FROM THE FISHBOWL Day 1 The 2005 ASICS NTL has had an outstanding start with some early favourites already emerging from the pack. The FISHBOWL has identified the Sharks, Mets and Cobra’s Women’s as early favourites with The Hornets likely to cause a few upsets. It’s too early to call at this stage but the fishbowl will make some bold predictions at the end of day 2. In the Men’s it appears to be the old foes Sharks, Mets, Scorpions and Cobras going hard at it, but the emergence of the Rustlers certainly has some astute tongues wagging. The Qld Cow cockies have traded well at the sales with some superb young steers making their mark in the top grade. Top shelf beef, some may say! Sharks mixed open have also dominated early proceedings with a real family flavour adding to the success of the team. The brothers Hipperson, Jeb and Tory have teamed up with their little sister Tiffeny and are having a ball. Add to this some excellent young players in Adam Falzon, Brad Davids and Amy Fong and they are sure to excite. The FISHBOWL is prepared to go out on a limb early and predict a Sharkies victory in the Mixed Open. Spectators have been treated to some entertaining touch with our junior players in the 20’s divisions really raising the razzle dazzle factor. Watching the men’s 20’s is akin to seeing gazelles sprinting and bounding on the National Geographic channel. These kids have more steps than Sydney Tower and more pace than the 11.40pm XPT to Coffs. This division is so wide open that it would be silly to name even the rough chances. If the boys are National Geographic then the girls surely are the Fashion Channel. Aside from their fantastic ability to play our game, many must have a uni degree in accessorising and makeup. The FISHBOWL was taken back to the 70’s with some huge sunnies and headbands appearing frequently around the grounds. Here it would appear that the Sharks, Mets and Cobras are the big 3 to beat. Play of the Day goes to the spectator that found a crisp $20 note and handed it to the FISHBOWL. This type of honesty will always be rewarded. Rumour of the Day has to be that a certain ATA Event Manager, No names here, stopped a game after only 7 minutes because he thought he heard the timer beeping. The quick thinking but very embarrassed gentleman remedied the situation with aplomb and minimal damage. It’s hard to get good help in the FISHBOWL folks. Keep an eye on the FISHBOWL reports daily for the more obscure stories from the NTL. **Adam Collins and Kane Weeks are not only controlling the tournament from the ‘Fishbowl’ (tournament control box) but are entertaining the crowd at the same time. Great work boys. The 2005 Asics National Touch League Sporting Pulse website contains the final draws, results and also statistics such as touchdown scorers. Please use the following link: 2005 NATIONAL TOUCH LEAGUE DRAWS & RESULTS All feature articles will be placed on the www.austouch.com.au homepage and also on the above Sporting Pulse page as often as possible.
Be sure to check out the new layout for the online TFA Merchandise Shop which includes some new items such as the 2006 State of Origin DVD and the Thompson’s Touch Almanac.Also look out for the new official and casual KooGa range of clothing and accessories in the up and coming weeks.To enter please click on the TFA Merchandise link on the left bar.
KNOE.comAlabama football got huge news this afternoon, when Monroe, La. district attorney Jerry Jones announced that he has dropped the drug and gun charges against Cam Robinson, one of the nation’s best tackles, and reserve safety Hootie Jones. KNOE News has more from Jones, including a very interesting quote regarding this decision.Jones says, “I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I’m doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning.”In the station’s video report on the story, reporter Nicholas Picht says that the DA could not prove who, between Robinson, Jones, and two other men arrested with them, was in possession of the marijuana or the gun, and cited a 2001 case that necessitates a connection between the two offenses.We’ll continue to update this story as more is released.[KNOE]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitale
Kolkata: The executive council of Jadavpur University on Monday accepted in principle the ‘domicile policy’ for admissions at undergraduate level at Jadavpur University.The faculty council of engineering and technology of the varsity on March 6 had adopted a resolution calling for reservation of 90 percent of the engineering seats in the general category for home students, the ones who pass their plus-II exams from Bengal. “The domicile policy has been accepted in principle by the executive council which is the highest decision making body in the varsity. A committee has been formed which will talk with students in this regard,” a member of the council said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe member said they would soon communicate the matter to the Directorate of Technical Education, state Higher Education department and West Bengal Joint Entrance Board as this is a major policy change. It may be mentioned that 13 of the 16 departments of Engineering and technology had communicated to the dean of engineering and technology that they want to back the system. The other three departments at the faculty council meeting did not oppose the system. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to the member, seven departments had proposed that 85 percent of the seats in the general category be reserved, while the remaining nine had rooted for 90 percent. The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, and the NIT, Durgapur, have reserved 50 per cent of their seats for candidates from Bengal. A student from Bengal can be admitted as a home student or as a non-home student at both these institutes. The Council also deliberated upon the admission process to be adopted this year for undergraduates. After there were disparity in marks in admission tests for six arts subjects— JU had formed a two-member committee to enquire into the irregularities. The committee had submitted its report last month.
Kolkata: The Ministry of Home Affairs has turned down a plea of Mamata Banerjee government to retain 35 companies of central forces posted in once Maoist-dominated Jangalmahal region in south Bengal, a senior state government official said Sunday. The state government has then written to the ministry to reconsider the decision stating that the move might re-ignite Maoist problems in the region, he said. The forested areas of West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts in the southern part of the state forms Jangalmahal. The areas which share border with Jharkhand were once affected by Maoist insurgency. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “A second letter has been sent to the Home Ministry a couple of days ago requesting it to retain the forces in Jangalmahal. A special mention has been made in the letter that withdrawal of the forces may re-ignite the Maoist problem in the area which has borders with Jharkhand. We are waiting for a reply from the ministry,” the IAS officer said. The ministry, about a fortnight ago, had informed the state government of its decision to pull out the 35 companies of central forces and deploy them on election duty in other parts of West Bengal. “We had written to the home ministry opposing the decision citing intelligence reports on the Maoists trying to regroup in the Jangalmahal area. We also have cited reports about visits of Maoist leaders from Jharkhand,” he said.
New Delhi: Delhi Police on Thursday arrested a 23-year-old man with his girl associate who used to honey trap old men with wealthy background and extort money from them.The accused committed five such incidents within a month in city. Police identified the accused as Parminder Singh and one co-accused girl, who were nabbed by the staff of Hari Nagar police station.Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Monika Bharadwaj said that on April 1, the complainant reported that his friend has been held captive by a racket of persons at a house and the said persons have already taken money from them and one of the alleged persons is standing at the Jail Road, Hari Nagar for taking more money from the complainant. “He stated that one girl befriended him through WhatsApp and asked him to meet. On the regular persuasion of the said girl, complainant along with his friend went to meet the girl who came with one more girl to meet them,” said DCP West . Thereafter, the two girls took complainant and his friend to one rented accommodation in Tilak Nagar on the pretext of enjoyment. The second girl took friend of the complainant in a room and the first girl locked the room from outside. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDCP further stated that at the same time, three men and two ladies entered the house and threatened the complainant to implicate him and his friend in a false case of rape.They also threatened that they would defame the complainant and his friend by leaking their video to their relatives and society. The accused persons took Rs 10,000 from the complainant and further demanded Rs 20 lakh from the complainant. Thereafter, friend of the complainant was held captive in the same house and complainant along with one accused was sent to bring more money. Thereafter, complainant on the pretext of arranging money asked the accused person who came along with the complainant to wait near Jail Road and came across with the police team. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe police team first arrested accused Parminder Singh from Jail Road and conducted raid at the premises where complainant’s friend was held captive by the accused persons, but the said premises was found locked. Further investigation revealed that after releasing the friend of complainant, all the accused persons escaped away from the premises. The police team conducted several raids and one co-accused girl has also been arrested. DCP West further revealed that Parminder has committed more than five incidents of extorting people through honey trap in the last one month with the help of his racket. His racket comprises 4-5 ladies and 3-4 men. Accused persons mainly target old men of wealthy background.
London: A cornered Theresa May issued a stark warning to the warring factions within the UK Parliament that the choice was between agreeing on a withdrawal agreement or risk no Brexit at all. In her latest statement from Downing Street on Saturday evening, the British Prime Minister sought to defend her move to reach out to Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to break the ongoing parliamentary deadlock over Britain’s impending exit from the European Union (EU). Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBecause Parliament has made clear it will stop the UK leaving without a deal, we now have a stark choice: leave the European Union with a deal or do not leave at all, she said. My answer to that is clear: we must deliver Brexit and to do so we must agree a deal. If we cannot secure a majority among Conservative and DUP MPs we have no choice but to reach out across the House of Commons, she added. Her latest intervention comes amid a mounting mutiny within her own Conservative Party for sitting down with Corbyn to thrash out a solution, which will inevitably take the form of a so-called soft Brexit given Labour’s preference for a common Customs Union with the EU as part of any future relationship with the economic bloc. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHowever, the British PM highlighted that it was either that or not leaving the 28-member economic bloc at all and reneging on the June 2016 referendum in favour of Brexit. She said: The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all. It would mean letting the Brexit the British people voted for slip through our fingers. I will not stand for that. It is essential we deliver what people voted for and to do that we need to get a deal over the line. In a clear attempt at placating her hard Brexiteer party MPs, May insisted that there are areas where the two main UK parties, Conservatives and Labour, agree. We both want to end free movement, we both want to leave with a good deal, and we both want to protect jobs. That is the basis for a compromise that can win a majority in Parliament and winning that majority is the only way to deliver Brexit, she stressed. May is set for another trip to Brussels next week to follow up on her letter to European Council President Donald Tusk seeking a short extension to Article 50 until June 30. However, it remains to be seen what the remaining EU member countries will be willing to agree to, with any decision on an extension to the Brexit mechanism requiring their unanimous backing. The UK has already sought one extension to the March 29 Brexit deadline and is set to crash out of the bloc on April 12 unless an alternative arrangement is agreed with the EU. British MPs have rejected May’s EU divorce bill three times over the controversial Irish backstop clause and last week’s talks between the two main parties were aimed at trying to find a proposal which could break the deadlock in the Commons before an emergency EU summit on Wednesday. However, the three days of meetings stalled without agreement on Friday. Corbyn has said he was “waiting to see the red lines move” and had not “noticed any great change in the government’s position”. He is himself under pressure from his MPs to demand another referendum on any deal he reaches with the government, with 80 Labour MPs signing a letter saying a public vote should be the “bottom line” in the negotiations.
Rap impresario Jay-Z is changing the sports agent game and scaring the white establishment as he’s doing it. Big-time athletes are breaking ranks, signing with Beyonce’s husband’s agency, Roc Nation, not just because it’s cool to be on his team, but also because his business acumen is producing blockbuster results.People laughed and smirked when Jay-Z announced he was expanding his empire to athlete representation two years ago. Impressively, he leveraged his popularity as an artist to attain some of sports’ top young stars’ attention and is doing right by them in contact negotiations.Jigga Man is laughing now with his latest coup, signing Dallas Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant, who shunned agent Eugene Parker just as he is up for a new, mega-contract. Bryant’s reasons for the move mirror the thoughts of others who have shunned going with large, white firms for representation.He can relate to Jay-Z.“I feel like it fits me,” Bryant said to ESPNDallas.com. “It fits what I’m trying to do, what I’m trying to accomplish in life. I want to be the best that I can possibly be. It ain’t about a contract. It’s about me branding myself and being an icon for these kids. I love kids and they look up to me.“I come from dirt — point blank, period — and every day I’m writing my story and it’s getting better. I feel like they were the best choice for me. They can help me get to where I want to be. That’s what it is.”One person not laughing is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who also serves as general manager. He reportedly talked Bryant out of hiring Roc Nation in the summer and was “not happy” when Bryant went against his wishes last week. It is unclear why Jones did not want the receiver to join Jay-Z’s agency. Jones dealt with Parker, who also is Black.Whatever the case, Jay-Z wins, and so his quest to be a mega-player in the agency game climbs another rung, even while many root against him. It will be interesting to see how negotiations between Jones and Roc Nation go, as Bryant has earned the right to a new contact around $12 million a season, which would be commensurate with his status as one of the elite receivers in the NFL.“I’d be highly disappointed,” Bryant said, if he did not get a max deal. Almost any agent could accomplish that; he’s deserving. It’s the outside-football exposure and endorsements where Roc Nation can up the ante for Bryant.Roc Nation has only 12 sports clients for now, and they include some of the athletic world’s top performers. Significantly, Jay-Z and Co. negotiated a 10-year, $240-million deal for Robinson Cano when he left the New York Yankees for the Seattle Mariners—an enormous deal that set Roc Nation in flight.Also on the Roc Nation team is NBA superstar Kevin Durant. Jay-Z earned its most significant deal for the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, an endorsement package with sneaker and athletic apparel giant Nike that could peak at $300 million. How Roc Nation pulled off the bonanza was as impressive as the numbers.It smartly pitted and created a bidding war between Nike and rising Under Armour, which Roc Nation knew was eager to make a splash in the endorsement world by stealing away Durant. The story goes that Nike offered $20 million a year for Durant. Jay-Z took that number to Under Armour, which offered about $26 million, intent on overtaking its competitor.But Nike flexed its muscle and offered $30 million a year, giving Roc Nation a landmark deal that shows other athletes, like Bryant, its negotiating power and legitimacy. Beyond that, there is speculation that Durant never had any intentions of leaving Nike—he took less in his previous contract instead of fleeing to Adidas.Other Roc Nation clients include WNBA star Skylar Diggins, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, Detroit Lion lineman Ndamukon Suh and New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz, among others. Don’t be surprised if that client list rapidly increases.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
10North Carolina State94.6%48.5%+46.2 WKOPPONENTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. Which other games need to go right for Clemson and Washington?The non-Tigers, non-Huskies matchups that have the most leverage on each team’s playoff chances WKOPPONENTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. 13Washington State98.073.4+24.7 Each week in this space, we examine all the things a certain contending team needs to have happen in order for it to make the College Football Playoff. This week’s edition is a double feature starring the Clemson Tigers and Washington Huskies, each of which fell out of the AP Top 5 after suffering upset losses last week.Current situations: After Clemson and Washington lost to Syracuse and Arizona State, respectively, the two teams’ College Football Playoff odds were dented pretty badly. According to FiveThirtyEight’s prediction model, the Tigers now have just a 29 percent chance of making the playoff (down from 55 percent going into the weekend), and the Huskies are at 24 percent (down from 43 percent). Six teams are currently ahead of the Tigers and Huskies in our CFP probabilities, and Clemson isn’t even the favorite to win its conference anymore. (Miami has slightly higher odds of winning the ACC.) The relatively straightforward paths for both teams to return to the CFP have now run into major complications.What the Tigers and Huskies can do: As always, winning out is paramount to getting into the playoff. If Clemson runs the table — which our model gives a 20 percent chance of happening — it will have a 97 percent probability of making the CFP, a near-lock. The Tigers’ trip to NC State on Nov. 4 is easily their biggest obstacle to that; they win that game in 95 percent of our simulations that have them going to the playoff, while they only win it 49 percent of the time in sims where they don’t make the CFP. (That 46 percentage point difference makes it the highest-leverage game left in Clemson’s season.) It should also be noted that these numbers assume that Clemson’s star QB Kelly Bryant is healthy; he was knocked out of the Syracuse loss but seems to be progressing quickly in his recovery.For Washington, the odds of winning all its remaining games are a bit higher (21 percent), although the Huskies also have a less guaranteed playoff path — only 87 percent CFP odds — even if they do win out. Washington’s most important game comes at Stanford on Nov. 10, a matchup the Huskies win 96 percent of the time in their playoff-bound simulations but only 40 percent of the time in universes where they don’t make the playoff. 11Notre Dame def. Miami49.546.5+3.0 9Georgia Tech93.675.0+18.6 Washington:PROBABILITY BY WASHINGTON OUTCOME Washington gamesWASHINGTON WIN % BY OUTCOME 10Virginia Tech def. Miami36.832.5+4.3 13South Carolina90.167.3+22.8 8Notre Dame def. USC66.563.9+2.6 12California def. Stanford17.9%14.3%+3.6 13South Carolina def. Clemson28.225.5+2.8 9UCLA95.282.0+13.2 Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding. 9Arizona State def. USC34.531.7+2.9 12Citadel100.099.9+0.1 10Washington St. def. Stanford40.537.8+2.7 10Arizona def. USC28.225.6+2.6 12Wake Forest def. N.C. State44.6%38.2%+6.4 13North Carolina def. N.C. State18.114.5+3.6 10Oregon94.578.4+16.0 11Stanford95.6%39.5%+56.1 WKRESULTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. 13Notre Dame def. Stanford48.946.2+2.7 11Auburn def. Georgia47.844.4+3.5 12Michigan def. Wisconsin28.325.7+2.6 WKRESULTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. 11Boston College def. N.C. State26.622.3+4.3 Which of Clemson and Washington’s remaining games hold the most weight?Remaining 2017 matchups, ranked by the amount of leverage on each team’s playoff chances. Based on two sets of simulations: one where the team makes the playoff and one where it doesn’t. 11Florida State93.562.3+31.2 Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding. 12Utah96.782.0+14.7 12Virginia def. Miami17.214.4+2.8 13Georgia Tech def. Georgia30.227.2+3.0 Clemson:PROBABILITY BY CLEMSON OUTCOME Clemson gamesCLEMSON WIN % BY OUTCOME Where they need help: As mentioned above, Clemson doesn’t need much in the way of outside help — as long as the Tigers win, they’re still almost guaranteed to make the playoff. They could benefit slightly from anything that boosts their odds of winning the ACC, however, including losses by NC State and Miami. And any wins by Auburn will automatically help Clemson because of its head-to-head victory against those other Tigers in September.Washington, on the other hand, could use more of an assist from afar. There are two categories for these kinds of games: Some — like Stanford losing to Cal in Week 12 — tend to be entangled with implications about the strength of a team’s own opponents.1For instance, consider a situation in which Team A and Team B are conference rivals. Team B might be less likely to win an unrelated game in a simulation where Team A makes the playoff, because Team B is also likely to be weaker in a universe where Team A beats them head-to-head. (Arizona State beating USC also fits this category, because it makes Washington’s loss to the Sun Devils look less bad.) But the more interesting ones come where the connection isn’t obvious: Georgia Tech beating Georgia, for instance, helps Washington because it hurts an undefeated Bulldogs team that currently sits ahead of the Huskies in our playoff odds. One good piece of news for both Clemson and Washington is that, of the six teams ahead of them in the CFP probabilities, all but likely Big 12 winner TCU hail from just two conferences: the Big Ten and SEC. Since the playoff selection committee puts an emphasis on conference championships, some of those teams will by definition see their odds plummet before the Final Four is chosen — we just don’t know which ones yet. So there aren’t many universes where both, say, Alabama and Georgia make the playoff, or both Ohio State and Penn State (to say nothing of Wisconsin).But Washington and Clemson may also find themselves as enemies down the season’s final stretch; with one loss apiece, they could very likely be competing for the same CFP slot. Indeed, Clemson only makes the playoff in 23 percent of the simulations where Washington is in, versus 31 percent of the sims where Washington misses out. (That same split is 18 percent versus 25 percent from Washington’s perspective.) With only four teams standing at the end of the season, every loss counts — a lesson the Tigers and Huskies might have learned the hard way last weekend.Check out our latest college football predictions.
In 2014 the Big Ten will welcome Rutgers University into the conference, in a move that, unfortunately, will also bring Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti.An ESPN “Outside the Lines” segment that aired Tuesday showed Rice bullying players during basketball practices from 2010-2012. The coach was shown shoving players, throwing basketballs at them while they were not looking, insulting players with expletives and perhaps most offensive of all, using derogatory slurs regarding sexual orientation.According to “OTL,” tapes of the harsh practices were brought to the attention of Pernetti last summer, but nothing was done. Months later, in December 2012, an internal investigation was launched into the allegations. The investigation only resulted in a $50,000 fine and an unpaid three-game suspension for Rice. Pernetti is also on record saying he never considered firing Rice, who finished the season with a losing 15-16 record.To never even consider firing a coach who physically and emotionally abuses his athletes is outrageous.To call athletes fa–ots and keep Rice at his job is unbelievable, and furthermore, that the athletic director knew about it and let Rice stay makes the situation that much worse. Clearly neither of them has a proper understanding of how to treat individuals, let alone the young minds of those players they have been trusted to care for.To allow Rice to continue to coach seemingly condones the violent behavior toward students and the negative slurs often used toward the gay community that were hurled at his players.Perhaps most troubling, Rutgers is no stranger to dealing with acceptance, or lack thereof, of gay individuals. In September 2010, Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide, and it is believed he did so due to bullying from others about his homosexuality. The case drew national attention and even resulted in criminal charges being filed against Clementi’s roommate for invasion of privacy.Clearly the athletics department at Rutgers did not learn a lesson from this incident.The Big Ten, or at the very least Ohio State athletics, has higher standards than the way these two men have behaved and have been allowed to behave.Both OSU athletic director Gene Smith and President E. Gordon Gee have talked, before the Rutgers incident, about inclusion and acceptance of all athletes and students at OSU.“Inclusion is something I’ve always believed in,” Smith said in an exclusive interview with The Lantern on March 12. “I’ve always believed that a diverse environment allows you to have different thoughts and different views and ultimately you get the best out of that environment.”Gee agreed.“I believe that athletes, non-athletes (whatever), we want to be a university that is very friendly to all of our students and our faculty and staff,” Gee said while visiting The Lantern on March 25.Rutgers needs to let Pernetti and Rice go. A three-game suspension in December means nothing to a basketball program and is insulting to the memory of Clementi. Their behavior is not the kind that should be allowed into Big Ten athletics.