Sean Payton, the suspended New Orleans Saints coach who had his contract voided, is allowed to negotiate a new contract with the team, according to a report by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.The newspaper reported that, while Payton’s suspension for his involvement in the bounty scandal forbids him from speaking with the organization, he and the Saints are permitted to speak in regards to his contract situation.ESPN Sunday reported that a previous contract extension between Payton and the Saints was voided by the league. Should the two sides be unable to reach agreement on a new deal, Payton would be a free agent.Saints quarterback Drew has no doubt he’ll be reunited with Payton in 2013.“I absolutely believe he’ll be back,” Brees said after Monday night’s win over Philadelphia.Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said he hadn’t seen or heard Sunday’s report and didn’t want to comment, but added, “This team loves Sean, and Sean loves this team. This city loves Sean, and Sean loves this city. I think that’s a tough combination to beat.”New Orleans safety Roman Harper said he sees no reason for Payton to leave New Orleans, especially after being linked to the bounty case.“Why would he not come back? He’s got something to prove,” Harper said. “There’s nothing like having a man with a chip on his shoulder. This is just another way the NFL is trying to get at us. We just have to keep our minds on things we can control, and that’s playing football.”With Payton’s earlier ties to the Cowboys and close relationship with owner Jerry Jones, there has been speculation he could replace Dallas coach Jason Garrett.Jones denied such talk Sunday while Garrett said his sole focus remains on getting his 3-5 Cowboys to the playoffs.“There’s a lot of stories that circulate around our game,” Garrett said Monday afternoon. “So certainly some people bring those kinds of things to my attention, but again, we’re (focusing) on what we need to do. We had heck of a challenge (Sunday night) in Atlanta, trying to play an undefeated team, so that’s where our attention was.”
OSU senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell (14) during a game against Purdue on Oct. 16 at St. John Area. OSU won 3-2. Credit: Christopher Slack / Lantern PhotographerAfter suffering just its third loss of the season in a three-set upset at the hands of Michigan State on Wednesday, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team will look to rebound this weekend against another rival from the Wolverine State.That rival is No. 23 Michigan (15-5, 5-4), who the Buckeyes (18-3, 7-2) will be seeing for the first time this season in Ann Arbor on Saturday at 7 p.m.The intense rivalry between the two schools gives OSU extra motivation to beat the Wolverines on their own floor, sophomore outside hitter Ashley Wenz said.“Being from Ohio all my life, you can’t even say ‘Michigan’ without people saying something,” Wenz said. “So it gives us a little more ‘oomph’ in how we play against them.”Last year, the teams split their two matchups when both won on its home floor. OSU hasn’t won a game in Cliff Keen Arena — in which Michigan has a 10-2 record this season – since 2011, but the Buckeyes are hoping to change their recent history this weekend.“(We’re) really amped up, really pumped up, especially because last time we went it wasn’t so good on our end,” senior middle blocker Tyler Richardson said. “This year, we’re ready and I think we’re all really excited. It’s Michigan.”OSU is preparing for an unfriendly crowd in Ann Arbor, something senior outside hitter Katie Mitchell said she’s become accustomed to in her four years donning scarlet and gray.“They hate us, and it’s pretty obvious,” Mitchell said. “You play in an old pool so it’s a very intimate setting with 2,000 people that just hate you so much and want you to lose … it’s always fun to go in there and turn the smile upside down.”Michigan was picked by Big Ten coaches to finish ninth in the conference before the season, just behind OSU; but like the Buckeyes, the Wolverines have been turning some heads with their play this season.Led by junior middle blocker and preseason all-Big Ten selection Abby Cole — who leads the team in kills per set (3.08), attack percentage (.360), service aces (9) and total blocks (75) — Michigan won its first 10 games of the season and took No. 5 Penn State to the brink of defeat in a five-set loss on Wednesday.“We’ve got to be ready on the road because everyone’s going to be coming after us,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said. “Michigan’s an important match on so many different levels.”The Buckeyes hold a 49-22 all-time record against the Wolverines, but the series has been more even as of late, with the teams splitting their last six matchups.HomecomingOSU’s two senior middle blockers, Andrea Kacsits and Richardson, are both from Michigan and are looking forward to being back home.Kacsits is eager to see people from her hometown — both in the stands and on the court.“All the games mean so much just because you put your heart and soul into all of them,” Kacsits, a native of Rockford, Michigan, said. “But these ones are kind of fun because a lot of my club friends and high school friends and people that I haven’t seen in a long time either are playing in the game or coming to watch the game.”Richardson, who hails from Ypsilanti, Michigan, a town less than 10 miles from Ann Arbor, said the game means a lot to her because she gets to visit home and due to the magnitude of the rivalry between the two schools.What’s next?The Buckeyes are set to play host to defending national champion Penn State on Wednesday in St. John Arena at 7 p.m. OSU will be looking to snap a 16-game losing streak against the Nittany Lions that dates back to 2006.
When the Michigan women’s basketball team (13-8, 6-2) defeated Ohio State (13-7, 4-4) on Dec. 30, the Wolverines benefited from a 1-for-13 shooting performance from OSU junior guard Samantha Prahalis. Thursday night at the Schottenstein Center, the Wolverines weren’t as fortunate — however, they were still victorious. Prahalis connected on her first seven shots of the night, five of which were 3-pointers. But her 25-point, six-assist performance wasn’t enough for the Buckeyes, as they fell to Michigan 69-66 in a game that may have come down to last-minute free throws. “I give (Michigan) a lot of credit. They played very well,” OSU coach Jim Foster said following his team’s second loss to Michigan this season. “They executed. We didn’t.” Not having missed a shot in the first half, Prahalis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point attempt at the end of the first half to give OSU a 46-33 lead. Prahalis’ perfect first half, in which she scored 19 points, helped the Buckeyes weather a barrage of Wolverine 3-pointers, as Michigan connected on eight of its first 12 shots from beyond the arc. “I just got in a good rhythm,” Prahalis said. “I just was a little hot tonight and just found a good rhythm.” Though Michigan couldn’t find a way to slow down Prahalis, foul trouble did. OSU’s leading scorer picked up her third foul with 16 minutes remaining in the game and the Buckeyes up by 12 points. With Prahalis saddled onto the bench, the Wolverines cut OSU’s lead down to as few as five points before Prahalis returned with 10 minutes remaining. “She is our point guard, and she makes the ball move,” Foster said. “She’s got to understand fouls. A silly foul can be costly down the road.” Even with Prahalis back in the game, the Buckeyes struggled to extend their lead, as Michigan’s Rachel Sheffer’s 3-point shot with a minute remaining in the game cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one point. After a missed jumper by Prahalis, Sheffer connected on two free throws to give Michigan a 67-66 lead with 29 seconds remaining. Sheffer finished the game with a team-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Wolverines. After an OSU timeout, Prahalis came up short on another jumper. However, senior guard Alison Jackson grabbed the rebound and was fouled on a put-back attempt. With the chance to tie the game with one basket, or take the lead with two, Jackson stepped to the line for her two free throws. She missed both. OSU senior guard Brittany Johnson added 14 points for the Buckeyes, and senior center Jantel Lavender scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Lavender’s ninth rebound of the game made her the Big Ten’s career leader in rebounds. “It’s awesome that it hasn’t been broken in 26 years,” Lavender said. “I just rebound hard and try to get every rebound.” OSU’s loss Thursday snapped a three-conference-game winning streak for the six-time defending Big Ten champions. The Buckeyes travel to State College, Pa., to face Penn State at 2 p.m. Sunday. “We’ve got to have some of these young players continue to progress and understand that one game is not the next,” Foster said. “What you have to do in one game, you might have to do something else the next time you’re out there.”
“At first it was hard to adjust (to college), but now I’m cool,” Miller said. “Now I’m just getting the hang of it.” Defensive back Jeremy Cash (Plantation High School, Plantation, Fla.), defensive tackle Joel Hale (Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Ind.), tight end Jeff Heuerman (Barron Collier High School, Naples, Fla.) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (Plantation High School, Plantation, Fla.) also enrolled early. With starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of 2011, Miller will compete for Pryor’s spot with Joe Bauserman, who will be a senior, and Taylor Graham, Ken Guiton and Justin Siems, who will be sophomores. “It’s an opportunity to put in the work,” Miller said, “and see who wins out.” Tressel emphasized the amount of repetitions each quarterback will receive in practice this year. “These guys are going to get good reps,” he said. “(We’ll see) the evolution of who steps to the front. There’s going to be days where one person does, and there’s going to be days when another doesn’t.” Defensive end Steve Miller (McKinley Senior High School, Canton, Ohio) rounds out the five-star recruits and is the No. 9-ranked defensive end, according to Scout.com. He is one of 13 defensive signees. Tressel said the 2011 class had good balance on both sides of the ball. “What we try to do every year is just get a little bit of everything so that, within your classes, you have a few of every position,” he said. “Therefore, when you look at the total roster, you’ve got the kind of depth and age variance within positions.” But the Buckeyes did not land all the high school players they coveted. Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker (Glenville High School, Cleveland), a four-star recruit according to Scout.com, committed to Southern California and is widely regarded as the top offensive line recruit in Ohio. Overall, Scout.com ranks the Buckeyes’ class No. 3 in the nation; ESPN ranks it No. 7; and Rivals.com ranks it No. 10. Nebraska and Michigan also appeared in the top 25. Nebraska is ranked No. 14 on ESPN, No. 15 on Rivals.com and No. 23 on Scout.com. Michigan is ranked No. 21 on Rivals.com. Zack Meisel contributed to this story. On the first day high school football recruits could sign with their prospective universities, Ohio State announced the signing of 23 new Buckeyes for its 2011 class. Coach Jim Tressel is satisfied with how the recruiting class rounded out, he said at a press conference Wednesday. “When you get into the last two weeks of January and you get a good finish, you feel good about that,” he said. “I liked the beginning, and I loved the end.” Of the 23 signees, three are listed as five-star recruits on Scout.com. Linebacker Curtis Grant (Hermitage High School, Richmond, Va.) committed Wednesday afternoon to play for Tressel’s squad. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Grant is the top outside linebacker in the country, according to Scout.com. Another five-star recruit is quarterback Braxton Miller (Wayne High School, Huber Heights, Ohio). The 6-2, 185-pound Miller is the No. 2-ranked quarterback in the nation, according to Scout.com. However, Rivals.com considers Miller a four-star recruit. Miller is one of 13 recruits from Ohio, and one of five players who enrolled early at OSU for Winter Quarter 2011.
Steve Stricker has a spot in the final pairing Sunday, after shooting a 3-under-par 69 on Saturday at the Memorial Tournament. Stricker is 12-under-par in the tournament, three strokes ahead of his nearest competitor. Stricker, looking to capture his 10th PGA Tour victory, said to win the Memorial would rank with some of his greatest wins. “It’s a great tournament,” Stricker said. “(Jack Nicklaus) is the greatest player of all time, and to win his tournament would be pretty special.” Paired with Stricker for the final day of play is Jonathan Byrd, who shot a 3-under-par 69 to put himself at 9-under-par for the tournament. “Anytime you get in the final group on Sunday, you’ve done a great job,” Byrd said. “Today I played well all day.” Byrd said playing in the final group on a Sunday is a fun environment and that the added attention and pressure help his game. “I think the hardest environment to play in is when there’s like two people out there,” Byrd said. “When there’s a ton of people you just block everybody out.” Matt Kuchar will join Brandt Jobe on Sunday as the second-to-last group to tee off. Kuchar finished his day with a 4-under-par 68, putting him four shots off the lead. He said looking at the leaderboard was a little disheartening. “I was playing some great golf and finally got a chance to look at the leaderboard,” Kuchar said. “Stricker was matching me shot for shot out there.” Phil Mickelson, who finished the day with an even-par 72, said that, despite being 10 shots off the lead, he is pretty happy with many aspects of his game. “I’m actually pretty pleased with a lot of areas that I feel like I’ve been doing well,” he said. “But the one area that I’m identifying I’ll spend a little time now on is putting.” Stricker and Kuchar appeared unstoppable on the front nine on Saturday. Stricker got off to a strong start with an eagle on the second hole, and another eagle on the fifth hole. He finished the front nine shooting a 5-under-par 31. “It was a great start,” Stricker said. “Holing one out at the second hole and then making another eagle at No. 5.” Kuchar also shot a 5-under-par 31 on the front nine, and had seven birdies in nine holes. He said it would be tough for anyone to catch Stricker on Sunday. “Strick has got it all,” Kuchar said. “It’s going to take a low number for anyone to knock Steve Stricker tomorrow to have a chance.” Play begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. Stricker and Byrd will tee off at 1:35 p.m.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) attempts to run through a tackle by Northwestern defender during a game Oct. 5 at Ryan Field. OSU won, 40-30. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Big Ten football schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons were released by the conference Wednesday.Ohio State is scheduled to play new conference foe Rutgers for the third time at home in 2018. The Buckeyes are also set to host Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan and travel to Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State and Maryland.A season-opening home game for 2018 is yet to be determined, but OSU is scheduled to visit TCU and host North Carolina to round out its schedule that year.OSU hosts Michigan State, Wisconsin, Maryland and Penn State as part of its conference slate in 2019, and is scheduled to travel to Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan.The Buckeyes open Big Ten play that year with back-to-back road games at Indiana Sept. 14 and at Nebraska Sept. 28. OSU hosts TCU between those games Sept. 21. It will be the first time the Horned Frogs will play in Columbus since 1973.The 2019 visit to Northwestern marks the first time OSU will play in Evanston, Ill., since this year’s 40-30 victory Oct. 5. The Oct. 26 date with Wisconsin will be the first time the Badgers will return to Ohio Stadium since losing to OSU 31-24 on Sept. 28 of this year.Maryland and Rutgers officially join the conference next season, and the B1G will sport a new alignment with East and West divisions.The Big Ten is scheduled to expand its conference schedule to nine games beginning in 2016, the same season OSU is set to play nine straight weeks of B1G contests. 2019 Ohio State Football ScheduleAug. 31 —TBASept. 7 — CincinnatiSept. 14 — at IndianaSept. 21 — TCUSept. 28 — at NebraskaOct. 5 — Michigan StateOct. 19 —at NorthwesternOct. 26 — WisconsinNov. 9 — MarylandNov. 16 — at RutgersNov. 23 — Penn StateNov. 30 — at Michigan 2018 Ohio State Football ScheduleSept. 1 — TBASept. 8 — RutgersSept. 15 — at TCUSept. 22 — North CarolinaSept. 29 — at Penn StateOct. 6 — IndianaOct. 13 — MinnesotaOct. 20 — at PurdueNov. 3 — NebraskaNov. 10 — at Michigan StateNov. 17 — MarylandNov. 24 —Michigan
Lee Corso reacts to being served a ‘Thurmanator’ from The Thurman Cafe in Columbus during the ESPN College GameDay broadcast for the 2017 OSU- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor
The Buckeyes line up prior to taking the field for warmups before the Ohio State-Nebraska game on Oct. 14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 6 Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) has found itself in the midst of a hot stretch. But through no fault of its own, that stretch will be put on hold this weekend.The Buckeyes have a bye week and will not play until they welcome No. 2 Penn State to Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in a battle of Big Ten powers.“It’s definitely going to be fun to have a week off and refresh,” junior linebacker Jerome Baker said after the Buckeyes’ 56-14 win over Nebraska. “It’s a good time because we’ve got two weeks to prepare for Penn State. As everybody knows that’s a great team, so it’s definitely good for us.”Since its Week 2 loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State has rolled on both sides of the ball, even though its special teams has looked incompetent. The Buckeyes have defeated their past five opponents — Army, UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska — by a combined score of 266-56 and have outgained opponents by 1,885 yards. Redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett has thrown for at least 200 yards every game and accounted for 22 touchdowns over the span without an interception. In the past five games, opponents have scored just three first-half touchdowns against the starting defense. “This is a good time to be cooking, but it’s also a good time to have a bye week and get these guys fresh,” Meyer said Saturday. “We’re still finalizing how we’re going to do the bye week.”After its longest road trip of the season and the third night game away from home, Ohio State took Sunday off. For the first time all season, it did not feel rushed to jump into preparation for its next opponent, even though the Nittany Lions might be the most formidable opponent of the year. Redshirt junior wideout Terry McLaurin said Ohio State appreciates the week off, which allows it to focus heavily on its next opponent, but it also must balance that with maintaining steady improvement.“As far as just keeping the pedal off the gas, we’ve got to keep it going,” McLaurin said. “We’ve got a nice train rolling right now. We just want to come into this bye week focused and ready to get better.”Nearly a year ago, then-No. 2 Ohio State traveled to State College, Pennsylvania, to take on Penn State, a team that had just come off a bye week and handily defeated Maryland before its off week. Conversely, Wisconsin took the Buckeyes into overtime before Ohio State was able to come away with a hard-fought 30-27 overtime victory in Madison, Wisconsin. As the Buckeyes battled, the Nittany Lions rested.Both teams’ schedules are flipped this year.Not only will the Buckeyes be playing a game for the first time in two weeks when they play host to Penn State, but the Nittany Lions will be coming off a game against No. 19 Michigan. Even though the Wolverines have not looked as threatening this year, their stingy defense has not allowed more than 20 points in a game and will test a strong Nittany Lion offense.Though the Buckeyes have avoided outright saying they were looking forward to avenging last year’s loss to Penn State in prior weeks, it’s not a stretch to believe it has been in the back of their minds since the white-clad fans stormed Beaver Stadium as the Scarlet and Gray walked dejectedly back to the locker room.Redshirt senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis admitted as much saying the team has had an eye on Penn State for a while and mentioned the coaches have been preparing for this matchup for weeks. But for now, Ohio State rests, awaiting a chance for revenge.
Britain will stand alongside Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia because freedom cannot be “traded”, the Defence Secretary has said, amid fears Donald Trump may scale back support to Kiev in a deal with Moscow.Sir Michael Fallon announced new British military training to Ukrainian forces battling Russian-backed separatists and said a Royal Navy warship will visit the country for the first time in a decade.He arrived in Kiev for two days of talks as the US election of Mr Trump has caused alarm among Ukrainians dismayed at his apparent warmth towards Vladimir Putin. The defence secretary has arrived in KievCredit:SERGEY DOLZHENKO/EPA The comments come as Donald Trump is about to replace Barack Obama as presidentCredit:Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP The Defence Secretary also announced that one of the Navy’s Type 45 destroyers will visit the Black Sea port of Odessa in the summer, the first time a British warship has visited the country since 2008.The destroyer will be leading a Nato deployment that will also visit Bulgaria and Romania.America has stopped short of supplying weapons to Ukraine after the 2014 annexation of Crimea, but has supplied money and training and imposed sanctions on Mr Putin’s regime. Mr Trump said earlier this week that he would propose offering to end sanctions on Moscow in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal.Barack Obama said “I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don’t confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues,” he said.”It is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principal that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries,” the Democratic president added. In comments likely to be seen as a message to Mr Trump, Sir Michael said: “The values of freedom and democracy cannot be traded.”“Britain is stepping up on the global stage and standing firm with our Ukrainian friends.“The UK is sending a clear message that we are committed to defending democracy across the world and support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”The remarks follow comments from Mr Trump that he will propose an end to sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea. Mr Trump has downplayed Russian aggression in the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine and has suggested he may recognise Moscow’s claims on the peninsula.He has said he wants to improve ties with Russia, despite allegations by US spy agencies that Mr Putin ordered a cyber campaign to boost Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton.Sir Michael, who is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen Stepan Poltorak, said Britain’s 100-strong training team will now widen out its courses to train the local air force and navy.British troops have trained around 5,000 members of the Ukrainian forces in military skills including battlefield medicine and infantry tactics. Trump has said he will improve ties with PutinCredit: Sergei Ilnitsky/AP 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 spokesman for the Charity Commission said: “Concerns have been raised with us about a number of student union charities – we have assessed those concerns in line with our usual processes. “In addition, we will be writing to a number of further student union charities in England & Wales that are reported to have been involved in the BDS movement, to ensure that their trustees are aware of and fulfilling their legal duties and responsibilities, including to comply with our guidance on charities and campaigning.” Baroness Ruth Deech has previously warned that some of Britain’s leading universities are becoming no-go zones for Jewish students. The Union of Jewish Students has identified 21 Students’ Unions which have some form of BDS policy in place.Of these, two are in Scotland so would be outside of the Charity Commission’s jurisdiction. Earlier this month the National Union of Students (NUS) conducted research into the experience of Jewish students on campus.They found that the majority of Jewish students who belonged to student unions which had BDS policies in place did not feel comfortable. One respondent cited in the research said that they felt the BDS policies “threatens safety of Jews on campus” while another said it “seems like a front to get rid of Jewish culture in campus”. 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. Baroness Deech, a cross-bench peer who formerly held the highest office dealing with student complaints, said that the extreme levels of hostility towards Israel at universities across the country can at times go so far as to equate to anti-Semitism.According to charity laws, registered charities must not engage in political campaigns which do not further their charitable objectives. Since the stated objectives of student unions tend to centre around the promotion of education and welfare of their students, committing time and resources to campaigning for an Israel boycott could fall foul of charity law.If the student unions refuse to comply with the Charity Commission’s request for further information about their BDS policies, they could face further regulatory action including a full statutory investigation or enforced removal of their trustees. Student unions are being probed by the Charity Commission over their support for a boycott of Israel, which has been blamed for fuelling anti-Semitism on university campuses across the country.The charity watchdog said that it is preparing to write to more than a dozen student unions which have endorsed the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movements to demand further information.The BDS movement, which calls for an international boycott of Israel, describes itself as a human rights organisation. It says it stands for “freedom, justice and equality” and “categorically opposes as a matter of principle all forms of racism”.But leaders in the Jewish community say that growing support for BDS has led to a rise in anti-Semitism on campus.Earlier this year the Universities Minsiter Jo Johnson wrote to university leaders urging them to tackle “intimidation and violence” against Jewish students ahead of Israel Apartheid Week. Jonathan Arkush, chair of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “The Jewish community experience is that anti-Israel bigotry and agitation on campus is directly linked to a deterioration of the atmosphere to an extent where Jewish students feel personally threatened and unsafe. “Since student unions generally enjoy charitable status and investigation by the charity commission into the legality of anti-Israel policies is in our view justified and long overdue.” Baroness Ruth Deech is a British academic and cross-bench peerCredit:Rosie Hallam