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The announcement took all of 30 seconds to say, but the ramifications are still being felt.Ever since senior quarterback Matt Barkley declared his intention to return to school for his senior season on national television, USC has been lauded as the preseason favorite to win the national championship.When the “experts” talk of such predictions, the discussion usually centers on Barkley and Co. on the offensive end. One of Barkley’s main targets, sophomore receiver Marqise Lee, made some sensational plays in practice on Thursday.“[Lee] was the MVP of today,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “Obviously he’s a great player and he has the potential to be a real star player.”The Trojans do not just feature an experienced offense, however. With eight starters returning from last year’s squad that was third in the conference in points allowed, the Trojan defense is not to be taken lightly.“As a defense, we just come out and do what we’re supposed to do,” junior cornerback Nickell Robey said. “All we’re worried about is winning on third downs and getting off the field.”Robey, a starter since his freshman season, has taken on more of a leadership role this year and has made it a point of emphasis to help the younger players adjust.“We have a lot of young guys, so we’re trying to get them acclimated to the system. When we can do that, we’re going to be better as a defense.”On Thursday, the defense got the better of the high profile offense, forcing turnovers and making it difficult for the offense to move the ball.“The defense kind of dominated today for the most part,” Kiffin said. “It’s always hard to evaluate the offensive line and the run game when you have no pads on.”With the loss of three starters on the defensive line from last year’s unit, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is relying on newcomers to step up.“We have to show up inside. That’s where it all starts,” Orgeron said. “If you’re weak inside, you’re not going to have the type of team you want.”Orgeron is hoping for solid play from returning seniors Devon Kennard and Wes Horton.“Devon and Wes are coming. Those are guys I expect to play well,” said Orgeron. “Last year, Devon had some missed sacks, some missed plays. But he’ll get them this year.”If Thursday’s practice was any indication, the defense will turn some heads this season.
Imprisonment or probation? Former World Boxing Champion Adnan Catic, also known as Felix Sturm, will find out on fate on Thursday, Bild reports.The Cologne prosecutor’s office is seeking three years and three months in prison for a German fighter of Bosnian origin for tax evasion and anti-doping violations, Avaz news portal writes.Disputed paymentAccording to prosecutor Renke Hogendorn (Hoogendoorn), Catic damaged the state for a million euros in unpaid tax. Initially, the former middleweight professional champion was charged with evasion of 5.8 million Euros.His lawyers argued that Sturm received the disputed money as a loan from a Swiss marketing company.Adnan himself added that he agreed to an annual payout regardless of boxing matches.After eight and a half months in custody, the famous fighter, who was born and lives in Germany, was released in late December to defend himself on 300,000 euros bail.Catic was arrested on April 5ththis year in Cologne during a visit to the FIBO fitness fair and was arrested by police on charges of tax evasion.The court denied him a request for release on bail of one million euros, and was recently charged with evading taxes of seven million euros.If the allegations turn out to be true, Catic will face up to several years in prison, given that had suspended sentence of 22 months in 2012 for tax evasion.Catic, who fights under the alias Felix Sturm, was a world champion in his career with a score of 40 wins, five losses and three draws.On February 20th, 2016, Catic had the last fight in Oberhausen against Fjodor Cudinov after which he was positive on the forbidden substance.He broke the silence two months later with a post which he shared via Instagram where he complained about being treated unfairly by the doping investigators. Sturm wrote that he was only informed two months after the first doping sample about the results and that he wasn’t told why it took longer than usual (two weeks).After engaging a lawyer who requested all the required documents from the investigators he noticed that the last page was missing, “…where is written, when my sample arrived at the laboratory, who received it and who analysed the sample.”, it was written in that social media post. He allegedly didn’t get an answer after submitting further inquiries and was denied the right to let the b-sample be analysed by another laboratory. Sturm claimed that the WBA refrained from suspending him because of these irregularities.But, after almost three years Catic has proved his innocence and he is preparing for a great return.Catic is a five-time world champion in two weight classes, having held the WBO middleweight title from 2003 to 2004, the WBA middleweight title twice between 2006 and 2012, the IBF middleweight title from 2013 to 2014, and the WBA (Super) super-middleweight title in 2016.