breaking news

8 killed in soccer stampede in Senegal

Published: Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 6:18 AM
Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 6:18 AM

Witnesses said at least eight people have died and more than 50 were injured after a stadium wall collapse and stampede at a soccer match in the Senegalese capital.

Those present said fighting broke out late Saturday between rival fans of US Ouakam and Stade de Mbour and the wall at the Demba Diop stadium in Dakar collapsed as police also fired tear gas.

Government spokesman Seydou Gueye on Sunday condemned the violence, adding that authorities moved the injured to hospitals around Dakar. He said an investigation will be opened into the incident.

The government also announced a ban on sports and cultural activities during the legislative campaign period leading to parliamentary elections on July 30.


This story has been corrected to state that the fighting between rival fans in Dakar took place on Saturday, not Friday.

Ohio State football: Billy Price earns unanimous All-American honors

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:18 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Getting a tree in the Buckeye Grove at Ohio State is a lofty accomplishment, but doing it as a unanimous All-American is truly rare.

Billy Price was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday, making him the 27th player in program history to earn unanimous All-American honors. To do so, players must be named a first-team All-American by the five traditional outlets recognized by the NCAA — the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America, the Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Price had already been named a first-team All-American by the previous four outlets.

He’s the third Buckeye in the last two seasons to attain that feat and the fourth in the last four seasons, but before Joey Bosa accomplished the feat in 2014 the last Ohio State player to do so was linebacker James Laurinaitis in 2007. Price is just the eighth Buckeye to do so since 1996, the year after Orlando Pace and Eddie George both went five-for-five in 1995.

No Ohio State center had ever earned unanimous All-American status until 2016 when Pat Elflein did so, and now there have been two in two years. Both players also won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s outstanding center.

Price already has a tree in the Buckeye Grove after being named an All-American in 2016, but his place in the history of the program has now been further bolstered.

Ohio State unanimous All-Americans

2017: Billy Price

2016: Pat Elflein

2016: Malik Hooker

2014: Joey Bosa

2007: James Laurinaitis

2006: Troy Smith

2005: A.J. Hawk

2002: Mike Doss

1995: Eddie George

1995: Orlando Pace

1987: Chris Spielman

1987: Tom Tupa

1984: Keith Byars

1977: Chris Ward

1975: Archie Griffin

1974: Archie Griffin

1973: Randy Gradishar

1973: John Hicks

1970: Jim Stillwagon

1970: Jack Tatum

1968: David Foley

1961: Bob Ferguson

1960: Bob Ferguson

1956: Jim Parker

1955: Hopalong Cassady

1954: Hopalong Cassady

1950: Vic Janowicz

1945: Warren Amling

1944: Les Horvath

1930: Wes Fesler

Kentucky Wildcats podcast: UK vs. SEC basketball and a conversation with QB commit Terry Wilson

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The latest episode of Wildcat Country, your daily Kentucky podcast presented by SEC Country, is all about the future. Where will John Calipari’s team be by the end of the season? How long will he coach the Cats? And a conversation with UK’s new quarterback.

  • Host Curtis Burch and beat writer Kyle Tucker break down this piece he wrote on how the Wildcats stack up in a much-improved SEC this season. There are seven teams in the league with more top-100 wins that Kentucky’s one.
  • Kyle picked Florida to win the SEC in the preseason, UK to finish second and Texas A&M to finish third. If he were revising that now, how would that list change? (HINT: The Aggies are better than expected.) Tennessee is on a roll, Arkansas has stacked up some quality wins and Alabama looks like a really tough out.
  • Calipari once said he wouldn’t coach past 60 years old. Now he’s about to be 59 and changing that tune. (Absolutely has to for recruiting purposes.) So how long can we reasonably expect him to stay in the game (and in Lexington?).

RELATED: UK football gets two commitments, one on offense and on defense

  • Is it Terry “Touchdown” Wilson or “Touchdown” Terry Wilson? Either way, that will be an exciting nickname for Kentucky football fans as the JUCO transfer and former Oregon quarterback has picked the Wildcats (over Nebraska and Florida among others). Get to know the guy who could be UK’s QB of the future — he has three years of eligibility, by the way — with an extended Q&A.
  • Wilson was, probably wisely, guarded in his comments about the chance to win the starting job over Drew Barker, Gunnar Hoak and others next season. But since he’s on Twitter, he probably knows that most of BBN is ready to start him from Day 1.

Don’t miss any of our Cats coverage. Follow podcast host  @CurtisBurch  as well as  @KyleTucker_SEC  for hoops and football columns,  @Joe_Mussatto  for football team coverage, recruiting notes and UK-in-the-NBA rundowns.

Oklahoma recruiting: Sooners’ offensive class is nearly complete

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we look at the offensive part of Oklahoma’s 2018 class.

Oklahoma’s offensive class is nearly set

The Sooners did the brunt of their offensive recruiting work in the spring and summer, and it has held up with a week remaining until the early signing period.

There’s only one potential spot open for an offensive player and it looks like that one will remain vacant until February. Oklahoma would still like to add one more offensive lineman if it can find the one it likes. If not, the Sooners likely will move that scholarship over to defense.

But in terms of offensive commitments and remaining scholarships available, Oklahoma is in the same situation it’s been in for the last three months. At this point in the recruiting calendar, it’s an enviable spot to be in.

Here’s what the Sooners have in the fold and what remains open. The asterisk (*) indicates players who have given verbal commitments.

Quarterback (1)

Tanner Mordecai* (Midway/Waco, Texas), 4 stars: Mordecai jumped into the class on June 1, about five weeks after Cameron Rising de-committed from Oklahoma and committed to Texas. That may be the Sooners’ best stroke of recruiting luck. Mordecai continues to rise in the national ranking, drawing comparisons to current Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. He’s also led Waco Midway to within two wins of a state title and a perfect season. He will sign with the Sooners in the early signing period.

Running back (2)

T.J. Pledger* (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.), 4 stars: Pledger is the highest-rated offensive skill player in the Sooners’ current class. He’s the No. 3 all-purpose back and No. 83 overall player in the 247Sports composite ranking. Pledger joined the fold in March and hasn’t wavered. He’s expected to sign in the early period and enroll at Oklahoma in January.

Tavion Thomas* (Dunbar/Dayton, Ohio), 3 stars: Thomas is a bruising running back who could fit the role of closer in the Sooners offense. There’s also the thought the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thomas could move to linebacker. Either way, he figures to make an early impact for the Sooners. Thomas was one of the last members to take his official visit to Norman, but he’s expected to sign with the Sooners next week.

Offensive line (4)

Brey Walker* (Westmoore/Oklahoma City), 4 stars: Walker was the first to join the class. Nothing attracts players to a class as much as elite talent. The Sooners eye him as the left tackle of the future. Walker has the size and athleticism to fall right in with All-American Orlando Brown. One thing that has changed since November is that Walker is ready to sign. He’ll send in his letter of intent during the early period.

Darrell Simpson* (Northwest/Justin, Texas), 4 stars: Simpson was the last offensive player to commit in this class, giving the pledge in August. Like Walker, Simpson already has the size (336 pounds) and frame (6 feet, 7 inches) desired for the tackle spot. Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is attracting some of the best linemen in the country to Norman. Simpson is of that ilk. The Sooners hosted him on campus for the Iowa State game in early October. Expect Simpon’s national letter of intent to arrive during the early signing period.

Tramonda Moore* (Independence Community College/Independence, Kan.), 4 stars: Moore was a 4-star recruit at Oklahoma City’s John Marshall High School in 2015. He wanted to play for the Sooners coming out of high school, and that didn’t waver when he went the junior-college route. The Sooners won’t have to wait long on him. He graduates from Independence Community College this week and will enroll at Oklahoma in January.

Tank Jenkins (Park Crossing/Montgomery, Ala.), 4 stars: Jenkins announced this week that he’ll visit Oklahoma in January. The guard looks like the final target in the class. The No. 14 guard in the 2018 class looks like he’ll decide between Auburn, Louisville, Ole Miss and the Sooners.

Receiver (4)

Jaquayln Crawford* (Rockdale, Texas), 4 stars: The Sooners went largely with outside-receiver size in the 2017 recruiting class. Crawford seems perfectly fit to start out as a slot receiver in Oklahoma’s offense. He has tremendous speed and quickness. Also, expect him to make an impact as a kick and punt returner. Crawford will sign in the early period and told DieHards he will enroll in school in January.

Jaylon Robinson* (All Saints Episcopal/Fort Worth, Texas), 3 stars: What Robinson offers is blazing speed. When you watch his highlights, you’ll see that simply getting a hand on him is a feat. Robinson will challenge as the fastest player in the class. He’ll sign in the early period.

Kundarrius Taylor* (Ridgeway/Memphis, Tenn.), 3 stars: The Sooners entered the recruitment of Taylor early, and that helped them get a player from Tennessee for the first time in years. He projects as an outside receiver. Taylor has a lot of upside. His size cannot be coached. He’s expected to sign in the early period.

Treveon Johnson* (Brenham, Texas), 3 stars: The 6-1, 180-pound Johnson is an under-the-radar recruit. The only other Power 5 Conference offers he holds are from TCU, Texas Tech, Minnesota and Oregon State, plus a recent one from Arkansas. He’s shown the ability to be a physical receiver. But it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes him to fit into Oklahoma’s offense. Johnson is expected to sign in the early period.

Miss a previous edition of Wagon Wheels? Get caught up here.





Bevo has symbolized Texas football for more than 100 years

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

“His name is Bevo. Long may he reign!”

These words, printed in the December 1916 issue of the  Alcalde alumni magazine, provide the first evidence of a name for the live longhorn mascot at the University of Texas. The original Bevo made his first and only appearance at halftime that year at the homecoming game against Texas A&M.

In the 101 years since, Bevo has indeed come to reign, through 15 different animals who have encapsulated the spirit and tradition of football at the University of Texas. How he got his name, though, is a tale that has evolved over the years.

Debunking the myth

Nobody knows exactly how it started, but from the story of how Bevo was branded by a group of Texas A&M pranksters rose a pervasive myth that hung around for decades.

As the story went, the name derived from a “13-0” brand placed on the steer in February 1917. That was the score of the 1915 matchup between the schools, which the Aggies won in College Station. For years it was believed that UT students altered that brand to read “Bevo” by changing the “13” to a “B,” adding to the dash so it made an “E,” then squeezing a “V” somewhere in between the dash and the “0.”

According to UT historian Jim Nicar, who researched the Bevo origin story in 2000, the  Alcalde excerpt disproves that myth. It’s proof that Bevo had a name before the branding took place.

“That wasn’t the story at all,” Nicar said of the branding myth. “It was complete accident. What we discovered was that for 60 years this was just a big myth, and people saw what had already been written and just repeated it.”

However, there is ample proof that the original mascot lived and died with a “13-0″ brand placed on him by Aggies.

“While Texas University students were debating what should be done with the Longhorn steer…,” reported the Austin Statesman, “a delegation of Aggies stole silently into the pen in which the steer is kept in South Austin and turned the trick.”

In January 1920, no longer wanting to pay 60 cents a day to feed and care for the wild steer, the University had it barbecued as the main course at the football banquet. The side of the hide that was branded “13-0” was given to some invited guests from A&M, with the idea being that the remainder of the hide would be “preserved and properly branded each succeeding year as the Longhorns humble the Farmers,” according to the student-published Longhorn magazine.

The real story

Like with most myths, the true story behind how Bevo got his name is somewhat anticlimactic. Nicar believes the original mascot was likely named by Stephen Pinckney, who organized the purchase of the steer with $1 contributions from himself and 124 fellow alumni.

However, “there is no smoking gun as far as a source,” Nicar said. “The best we can do is the term “beeve” is a plural for beef or also the sort of lingo you would use for a cow or steer that’s destined to become beef.”

How “beeve” became Bevo comes down to a couple different theories.

There was a brand of non-alcoholic beer called “Bevo” that was released in 1916 by Budweiser, for which a full-page ad appeared in the Statesman that December. It was also fashionable to tack an “O” onto the end of words as an endearing nickname, a la the famous comic strip characters created by Gus Mager.

Evolution to Bevo XV

Throughout the past century, the tradition of Bevo the mascot has evolved. It was a slow evolution at first, as Bevo II didn’t appear until 1932.

The Longhorns already had a mascot, a dog named Pig Bellmont who was the longtime pet of athletic director L. Theo Bellmont. The second live longhorn to appear at a football game caused quite a stir, so much so that the athletic council at the time voted to keep the steer out of the stadium.

Nicar said Bevo III came along in 1945, and it was at that time the student organization Silver Spurs was charged with caring for the animal during games.

That organization is now run by Ricky Brennes, who has overseen the handling of Bevo XIII, Bevo XIV and now Bevo XV, who is in his second season as the Longhorns’ mascot.

“Today Bevo is more popular than he’s ever been,” Brennes said. “I think our fans have really enjoyed us picking a younger Bevo and getting to see him grow quite a bit. He is 600 pounds heavier than he was last season, and his horns are growing over an inch a month.”

Bevo has become a part of the program’s rich history, making appearances at every Texas bowl game for the past 50 years including each of the Longhorns’ four national championships.

Brennes said every mascot since Bevo VII has been a trained show steer, accustomed to being around humans and trained to behave in front of large crowds. The handler said the biggest misconception he hears about Bevo is that people believe he is sedated during games.

“If he was so wild he couldn’t handle the situation then he wouldn’t be Bevo,” Brennes said.

When he isn’t at Royal-Memorial Stadium and making other appearances, Bevo XV — also known as Sunrise Spur — spends his days grazing at a ranch near Liberty Hill. He is pampered daily with treats, constant attention from adoring fans and caretakers, and free range on 200-plus acres.

His name is Bevo. Long may he reign.