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Published: Monday, September 11, 2017 @ 10:01 AM
— 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:
Ben Roethlisberger is NOW the winningest Quarterback in Cleveland Browns stadium history (since 1999)...More wins than any Browns QB— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) September 10, 2017
Hue on the Browns defense, which gave up less than 300 yards: "I think we're playing inspired football over there."— Patrick Maks (@maksimuspatrick) September 10, 2017
The loss sucks, but overall, way more positive than negative. Huge progress for the browns. Young team. Kizer was very good.— Jay Crawford (@JaycrawfordCLE) September 10, 2017
Browns looked good today. Rookie mistakes are to be expected. If you are pissed about today I suggest u recalibrate.— Dawgs By Nature (@DawgsByNature) September 10, 2017
#Browns LT Joe Thomas: "The future is bright for DeShone (Kizer)."— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) September 10, 2017
The last time the Browns won a Week 1 game (9/12/2004), this was still in theatres. pic.twitter.com/9XJRvnYm4r— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 11, 2017
The Indians have won 17 in a row. The Browns have won 17 games since December 2012.— Matt Yallof (@MattYallofMLB) September 11, 2017
I was moderately impressed by the Browns today. They got lucky with Pitt getting a ton of penalties. But they had bright spots.— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) September 10, 2017
Silver lining: the Browns look like an actually viable NFL team and DeShone Kizer looks like "the guy"— Damon Kecman (@DownWithDamon) September 10, 2017
Regardless what happens here, the Steelers are in town and the stadium is still full of Browns fans with 3 minutes left. That's progress— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydNBA) September 10, 2017
Browns might really have something in DeShone Kizer.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 10, 2017
Browns front seven looks really strong today w/o Myles Garrett.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 10, 2017
How bout dem Browns?— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) September 10, 2017
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:45 PM
— 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.
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.
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.
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:27 PM
DAYTON — 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.
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.
I’m extremely blessed to announce that I am going to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Dayton 🔴⚪️ Go Flyers! pic.twitter.com/YGMoi0jSxU— Ibi Watson (@ibi_watson_2) April 25, 2018
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 9:21 AM
DAYTON — 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.”
Read the Commission on College Basketball's recommendations: https://t.co/25mcMaMduV— NCAA (@NCAA) April 25, 2018
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.
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 3:24 PM
— 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.
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:
Do these go far enough?
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.Follow @marcushartman