OSU’s Holtmann first coach in 95 years to win first 7 Big Ten games

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:36 PM

            Northwestern guard Bryant McIntosh, left, looks to pass against Ohio State forward Andre Wesson during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Rosemont, Ill. Ohio State won 71-65. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Northwestern guard Bryant McIntosh, left, looks to pass against Ohio State forward Andre Wesson during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Rosemont, Ill. Ohio State won 71-65. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chris Holtmann became the first coach in 95 years to win his first seven Big Ten games as No. 22 Ohio State defeated Northwestern 71-65 on Wednesday night.

C.J. Jackson had 12 points, eight assists and three steals, Micah Potter scored 13 points off the bench, Jae’Sean Tate added 12 and Keita Bates-Diop had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes (16-4, 7-0), who won their sixth straight overall.

Holtmann is the third Big Ten coach to win his first seven conference games, joining Wisconsin’s Walter Meanwell (1911-12) and Iowa’s Sam Barry (1922-23). Holtmann replaced Thad Matta, the program’s all-time wins leader, this season.

Vic Law scored 14 points and Scottie Lindsey added 13 for Northwestern (11-9, 2-5) as the Wildcats suffered their second straight double-digit loss.

Picked to finish 11th in the Big Ten in a preseason media poll, the Buckeyes have been the story of the conference so far this season.

Coming off successive routs of then-No. 1 Michigan State, Maryland and Rutgers, Ohio State led Northwestern by as many as 15 in the second half before holding off a late Wildcats charge.

Northwestern got within three at 68-65 on a 3-pointer by Lindsey with 43 seconds left, but Jackson sealed the the victory from the foul line.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes won on the road without a big game from Bates-Diop. The reigning two-time Big Ten Player of the Week, Bates-Dio entered the game leading the Big Ten in scoring (20.3) and third in rebounding (8.8).


The Buckeyes host Minnesota on Saturday.

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Kenton Ridge falls to Jonathan Alder in regional softball semifinals

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 7:12 PM

Regional softball highlights: Kenton Ridge vs. Jonathan Alder

Kenton Ridge was one out away from losing by the run rule Wednesday against Jonathan Alder when senior Carly Turner launched a pitch over the fence in left. She had put a ball on the football field — hard hit but well foul — earlier in the at-bat, so this home run didn't surprise everyone.

The two-run blast in the fifth showed what kind of fight the Cougars had in them, but it only delayed the inevitable. They were losing 12-3 after the home run, and they lost 14-5 to Jonathan Alder in a Division II regional semifinal at Mason High School. Jade Espinosa added a home run in the seventh for the Cougars.

» PHOTOS: Kenton Ridge vs. Jonathan Alder

The Cougars finished the season 23-2. Jonathan Alder (18-5) handed Kenton Ridge its only losses.

"I told them, 'Hey, nothing to hang your head about,'" Kenton Ridge coach Sarah Schalnat said. "We could have been run-ruled in the fifth, but we weren't. We fought back a little bit by little bit. That's the way it goes."

The Cougars lose five seniors: Turner, catcher Peyton Fleming, designated player Olivia Lee, second baseman Kaycee Sloan and Kerria Himes.

"I can't say enough about the senior class," Schalnat said. "They're a great bunch of kids. Great leadership. Great focus."

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe in district final

While No. 2 Kenton Ridge and No. 7 Jonathan Alder were near equals in the regular season, splitting two Central Buckeye Conference games and playing extra innings both times, it was all Jonathan Alder in this game.

The Pioneers scored runs in every inning but the second and sixth. They took the lead for good with four runs in the third and scored four more runs in the fourth, three crossing the plate on a home run by Jillian Jakse.

In the fifth, the Pioneers extended their advantage to 12-1 thanks in part to a two-run home run by Lindsey Potter.

Earlier in the game, Kenton Ridge had a brief glimmer of hope. Jonathan Alder took a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Cougars tied the game on an RBI single by Turner in the bottom of the inning. Kenton Ridge had a chance to take the lead in the second, recording three hits but failing to score because of a failed squeeze play.

Jonathan Alder will play Clinton-Massie in the regional final at noon Saturday at Mason High School. Clinton-Massie advanced with an 11-4 victory over Greenville in the first semifinal Wednesday.

Jonathan Alder is one victory away from its second trip in a row to the state semifinals.

"They were definitely the better team today," Schalnat said. "They deserved to win. They did everything right today. We made mistakes today we hadn't made all season, and one mistake after another, we just couldn't overcome it."

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Clinton-Massie ousts Greenville in regional semifinals

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 3:31 PM

Highlights: Greenville falls to Clinton-Massie in regional softball

The first two innings cost the third-ranked Greenville softball team Wednesday in a Division II regional semifinal at Mason High School.

No. 6 Clinton-Massie (27-5) scored five runs in the first inning and three in the second and rode that early lead to an 11-4 victory, avenging a 14-4 loss to Greenville in the same round a year ago.

“The better team won today,” Greenville coach Jerrod Newland said. “They returned about everyone. The gas was on the fire from last year. We run-ruled them last year. Same game, same place. I knew that would be coming. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get out of the first inning.”

Claire Carruthers had the big hit in the first inning, a two-run home run. Victoria Severt hit a two-run home run in the second inning.

» PHOTOS: Greenville vs. Clinton-Massie

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Greenville beats Carroll in sectional final

Greenville finished the season 26-6. This was its 16th straight season with 20 or more victories for Newland, who took over the program in 2003.

Greenville’s Sydney Grote drove in the team’s first run in the second inning. Morgan Gilbert hit a solo home run off the top of the fence in right field to provide Greenville’s second run in the third inning.

» TENNIS: Beavercreek sophomore qualifies for state

Clinton-Massie advanced to face No. 2 Kenton Ridge or No. 8 Jonathan Alder in the regional final at noon Saturday in Mason.

Greenville, which won the state title in 2007, was seeking its fourth state berth. It made the final four in 2010 and lost in the state final in 2012. It lost 5-3 to Jonathan Alder on a walk-off home run in the ninth inning last season in the regional final.


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NFL creates new policy to deal with anthem protests

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 9:48 AM

Bengals on Anthem protest

The National Football League Players Association released a statement of its own critical of the implementation of the new policy. It reads:

“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new “policy.” NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.

The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.

Our union will review the new “policy” and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

UPDATE: 12:17 p.m.  — The NFL announced its new policy regarding protests of the national anthem accompanied by a statement from commissioner Roger Goodell.

In the statement, Goodell said, “The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL’s ongoing commitment to local communities and our country — one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players. We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.

“The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed,” the statement continued. “The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress. It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”

The new anthem policy is as follows:

  1. All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
  2. The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the anthem.
  3. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the anthem has been performed.
  4. A club will be fined by the league if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
  5. Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
  6. The commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:47 a.m. — In a busy start to the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta, the league approved new rules for the kickoff Tuesday and continued discussions about what can be done about players who kneel during the national anthem.

“We certainly want to make and will make a thought-out, deliberate decision,” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the Associated Press. “Whatever we do, let’s put the focus on what the NFL’s about and that’s playing football.”

›› No longer playing catch up, John Ross impressive at first OTA practice

Among the measures being discussed are assessing a 15-yard penalty against any player who kneels or otherwise protests during the national anthem. The league also is looking at changing the pregame routine, allowing teams to stay in the locker room until after the anthem is played.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

The new kickoff rules, which were first proposed a couple of weeks ago when Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons was part of paneldiscussing options to make the play safer, include eliminating wedge blocks, prohibiting running starts for the kicking team, aligning eight of the 11 players on the return team in a 15-yard zone near midfield and mandating a touchback any time the ball hits the ground in the end zone.

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Hartman: The NFL tries to clean up its national anthem morass

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 1:44 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04:  Pink sings the national anthem prior to Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Pink sings the national anthem prior to Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The NFL’s new national anthem policy probably makes about as much sense as anything the league could have done after two years of being damaged both coming and going on this topic. 

No one should be required to acknowledge national symbols if they feel those symbols don’t represent them, but there is a difference between being absent and being disrespectful. 

The line there might be fine, but it is still there, and it is significant. 

RELATED: NFL announces changes to pregame rules

Allowing players to opt out of pregame ceremonies means they don’t have to compromise their beliefs and allows those who value those couple of moments to reflect and pay respect to do so as well. 

Obviously those who choose to stay in the locker room will simultaneously be going on the record that they have something to express, and there is no doubt they will not have trouble finding anyone to ask what that might be. 

As for those whose experience was absolutely ruined by the players’ kneeling, they might be wise to look around and make sure everyone around them is paying attention and being respectful, too, but maybe that’s another story. 

All along there have surely been people who would support the players’ actions no matter what they did and people who would oppose them no matter what they did. 

RELATED: Jim Brown supports Kaepernick 100 percent but wouldn’t sit for anthem

The time that the actual act of sitting or kneeling (which was a laudable attempt at compromise) really matters expired a long time ago. 

Despite the serious flaws in the original method and the divisiveness of Colin Kaepernick’s initial explanation for sitting, the potential converts have been converted. 

The holdouts aren’t listening, and continuing to try to get a message across in the same way is senseless (as was the President’s decision to drudge it all back last year). 

The NFL has taken up many of the causes of its players, and the change in awareness, at least of those who will ever be willing to listen, has come. That doesn’t mean the causes the players are fighting for are won, but there are other battles more wise to fight because they can actually be won, too. 

That awareness also means many more people are ready, willing and able to share the story the players want to tell. 

Wasn’t that the point in the first place? 

Because if it was, arguing over how to protest seems like a pretty big waste of time. 

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