HOUSTON (AP) — Carmelo Anthony signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Houston Rockets on Monday.Anthony was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks last month before the Hawks released him.Houston general manager Daryl Morey announced the signing and the Rockets posted a picture on social media of Anthony signing his contract.The 34-year-old joins a team led by MVP James Harden and star point guard Chris Paul. The Rockets hope the addition of Anthony will help them contend for their first title since 1995. They lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals last season.Anthony will get a fresh start in Houston after spending last season with the Thunder, with whom he averaged a career-low 16.2 points in 78 games. The third overall pick in the 2003 draft has averaged 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists in a 15-year career that also included stints with the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks.The 6-foot-8 Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and has won three gold medals in the Olympics. He is USA Basketball’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.Anthony has averaged more than 20 points every year of his career except last season and led the NBA in scoring in 2012-13, when he averaged 28.7 points a game.
We are now less than a week away from almost all pitchers and catchers reporting, and the two biggest free agents on the market — Manny Machado and Bryce Harper — have yet to sign. The rumor mill around them continues to swirl, but we’re tired of not knowing for sure where these two will play this year. So we thought we’d take matters into our own hands, instead of simply waiting around for the latest hot-stove updates.To that end, we called on our friends at Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP), a strategic simulation game that allows players to put on their general manager hats and run their own teams. We asked them to simulate out the careers of Harper and Machado a bunch of times under scenarios where they sign with a bunch of different teams. Think of it as the multiverse of MLB possibilities that still could play out, depending on where these two superstars end up signing.It’s important to note that this is all guided by the game’s artificial intelligence, so it’s based on a simulation engine primarily intended for fun gameplay.1Though it can be a pretty serious simulation, as far as these things go. Perhaps you’ve heard of the soccer sim Football Manager and its notoriously addictive qualities? OOTP is essentially the same game, except for baseball. Having said all that, in the true spirit of J. Henry Waugh’s Universal Baseball Association, what if …… Machado signs with the White Sox?Frequency: 80 percent of simulations2OOTP ran 25 sample offseasons for us, tracking how often each player signed with which team.Average contract: Eight years for $198 millionSix-year team wins: 78.7 per seasonSix-year WAR: 6.0 per seasonBest playoff result: Loses divisional series in 2021Machado is one of the brightest stars in the OOTP universe, with an overall rating of 77 out of 80 (using the traditional 20-80 scouting scale). If he were to sign with the White Sox, one of his most frequently rumored suitors in real life, OOTP sees him having a tremendous individual debut in Chicago, putting together an All-Star season worth 6.5 wins above replacement. But the White Sox would have to wait until 2020 to improve as a team, leaping from 63 wins in 2019 to 92 in 2020, with Machado once again having a strong 5.8-WAR season. Chicago would average 92 wins per season in 2020 and ’21, making the playoffs both years, but they would top out with a tough five-game loss in the American League Division Series in 2021, then drop down to 80 wins in 2022 as Machado’s teammates regress.He would average 5.7 WAR per season over the next two years, but the Sox would miss the playoffs both seasons, with Machado opting out of his contract to join the New York Mets on a five-year, $197.5 million deal before the 2025 season. (Chicago would be fine without him, making the American League Championship Series in 2025 and 2026.) In New York, Machado’s individual numbers would decline to an average of 4.1 WAR per season, but he would help the 2028 Mets reach the World Series — where, in classic Mets fashion, they would lose to the Astros in seven games. After bouncing to the Nationals and Rockies in the early 2030s, Machado would retire in October 2032 with a JAWS score of 63.4, which should easily earn him a place in the Hall of Fame.… Machado signs with the Padres?Frequency: 20 percent of simulationsAverage contract: Eight years for $212 millionSix-year team wins: 83.3 per seasonSix-year WAR: 5.0 per seasonBest playoff result: Loses league championship series in 2024If Machado were to sign with San Diego, OOTP’s AI thinks that he would make about $14 million more over an eight-year contract than he would with the White Sox. But how would his Padres do on the field? In this universe, Machado would have an incredible initial campaign in Southern California, putting up 7.5 WAR and winning the National League’s MVP in 2019. His team, though, would only improve from 66 to 76 wins, good for third place in the NL West, and Machado would later struggle to repeat his amazing debut season. The simulations have him averaging just 4.1 WAR per season in 2020-21, with the Padres winning only 71 games a year. But in 2022, Machado would bounce back with 5.2 WAR, and San Diego would win 95 games, making the divisional series. It’s part of a three-year playoff surge for the Padres, peaking with 100 wins in 2024 — but that team is projected to crash out of the playoffs with a disappointing five-game NLCS loss to the Dodgers.That offseason, Machado would opt out of his initial contract and sign a five-year, $157.5 million deal with the expansion Memphis Scouts — which are a thing in this universe! — where he would spend the next five seasons playing reasonably well (4.2 WAR per year), but losing so many ballgames would surely give him flashbacks to the horrid 2018 Orioles. The best season of Machado’s final years is forecast to be an out-of-nowhere 4.3-WAR season with the 101-win Cincinnati Reds in 2032, but that team would ultimately lose in the divisional series. In September 2035, Machado would retire from pro baseball as a probable Hall of Famer.… Machado signs somewhere else?While OOTP’s AI thinks Chicago and San Diego are the destinations most likely for Machado, it also forced him onto the Phillies, Yankees and Twins for the sake of the full multiverse. The first two outcomes are about a wash individually, with Machado nearing 7 WAR in his best simulated season for each team and producing roughly the same total WAR (33.9 in New York, 32.6 in Philly). He would also stay longer in each city: seven years with the Phillies before opting out to join the Giants and the full eight-year contract span with the Yankees. But in terms of team performance, Machado wouldn’t win a World Series in either Philadelphia or New York, coming closest with a seven-game ALCS loss in 2022 as part of his Yankees timeline. It’s kind of a sad set of outcomes for a pair of teams that you’d think would offer Machado the greatest chance of team success. As for the Twins, they would be very successful with Machado, winning 90.2 games per season in his five years in Minnesota, including a World Series berth in 2021. But he would also opt out of that contract as early as possible, moving on to sign a massive deal with the Giants. Such is the way of Minnesota sports. So where should each star sign? If these OOTP simulations are any indication, it looks like Harper and the Cardinals would be best off with him playing right field in St. Louis, and Machado should lean toward manning the hot corner for the Padres. But those are but two options in the multiverse of possible outcomes. The only thing that we are 100 percent certain about is that at least one of these teams should sign these guys now. Stars like Machado and Harper shouldn’t still be going into spring training without a deal in place — for their own sake and for the sake of fan bases whose teams can use them to compete this season.Special thanks to Richard Grisham and Out of the Park Developments for their help with this story. Let’s move on to Harper, whose future is more difficult to read than Machado’s. OOTP’s AI predicted that he’d sign with any of four teams — the Giants (64 percent), Cardinals (20 percent), Padres (12 percent) and Dodgers (4 percent) — and that’s not even the full spate of his commonly rumored options. But let’s peer into OOTP’s crystal ball anyway. What if …… Harper signs with the Giants?Frequency: 64 percent of simulationsAverage contract: Seven years for $175 millionSix-year team wins: 82.1 per seasonSix-year WAR: 3.3 per seasonBest playoff result: No playoffsThe Giants are a weird team that won 73 games last season despite trying to contend, and they do have the need for a corner outfielder like Harper if they want to try it again in 2019. According to OOTP, San Francisco would pay about $15 million to $20 million more over a seven-year deal than Harper’s other potential suitors, and they wouldn’t get much postseason success out of it. They are projected to average 85.5 wins per season over the first four years of Harper’s deal, finishing second in the NL West (and out of the playoffs) each year. They would also get classic inconsistent Bryce: 5.7 WAR in Year 1, followed by 2.2 and 2.9 WAR (both seasons riddled with injuries), then 4.4, and then 0.6 in a terrible 2023 season during which Harper would hit .209, with the Giants crashing to 74 wins.After six up-and-down seasons by the Bay, Harper would sign a four-year, $116.8 million deal with the Brewers. He is projected for a strong season on a playoff-bound Milwaukee team in 2025 but then just 2.1 WAR per year over the next two seasons before opting out early yet again to join … yes, the Yankees. During his inevitable run in pinstripes, Harper would boast an .821 OPS as his Yanks make (and lose) the ALCS in 2028, but he would put up negative WAR over the next two seasons. He would retire at age 38 after being released by New York (and briefly rejoining the Giants). Harper’s final JAWS score of 49.9 would put him right on the edge of the Hall of Fame relative to other right fielders.… Harper signs with the Cardinals?Frequency: 20 percent of simulationsAverage contract: Seven years for $151 millionSix-year team wins: 87.2 per seasonSix-year WAR: 4.9 per seasonBest playoff result: Loses World Series in 2027 and 2030This is one of the most successful universes either star free agent had in our OOTP simulations. In this world, the Cardinals would grab Harper for the bargain-bin price of $151 million, and he would stay with them for a total of 12 seasons thanks to another midcareer contract extension. St. Louis would be mostly competitive throughout Harper’s dozen seasons there, averaging 87 wins per year and making the playoffs nine times, including two pennant-winning runs. Harper is projected for 53.4 total WAR in a Cardinals uniform (which would actually rank him just below Ozzie Smith for fifth on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard), winning the 2023 NL MVP with a 1.033 OPS and 7.4 WAR. In Harper’s final season as a Cardinal at age 37, OOTP sees St. Louis losing the 2030 World Series to (Machado’s?) White Sox in a heartbreaking seventh game.After leaving St. Louis, Harper would sign a three-year, $62 million deal with the Mets, but a fractured knee would cost him 88 games in his first New York season, and he wouldn’t be the same player afterward, averaging just 1.1 WAR/year in 2032-33. Following an ineffective 51-game stint with the Giants in 2034, Harper would retire as a surefire Hall of Famer with a JAWS score of 69.2.… Harper signs somewhere else?Harper has been linked to so many teams, it’s tough to keep track sometimes. So we asked OOTP to look at the other teams its own AI saw Harper signing with (the Padres and Dodgers), plus the Phillies, White Sox and Harper’s erstwhile team, the Nationals. Of those, the Dodgers easily offer the greatest amount of team glory — in fact, they would basically become a dynasty with Bryce on board, winning the 2020, 2021, 2023 and 2024 World Series and losing it in 2025 (as Harper would put up 44.3 WAR during seven seasons in L.A.).3Just for good measure, Harper would return to Washington in this Dodgers simulation, after a four-season stint with the Mariners, and would also win the 2030 World Series with the Nats in his age-37 season. Individually, Harper would finish with 98.3 WAR in that universe, edging out his 93.2 WAR in the Cardinals simulation for the best of the options we looked at. The rest offer varying degrees of lesser success from both a team and personal perspective, with the Phillies, Nats and Padres projected to make the playoffs a few times on Harper’s first contract (he would re-up with the Padres and Nationals for the long-term in those simulations) and Harper accumulating just shy of 80 career WAR in each universe.
San Diego Padres1999-03.44343310 For years as general manager of the Phillies, Ruben Amaro Jr. tried everything possible to avoid dismantling the championship core that he and his predecessors1Former GMs Pat Gillick and Ed Wade, who in the 2000s had one of the best runs of scouting, drafting and developing prospects by any eventual champion ever. had built in Philadelphia. It was an irrational cause: Some smart observers had seen Philly’s troubles coming even as the team was winning 102 games in 2011, and by 2013, it was difficult for anybody to deny the Phillies’ need to rebuild. Yet, Amaro still did. “People think we’re going to blow up this team,” he told CSNPhilly.com that June. “We’re never going to be in the position of blowing up. There’s no blowing up.”Despite his efforts to stave off the inevitable, Amaro was fired in 2015, and the teardown commenced in earnest. But his hesitation to change course showed how awkward the decision can be to strategically steer a franchise onto a different path. Fast forward to now, and the Phillies are at the other end of the cycle, with current GM Matt Klentak facing a similar dilemma in the opposite direction: How to shift from rebuilding back to actually winning some ballgames? Just like the decision to start a rebuild in the first place, the timing on trying to contend again can be difficult to get exactly right.Certainly, the Phillies have been busy executing their own version of the multi-year renovation projects that yielded World Series wins for both the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros over the past two seasons. In a little more than a half-decade, Philadelphia has gone from breaking 100 wins to racking up nearly 100 losses per year. The team has slashed payroll from nearly $200 million to well under $100 million and has gone from one of MLB’s oldest rosters to its youngest — replenishing its minor-league talent base along the way.In that sense, it was a textbook rebuild. Over the past few years, Philly’s farm system has already turned out plenty of quality players, from rookie home-run machine Rhys Hoskins to World Series-winning reliever Ken Giles2Who was traded to Houston for Vince Velasquez in late 2015. and breakout starter Aaron Nola. Still more prospects are coming through the pipeline this season, including touted shortstop J.P. Crawford and four other members of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list.If the hallmarks of a franchise overhaul are cost-cutting and building up organizational talent, few teams have ever done it so thoroughly as the Phillies of recent vintage. To measure the magnitude of team restoration projects, I calculated a running total of what I’m calling “rebuild points” for each club since 1988.3I picked that year because it basically marked the beginning of the modern era of MLB economics, after the collusion cases of the mid-1980s were resolved and free-agent salaries took off. A team gets a rebuild point if it finishes .500 or worse in a season in which it does any of the following: gets younger as a team,4Based on the average age of its hitters (weighted by plate appearances) and pitchers (weighted by innings). improves its ranking in Baseball America’s farm system rankings or reduces its payroll. Teams can get multiple rebuild points in the same season if they do more than one of the above.Clearly, this isn’t the only way to measure the depth of a team’s rebuilding effort. But according to this metric, only five teams since 1988 have racked up 11 or more rebuild points in any five-season span5Discarding overlapping five-year periods that had fewer rebuild points. — and one of those is the recent Phillies: Colorado Rockies2012-16.42833410 Chicago White Sox2013-17.44134411 Houston Astros2010-14.38044412 * For years when the team had a .500 record or worseOverlapping five-year segments were excludedSources: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com Seattle Mariners2010-14.44633410 Chicago Cubs2010-14.42734411 Philadelphia Phillies2013-17.42734411 Years in which team …* Philadelphia Phillies1995-99.44933410 Baltimore Orioles2000-04.43642410 Detroit Tigers1994-98.41634310 California Angels1992-96.45433410 Tampa Bay Devil Rays2001-05.39243411 TeamYearsAvg. RecordGot YoungerImproved FarmCut PayrollRebuild Pts Pittsburgh Pirates1993-97.45433410 Baseball’s most extreme five-year rebuildsMLB teams that accrued the most ‘rebuild points’ (for reducing a team’s average age, improving its farm system or cutting its payroll), for five-year spans since 1988 It’s not a bad list to be on. The Astros of 2010-14 are at the top, and they used their time at the bottom to build a champion. As did the 2010-14 Cubs. Also on the list are the Tampa Bay (née Devil) Rays, who built the pennant-winner that lost to Philly in the 2008 World Series. And while the book isn’t written on the current White Sox, they’ve zoomed up the farm-system rankings in recent years and could be positioned for success in the next decade, with top prospects such as Eloy Jimenez leading the way.It didn’t take too long for the historical teams with 11 or more rebuild points in particular to get very, very good again: Within three seasons, they won 60 percent of their games on average, good for 97 wins over a full schedule. But in their first season after the rebuild period — the equivalent of Philadelphia’s 2018 season — that number was still just 50 percent, or 81 wins per 162 games.6Granted, that was up from 43 percent during the final year of the five-year rebuild, so the teams were already making strong progress. In other words, even among a group that was eventually successful, the turnaround wasn’t instant. And yet the Phillies have spent this offseason loading up on older players as though they were a few key pieces away from contention: They signed ex-Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (who turns 32 this season), snagged a couple of free-agent relievers in their 30s — Tommy Hunter (31) and Pat Neshek (37) — and are rumored to be kicking the tires on former Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (32).Even after those moves, most statistical projections call for Philly to finish with something like 75 to 80 wins this year, which would put it on the outside of contention for the wild card (much less the division crown). It’s not beyond the realm of possibility for a rising team in that range to take analysts by surprise — hello, Minnesota! — but it doesn’t happen often. Add in how exceptionally top-heavy MLB is projected to be this season, and you could argue that the Phillies would have been better served by biding their time and building from within for at least one more season.That said, even the most masterful rebuilding projects have their limits. Research shows that the relationship between a team’s farm system and its future record is nowhere near as reliable as we sometimes like to think it is — and that it certainly isn’t as strong as the tie between a team’s payroll and its ability to add production on the open market. There’s also an argument for the necessity of franchise culture-building with veterans like Santana — bringing in players from successful teams may help install a winning attitude for locker rooms whose youngsters have only ever known losing. And then there’s the fact that the Phillies are in a position to start spending a lot of money again: They finally got out from under the final salary commitments of the previous regime and are flush with cable-TV contract cash. It was only a matter of time before Philadelphia started to flex its financial muscle again.That part of the equation can start yielding big benefits in a hurry. To measure the interplay between a team’s budget and its backlog of prospects, I built a regression model that works within the framework of this farm-system analysis by economist and MLB consultant Matt Swartz. In essence, it uses a team’s payroll and its recent prospect rankings from Baseball America to predict how many games it will win, via production from two sources: younger players who haven’t yet reached free agency and veterans who are signed on the open market. Although smart front offices have realized that the former group is a lot more cost-effective than the latter, once a team has a few good farm classes stored away, spending on the latter group can be a powerful way to really shift back into a contending gear.According to my model, a team in Philadelphia’s current situation could ramp up its spending within five years to match the Phillies’ payrolls during their late 2000s/early 2010s heyday7Philadelphia payrolls were about 40 percent higher than the MLB average from the 2004 season through the 2014 season, peaking at 81 percent above average in 2011. and expect to hit about 92 wins by 2022 even if it gradually allows its farm system to slip into the league’s bottom five within five years. By contrast, a comparable team that takes a slower approach, keeping its farm system strong8Generally staying among the Top 10 farm systems throughout. but spending more modestly9Never going more than 20 percent above league average on payroll. wouldn’t even crack 86 wins after five years. Why? Because after banking those good prospect classes (which the Phillies have already done), there are more diminishing returns on maintaining a solid farm system than there are on spending sheer amounts of money at the major-league level.In other words, developing a strong base of young talent is a good way for budding dynasties to start, but it’s what happens next that truly determines a franchise’s fate. Klentak and the Phillies have gone through the first stage of that process, overhauling the organization in just about as dramatic a way as any modern team has. Now they’re just starting the second stage — and with Philadelphia linked to speculation about next winter’s big-name free agents (namely, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado), this could only be the beginning. Although no rebuilding plan is ever foolproof, don’t be surprised if Philadelphia’s version puts them in the same conversation with the Cubs and Astros before long.
OSU players celebrates after an overtime goal against Bowling Green on Oct. 7 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Eric Weitz / Lantern PhotographerThe Ohio State men’s soccer team is currently riding the longest winning streak in program history. The Buckeyes are looking to build on their seven-game tear against Cleveland State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Scarlet and Gary did not face the Vikings last season but are looking to come out with a win despite limited knowledge of the opponent.“We’re going to prepare to play against Cleveland State and do the best that we can against CSU,” coach John Bluem said. “When that game is over, then we will go on to the next.”The Buckeyes have been on fire and plan to take one game at a time to keep its momentum.A daunting challenge for the Vikings will be trying to break through the Buckeye defense, as the OSU back end has been nearly impenetrable lately for the opposition. It’s been three games since a team has found the back of the net against OSU. “The backs are playing fantastic and we know that we just need to go in there and put things away,” senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson said.The Buckeyes have enjoyed the support of their home fans and look for it to continue as the team draws closer to postseason play.“This team is really in a groove right now with seven straight wins and nine unbeaten,” junior forward Christian Soldat said. “It feels great to be at home to play in front of a crowd that grows every single game, and they’re always behind us and we’re going to keep playing for them.”Viking territoryThe Vikings will be entering Wednesday’s match coming off the heels of a shutout win, 1-0, over Belmont on Saturday. Cleveland State has won three games in a row and has extended its record to 6-6-1 overall. Sophomore defender Jake Lagania leads the Vikings with five goals and three assists, followed by junior forward Sergio Manesio with three goals. Cleveland State has used a timeshare system at goalkeeper this season. Junior goalkeeper Nick Ciraldo has played about 600 minutes on the year and has a goals-against average of 2.14, with 16 saves overall, while junior goalkeeper Aleksandar Drobac has played for about 700 minutes and has a goals-against average score of 1.10 with 31 saves.Player of the week awards piling upFor the third consecutive week, redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, while junior forward Danny Jensen was named Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in October.Both players have been vital to what OSU has been able to accomplish thus far.Jensen leads the team with four goals and three assists on the season, giving him a total of 11 points.Froschauer has started every game in 2015 after transferring from Dayton. He has logged more than 1,000 minutes and boasts a goals-against average of 0.88 and 45 saves this season.Froschauer became the third player in conference history to rack up three consecutive weekly honors. Moving on upAfter Saturday’s victory, the Buckeyes have moved to first place in the Big Ten conference, followed by Maryland and Rutgers, respectively. The Scarlet and Gray have also moved up to No. 18 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.Up nextFollowing Wednesday’s action, the Buckeyes are set to travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face Rutgers at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Sue Stimmel, the only women’s lacrosse coach in Ohio State history, announced her resignation Wednesday.In her 15 seasons at OSU, Stimmel accumulated a 122-111 record, and an overall career record of 198-130 with her six seasons coaching at Denison University.She led the Buckeyes to NCAA tournament appearances in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, as well as an ALC Championship in 2003.“She will be sorely missed,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a press release. “We appreciate the great work she has done to start and establish our women’s lacrosse program. She is truly an outstanding person, and we thank her for all she gave the student-athletes and Buckeye Nation.”Senior captain Rachael Cornicello said Stimmel’s decision came as a shock to the team.“She hadn’t said anything during the season about it so that’s why we were a little surprised,” she said. “But we’re trying to see good in it and we still love her as our coach.”Cornicello said her teammates are keeping their heads high and hoping that the program will change for the better.“The sport in general has changed so much even in the past five years, so maybe someone who could bring new ideas to the program would be good,” she said.Though the team is looking to the future, Stimmel will assuredly be missed.“Sue happens to be a very funny person,” said Cornicello. “So her humor will be something that we’ll miss along with her dedication to the team. This has really been her life for the past 15 years. Her dedication to the sport reflects in how we play.”Stimmel attributed her decision to leave to her desire to move on and pursue other professional opportunities.“I want to thank The Ohio State University and the athletics department for the past 15 years,” Stimmel said in a press release. “Building the program has been a truly amazing experience, one that gave me the opportunity to work with wonderful student-athletes and exceptional people. I believe the time has come for me to move on to new challenges and to explore other opportunities.”What these opportunities may be is thus far unclear.“I really don’t know what her plans are,” said Cornicello. “I can definitely see her coaching somewhere in future. She’s so dedicated to the sport and it’s something that makes her happy.”
Ohio State cornerbacks Travis Howard and Bradley Roby aren’t shy about admitting their position coach, Kerry Coombs, is a bit of a trash talker. They said they’re the same way. “Me and Travis are already kind of like that,” said Roby, a rising redshirt sophomore. “He brings that same mentality, that hard-nose, trash-talking kind of play.” Roby said he likes it that way. “That’s how I am. I love that,” Roby said. “I’m right behind him doing the same thing.” Likewise, it seems Coombs’ fiery demeanor has also commanded Howard’s respect. But even more so, the rising redshirt senior said the guidance from the former Cincinnati assistant coach is what he and the rest of the corners need. “It’s definitely been a great change,” Howard said. “I mean, he’s a high intensity guy who’s willing to make sure we perfect our technique and make sure we work hard at whatever we do.” For Coombs, that feeling of admiration and respect is mutual. In addition to having what he called talented and gifted athletes, what has struck the 51-year-old the most is how diligently his players work. “They’re in my office poking their head in all the time,” he said. “They want to know what they can do to get better, they want to know where they fell short.” Coombs said it’s no secret that OSU has a “great history” of defensive secondary players. Outside the coaches’ offices, Coombs said there’s a wall commemorating eight first-round NFL Draft picks that the Buckeyes have produced throughout the years. Coombs said he thinks Roby will be the next to join the wall. “He’s big, and he’s fast, and he’s physical, and he’s intelligent and he’s got great change of direction,” Coombs said. “His transition is outstanding. And if Bradley’s not a first-round draft pick down the road, that would be a shame.” Roby, who recorded 47 tackles and three interceptions in 2011, said being one of the greatest corners to play at OSU has been his goal since arriving in Columbus. “I think about it everyday,” he said. “When I came up here, that was my goal. My goal hasn’t changed. I feel like I’m definitely on path for that.” And Coombs’ approach to the position, he said, will not only aid him in reaching that level, but will holistically benefit the team. Roby said compared to last season’s heavy emphasis on press coverage, Coombs has the cornerbacks playing further off the receivers than ever before. That, Roby said, allows he and the other corners the freedom and ability to be a “ball hawk” and create turnovers via interceptions. “I mean, that’s why I play football,” he said. “I just love to make plays.” Similarly, Howard said playing off is something he’s looking forward to. “I mean, I feel like we were a press team last year, we didn’t have enough opportunities to make plays on the ball so he came in with a new technique,” he said. “Now we’re getting a lot of chances making plays on the balls and getting good vision on the quarterback.” By playing off, Roby said he finds himself in a better position to make the play that every corner dreams of in Saturday’s Spring Game. “I’m trying to get at least one pick-six … it’s going to be there,” he said. “We’re going to have the pressure and they’re going to throw it up. I got to get a pick-six, I didn’t get one all last year, so I want a pick-six for sure.”
Coach Nick Myers addresses members of the OSU men’s lacrosse team.Credit: Molly Tavoletti / Lantern reporterDon’t settle. Don’t get comfortable. Pave your own way.Ohio State men’s lacrosse coach Nick Myers said he strives to instill that advice in his Buckeye team, and will soon encourage another group of young men as the head coach of the 2016 U.S. Men’s National Under-19 team, a position he said he humbly accepts.“The opportunity to put the stars and stripes on and be a part of Team USA and associate with US Lacrosse is something I’ve dreamed about,” Myers said. “The mission is to go there and win a championship.”Myers grew up in southern Maine, a location that isn’t necessarily known for breeding lacrosse players. But as the sport made a slow and steady spread from traditional hotbeds like New York and Maryland, he credited his stepfather for first placing a stick in his hands, guiding him on an admittedly nontraditional journey to where he is today.“In sixth or seventh grade, we were the only kids in our town that had sticks,” Myers said. “We were running a club team kind of out of our house … In high school I never played on a varsity team, it was always a club team.”After graduating from Springfield College (Massachusetts) in 2001 with a Division III All-American honor, he almost immediately began his relationship with OSU, starting as a volunteer assistant during the 2002-03 season. He simultaneously waited tables at Outback Steakhouse to make ends meet, but said the sacrifices were worthwhile.He never looked back from there, taking just six years to reach the top of the program.“I’ve really grown up in this athletic department,” Myers said. “I was 21 when I first got here, now I’m 35. It’s been a lot of growth.”Since becoming head coach in 2008, Myers has led the Buckeyes to the 2013 Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament, the 2013 NCAA quarterfinals with the No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, and has reaped numerous All-American and all-conference honors. While Myers has shown success on the field, he said he believes achieving success requires much more than just winning.At OSU, Myers established a leadership council and developed a mentor program between seniors and freshmen, recognizing the student-athlete challenges while offering support.“We’re working to create a really strong foundation and to develop them as men,” he said. “We ask, ‘Are they leaving here with a skill set that has really been refined?’ And if we can do that, we’re hopefully doing more than just coaching them on the field.”After earning a degree in education and marrying a teacher, Myers said he never imagined a career outside coaching. And though he lives to teach others, he said he recognizes the importance of self-growth as well, crediting the many mentors he himself has learned from along the way.“Each year you have an opportunity to impact more student athletes but you’re always looking outside yourself to grow, to learn,” Myers said. “There are so many people I’ve had the opportunity to work with who have taught me a great deal, people who are willing to take the time to spend with a coach who’s still learning the ropes.”Among those mentors, Myers particularly credits former OSU coach Joe Breschi for enabling his success both on and off the field, something Breschi said he is proud of.“He is a wonderful tactician and has great passion for the game,” Breschi said. “Nick has the unique ability to balance coaching, family and faith while keeping all life’s challenges in perspective.”As a coach, Myers perpetually seeks to “sharpen his saw,” and as a husband and father of two boys, ages 2 and 4 (who are already armed with sticks, helmets and pads), the balance he strives for off the field is essential with his team at OSU.“The ones who separate themselves are the ones who can be humbled, yet are still starving to get better,” Myers said. “We encourage our men to be go-getters, to be hungry, to crave feedback and to be pushed and challenged.”Myers and the Buckeyes are currently hungry for their first road win of 2015, and have a chance to pick one up against Bellarmine on Friday. The game set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in Louisville, Ky.
Seung-Yul Noh watches after driving a ball during the 2015 Memorial Tournament on June 5 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor Spectators were treated to an exciting weekend of golf at Muirfield Village Golf Club, where David Lingmerth secured his first win on the PGA TOUR, defeating Justin Rose in a three-hole sudden-death playoff at the 40th Memorial Tournament.Lingmerth finished fifth or better two of the first three days of the tournament and entered Sunday’s action 12-under par. The win was his 68th tour event. He was visibly excited.“I can’t believe it right now. I’m so happy. I don’t know where to go,” Lingmerth said.Rose entered the final day three shots back of the leader, Keegan Bradley, and held a three-stroke lead before bogeying the 14th and 16th holes, finishing the regulation portion of the round at par.“I pulled off shots when I really had too, coming down the stretch. I would have liked to put myself in a position where I could have sailed coming down the stretch, but I really had to dig for it,” Rose said.A win for Rose would have been his eighth on tour and his second at Muirfield Village, where he won the Memorial Tournament in 2010, his first victory on the American tour.“It would have been lovely to win in the playoff, but there is a lot I could look back and think I could have done better,” Rose said.The Memorial, the annual invitation-only tournament founded by Upper Arlington native and Ohio State alumnus Jack Nicklaus, has featured some dramatics lately, as two of the last three finishes have been decided by a playoff, and four of the last five by two strokes or fewer.Originally from Sweden, Lingmerth has had success on the European Tour, but he is still cutting his teeth on the American circuit, and he was eager to play at Muirfield Village.“I had never played here, I wanted to come experience it,” Lingmerth said.Lingmerth, who had been heavily recruited to return to Europe for part of the summer, expressed his desire to stay in the United States to seek his first victory, honeyed by the fact that it came at the Memorial.“This tournament, hosted by Mr. Nicklaus, I can’t think of many things that compare to it,” Lingmerth said.In choosing to play the Memorial, Lingmerth skipped the Nordea Masters in his native Sweden.Tiger Woods, a five-time winner at Muirfield, finished two-over, good for 71st on the leaderboard. He rebounded somewhat on Sunday, carding a two-over after an abhorrent Saturday, when he had a career worst single-day score of 85.Woods had previously announced he will not play again until the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on June 18. He attended the Memorial out of respect for his friendship with Nicklaus, whom he is still seeking to dethrone as the all-time major tournament wins leader.The Memorial, Nicklaus’ pride and joy, samples elements of some of golf’s great tournaments. The invitation process is similar to that of the Masters at Augusta National, and Muirfield Village is named after a course in Scotland where Nicklaus won his first Open Championship in 1966.
Britain will withhold foreign aid from countries if money is being wasted, Priti Patel has said.The International Development Secretary said that new aid spending deals will include “performance agreements”, allowing ministers to take away 10 per cent of donations if certain strict targets are not met.It came as Ms Patel announced that the UK will contribute £1.1 billion to a global aid fund to help fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.Ms Patel, who last week said too much of Britain’s aid budget is “stolen or wasted”, announced the three-year pledge alongside Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.The investment in the Global Fund of around £366 million a year will help the organisation save eight million lives from the diseases. Ms Patel said: “This latest round of UK investment demonstrates that Britain is keeping the promises it has made to the world’s poor while underlining the Government’s commitment to tackle the great global challenges of our time, including disease, which is in the national interest.”But even some of the best performing international aid institutions can improve and deliver better value for taxpayers and those in need.”That is why we are using this investment in the Global Fund to secure a demanding performance agreement to make sure UK aid achieves the maximum possible impact.”Performance agreements will become the norm for the Department for International Development’s engagement with international institutions, as Global Britain uses its leadership to demand more for UK taxpayers and the world’s poorest.” Singer Bono shakes hands with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauCredit:CHRISTINNE MUSCHI /Reuters U2 singer Bono, who founded the ONE campaign against poverty, said: “In an era of strained budgets and growing isolationism in some quarters, world leaders have come together to make the single largest multilateral investment in a global health project in human history.”We can deliver a knockout punch to three of the deadliest killers of our time, and today’s accomplishment makes that possible.”There is surely more work to do, we have to keep at it, but today is a good day.”Saira O’Mallie, ONE’s interim UK director, said: “The UK’s bold pledge of £1.1 billion to the Global Fund is welcome news for the world’s poorest.”Priti Patel has made a shrewd investment, sending a strong signal that Britain continues to be a leader in global development. British taxpayers can be proud that their generosity will help save millions of lives.” Priti Patel in Quebec for the conference fighting Aids, TB and malariaCredit:Geoff Robins The money will fund 40 million bed nets to tackle malaria, provide enough anti-retroviral therapy for 1.3 million people with HIV and support the treatment of 800,000 people with tuberculosis.A proportion of the investment will be used to leverage £100 million from the private sector specifically to tackle malaria.Britain’s investment is part of a global effort amounting to nearly 13 billion dollars (around £10 billion). Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. We can deliver a knockout punch to three of the deadliest killers of our time, and today’s accomplishment makes that possibleBono
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. His disappearance after a night out on the Thekla, a nightclub on an converted old ship which is permanently moored in the city centre.And Deakon Wilkins, 24, was also found dead in the Floating Harbour near Temple Meads rail station on February 5 after he went missing in January.He was last seen leaving Motion nightclub in Avon Street in the early hours of Saturday, January 14.The spate of deaths has triggered speculation on social media that a serial killer could be on the loose, targeting men who have been out clubbing for the night. Kaye Hulme added: “I don’t care what any one says but there is something sinister about these deaths!”Police have said that the deaths of the first two men are not being treated as suspicious.Both cases have been handed to the Avon Coroner for investigation, rather than being treated as criminal cases.They have not yet said if the death of Abdulkadir Mahamoud’s is being treated as suspicious.Asked about the social media speculation Avon and Somerset police said: “There is nothing to suggest that any of the deaths are linked or suspicious.”They appear to have been tragic accidents.”We are always willing to receive new information and intelligence, which is not based on speculation.”We are continuing to work with the coroner on the incidents which are being treated as non-suspicious sudden deaths.”The spate of deaths has led to the Royal Life Saving Society issuing a warning for people to be more safety conscious near water. A body believed to be a missing 29-year-old Abdulkadir Mahamoud was pulled from the River Avon on FridayCredit: SWNS.com The bodies of three men have been recovered from the water in Bristol in the past six weeksCredit:SWNS.com Police have dismissed claims on social media that a serial killer is pushing people to their deaths in a city’s docks.The bodies of three men have been recovered from the water in Bristol in the past six weeks.A body believed to be a missing 29-year-old Abdulkadir Mahamoud was pulled from the River Avon on Friday.On February 27 the body of 26 year-old Lewis Ball was found in the nearby Floating Harbour after a two-week manhunt. Joe Henderson wrote on Facebook: “Police and the media are avoiding the obvious – becoming very clear that Bristol has a serial killer on the loose.”Alistair Bunce said: “Bristol Pusher strikes again? Surely CID must be starting to think there is someone out there pushing people in!”Bianca Symone Liliana Anoushka added: “This is strange. Been saying it for months now.”Noticed as they are all men and not women. Perhaps there’s a pusher? Perhaps robbing drunk men after nights out and pushing them in the river? Who knows?”
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 alarm was raised after the Twin Squirrel, owned by Mr Burke’s company Staske Construction, failed to arrive at its destination.The Burke family are understood to have left Milton Keynes for the 250 mile flight to Dublin in order to spend the weekend in the Irish capital. The Twin Squirrel helicopter which crashed over North Wales while on a flight to Dublin, killing all five on boardCredit:High Level/REX/Shutterstock An extensive search of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia was launched at about 4.15pm on Wednesday after the distress and diversion system lost radar contact with the aircraft.Mr Evans said: “Initially, it’s last known position was believed ‘over sea’ in the Caernarfon Bay area but this was then narrowed to a land-based search coordinated by North Wales Police in Snowdonia involving all local and RAF mountain rescue teams.”Local conditions were described as atrocious with visibility down to less than 10 metres in places.”My thanks go out to the professionalism and commitment of all those personnel involved in this operation.”A tearful female employee at the home of Kevin and Ruth Burke last night told reporters the “whole family died”.Workers could be seen coming in and out of the gates to the property at Brook Farm, Hulcote, near Milton Keynes, which houses a helicopter landing pad.Mr Burke’s mobile number was listed on the outside wall but the middle-aged woman asked people outside not to call it.Asked if he was the only family member who had died in the crash, she started crying and said: “No, the whole family died.”A barmaid at a nearby pub, The Swan, Salford, said: “They were lovely people and were well known in the village. They used to eat and drink here.” A police road block near the scene of the crash, Trawsfynydd, Rhinog Mountains, Snowdonia, North WalesCredit:Paul Greenwood/Athena Pictures A spokesman for the family told the Milton Keynes citizen: “Six children have lost their parents in this tragedy. At this stage the family wants to be left alone to be able to deal with their grief over this terrible loss and concentrate upon looking after the children.”A full investigation into the cause of the crash will be led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and a team of inspectors has been sent to the site. Five members of an extended family were feared killed when their helicopter crashed over North Wales while on a trip to Ireland, it has emerged.Husband and wife Kevin and Ruth Burke are thought to have been in the red Twin Squirrel aircraft when it vanished from radar screens on Wednesday yesterday, friends said.It is now understood the couple had also been joined on the trip by Mr Burke’s two brothers and one of their wives.They were believed to have been travelling to Dublin, where Mrs Burke was born, for a christening with three other adult family members.Police yesterday confirmed the wreckage of the helicopter along with the bodies of five people had been located in the Rhinog mountains near Trawsfynydd, in Snowdonia, on Thursday.However the search was set to be suspended until today because of poor weather setting in and the potentially hazardous terrain in which the helicopter crashed. One Hulcote resident, who did not give his name, said Mr Burke was originally from Manchester, was a pilot himself, and had a 14-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter.Richard Mann, another neighbour, said he and Mr Burke had both previously been councillors for Hulcote and Salford parish.He said: “Kevin, I think, is a very astute businessman, outgoing, hail-fellow- well-met, always seemed very cheery.” North Wales Police have established a temporary exclusion zone over the crash site at a height of 5500 foot above sea level and a 5 nautical mile radius. Police that the couple’s two teenage children were not on boardNorth Wales police told the Telegraph: “The five victims are all adult and part of the same extended family from the Milton Keynes area.”Superintendent Gareth Evans, of North Wales Police, said the victims had not yet been formally identified and that their families were being supported by specialist officers from Thames Valley Police.He added: “I’m sure you’ll appreciate this is an agonising time for the families and friends of all involved. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.”Mr Evans said the exact location of the crash site was not being revealed in order to allow recovery of the bodies from the “very difficult and challenging terrain”.
Many 20mph zones now come with speed humps, however last year the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which sets NHS treatment policy, called for them to be scrapped on the basis they increase pollution. The new figures, which were measured using traffic counters installed on the road, undermine the recent findings of a poll commissioned by road safety charity Brake, which indicated that only 52 per cent of drivers break the 20mph limit.The DfT report also shows one in 10 drivers exceeds motorway speed limits by at least 10mph, and 1 per cent hitting 90mph, with 53 per cent of cars exceeding the speed limit on 30mph roads.However, the percentage of overall vehicles breaking the speed limit has declined since 2011.Twenty mph speed limits have been in place in the UK since 1991, with 250 introduced by the end of the decade.The law was then liberalised to gave local highway authorities the flexibility to impose limits without applying for permission from central Government, as well as introducing traffic calming measures such as speed humps within the zones. A DfT spokesman said: “Research shows that 20mph zones in the right areas can save lives and we have made it easier for councils to introduce them. Twenty mph speed limits are ignored by more than eight in ten drivers, new official statistics suggest.Figures released by the Department for Transport show that 81 per cent of cars recorded at nine sites across the country in 2016 broke the limit, with a handful – 15 per cent – travelling at more than 30mph.Motoring groups have said the low limit zones should only be imposed where they are supported by local communities, and warned that many are not being consulted before the limit is lowered. 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 problem is a knee-jerk reaction to have these zones everywhereLuke Bosdet, AA spokesman “It is for councils to set speed limits in their area and police to decide how best to enforce them.” The intervention followed a study by Imperial College London which found that forcing drivers to slow down and speed up again results in notably more harmful emissions.England has seen a recent expansion of 20mph limits, with several authorities adopting them as a default limit for residential streets, including Oxford, Bristol, Warrington and Hackney.Meanwhile in 2015 officials in Edinburgh announced that more than 80 per cent of the streets in the centre of centre would to be turned into 20mph zones.Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said: “The target is to get people driving below 30mph in these areas.“That’s what the 20mph limit is clearly for, and in that sense as far as we’re concerned it’s working.”“The problem is a knee-jerk reaction to have these zones everywhere.“If local residents want them, they should get them, but the big question is whether they are being consulted.“If they’re not being consulted you’re not going to get adherence.”AA research indicates the number of accidents on 20mph roads has decreased, but that for those who are involved in accidents, the likelihood of being killed or seriously injured has now increased. Speed humps, found in many 20mph zones, actually increase pollutionCredit:Alamy
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 old station sign and bench Credit:Christopher Jones She wrote: “I was very surprised that someone with a relatively short link to the village (compared to the age of the church) should seek to place their coat of arms in the church, and I do not think that most people in the village have been alerted to this request,” adding: “I feel that only a family which has strong ties over several generations should have such a display.”She added that she believed such tributes were only appropriate to commemorate the “Lord of the Manor”. However, heraldry expert John Martin Robinson told the court that “Lordship of this or that manor is no more a title than Landlord of The Dog and Duck”. June Rogers, Chancellor of the diocese of Gloucester, ruled that the plan could go ahead. She said: “The Jane Austen connection does not preserve in aspic this Church. As the Leighs succeeded Evesham Abbey, so the Collins family is now in residence. Another layer has been added to the life and continuity of this village.” It’s a “shrine” for Jane Austen fans who travel from all over the world to see the village that inspired their heroine. But a church in Adlestrop, the village which is thought to have inspired some of the author’s greatest works, is risking their ire over plans to introduce a plaque to a woman from a family who are relative newcomers in the area. Since the 16th century the Leigh family, Austen’s relatives, had owned Adlestrop Park, the great house which is thought to have inspired Sotherton Court, the estate in her novel Mansfield Park. But the house has been restored and is now owned by the Collins family who are also generous donors to projects including the refurbishment of the church’s five bells. Now the rector and churchwardens have asked a consistory court to let Dominic Collins install a hatchment, a coat of arms display, in the church in memory of his late wife. But the idea was opposed by local historian and Austen expert Victoria Huxley, who said it was inappropriate to install a memorial to a family who were not the Leighs.
She will complete in her best distance, the 1000m, on Tuesday with the final taking place on Thursday.Dubbed the ‘Barbie of speed skating’ due to her bright blonde hair, Christie was crowned a triple world champion last year after winning 1000m, 1500m and overall titles.Britain have only won one Olympic medal in short track speed skating – when Nicky Gooch claimed bronze in 1994.No one will be hoping for that legacy to end today more than Christie. Christie was left visibly upset after placing forth in the 500m short track finalCredit:Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Christie will complete again on Saturday and Tuesday Following her agonising defeat, sporting stars were quick to offer their support to Christie.Chemmy Alcott said: “You are amazing @Elise_Christie You aren’t invincible you are human but you are superhuman and you can face this. attack this pain head on. You are inspiring so many and everyone is behind you, standing behind and alongside you.”Kelly Homes added: “Down but not over. You will bounce back even stronger. You know what focus and perseverance is and how you can keep your head up high, fighting for what you believe it!! It’s there! You have got it! It’s just that the other achievements are maybe coming first.” After her disqualifications in Russia Christie suffered a torrent of cyber-abuse No sports star likes to lose, but defeat in her first final at this year’s Winter Olympics seemed to hit speed skater Elise Christie especially hard.After all, competing in Pyeongchang meant all the more to the 27-year-old after been inspired to pursue glory by her grandfather, who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s.Christie is back on the ice today for the 1500m short track, desperate to end her string of bad luck and take home her first Olympic medal.Her first opportunity for a medal in Pyeongchang was in the 500m short track on Tuesday, in which she had been tipped to take Gold. Two days before she tweeted a photograph of her and her grandfather, captioned simply: “My inspiration”. But after a tumble on the ice – a defeat which in a painful twist of fate came four years to the day since her silver medal in the 500m was taken from her in the 2014 Winter Olympics – a medal was not to be.Christie suffered a triple disqualification in Sochi, later admitting she had been “really close to giving it all up”, but seems to have been inspired to put it behind her, in part by her grandfather. The skater called on her fans to “say a little prayer” for him after he became unwell in November of last year.She wrote on her social media: “It’s times like these you realise how small skating is and how important your family is! If everyone could say a little prayer for my grandad tonight I would really appreciate it! Christie asked her followers to say a prayer for her grandfather after be became unwell “People wonder how I can laugh at double false starting! There’s more important things to be worried about out there.”Christie suffered a torrent of cyber-abuse after her disqualifications in Russia and despite picking herself back up, the 500m final in Korea looked like history repeating itself.No sooner had Christie stepped off the rink than she collapsed, inconsolable, into the arms of her Hungarian boyfriend and fellow skater, Sandor Liu Shaolin. Thirty minutes later, she was still crying.Talking to the BBC, she said “Right now I just can’t see living with this feeling.“It’s just tough, I worked so hard. It has been taken away from me. Even in the semi-final I got crashed into and ended up in lane four. It is short track and I am supposed to be prepared for this, but it hurts.”
Mr Rogers subsequently met Michael Todd, who took over as Chief Constable of GMC in 2002. He claims: “It was Mr Todd who mentioned Masonic Conspiracy to me during a meeting l had with him.”At this meeting in July 2004, Mr Rogers says CC Todd – who took his own life in 2008 – told him that “what went on was some corrupt masonic influence” within CID” but that “this no longer exists and that most of the concerned left under a cloud”.Titan, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit – which replaced the Omega Unit – said in a statement: “The management and welfare of undercover officers has changed and improved considerably since the 1990s.”However, GMP refused to answer questions about the continued influence of masons in the force or on what led to the Omega Unit being disbanded.Chief Constable Martin Jelley, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Ethics and Integrity, said: “If convincing evidence ever came to light which clearly showed that freemasonry was adversely affecting the integrity of the police service then we would take appropriate action”. Garry Rogers being presented with the Queen’s Police Medal by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham PalaceCredit:Garry Rogers Garry Rogers put his life on the line while operating as an undercover officer for Greater Manchester Police’s Omega squadCredit:Garry Rogers Mr Rogers told The Sunday Telegraph: “I underwent a long struggle before I was eventually awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM), as my original nomination had been shredded by someone within the CID. I believe they were protecting a senior officer who was later arrested charged and convicted of criminal deceptions. I believe many senior officers were masons.”He added: “A report was even placed in my personal file which stated l was not to be trusted and was under investigation, none of which was true.”Mr Rogers’ disturbing allegations come after the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, claimed attempts to reform the service are to this day being blocked by masons, and their influence is thwarting the progress of women and black and minority ethnic officers.Dr David Staples, the chief executive of the United Grand Lodge rejected the claim, saying there was nothing sinister or self serving about the activities and rituals of the masons.He said: “We do not influence the police. We are a non-political, non-religious organisation. The Home Affairs Select Committee said there is a lot of unjustified paranoia about Freemasonry.”But Mr Rogers, 60, claims his experience confirms the widespread suspicion that masons in the police cover up for fellow members, favour them for promotion and exert a secretive influence.He said: “The people who tried to block me and stop me getting the QPM have long retired, but I think there’s still a problem with masons in the police and the Police Federation clearly agree.“I don’t think serving police officers should be masons because it creates a rival allegiance. Their loyalty should be to the law and public, not each other.” A former undercover officer presented with the Queen’s Police Medal for bravery by Prince Charles says freemasons in the force threatened to derail his career.Garry Rogers claims masons within Greater Manchester Police (GMP) tried to prevent his crime fighting efforts being recognised and stop him receiving the coveted medal.He claims he did not receive commendations for bravery because officers he believed to be freemasons wrongly suspected him of blowing the whistle on one of their corrupt colleagues.Mr Rogers – who during six years as an undercover officer nailed more than 100 criminals, many of them extremely violent – says that GMP’s most senior officers eventually confirmed that masons may have tried to block his progress. He says this only came about after he held a meeting in November 1997 with Sir John Stevens, the newly appointed head of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police who later became Metropolitan Police Commissioner.But in 2003 – after being given authorised access to his personnel file by a member of GMP’s admin staff – Mr Rogers discovered a secret report from 1995, which appeared to explain why it had taken so long for his contribution to fighting crime to be recognised.The report described him as “paranoid” and not to be trusted and stated that he was suspected of sending anonymous whistleblowing letters to GMP and the Manchester Evening News. The letters eventually led to Chief Inspector Ken Seddon, the head of Omega Squad, being convicted in 2003 of “multiple offences of dishonesty” involving fraudulent car loans to police officers.Although Mr Rogers denies sending such letters, he says he had suspected Seddon of being a freemason after coming across his masonic regalia in his office.By the time Mr Rogers retired in 2005 he had finally received the support of senior commanders and his allegations appear to have been backed by Vince Sweeney, the former Assistant Chief Constable of GMP.In a memo from May 2004 ACC Sweeney described Mr Rogers as “an officer who has given exemplary service” and who was subject to “some pretty shoddy treatment”.He wrote: “I accepted and find no other explanation than that someone on the then V Command structure effectively halted the progress of that [QPM] recommendation. This was accepted by Sir David [Wilmot, then Chief Constable of GMC], who subsequently sought to remedy this wrong by personally supporting Garry’s nomination for the QPM, which he subsequently received in the New Year’s Honours in 1999.”He added that wrongful allegations about Mr Rogers had been added to his personnel file in a sealed brown envelope by “an unidentified person”. Garry Rogers during his time operating as an undercover officer in Greater ManchesterCredit:Garry Rogers During his time as an undercover officer with the GMP’s Omega Covert Operations Unit, from 1989 to 1995, Mr Rogers – who is planning to write a book about his experiences – gathered evidence against a killer by joining his gang; broke up a drug running operation by setting up a wine bar to entrap them; disrupted ram raiders and identified more than 50 football hooligans by posing as a skinhead thug.But in 1998 Mr Rogers took legal action against GMP, claiming he had been badly treated by the force and received little support from senior officers, despite frequently putting his life on the line.He eventually received a settlement of £8,000 damages from GMP for the post traumatic trauma he suffered.Mr Rogers claimed that commendations for his actions were suppressed in an attempt to undermine him and he was blocked from receiving the QPM while a more junior colleague with less front line experienced received the award.In 1999 Mr Rogers, a married father of three who spent 30 years in the force, finally made the journey to Buckingham Palace to be presented with the QPM. Garry Rogers today: “I don’t think serving police officers should be masons because it creates a rival allegiance.”Credit:Jon Super/The Telegraph Garry Rogers (left) with the late Chief Constable of GMP Sir David Wilmot who later played a major part in Garry’s award of the QPM. Credit:Garry Rogers 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.
Credit:PA Grass verges must be allowed to grow because plants and animals are dying, a national conservation charity has warned.Plantlife is mounting a petition against local councils calling for them to scale back their mowing of verges after revealing there has been a fall of almost 20 per cent in plant diversity.Meadows have suffered a decline of 97 per cent since the 1930s and now the charity has warned that verges are acting as the last remaining refuge for many bees, butterflies, birds, bats and bugs.Plantlife botanical specialist Dr Trevor Dines said: “Councils have adopted this over-eager regime to mowing which really has been around for sometime now, thanks to the neat and tidy brigade.“There is this idea that all verges must look like a village green, and councils are now having to undertake this balancing act to firstly keep drivers safe but then also help wildlife where possible.“It really is a vicious cycle but I think councils should at least try and take some action towards protecting our wildlife.” Dr Dines addressed these fears saying that it was “vital” that road safety came first, but that not every verge needed to be “turned into green concrete with no wildlife left.”Concerns have also been voiced over the impact of emissions from vehicle exhausts which are acting as a fertiliser for a group of nitrogen-loving plants like nettles, which outcompete traditional flowers. 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. Credit:PA In a bid to save our verges Plantlife have launched a petition calling for councils’ management to better benefit flowers and wildlife which has so far reached more than 24,600 signatures. Those councils that have already adopted the guidance of Plantlife have seen strong floral and financial results. Dorset Council estimates they have saved over £100,000 through, among other things, fewer cuts since 2014.However, the AA cited that a number of drivers have complained about overgrown road sides, which they say could have dangerous consequences.A spokesman from the AA said: “In many places we can see that verges have become havens for wildlife and plants, however there also needs to be considerations for driver safety and this must be paramount.“Especially at junctions and roundabouts drivers are having to edge out, sometimes onto the roundabout, just to see behind grass verges which can of course be dangerous. And I think drivers do appreciate the need to maximise natural potential, but not at the expense of safety.“We appreciate what councils and conservationists are doing, but of course there are many drivers who still have concerns.” The government says nitrogen emissions from exhausts will steadily fall as vehicles get cleaner over coming decades.The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, BSBI, agrees that roadside plant diversity is falling, and nitrogen deposition near roads had increased.But it said the interplay between air pollution and poor management impacts on roadside verges by local councils was not well understood.
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. “If you are wandering up Bow Street, you can look in and see activity,” says Beard. “Architectural symbolism is super-important. And having a window on the institution creates a different sense of relationship with the wider public than if you just have a portico.”Ahead of the unveiling, Sir Antonio Pappano, music director at Covent Garden who had signalled he would soon leave the role, has confirmed he will stay until 2023, suggesting there was no-one else ready for the job yet.”I will take a sabbatical in the 2020-21 season,” he told the newspaper. “Why? Well, my departure was all agreed, then there was a huge problem about my potential successor. Alex Beard (left) on stage at the Royal Opera HouseCredit:Alastair Muir “I’m not going to throw 16 years of work away because the right person isn’t yet there to follow me.” The project, entitled Open Up, has taken three years and £27m to complete, and includes new cafe and bars with wifi, and a refurbished restaurant, to entice people into the building “whether or not you’re coming to a show”.It will also have a new front of house programme, with “taster and full-length live performances” in the foyer, and the “intimate” Linbury Theatre redesigned and designated for “affordable” tickets. “So what we are trying to do with this project is to celebrate the Royal Opera House in a way that is true to who we are, but also bring in a whole new audience to experience it.” The inclusion of “Royal” in the name of the Royal Opera House is “off-putting” to the general public, its chief executive has claimed, ahead of unveiling a project to “open up” the building.Alex Beard, who has been in post since 2013, said the Covent Garden opera house suffered judgments about its title, with those who are not familiar with its work fearing it is not for them.A redesign of the building, due to be officially opened this week, is intended to make it more welcoming to visitors, allowing them to see its activities from the outside before being lured in.In an interview with the Sunday Times magazine, Beard said: “Well, we had three problems. “Royal. Opera. And House. Each of those words is charged.“They say this place is exceptional and high quality, but if opera isn’t part of your world and the royals are by definition ‘other’, and this is not your ‘house’, it can be a bit off-putting. Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House in MayCredit:Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Images Sir Antonio Pappano “I had planned other things in 2020-21 — and I don’t think it’s bad to give the musicians a break — but I’ll come back for two more years after that.
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 parents of Libby Squire, the missing university student, have described the “unending torture” they have suffered since her disappearance three weeks ago.The 21-year-old vanished without a trace after a night out with friends in Hull, where she was an undergraduate student, on January 31.Police are officially treating the case as a missing person inquiry, but sources have told The Telegraph that detectives believe she was abducted near her university home.Her mother and father, Lisa and Russ Squire, released a poignant statement to mark the grim three-week milestone since her final sighting. It said: “It’s been three weeks now since our beautiful girl was last seen. In that time we haven’t been able to speak to her and we haven’t been able to hug her.“We haven’t been able to tell her we love her, or hear that she loves us.“She went out to have fun with her beloved friends. Since then it has been a time of unending torture for her friends and family but we all have unending hope that she will be found.“We send love and thanks to everybody for their support over these past weeks.” A picture showing a smiling Miss Squire hugging her mother was also made public by the family, as they pleaded for anyone with information to contact Humberside Police.The second-year philosophy and religion had been put in a taxi by her friends after she was turned away from the city’s Welly club for being too drunk. However, she failed to enter her house on Wellesley Avenue when she was dropped off alone – instead walking to sit on a nearby bench until the early minutes of February 1.Police fear CCTV from a nearby alleyway captured the moment she climbed into a car at 12.09am, before being driven away. She has not been seen since.Humberside Police this week released separate CCTV footage of four potential witnesses they wish to speak to who were walking close to the Oak Road playing fields, a few streets from Miss Squire’s house, between 1.13am and 2.34am on February 1. It is feared the 21-year-old was snatched from the streets near her homeCredit:Danny Lawson/PA
In the letter – signed by Mr Pullman, Malorie Blackman and Joanna Trollope among others – the writers express concern at the growing number of websites where users can illegally download books, saying they have the “potential to destroy” the UK’s “great literary heritage”. 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. Online book piracy is an “offence against moral justice” that “any decent Government” should protect authors from, the writer Philip Pullman has said.Mr Pullman, the president of the Society of Authors, criticised Britain’s lax copyright laws that are failing to tackle the “increasingly prevalent” number of websites where novels are downloaded for free without the author’s permission.Mr Pullman’s comments come as 34 leading British writers from the Society of Authors signed an open letter to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling on the Government to do more to strengthen current copyright rules.Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Pullman said: “Online piracy of books, music, and other expressions of the human spirit needs to be properly understood: it’s an offence against moral justice.“It’s the very opposite of freedom of speech, because it acts to prevent those who create beauty, knowledge, consolation or delight from earning even a modest living from their efforts.“The law of copyright is one of the bastions of civilized living, but the acid rain of online piracy is slowly dissolving something we thought was set in stone. Surely it should be a fundamental duty of any decent government to defend the rights of those who help to create what civilization is.” A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “This Government takes infringement of copyright very seriously, and we understand the damage this can do to authors’ livelihoods.“The IPO will continue to work with authors, online market places and social media platforms to tackle this unacceptable behaviour, and agree ways of reducing this infringement.” The letter cites research by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which found that in 2017 a sixth of e-books read online in the UK – around four million books – were pirated.Writing to Mr Clark in the Telegraph, the authors note: “We are concerned that websites offering illegal downloads of books are becoming increasingly prevalent.“We do not want to give any of these sites publicity by naming them here, but they can easily be found.“The growth of online book piracy has the potential to damage the legitimate book market andmake it even harder for authors to make a living from their work.“The UK’s great literary heritage has always been underpinned by a robust copyright regime.Unfortunately, this regime is not respected by online pirates, who flagrantly infringe copyright law by both copying our books and offering them for download.“As Secretary of State whose department has responsibility for copyright and piracy, we are calling on you to take action against the blight of online book piracy.” Philip Pullman’s classic book The Golden Compass was made into a Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman (right) and Dakota Blue Richards (left)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPPC launches investigation into $605M ANSA McAL sole sourcing contract, othersMarch 31, 2017In “Business”‘Emergency’ sole sourcing: Georgetown Hospital could have saved over $300MMarch 10, 2017In “Business”$605M drug scandal: Nandlall calls out Lawrence for denying she approved purchaseJune 26, 2017In “latest news” Dear Editor,I write to correct a statement made in the Monday (November 20, 2017) edition of the Kaieteur News, in an article headlined ‘Sole sourcing by GPHC, rentals for ministers…Finance minister, opposition clash on matters of accountability’.The article states that: “It won a tender to supply drugs and pharmaceuticals to the tune of $605M” referring to ANSA McAL.Please be advised that all available information in the public domain, including investigations by the Public Procurement Commission, indicate that there was no tender process and no award made by the NPTAB.As such, it would be incorrect and misleading to peddle this line that ANSA McAL won a tender.This inaccurate insertion would have misrepresented every objection raised by the PPP/C on this matter. Editor, this inaccurate insertion is also in line with what has recently been pointed by the Opposition Leader, whereby Kaieteur News strategically places ‘mitigating’ lines to excuse the illegalities, incompetence and mismanagement by the APNU+AFC Coalition government.The fact remains that this transaction between the GPHC and ANSA McAL violated the Procurement Act of 2003. No obfuscation can remedy this matter.This correction should be given the same level of prominence as the original story.Yours faithfully,Bishop Juan A. Edghill, M.P.PPP/C Member of Parliament