Month: September 2019

MLB AllStar Weekend to Honor Negro Leagues Baseball

On Friday, July 8th, Major League Baseball players and fans will descend on Kansas City, Missouri, for All-Star Weekend. But what Bob Kendrick wants fans to remember are the Negro League baseball players like Buck O’Neil, who helped the Kansas City Monarchs rule the Negro Leagues for nearly five decades from the 1920s through the 1950s. The Kansas City Monarchs produced the great Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson, before Robinson broke the color barrier in the Major Leagues. This history and more can be seen at the Negro Baseball League Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, where Kendrick is president and the torch bearer for the institution.The legends of the NLBM and harbingers for many of the CC Sabathias and Matt Kemps (both supporters of the museum) of today. With NLBM’s vision to expand the organization and renovate the Paseo YMCA, where the Negro Baseball League was conceptualized, into the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center, Kendrick is happy about the timeliness of the All-Star event being held in Kansas City, and sees it as an opportunity to ensure legends such as Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, and Cool Papa Bell are not obnubilated.BlackEnterprise.com spoke to Kendrick about the museum’s plans.What are you doing in preparation for this year’s All-Star weekend?Kendrick: We have a new featured exhibit titled “They Were All Stars,” which chronicles Negro League players that transitioned to the majors and subsequently became All Stars. This exhibit is free and open to the community, thanks to MLB and the Kansas City Royals’ partnership, helping everyone feel a part of the festivities even if they can’t afford to attend the game.Why is it important for people to support the NLBM?Kendrick: The reason it’s important is that these players should not only be celebrated for what they did in the face of adversity to play baseball, but also what they did for the advancement of American society. It’s a travesty that people can go through their education without knowing the story of the Negro leagues, but this museum was founded so that this history would not die with the last players.And how can they support?People can support through our licensing program, admissions, gift shop, membership, corporate partnership program, and our traveling exhibit. We anticipate reaping residual benefits from this special weekend.Source: Black Enterprise read more

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Lakers Set To Honor Kareem AbdulJabbar With Statue

The Los Angeles Lakers plan to unveil a state featuring Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at some point this coming season, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.A firm date for the honor has yet to be finalized.Abdul-Jabbar remains the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points. He won five of his NBA titles and three of his six league MVP trophies while with the Lakers. His prolific scoring and mastery of his famed skyhook have led many to call him the best center of all time.The Lakers have previously said they planned to unveil a statue of Abdul-Jabbar at some point, but only after first honoring Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West on Star Plaza at Staples Center.Abdul-Jabbar took the delay as a slight and criticized the team last year, saying its failure to do so sooner was a show of disrespect. He also bemoaned the fact the team did not award him any playoff shares and singled out his reduced role and pay as a special assistant coach for Andrew Bynum from 2005 to 2009. Abdul-Jabbar also mentioned how he often had to sit on the back of the plane during team trips.The Lakers have defended their timing, explaining that there is no set criteria for determining the order of statue inductions and that the other statutes associated with the team also have extensive resumes behind them.AEG, which owns Staple Center, plays a larger role in determining who is honored with a statue at the downtown venue and when it is done.The team attributed Abdul-Jabbar’s reduced pay to Bynum’s belief that he didn’t need as much personal instruction.Lakers head coaches, they also noted, have the authority to hire their own assistants, while the players are allowed to allocate their playoff shares as they see fit.In an interview with the Times last year, Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss indicated that honoring Abdul-Jabbar with a statue would be a “natural fit.” read more

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Carolina Panthers Set To Hit The Road As The

QB Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers teammates will be headed to Florida early next week to miss the Democratic National ConventionThe Carolina Panthers are hitting the road early next so as to avoid the chaos of the Democratic Convention coming to town.Final preparations are already underway at Bank of America Stadium, where President Obama will deliver his speech on Sept. 6 formally accepting his party nomination for re-election.Things figure to be more than a little chaotic, with generators being moved into place, wires strung everywhere and heavy volumes of security roaming every part of the facility.All this would be going on while the Panthers are trying to prepare for their season opener at Tampa Bay on Sept. 9.The obvious potential logistical nightmare is the reason the team has opted to head to Florida early, departing Tuesday to spend the next three days practicing at the IMG Academy in Bradenton before heading to Tampa for the game.“When we were talking about this in February, I don’t think we knew what it would be like if we stayed here,” general manager Marty Hurney told the Charlotte Observer. “From the football side, some of the things you worry the most about are the unknowns.“We felt like going [to Florida], we could go to someplace we know and we’d know the set-up, whereas we wouldn’t know what it would be like here.”Hurney, coach Ron Rivera, equipment manager Jackie Miles, trainer Ryan Vermillion and head of football operations Brandon Beane mapped out a plan to make the trip as similar to any other road game during the season.The IMG Academy offers plenty of practice space, as well as a spacious weight room to use. The Panthers will be based in a nearby hotel with ample meeting space to accommodate the various position meetings that normally take place for a home game.Team owner Jerry Richardson donated the use of Bank of America Stadium at no charge to the Democratic Convention and has said he would have done likewise for the Republican Party.Players sounded initially excited about the break from routine. read more

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Help On Way For TWolves Kevin Love Ricky Rubio

Perhaps no team has been harder hit by injuries than the Minnesota Timberwolves, who finally got some encouraging news with point guard Ricky Rubio’s and all-star big man Kevin Love’s return to practice.It’s still going to be a while before Rubio, who tore the ACL in his left knee last season, can join them in games. But just seeing him a little closer to a return is one of the first health positives this injury-plagued team has seen this season.Rubio has started to do some light 5-on-none work in practice for the Timberwolves, his first on-court work in the long, grueling rehabilitation process.Meanwhile, Love, who has yet to play this season because of a broken right hand, also joined in the instructional portions of practice on Sunday — a welcomed sight for a team that has played the last three games with just nine players.”Just having them five-on-(none) gives you a sense that when you get them back we’ll be pretty good,” coach Rick Adelman said after practice. ”We can’t wait for them. We have to go out there and play. But it gives us a sense.”Love is expected back at the start of December, while Rubio is hopeful to return to game action sometime in the middle of next month.Rubio was injured in a game against the Lakers on March 9. Losing him coincided with several other injuries to turn a promising season south in a hurry, and the bad luck has followed the Wolves into this season. Love broke his hand less than two weeks before opening night. Chase Budinger is out three to four months after having surgery on his left knee and Nikola Pekovic (sprained left ankle), J.J. Barea (sprained left foot) and Brandon Roy (sore right knee) have all suffered injuries.Roy will undergo arthoscopic surgery on his knee, which is an ominous sign for a player who retired two years ago because of knee injuries. read more

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Game Changer Will New Brooklyn Nets be a Threat

Now that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry have been traded to Brooklyn Nets, one has to wonder if LeBron James and Miami Heat will be in trouble next year.All three of the players, who left the Boston Celtics, all have championship rings already, which may be a problem for the 4-time league MVP and the rest of the Eastern Conference next year.

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How Our March Madness Predictions Work

March 17, 2019 Values range from 0 to 10, although they can exceed 10 in extreme cases.FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratingsIf you’ve been a FiveThirtyEight reader for really any length of time, you probably know that we’re big fans of Elo ratings. We’ve introduced versions for the NBA and the NFL, among other sports. Using game data from ESPN, Sports-Reference.com and other sources, we’ve also calculated Elo ratings for men’s college basketball teams dating back to the 1950s and for women’s teams since 2001. Our Elo ratings are one of the six computer rating systems used in the pre-tournament rating for each men’s team and one of four systems for each women’s team.Our methodology for calculating these Elo ratings is very similar to the one we use for the NBA. Elo is a measure of a team’s strength that is based on game-by-game results. The information that Elo relies on to adjust a team’s rating after every game is relatively simple — including the final score and the location of the game. (As we noted earlier, college basketball teams perform significantly worse when they travel a long distance to play a game.)It also takes into account whether the game was played in the NCAA Tournament. We’ve found that historically, there are actually fewer upsets in the tournament than you’d expect from the difference in teams’ Elo ratings, perhaps because the games are played under better and fairer conditions in the tournament than in the regular season. Our Elo ratings account for this and weight tournament games slightly higher than regular-season ones.Because Elo is a running assessment of a team’s talent, at the beginning of each season, a team gets to keep its rating from the end of the previous one, except that we also revert it to the mean. The wrinkle here, compared with our NFL Elo ratings, is that we revert college basketball team ratings to the mean of the conference.While we make no guarantee that you’ll win your pool if you use our system, we think it’s done a pretty good job over the years. Hopefully, you’ll have fun using it to make your picks, and it will add to your enjoyment of both NCAA tournaments.Editor’s note: This article is adapted from previous articles about how our March Madness predictions work. Our men’s model is principally based on a composite of six computer power ratings:Ken Pomeroy’s ratingsJeff Sagarin’s “predictor” ratingsSonny Moore’s ratingsJoel Sokol’s LRMC ratingsESPN’s Basketball Power IndexFiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings (described below)Each of these ratings has a strong track record in picking tournament games. We shouldn’t make too much of the differences among them: They are all based on the same basic information — wins and losses, strength of schedule, margin of victory — computed in slightly different ways. We use six systems instead of one, however, because each system has different features and bugs, and blending them helps to smooth out any rough edges. (Those rough edges matter because even small differences can compound over the course of a single-elimination tournament that requires six or seven games to win.)To produce a pre-tournament rating for each team, we combine those computer ratings with a couple of human rankings:The NCAA selection committee’s 68-team “S-curve”Preseason rankings from The Associated Press and the coachesThese rankings have some predictive power — if used in moderation. They make up one-fourth of the rating for each team; the computer systems are three-fourths.It’s not a typo, by the way, to say that we look at preseason rankings. The reason is that a 30- to 35-game regular season isn’t all that large a sample. Preseason rankings provide some estimate of each team’s underlying player and coaching talent. It’s a subjective estimate, but it nevertheless adds some value, based on our research. If a team wasn’t ranked in either the AP or coaches’ polls, we estimate its strength using the previous season’s final Sagarin rating, reverted to the mean.To arrive at our FiveThirtyEight power ratings, which are a measure of teams’ current strength on a neutral court and are displayed on our March Madness predictions interactive graphic, we make two adjustments to our pre-tournament ratings.The first is for injuries and player suspensions. We review injury reports and deduct points from teams that have key players out of the lineup. This process might sound arbitrary, but it isn’t: The adjustment is based on Sports-Reference.com’s win shares, which estimate the contribution of each player to his team’s record while also adjusting for a team’s strength of schedule. So our program won’t assume a player was a monster just because he was scoring 20 points a game against the likes of Abilene Christian and Austin Peay. The injury adjustment also works in reverse: We review every team to see which are healthier going into the tournament than they were during the regular season.The second adjustment takes place only once the tournament is underway. The FiveThirtyEight model gives a bonus to teams’ ratings as they win games, based on the score of each game and the quality of the opponent. A No. 12 seed that waltzes through its play-in game and then crushes a No. 5 seed may be much more dangerous than it initially appeared; our model accounts for this. On the flip side, a highly rated team that wins but looks wobbly against a lower seed often struggles in the next round, we’ve found.When we forecast individual games, we apply a third and final adjustment to our ratings, for travel distance. Are you not at your best when you fly in from LAX to take an 8 a.m. meeting in Boston? The same is true of college basketball players. In extreme cases (a team playing very near its campus or traveling across the country to play a game), the effect of travel can be tantamount to playing a home or road game, despite being on an ostensibly neutral court. This final adjustment gives us a team’s travel-adjusted power rating, which is then used to calculate its chance of winning that game.Women’s team ratings Model tweak The DetailsWe’ve been issuing probabilistic March Madness forecasts in some form since 2011, when FiveThirtyEight was just a couple of people writing for The New York Times. Initially, we focused on the men’s NCAA Tournament, publishing a table that gave each team’s probability of advancing deep (or not-so-deep) into the tournament. Over the years, we expanded to forecasting the women’s tournament as well. And since 2016, our forecasts have updated live, as games are played. Below are the details on each step that we take — including calculating power ratings for teams, win probabilities for each game and the chance that each remaining team will make it to any given stage of the bracket.Men’s team ratings ReferencesBrian Burke’s Excitement Index / DonBest injury report / ESPN’s BPI / Sports-Reference.comJeff Sagarin’s ratings / Joel Sokol’s LRMC ratings / Ken Massey’s ratings / Ken Pomeroy’s ratings / Sonny Moore’s ratings (men, women) Version History1.4 Added women’s Elo model and started adjusting excitement index for upsets.March 17, 20191.3 Added live win probabilities and men’s Elo model.March 13, 20161.2 Added women’s forecast.March 17, 20151.1 Started accounting for strength of schedule when making injury adjustments; started using reverted Sagarin ratings as preseason ratings.March 15, 20151.0 Forecast launched for the 2014 tournament.March 17, 2014 We calculate power ratings for the women’s tournament in much the same way as we do for the men’s. However, because of the relative lack of data for women’s college basketball — a persistent problem when it comes to women’s sports — the process has a few differences:Four of the six power ratings that we use for the men’s tournament aren’t available for women. But fortunately, two of them are: Sokol’s LRMC ratings and Moore’s ratings. We also use a third public system, the Massey Ratings, as well as a version of FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings that we’ve built for NCAA women’s basketball. The NCAA doesn’t publish 68-team S-curve data for the women. So we use the teams’ seeds instead, with the exception of the four No. 1 seeds, which the selection committee does list in order.For the women’s tournament, there isn’t much in the way of injury reports or advanced individual statistics, so we don’t include injury adjustments.Turning power ratings into a forecastOnce we have power ratings for every team, we need to turn them into a forecast — that is, the chance of every team reaching any round of the tournament.Most of our sports forecasts rely on Monte Carlo simulations, but March Madness is different; because the structure of the tournament is a single-elimination bracket, we’re able to directly calculate the chance of teams advancing to a given round.We calculate the chance of any team beating another with the following Elo-derived formula, which is based on the difference between the two teams’ travel-adjusted power ratings:1.01.0+10−travel_adjusted_power_rating_diff∗30.464/4001.01.0+10−travel_adjusted_power_rating_diff∗30.464/400Because a team needs to win only a single game to advance, this formula gives us the chance of a team reaching the next round in the bracket. The probability of a team reaching a future round in the bracket is based on a system of conditional probabilities. In other words, the chance of a team reaching a given round is the chance it reaches the previous round, multiplied by its chance of beating any possible opponent in the previous round, weighted by its likelihood of meeting each of those opponents.Live win probabilitiesWhile games are being played, our interactive graphic displays a box for each one that shows updating win probabilities for both teams, as well as the score and the time remaining. These probabilities are derived using logistic regression analysis, which lets us plug the current state of a game into a model to produce the probability that either team will win the game. Specifically, we used play-by-play data from the past five seasons of Division I NCAA basketball to fit a model that incorporates:Time remaining in the gameScore differencePregame win probabilitiesWhich team has possession, with a special adjustment if the team is shooting free throwsThe model doesn’t account for everything, however. If a key player has fouled out of a game, for example, the model doesn’t know, and his or her team’s win probability is probably a bit lower than what we have listed. There are also a few places where the model experiences momentary uncertainty: In the handful of seconds between the moment when a player is fouled and the free throws that follow, for example, we use the team’s average free-throw percentage to adjust its win probability. Still, these probabilities ought to do a reasonably good job of showing which games are competitive and which are essentially over.Also displayed in the box for each game is our “excitement index” (check out the lower-right corner) — that number also updates throughout a game and can give you a sense of when it’ll be most fun to tune in. Loosely based on Brian Burke’s NFL work, the index is a measure of how much each team’s chances of winning have changed over the course of the game.The calculation behind this feature is the average change in win probability per basket scored, weighted by the amount of time remaining in the game. This means that a basket made late in the game has more influence on a game’s excitement index than a basket made near the start of the game. We give additional weight to changes in win probability in overtime. We also add a bonus for games that spend a large proportion of their time with an upset on the horizon, weighted by how big the upset would be. Model CreatorJay Boice A computational journalist for FiveThirtyEight. | @jayboiceNate Silver Editor in chief. | @NateSilver538 March 17, 2019 Model tweak Related Articles2019 March Madness predictions2018 March Madness predictions2017 March Madness predictions2016 March Madness predictions2015 March Madness predictions2014 men’s NCAA tournament predictions read more

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Goalie Chris Froschauer emerging as inspiration in lone year with OSU mens

OSU senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer (32) prepares to kick the ball during a game against Cleveland State on Oct. 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 1-0. Credit: Christopher Slack / Lantern PhotographerChris Froschauer came into the first Ohio State men’s soccer spring practice prepared to command the defense with his boisterous voice. He kept his composure when his team started the season 1-4-2. His eight straight wins that followed the rough first half of the season proved that his chemistry with the backline is now on point.By the above accounts, one could conclude that Froschauer is a seasoned Buckeye — a veteran that climbed the OSU roster to become a starter his senior year. However, the senior goalie has only been a Buckeye for 16 games.After starting nearly 60 games for the Dayton Flyers men’s soccer team, where he compiled more than 200 saves, Froschauer decided to take a leap of faith about 80 miles east.“I figured if I wanted to take a chance somewhere else and do something, why not do it now,” Froschauer said. “I get to play college soccer one time, so I went for it.”The former three-year starting goalie for the Flyers hit a ceiling in Dayton. A greater challenge with higher rewards awaited him in Columbus, and the Buckeyes had recently lost perhaps the most heralded goalie in program history to graduation: Alex Ivanov.“He’s very loud,” junior forward Christian Soldat said of Froschauer. “He was one of those guys that right away (made) himself known.”The stars were aligned, but Froschauer had a small window for meshing with his new teammates on and off the field.“I think that he felt confident in his ability to come in and help us out, and we were confident in him as well,” senior midfielder Zach Mason said. “I think it was just something where it was a perfect fit.”Froschauer actually became acquainted with Mason the summer following his freshman year of college. Both him and redshirt junior midfielder Alex Ranalli were teammates of Froschauer’s on the Columbus Crew U-20 team.OSU was still foreign territory for him, but his beaming personality made the transition phase pass right by and his initiation into the tightly knit team swift.“If we were a family, I would say he’s our goofy brother; the one that keeps everyone loose, everyone laughing,” Mason said.The loose characterization was important during the Buckeyes’ four-game skid earlier this season. Following a fourth straight loss, a 2-1 defeat to Northwestern, the team became fed up.“After the Northwestern game we all kind of sat down together and decided that we didn’t want to do this anymore,” Froschauer said. “We wanted to turn our season around, which is what we’ve done.”And Froschauer was pivotal in that turnaround. A program-best eight-game winning streak was aided by the senior’s six clean sheets.Even when the team was struggling, Froschauer was still keeping calm. That trait has helped him save 54 goals while only allowing 15 this season. His communication skills have also led to victories fueled by teamwork, as evidenced by his conference-best seven shutouts.The backline was shaky at the beginning of the season, but Froschauer quickly got vocally accustomed to his teammates. His actions were instantly infectious.“He’s very vocal in the games and in practice, and he’s just a goofy kid,” Soldat said. “He’s always a happy guy, he’s always loud and he wants to be in the conversation.”The continually growing relationship between Froschauer and the defense is peaking at just the right time. The Big Ten tournament is set to commence in two weekends, and the Buckeyes will be fighting back for the No. 1 seed after losing the spot to Rutgers in their previous game.“We’ve definitely come to understand each other better; what my tendencies are, what their tendencies are,” Froschauer said.The four-year starter has been the perfect source for the team to gather momentum. Opponents are taking fewer shots on goal thanks to a firmer defense, and Froschauer is putting the offense in position to give the Buckeyes a victory in almost every outing.When questioned about his goalie’s greatest quality, Mason snapped back quickly: “His confidence.” It also happens to be spreading team-wide.“It really is contagious in the team,” Mason said. “I think if you have a confident goalkeeper that helps the defense be confident, midfields and all the way up to the forwards.”Froschauer is definitely making the most out of his bold decision to finish off his collegiate soccer career at OSU. His teammates have been channeling his positive attitude and will to win, and it is resulting in a climb up the standings.“He’s the voice from the back,” Mason said.Froschauer’s poise instills faith in his teammates. He has only known them for eight months. read more

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Some in Big Ten posted smalltime ticket sales in this years bowl

The Ohio State football team sold only 7,500 tickets of the 12,750 it was allotted for the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, in Jacksonville, Fla., but the Buckeyes weren’t the only Big Ten team that failed to sell its bowl-game ticket allotment. The Big Ten conference sent 10 football teams to the postseason in 2011-12 — more than any Football Bowl Subdivision conference in the country. However, the on-field achievements of the respective teams during the regular season weren’t necessarily backed by each schools’ supporters as only Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin sold out their ticket allotments for their respective bowls. Even OSU’s rival to the north was unable to sell out their ticket allotment to a Bowl Championship Series bowl. The Lantern contacted all 10 Big Ten athletic departments whose football teams participated in bowl games to compile ticket sale information, which each school provided. The Boilermakers sold 5,425 tickets after being given 5,000 for their appearance, and eventual victory, in the Little Caesars Bowl on Dec. 27., in Detroit, Mich. The Wildcats sold all 12,000 of the tickets it had to sell for its Dec. 31 appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston, Texas, and Wisconsin sold each of 24,848 tickets it was allotted for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2., in Pasadena, Calif. Rich Scarcella, a sports writer for the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., and the longest-tenured Penn State football beat writer in the country, said he was surprised to hear about Northwestern’s turnout. “Wisconsin selling out — I think most teams going to the Rose Bowl are going to sell out. Purdue (fans) had a short drive to Detroit and they didn’t really have to sell that many tickets,” Scarcella said. “Northwestern’s the one that I can’t put my head around. I’m not sure what to make of that.” The Wildcats lost to Texas A&M, 33-22, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Michigan claimed a 23-20 win against Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., but sold only 15,000 of the 17,500 tickets it had to offer its supporters for the Bowl Championship Series triumph. OSU football historian Jack Park told The Lantern that he was surprised the Wolverines did not exhaust their tickets for the game. “That’s very interesting,” Park said. “I would never have guessed that Michigan would not have sold their allotment.” Park said the lengthening of the college football bowl season could be to blame for the recent decline in ticket sales. “One thing that I think contributes to that a little bit … it used to be that games like (the Sugar Bowl) were always played on New Year’s Day. And the only exception would be … if New Year’s came on a Sunday and the game would be played on the Monday after, which was a holiday,” Park said. “So, people could go to those games. Students could go to those games and get back to campus for class.” The other seven Big Ten teams that competed in postseason play, including OSU, ran a deficit, combining to leave 28,350 tickets unsold. The Iowa Hawkeyes used “about 7,000” of the 11,000 tickets it was allotted for the Insight Bowl, which it played against Oklahoma in Tempe, Ariz., Iowa athletic ticket manager Pam Finke told The Lantern in an email. Illinois reported only 2,600 of the 8,000 tickets it was allocated for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 31 in San Francisco, Calif., were sold. Penn State sold 4,200 tickets for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston in Dallas, Texas, leaving 1,800 unsold. Bud Meredith, director of ticket operations at PSU, pointed to the economic conditions as a possible explanation for poor ticket sales across the conference. “I would link all of it to the economy,” Meredith said. “Even our traveling tour groups were down this year.” Michigan State and Nebraska both played on the Monday holiday after New Year’s, but that didn’t help them sell their full allotment of tickets. The Spartans, which lost the Big Ten Football Championship Game to Wisconsin, 42-39, and posted an 11-3 overall record in 2011-12, sold only 6,500 of 11,500 tickets they were allotted for the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. The Cornhuskers sold only 8,100 of 12,500 tickets for the Capital One Bowl in Orlanda, Fla. “Those two teams especially, that surprised me,” Scarcella said of the Spartans’ and Cornhuskers’ unsold tickets. “Nebraska hasn’t played a bowl game in Florida in a number of years and Michigan State had such a good season that you would think that (their fans) would travel.” Scarcella said the strength of the Big Ten has no relationship to the seats left vacant at bowl games. He pointed to the poor economy and the number of bowl games as the reason for disinterest. “I don’t know if you can paint a brush over every number,” Scarcella said. “I think some of those numbers were probably expected. A lot of the numbers are down for most bowl games, not just in the Big Ten. The market is oversaturated, the economy is not great and unless people have a compelling reason to travel to a game between Christmas and New Year’s, they aren’t going to.” Park agreed. “There’s so many teams in the bowl games now,” he said. “And how many times do we see interim coaches coaching the games because the top coach has either been fired or has left for another job? Things have changed quite a bit. The Big Ten did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment regarding member universities’ unsold bowl tickets. read more

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Commentary Rejoice in the arrival of Big Ten conference play

Big Ten football fans, rejoice! Conference play has arrived and you are on the road to avoiding more national scrutiny about the quality of the league. You know the criticism of which I speak. It’s been a seemingly never-ending cascade of disparagement regarding Big Ten football, how much it has fallen off, etc. Everyone must agree the Big Ten endured a forgettable non-conference portion of the 2012 season, which included: – Then-No. 8-ranked Michigan’s 41-14 loss to then-No. 2-ranked Alabama on Sept. 1 – Penn State’s 24-14 loss to Ohio on Sept. 1 – All three losses to Notre Dame by Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State – Iowa’s 32-31 loss to Central Michigan – Too many other really bad games See, the problem with these non-conference matchups is they provide context. When Alabama trounces Michigan by 27 points, America, and particularly Southeastern Conference fans and media, can begin to quantify the gulf in talent between the SEC’s best and the Big Ten’s perceived best. When Mid-American Conference teams barge into Big Ten country and smack Iowa and Penn State around, that provides even more quantifiable evidence of the Big Ten’s perceived inferiority. Now, those loses and the kind of context they provide is nice for others’ banter and formulating others’ opinions about the quality (or lack of quality) of the Big Ten. It’s really just a bother for the fans and media of Big Ten, though. It’s bothersome, like a gnat or a cramp in your leg after a nice jog. Mercifully, the non-conference schedule is over. Big Ten teams can now beat the crap out of each other and the comparisons will still come at the conference from every direction, but those comparisons will lack the inter-conference context. Heck, Ohio State football could run the table or Wisconsin or Nebraska could end the regular season with one loss. And we’ll know it’s all hollow, but no one else will. You’ve heard the old saying that it’s safer to travel in groups. Well, the Big Ten will proceed in 2012 as a single, self-contained unit in conference play. No outside interferences like Alabama, no context-seeking MAC schools. It’s just us – the Legends and Leaders divisions. Now, it’s all about the dusty, old trophies, the ever-so-fragile reputations of the programs and all the new coaches at Big Ten schools and the, er, improvements they’ve made. Boy, is it ever nice to be back into Big Ten play, and just in time too. Another week of losses perceived to be embarrassing by those wacky pundits and they might write this conference off altogether. Safe and sound in conference play. Whew. read more

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Russell exits early as Ohio State routs Nebraska 8157 with Phil Jackson

Nebraska junior forward Walter Pitchford (35) and OSU senior center Amir Williams (23) compete for a jump ball during a Feb. 26 game at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 81-57. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerWith arguably the greatest basketball coach in recent memory watching courtside, the Ohio State men’s basketball team got back on track at the Schottenstein Center.The Buckeyes (20-8, 9-6) bounced back from back-to-back losses in emphatic fashion, defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 81-57, Thursday night.Playing in OSU’s first home game in more than two weeks, freshman forward Jae’Sean Tate said it felt good to be back in front of a home crowd.“It definitely feels good to be home. It feels like we haven’t been home in forever. But I just think the team buckled down,” he said. “We needed this win and we just came together and started playing Ohio State basketball.”With New York Knicks president Phil Jackson in the house to presumably scout OSU freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, the Buckeyes opened up an 18-point halftime lead on the struggling Cornhuskers (13-15, 5-11) behind contributions from multiple players not named Russell.Tate was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in the opening half, scoring 14 of his career-high 22 points before the break.OSU coach Thad Matta said after the game that Tate’s performance was one of the reasons the Buckeyes were able to coast to victory.“I thought Jae’Sean was terrific. He is that guy who has a mentality … there’s not a selfish bone in him,” Matta said. “The plays that he made were there for him, I thought he took great advantage of them. It excites you to coach a kid like that.”With just three home games left in his Buckeye career, including Thursday night, senior forward Sam Thompson finished with 15 points including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc.Matta said the Buckeyes are a much more dangerous team when Thompson is hitting from deep.“It’s big because he can also get inside the paint. His percentage (from 3-point range) has been a little bit low, but if you look historically throughout his career, he has been 35 (percent) plus,” Matta said. “Hopefully he is kind of hitting his groove just in terms of making shots for us because it definitely opens things up for us.”The Cornhuskers buried back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half but 12 points was as close as the visitors came in the final frame.The story was Russell who, under the microscope of Jackson, shot just 3-of-9 from the floor and with 12:44 remaining in the game, went to the locker room with what appeared to be a cramped hamstring.He emerged from the locker room about four minutes of game time later, but did not return to the floor.Matta said Russell had been sick throughout the week and was suffering from cramps, likely because of the antibiotics he was taking.“(I) could have put him back in the game, but I just said, hey, we had a sizeable lead and thought we’ll just save him and let him get some rest for Sunday night,” Matta said.Russell, despite shooting just 2-of-7 from the field in the first half, tallied five points, five assists and three rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. He finished with 11 points, three rebounds and six assists overall.The Buckeyes jumped out to their big lead at the half in large part because of their accuracy from long range, hitting on 7-of-12 3-pointers to start the game. Nebraska connected on just three of its first 10 attempts from deep.Nebraska coach Tim Miles said he believes OSU’s fast start doomed his team early on.“I thought Ohio State’s start was the key to the game. Their defensive pressure did a good job stopping the ball and then that got us standing around,” he said. “If you’re going to contend here, you can’t get down early.”The Cornhuskers were led by junior guard Terran Petteway, who scored 12 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.The loss for Nebraska is its sixth straight, and came in its first game Miles banned his team from the Cornhusker locker rooms after a 28-point loss at home to Iowa on Sunday.OSU is set to hit the floor again on Sunday against the Purdue Boilermakers at the Schottenstein Center. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. read more

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Football AJ Alexanders career is over

Johnnie Dixon (1) is lifted into the air by A.J. Alexander (88) after Dixon’s touchdown during the second half of the Buckeyes game against Rutgers on Oct. 1. The Buckeyes won 58-0. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorRedshirt sophomore tight end A.J. Alexander’s playing career at Ohio State has come to an end after missing the entire 2017 season due to a knee injury, the university announced Tuesday.Alexander will be placed on a medical scholarship, according to a team release. This means that while he will no longer be on the team, he will still retain a scholarship after having his athletic career end due to an injury.It was revealed Alexander would miss the entire campaign due to season-ending knee surgery in June 2017. He played in all 13 games in 2016 and had four catches for 27 yards.He was expected to take on a bigger role in the 2018 season, following the departure of redshirt senior tight end Marcus Baugh. Ohio State will now need to find its starting tight end next season between redshirt freshmen Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann, redshirt sophomore Rashod Berry, as well as incoming four-star recruit Jeremy Ruckert. Kierre Hawkins, another redshirt freshman tight end, transferred out of the program. read more

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Mens Hockey Ohio State ends season with 20 loss to Denver in

Junior forward Tanner Lacyzinski (9) skates with the puck in the first period of game one during Ohio State’s hockey game vs. Michigan State on March 1. Ohio State won 5-1. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s hockey team’s season is over after losing 2-0 in a low scoring game against Denver in the NCAA West Regional Semifinals.In what was one of the lowest scoring games of the season for the Buckeyes, Ohio State (20-11-5, 13-7-4 Big Ten), a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, was not able to crack the defense of Denver (23-11-5), resulting in its third loss in a row and the end of its season. Ohio State’s head coach Steve Rohlik was upset after what he described as a disappointing end to the season.“We knew the team that’s good first was probably going to get the upper-hand and we certainly had our chances there and it just didn’t work out the way we wanted to,” Rohlik said.The turning point in the match came nearly 40 minutes after the puck drop, when Denver put the first point on the scoreboard with 39.5 seconds left in the second period on a goal by senior defenseman Les Lancaster. Despite Ohio State getting its fourth power play of the match in the third period, the Buckeyes still couldn’t find an opening in Denver’s defense. With 1:30 left in the game, the Buckeyes replaced their goalie with another skater in an attempt to tie the match up and go into overtime. Denver managed to win the faceoff, however, and scored the game-sealing goal with 58.3 seconds to go.Ohio State finished the game outshooting the Pioneers 24-13. Despite the loss, senior forward Mason Jobst was proud of the Buckeyes’ aggressive performance in the first period.“I think going into the game, obviously, we know the style that they were playing and we were playing was going to be mainly defensive and 0-0: that’s what we expected,” Jobst said. “We had the upper hand in shots and we were keeping things simple. After [the first period] I thought we were feeling pretty good.”Senior defenseman Sasha Larocque said it was difficult to comprehend this being his final game in an Ohio State uniform.“We played that Carmen song after every game for the last four years so it was a little bit of a goodbye,” Larocque said. “It’s tough to accept that the best four years of your life are behind you, and you’re never going to throw this jersey on again and play a real game.” read more

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Knotty but nice scientists tie tightest knot ever from string of atoms

first_imgNow the knot has been made, the team can start testing the strength and elasticity and working out how to weave the strands together to generate new types of material.   Describing how the know was made, Prof Leigh added: “We ‘tied’ the molecular knot using a technique called ‘self-assembly’, in which molecular strands are woven around metal ions, forming crossing points in the right places just like in knitting – and the ends of the strands were then fused together by a chemical catalyst to close the loop and form the complete knot.”The eight-crossings molecular knot is the most complex regular woven molecule yet made by scientists.”The research was published in the journal Science. 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 full knot  A material made from the knotted atoms would be tougher and more flexible even than kevlar (left) The full knot Credit:University of Manchester  It could be the most frustrating knot ever created.Scientists have produced the most tightly knotted physical structure ever made, out of loop of 192 atoms.The team from the University of Manchester say it could pave the way for creating ultra-lightweight material which is so impenetrable it could stop a speeding bullet.The knot is made out of 192 iron, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen atoms and is about 20 nanometres long, or  20 millionths of a millimeter.Professor David Leigh, of Manchester’s School of Chemistry, said: “Tying knots is a similar process to weaving so the techniques being developed to tie knots in molecules should also be applicable to the weaving of molecular strands.”For example, bullet-proof vests and body armour are made of kevlar, a plastic that consists of rigid molecular rods aligned in a parallel structure – however, interweaving polymer strands have the potential to create much tougher, lighter and more flexible materials in the same way that weaving threads does in our everyday world.”Some polymers, such as spider silk, can be twice as strong as steel so braiding polymer strands may lead to new generations of light, super-strong and flexible materials for fabrication and construction.” A material made from the knotted atoms would be tougher and more flexible even than kevlar (left)last_img read more

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Regular bedtimes stop children from becoming overweight study finds

first_imgRegular bedtimes stop children from becoming overweight, a study by Ohio State University has found.Eating meals at the same time every day and watching less than half an hour of television a day will also help to stave off obesity later in life, research suggests.Scientists found a link between the daily routines, emotions and weight, while studying the habits of almost 11,000 British children born between 2000 and 2002.Dr Sarah Anderson, an associate professor in Ohio State’s College of Public Health and the lead author of the report, said: “This study provides more evidence that routines for preschool-aged children are associated with their healthy development and could reduce the likelihood that these children will be obese.” Eating meals at the same time every day will also help to stave off obesity later in life, research suggests 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 study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, is the first to look at the connections between early childhood routines and their potential association with weight issues in the pre-teen years.Researchers evaluated three household routines that three-year-old children were exposed to: regular bed time, regular meal times and whether or not parents limited television and video watching to an hour or less daily.All three household routines were associated with better emotional self-regulation, which is a measure of how easily the child becomes frustrated or over-excited. The children with less emotional regulation were more likely to be obese later, according to the study. Eating meals at the same time every day will also help to stave off obesity later in life, research suggestsCredit:Tetra Images / Alamy Children who did not go to bed at a regular time on school nights were more likely to be obese by age 11.  Dr Anderson said: “We saw that children who had the most difficulties with emotion regulation at age three also were more likely to be obese at age 11.” Watching less than half an hour of television a day means you are less likely to become obese, researchers say “This research allows us to better understand how young children’s routines around sleep, meals, and screen time relate to their regulation of emotion and behaviour.”The large, population-based, UK Millennium Cohort Study afforded the opportunity to examine these aspects of children’s lives and how they impact future risk for obesity.””Sleep is so important and it’s important for children in particular. Although there is much that remains unknown about how sleep impacts metabolism, research is increasingly finding connections between obesity and poor sleep.” Watching less than half an hour of television a day means you are less likely to become obese, researchers sayCredit: Andrew Foxlast_img read more

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Grenfell fire Scotland Yard has reasonable grounds to suspect council of corporate

first_img“Gross negligence manslaughter carries a punishment of prison time, and I hope that the police and the CPS are considering charges of manslaughter caused by gross negligence.”Yvette Williams, a co-ordinator at the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group, said the development would help restore trust between the police and the west London community. His comments are likely to fuel mounting frustration among survivors, who have already stated that their scepticism in Sir Martin’s ability to “do us justice”.  Commenting on the investigation, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “This is a complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.”The Met has made a commitment to the families who lost loved ones in the fire and survivors that they will be kept updated, as far as we possibly can, as the investigation continues.”  Mr Lammy, who knew one of the victims of the blaze, said: “I am pleased that justice for Grenfell victims and families is being taken seriously by the Metropolitan Police and the CPS.”But the punishment for corporate manslaughter is a fine. A fine would not represent justice for the Grenfell victims and their families. Suspicion in the authorities has brewed following the fire, with many residents wary about the speed of their investigation.Ms Williams said: “I do think now police have made that statement that trust in the investigation process will grow.”We welcome that there is enough information and evidence to go down the corporate prosecution route for the TMO and RBKC. 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. Meanwhile, Grenfell survivors have called on the chair of the public inquiry, which is running alongside Scotland Yard’s criminal investigation, to bring charges against officials implicated in the disaster.However, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chair of the inquiry, told a meeting gathered at Notting Hill Methodist Church on Wednesday that he had “no power” to bring about prosecutions in relation to the issue of criminal responsibility. And on Wednesday it was revealed that the council had been warned by the Fire Brigades Union in 2010 that building the Kensington Aldridge Academy – a secondary school at the base of Grenfell Tower – would create “huge difficulties” in the event of a fire.Commenting on the logistical difficulties faced by firefighters during the rescue operation, Lucy Masoud, a senior FBU official, said that changes to the area, “including the academy” should be included in the public inquiry. Welcoming the news, Samia Badani, a resident association chair of neighbouring tower block Bramley House said that it would reassure the community amid fears that their concerns were being ignored.New Kensington Council leader Elizabeth Campbell reacts to corporate manslaughter suspicions There are “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and its Tenant Management Organisation committed corporate manslaughter, Scotland Yard announced yesterday.In a letter circulated to survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Force confirmed that officers had notified the council that they may be charged for their role in the blaze which left at least 80 people dead.The Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group said it hoped the statement was a “precursor” to individual arrests, adding: “Any arrests made will be seen by all those affected as tangible evidence that they are valued members of society and are being listened to.”Police do not have the power to arrest individuals under the offence of corporate manslaughter, but someone can face gross negligence manslaughter charges if a death may have been caused by an act or omission on their part.As part of the investigation, which has drafted in experts from the 9/11 terror attack and more than 200 Metropolitan Police officers, senior executives from both organisations will be formally interviewed.The update, which was sent to survivors yesterday afternoon, stated: “We have seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements. “I’m very pleased, I think over the years we have had a very good relationship with local police and the relationship with the council is the opposite,” she said.”We are so bruised in the community that we needed some reassurances so it’s a step forward.”It comes more than a month after David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, accused the council of the offence, with senior executives in both RBKC and TMO resigning in the days that followed over accusations that they ignored a catalogue of warnings over fire safety. Letter sent by Met Letter circulated to Grenfell survivors on Thursday “After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.” “However, what we would like to see running alongside that is individuals being prosecuted.”We want is individuals named and prosecuted – you can have both, but we don’t want corporate manslaughter on its own.”People implement policy, people make decisions, people took particular actions and those people are responsible.”You can’t put corporate organisations in the dock, you put individuals.”last_img read more

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Oxfam sex scandal Now Haiti suspends the charity from working in the

first_imgThe parliamentary hearing and suspension comes in the wake of the news of resignations and dismissals of Oxfam staff in Haiti following allegations of “sex parties” involving prostitutes.On Thursday, Oxfam GB said: “The government of Haiti announced today that it will suspend Oxfam Great Britain’s operation in the country for two months, while it investigates how Oxfam GB handled the case of former staff having paid for sex during the agency’s humanitarian response in 2011. Oxfam GB has been temporarily suspended from operating in Haiti pending an investigation into how the charity handled the case of former staff paying for sex.The aid group said senior members of staff met officials from the Haiti government on Thursday and pledged their commitment to cooperating with the probe.The two-month suspension comes after charity chiefs revealed Oxfam has received 26 allegations of misconduct since the Haiti sex scandal erupted two weeks ago.Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s chief executive, said 16 of the claims stemmed from abroad, while 10 came from the UK.Giving evidence to the Commons International Development Committee earlier this week, Mr Goldring said around 7,000 people have cancelled regular donations to Oxfam over the past 10 days, adding that corporate sponsors appeared to be “reserving judgment”.Mr Goldring publicly apologised for the actions of charity staff who sexually exploited female victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. “Oxfam International Regional Director Simon Ticehurst and Oxfam Intermon Executive Affiliate Unit head Margalida Massot met government officials today and committed to cooperate with their investigation.”Oxfam has apologised to the Haitian government and people for abuses by former staff that occurred in 2011.”Oxfam is committed to putting in place a number of wide-sweeping initiatives to improve its global safeguarding policies and practices, including the establishment of an independent Commission and putting more staff and resources into its safeguarding teams.”Oxfam will continue working on construction and development projects in Haiti, helping people through other affiliate members, but anticipates that Oxfam GB’s temporary suspension will have a significant impact on its work.The charity helps 750,000 people in Haiti. Oxfam’s annual programme budget is 13 million euros, of which Oxfam GB contributes 3.2 million euros.last_img read more

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First footage from inside Grenfell Tower fire shown to inquiry

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry has been played footage of the moment firefighters entered the flat where the deadly inferno began.Crew manager Batterbee and his colleague firefighter Brown, both from the North Kensington station, entered flat 16 on the fourth floor of the west London block by breaking down the door at about 1.07am on June 14 last year. The crew could be seen entering a smoke-clogged corridor and rooting through the flat, before a bright yellow glow can be seen in the kitchen.”The yellow glow that you can see is the fire,” the expert said.Firefighters can be seen spraying liquid at the fire, which was put out in the flat itself at 1.20am. A firefighter opens the door to flat 16 Thermal imaging camera footage was played to the inquiry on Tuesday during a presentation by Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, the director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee, who was explaining the origins of the fire and its spread. Bodycam footage shows the burning cladding Bodycam footage shows the burning cladding 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. A firefighter opens the door to flat 16 A split-screen was used to show mobile phone footage of the flame beginning to spread up the outside of the building at the same time. read more

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Winterwatch goes wild and heads for the Highlands

Ms Edwards admitted that they  would not have any real idea of which animals will star in the show until they began filming in the Scottish wilderness.“So much depends on the type of winter and spring the wildlife has endured,” she said. “Some animals will do amazingly well and some won’t.”The BBC team has experienced snow, hurricanes and balmy temperatures during its previous filming in Scotland.The team will start planning meetings tomorrow (MON) and will begin filming in late December, staking out locations as they work out which animals will provide the best footage.Around 80 people will be involved in producing Winterwatch, including the local partners and wildlife experts who help the BBC team get the best shots.They will work through incredibly long days, starting at 7.30am and filming late into the night as some of the best action occurs after dark. Ms Edwards said: “I’m really excited about it. When you are in one place for a year you get to know the surroundings and the habitats very well, it’s a more immersive experience.”“Around 70 per cent of the area is deemed of international importance so you couldn’t have a better location.”This year was the first time the show based itself in one location for all three seasons, filming the farmland, birds and countryside of Gloucestershire for Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch.Ms Edwards said: “We had never done countryside, we normally do reserves which are managed but we wanted to film in a part of the countryside where anyone can go.”Michaela Strachan said: “I’m so excited to be going to the Cairngorms for Winterwatch. It’s such a stunning place. Full of wildlife, dramatic, wild and very, very cold! The wildlife always delivers from Golden Eagles to Mountain Hares, Wild Cats to Black Grouse, Ptarmigan, Pine Marten, Red Squirrel, Water Vole, Otter. The Highlands have a wonderful diversity of wildlife and habitats. It’s one of those places in the UK where you can really connect with the natural environment.”Chris Packham said: “Scotland – land of the brave, home of the wild and hope for the UK’s wildlife. This is the happening zone in conservation and home to the most amazing diversity of sexy species. I can’t wait”. Snow-covered landscape in the Cairngorms, in the Scottish Highland Winterwatch viewers will be transported directly into the habitats of one of the wildest places in the UK, when the BBC team relocates to the Cairngorms.In a vast contrast to the rolling countryside of the Cotswolds, where the show was based throughout 2018, producers are hoping to capture the residents of Scotland’s snow-capped mountains, ancient forests, raging rivers and deep, silent lochs.Presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke will host the next series of the show in the depths of winter in one of the toughest places in the country for animals, watching as they adapt to get through this toughest of seasons.Rosemary Edwards, the executive producer, told the Sunday Telegraph: “We wanted to do something completely different. We wanted to go as wild as we could in the UK. A lot of people don’t know how wild parts of Scotland are and to me, this is one of the wildest places you can visit in the UK.“It’s so remote, it’s in the mountainous region, surrounded by the largest amount of pine forests dating back almost to the the Ice Age, the landscape is epic. It’s very, very different to last year and we have never spent a year in the wild.” Snow-covered landscape in the Cairngorms, in the Scottish HighlandCredit:PA Two wildlife cameramen with long lenses will bury themselves in hides around the clock while two or three camera will be placed in habitats and monitored 24 hours a day by a team of young zoologists and filmmakers working in shifts who hit record the moment there is any action.The team will be on location for around a week before the four days of live shows. Gillian Burke said: “I cannot wait to get going and bring the best of British wildlife from our new home in the Cairngorms! Brace yourselves for a truly wild Winterwatch!” 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. read more

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