Lets Not Get Carried Away With the 3s

The “short or long but never midrange” theory of NBA shooting has been popular in analytics since at least the early 2000s. Statistically, 3-point shots have long been more efficient than long 2-point shots: The reward — an extra point — has outweighed a slightly lower completion percentage. So, the theory goes, teams should eschew midrange shots as much as possible and either take the ball to the basket or shoot from beyond the arc.Whether or not NBA players and coaches have had this theory in mind, 3-point attempts have steadily risen since their introduction in the 1979-80 season. In “Daryl Morey’s D-League Plan to Do Away With Midrange Shots,” Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry looked at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Houston Rockets D-League team that has taken the inside/outside strategy to the extreme — a staggering 47 percent of players’ shots come from the 3-point range. (If the NBA keeps increasing its long-distance shooting at the pace it has in the past 25 years, it should match the Vipers in approximately 2054.)Although the Vipers have had good results so far, Goldsberry warned against reading too much into the experiment and assuming the same strategy would work in the NBA:One troubling issue with the Vipers’ strategy is that they are significantly reducing the size of the scoring area. Let’s go back to the 1,300-square-foot apartment metaphor — the Vipers hang out only in the kitchen and bedroom. They never use the living room. By forgoing midrange shots altogether, they are telling opponents that they don’t plan on using a giant swath of tactical space relatively close to the basket. As NBA defenses evolve, the smartest ones are already finding ways to counter the smart-guy shot-selection strategy. The Pacers, who have the league’s best defense, have a reputation for vigorously defending the restricted area and the 3-point area, while being less protective of the midrange. They are the Vipers’ antivenom. And if defenses are able to take away those “efficient” areas, you better have alternative ways to generate offense.Goldsberry was describing an important limitation in the 3s-and-layups strategy: 3-point shots will only be more efficient than midrange shots so long as defenses fail to devote enough resources to defending them. Unless the best-defended 3-point shot is more efficient than a wide-open midrange shot (it’s not), saying 3-point shots are better than midrange shots is wrong. What we really mean is 3-pointers are suboptimally defended. As unwitting game-theory expert Stan Van Gundy would say, “Sometimes you’re going to get the shots the defense allows.”But there’s an even bigger issue with the back-of-the-envelope efficiency calculation at the heart of the pro-3 argument: The fact that 3-pointers are more efficient than midrange shots overall doesn’t mean the marginal 3-pointer is necessarily more valuable than the marginal 2-pointer.If you want to replace a midrange attempt with a 3-pointer, you will normally be replacing a bad 2-pointer with a bad 3-pointer. There’s no intrinsic reason those marginal shots should have the same relative efficiency as better shots of the same type. In fact, there are plausible reasons to think they wouldn’t. Average 3-point shot efficiency may be skewed by the extremely high efficiency of wide-open looks, which players probably weren’t passing up in the first place.This doesn’t mean that NBA teams shouldn’t be taking more 3s. I’d guess we probably haven’t reached that point yet. read more

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Olympic Notebook Missy Franklin Holding Up US Swim Team

Gold medalist Missy Franklin had reason to smile.As Michael Phelps flops so far and Ryan Lochte’s fades, 17-year-old Missy Franklin provides the United State’s swimming contingent with golden moments.With just a 14-minute break between swimming in the semifinal heat,  Franklin rallied in the 100-meter backstroke down the stretch to win the gold medal. It figures to be the initial title in an illustrious career.“Indescribable,” Franklin said of her victory. “I still can’t believe that happened. I don’t even know what to think. I saw my parents’ reaction on the screen and I just started bawling. I can’t even think right now.”Franklin, who was rattled less than two weeks before the Olympics by the Aurora theater shooting not far from her home, showed tremendous resiliency racing with such a short break following the semis of the 200 freestyle.She barely advanced in the first race, qualifying for Tuesday night’s final with the eighth-fastest time, but she was clearly saving something for the one with a medal on the line.Australia’s Emily Seebohm, the top qualifier, led at the turn and was under world-record pace, but Franklin showed a remarkable finishing kick. With her arms whirling, the 6-foot-1 swimmer passed the Aussie in the final 25 meters and lunged toward the wall for a winning time of 58.33 seconds.She broke into a big smile but was clearly exhausted, her head dropping back against the wall. Seebohm settled for silver in 58.68 and Japan’s Aya Terakawa took bronze in 58.83.“You never know until you see that scoreboard, so I was just going as fast as I could until I got my hand on the wall,” Franklin said. “It was 110 percent effort, and all the work paid off.”Phelps missed the podium in his 2012 Olympic debut, and Lochte has turned two straight disappointing performances after opening the Games with a dominant win in the 400 individual medley.Men Gymnastics Team Falls HardThe U.S. men’s gymnastic team, a unit with realistic expectations to win the team competition, finished fifth when poor efforts on the pommel horse doomed them.Pommel horse has always been the American weakest area in gymnastics, and it again was the determining factor.  On Monday as Danell Leyva and John Orozco fell off the apparatus. But it wasn’t the only place the U.S. faltered, as Sam Mikulak put his hands down on a tumbling run in floor exercise, and Orozco fell on vault.With three rotations left, the Americans headed to the vault. If they were going to get to the podium, this was going to be the apparatus where they could get it done because of the high scores they’ve posted on the vault in the past.Unfortunately, Orozco sat down on his vault. Though Mikulak and Jake Dalton recovered with strong vaults, the hole was too deep to scramble out of. Even their hit, high-scoring routines on high bars and parallel bars couldn’t get the U.S. in bronze contention.Matt Grevers Wins Gold, Sets RecordMatt Grevers set an Olympic record to win the men’s 100-meter backstroke Monday, outlasting Nick Thoman in a 1-2 finish for the Americans at the London Olympics.Grevers pulled off a stunning rally on his return lap, winning the 100 back in 52.16 — the fifth straight Olympics, dating to the 1996 Atlanta Games, that the U.S. men have won the backstroke.The 6-foot-8 Grevers finished 0.38 seconds ahead of the previous mark set by fellow American Aaron Peirsol at the 2008 Beijing Games.Thoman joined his teammate on the medal podium at 52.97, a finish they were thinking about all along.“Going into the ready room, we were both just sitting there and we shared a look and shared a thought,” Thoman said. “I think that was in both of our heads.” read more

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The 2018 Red Sox Are Baseballs Best Champions Since The 1998 Yankees

691989Athletics48613951666973259 681960Pirates948110795566933253 71905Giants1671413106433 411940Reds71547365293542171 1141987Twins114114114114113114114455 21939Yankees111151310 Baseball’s greatest World Series championsAll-time best World Series winners, according to a mix of Elo ratings, winning percentage, run differential (Pythagorean record) and wins above replacement, 1903-2018 31944Cardinals22254123221 51942Cardinals7183794727 481943Yankees52394442377339191 512002Angels35753549664149205 61909Pirates31065151930 871918Red Sox101779994836895340 281919Reds28462630101874132 1011980Phillies1111041081101059982396 6Lou Boudreau1948CLE10.60.010.6 611949Yankees57315041435398235 1022012Giants92105829692103107398 941916Red Sox787072748797101359 8Hal Newhouser1945DET0.79.810.5 751979Pirates53784561718281295 641971Pirates69627169774746239 562013Red Sox47863863775325218 581922Giants40306446755554230 881969Mets7711270915690104341 701966Orioles66538168706558261 231976Reds23142119433012104 341955Dodgers58376758354514152 YearTeammaxavgfinalblendwpctpythWARtotal 261948Indians435849485188115 1122014Giants110110109111111109112443 471931Cardinals36403736253890189 291935Tigers22274326612331141 Wins above replacement 821933Giants83769684776992322 932008Phillies90948089988978354 331917White Sox44424239312059149 531951Yankees54354840375775209 432009Yankees38522837378018172 942010Giants851017790988685359 371968Tigers55566060372634157 7Mookie Betts2018BOS10.60.010.6 1041945Tigers1089510310395102102402 991990Reds109971041071059386391 11927Yankees612232218 271928Yankees8112414255240131 462007Red Sox26602035844522186 431923Yankees65415957324043172 491913Athletics41266945493470198 661972Athletics84658678764145240 541977Yankees70727470565926211 221915Red Sox32363132153520102 1062003Marlins1041099710510510896414 501954Giants67745667433752199 192016Cubs3721302736161089 401950Yankees25281622374168168 201953Yankees1915272025113692 131907Cubs13411103114165 241961Yankees30292325143338110 251986Mets59335143173021111 641957Braves64646566566453239 571999Yankees29472229717547222 591978Yankees51634154656351233 911991Twins9898101101888872349 151970Orioles123481617251371 1101985Royals107108102109105110109433 Show more rowsBlended Elo rating is based on an average of a team’s peak, final and average Elo ratings during a season.Source: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com, Lahman’s Baseball Database 1132006Cardinals89100112106114113113446 81910Athletics17201018137543 662004Red Sox42713350716950240 511952Yankees50444644565055205 641921Giants63555356634179239 601958Yankees46458762814744234 211938Yankees513191130283099 301941Yankees24252924254748144 802001Dbacks88847883988156318 551946Cardinals61505855485064217 741934Cardinals75876676547983292 171975Reds2019182117192481 761924Senators86898387817757302 9Willie Mays1954NYG10.40.010.4 921965Dodgers100999598779184350 781906White Sox72826271617399304 841993Blue Jays79797677889762324 Yet, before Betts homered to give Boston a 3-1 lead in Game 5, he was hitting .200 in the postseason and was 4 for 21 in the World Series. Boston was so deep, top to bottom, that it didn’t even need its MVP to play like an MVP. J.D. Martinez, who would have contended for MVP himself if Betts and Mike Trout were not so historically dominant, had an .881 OPS in the World Series. Reliever Joe Kelly appeared in every game of the series, refusing to yield a single run in six important innings. Much-maligned starter David Price turned around a disastrous beginning to his postseason with four straight rock-solid outings,3Including two-thirds of an inning in relief during Friday’s 18-inning marathon. earning his second victory of the World Series with a win in Game 5.And none of those guys were even named series MVP! That nod went to journeyman hitter Steve Pearce, who didn’t join the Red Sox until a June 28 trade brought him over from the Toronto Blue Jays. After murdering the Yankees in both the regular season and the playoffs, Pearce took home World Series MVP honors with a 1.667 OPS and three homers against the Dodgers. Even in a universe where Edgar Renteria and Pat Borders have won that award, Pearce might be the single most random player ever to emerge as World Series MVP, in terms of just how little he’d done in his career before shining on the game’s biggest stage:42009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui had been the previous mid-30s player with the fewest career WAR to win the award, but he didn’t come to America to join MLB until age 29. Pearce, who made his U.S. pro debut at age 22, has no such excuse. 721995Braves68595764528677279 862005White Sox80927582669588331 Elo RankStat Rank 1091997Marlins11210711111298103111424 311920Indians62435447373823145 In the celebration Sunday after Boston pitcher Chris Sale struck out Manny Machado to end Game 5 of the World Series, clinching a title for the Red Sox, much was made about this being the best Boston team ever. That’s a topic we covered as well going into the series, but this team was also an all-time great squad, period. After all, the Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and went a scorching 11-3 during the playoffs.1Even if they were only favored in a surprisingly small number of those games.So, we must ask: How does this Boston squad stack up against history’s greatest champions? Let’s put the Sox to the test using the same metrics we employed to judge another recent all-time champ, the 2016 Chicago Cubs. There, we looked at teams according to a handful of criteria:Winning percentage. With a regular-season mark of .667, Boston ranks 17th all-time among eventual World Series winners. MLB hadn’t seen a 108-game winner since the 2001 Mariners, and no team that had won so much had captured the World Series since the 1998 Yankees. In other words, on wins alone, seasons like that of the 2018 Sox are exceedingly rare in baseball history.Pythagorean record. Perhaps a better judge of a team’s performance than raw W-L record is its underlying run differential, as measured by the Pythagorean expectation. And by this standard, the 2018 Red Sox do drop down a bit — falling to 30th among all-time champs. According to Pythagoras, Boston really “only” played like a 103-win team that saw somewhat good fortune in close games.Wins above replacement. Digging deeper into a team’s performance, we can also look at WAR (averaging together the versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs) to get a sense of how well its roster played at a player-by-player level. For Boston, WAR per game splits the difference somewhat between winning percentage and Pythagorean record, ranking the 2018 Sox 27th among champions. Their 53.3 total WAR during the regular season was almost exactly the same as Houston’s last season.Elo ratings. Here at FiveThirtyEight, we also have our own pet metric for judging a team’s performance — the Elo rating. In a nutshell, it tracks a team’s estimated skill level over time, updating after every game and accounting for things like home-field advantage and starting pitching in each contest. Just as my former colleague Reuben Fischer-Baum did when rating MLB teams a few years ago, here I’m blending a team’s final end-of-playoffs Elo with its peak and average daily Elo from throughout the season.2Starting at game No. 40, in order to help Elo “catch up” in cases where a team lost or gained a lot of talent over the offseason. As we noted before the game, Boston ranks ninth all-time in final Elo, and its blended Elo comes in 12th among historical champs. Elo is the category in which Boston looks best, since it gives credit for both wins and margin of victory while also crediting the Red Sox for their outstanding playoff run.Pulling it all together, we can add up a team’s ranking in each category — winning percentage, Pythagorean record, WAR and blended Elo — to get a master ranking of world champs since 1903: 361908Cubs21491523332671153 10Mickey Mantle1961NYY10.40.010.4 381947Yankees34244733432267165 91932Yankees116566231146 31998Yankees457249621 611925Pirates60486359545963235 981988Dodgers1061021001049194100389 321930Athletics39223428226137148 961926Cardinals91908592948294362 2Babe Ruth1927NYY12.70.012.7 None of that matters now, though. Pearce and the rest of the 2018 Red Sox are champions, and they can take their rightful place among the best World Series winners in history. As my ESPN colleague Bradford Doolittle wrote last week, Boston’s performance in 2019 and beyond will help further tell us where this group belongs in the context of all-time great team runs. But in terms of one-year performances only, this Red Sox season stands right up to the best the game has had to offer. 431984Tigers56515553345629172 341903Americans76836875242132152 3Lou Gehrig1927NYY12.20.012.2 391956Yankees33235234432861166 791914Braves491114072638597317 811974Athletics876884801096666321 121937Yankees9312922141661 1082011Cardinals9710393100109106103418 PlayerSeasonTeamBattingPitchingTotal 4Mickey Mantle1956NYY11.40.011.4 141912Red Sox273832318101766 901992Blue Jays102969899849669348 1111959Dodgers113113113113104112110439 1001996Yankees105931061029810389392 452017Astros31326138535828177 972015Royals9580898888100108384 182018Red Sox141691217302786 According to this measure, the 2018 Red Sox just edge out the 2016 Cubs (a team built by former Boston general manager Theo Epstein) to take 18th place among all-time champs. That also puts them right next to the 1975 Cincinnati Reds — the best version of Cincy’s “Big Red Machine” dynasty — and makes them the second highest-ranking World Series winner since the ’70s, trailing only the 1998 Yankees.Sure, you can complain about tanking having helped to produce an imbalanced era where the elite teams are vastly better than the bottom-feeders. But even so, this Red Sox season was historic. And unlike its two championship predecessors — the Cubs and Astros — Boston didn’t really bottom out to help get there. The Red Sox finished with a truly bad record only once since last winning the World Series in 2013, and even that was only an ordinary-bad season (71 wins), not the sub-60-win atrocities some of today’s tankers are forcing their fans to endure.But maybe the greatest testament to the team built by Dave Dombrowski, Boston’s president of baseball operations, was how many different contributions it received along the way to the title. At the top, there was American League MVP favorite Mookie Betts, who had 10.6 WAR during the regular season — one of the best individual performances ever by a player on an eventual championship club: The best individual championship campaignsMost wins above replacement in a single season for players who ended the year on a team that would go on to win the World Series, 1903-2018 1Babe Ruth1923NYY14.50.014.5 1062000Yankees736911086112111105414 821973Athletics82669179927576322 1041964Cardinals1031061051089610791402 711967Cardinals81857981496765262 101929Athletics15817157131550 5Joe Morgan1975CIN11.00.011.0 851962Yankees74578873848487328 Source: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com 161911Athletics1094815173575 771981Dodgers93739285976160303 891963Dodgers96889093669293344 111936Yankees181713171714957 731983Orioles45673652717780280 1041982Cardinals9991949798101106402 read more

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Opinion Cleveland Cavaliers receive needed upgrade in Channing Frye

Then-Orlando Magic forward Channing Frye (8) takes a shot against the Atlanta Hawks at Amway Center in Orlando on Feb. 7.Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe rumor mill was swirling about in Cleveland in the days leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday.  Despite owning the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers were reportedly looking to upgrade their roster in some sort of fashion. Everyone on the team not named Kyrie Irving or LeBron James were seemingly mentioned with the word “trade.”More so than perhaps anyone was much-maligned power forward Kevin Love, who has been a part of all sorts of rumored transactions since he arrived in Cleveland last season.Well, the trade deadline came and went, and Love is still a Cavalier.And that’s a good thing, in case you were wondering.However, don’t take that to mean that Cleveland didn’t do anything.In a three-team trade involving the Orlando Magic and the Portland Trail Blazers, the Cavaliers sent oft-injured center Anderson Varejao and a conditional 2018 first-round draft pick to the Blazers in order to receive Orlando forward Channing Frye. Backup guard Jared Cunningham was also part of the deal and was traded to the Magic.On and off of the court, the Cavaliers walked away big winners. By shipping off Varejao and Cunningham, the team saved “more than $10 million in payroll and taxes this season,” according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.Varejao, a fan favorite, was in the midst of his 12th year with the Cavaliers since being traded there as a rookie in 2004. He will be remembered in Cleveland as a selfless player who gave it his all on the court. He made little impact, though, this season, averaging just 2.6 points per contest. While injuries certainly played a role in his production — they always have — Varejao’s high salary was just too much to ignore any longer.  By acquiring the versatile Frye, who can play both forward and center, the Cavaliers added a much-needed component to the team.The 6-foot-11 Frye is a forward by trait, but he is really a stretch forward — a big man who can space the floor with his outside shooting ability. Frye owns a career 3-point shooting percentage near 40 percent and was shooting at about that mark this season before getting traded. Not only is the nine-year veteran a superb floor-spacer, but he brings great value in the pick-and-pop game, something the Cavaliers offense needed a boost in.In terms of his defense, Frye is a solid low-post defender and decent shot-blocker, assisted by what basically surmounts to be a 7-foot wingspan. His defensive efforts will likely be needed in late-game situations, an area in which Love is less than stellar in.At a time when the Cavaliers had to make a move in order to gain ground on other rival NBA heavyweights — the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs — general manager David Griffin brought in a player who will help the team do just that. With a pair of big floor-spacers in Love and the newly acquired Frye, Cleveland now has the look of a truly complete team.Frye is slated to make his debut as a Cavalier on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. read more

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College Football Playoff semifinal Scouting Clemson Tigers

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles in for 4-yard touchdown run during the second half against North Carolina State Oct. 15. Clemson won, 24-17, in overtime. Credit: Courtesy of TNSWeeks of anticipation and buildup have all come down to Saturday’s showdown in the desert. Both No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) and No. 2 Clemson (12-1) have traveled across the country to play in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, and the chance to advance to the College Football Playoff has players chomping at the bit.On paper, OSU and Clemson is a compelling matchup, highlighted by stout defenses and powerful offenses. While the Buckeyes have had a few dominant performances this year, they have yet to face a team quite like the Tigers.Here’s a look at the breakdown of what Clemson brings to the table on both sides of the ball.OffenseClemson’s junior quarterback Deshaun Watson is the go-to guy for the Tigers. For a second straight season, the Georgia native has completed upwards of 67 percent of his passes, while slinging a career-best 37 touchdown passes.Coach Dabo Swinney is well aware he has a gem calling the shots on his offense, and knows just how Watson does it.“To me his poise really makes him incredibly unique, because he just … he just never changes,” Swinney said. “But it’s who he is as a young man that you don’t really know until you’re around him. Most people just see a great player. He handles himself the right way and all that.”Watson has been protected by an outstanding offensive line all season, as he has only been sacked 1.1 times per game. A key to limiting the Heisman finalist quarterback is pressure, but it seems unlikely OSU will have a field day getting to the quarterback.Redshirt junior wide receiver Mike Williams and redshirt junior running back Wayne Gallman are vital pieces to the puzzle for Swinney, racking up a combined 2,276 yards of offense with 25 total touchdowns. Limiting either player will be far from an easy task, especially Williams, who has been a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses all year long.OSU redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker said he felt stopping Williams is a key to defeating Clemson. Watson is prone to forcing the ball into tight coverage, and taking away his No. 1 target could spell trouble for the Tigers.“I’ve been watching film on him and every jump ball that he gets when the ball is thrown his way, I feel like he has the mentality that it’s going to be his ball,” Hooker said. “So, I feel like it’s definitely going to be a task for the secondary especially, because if we stop the pass, I’m almost sure that the line and the linebackers are going to go out there and fill holes and stuff like that.”DefenseClemson senior linebacker Ben Boulware addresses the media during the Tigers’ portion of media day at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorClemson has hit its stride on defense at the perfect time in the season, allowing an average of just 267 yards of opposing offense in the past three games, all while allowing just 18.3 points per game over that span.Anchored on the weakside by senior linebacker Ben Boulware, the Tigers will be looking to create pressure on OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett. Even though Clemson benefits from a fierce pass rush, the Buckeyes’ offensive line benefits from prepping with some of the best defensive lineman in the nation.“I don’t think I’ve faced a better (defensive) end in practice than our (defensive) ends,” sophomore offensive tackle Isaiah Prince said. “I think it definitely helps prepare us for the game.”On Tuesday, Clemson senior safety Jadar Johnson said he felt Barrett was far from the best quarterback the Tigers have seen all season. Although he did go on to say he felt the Buckeyes’ quarterback was still a good player, the damage had been done.Multiple OSU players were quick to defend their signal caller, while Barrett made his own statement on Johnson’s comments. The veteran quarterback seemed unfazed over the criticism.“There wasn’t a lot to it, I feel like,” Barrett said. “He has his own opinion, which I’m not mad at. I’m comfortable in my skills and what I’m able to do. If he feels like I’m not the best quarterback they went against, I mean, that’s just how he feels.”While Barrett and the entire OSU offense has not been known for turning the ball over this season, Clemson has been able to force an average of 1.8 turnovers per game. The Buckeyes have one of the best turnover margins in the nation with a +1.3, but expect the Tigers to take the ball away at least once.OSU freshman running back Mike Weber summarized the ability of Clemson’s defense in his opening statement on Tuesday.“They’re really fast on the back end,” the Michigan native said. “They have really good, athletic corners and safeties. And their (defensive) linemen are really tough and gritty down there in the trenches. And it’s going to be a tough game.”The Tigers will need big plays from Boulware, Johnson and the rest of their defense if they hope to get a chance at revenge in the national championship after last year’s loss. Even with a solid defense, it will take a total team effort to bring home a win.BreakdownThere is little to no chance of this game being a blowout. Although the Buckeyes have a 55 percent chance of winning according to ESPN, anything short of a 50/50 split seems unfair. The presence of Williams and senior tight end Jordan Leggett in the pass game might be the biggest test of the season for OSU’s secondary. These two standout players, matched with the leadership of Watson, could spell trouble for the Scarlet and Gray.This game has all the makings of a shootout, and even though OSU has been known to keep pass with opposing offense all season in tight games, the luck might finally run out for coach Urban Meyer.Prediction: 41-38, Clemson read more

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No more expansion Big Ten says

The Big Ten will expand to 12 teams when Nebraska joins the conference in June. That, however, will be the extent of the league’s expansion for the “foreseeable future,” the conference announced Sunday in a press release. The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors met Sunday in Park Ridge, Ill., and decided that “although the conference will continue to monitor the intercollegiate landscape, it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion for the foreseeable future and does not expect to be proactively seeking new members.” Last December, the conference announced that it would explore the possibility of adding more teams to the 11 already in the conference. On June 11, Nebraska agreed to leave the Big 12 and join the Big Ten. Although the Big Ten originally mapped out a 12- to 18-month exploration period, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told The Lantern in September that it was likely finished with expansion. Smith, however, left open the possibility that other schools would ask to be included in the Big Ten and the conference would listen. “We’re done with it,” Smith said. “We’re finished. The only thing that would cause us to look at it further is if someone contacted us. So we’re not going to go out and say we’re thinking about expansion. “We think there are some schools that are going to try to talk to some conferences. But we’re not actively out looking at expansion. After our October meetings, that’s going to be the last we talk about it.” With the league set on 12 teams, the committee decided “it was appropriate to focus completely on conference affairs at this time,” according to the release. “We have been thoroughly engaged in the process since last December,” said COP/C chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie in the release. “Following detailed discussions at today’s meeting, my colleagues and I can report that we believe that this process has reached its natural conclusion. We are pleased with the addition of Nebraska and look forward to working with our colleagues there in the years ahead.” read more

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Buckeyes hold off late Spartan attack to win 42

Senior forward Sergio Somma’s two goals and senior forward John Albert’s four assists led the Ohio State men’s hockey team (14-13-2, 9-11-2-2 CCHA) to a 4-2 win against Michigan State (12-14-4, 8-12-2-0 CCHA) on Saturday night at the Schottenstein Center. “Yeah,” Somma said, “(this win) was definitely important.” The Buckeyes did not get off to a good start, as Michigan State took a 1-0 lead 5:55 into the game. OSU senior defenseman Shane Simms and Michigan State senior forward Joey Shean were penalized in the first period for roughing after the whistle. Less than two minutes into the second period Somma scored his first goal on a power play, tying the game, 1-1. Albert, who assisted on the goal, said he knew the goal would get the team going. “One lucky bounce and you don’t know what can happen,” Albert said. “It gave us momentum.” The Buckeyes added another goal 4:30 into the second period to take a 2-1 lead. The goal, by senior forward C.J. Severyn, came while the Buckeyes were shorthanded. Michigan State was on the power play because of a holding penalty by OSU junior forward Cory Schneider. The Buckeyes were then able to hold off a late Michigan State attack as the Spartans were on a power play with less than two minutes to go in the second period. OSU coach Mark Osiecki said the team had to be aggressive to prevent Michigan State from getting scoring chances. “We were extremely aggressive,” he said. “We didn’t give them room to set up.” Just more than four minutes into the third period, Somma added his second goal of the game, increasing OSU’s lead to 3-1. Michigan State closed the gap to 3-2 after a goal by Spartans senior forward Dustin Gazley. The Buckeyes held off a late charge by the Spartans, who were on a power play with 3:35 to go. The Buckeye defense prevailed and scored an empty-net goal with just under three seconds left, securing a 4-2 win. “I thought tonight was a redemption game for our guys,” Osiecki said. Despite having 32 shots on goal, OSU fell to the Spartans, 2-0, the night before. The Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on Michigan (17-9-4, 14-7-1-0 CCHA) at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday. read more

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Ohio State mens ice hockey crashes out of playoffs

Members of the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team came into their series against Notre Dame wanting to start the postseason fresh after ending the regular season on a sour note. The end result of two games against the Fighting Irish, however, was more of the same of what had transpired over the past two months. Notre Dame (19-16-3) swept OSU (15-15-5) in a best-of-three series in the first round of the CCHA tournament. The No. 9 seed Buckeyes fell to the No. 8 seed Fighting Irish, 4-2, Saturday night, following a 2-0 loss Friday. OSU’s season is over. The Buckeyes, who rose to a No. 2 national ranking in early January, will miss out on the NCAA Tournament, finishing the year on a 1-11-4 skid. OSU senior goalie Cal Heeter made 52 saves during the two games. Buckeye seniors, defenseman Sean Duddy and forward Danny Dries, each scored in Saturday’s loss. The Buckeyes took a rare early lead on Saturday, scoring twice in the game’s opening period. OSU had last led after 20 minutes on Feb. 11 in a 4-3 win at Western Michigan. Duddy notched his second-career goal at 4:35 in the first stanza. OSU junior forward Alex Carlson won a faceoff and sent the puck to Duddy at the point, whose wrist shot found the back of the net. Notre Dame answered at 9:20, but Dries got the lead back for the Buckeyes with a power-play goal at 17:19. Notre Dame rallied with three unanswered goals on way to their 4-2 victory. OSU had chances to tie the game in the third period, but failed to convert on two power plays. Friday night, the Fighting Irish took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal at 9:08. The Buckeyes had opportunities to score, but went 0-2 on the power play and Notre Dame led, 1-0, after twenty minutes. In the second stanza, Notre Dame converted on the power play at 2:50 extending their lead to 2-0. OSU trailed, 2-0, for the remainder of the game. The Buckeyes failed to execute on three more power plays in the defeat. The series capped the careers of four Buckeye seniors — Dries, Duddy, Heeter and forward Cory Schneider. Heeter finishes third OSU history in career goals-against average (2.58) and career save percentage (.915). His .918 save percentage this season is the fifth-best in the history of OSU. OSU sophomore forward Chris Crane and freshman forward Ryan Dzingel end the year tied for the team lead with 24 points. read more

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The shot Ohio States LaQuinton Ross grew up to make

LOS ANGELES – When Ohio State arrived at the Staples Center Tuesday afternoon and was notified it would inhabit the Lakers’ clubhouse during its stay in Los Angeles, LaQuinton Ross called dibs on a particular maple-finished closet. “I called dibs on (Kobe Bryant)’s locker,” the sophomore forward said. Bryant is Ross’ favorite player. Getting the privilege to sit in the same seat, walk on the carpet and play in the same building as the future NBA Hall of Famer served as motivation for the 6-foot-8 sharpshooter. Thursday night against Arizona, Ross might as well have been wearing the No. 24 white, purple and gold uniform his hero routinely sports in his home arena. With two seconds left in the Sweet 16 contest between the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes and No. 6-seeded Wildcats, Ross hit a 3-pointer from the left arch, propelling OSU to a 73-70 victory and into the Elite 8. Ross received the ball from junior guard Aaron Craft, whose game-winning 3-pointer against Iowa State last weekend kept OSU’s tournament run alive. “I said, ‘Knock down,’ as I passed it, so he better have made it,” Craft said. It was a shot eerily similar to the buzzer-beaters the Staples Center crowd has grown accustomed to seeing from Bryant throughout the 34-year-old’s time in Los Angeles. The make from Ross is a highlight not previously topped by the 20-year-old, and it capped a career-game in OSU’s most important bash of the season. Ross finished with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 14 of which came in the second half. Down the stretch, with the two heavyweight programs trading basket for basket, it was Ross – not junior forward Deshaun Thomas or Craft – that OSU went to in need of points. “This is what every player grows up looking at on TV and wants to hit that big shot, wants to win the game and hit the big shot in the NCAA Tournament or the NBA,” Ross said. “It just feels great to be here right now.” Just one possession prior to Ross getting the ball from Craft with the seconds ticking down, he had wanted to escape the Staples Center in a hurry. With OSU up, 70-67, Arizona senior guard Mark Lyons drove straight at Ross, got fouled and made the layup and ensuing free throw, tying the game. Ross put his hands on his head before covering up his face. Following the game, Ross’ teammates said he had tears in his eyes after the play. The sadness and frustration quickly turned to joy after the game-winning shot went through the net. Earlier in the season, that ability to let a previous play go and move on to the next one wasn’t there for Ross. “LaQuinton has really grown in a lot of areas,” said coach Thad Matta. “He’s really become prideful in the little things in his game and it’s really propelled him to be a better basketball player. I’m proud of him.” One area of his game that will likely go unnoticed following an offensive outburst is his defense – something that kept him off the floor for most of the first half. “I told him you’re either going to be a defender or I’m not putting you back in the basketball game, and to his credit, he did a really good job,” Matta said. Ross played like a super-sub in the second half, drawing comparisons to former NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden from his teammates. “To this point, I think he’s done a phenomenal job playing his role. I think he’s not really known for his defense, but he’s really been trying on that and putting the work in,” Craft said. It’s the 3-pointer with two seconds left, though, that Ross and his teammates will forever remember, though. “Q’s going to talk about that shot for the rest of his life. He’s never going to let us hear the end of it,” said sophomore forward Sam Thompson. Thanks to that shot, Thompson and his team get to keep playing. OSU will face No. 9 seed Wichita State Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with a spot in the Final Four on the line. read more

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Football No 10 Ohio State slows down Maryland rushing attack wins 6214

Ohio State redshirt senior tight end Marcus Baugh hurdles a defender as he scores during the second quarter of the Buckeyes’ victory against Maryland on Oct. 7 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAs quickly as the sun disappeared behind the clouds, Maryland’s hopes of upsetting No. 10 Ohio State in front of 107,180 fans at Ohio Stadium vanished.Behind a strong performance from redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett, who completed 20-of-31 passes for 261 yards and rushed for 59 yards, the Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) handed the Terrapins (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) a decisive 62-14 loss.Barrett and the offense took less than four minutes to march down the field for the game’s first score. It did not end there as Ohio State scored seven times and punted just once while Barrett was in the game. “It all ties in together,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “You know, I see our offensive line getting a little better. I think we’ve still got a long ways to go in that area, and receivers are making very good plays for him.”Redshirt freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins replaced Barrett late in the third quarter and finished 3-for-4 for 42 yards. Barrett spread the ball around as eight different players caught passes from the starter and three — tight end Marcus Baugh and wide receivers Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack — caught touchdowns. Baugh found the end zone from 10 yards out after he hurdled a defender and tip-toed down the sideline for his first touchdown of the season. Barrett hit Victor in the back of the end zone midway through the first quarter as the rangy 6-foot-4 receiver came down with his second contested touchdown in as many games. Victor led the Buckeyes with four catches for 55 yards.A little more than five minutes into the game, sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa slapped the ball out of sophomore quarterback Max Bortenschlager’s hand, forcing a fumble which junior linebacker Jerome Baker picked up and carried into the end zone to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead. The Terrapins’ offense never threatened the Buckeyes. Bortenschlager completed 3-of-12 passes for 16 yards before he was injured late in the third quarter due to a hit by cornerback Damon Arnette, who was penalized for targeting and ejected after review. Arnette will miss the first half of next week’s game against Nebraska. Cornerback Denzel Ward was also ejected for targeting after a hit on senior wideout Taivon Jacobs in the first quarter.The Terrapins combined for just 66 yards, compared to the Buckeyes’ 584 yards. Defensive ends Nick Bosa and Tyquan Lewis and linebackers Dante Booker and Baker each picked up sacks. Baker, Bosa and defensive end Chase Young forced Bortenschlager to fumble three times, two of which were recovered by the Buckeyes. “I don’t want to take away our pass defense. When you hold them to, looked like 16 yards or something like that, passing, that’s good secondary play,” Meyer said. “But I know why they didn’t throw very much. The D-line was all over them.”The Terrapins responded quickly to the Baker scoop and score with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by junior running back Ty Johnson. It was Johnson’s first kickoff return for a touchdown this season.Johnson entered the game averaging 8.9 yards per carry, but took 12 carries for 57 yards Saturday. The Terrapins rushed 42 times for 50 yards.The Buckeyes struggled to gain yardage on the ground early in the game. However, led by J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, Ohio State managed 281 rushing yards. Dobbins led the team with 13 carries for 96 yards, but also fumbled early in the second quarter, the Buckeyes’ first of two turnovers. He later scored a touchdown in the third quarter. Sophomore running back Antonio Williams scored Ohio State’s final touchdown.Despite the Buckeyes dominating in nearly every facet of the game, nothing went right for Ohio State’s special team unit. Punter Drue Chrisman sent his first punt 22 yards and fumbled the snap on a 47-yard field goal attempt as the holder. Redshirt junior kicker Sean Nuernberger missed a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter and sent one of his kickoffs out of bounds. Johnson averaged 32 yards per kickoff return.[Special team is ] something to work on and get fixed,” Meyer said. “And there’s a lot of people upset about that and I’m one of them.”Redshirt sophomore right guard Branden Bowen suffered a broken leg during the first quarter and was carted off with a cast on his leg. Meyer said he would undergo surgery Saturday night. Redshirt sophomore Matt Burrell replaced Bowen at right guard.Ohio State heads west as it attempts to extend its win streak against Nebraska (3-2, 2-0 Big Ten) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. read more

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Royal Navy fires flares at Spanish vessel in Gibraltar

first_imgThe Royal Navy was forced to fire flares at a Spanish research vessel after it strayed into British Gibraltar territorial waters.HMS Sabre gave the warning to Angeles Alvarino after attempts to contact it by radio failed.The research vessel, which is investigating the geological risks to the seabed, left British waters after the flares were fired. Nice Picture of a Sabre (HMS Sabre) pic.twitter.com/TQgY1urXt8— George_CIG (@George_CIG) November 7, 2016 A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The Royal Navy challenges all unlawful maritime incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters (BGTW).”We back this up by making formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish government.”Gibraltar chief minister Fabian Picardo said he had been in contact with Commander of British Forces, Commodore Mike Walliker. HMS Sabre fires a warning flare in response to aggressive and harassing maneuvers by Spanish R/V Angeles Alvariño #OpWest— Michael J Sanchez (@key2med) November 20, 2016center_img 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. He said: “I have discussed all the tactical decisions taken and am satisfied that they have been designed to demonstrate untrammelled sovereignty jurisdiction and control over BGTW.”I congratulate the Royal Navy for the work they have undertaken so far in very challenging circumstances in light of the reckless disregard for safety displayed by the official Spanish vessels involved.”Diplomatic and political action must now support the excellent work undertaken by the navy personnel with limited resources.”last_img read more

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Mystery man spotted casually hanging out with rabbit at train station

first_imgA man chills out with his rabbit friend  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It is unclear if the white rabbit sighting is part of a PR stunt, a new trend or a simply a man who shares a deep bond with his pet.Earlier this year, another man was spotted playing guitar with a rabbit on his shoulder man with rabbit  Chancellor Philip Hammond pulled a proverbial rabbit out of a hat this week and now another one has been spotted by confused commuters at a London train station.Commuters received a surprise this morning in the form of a man spotted with a pet rabbit casually perched on his shoulder at a busy station in the capital.center_img Meanwhile, the American behind the London ‘Tube Chat’ badges has revealed why he wants to get more commuters talking to each other. And when this grandfather was offered an ‘elderly seat’ on the Tube – his response was amazing.   A man just walked past me with a white rabbit perched on his shoulder. He is my new life goals.— Sarah Gaunt (@Sarah_Gaunt90) November 25, 2016 The mystery man and his rabbit friend were captured on camera at London Marylebone as he studied the train timetable.“Coming off the train at Marylebone this morning and spot this guy, taking his pet rabbit to work, as you do,” the person who recorded the footage wrote.“A man just walked past me with a white rabbit perched on his shoulder. He is my new life goals,” explained another.last_img read more

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From garlic chocolate to exploding animal droppings How Britains weird WWII inventions

first_imgWhen Britain fought for its very survival against the Nazis it took all the nation’s qualities of bravery, ingenuity and invention to finally vanquish Hitler’s forces. These included bars of garlic flavoured chocolate developed by the Special Operations… Historians have discovered that among the technological advances used by Britain to defeat the Axis powers during World War two were also a number of apparently bizarre inventions designed to hoodwink and undermine the enemy.center_img But while the role played by the Spitfire plane and the Bren gun in achieving victory has been widely recognised, it’s surely time attention was paid to our deployment of garlic flavoured chocolate and exploding animal droppings.last_img

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First nonstop flight from Australia to UK arrives in London on historic day

first_imgThe flight marked a “historic day for aviation”, said airline Chief Executive Alan Joyce. The new link with Perth is around three hours quicker than routes that involve stopping in the Middle East to change planes or refuel. It also enables faster journeys to Sydney and Melbourne than flying via Dubai.Western Australia’s premier, Mark McGowan, was among more than 200 passengers to arrive on the flight.He tweeted a picture of the Australian delegation of politicians and officials, the flight’s pilots and a didgeridoo player in Aboriginal dress and body paint at the terminal. History made. ✈️The @Qantas Dreamliner has landed in London, carrying more than 200 passengers. A new era of travel and opportunities for Western Australia’s economy has officially begun. pic.twitter.com/mlrHGV1h7X— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) March 25, 2018 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. A momentous occasion on the flight deck of #QF9#QantasDreamliner pic.twitter.com/dRTh79ZxUb— Qantas (@Qantas) March 24, 2018 Perth is officially the western gateway to Australia. Now connected directly to London in just over 17 hours. Congratulations @Qantas on a perfect flight, lots of happy passengers along the way. #QF9 pic.twitter.com/341nRMj0RU— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) March 25, 2018 “From today it will be the first link between Australia and Europe that has ever occurred non-stop in aviation,” he told reporters at a launch event. “We are so excited.”About 730,000 British tourists visit Australia every year and the new service could boost interest in the state of Western Australia, often overlooked in favour of the country’s east coast, said Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo.”There will be more opportunity than ever before for us to continue to showcase and highlight all the very best parts of Australia, including some of the most magnificent and iconic parts of Western Australia,” he said. The service was a “game-changer”, said Mena Rawlings, Britain’s high commissioner to Australia.”To have the opportunity to get on a plane at Heathrow and step out in Perth is just phenomenally exciting and I’m sure we are going to see lots and lots of people taking advantage of that.”Qantas plans to introduce non-stop flights from Australia’s east coast to Britain in the next few years. The maiden flight of a new non-stop regular service between Australia and the UK has arrived at London Heathrow.Qantas 9 (QF9) touched down at Terminal Three at 5.02am on Sunday, just over 17 hours after setting off from Perth at 7pm local time (11am GMT) on Saturday.The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner completed the 9,226-mile journey to arrive slightly earlier than the scheduled arrival time 5.10am.The UK’s longest non-stop regular passenger flight will set off back for Perth at 1.15pm on Sunday.The route is 24 per cent further than the UK’s existing longest service, operated by Garuda Indonesia between Heathrow and Jakarta (7,275 miles).last_img read more

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Sacked police officer keeps pension after disciplinary hearing is delayed

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale of West Midlands PoliceCredit:Joe Giddens/ PA A senior counter-terrorism officer sacked for failing to safeguard secret files stolen from the boot of his car will keep his £215,000 pension lump sum after his dismissal was delayed.West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale launched a judicial review just hours before a disciplinary hearing on March 29, forcing its postponement.By the time the hearing was rescheduled for Wednesday – at which point West Midlands’ Chief Constable Dave Thompson took the final decision to dismiss him without notice – the 54-year-old officer had reached the 30-years service qualification for automatic payment of his pension.Chief Constable Thompson ratified a ruling by a disciplinary panel ruled in February that Mr Beale, head of the West Midlands counter-terror unit, had behaved with gross misconduct by leaving a briefcase containing classified material inside a locked car.Mr Beale pleaded guilty last year to an offence under the Official Secrets Act and had faced losing a £215,000 pension lump sum if sacked.But he will now retire with full pension and lump sum, since Wednesday’s hearing took place after April 6 – understood to be the date his pension became active. Ordering that Mr Beale be dismissed for gross misconduct, Mr Thompson said: “The conduct in this case is a serious criminal conviction for improperly caring for documents of the highest sensitivity.”I agree (with a previous disciplinary panel decision) that the misconduct in this case is serious and is very likely to undermine public confidence in policing.”The chief constable said he had decided to dismiss his colleague with a sense of “huge personal regret”, having heard considerable and impressive character evidence.Mr Thompson added: “In terms of harm, the panel noted the consequences could have had the utmost seriousness. I do not question the very high regard he is held in, in policing and beyond,” he said. It is deeply painful to look at what he has achieved and where he is now.”At the heart of this case is simply what sanction will maintain public confidence in policing. I cannot see how the public would feel a final written warning, particularly one within days of the this officer’s retirement, would be seen as appropriate.” The previous hearing was told the classified documents were never supposed to leave police premises, and concluded that “a serious breach of protocol” as to the handling of top secret material had occurred.The hearing was told there was no sign of forced entry to Mr Beale’s “keyless” vehicle and that he only discovered the briefcase was missing when he stopped at a service station in Warwickshire.The case containing four documents, included minutes from a high-level counter-terror meeting, counter-terrorism local profiles, details of regular organised crime and sensitive information about a high-profile investigation.The documents were not found despite a inquiry, which required the “considerable diversion” of police resources.Mr Beale, who has been suspended on a £119,000-a-year salary, spoke only to confirm his name during the hearing before his chief officer.John Beggs QC, Mr Beale’s legal counsel, said in mitigation that dismissal would be “merely symbolic” in light of the officer’s imminent retirement.He said that Mr Beale reported the documents as missing immediately and his failing had been an unintentional mistake with no malice or premeditation.”Mr Beale’s response to this ghastly realisation (that documents had been stolen) was swift, professional, selfless, and imbued with the characteristics that runs through him like Brighton rock – honesty and integrity,” he said. Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale of West Midlands Police 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. read more

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Edinburgh Fringe Joke about being fired from a Job Centre named funniest at

“A guy said he worked in the Jobcentre and I said the joke that has now won the award.”Because it got such a nice reaction on the night I thought I had to do something with it as a line.”I didn’t expect to be winning an award for what was essentially a brain fart!”Previous winners of the award include Tim Vine, Stewart Francis and Zoe Lyons. 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. A joke about being fired from a Job Centre was named the funniest at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.Adam Rowe won the 11th annual award for Dave’s Funniest Joke Of The Fringe with the line: “Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job – knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day.”The joke from Rowe’s show Undeniable won with 41 per cent of a public vote on a shortlist of gags picked by comedy critics.The former bartender began doing stand-up in 2010 and has previously been crowned Liverpool Comedian of the Year.On winning the award, Rowe said: “I thought my agent was lying. He rang me and told me I couldn’t tell anyone for a week which has been almost impossible.”I’m massively taken aback by it, I’ve never seen myself as being in the running for things like this.”It’s a massive honour and a genuinely huge surprise.” Explaining how he came up with the punchline, Rowe said: “I actually wrote it when I was on stage when I was hosting a gig in Liverpool.”It was a bit of crowd work that stayed with me. I was doing the usual compering thing, asking people what they do for a living. Maths student Ken Cheng won last year’s prize with the line: “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.”The award, which was voted on by 2,000 people, lists jokes anonymously to avoid any bias towards well-known comedians. Dave channel director Luke Hales said: “This year, the news agenda and every day British idiosyncrasies have provided some wonderful opportunities for comedians to use their creative and comic genius in giving us all a giggle.”As ever, we have enjoyed some quite brilliant one-liners and are delighted to crown Adam Rowe as the recipient of this year’s Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award.” read more

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Battle of Bosworth Field historians fight to stop construction of testtrack where

Richard III has already suffered the indignity of being buried under a car park in Leicester, but now his final battleground could also be tarmacked over, under controversial new proposals.A ferocious battle has commenced at Bosworth Field over plans to turn part of the historic site into a 155mph test-track for driverless cars.The Battle of Bosworth in August 1485 was the deciding skirmish in the Wars of the Roses, which saw the death of England’s last Plantagenet king and brought the Tudor dynasty to throne.But part of the site belongs to Japanese-owned automotive specialists Horiba Mira Ltd, who have applied to Hinkley and Bosworth Borough Council to build a £26 million 1.2 million square foot track to test autonomous vehicles.The area is part Historic England’s registered battle zone, and historians claim that if the track is approved on Tuesday, it will destroy an important area, as well as blocking the view from where Henry Tudor first saw the army of Richard III. Kelvin van Hasselt, vice president of The Battlefields Trust, said: “The Battle of Bosworth is a crucial part of England’s history, which ushered in the Tudor era.“The development would be on the western side which is a critical part of the battlefield and the area from where Henry advanced. The huge test track as proposed by Horiba Mira Credit: Horiba Mira  “It is fairly clear now that Henry Tudor approached the battlefield along the Roman road and that he will have first seen Richard’s army deployed when he reached the highest ground.“Currently the landscape between this gentle ridge top and the heart of the action, including the location where it seems likely that Richard was killed, is open rural countryside.“A rural scene will become urbanised and a key element of the battlefield will be lost – the potential for future interpretation to present that view at the outset of the battle.” Michael Wood, President of The Battlefields Trust, added: “This is a major and totally unexpected threat. We hope that even at this late hour any decision might be delayed until expert consultation is taken over the full importance of this historic landscape.” Historic England has also written to Hinkley and Bosworth Borough Council arguing that the proposal will harm the site and destroy archaeological evidence which could be key to understanding “the ebb and flow of the battle as it progressed”.Dr Andy Hammon, Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Historic England, said: “The Battle of Bosworth was one of the most pivotal battles in English history.“The development proposal is a substantial structure and would have a direct physical impact and indirect impact through altering the rural character of part of the battlefield. “Clear and convincing justification needs to be identified by the local planning authority to ensure that the level of harm that would be caused is outweighed by the public benefits.”The new track would be built on 83 acres of land next to Horiba Mira’s existing vehicle test centre at Higham-on-the-Hill near Hinckley, Leicestershire. The company says the new facility will create 1,800 jobs and allow companies from across the world to test driverless cars and fleets of autonomous vehicles. Richard III's skeleton was discovered under a car park in Leicester  But recent archaeological investigations at the site have shown that shot from the battle still remains in the ground as well as other artefacts dating from the English Civil War.Dr Glenn Foard, of the University of Huddersfield, who has spent 14 years researching the Bosworth and whose discoveries led to Historic England redrawing the battlefield perimeters, said the development would transform a unique landscape.“Bosworth is an historic battlefield of international importance,” he said. “It is not significant only for the major political change of dynasty that it heralded it is also of the highest archaeological importance. “School children should be able to go up to the area and contemplate where Henry looked out and saw Richard’s forces, but the buildings may obscure the view and the landscape in the foreground will be changed forever. Who wants to climb a hill and just look at industrial buildings?” Bosworth Field  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. Bosworth Field Credit: david martyn hughes / Alamy The huge test track as proposed by Horiba Mira  The council’s planning committee meet at 6.30pm on Tuesday evening to decide on the site. So far there have been 162 letters sent from locals and groups about the proposal, of which 161 have been objections. Richard III’s skeleton was discovered under a car park in Leicester Credit:EPA King Richard IIICredit:Newsteam  It is being developed in partnership with Coventry University and is partly government funded. King Richard III read more

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GCHQ joins Instagram to give public glimpse behind the scenes of topsecret

It spends its days trudging through the darkest corners of the internet, but the GCHQ has now officially joined Instagram. The listening post launched an account on Wednesday, two years after becoming the first spy agency to join Twitter as part of its drive for more transparency.Its first post, uploaded at 1pm on Wednesday, showed a picture of the headquarters with a sign reading “no photograph” and the caption: “Well this is going to be interesting… Follow us for a glimpse into our secret world.”The account on the picture-sharing platform will provide a glimpse behind the doors of the top-secret organisation and an insight into the life of an intelligence officer.A GHCQ spokeswoman said: “People generally know we’re working 24/7 to help keep the country safe, but they don’t get the chance to see behind the scenes.”Hopefully this will help dispel some myths and show who we are as individuals.” The GCHQ spokeswoman said: “As we enter our centenary year, we’re more keen than ever that people get a picture of what life is really like as a GCHQ employee.”We hope our Instagram channel will encourage talented people to consider working with us at GCHQ to help keep the country safe.”You’ll not only learn about our work to stay one step ahead of those wishing to do us harm, but also get a glimpse at our hobbies, clubs and coffee shops. A post welcoming people into the ‘top secret world’: The Instagram account is the latest step in a drive towards greater openness It is the latest step in a drive towards greater openness after the agency came under intense scrutiny following Edward Snowden’s revelations about intelligence techniques in 2013.GCHQ’s Twitter account has amassed more than 75,000 followers since it joined the site in 2016, posting more than 2,000 tweets. The service, which works alongside MI5 and MI6 to protect the UK from cyber attacks and terrorism and support the armed forces, marks its 100th anniversary in 2019. A snapshot of the Instagram story sent out by the organisation showing GCHQ Bude, a UK Government satellite ground station and eavesdropping centre located on the north Cornwall coast at Cleave Camp A snapshot of the Instagram story sent out by the organisation showing GCHQ Bude, a UK Government satellite ground station and eavesdropping centre located on the north Cornwall coast at Cleave Camp “From the Cotswolds to Cornwall, from London to Lincolnshire and the wonderful dry stone walls of North Yorkshire, this will be a chance to show off some of the iconic locations we’re proud to call home.”And of course there’s bound to be puzzles and maybe some surprises too.”The handle for the Instagram account is @GCHQ. A post welcoming people into the 'top secret world': The Instagram account is the latest step in a drive towards greater openness 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. read more

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Police officer caught behind wheel while almost twice drinkdrive limit to keep

Mr Fosler told District Judge Timothy Pattinson that Pearce had caught a 1am train from London Waterloo station to Fleet railway station when he decided to drive himself home substantially over the limit.The court heard that he resigned from his new career before it had even begun, after being told no-one had ever kept their job after being charged with such an offence.Charities have voiced their anger at the sentence.Rodney Kumar, a spokesman for road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, said: “IAM RoadSmart finds it incredible that someone who has broken the law so severely with a drink-driving charge should be allowed to keep their driving licence.“Someone who had just completed his training to hold a trusted position within the BTP should know better than anyone the tragic consequences of their actions – he was obviously prepared to put himself and other people at great risk had he actually have driven away, as he fully intended to do.“Anyone who chooses to drink-drive needs know that their life will be severely affected by their wrong decision – that a driving licence is a privilege and not a right and that it will be taken away for such a serious transgression. “Allowing this person to keep their driving licence sends the wrong message about the seriousness of their crime.”Pearce, from Fleet, Hampshire, admitted a charge of drink-driving after he was arrested near Fleet train station on December 13.Representing himself in court, he said: “I fully admit it. What the prosecutor said was correct. In terms of the offence it has had quite a big impact already – I’m not working for British Transport Police any more due to what has happened.“It was going to a misconduct hearing and I was advised no one has kept their job after something like this, so I resigned. I have waited until today to start looking for something else so hopefully I can look for work that is dependent on keeping my licence.“I cannot receive benefits as I admitted I resigned before a misconduct hearing, so I couldn’t go on Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months – but I have started looking for work.”Pearce’s future job prospects were handed a lifeline as he narrowly kept his licence, when District Judge Pattinson handed Pearce gave him 10 penalty points instead.Judge Pattinson said: “It must be said there was a clear intention to drive here, which is a big factor for the court. 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. A policeman was allowed to keep his driving licence on Thursday despite admitting being almost twice the drink-drive limit when colleagues caught him behind the wheel after a works Christmas party.A judge let police constable Andrew Pearce drive away from court after hearing he had lost his job as a result of being caught.The 31-year-old former British Transport Police officer was found sitting in his car at a railway station with his headlights on and using the heater to clear frost from the windscreen as he prepared to drive home after a police Christmas party on December 12.Pearce was breathalysed by officers from Hampshire Police and found to have 61 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 milligrammes.A District Judge, sitting at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court was told that when Pearce was apprehended by officers he told them he was a British Transport policeman. They arrested him and took him to police cells.The judge heard that Pearce, who had just finished his training as a policeman, faced a gross misconduct hearing following the offence, but resigned before the panel sat.Prosecutor David Fosler said that Pearce had just completed training and identified himself to police as a BTP officer when he was found drunk in his vehicle in the early hours of December 13. “I will give you credit for your guilty plea. Quite frankly, this has destroyed your career for you. But I do take into account the personal mitigation here.“You had just completed your training and you have thrown your career down the drain. I am going to step back from an immediate disqualification.“You have been very, very close to immediate disqualification but I am just persuaded not to.”He fined Pearce £120 and ordered him to pay £30 court costs. He was given a month to pay.Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Mr Pearce should count himself very lucky that he was not banned from driving – his actions certainly merited disqualification.“Drink-driving is illegal because it is proven to be highly dangerous, with even small amounts of alcohol affecting safe driving. At twice over the legal limit – which is itself set far too high – Mr Pearce would have been a significant risk to himself and others when behind the wheel.“We urgently need clarity in our drink-driving law with an effective zero tolerance approach and strict and consistent enforcement – only then can we hope to rid our roads of the menace of drink-drivers.” read more

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Private school forced to readmit  aggressive pupil after parents claim their son

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 first tier tribunal found that the school had acted in a discriminatory manner, and this decision was upheld by the second tier tribunal after Ashdown House appealed.  “We found that excluding Bobby permanently amounts to unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act,” the judgement said.“We then considered whether the unfavourable treatment was because of something arising in consequence of Bobby’s disability and concluded that it was.”The tribunal found that while the school did make some reasonable adjustments, this did not go far enough and “other adjustments should have been made”.   The court ruled that Bobby must now be readmitted, provided with extra tuition and given a full apology by Ashdown House.The boy’s parents said they are “delighted” that the case “makes an example of discriminatory exclusions in independent schools”.They said in a statement: “Children living with disabilities have often been subjected to many injustices in their short lives; being unlawfully excluded from school should not be another one to add to the list.“We hope this gives confidence to other parents of children with special educational needs that they do not have to stand by and watch their families be discriminated against.”Hilary Phillips, headmistress at Ashdown House, said that the school “aims to meet the educational needs of all of its pupils with their happiness, safety and wellbeing  at the heart of all we do”.  She added: “Since the decision of the Tribunal, the school has been in contact with the parents to support them fully in their plans for their child’s future education.” A private school has been forced to re-admit an “aggressive” pupil after his parents took legal action, claiming that their son had been discriminated against.Ashdown House, a preparatory school in Sussex which charges £9,560-a-year for boarders, counts the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the actor Damian Lewis among it alumni.The school expelled a ten-year-old pupil – named as “Bobby” throughout the judgement – in February after “aggressive and targeted behaviour” towards a fellow Year Five student.This included “placing him in a headlock, pushing him in the haha, chasing him in the changing room (which resulted in the boy slipping and receiving a head injury)”.According to the judgement, Bobby had been involved in “37 incidents of unprovoked aggression since his arrival at the school”.The boy’s parents, backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), took the school to court, arguing that the school had failed in its duties under equalities laws.The parents, who adopted Bobby at 13 months, said the school know of his ADHD  diagnosis and sensory processing difficulties.Their son also had emotional and social difficulties arising from trauma in his early childhood and in the womb. When the school’s governors rejected the parents’ appeal against the expulsion, they took the case to The High Court. read more

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