18 Sep
2020

Thousands of Fans Hold vigil for Team

first_imgThe team were flying to Colombia for the biggest match in their history when their plane went down shortly before landing in Medellin, late on Monday.Six of the 77 people on board survived.It is not clear what brought down the chartered aircraft, but some unconfirmed reports have suggested there was an electrical fault, while others say the plane was low on fuel. Both flight recorders have been recovered.Crew member Ximena Suarez, who survived the flight, said “the lights went out and I don’t remember anything after that”.Some 10,000 people – including family members of the players – gathered in Chapeco’s Arena Conda stadium on Tuesday evening, still stunned by the extent of their loss.Fans wearing the club’s green and white colours sang the names of the players and shouted “champions”. Families of the players hugged each other on the pitch.“It is really hard to speak. We always come to the games. We’d come to the stadium and sit right in the same spot,” said fan Daniel Marline.“And we came here today, we sat here, but we know that this weekend, next week, our fighting team won’t be here any more in this stadium. It’s tough. It’s really tough.”Brazil has begun three days of official mourning, while minute silences have been held at football grounds around the world.Brazilians doctors have already flown to Colombia in order to identify the bodies, and arrange for them to be brought home. This could happen in the coming days, as the lack of a fire at the crash site has made retrieving and identifying the bodies of the 71 victims relatively easy, emergency workers say.The team were due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana against the Colombian team Atletico Nacional later on Wednesday.Atletico Nacional has asked fans instead to come to the stadium dressed in white for a candelit vigil. They have also offered to concede the game to ensure Chapecoense are declared the champions.In other tributes, Brazilian first division football teams have offered to lend players to Chapecoense free of charge for the 2017 season, and asked the league to protect the club from relegation for the next three years.Leading footballers, from Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, to Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, have also paid tribute to the players.Alongside the football team, there were also 21 journalists on board the doomed flight – including well-known Brazilian commentator and ex-footballer Mario Sergio Pontes de Paiva.As well as Ms Suarez, flight technician Erwin Tumiri and journalist Rafael Henzel also survived.Mr Tumiri said he had “followed the safety guidelines”.“Many stood up and started shouting. I put the suitcases between my legs and assumed the brace position”.Chapeco’s mayor and the manager’s son were among four people who had been on the passenger manifest but did not make the flight. “Only God knows why I ended up staying behind,” Mayor Luciano Buligon told Brazil’s TV Globo.Hailing from a small city of less than 200,000 inhabitants, Chapecoense football club had become an unlikely success stories in recent years, reaching Brazil’s Serie A in 2014 and beating more established teams.Last week, it became the first Brazilian team in three years to make it to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s second most important club competition, after beating Argentine side San Lorenzo.Shortly before boarding the flight in Sao Paulo, Chapecoense manager Cadu Gaucho, 36, appeared in a video posted on the team’s Facebook site [in Portuguese] describing the trip to Medellin as “the club’s most important to date”.One of the founders of the club, Alvadir Pelisser, told BBC Brasil the tragedy had put an “end to everyone’s dream”. “We were a family, I’m shocked,” he added.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram CHAPECOENSE PLANE CRASHThousands of people in Chapeco in Brazil have held a vigil for the victims of a plane crash, who included most of the city’s football team.Fans of the Chapecoense team walked from the city centre to the stadium where they prayed and sang. A service was also held in the city’s cathedral.last_img read more

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17 Sep
2020

The wunderkind: 24-year-old White brings in improved class as director of recruiting

first_imgEric White walks into his office at 8 a.m. — maybe earlier if there’s a staff meeting. He’ll spend his day zipping through schedules, chatting with recruits, scheduling visits and making travel arrangements for Syracuse’s assistant coaches — anything he can do to piece together an elite class for the Orange. And then he’ll finally call it a night around 9 p.m. That is, on the nights that he actually leaves. Because a big office means a big closet and plenty of room for that air mattress that he’s spent more nights sleeping on than he would like to admit.“I’ve slept here quite a bit,” White said with a laugh. “It’s a seven day a week job, but you knew that when you signed up.”Maybe he works too much, but maybe that’s what Syracuse’s resident wunderkind needed to do to reach that status. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt just 24 years old, White is the Orange’s director of recruiting operations and has helped put together one of the program’s top classes in recent memory. On Wednesday, that will become official when at least 20 recruits sign letters of intent on national signing day.The profession is trending toward younger recruiting leaders, but White’s rapid ascension in the field is still rare. He’s far and away the youngest director of recruiting in the Atlantic Coast Conference — no other team in the league lists a recruiting director younger than 30.“It’s kind of unusual, but personally I prefer it,” linebacker verbal commit Zaire Franklin said, “because Eric, like, understands what we’ve been going through.”White graduated from Kansas in the spring of 2012. Three jobs and less than two years later, he’s running the show at SU.“He just left college,” Franklin said. “Eric can relate to us on a level that a lot of these other guys can’t.”At Toledo, he washed windows and mopped floors. At Wisconsin, he got a chance to be more hands-on. At Arkansas, he joined the Razorbacks’ quality control group.He was only in Fayetteville, Ark., for a couple of months, but his brief stint there happened to overlap with George McDonald’s even briefer tenure as Arkansas’ wide receivers coach.“He was there, like, three weeks. Maybe,” White said. “I don’t know if he ever even got a paycheck.”Reunited at Syracuse, the duo has formed a two-headed, Twitter-crazed recruiting monster.Between their subliminal tweets each time Syracuse lands a recruit and directly reaching out to prospects on Facebook, White and McDonald have made social media an art form and the Orange’s most valuable weapon on the recruiting trail.“Sometimes it’s easier just to send a message that only a couple people know what you’re talking about. Sometimes we’re just playing around with each other,” McDonald said. “I like social media, Eric likes it, so we’re just trying to have a little fun.”Right now is a contact period, so coaches can call recruits whenever. During quiet or dead periods, those conversations are limited to one per week. Schools can send as many letters to recruits as they want — tales of mailboxes stuffed with dozens of letters from a single school are popular sports-blog fodder — but they can never text.Facebook messages and direct messages on Twitter, however, are always fair game.“He’s pretty much the master of all that,” wide receiver target Steve Ishmael said.White messages players, then keeps tabs on them throughout the process — even if a recruit verbally commits elsewhere.The ones that do choose Syracuse, though, get maybe their most active Facebook friend. The Orange’s commits share a group chat with White where they talk about anything — not just football.“There will be something like, ‘I’m on a date right now,’ in the group chat,” Franklin said. “If it were someone older, that would be kind of weird, but it’s Eric, so it’s not that big of a deal.”And therein lies the greatest advantage that White gives SU. Recruits view him as a peer rather than a superior.“It was kind of like a friend was recruiting you,” cornerback commit Lamar Dawson said.None of the recruits interviewed for this story said it was strange dealing with someone so young, and said the guardians who accompanied them on visits felt the same way.Not everyone he encountered getting to Syracuse, though, felt the same way. White started at Toledo where he was asked to do little more than scrub floors and windows. When Chris Hauser — the former director of high school relations for the Rockets — took a job as Wisconsin’s on-campus recruiting director, he had to convince Bret Bielema to embrace White, 22 years old at the time, in the office. “He looks at the kid like, ‘How young is this kid?’” Hauser said. “Even when we went to Arkansas, he said, ‘Is Eric the right guy?’”White made an immediate impression on Hauser, though. His work ethic, efficiency and ambition — he wrote a letter to every Division I school looking for a job — meant that he would push to bring White with him everywhere he went. He even let White live in his basement while the two were working for the Badgers.In exchange, White watched the Hausers’ infant daughter when Chris and his wife Whitney wanted a date night. He got up early on Black Friday to buy them a television for Christmas.In the office, his experience with technology and social media lets him do some things Hauser would try to do in “half the time,” Hauser estimated. White even took the initiative to organize UW’s entire library of Hudl scouting videos.When Bielema left Wisconsin for Arkansas, he decided to bring Hauser with him. Again, Hauser had to convince Bielema to ignore White’s age and let him come to Fayetteville.So when Bielema heard that White would be leaving to become Syracuse’s director of recruiting, he was shocked.“(Bielema) said, ‘What? He got that opportunity?’” Hauser recalls. “‘We can give him more money.’ And I said, ‘No. I think this is what he needs to do and I can’t tell him not to take this opportunity.’”His show at Syracuse isn’t quite Arkansas’ but it is climbing. Instead of being worlds behind Southeastern Conference teams, the Orange’s class is only 21 places behind the 35th-ranked Razorback class.Those are just numbers, of course, but White is a reminder that so is age.“Whether you’re 40 or 21,” McDonald said, “every organization in the country is just trying to get the most talented person.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 4, 2014 at 2:12 am Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2last_img read more

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17 Sep
2020

Student Talk Back focuses on poverty

first_imgOn Wednesday afternoon, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Science’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics hosted the semester’s second installment of “Students Talk Back: A Politics and Public Policy Forum” in partnership with the USC College Democrats, USC College Republicans and the Daily Trojan.The theme for the week’s discussion was, “War on Poverty: 50 Years and Fighting.” The talk was moderated by Burke Gibson, chief copy editor of the Daily Trojan, and Kerstyn Olson, interim director of the Unruh Institute.Panelists included Reed Galen, owner of Jedburghs, LLC and a former adjunct professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Angelica Solis, director of community development for the Youth Policy Institute and students Christian Patterson, a member of the USC College Democrats and Giuseppe Robalino, the director of Political Affairs and Strategy for the College Republicans.The discussion began with the current state of the War on Poverty in Los Angeles, a city recently named one of five “Promise Zones” by President Barack Obama, implementing a program he outlined in the 2013 State of the Union Address.Solis, however, said Los Angeles is not guaranteed any funding just because it was named a Promise Zone.“There actually aren’t any funds attached to the Promise Zones,” she said. “The distinction to be very clear about is it is a designation — it provides [for] the city of L.A. to apply for competitive federal funding.”The panelists then tackled the effectiveness of the War on Poverty as a whole. For Galen, who was a deputy campaign manager for the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain, the true measure of the War on Poverty’s success is not the idea behind it, but how that idea is implemented.“The biggest failure is how many folks we have that live consistently below the poverty line and the intergenerational impact of that,” he said. “If there is an indictment, it is not the ideals behind it, it is the execution.”Patterson agreed and spoke of the immense benefits that federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and the Earned Income Tax Credit have had on families struggling to climb out of poverty.Before opening the floor to questions from the audience, Olson asked the panel for comments on how democrats and republicans can compromise on the issue.“Republicans must get over being indifferent to the plight of folks who live below the poverty line and being cavalier to the fact that people might starve the death,” Galen said. “If we’re going be the party of opportunity, we should be the party of opportunity for everybody — not [just] white families in the suburbs.”Robalino agreed with Galen’s sentiments.“This is an issue the Republican Party can come to own,” he said. “It hearkens back to Horatio Alger’s ideas on coming from rags to riches.”Patterson, however, did not believe the Republican Party cared about the War on Poverty based on recent legislation the party has fought for.“We should not think of the war on poverty as a Democrat issue or a Republican issue,” Patterson said. “I don’t think the Republican stance on the War on Poverty will be a hard pill to swallow for many people, given that the House just fought for months and months to cut $40 billion from food stamps.”Students in attendance spoke of the importance of hearing the conversation from the viewpoint of students as well as professionals.“It’s nice to hear both perspectives, people that are working in the field that we’re talking about and students that are politically involved coming from a different point of view in the classroom,” said Jennifer    Ann-Massey, president of the USC College Republicans.Olson emphasized the ability of “Talk Backs” to showcase different opinions and views.“I hope that they are provided a broad perspective,” Olson said. “Not just ideologically, but considering all of the social factors that contribute to poverty and thinking outside of their political leanings about how the other side has made attempts to or has been successful in preventing poverty in their districts.”The next “Students Talk Back” is Feb. 26, and will cover California’s historic drought.last_img read more

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14 Aug
2020

West Virginia’s lofty seeding in NCAA bracket preview suggests March Madness selections still need a tweak

first_imgSouth: No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Louisville, No. 3 Seton Hall, No. 4 AuburnMidwest: No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Dayton, No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 Michigan StateWest: No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 2 West Virginia, No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Oregon And this matters, even though Saturday’s annual NCAA selection committee bracket reveal is neither official nor binding, because it does demonstrate how the committee is thinking and suggests at least part of the NCAA selection process is still amiss.What got West Virginia a No. 2 seed?MORE: Big Ten facing unprecedented parity this seasonCumulative high-level victories? WVU has a 4-3 record against Quad-1 opposition. Seton Hall is 7-4, Maryland is 6-4 and Florida State is 4-2. Extend that to Quad 2, and the Mountaineers are 10-4, same as Maryland, whereas Seton Hall is 12-5 and FSU is 9-3.Specific great performances? West Virginia’s best win was on a neutral court against NET No. 16 Ohio State. There are five Big Ten teams that can say they beat the Buckeyes. Minnesota did it twice. Wisconsin did it on OSU’s homecourt.By comparison, Seton Hall beat No. 9 Maryland at home and No. 11 Butler on the road. Florida State beat No. 7 Louisville in a true road game.Record? West Virginia’s 18-4 is better than Seton Hall’s 17-5, identical to Maryland’s and not as good as FSU’s 19-3.So what happened here? There are two explanations for West Virginia’s position, and neither is sufficient.One is straight computer rankings. West Virginia is No. 9 in the NET and No. 7 according to KenPom. That’s ahead of Seton Hall (No. 13 in both) and FSU (No. 14 in NET, No. 19 in KenPom), though only one spot ahead of No. 10 Maryland.If that’s to be a factor, though, why is NET No. 8 Arizona not even on the list as one of the top 16?NBA MOCK DRAFT: Edwards, Ball, Anthony battle for top spotIt’s more likely this: West Virginia has the No. 4 schedule and No. 5 non-conference schedule in Division I. This has been achieved in part because the Mountaineers played against NET No. 4 Kansas on the road. They lost. But a bigger component of that schedule rating is that they faced only two games in Quad 4.How can I put this diplomatically … So what?Does whether a team played three or five low majors say anything to you about its merit as an NCAA Tournament candidate? Three words you should never hear again in discussion of the selection process are “strength of schedule.” SOS is baked into every metric the NCAA acknowledges using (NET, KenPom, Kevin Pauga’s KPI) and every one it might employ.It’s apparent in the Quad system and each team’s performance against those levels of opponents. Strength of schedule should be banished to tournament history along with the RPI and the “last 10 games” factor.West Virginia might yet demonstrate it is worthy of a No. 2 seed — or better. It has games remaining against Baylor and Kansas and could meet either or both in the Big 12 Tournament.This is an excellent team, and West Virginia has earned significant recognition by the committee. And it doesn’t have great consequence that the Mountaineers are a No. 2 seed in a bracket projection the committee could trash on Monday if it wished, or that could be entirely usurped by the results of the next five weeks.The committee still binds itself to some obsolete or redundant tools, however, even as the RPI fades into the rear-view mirror. There’s no reason to avoid even greater progress.Key takeaways from NCAA bracket preview— The No. 1 seeds were no-brainers. No. 1 overall Baylor in the South, Kansas in the Midwest, Gonzaga in the West and San Diego State in the East. Duke athletic director Kevin White, the chair of the selection committee, said those four were unanimous top seeds and that there “was a bit of a separation between four and five.” The fifth team, according to White, was Duke, placed as the No. 2 seed in the East.— Gonzaga’s edge over San Diego State for the West Region No. 1 was surprising. The Zags are ranked behind the Aztecs in the NET and KenPom. The committee put weight on the Zags’ wins over Arizona and NET No. 19 Oregon, whereas SDSU’s top win is over No. 22 Creighton.— Maryland could continue to climb. Currently leading the Big Ten Conference, the Terps defeated Illinois on the road Friday night to claim first place in the league alone. Had they lost that game, they might have slipped, but NCAA vice president Dan Gavitt said, “They’re actually much closer to the 2 line.”— The Big Ten’s depth is hurting the league, as SN suggested. Only two teams were included among the top 16 seeds, Maryland as a No. 3 seed and Michigan State as a No. 4. Maryland has more Quad-1 wins than every team on the 2 line; so do Penn State, Iowa and Illinois. But they also have more defeats.NCAA bracket preview seeding by regionThe potential #MarchMadness Sweet 16? 👀#BracketPreview pic.twitter.com/yD1vXUoJ7o— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 8, 2020East: No. 1 San Diego State, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Maryland, No. 4 Butler If you’re looking for a number, fact or occasion that justifies West Virginia being placed on the No. 2 seed line in the NCAA’s projected bracket for the 2020 edition of March Madness, you’re going to need to hydrate in advance. This is work.Because all the usual stuff that would justify that degree of respect — elevating the Mountaineers above such accomplished teams as Florida State, Seton Hall and Maryland — does not apply.last_img read more

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