Jimmy Wang doesn’t have Roger Federer’s seven Wimbledon titles; Wang doesn’t even have five wins in the Wimbledon main draw. But the Taiwanese tennis player has accomplished something Federer won’t ever touch: Five times over the past decade, Wang has qualified for Wimbledon.The four Grand Slam tournaments are the tentpoles of the tennis calendar, the times when casual fans notice the sport and its stars. Before each Grand Slam, there is another tournament, giving players whose ranking isn’t high enough to make it directly into the draw another way in. They play before tens or hundreds of spectators who usually get in free, not thousands of paying fans. Wimbledon’s qualifying tournament isn’t even at Wimbledon; it’s at the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehampton, another southwest London neighborhood 3 miles away.Most young players see qualifiers as a necessary but not fun rite of passage until they rise in the rankings and don’t need to get in the hard way. But some players, like Wang, find that injuries or other setbacks keep them on the sport’s periphery for most or all of their careers. Few keep coming back to qualifying tournaments for a decade. Still fewer are as successful as Wang at this second tier of Grand Slam tennis. They are the statistical outliers, the best strivers in major tennis. And they don’t all love the distinction.“This year, it feels great” to qualify, said Gilles Muller, a 31-year-old from Luxembourg, in an interview last week at Roehampton after qualifying for Wimbeldon, the fifth Grand Slam of his career, more than 10 years after the first time. Muller had to go through qualifying because he missed the last seven months of last year with an elbow injury, and his ranking slipped. “I hope it will be my last qualies,” he said.Repeatedly qualifying for Grand Slam tournaments, as Wang and a handful of others have done, is so rare because players who are good enough to qualify typically either don’t have to or are too good to have to keep doing it. Federer never qualified for a Grand Slam tournament. Neither did Rafael Nadal. Andy Murray did, once, and Novak Djokovic did three times. They last qualified in 2005, soon after each turned 18.Grand Slam qualifiers have to win three matches in a 128-player draw. The 16 who do usually are the ones whose rankings — based on the last 52 weeks of play — understate how good they are, perhaps because they missed time to injury or are too young to have played many events. Generally, their rankings will catch up with their level and they won’t need to qualify anymore.When it doesn’t, injury often is the reason. Wang had two surgeries after suffering an injury to his right wrist in 2006. He ended up missing three years at an age when most of his peers were climbing the rankings. “I almost stopped,” Wang said in an interview last week. “I realized life is short.”At age 29, he’s back to a level good enough to qualify, as he’s done for the past three years at Wimbledon. Wang has qualified for majors seven times overall, tied for 10th in the Open era, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann of Tennis Abstract.After Wang’s win, well-wishers posed with him for dozens of photos — many of them next to the scoreboard, many selfies. One woman had been watching Wang try to qualify for Wimbledon since his very first successful attempt, in 2004. Wang said he was “very excited.” He had no idea this was No. 7 for him, but sees no shame in it. “One thousand players try to get into the top 100,” Wang said of pro tennis. “They have the same goal. They have the same dream.”Denis Kudla, one of the thousand, qualified later on Thursday, the fifth time he’d done so at a major. He is just 21 years old. “I’m proud of that,” Kudla said — it meant he’d earned his place. (He went on to win his first-round match at Wimbledon on Tuesday against Marsel Ilhan.)Kudla’s fellow American, Ryan Harrison, qualified with a win on the adjacent court. Harrison was proud, too. He said he enjoyed the “fantastic” feeling of qualifying and going into a tournament on a three-match winning streak. However, he added, “I’m very determined for this to be my last qualifying.” Three years ago, he got his ranking high enough to enter Grand Slams directly. Since then, his ranking has slipped. “To say I can’t do it at 22, when I did it at 19, is kind of crazy,” he said.Harrison admires players like Wang but sets himself apart from them. “You have a ton of respect for those guys. I’ve always believed success is relative to your God-given ability,” Harrison said. On the other hand, he added, “I’ve always had a ton of belief in my ability.” (Harrison lost in the first round at Wimbledon on Monday, after getting his usual tough draw.)He has a point about the top of the qualifying leaderboard. None of the nine Open-era players who qualified for more majors than Wang ever reached the top 25 in the rankings or played in a Grand Slam semifinal.If Wang doesn’t ever qualify for a Grand Slam again, he’ll hope it’s because he got his ranking into the top 100 and didn’t need to. He took the first step Monday: The five-time co-champion of Wimbledon’s annual pre-tournament tournament won just his fourth career main-draw match, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 over Alejandro Gonzalez.
Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Dec. 13, 2016), ESPN The Magazine’s Mina Kimes joins us to help preview the NFL playoffs. Next, we delve into high-scoring Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins’s numbers, looking at how good he was expected to be and how good he’s actually been in his three years in the NBA. Finally, Steven Goff of The Washington Post stops by to help us interpret what last weekend’s scoreless MLS final might mean for American soccer. Plus, a significant digit on why the Alabama Crimson Tide’s dominance of college football will probably continue.Links to what we discussed:ESPN’s Dan Graziano takes a look at the NFL playoff picture. (Check out FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions here.)In 2015, Andrew Wiggins was named the 2014-15 NBA rookie of the year, but FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine identified some of his underlying problems.The Ringer’s Ben Detrick wrote on why Wiggins’s numbers continue to be a concern.It’s not just Wiggins who is struggling — the Minnesota Timberwolves can’t finish games, wrote FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring.Steven Goff wrote in The Washington Post earlier this year about an increase in ties across MLS.Significant Digit: 5, the number of pledges that Alabama and the Crimson Tide have from recruits ranked No. 1 in their respective positions. On Tuesday, the No. 1 junior college defensive end, Isaiah Buggs of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, committed to the Crimson Tide, joining No. 1 prep running back Najee Harris, No. 1 prep athlete Dylan Moses, No. 1 dual-threat prep quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and No. 1 junior-college offensive tackle Elliot Baker.
Following the United States’ brutal 2-1 extra-time loss to Belgium on Tuesday — despite an amazing performance by goalkeeper Tim Howard — fans in the U.S. are without a rooting interest in the World Cup.Actually, only some are.Casual soccer fans who supported the U.S. men’s national team may tune out now that it’s out, but many Americans will continue to watch. Which team will they cheer for? Probably one of two favorites: Brazil and Germany.FiveThirtyEight conducted a SurveyMonkey Audience poll of nearly 1,100 U.S. residents and asked them which country they were rooting for. The poll was conducted June 23 and 24, toward the end of the group stage. After recording the respondents’ first-choice country, the survey asked which country they would root for if their top choice were eliminated. This gave us a good proxy for U.S. fans’ backup teams.Nearly three out of four respondents picked the U.S. as their top team. Here are the percentages of U.S. fans who chose each nation as a backup (excluding countries with less than 1 percent support):No one country had a dominant share of U.S. fans’ support. England came out on top with 16 percent, but the Three Lions flamed out of the Cup early on. England was followed by Brazil, Germany, Italy and Mexico. Of those countries, only Brazil and Germany remain in the tournament.Not every survey respondent chose a backup country. Of those who chose the U.S. as their first choice, about 5 percent then picked either the U.S. (again) or refused to pick any country (labeled as “none”).What about those 26 percent of respondents who did not select the U.S. as their first-choice? The most-backed countries after the U.S. were Brazil (17 percent), Germany (11 percent), England (10 percent) and Mexico (7 percent).But this method of figuring out whom disappointed U.S. fans will now support is highly imperfect. The poll, conducted online, is likely to under-weight fans without reliable Internet access, as well as fans who don’t speak English. That second flaw is especially problematic, because it probably means many fans with origins in Central and South America are excluded.So, is England really the second-most-supported team among soccer fans living in the U.S.? I’m skeptical. I suspect Mexico is a better bet, with nearly 12 million individuals born in Mexico living in the U.S. as of 2011, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s International Migration Database.To augment our admittedly incomplete survey, we reached out to Google to find data on the top countries searched for in the U.S. Specifically, the searches tallied are for country names combined with the phrase “World Cup.” Obviously, merely searching for a country on Google isn’t the same as rooting for that country. But it’s an approximation of interest.The Google Trends team nicely summarized the most-searched-for countries on a couple of days prior to the World Cup (the tournament began June 12), as well as during the first two weeks of the tournament.Top Countries Searched on GoogleBrazil was the top country queried, although this is probably confounded by its host-country status. Those using Google to search for “Brazil World Cup” could either be interested in the tournament as a whole or in the Brazilian national team. It’s not clear.Mexico and England were the next most-sought-after countries. Mexico does better according to Google than it did in the poll, lending some credence to the idea that the English-only survey underestimates support for El Tri. But even the Google data may underestimate support for Latin American teams. The Google queries here are only for searches in English.Spain and Italy were more searched for in the first couple of weeks of the tournament, and that probably has a lot to do with them being eliminated earlier than expected. In addition to Brazil and Germany, the other highly searched country that remains in the tournament is Colombia.So, with the U.S. men out, expect a sizable number of soccer fans to be supporting Brazil and Germany through the rest of the tournament.
Oct. 21, 1973WS Game 71235 Oct. 27, 1985WS Game 71315 Nov. 1, 2009WS Game 41274 Nov. 1, 2010WS Game 5133 Nov. 4, 2001WS Game 71374 Oct. 22, 1972WS Game 71235 Oct. 14, 1973WS Game 21235 Oct. 19, 1980WS Game 51336 Oct. 17, 1971WS Game 71236 Oct. 14, 1979WS Game 51337 Oct. 12, 1980NLCS Game 51348 EQUINOX DATEMLBNFLNBANHL Oct. 15, 1978WS Game 51355 Game 5 of the World Series is tonight, and it could be a deciding one: The Kansas City Royals are looking to finish off the New York Mets after going ahead 3-1 in the series. But Sunday also includes 12 NFL games, seven NBA matchups, and five NHL contests. That makes today a very special day: a sports equinox.A sports equinox occurs when the four major U.S. leagues — MLB, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL — all play at least one game. There’s a very narrow scheduling window when this can happen: Nowadays the MLB season and the start of the NBA season overlap by just a few days or not at all, depending on the NBA tip-off date and the length of the World Series.By our count this will be the 15th equinox in history, and the first since 2010.1We identified equinoxes using scheduling data from the sports-reference.com sites. Equinoxes, by our definition, were not possible before the inaugural NBA/BAA season in 1946. They did not used to be so rare: There were nine equinoxes between 1971 and 1980 (when the NBA season tipped off in the first half of October), and several years have more than one. Here’s the full list: GAMES Phoenix, of all places, is the only city to play in all four parts of an equinox. On November 4th, 2001, the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Phoenix Coyotes lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Phoenix Suns lost to the Houston Rockets. The Diamondbacks salvaged the day, winning Game 7 over the Yankees to capture the city’s first and only championship across the four leagues.2The Mercury, Phoenix’s WNBA team, have three titles of their own.New York and Kansas City sports fans have less luck today. K.C.’s NHL and NBA franchises left for other locales decades ago, and both the Knicks and the Nets are off. But New York has its own packed calendar on Sunday: beyond the World Series and both NFL and NHL matchups, the Red Bulls play their first game of the MLS conference semifinals, and around 50,000 runners will compete in the NYC marathon. It may not quite be an equinox, but it’s still a huge day for NYC sports. Nov. 2, 2009WS Game 5153 Nov. 1, 2015WS Game 51275 Oct. 15, 1972WS Game 21236
TCU 8-1151239%10%4% Navy 7-120155418%<1%<1% Temple 8-122283944%<1%<1% North Carolina 8-123182030%4%<1% Houston 9-024223634%2%<1% Alabama 8-121435%43%12% Oklahoma 8-11214119%17%7% Michigan St. 8-11382211%10%1% LSU 7-199814%12%3% USC 6-3—19719%1%<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Utah 8-110112121%11%2% Notre Dame 8-1469—30%8% Michigan 7-214201613%7%1% Mississippi St. 7-21716153%3%<1% Clemson is sitting pretty at the top spot. Alabama leapfrogged Ohio State to be No. 2. While LSU and TCU slipped, Iowa and Stanford made big leaps.So go the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Were the selection committee to form a playoff this week, its top four would be Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. But who cares about this week? Let’s fast-forward to Dec. 6, when the final decision on this year’s playoff participants will be announced. Our model simulated the rest of the season, and the results are in the table below. UCLA 7-21921186%3%<1% Northwestern 7-2182961<1%<1%<1% Baylor 8-067234%31%12% RankingProbability of … Wisconsin 8-22517243%<1%<1% Stanford 8-1751152%28%6% Memphis 8-12131453%<1%<1% College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 10. Florida 8-111101438%17%3% Ohio State 9-032544%56%15% Clemson 9-013667%67%17% Mississippi 7-3—26109%<1%<1% Oklahoma St. 9-0841338%23%5% Iowa 9-05132928%22%2% We project that three of the top four teams from this week will make the playoff, but we expect Baylor to surpass Notre Dame. It’s no guarantee, though; the Bears will play three games against top 15 teams — including a big one against Oklahoma on Saturday — so their playoff odds are only 31 percent.Another big change in our model since last week: Clemson has a lock on the No. 1 ranking. After gritting out a tough win over Florida State last week, the Tigers’ playoff odds are at 67 percent, with a 17 percent chance of taking the national title. Both numbers top all other teams. Ohio State has the second-highest odds of making the playoffs; the model put them at 56 percent. Alabama, fresh off an impressive win over LSU, has playoff odds of 43 percent.And finally, for you methodology diehards, we’ve made some slight tweaks to the model since last week. You can read about them here. For a deeper explanation, read Nate Silver’s original explanation of the model’s methodology. Florida State 7-21624170%<1%<1% Oregon 6-3—23321%<1%<1%
Still, the team’s proximity to the real-life Batcave alone doesn’t explain how the bats are working their way inside the venue.There are a couple of potential factors at play. First, the San Antonio arena — a few miles outside of the city’s downtown area and adjacent to a golf course — is perhaps the closest thing to a suburban venue in the entire NBA. The massive, brightly illuminated presence that attracts moths and other insects in an otherwise quiet area might be appealing to bats2Primarily males, since bachelor bat colonies often separate from maternal ones overnight. that are looking for food on a given night, according to Judit Green, who has worked as an urban wildlife biologist for 30 years with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.Beyond that, experts suggest that the 750,000 square-foot stadium almost certainly had — or potentially still has — a tiny crevice somewhere, releasing just enough warmth outside to entice bats and birds that are looking to escape the area’s colder-than-usual temperatures for a night. (The Spurs declined to comment or to make a facilities specialist available to be interviewed for this story.)“I’d guess there’s a small vent or other opening to the outside that’s attracting the attention of migratory bats,” said Merlin Tuttle, an Austin-based ecologist who has studied bats for 60 years and founded Bat Conservation International in the 1980s. “When cold fronts hit, sometimes that’ll drive the bats wintering in San Antonio to look for a place that gets them out of the cold.”Once a bat does make it into the arena, we’ve seen time and time again what type of hilarity may ensue. It was nearly a decade ago in 2009 — on Halloween, fittingly enough — that future Hall of Famer Manu Ginobili endeared himself to Spurs’ fans even more by swatting a disruptive bat out of the air with his bare hand.To be clear, the AT&T Center isn’t alone in producing odd animal-related headlines. It’s nothing new for pro sports, particularly ones played outdoors, to be interrupted by uninvited animals like squirrels, cats, birds, bugs, dogs and rabbits, just to name a few. And bats have also popped up once each this year at NBA games in Utah and Indiana, respectively.But the San Antonio arena has developed a reputation for general weirdness over the years. Aside from a pigeon that flew overhead at the arena in early January, a snake was found in the visiting locker room before a playoff game between the Blazers and Spurs in May 2014. A month later, during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the air conditioning stopped working — a development that became controversial after visiting star LeBron James cramped, shifting the momentum of the contest away from Miami and toward San Antonio. The Spurs went on to dominate the series, and James left the Heat the following month in free agency.While the team did hire a designated pest-control expert following the Ginobli incident, the little-desired task of removing the bats usually falls to arena staffers who just happen to be on the court — and needless to say, it doesn’t always go so well. A handful of Spurs’ employees often give unsuccessful chase to bats, usually armed with nothing more than towels. Even Coyote, the team mascot, has gotten in on it — and, in a few cases, has actually been the one to round up the bats, illustrating just how much of an all-hands-on-deck process it can be.Rob Wicall, who served as the mascot for nearly two decades before stepping down in 2016, sounded almost envious of all the bat run-ins there have been lately. For years, well before Ginobili’s bat-swat back in 2009, Wicall kept a fishing net he’d bought and the mascot’s Batman costume accessories nearby,3Underneath the stands, by the visiting team’s tunnel to and from the locker room. Wicall referred to the area as the “Coyote’s Den.” just in case a bat ever got loose in the arena.Ginobili took care of the problem just before Wicall could suit-up and come to the rescue back in 2009. But during his farewell season, Wicall got another chance to be the hero before a game in December 2015, and he made it count. He couldn’t see that well — the costume allows little to no peripheral vision — but he tracked the bat into the painted area before somehow nabbing it with his net. When he realized he’d succeeded, Wicall — in Coyote’s full Batman attire, with the PA announcer playing the old-school Batman theme song over the speakers — lifted his arms triumphantly.“It was one of those bucket-list things for a mascot, because you’ve not only solved a problem in the arena, but you’ve also brought entertainment,” said Wicall, adding that it took him less than 45 seconds total to dash into his changing area and throw on Coyote’s Batman accessories.But not everyone relishes these run-ins. Spurs forward Rudy Gay sought shelter from a bat by hiding behind ref Zach Zarba last month. And Nets All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, who has now had two separate bat experiences at AT&T Center the past three seasons, took refuge in the tunnel leading to the locker room as four bats circled over the court.Bucks center Brook Lopez, on the other hand, would activate a Bat Signal if he could. As a comic-book aficionado, Lopez told SB Nation early in February that he’d welcome being bitten by a bat in hopes that it might make him a superhero.“I’m just going to make myself available [to the bat],” Lopez said. “At that point, it’s up to the bat. A lot of it is up to fate in these superhero stories. But I want to give myself a shot.”Fate seemed to be listening. A bat flew past Lopez on Saturday in San Antonio. Fortunately — or perhaps unfortunately, given Lopez’s hope of becoming a superhero — he wasn’t bitten. There are a few things we’ve come to expect over the years from San Antonio Spurs basketball. The team will always find a way to make the playoffs, no matter how much talent and pedigree it loses during the offseason. Coach Gregg Popovich will generally deliver grumpy end-of-quarter interviews no matter how well his team is playing. And once in a while, we can expect a furry, winged menace to descend from the rafters and terrorize their home court.The local bats of San Antonio have long held a reputation as unruly Spurs fans, occasionally crashing games and disrupting play. In recent weeks, though, the bats have claimed season-ticket holder status with the red-hot team, which has won six-straight contests. In three of the team’s past six home games, including this past Sunday, one of the flying mammals has brought a Spurs’ game to a screeching halt for minutes at a time, as various team staffers furiously scrambled to apprehend the flapping intruders.All of which raises the obvious question: Why is the arena plagued with bats so often?After spending many sleepless nights investigating the matter — in truth, I just called a couple of local specialists — the answer actually makes pretty good sense. The AT&T Center is 25 miles southwest of Bracken Cave, which is home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats, making it the largest summer bat colony in the world.1Additionally, the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin — which is the world’s largest urban bat colony, and home to about 1.5 million bats — is only about 75 miles away.What’s more, it’s logical that bats would fly past the arena, particularly during the winter months. The stadium is almost directly in the bats’ migration path from Central America and Mexico back to Bracken Cave, where maternal colonies fly to have and nurse their newborns (nearly doubling in number).
OSU redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett (16) runs down the sideline during a game against Maryland at Ohio Stadium on Oct. 10. OSU won, 49-28. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorRed-zone inefficiency has been a problem for Ohio State’s offense throughout the season.It appears that now the solution may have been discovered during its 49-28 victory over Maryland.And it looks a lot like J.T. Barrett.OSU coach Urban Meyer hinted during the week that the team has thought about using the redshirt sophomore quarterback inside the red zone, but at the time, he said they had yet to make a decision about it.By Saturday, Meyer apparently had made a decision.The Buckeyes went three-and-out on their first possession, but when they got the ball back, trailing Maryland 7-0, the offense started clicking.Redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones methodically marched the unit 44 yards in seven plays to get down to the Terrapin 25-yard line. Jones had just finished scrambling for eight yards when he jogged off the sideline, passing Barrett on his way.Barrett stepped in behind center and finished the job. It took Barrett six plays — including a 20-yard completion to redshirt junior wide receiver Michael Thomas — to find the end zone on a three-yard touchdown run.It was the team’s first touchdown in the red zone since the third quarter against Western Michigan in Week 4.“(Barrett) provided an obvious spark for us in there,” Meyer said after the game. “He’s a leader and a guy that needs to be on the field.”Despite Jones playing his best game of the year, according to Meyer, and throwing for a new career-high of 291 passing yards, Barrett entered the game when the team crossed inside the 20-yard line all but one time.The one time he did not was because Jones had just completed a 33-yard pass to redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller, which brought the team to the 19-yard line. The Buckeyes kept with the tempo, hurrying to the line before Jones connected again with Miller for 19-yard score.Barrett guided the Buckeyes to touchdowns on all five of his trips in the red zone. Thrice he scored on rushing touchdowns, while junior running back Ezekiel Elliott had the other two.Using the two quarterbacks in specific situations was not a game-day, spur of the moment decision.“It was all within the coaches’ plan to win,” Jones said. “He felt like J.T. brings an extra element to the game down in the red zone, and certain things we wanna do in the run game. (Meyer) proves to be right once again.”The plan to begin using Barrett, who started 12 games for OSU and amassed 3,772 total yards — 938 of which were on the ground — and a Big Ten record 45 touchdowns in 2014, in the red zone came to Meyer during a walk on Monday, according to Jones.Jones said Meyer decided to then ask Barrett and Jones what they thought of the idea.“I agreed with him,” Jones said. “J.T. brings the element to the game in the run game and certain positions on the field … It was all for the benefit of the team.”And benefit the team it did.The theory that rotating signal-callers could be detrimental to the continuity of the offense did not seem to hold any merit Saturday.The offense looked much more polished against the Terrapins, as it had no turnovers and racked up 499 yards of total offense.“I think this system works perfectly for our offense,” Elliott, who extended his streak of 100-plus-yard performances to 11 after gaining 106 yards, said. “I don’t think it took anyone out of rhythm, everyone was in rhythm, everyone was playing well.”Moving forward, Jones said he thinks the situational usage of Barrett can work because Meyer does an “unbelievable job of managing it.”But whether or not the Buckeyes have found their fix to their red zone ails and quarterback situation is not so clear to Meyer.“Sure,” he said about if the issues were repaired. “Until next week.”That matchup next week is set to be against Penn State at Ohio Stadium on Oct. 17. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Jim Tressel didn’t deserve to go out this way. His resignation officially signals that the responsibility for the football program’s various NCAA violations falls on one man. Tressel even said as much in his resignation letter to athletic director Gene Smith — he is making “this decision for the greater good of our school.” Though they originally came out in support of Tressel, Smith and university President E. Gordon Gee have made it clear — through months of silence since — that it was in the best interest of the school for him to resign. Firing him would have been a public relations disaster. Tressel never seemed willing to step down until months of speculation — and maybe some internal pressure — apparently wore on him. Though he was the head football coach, he is not the only one embroiled in this controversy. While Smith issued public statements gently scolding the compliance and athletic departments’ role in educating players about NCAA rules, they remain unscathed while Tressel takes the fall. The problem of breaking NCAA rules isn’t just with Tressel, a group of players or even within this university. It’s a systemic issue, occurring at every institution. People question Tressel’s ethics in his ignorance of inevitable NCAA violations back in April, after learning about them through former walk-on and Columbus lawyer, Christopher Cicero. In the world of college athletics, which operates without any real moral standards anyhow, are Tressel’s actions really that despicable? In the aftermath of his actions, he should be commended for the way he received the brunt of the backlash instead of running away to an undeserved multimillion-dollar deal in the NFL, and leaving someone else to clean up the pieces like Pete Carroll did with USC. It’s sad to see a man with Tressel’s principles — true-to-life principles, not an ethical code judged by flimsy rules by which the NCAA governs — have to step down in such an ungraceful fashion. Tressel has won 106 games, seven Big Ten titles, nine games against Michigan and the program’s first national championship since 1970. His departure merits a lot more fanfare. More importantly than what happened on the field, was how he molded individuals. In a blog post from Saturday, linebacker Tyler Moeller said Tressel is a “great man that gives back to the world 24/7 and helps young kids like me grow into men; even the ones that everyone had already given up on like Ray Small.” Moeller didn’t even mention former running back Maurice Clarett, who, like Small, went to the media to trash the program after a disgraceful exit. Clarett, who ended up serving about 3 1/2 years in jail, stayed in constant contact with Tressel, who worked with Clarett to turn his life around — a testament to the true character of the embattled former coach. The success on the field, and the character he displayed when it mattered most off it, is Tressel’s enduring legacy. When he chose to hang up the vest, it didn’t deserve to be tattered like this.
Senior center Amir Williams (23) averaged just 6.4 points in his final campaign at OSU.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerWhat comes to mind when I say the name Amir Williams?For me, it’s one word: disappointment.Not in the person, because the senior was always an entertaining interview and more often than not earned high praise from coach Thad Matta. But in the player.A player who was rated higher than the likes of Ben McLemore and Trey Burke and was the fifth-rated center in the 2011 recruiting class averaged just 4.8 points per game in his career and became one of the most criticized players at Ohio State in any sport.Whether it was a missed dunk, putting the ball on the floor despite being wide open under the basket, or celebrating a dunk when it doesn’t matter, the Michigan native will no longer put on the scarlet and gray, and that seems to make OSU fans happy.The only other names that come to mind when it comes to pure fan disdain toward a player at OSU were quarterbacks for the football team: Steve Bellisari and Joe Bauserman.While Bauserman did not come to Columbus as a highly touted recruit, both Bellisari — recruited by Notre Dame, Florida State and West Virginia — and Williams largely disappointed.To Williams’ credit, he stayed out of trouble off the court to our knowledge, while Bellisari’s drinking escapade just hours before his senior day added embarrassment to his lack of production on the field.For Williams, it will always be a case of what could have been, not only for him, but for the team as a whole.The Buckeyes fell to the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament, in large part because of a lack of rebounding. The Wildcats pulled down 17 more rebounds than the Buckeyes, and OSU’s leading rebounders pulled down just four boards each.If OSU would have pulled the upset over Arizona, it would have played in-state rival Xavier and who knows what could have happened in that game.The 6-foot-11 Williams pulled down four rebounds in 24 minutes of play against the Wildcats, while 6-foot-5 guard D’Angelo Russell managed seven.Williams, who started 29 of OSU’s 35 games, did not pull down double-digit rebounds in a single game in his final campaign in Columbus.His senior center counterpart, Trey McDonald, who stands three inches shorter and did not start a single game in his OSU career, tallied 14 rebounds in a single game against Sacred Heart on Nov. 23 in 21 minutes of play.So why didn’t Williams pan out at OSU? We might never know.The curious case of Benjamin Button has nothing on Williams, whose best season came in 2013-14 when he averaged a whopping 7.8 points per game.It is hard to believe that 7.8 points per game was the ceiling for Williams in four years at OSU, but we will never know why that ended up being the high point of his career.For OSU fans, there is hope, however, as the football team was able to replace its former fan least-favorites with Craig Krenzel and Braxton Miller, respectively .So, to whomever replaces Williams, no pressure.
Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell (18) prepares to run a play in the second half of the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Ohio State won 62-39. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe quarterback battle between Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Tate Martell and recent Georgia transfer, freshman quarterback Justin Fields officially has come to an end before it ever really started.On Wednesday, Martell announced he will be transferring from Ohio State to the University of Miami six days after he entered his name into the transfer portal.Martell visited Miami and West Virginia before ultimately selecting the Hurricanes.On Dec. 30, Martell was asked about Fields, who was rumored at the time to be looking at the Buckeyes as a location to transfer if redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins decided to go to the NFL Draft.At the time, Martell voiced no doubt about his position on the team if Haskins were to leave, saying he was “100 percent sure” he would be the starter if that time came.Fields announced his transfer to the program on Jan. 4. Martell put his name in the transfer portal six days later.Martell saw time in six games this season, finishing 2018 completing 23-of-28 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.The redshirt freshman’s highlight performance came against Rutgers, where Martell completed all 10 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, including a 51-yard score to redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Martell also rushed eight times for 95 yards and a touchdown in the 52-3 win.A four-star prospect out of high school, Martell went 45-0 as a high-school starter at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, finishing No. 2 in the state in all-time passing yards and passing touchdowns.Ohio State has Fields, junior Chris Chugunov and freshman Matthew Baldwin left at the quarterback position following Martell’s transfer.Fields is awaiting confirmation that he will be able to play in 2019, forgoing the usual transfer rule that requires players to sit out a season between transferring schools.
Within minutes, Boaty McBoatface was on the ballot. Shippy McShipface was also suggested, as was Cruisy McCruiseface. P&O was even on the receiving end of the some banter from the otherwise-amiable Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, which suggested HMS Social Media Gimmick as a name.There is as yet no more information on how the poll might work. P&O Cruises responded to a request for comment with a to-the-point “we will be running a competition next year for the naming of our new ship”, but it is clear the new ship will feature four swimming pools, 13 entertainment venues and be able to carry 5,200 passengers. It will also boast a clear dome on the top deck so that passengers can enjoy the views and facilities no matter the weather. @pandocruises Boaty McBoatface!!! 😂😂— Ben (@CabinClassBoy) October 26, 2016 The public was frustrated earlier this year in its quest to name a £200 million polar research ship Boaty McBoatface, after the Government decided it was just too silly to honour the democratic vote that gave birth to the moniker.But P&O Cruises has stepped in to provide a second bite of the cherry.The cruise line, perhaps unwittingly, has opened a can of worms by deciding that the title of its new ship, due to launch in 2020, will be chosen by the people.In a tweet on Wednesday night just before 9pm, P&O said: “We’re proud to announce that the name of our new ship… will be decided by you our guests!” We’re proud to announce that the name of our new ship, launched in 2020, will be decided by YOU our guests! pic.twitter.com/yfnVHcEW5g— P&O Cruises (@pandocruises) October 26, 2016 Unrelated potentials included Hard Brexit, a nod to the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, HMS Harambe, paying homage to the gorilla shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo in May, and Brian Ferry, just because.Other users on social media saw the initiative as the beginning of the end, and greeted the naming competition with a sense of exhaustion and dread. .@pandocruises pic.twitter.com/fTyZo9tQnz— Evan Bartlett (@ev_bartlett) October 27, 2016 The Boaty McBoatface that never was The name Boaty McBoatface rose to prominence earlier this year when the National Environment Research Council gave the public the opportunity to name its new research vessel, with the joke name coming out on top by a large margin.However, after much speculation, science minister Jo Johnson made the final call, over-turning the public will, deciding instead on a more appropriate name for the boat, RRS Sir David Attenborough, after the much-loved nature broadcaster.Since then, people have been desperate to assign Boaty McBoatface to anything, whether it floats or not. Philadelphia Zoo tried to get the people to name its new western lowland gorilla baby. Unsurprisingly, Boaty McBoatface featured heavily.
The National Crime Agency is investigating the breach and said that three people have been arrested, two for computer misuse and one for perverting the course of justice.A spokesman for Three said: “Over the last four weeks Three has seen an increasing level of attempted handset fraud. This has been visible through higher levels of burglaries of retail stores and attempts to unlawfully intercept upgrade devices.”We’ve been working closely with the Police and relevant authorities. To date, we have confirmed approximately 400 high value handsets have been stolen through burglaries and eight devices have been illegally obtained through the upgrade activity.”The investigation is ongoing and we have taken a number of steps to further strengthen our controls.”In order to commit this type of upgrade handset fraud, the perpetrators used authorised logins to Three’s upgrade system.”This upgrade system does not include any customer payment, card information or bank account information.”Three has over nine million customers and it is understood that hackers, who used company access codes to get into the system, had access to large parts of the upgrade database.The theft will prompt concerns that personal information of millions of customers could be sold online to criminals.A spokesman for the National Crime Agency said: “On Wednesday 16 November 2016, officers from the National Crime Agency arrested a 48-year old man from Orpington, Kent and a 39-year old man from Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester on suspicion of computer misuse offences, and a 35-year old man from Moston, Manchester on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.“All three have since been released on bail pending further enquiries. As investigations are on-going no further information will be provided at this time”.Three was founded in 2003 and employs over 4,000 people in the UK. The network carries over 37 per cent of all the UK’s mobile phone data.This latest data breach follows a similar hack at Talk Talk where the details of more than 150,000 customers were stolen including the bank account details of around 15,000.The company lost 95,000 subscribers as a result of the attack, which cost it £60million. A 17 year old boy pleased guilty to seven counts of breaching the Computer Misuse Act 1990 at Norwich Crown Court earlier this week. The Chancellor gave a speech on cyber securityCredit:PA Earlier this month Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, said that companies have a duty to protect their customers against cyber crime following a series of high-profile breaches.He told an audience in London: ” Trust in the internet and the infrastructure on which it relies is fundamental to our economic future. Because without that trust in, faith in the whole digital edifice will fall away.” Show more One of Britain’s biggest mobile phone companies has admitted to a major cyber-security breach which could put the personal data of millions of customers at risk.Three Mobile admitted that hackers have successfully accessed its customer upgrade database after using an employee login.Sources familiar with the incident told the Telegraph that the private information of two thirds of the company’s nine million customers could be at risk.Three Mobile hack: how to protect yourselfThe company confirmed the breach on Thursday evening but declined to say whether customers’ data was stolen or how many have been affected.Three said that the data accessed included names, phone numbers, addresses and dates of birth, but added that it did not include financial information.It comes after Talk Talk, the phone and broadband company, admitted in October last year that the private details of 157,000 customers had been hacked. Three said that the hackers had been accessing customer accounts and upgrading them then intercepting the new phones, possibly in order to sell them on.Customers whose data was involved have not yet been informed. 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.
Do not show this to the police. I am not leaving a note. Just could not stand the humiliation any moreletter George McCartney received from father A former soldier killed himself and his wife because he could not bear the thought of friends and family knowing that she was leaving him, an inquest heard.Graham McCartney, 63, attacked his wife Jane, 59, stabbing her twice in the torso with a kitchen knife, before poisoning them both with carbon monoxide.Their bodies were discovered when a man came to view the property, which had recently been put up for sale.Mrs McCartney died from a combination of stab wounds, which she could not have inflicted upon herself, and carbon monoxide poisoning, Exeter and Greater Devon Coroner’s Court heard. Her husband died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Angela Pitt, Mrs McCartney’s sister, said Mr McCartney had suffered from bouts of depression over the years but, to her knowledge, had not seen a doctor about it.She added: “In my view Graham was not an aggressive monster. The Graham I knew would have utterly condemned what has happened. I think he has lost contact with reality.”Assistant Coroner Luisa Nicholson recorded conclusions of unlawful killing for Mrs McCartney and suicide for Mr McCartney.”I am satisfied the McCartneys were experiencing marital difficulties, were living apart and were in the throes of separation, which Mr McCartney, who appears to have been a proud man where outward appearances mattered very much, at best could not accept,” she said. His image of how the outside world perceived him was extreme and ultimately of fatal importanceAssistant Coroner Luisa Nicholson 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 couple had split the previous year and Mrs McCartney, a University of Exeter accountant, had left the marital home in Honiton and moved into her late parents’ bungalow in the village of Dalwood, near Axminster.They had both attended the wedding of their daughter, Nicole, just a week before the incident, with Mr McCartney giving her away.Mr McCartney, who had previously run an automobile garage, was described as a private man and did not like to think other’s knew his personal affairs and had become increasingly worried that people knew about the marriage split.His son, George, had visited his father’s GP in August 2014 expressing concern about his father, saying he had been suffering from depression for a few years.”He was really upset at Mum moving out and I told him he was depressed and should speak to somebody. He said he didn’t want anybody knowing Mum was moving out, including family and friends,” he told the hearing.Following their deaths, Mr McCartney received a letter in the post from his father, which detailed various financial matters.The letter ended: “Do not show this to the police. I am not leaving a note. Just could not stand the humiliation any more. Look after your sister, sorry Dad.” “It seems Mrs McCartney was taking all possible steps to start a new life for herself and was looking forward to her impending retirement.”We have heard from the police that financial papers were found, possibly indicating that financial matters were being discussed. An altercation or disturbance appears to have taken place in the lounge during which certain items were damaged.”As we have heard from family and friends there is no good reason at all why she would want to take her own life in some form of suicide pact”We will never know for certain what precipitated the vicious attack on Mrs McCartney.”It appears he simply could not deal with his wife wanting to start a new life without him. He was also a very proud man and his image of how the outside world perceived him was extreme and ultimately of fatal importance.”This is a double tragedy and no doubt heartbreaking and utterly incomprehensible for all parties involved. We will never know the full story of what happened that day.” Jane McCartney had left the marital home and moved into her late parents’ bungalowCredit:IRVING OF EXETER
The court heard that Ms Berberi called her mother and then a friend repeatedly saying “he is hitting me”.She claimed Grosjean chased her around the house before cornering her and punched her in the face in front of their young son. Ms Berberi also claimed he tried to tear her wedding ring from her finger.Grosjean admitted to spitting in her face, wrestling with her for the computer but denied trying to strangle or punching her.After considering the case with two magistrates Judge Joanna Korner QC noted that there were inconsistencies between the account given by Ms Berberi when the assault happened and what she later gave as evidence in court.In particular an injury appeared on Ms Berberi that had not appeared in photographs taken on the day of the incident and that had not been mentioned by any witnesses. Any injuries that happened during the struggle were an accidentMarc Grosjean 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. However the court said it was in “no doubt” that Grosjean had spat at his wife.Judge Korner told Grosjean: “It wasn’t in self defence. We deplore the spit, you should never have done it, it is despicable behaviour by someone in your position.However the judge added: “We have some sympathy, as you found out your wife was having an affair and were frustrated.”Grosjean was previously sentenced to eight weeks in prison suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and made to complete a domestic abuse intervention programme. He was also ordered to pay £890 costs.Judge Korner said that sentenced would be substituted by an absolute discharge and that his criminal record would be “wiped” so “he can get back his good character”.The appeal against the charge of assault by beating was allowed, but the appeal against the charge of common assault was not. The sentence for the remaining charge was reduced to an absolute discharge. When banker Marc Grosjean discovered details of sex games scribbled on hotel notepaper in his wife’s handbag he assumed the worst.Artemis “Mitzi” Berberi initially managed to calm him down by claiming the note describing sex acts was merely a silly game she had played with a girl friend.But Gosjean could not rid himself of the suspicion that his wife of three years had cheated on him.He checked her car’s Sat Nav and found it had been programmed to direct her to the same hotel named on the paper he found in her bag.The discovery culminated in a furious row in which the 43-year-old banker spat in Ms Berberi’s face.Grosjean, a former director at Credit Suisse and Anoa Capital, who was convicted by magistrates of both spitting and punching his wife in October, had his conviction for common assault upheld yesterday.He was however cleared of striking Ms Berberi, head of legal affairs for Fox International Channels, after inconsistencies were found in her account. It wasn’t in self defence. He spat at her as he was cross and he did it deliberatelyJudge Joanna Korner QC Grosjean found the incriminating note after he rummaged through her bag late at night after returning from a business trip to Abu Dhabi, on November 30 last year.When he later confronted Ms Berberi about it she claimed to have invented the sex game with a female friend long ago and denied she was having an affair.That evening the couple met in the Crown & Sceptre pub near their home in Kensington to discuss their relationship, before Ms Berberi went out for dinner with the same female friend.Ms Berberi – who claimed in court that Grosjean was threatening to expose the affair, which she was still denying, to her work colleagues – said that when she got home she found him “in a rage”.An argument flared and Grosjean spat in his wife’s face when she told him to “f–k off”.The court heard that after spending the night on the sofa, Grosjean went up to the marital bedroom to “get the truth”.The pair grappled with a computer and during the struggle Ms Berberi suffered bruising to her arms, an injury to her thumb and a bump to her face. Marc Grosjean, 43, was a banker with Swiss bank Credit SuisseCredit:Walter Bieri/Keystone via AP
Ten million people in Britain with autoimmune disease may be at greater risk of developing dementia, the biggest ever study has shown.Researchers at Oxford University looked at the records of 1.8 million people suffering from conditions like coeliac disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis between 1998 and 2012.Compared with people admitted to hospital for other causes, those with an autoimmune disorder were 20 per cent more likely to be later admitted to hospital with dementia. This research reinforces earlier evidence that shows the immune system plays an important role in developing dementiaDr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Society 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. Around 850,000 people in Britain have dementia, with Alzheimer’s the most common form, although currently there is no cure and the cause is still unknown.The new findings suggest that dementia may be linked to a fault in the immune system, which leads to a build-up of plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The plaques associated with Alzheimer’s are present in healthy brains and perform important functions, but a misfiring immune system may allow them to grow out of control.Autoimmune diseases or their treatment might also boost the risk of circulatory disease generally, of which vascular disease is a component, in some people.People with autoimmune disease were 53 per cent more likely to be admitted subsequently for coronary heart disease and 46 per cent more likely to be admitted with a stroke. Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are becoming increasingly aware of the important role the immune system plays in dementia, and this new study provides evidence to support this link.“Targeting immune and inflammatory responses is a promising approach for researchers working on new dementia treatments. Alzheimer’s Research UK is supporting projects that are designing new drugs that target different aspects of inflammation as a way to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.” Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease Credit:Alamy However in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, despite raising the vascular dementia by 16 per cent, the condition lowered the chance of developing Alzheimer’s by 11 per cent, which the authors believe could be linked to anti-inflammatory drugs taken to alleviate symptoms.The Alzheimer’s Society is currently funding a study to test whether a rheumatoid arthritis treatment can also work for people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Charities say the best way to reduce the risk of dementia is by not smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet, keeping physically active, drinking in moderation, keeping cholesterol and blood pressure in check, and maintaining a healthy weight.The research was published in the BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Dr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said : “The causes of dementia are complex and we are increasingly learning about links between dementia and other health conditions.”This research reinforces earlier evidence that shows the immune system plays an important role in developing dementia, opening up new avenues to find effective treatments.” Of the 25 autoimmune diseases included in the analysis, 18 were significantly associated with dementia. People with MS had nearly double the risk, while those with psoriasis had a 29 per cent increased chance, and people with coeliac, an eight per cent increase.“Overall, people admitted to hospital with an autoimmune disease were 20 per cent more likely to have a subsequent admission for dementia than those without an admission,” said Professor Michael Goldacre, Unit of Healthcare Epidemiology, at Oxford University.“If our findings are confirmed in other studies, clinicians and epidemiologists will wish to know that some people with some autoimmune diseases have an elevated risk of dementia.”
The body of a man who was reported missing four weeks ago, sparking a huge police search, has finally been found in his own home.The disappearance of 64 year-old Arnold Mouat, who was last seen at an address on the same street as his large detached home overlooking the Firth of Forth on July 6, sparked a four-week police search.Search and rescue officers were deployed along with police dogs to search for the married father-of-four.The Police Scotland Marine Unit also used specialist equipment in the water near Bo’ness.A media campaign was launched with posters distributed across the local area.More than 50 local community volunteers also combed areas where it was though Mr Mouat, a keen hiker, used to walk in order to help with the police effort. The death is being treated as unexplained, however police say the circumstances are not believed to be suspicious.Superintendent Martin Fotheringham of Forth Valley Division said: “This is a tragic set of circumstances and our thoughts and sympathies are with the Mouat family as they come to terms with their loss.”Following a review of our response to this incident, Police Scotland has referred this matter to the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner. “We will provide them with all the necessary assistance and support they require during their investigation.””I would like to thank those members of the public and media who responded to our appeal for information, in particular those who assisted with searching for Mr Mouat.”We are continuing to support Mr Mouat’s family with dedicated family liaison officers and will continue to offer any assistance we can throughout this difficult time.” Arnold Mouat, whose body was found in his family home in Bo’nessCredit:PA Mr Moat, originally from the Aith in the Shetland Islands, had moved to the area three years ago.Though frail, neighbours described him as a keen dog walker, and and they would often see him walking his dog around Bo’ness.Despite the search efforts, the sad discovery was was made at 2.45pm yesterday in the home of 64-year-old Mr Mouat in Bo’ness, Scotland.Police said the body has yet to be formally identified but they believe it is the man they have spend the last month looking for. 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 raw power of Storm Eleanor has seen millions of tonnes of sand shifted to create dramatic new landscapes on some of Britain’s most popular beaches.The 100mph winds combined with powerful tides brought on by a super moon left a significant mark on the Cornish coastline with 30ft sand cliffs created in some spots.Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers have warned the public to stay away from the unstable structures and one beach has also been closed due to safety fears.Among the most dramatic changes is a 20ft sheer cliff drop that has been created in the middle of Perranporth beach in Cornwall.The erosion has left the Watering Hole pub, the only bar in Britain based directly on a beach, perched on its own private island.Two bridges on to the beach have also been flattened and pub owner Bob Job said it was difficult for the public to now reach them. The RNLI’s area lifesaving manager Dickon Berriman warned of the dangers of the new cliffs.He said: “We strongly advise visitors to beaches to stay well clear of the sand cliffs that have been formed by the recent high tides and stormy weather.”They contain huge quantities of heavy sand and are extremely unstable.” He said: “It is difficult to walk past it and we had this once before. It is currently about 20m from our front door and when the tide is right up we are on an island.”It does effect trade as you have to walk across the beach to get here. There are two bridges which have both taken a smashing. They not very safe at the moment. Hidden treasure: a metal detectorist wastes no time on Perranporth beachCredit:SWNS Summerleeze Beach in Bude has been closedCredit:Telegraph 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. “We are bringing the digger in this afternoon (Friday) to get away the sharp edges as it is not safe to kids. They will come and level it off.”Hopefully that will alleviate most of our problems.”Elsewhere, a seven-foot drop has been left on Summerleaze beach further up the North Cornwall coast in Bude where 30ft waves were recorded.Visitors to the beach are being urged to take care and part of the beach has been closed.Cornwall Council said: “Please take care if you’re heading to Summerleaze Beach in Bude. The recent storms have created a sand ‘cliff’ on the upper shore leaving a 6-7ft drop in the level of the sand at one of the beach access points.” Crantock beach has also been significantly eroded, with the lifeguard hut being undermined, and 32ft sand cliffs being formed in some sections of the dunes above it.These dunes have also been significantly driven back, making some former access points unusable.Nick Ely, coastal engineer for the Environment Agency in Devon and Cornwall said they were still assessing all the damage.He said “Our post-storm emergency survey teams have been out measuring the extent of change to our beaches to allow us to calculate how much coastal erosion has occurred.”
Lady Rona Black and Sir James Black pictured in 2008Credit:Alpha-Edward Lloyd “They do seem interested in medals and I just wonder if it is that,” she said of the raiders.“The fact that they came back does make you worry what they are looking for, and to what extent they will go to get it.“I spent January turning my little house into Fort Knox. I thought I was safe but they got back in again, despite the CCTV and a better burglar alarm.“I don’t think I can do anything else to stop them. I would like the message to go out that there are no valuable medals in my possession at all.”The first raid took place on December 29 and Lady Black believes she disturbed the raiders as she returned home from Australia, where she had spent Christmas with her son. The widow of Sir James Black, the Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist, has twice been targeted by burglars apparently trying to locate his highly valuable medals.Lady Rona Black, 77, revealed that she was first burgled at the end of December, when she returned home from a holiday to find her bedroom “trashed” and significant efforts made to drill a safe out of a wall.In response, she turned the property in south London “into Fort Knox,” installing a motion-activated burglar alarm, CCTV cameras and better lighting outside.But the intruders returned on Wednesday evening, prompting Lady Black to publicise the raids in order to send a message to the perpetrators that there are no valuable medals in her possession.Sir James, who discovered beta-blockers, donated his Nobel medal to the National Museum of Scotland in 2009 and it is on display in Edinburgh, thought to be worth at least £500,000.His Order of Merit medal – the UK’s highest honour, which is awarded personally by the Queen – was returned to Buckingham Palace on his death aged 85 in 2010. The medal is deemed priceless as there are only 24 in circulation. The raiders did not remove the safe but managed to force it open and took some medals belonging to Sir James, including his knighthood insignia, as well as jewellery including Lady Black’s grandmother’s wedding ring.On Wednesday evening, shortly after she left the house to visit a friend, a neighbour called to say her alarm was going off again.Burglars, who were captured on her newly installed CCTV, smashed through her bedroom window and pulled it from a wall to silence it. “They seemed to be looking for more medals,” she said. “They ignored a camera and a radio and other electrical items. Sir James Black receives his Nobel Prize winner for medicine in Stockholm, 1988Credit:JAN COLLSIOO/AFP 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. Her bedroom door had been blocked shut from the inside and when she went out via a rear terrace, she discovered the windows of a glass door had been carefully broken to prevent the burglar alarm sounding.“They had trashed the bedroom,” she told the Evening Standard. “I think I was probably the one who disturbed them. Behind one of the wardrobes was a small safe. They had obviously spent a lot of time trying to drill it out. There was cement dust everywhere.” “The CCTV shows a man on my roof at 7.33pm. You can see him fiddling with my security light. He seems to be talking to someone at the back of the garden that leads to the lane.“This time round he has taken jewellery and a cache of medals in my husband’s study, mostly non-precious medals. I just wonder if he is looking for a Nobel prize medal, though how anybody got to know this is the home of the late Sir James Black, I don’t know.”Lady Black said it had been a “a very unpleasant week,” adding: “I was a bit shaken this time because I really did think I’d made myself pretty safe. “Basically the police’s view is that this was a return visit of a team. They think it’s a return visit of someone who didn’t get what they wanted the first time around.”Sir James, a Scottish pharmacologist, died in 2010 after a long illness.He won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1988 for his work on drug development. Known as the father of analytical pharmacology, he was said to have relieved more human suffering than thousands of doctors could have done in careers spent at the bedside.His invention of the beta blocker drug propranolol is considered one of the most significant breakthroughs of the 20th century and led to the lives of hundreds of thousands of heart patients being saved.He also discovered the anti-ulcer drug cimetidine. Launched in 1975 under the brand name Tagamet, cimetidine rapidly outsold propranolol and became the biggest selling prescription drug of any kind in the world, with annual sales of around $1 billion. Sir James Black, Nobel Prize winner for medicineCredit:LASSE HEDBERG/AFP Lady Black, known professionally as the eminent dermatologist Professor Rona MacKie, acknowledged that the Order of Merit was “a beautiful bit of important jewellery” but stressed that when the holder dies, the next of kin hands it back.
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. Now the five-year-old’s family are demanding safety improvements at the school claiming “the next victim might not be so lucky.”With the support of local residents Mrs Butt is demanding something is done before someone else is seriously injured.The 41-year-old claimed residents on Haslar Road have been complaining for years about cricket balls coming over the fence and hitting their cars, conservatories and ending up on their roofs. Harry Butt was left with severe concussion, two black eyes and a swollen nose He told MailOnline: “It was a very unfortunate, one-off accident. We very much regret the injury to the little lad and the stress caused to his family.”He said the suggestion of safety netting being installed above the boundary fence had been looked into before but the school had been advised that the local authority wouldn’t grant planning permission. He added: “I am also not sure how safe it would be with the wind we get here.“What we are going to do for senior matches where the boys and that much bigger and stronger, we will use another pitch that is further from the boundary. We can’t risk this happening again.”Councillor Ray Tindle, who represents Canford Heath West, said he and fellow ward councillor, Sean Gabriel, would be looking to work with both local residents and the school to find a solution and prevent such an incident taking place again.He added: “The school has got to face up to the fact that this is an issue and something has to be done.” Andy Baker, the headteacher of Poole Grammar School, said the school regretted the incident. Learning that your child has been injured whilst playing sport at school can often be a moment of dread and panic for many parents.But for one mother it was a complete shock seeing her son get hit in the face with a cricket ball, especially as he wasn’t even taking part. Five-year-old Harry Butt was stood on a driveway saying farewell to his loved ones before going on holiday when a cricket ball from the nearby school playing fields sailed over the fence and hit him in the face. Michelle Butt had taken her son and her 12-year-old twin daughters to visit friends before heading off on a holiday camping trip to Weymouth.They were on the driveway of the house in Dorset when the ball from Poole Grammar School whistled past Mrs Butt’s ear and struck Harry. She said action should have been taken before a child was nearly killed.”I just feel really upset that they’ve been told about the balls going over and nothing has been done,” she said.”I know that you can have netting around the pitches. It’s also about the safety of the students at the school – obviously it’s not big enough to play a game of cricket, because the balls keep coming over the fence. “I just think the way it’s been dealt with is not professional and it should have been done before.”The accident left Harry with severe concussion, a swollen nose and a black eye.His family say he’s been suffering from hearing and eyesight problems since the ball hit him after flying over the fence into Haslar Road.Mrs Butt added: “It sounded like a bomb had gone off – my little boy was on the floor.”We were all in shock and he was dazed. We took him to A&E and we were admitted to hospital.”He was violently sick, had really bad concussion and the consultant said if it had hit him anywhere else, he wouldn’t be here.”It hit him on the forehead, on the side.” The ball reportedly flew through a fence of conifer trees at the school boundaryCredit:Lee McLean/BNPS The school plans to move matches with senior pupils to an alternative locationCredit:BNPS