derek Anderson started 15. Anderson got the nod halfway through the season opener.The biggest difference between the old Browns (Baltimore) and the new Browns (Cleveland) is stability at the quarterback position. The Ravens have had a quarterback start all 16 games seven times since 1999, including five straight seasons out of their current quarterback, Joe Flacco.It is time for the Browns to commit, and that can’t happen if they hire a new coach and draft a new “quarterback of the future” every few years.Cleveland has three options at the position right now. It can ride it out with 29-year-old second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has shown flashes but may be too far away from stardom considering his old-age. The Browns could wait out the rest of the season with Weeden, then fully commit to the currently injured but promising Brian Hoyer.Or they could draft a quarterback in 2014.Some might argue they could pick up a free agent like Matt Flynn, but a player who has failed to capitalize on the QB situations in Seattle and Oakland has to have some issues. Keeping Weeden, waiting for Hoyer or signing Flynn are the only viable options in Cleveland, and they must pick one right away in order to have any chance at stability.For me, the best choice is Hoyer. Weeden has talent, but he has a knack for playing game to game, there is no consistency so far, plus he is nearly 30. Hoyer is two years younger and spent three seasons learning under Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. While he has made a grand total of two starts in his Cleveland career, Hoyer won both of them and provided hope for a fan base that has been searching for a spark for nearly two decades.In past seasons I might choose the “draft a new guy” option, but I do not see anyone in the upcoming draft that I would commit to from day one, and that is what Cleveland has to do.No more quarterback battles in training camp. No more drafting of a Couch or a Brady Quinn, no more gambles on a too-old rookie like Weeden. It’s time for Cleveland to pick a player, give him the job and stick with him through thick and thin.Without stability the Browns will continue to be one of the laughing-stocks of the NFL, and the blame can only be placed on themselves.
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer made his weekly appearance on the Big Ten teleconference Tuesday afternoon and discussed the improved play of the offensive line, the emergence of sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott and his comfort level with the team thus far.The Buckeyes are 3-1 on the season following a 50-28 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday night. Meyer said after Saturday’s win over Cincinnati his offensive line has “crossed the barrier” and added he believes the offense has developed depth and more of an identity. He named redshirt-junior Chase Farris as someone who has improved and is earning playing time on the offensive line. He said that with the return of senior tight end Jeff Heuerman from injury to go along with the improved line play that the Buckeyes have more of an offensive identity now. Meyer said he believes the performance of Elliott is a product of better offensive line play. Meyer said the running back position as a unit is the hardest working group on the team. He gave credit to running backs coach Stan Drayton and said Elliott is among the top two or three hardest workers on the team. He said after evaluating the pass defense, he doesn’t think there is a lack of talent, rather a lack of execution. He said young corners in the secondary simply need to play better, singling out redshirt-freshmen Gareon Conley and Eli Apple as players who need to improve. Meyer said his comfort level with his team is night and day from where it was week one against Navy. He said the biggest challenge for the Buckeyes going into Saturday’s game against Maryland will be slowing down the Terrapin offensive skill players. Meyer added that Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown will greatly test OSU as he is the leading passer and rusher for Maryland.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday at noon at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Ohio State freshman defensive end Chase Young (2) sacks Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe and forces a fumble during the Ohio State-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Ohio State won 62-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThere was a case to be made that Ohio State’s defensive end depth in 2017 was as strong as any in college football. It could even have been the best of the past several seasons.It not only had the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in Tyquan Lewis, but also the 2017 winner in Nick Bosa, as well as future NFL draft selections Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard. Waiting behind the four starters were a pair of former top defensive end prospects in five-star freshman Chase Young and four-star redshirt freshman Jonathon Cooper, both of whom spelled the starters when needed.That depth was envious in 2017. It will not be there in 2018.Ohio State lost Hubbard to the draft while Holmes and Lewis both graduated, leaving Bosa, Young and Cooper as the only returning players at defensive end.“We’ll find some guys to play with them,” defensive line coach Larry Johnson said after the Cotton Bowl. “We’ll make some changes. We’ll make sure those guys have a chance to be fresh. We’re a long ways away from that, but I think we’ll be OK.”The concern with Ohio State’s defensive end group will not come from the talent present. Bosa and Young could be a dynamic pairing at the top, potentially the most explosive duo in college football, if the talent they have shown in the past continues in 2018. Cooper will present the Buckeyes with a strong third option in the rotation.And even though Young and Cooper have only part of one season full of garbage time minutes under their belts, they both feel ready to step into larger roles in the 2018 season.“I think we were prepared right now,” Young said after the Cotton Bowl. “But even this spring and this winter and the summer, it’s going to get us, and after all three of those [seasons], man, I think we going to be there. Just watch out.”The depth from there takes a bit of a hit and will remain questionable heading into the season.Since the bowl game in December, Ohio State has a clearer vision of who will be able to provide backup to next year’s starters. The Buckeyes brought in defensive end recruits four-star Tyreke Smith, four-star Tyler Friday and three-star Alex Williams. However, Friday will be making the change from defensive tackle to end while Williams might get a shot at playing tight end in college.Even with the recruits coming in, it seems unlikely any of them will have extended roles. None are as highly regarded as Young coming out of high school. Young appeared in 10 games and had 3.5 sacks while Cooper played in nine games.Still, that playing time proved valuable for the pair. It was given chances to play against collegiate competition — though almost always toward the end of blowouts. Bosa remembers that even when the game was not on the line, the playing time was important for his own development.“My freshman year, I was able to play a decent amount,” Bosa said. “Just get that big game experience. Just get used to the speed of the game. It’s a lot different than high school and you just learn a lot when you actually get in there, you can’t really replicate it in practice.”The recruits could be thrust into playing time due to the lack of depth, but none are expected to have Young’s impact. He demonstrated speed and elusiveness during his freshman season that has convinced the Buckeyes he will be a force when he steps into a starting role for Ohio State.Cooper’s name often gets lost in the shuffle — overlooked in favor of Bosa and Young — when looking ahead to 2018. Cooper did not have as much impactful playing time as Young in 2017 and had just two sacks. But the players all believe he has the chance to be another top option for the Buckeyes when they need relief.“If you name me and Nick, you’ve got to name Coop too,” Young said after the Cotton Bowl. “Coop, his motor is unreal and I don’t think guys have seen a lot of him this year, but like I said with [defensive tackle] Davon Hamilton, you going to see a lot of him next year, you going to see what he brings to the table.”Ohio State is going to have to deal with a lack of depth, but there is still plenty of talent at defensive end. With Young, Bosa and Cooper, the Buckeyes have a formidable trio that should present challenges to opposing offensive lines, just like they did in 2017.“I think it could be the best pass-rushing unit ever,” Bosa said on Jan. 19. “I think it could be a step up from last year just because they’ve really set the bar for us and we’re going to enhance it and just so much talent on this D-line right now, even though we’re young. Some of the best talent that I’ve ever seen, so it’s going to be really good once we get all the chemistry together.”
Ohio State freshman midfielder Talani Barnett (4) scores a goal off a header in the second half of the game against Iowa on Sept. 27. Ohio State won 2-0. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s soccer team (6-4, 3-1 Big Ten) extended its three-game winning streak Thursday, prevailing 2-0 over Iowa (5-5-2, 1-3-1 Big Ten) at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr continued her scoreless streak, recording four saves against the Hawkeyes for the fifth shutout of the season. In the past three games, she has recorded 16 saves, bringing her total to 42 saves in nine games this season. Ohio State has not won a game without a Kerr clean sheet.Freshmen defender/midfielder Talani Barnett notched the Buckeyes first goal of the night on a header off a corner kick with the assist by sophomore defender Izzy RodriguezRodriguez was not done. She scored the second and final goal of the match on a penalty kick late in the match. “I think our performance was pretty good,” Rodriguez said. “We took advantage of the moments we had and were just going to have to get better for Sunday.”The Buckeyes came off a victorious weekend prior to the match, taking down Illinois and No. 21 Northwestern with two consecutive shutouts. After three consecutive wins, head coach Lori Walker-Hock said she is glad that the team gets to play at home this weekend. “We’ve been on the road so much that there’s a great energy about the team,” Walker-Hock said. “I thought they came out with the right energy, we really pinned Iowa in, got to the end line a ton of times and created a bunch of corners, so we figured out a way to win.”Ohio State was also able to hold a 4-2 advantage over the Hawkeyes in corner kicks in the first half. The Buckeyes return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to play Nebraska on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The faculty of dentists suggests that if workers do bring in treats, they should consider buying low sugar alternatives and smaller sizes.Biscuits and cakes should also be kept for lunchtime, they advise, rather than snacking throughout the day.And employers should help their staff to make healthier choices by substituting sugary products available in meetings, like biscuits, for lower sugar alternatives, such as plain nuts and fruit, removing high sugar products from vending machines and making sugary products less visible in canteens. Cakes at work are becoming a daily occurrence, particularly in larger offices Bringing in cakes can prevent colleagues from sticking to health eating plans as they often feel obliged to accept The faculty says that “combatting cake culture” should be a New Year’s resolution of workplaces in 2017.Nearly two thirds of adults in Britain are overweight or obese and nearly 64,000 over-18s were admitted to hospital last year because of tooth decay.But shoppers spent about £200 million on cakes and confectionery in the fortnight running up to Christmas, a market that has been steadily growing year on year.Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “Such food is neither a treat nor a reward.“You may not know who in the office is secretly dieting in which case they won’t appreciate your gesture: if you do know, you’re plainly malicious.“If you want to give them anything, give them a smile, a hug or both!” Office “cake culture” in which staff bring in treats for birthdays and celebrations is becoming a daily health hazard and should be stopped, experts have advised.In recent years, it has become popular for workers to offer birthday cake to colleagues or bring back sugary gifts from their holidays.Today will be the first day back at work for most Britons and many staff will bring in leftover chocolate, biscuits and treats from Christmas. A smile is better than a cake, says the National Obesity Forum But the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has warned that in large offices, sweets and cakes have become a daily occurrence and the growing trend is contributing to poor oral health and the obesity epidemic.Managers want to reward staff for their efforts, colleagues want to celebrate special occasions and workers want to bring back a gift from their holidays.“While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health.“We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits.” 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.
Health officials said the trial aimed to “reduce pressure on the NHS during the winter and beyond.”The company behind the scheme said it would save the health service “substantial” money and time.But leading doctors and patients’ groups last night expressed fear that the experiment, due to start later this month, is too risky. They raised fears that serious conditions could be missed – or casualty units end up swamped – by too great a reliance on automated systems. The trial follows widespread criticism of the much-maligned 111 hotline, which has been plagued by problems since its launch in 2013.Health officials promised to overhaul the service, after a string of scandals, including the death of a baby after a 111 call-handler failed to spot signs that he was seriously ill.The new six-month trial is about to be launched across north London, with the service offered to more than 1.2 million people.When patients dial 111, they will be prompted to try the app. Instead of describing their ailments over the telephone, users will type in the symptoms via a series of texts, leaving the “chatbot” will decide how urgent the situation is, and recommend the right help.Patients could be told to make an appointment with their GP, or be told to go to Accident & Emergency if urgent problems are detected. Health officials said the pilot is one of several online tools which will be tested in coming months across the country, before being rolled out more widely.The new app, developed by medical start-up company Babylon Health, is due to be launched by NHS services in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington, later this month.It is part of a national drive to modernise the NHS, with GP appointments and prescriptions in future booked online, and the national NHS Choices website used to direct patients to the care they need.However, previous efforts have been dogged by problems. A “symptom checker” offered by NHS Choices was axed after a study in the British Meidcal Journal found that it incorrectly classed the vast majority of non-urgent calls, potentially fuelling pressures on casualty units.Last night patients groups and leading doctors expressed concern about the new trial, which is due to start work in the depths of winter.Joyce Robins, from Patient Concern, said: “I find this quite frightening. People who are ill want a person they can speak to. Typing in your own symptoms and waiting for a result is just ridiculous – what happens if you make a mistake?” Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, said the system could add to pressures on hospitals, rather than reduce them.“Owing to the lack of input from a trained professional, this simplistic system could, like NHS 111, result in more people being sent to overstretched GP or A&E services who don’t actually need treatment – or conversely serious conditions being missed,” he said.Peter Walsh, chief executive of safety campaign group Action Against Medical Accidents, questioned who would be liable if computer error caused patient harm or death.“The NHS 111 algorthym has already proved prone to error – that risk could be even greater under a system like this,” he said, calling for robust evaluation of the six-month scheme.Katherine Murphy, from the Patients Association, said: “The stakes here are very high, I would be concerned about the risks to patient safety; this needs to be very carefully evaluated because of the risks of misdiagnosis.”Dr Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said he hoped the use of artificial intelligence would be an improvement on existing 111 systems, which were sending too many patients to Accident & Emergency departments.Casualty units were now in “acute distress” and overloaded by patients, he warned.“The important thing is that this is properly evaluated before it is rolled out,” Dr Hassan said. Babylon’s AI chatbotCredit:Babylon 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. 111 has been accused of putting strain on A&E departmentsCredit:PA Adam Duncan, chief operating officer of London Central and West Urgent Care Collaborative, which will test the scheme, said: “We aim to provide an alternative to using the NHS 111 telephone number for service users that would find it most convenient to their lifestyle.“The use of the app could also reduce the demand on NHS 111 during the most busy periods, whilst retaining the high quality and accessible service.”Health officials stressed that the scheme is not intended to replace the 111 phone service.Babylon already runs an app that uses AI to assess medical symptoms, allowing patients to hold video consultations with doctors for £25 at a time, although this service is not included in the trial. ‘This simplistic system could, like NHS 111, result in more people being sent to overstretched GP or A&E services who don’t actually need treatment – or conversely serious conditions being missed’Dr Chaand Nagpaul NHS patients will be assessed by robots under a controversial 111 scheme to use “artificial intelligence” to ease pressures on Accident & Emergency units.More than one million people will be given access to a free app which means they can consult with a “chatbot” instead of a human being.Hospitals across the country are struggling to cope with unprecedented demand, which has left thousands of casualty patients waiting on trolleys.In the last week, growing numbers of hospitals and ambulance services have declared critical incidents – even though most operations have been stopped for the last month.The new measure is part of a national drive by health officials to “digitise” the health service, while speeding up help for minor complaints to reduce strain on services. We aim to provide an alternative to using the NHS 111 telephone number for service users that would find it most convenient to their lifestyle.The use of the app could also reduce the demand on NHS 111 during the most busy periods, whilst retaining the high quality and accessible servicechief operating officer of London Central and West Urgent Care Collaborative
It is previously-unknown, according to Morecambe’s son Gary, who said: “I thought I’d seen every possible recording of Morecambe and Wise, so was both surprised and delighted.” A public information drink-drive Christmas advert made by the legendary comedy duo more than half a century ago has been discovered, and is being described by the British Film Institute (BFI) as “90 seconds of pure comedy genius”. Drink-driving is no laughing matter, but Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise used their irreverent, infectious humour to warn against it. In the footage, which is just like one of their beloved comedy sketches, Morecambe tells Wise to “be wise” and not drive home after a Christmas party. Trying to…
A highly-decorated colonel accused of groping a woman’s breasts at a regimental dinner has been suspended by the Army.Colonel John Musgrave, 53, has been removed from his post as head of the School of Artillery pending an investigation, after an accusation involving the 24-year-old civilian girlfriend of one of his junior officers.The alleged incident took place on October 20 after a dinner attended by wives and girlfriends at Larkhill Barracks, Wiltshire.A source from the dinner, which was attended by Col. Musgrave’s wife, told MailOnline: “The meal was over and, as is usual on these occasions, a lot of drink had been taken.“Col. Musgrave had been drinking and was heard making sexually inappropriate comments to a female visitor about her breasts.“He was then seen pulling the woman out of the room and into a corridor.“That is when another senior officer stepped in. He wasn’t intimidated by the rank and decided to do something and told the Colonel to leave.”The woman’s boyfriend is a lower-ranking officer, a 2nd Lieutenant, who was said to be angry over the incident, but had not confronted his superior officer.An Army spokesman said: “We can confirm that a member of staff from The Royal School of Artillery has been suspended pending an investigation. Anybody who falls short of the Army’s high standards will be dealt with and may face sanctions including dismissal. “Any inappropriate conduct by Army personnel is not tolerated and we encourage anyone who may have been affected by such behaviour to report it to the appropriate authorities.” 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 incident comes as Mr Javid, in his first major invervention since breaking off his holiday to take control of the situation, says he will not “stand by” and allow “reckless” criminals to exploit vulnerable migrants and put them in “grave danger”. Writing in The Telegraph after talks with his French counterpart, Mr Javid suggests there will be increased surveillance, patrols and action to disrupt criminal gangs to try to tackle the issue.His comments will be seen as a riposte to Tory MPs who have accused him of showing a lack of leadership and demanded that cutters be redeployed from the Mediterranean to the English Channel.However Tory MPs said there was no detail in Mr Javid’s plans and claimed there was a “woeful” lack of urgency.Mr Javid’s allies claimed he was the victim of a “stitch up” by Downing Street after details of the luxury lodge he was due to stay in on his safari holiday were leaked. Two Border Force cutters are being redeployed from overseas to patrol the English Channel in response to migrant emergencies, Sajid Javid has announced. The Home Secretary had resisted calls for more boats amid fears a more visible presence would encourage more illegal crossings. But having met with Border Force, National Crime Agency and Whitehall officials to discuss the Channel migrants on Monday, there has been a change of tack. More suspected illegal immigrants were intercepted by Border Force officials Monday morning after landing on the Kent coast.The latest group were spotted in Greatstone-on-Sea, near Lydd.They were intercepted just 24 hours after six Iranian men were found on a beach near Dover. According to reports on Sky News, at least eight people have been detained. 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 Javid declared the ongoing situation a “major incident” after more than 220 people attempted to cross the English Channel in small boats since November, according to official figures.Speaking today, a police spokesman said Border Force officials are “dealing” with the Greatstone incident, which unfolded at about 8am.A Kent Police spokesman said: “Kent Police was made aware at 8.16am of a report of a group of suspected migrants seen in Coast Drive, Greatstone. UK Border Force officials have allegedly detained eight suspected illegal migrants on the Kent coast “Officers attended to assist Border Force who are dealing with the incident.”
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. Elsewhere on the West Coast main line further sections of track will be completely replaced over both bank holidays, as well as upgrades to overhead lines, signals and points meaning services around Preston and Glasgow will also be severely affected.The line between Birmingham International and Coventry will be closed at Easter, while Services to and from London St Pancras International will be amended. Gatwick Express services will not run on Good Friday and Easter Sunday and trains between Manchester and Liverpool Lime Street will terminate at Hunt’s Cross on Easter Sunday, with buses completing the journey.There will also be significant electrification work between Cardiff Central station and Severn Tunnel junction from Friday 19 to Monday 22 April which will see buses replace trains between Bristol/Chepstow and Newport.Greater Anglia say that on Easter Sunday, buses will replace trains between: Colchester and Norwich, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Harwich Town and Norwich and Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth.Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail said: “This Easter we are strongly advising passengers to plan ahead while we deliver essential upgrades to the rail network to improve their journeys.“We know that our railway is up to 50% quieter than usual over bank holidays so doing work at this time of year minimises our impact on passengers who, as research shows, understand the need for such activity.” London’s Euston station is undergoing upgrades to be ready for HS2, as pictured in this artist’s impressionCredit: Grimshaw Architects Holidaymakers have been warned of travel chaos over the Easter weekend as Network Rail plans £100m of upgrades over the bank holiday.Hundreds of thousands of passengers across the UK face delays and disruption as 13,800 engineers are scheduled to work “around the clock” to make improvements to the network.London’s Euston Station will be most heavily affected, as it closes over the Easter weekend (19-22 April) and the early May bank holiday weekend (4-6 May) with no trains in or out of the main line station on those days. This will have a major impact on journeys including alternative routes, longer travel times and busier trains than normal, say Network Rail.The improvements at Euston are in preparation for HS2, Britain’s controversial new high-speed railway and includes work to clear additional concourse space to help customers move more freely around the station.
Instead, they are likely to follow in the footsteps of the Queen with hopes for a home birth, expected to be at their new home in Windsor. Read the latest updates from the London Marathon herePrince Harry has made a surprise visit to the London Marathon today, which suggests Meghan Markle is not yet due to give birth.The Duke of Sussex was seen laughing and joking as he presented medals to early Marathon finishers. The Prince also spent time talking to volunteers.He also presented medals to the marathon and wheelchair winners, including victors in the World Para Athletics World Championship Marathon.It is believed he always planned to go, but did not publicly commit to the event as it was so close to his wife’s due date.He has previously attended the event for the mental health charity Heads Together, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei celebrates winning the women’s elite race with the trophy as she poses with Britain’s Prince Harry Credit: REUTERS/Paul Childs The royal baby is due soon, however, as earlier this year nine-month pregnant Meghan let slip that she is due at the end of April or early May during an engagement in Birkenhead.The couple is keeping plans for the birth private, and have said they will be “celebrating privately as a new family” after the birth as a first priority. While photographs of the baby will be taken in the following days, the family of three will not greet members of the public in the same way as the Cambridges and other members of the Royal Family have done. The palace are expected to issue a short written announcement confirming the Duchess is in labour, with a second to follow upon the safe arrival of the baby, giving details of its sex, weight and time of birth. It is understood that photographs of the baby, taken in Windsor, will be issued later, when he or she is a few days old.The couple are also likely to utilise their Sussex Royal Instagram page to share news and images of their choice. 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.
Harry and Meghan’s first born, who is seventh in line to the throne, made his debut with his mother and father at the castle on Wednesday.The Duchess described her son as having the “sweetest temperament”, while a delighted Duke called him “our own little bundle of joy”.Meghan added: “It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy.”The couple’s son arrived on Monday at 5.26am, weighing 7lb 3oz and his father said, when announcing the birth, the baby’s late arrival had given them longer to decide on a name. As the first-born son of a Duke, Archie could have become Earl of Dumbarton – one of Harry’s subsidiary titles – or have been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.But the couple chose not to use a courtesy title and the decision fits with Harry and Meghan’s desire to give their son as normal a life as possible despite his royal heritage.He shares a name with a character who is part of the Archie gang, along with a host of others – including Moose Mason, Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones – who have been on American news stands for years. The Duke of Sussex will travel to the Netherlands today, just three days after the birth of his son Archie.Harry will visit The Hague to launch the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games 2020, after introducing Archie to the world alongside Meghan in an eagerly anticipated photocall on Wednesday.Leading parenting expert Suzie Hayman said Harry is likely to find leaving his baby son so soon after his birth “agonising”, and said he would feel a “pang” to be leaving his wife and child.But Meghan is likely to still have the company of her mother Doria Ragland at their Frogmore Cottage home while Harry is away on the short trip.Harry and Meghan announced they had called their baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor after the Duchess movingly described her son and husband as “the two best guys in the world”.The couple broke with royal convention by not using a title for their baby boy, and have given their firstborn a name familiar to fans of the American Archie comic – featuring a main character who has red hair just like the Duke.The new parents were pictured showing off baby Archie to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, alongside Ms Ragland, at Windsor Castle. Archie Andrews is known as “America’s typical teenager” and he and his friends have been updated for a modern audience with Riverdale, a Netflix American teenage drama series.The name is German in origin and means “genuine”, “bold” and “brave”, and is short for Archibald, but is now a name in its own right.Harrison means “son of Harry” so is likely to be a tribute to the Duke.It is English in origin and famous Harrisons include the Star Wars actor Harrison Ford.Archie is not entitled to be an HRH or a prince due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by George V.Prince George, Archie’s cousin, reportedly told a dog walker earlier this year that his name is Archie when questioned by the pet owner.
An introductory video shown to all visitors sees the Prince speak of how he wanted to abandon the “quick fix approach” to gardening for a more philosophical one, laying out structures like a painter might create his works. He wanted it to “feed the soul, warm the heart and delight the eye”, he said.Since his 70th birthday last year, the garden is stocked with gifts from friends around the world from the large Grecian urns given by the Duchess of Cornwall to the beehives from Fortnum and Mason. The Prince acquired the 18th century country house and estate near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, in 1980, when it had only a kitchen garden, an overgrown copse, some pastureland and a few hollow oaks. The sundial garden nowCredit:Highgrove Enterprises In the background is the prince’s beloved Jack Russell Tigga, who was devoted to his master and is now commemorated with a sculpture of him sleeping in a wall. Along with busts of people admires, the modern garden is also littered with personal mementoes including a tree planted with Prince George and a thatched tree house known as Hollyrood House built for Prince William’s seventh birthday in 1989.The prince has said of the gardens: “One of my greatest joys is to see the pleasure that the garden can bring to many of the visitors and that everybody seems to find some part of it that is special to them.” In line with its organic ethos, slugs are dealt with by beer traps, and box blight has been avoided by the planting of disease-resistant varieties. All profits from the sale of Highgrove products, garden tours and events are donated to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund.The grant-making body supports projects by a wide range of organisations including Streetwise Opera, which helps people at risk of homelessness, and Big Kid, which helps young people at risk of social exclusion and youth violence to take control of their lives. The cottage garden nowCredit:Highgrove Enterprises Planting Thyme Walk with Tigga in the backgroundCredit:Highgrove Enterprises The terrace as it used to lookCredit:Highgrove Enterprises The gardens of Highgrove have raised £7million for charity after the Prince of Wales transformed them from flat neglected plot to an organic haven, it has been revealed on the 25th anniversary of their public opening.The Gloucestershire garden, which is open to the public even when the Prince is in residence, has helped fund charities from Tusk, tackling elephant poaching in Africa, to apprentice beekeepers and opera for homeless people. Before and after pictures released by Clarence House for the anniversary show the Prince in his early days at Highgrove, getting his hands dirty planting hedges and thyme.Nowadays, he regularly catches visitors unawares to lend the gardeners a hand himself, and is said to be a “dab hand” with a long-handled pruner. The all-organic method, which sees wildflower meadows scythed and the edges of driveways unmown if there are wild orchids to be found nearby, has been brought up to date with the installation of a Bluetooth watering system operated remotely to give flowerbeds a drink overnight to save water. Archive photographs from Clarence House show the prince, in his thirties, with secateurs in one hand and a cutting of a shrub in the other, dressed casually in an opened-necked checked shirt and belted chinos as he walks through the meadow in front of Highgrove House.The organic gardens opened annually to the public in 1994 and Clarence House said the tours, along with events, retail and catering at Highgrove, have raised more than £7 million for charity over the past quarter of a century.Some 40,000 people now visit each year.Another image from Highgrove features the Prince planting thyme along a cobbled path which would eventually become the Thyme Walk avenue.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related$956M local bank fraud: Accused charged, granted $3M bailApril 3, 2017In “Court”Police probing $941M fraud at local bankApril 1, 2017In “Crime”Gold Board probe: File to be sent to ‘DPP or Police legal advisor’- SOCU HeadSeptember 6, 2017In “Crime” -Natural Resources Ministry probing Guyana Gold Board linkThe Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) Limited, Bartica Branch, Manager who was fingered in the $956 million fraud allegedly committed on the institution by Saddiqi Rasul, but was on the run, has since turned herself over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in the company of her lawyer.Saddiqi RasulInews was informed that the woman, identified as Tanzy Powell, was taken into custody and was assisting with investigations.Powell reportedly colluded with Rasul to change cheques to the sum of $956 million before clearing them with Citizens Bank – the bank from where the cheques originated. It is believed that the Manager did not follow protocol stipulated by the Bank’s policy before clearing the cheques.This concern was raised by Rasul’s legal representative on Monday, while making a successful application for bail for his client. His client was released on $3 million bail and was scheduled to return to court on April 21.Rasul, of Prashad Nagar and of First Avenue Bartica, who is the owner of SSS Minerals Trading Inc, allegedly deposited six cheques between March 21 and 24, 2017. The cheques were in the sum of $290 million, $96 million, $138 million, $89 million, $298 million and $45 million.The incident became public on Thursday last and within a few hours, Rasul turned himself in to the CID headquarters in the company of his lawyer.Following his arrest, the Police swooped down on several of the man’s properties in Bartica and Georgetown, along with his offices in Kitty, Georgetown; Bartica and Charity, Essequibo Coast, but came up empty-handed. In addition, several of his close associates were arrested and questioned, including his close ally, Hari Roopnarine.Rasul allegedly conned several gold dealers of hundreds of millions of dollars. He presently has several lawsuits pending from clients whose money he reportedly took to purchase gold, but instead fraudulently converted it to his own use.A few years ago, he collected close to $200 million from gold dealers to purchase gold, but this purchase never materialised.Rasul was also implicated in the multimillion-dollar fraud committed on Mohamed and Sons. His cousin was charged and granted $15 million bail. Rasul was reportedly the mastermind in that fraud.Probing Guyana Gold Board linkMeanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) says it has noted the media reports regarding the charges of alleged bank fraud against licenced gold dealer Saddiqi Rafeek Mohamed Rasul and the alleged linkages with personnel at the Guyana Gold Board.As a consequence of these reports, the Ministry in a statement said that it “will maintain its vigilance over the operations of the Board and will task the incoming Directors with the immediate task of probing this and related matters as to whether anyone from the agency acted improperly or outside of their mandate in conducting business with said licenced gold dealer.”Moreover the MNR posited that in the interest of transparency and accountability within the natural resources sector they have requested the Guyana Police Force to provide additional information and clarification with a view to aiding the investigation.The MNR says it “will be fully engaged with the authorities in addressing any matter of impropriety in the sector, and in particular, to ensure that the Guyana Gold Board is a credible and reliable institution of State.”