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What national media is saying about Browns’ close-call loss

Published: Monday, September 11, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell(26)

The Cleveland Browns kept it within striking distance, but couldn’t come up with an upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Still, the Browns showed some promise in the 21-18 loss. The defense was competitive and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer had his moments.

Here’s how the media reacted to the Browns’ first game of 2017:














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Ohio State NFL draft preview: 5 things to know 

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:45 PM

Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward explains what he can bring an NFL team, why he sat out the Cotton Bowl and more.

The 83rd NFL draft is set for Thursday-Saturday in Texas, and Ohio State is expected to be heavily involved again. 

Here are five things for Buckeye fans to know before it begins: 

1. Close to a dozen Buckeyes could be drafted. 

Eleven Ohio State players were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and more got to work out for NFL scouts during the team’s pro day.

Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman predicts Jerome Baker, J.T. Barrett, Marcus Baugh, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard, Jamarco Jones, Tyquan Lewis, Billy Price, Denzel Ward, Damon Webb and Chris Worley will all hear their names called by the end of round seven on Saturday. 

Ward and coach Urban Meyer are scheduled to be in attendance.

2. The top prospects are… 

Ward is widely expected to be a first-round pick. 

After him, it gets a little murky. 

Hubbard could be taken in the first or second round and Price was considered a potential first-rounder before a pec injury knocked him out of the combine (he should be ready for the start of training camp). 

Jones is the No. 34 player according to Pro Football Focus with Price coming in 64th, Hubbard 68th, Lewis 81st and Webb 88th. 

Ohio State center Billy Price explains what happened during the bench press Thursday and his prognosis for next season.

3. The return of OSU as “DB U”. 

If Ward does go in the first round, Ohio State will become the first school in the common era (since 1967) to have five first-round defensive backs in three years. 

That run started with Eli Apple in 2016 with Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley following last year. 

The last five starting cornerbacks from Ohio State have been drafted, something that also happened in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

Ward could make six. 

4. Will any Buckeyes remain in Ohio? 

Recent history shows the Bengals and Browns aren’t very likely to pick a player from Ohio State. 

While Cincinnati last chose a Buckeye in 2013 (offensive lineman Reid Fragel, seventh round), eight drafts have passed since the Browns chose Brian Robiskie in the second round in 2009. 

In all, the Browns have drafted 32 players from Ohio State since 1952 while the Bengals have taken 17 since 1969. 

Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett explains what he has been doing since the NFL Scouting Combine, how his workout in Cincinnati went and more.

5. Meyer’s first full recruiting class nearly finished. 

Six players from Ohio State’s class of 2013 already have been drafted. 

At least five more could be taken this weekend. If that happens, the 24-man class will be the most successful (in terms of draftees) since 2002, both in terms of total and percentage. 

Twelve players of 25 signees (48 percent) from 2002 were drafted. 

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Dayton adds fourth member to 2018 recruiting class

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:27 PM

Michigan's Ibi Watson, right, drives in the lane on Marquette's Traci Carter during the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 17, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Michigan's Ibi Watson, right, drives in the lane on Marquette's Traci Carter during the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Dayton Flyers landed their fourth recruit in the 2018 class on Wednesday, announcing Michigan transfer Ibi Watson, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, will join the program.

Watson, a graduate of Pickerington Central who attended Athens High School for his first two years, appeared in 45 games over the last two seasons with Michigan, receiving limited minutes each season. He averaged 2.2 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game last season. He scored two points in one minute in the national championship game loss to Villanova.

» RELATED: Policelli expected to ‘provide a spark’ for Dayton

Watson will have to sit out the 2018-19 season. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining after that.

“First and foremost, you’re adding a veteran to your roster,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “Ibi’s had two years at Michigan and obviously the success they’ve enjoyed — the two Sweet 16s and national championship game appearance — that experience for him, being able to be a part of that on a daily basis, I think he adds a level of experience to our roster, not only when he becomes eligible but during this time that he gets to be a redshirt and continue to work on his personal development. I think it’ll be a great addition to our team for some of our younger guys to have a veteran like that on your roster.”

» UPDATE: What the Dayton roster looks like now

Watson announced his decision to transfer on April 12.

“During my time at the University Michigan I have learned and experienced so much,” he wrote on Twitter. “I enjoyed the relationships and memories that I made. Thank you to the coaching staff and my teammates for making my experience so great! After much thought, I have decided to explore other options.”

Watson was a three-star recruit in the class of 2016. He ranked 208th in the class, according to 247Sports.com. He made the All-Ohio first team as a senior in 2016.

Watson joins Dwayne Cohill, Jhery Matos and Frankie Policelli in Dayton’s 2018 class. The Flyers still have three scholarships open.

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Ending one-and-done rule one of recommendations of NCAA’s Commission on College Basketball

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 9:21 AM

UCLA practices Monday, March 12, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/STAFF
Contributing Writer
UCLA practices Monday, March 12, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/STAFF(Contributing Writer)

The NCAA’s Independent Commission on College Basketball recommends ending the one-and-done rule and making high school players eligible for the NBA Draft again. That was one of the findings in its report released Wednesday morning.

Under the current rule, top high school recruits have to spend at least one season in college basketball before being for the NBA Draft.

The commission, chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, was established in October in response to the recruiting scandal that dominated the headlines last fall. Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith is also part of the commission.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the recommendations:

1. One-and-done rule: “The Commission calls on the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) again to make 18-year-olds eligible for the NBA draft, so that high school players who are drafted may proceed to the NBA. The NCAA lacks the legal power to change one-and-done on its own; the power to make this change lies exclusively with the NBA and the NBPA.”

» RELATED: Dayton AD reacts to NCAA problems

2. Testing pro prospects: “The Commission recommends that high school and college players who declare for the draft and are not drafted remain eligible for college basketball unless and until they sign a professional contract. Specifically, players who are not drafted should be permitted to change their minds and attend college or return to college, provided they remain academically and otherwise eligible.”

3. Earlier professional assessment: “The Commission recommends that the NCAA and its member institutions develop strict standards for certifying agents and allow NCAA-certified agents to engage with student-athletes at an appropriate point in their high school careers to be determined by the NCAA.”

4. More resources for education: “The Commission recommends that the NCAA immediately establish a substantial fund and commit to paying for the degree completion of student-athletes with athletic scholarships who leave member institutions after progress of at least two years towards a degree. Colleges and universities must fulfll their commitments to student-athletes to provide not just a venue for athletic competition, but also an education.

» RELATED: Three changes that would help NCAA

5. Independent investigations: “The Commission recommends that the NCAA create independent investigative and adjudicative arms to address and resolve complex and serious cases (hereafter “complex cases”) involving violations of NCAA rules.

6. Harsher penalties: Among the changes the commission recommends is a five-year postseason ban for serious infractions and the loss of all revenue sharing from the NCAA tournament during the ban.

7. Reforming non-scholastic basketball: The commission addressed the influence of AAU basketball and other events recruits play in away from school.

“Virtually all of the top recruits for each collegiate recruiting class participate in non-scholastic basketball,” the report stated. “The Commission recommends that the NCAA take short and long-term actions to reform non-scholastic basketball and disassociate the NCAA and its member institutions from the aspects of non-scholastic basketball where transparency and ethical behavior cannot be assured.”

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NCAA can’t ‘fix’ college basketball without major help from the NBA

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 3:24 PM

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver anounces the #1 overall pick in the first during NBA 2K League Draft at Madison Square Garden on April 4, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver anounces the #1 overall pick in the first during NBA 2K League Draft at Madison Square Garden on April 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The NCAA’s Independent Commission on College Basketball got more right than wrong in its report issued Wednesday

While making some worthwhile suggestions for fixing some issues faced at the college level, the group chaired by Condoleezza Rice also exposed just how culpable the NBA is in placing elite basketball prospects in limbo when they are in their late teens and early 20s. 

RELATED: Ending one-and-done rule one of recommendations of NCAA’s Commission on College Basketball

The league’s one-and-done rule hasn’t been as bad for college basketball as it is made out by the report, but it has forced together some prospects and schools that clearly weren’t quite comfortable with each other. 

That, in turn, almost certainly increases the incentive for players who are only biding their time in college to break rules against receiving extra benefits that don’t always make a lot of sense (and few of those rules are addressed by the committee’s report). 

If the NBA again allows 18-year-olds to be drafted, the few players who without a doubt are good enough and mature enough to play in the league at that age could do so. 

Problems would remain for three much larger groups of players, though: The ones who think they are good enough to skip college but aren’t, those who think they are good enough to leave college early but aren’t and those who aren’t sure if they fit into one of those groups or not. 

Guess what? This also unnecessary. 

One of the committee’s recommendations — that players be allowed to return to school and play college basketball again if they aren’t drafted — would help, but it’s just a step in the right direction. 

  

The path to the pros would be a lot easier to navigate if everyone were eligible to be drafted once they reach a certain age and their eligibility remained intact until they sign a pro contract. 

Teams would retain the rights to a player for an agreed-upon length of time — probably until his or her college eligibility is up. 

This is essentially how things work in hockey, and it is preferable to “the baseball rule,” which the committee smartly recommended not adopting. 

In making the case against the baseball rule for basketball, the committee highlighted another shortcoming of the NBA: The G League still accommodates far fewer players than the hockey and baseball minor leagues. 

(Which is not to say those sports don’t have issues, too, but that’s for another day.) 

The NCAA has plenty of its own issues, and the committee has some strong suggestions: 

  • Allow contact between players and agents without compromising eligibility (a full-on business relationship should probably be allowed, but the report says agents actually oppose this). 
  • Standardize degree completion so players who leave school early are still guaranteed the opportunity to finish (some schools, including Ohio State and Kentucky, already have this). 
  • Establish an independent group to handle investigation and enforcement of NCAA violations (because the current model with rotating members from various schools is at best inconsistent and at worst completely ineffective). 
  • Add outsiders to the NCAA Board of Governors (so it is less myopic, presumably). 
  • Work with the NBA to create youth basketball programs that develop players on and off the court and help them have a better idea of their real pro prospects at a young age. (They also suggested some measures for eliminating corruption they perceive to exist in AAU basketball, but that was a little too esoteric to dive into here, and doing so may be too big a task anyway.) 

Do these go far enough? 

No. 

There’s still the issue of athlete compensation, something the committee basically punted because of pending litigation that could turn the whole system on its head anyway. 

The hope that legalizing more interactions with agents might curtail some illicit activity -- especially if agents aren’t allowed to offer players and their families loans -- is probably wishful thinking more than anything, too. 

But, hey, they have to start somewhere. 

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