Clemson 9-013667%67%17% Navy 7-1—155419%<1%<1% Oklahoma St. 9-01441337%23%5% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Florida State 7-21624170%<1%<1% Toledo 7-12440539%<1%<1% TCU 8-1812310%11%4% Stanford 8-11151152%26%5% Notre Dame 8-1569—30%7% Michigan 7-217201613%6%1% RankingProbability of … Texas A&M 6-3194923<1%<1%<1% UCLA 7-22321186%3%<1% Oklahoma 8-11514119%17%7% Ohio State 9-032544%57%15% Temple 8-122283943%<1%<1% Florida 8-110101438%19%3% LSU 7-129814%15%4% Memphis 8-11331453%<1%<1% Last season’s first-ever College Football Playoff might have miscalibrated everyone’s sense of what it takes to make it to the final four. Six power conference champions or co-champions1Thanks to a dubious decision by the Big 12. — Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon and TCU — were undefeated or had one loss against reasonably good schedules. There’s plenty of room to critique how the committee went about leaving Baylor and TCU out, but there was no one inherently correct way to slot six fairly equally matched teams into four playoff positions.But a field as crowded and qualified as last year’s was atypical. Most of the time there are a couple of teams that are weak links: a three-loss conference champion here, a one-loss team that played an incredibly weak schedule there. A mess like last year’s isn’t impossible, obviously. But usually the knot will untangle itself through conference championships, rivalry games and upsets that knock teams out late in the season.So don’t despair, Michigan State fans. (Of which I’m one.) Yeah, you probably lost on a bad call last weekend. But you’re still highly likely to make the playoff if your team wins all of its remaining games, in which case you’ll have defeated Ohio State and (probably) Iowa in the Big Ten championship. Pretty much every one-loss team from a power conference is more likely than not to make the playoff if it wins out.And an undefeated power conference team like Oklahoma State shouldn’t fret, even if it is currently outside the committee’s top four. Some of the teams ranked in front of it are almost certain to lose — and even if they don’t, there’s a good chance Oklahoma State will leapfrog some one-loss teams if it keeps winning.Our subjective perceptions of the playoff picture aren’t the only thing that may be miscalibrated, though. The same could be said about the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model. At least, that’s the conclusion we came to when we were conducting research for this article. Although the model seems to give basically reasonable answers, a couple of things left us scratching our heads when we examined it more deeply.For instance, it posited a conspicuously large gap between Iowa’s chance of winning the Big Ten championship (27 percent) and making the playoff (8 percent). Iowa is undefeated, and while it’s possible they could win the Big Ten with one loss or more, the internal calculations in the model also implied that they’d have only about a 55 percent chance of making the playoff even if they ran their record to 13-0. One can see why a computer might come to that conclusion — Iowa has played a pretty bad schedule, and its margin of victory hasn’t been impressive — but human beings are going to vote an undefeated Big Ten champion into the playoff unless almost everything else2For instance, incredibly strong contenders from the other power conferences. is working against them.Readers had some questions for us too. Why was USC, which already has three losses, given any realistic chance by the model (granted, it was just 4 percent) of making the playoff? And why was one-loss Alabama’s chance of making the playoff so much higher than its SEC championship chances? There are some good reasons for that one,3In particular, if both Alabama and Mississippi had won out, Alabama would have lost the tiebreaker in the SEC West and missed the SEC championship game. The model inferred, correctly I think, that a one-loss Alabama team probably would still have made the playoff (perhaps along with a second SEC team) under those circumstances. This became a moot point when Mississippi was spectacularly upset by Arkansas. but even accounting for those, the gap seemed to be too wide and the model seemed to be too optimistic about Alabama still making the playoff if it endured a second loss.The theme here is that human beings pay a lot of attention to wins and losses — more than our computer seemed to be doing. An undefeated power conference team is going to get in except under rare circumstances. Two-loss power conference teams have historically finished in the AP top four more often than you might think, but it’s still a hard road. And a three-loss team making the playoff? Almost impossible unless there’s total carnage everywhere else.Since the whole point of our model is to mimic human intuition, reader feedback made us think it had some blind spots. So we re-examined the historical data4Since the playoff selection committee is only one year old, this also includes the behavior of the coaches’ poll since 2002. and concluded that our model should be placing more weight on plain-vanilla wins and losses. Or at least, it should be doing so for power conference teams (and for Notre Dame); minor conference teams historically haven’t been treated that kindly by either poll voters or the committee. Even if the committee currently ranks a one-loss team ahead of an undefeated team, or a two-loss team ahead of a one-loss team, it may re-examine the case in future weeks, and the team with fewer losses will often get the benefit of the doubt. (For a more technical explanation of how this is implemented in the model, see the footnotes.5One change we introduced earlier to the model is that it reverts the projected committee standings each week toward a team’s Elo rating. Elo ratings are a fairly simple method that often correspond pretty well with human judgment in ranking sports teams. But there’s an even simpler method: a rating based solely on a team’s win-loss record and whether it plays in a power conference. The new version of the model reverts a team’s ranking based on a combination of its Elo rating and its win-loss record, instead of its Elo rating alone.)This relatively simple change has little impact for most teams, but it does affect a couple of the cases that had bothered us (and some of our loyal readers). Iowa’s chances of making the playoff are now 18 percent instead of 8 percent. Alabama’s are 42 percent instead of 54 percent. USC’s are 1 percent6USC has a decent chance of winning the Pac-12 championship, but it would take a perfect storm of circumstances to get them into the playoff even if they did. instead of 4 percent. Here’s how everyone’s odds were affected by the change: Utah 8-112112122%12%2% Mississippi 7-31826109%<1%<1% Northwestern 7-2212961<1%<1%<1% Houston 9-025223633%2%<1% Wisconsin 8-2—17243%<1%<1% But back to football substance. I mentioned before how lots of teams, even if they don’t technically control their own destiny,7No team controls its own destiny, technically, since there are no guaranteed bids in the playoff. are favored to make the playoff if they win the rest of their games. Now that the model is (hopefully) doing a better job of mimicking the emphasis that human voters place on wins and losses, we can be more precise about that. Specifically, the model estimates that 14 teams have a 50 percent or greater likelihood of making the playoff conditional on winning out.The model figures that Michigan State, for instance, has an 86 percent chance of making the playoff if it wins out. Even the lowliest one-loss major conference team, North Carolina, which wasn’t ranked by the committee last week, is about even-money to make the playoff if it wins out. And undefeated Iowa (91 percent) and Oklahoma State (97 percent) are all but assured of making the playoff if they finish the year without a loss, even if the committee doesn’t have them in the top four tonight. Mississippi St. 7-22016153%3%<1% North Carolina 8-1—182030%5%<1% And here’s a new summary table showing the playoff picture heading into tonight, when the playoff committee will release its new rankings at 7 p.m. Undefeated Baylor has moved slightly ahead of one-loss Notre Dame in our forecast, but otherwise the top six are unchanged. USC 6-3—19719%1%<1% Baylor 8-067234%32%12% College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 3. Michigan St. 8-1782212%10%1% Iowa 9-09132927%18%2% Alabama 8-141435%42%12% So the tough part for teams like Michigan State isn’t sweating the committee’s decision if it wins the Big Ten; it’s getting to that point in the first place. With Ohio State and Iowa still in the way; the Spartans have only an 11 percent chance of running the table.
SeasonMorey+ score During that 2016-17 season, though, five other teams exceeded the Moreyball Rate of the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors, who had the highest non-Rockets Moreyball Rate of any team from 2012 through 2016. That incredible jump from one-sixth of the league foreshadowed what has happened since: The league’s Moreyball Rate has been rising far faster than it did during the McHale years, meaning that the Rockets’ math advantage is once again shrinking, through no fault of their own offensive priorities.While the average Moreyball Rate jumped only 3.7 percentage points from 2012 (58.1 percent) through 2016 (60.8 percent), it has rocketed (pun very much intended) all the way up to 68.3 percent in 2019. That’s a jump of 7.5 percentage points in just three seasons, compared with the four it took to erase a smaller advantage for the previous incarnation of the Rockets. And at the same time that the NBA’s average Moreyball Rate has shot through the roof, the Rockets themselves have once again stalled out. They appear to have hit a ceiling in terms of how many of their shots can really be taken from the most efficient areas of the floor.Houston’s sky-high Moreyball Rates during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons helped them to two of the most efficient offensive seasons in NBA history. During that 2016-17 campaign, the Rockets registered the 10th-best offensive efficiency in NBA history, per Basketball-Reference. During the 2017-18 season, they posted the 11th-best offensive efficiency in history. And during both seasons, the Rockets led the NBA in Moreyball Rate by a healthy margin, even while the league as a whole was catching up.This year, however, they don’t even lead the league in Moreyball Rate, marking the first time since the 2011-12 campaign that they’ve fallen out of first place. (They’ve been passed by Mike Budenholzer’s Milwaukee Bucks, who are at 82.6 percent, the highest figure that can be gleaned from the shot location data in NBA.com’s database, which reaches back to the 1996-97 season.) Amazingly, Houston’s Morey+ this season has already dropped below where it was during the 2015-16 season that inspired Morey to bring in D’Antoni in the first place. And even while they’ve cleaned up their defense a bit these past two years, the rate at which leaguewide Moreyball Rates are spiking has left their Moreyball Advantage at the lowest point it’s been in years.It seems unlikely that other NBA teams will simply stop pursuing shots from the Moreyball areas of the floor, so the league average will presumably continue to rise — if not necessarily at quite the rate it has these past few years. And with the Rockets having seemingly maxed out their own Moreyball Rates in the low 80s, it looks like the best way for them to regain the sky-high Moreyball Advantage they had in the early 2010s is by engineering their defense so that opponents simply can’t access the most efficient areas of the floor. But that’s also what every other team in the league has been trying to do to the Rockets for years, and as they’ve been showing us for quite some time now, it’s easier said than done. 2013-14124.8– Winners of five straight games, the Houston Rockets nudged their record back up to their season-high mark of two games over .500 (16-14) with a blowout win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, during which they set an NBA record by making 26 3-pointers. Despite this hot streak, however, it’s still fair to say that the Rockets have not performed as expected thus far this season. When searching for reasons why that might be the case, the focus has often been on their inability to replicate last season’s switch-happy defense or the early-season injuries and suspensions they had to weather or their general offensive malaise. (If ranking fifth in offensive efficiency can be described as a malaise.) But the root of Houston’s issues may actually just be that the rest of the league is increasingly subscribing to Houston’s core beliefs, which has eaten into the team’s math advantage.To fully understand what that means and how that’s happened, we need to back up a bit. Daryl Morey has been the general manager of the Rockets since 2007, but it wasn’t until the 2012-13 season that the purest form of Morey’s basketball philosophies truly began to shine through on the floor.Coming off three consecutive non-playoff seasons and having just traded for James Harden, the Rockets re-engineered their offense to play not only to their new star’s strengths, but also to The Math. It was during that season that the Rockets began their maniacal pursuit of the most efficient shot on every single possession, turning their collective backs on years of NBA tradition by eschewing the lost art of the mid-range jumper whenever possible in favor of attempts either at the rim or behind the three-point line.It’s easy to see the benefits of that offensive strategy now — six years after the Rockets took it to what then seemed like its logical extreme — but at the time, it was not yet really accepted that this was a healthy way to construct an offense. Not everybody believed in The Math. The Rockets did, however, and they did to a degree that was then unheard of in league history.During that 2012-13 campaign, the Rockets attempted 73.6 percent of their shots from either the restricted area or three-point range, per NBA.com. (For the balance of this piece, we’ll refer to this percentage as a team’s “Moreyball Rate,” in keeping with certain segments of the basketball analytics community.) The next closest team was the Denver Nuggets at 67.4 percent, while the average NBA team had a Moreyball Rate of 57.1 percent. 2018-19119.8– * A rating where 100 equals the NBA average and every point above or below 100 equals a one percent change (up or down). 2017-18126.1– 2015-16120.1– Morey+ score* for the Houston Rockets 2016-17128.8– 2014-15125.3– 2012-13129.1– By attempting so many more of their shots from the most efficient areas of the floor than any other team, the Rockets created for themselves a healthy math advantage. Through shot selection alone, they essentially began each game with a small lead that their opponents needed to erase in addition to out-scoring them over the course of 48 minutes in order to win the game.For the next three seasons under Kevin McHale, however, the Rockets’ Moreyball Rate stayed fairly stagnant. They still led the NBA in Moreyball Rate during each of those seasons, but they did so with rates that hovered between 72.6 and 73.8 percent. At the same time, the league average Moreyball Rate crept upward, eating into the Rockets’ math advantage and, by extension, that small de facto lead with which they began every game.This is perhaps best exemplified by scaling their Moreyball Rate against the league average. Fans familiar with baseball statistics like OPS+ will recognize this formula: The NBA average Moreyball Rate is given a score of 100, while a team whose Moreyball Rate is 10 percent better than league average receives a Morey+ score of 110, and a team whose Moreyball Rate is 10 percent worse than league average receives a Morey+ score of 90. So, in a world where the league average Moreyball Rate is 50 percent, a team with a 55 percent Moreyball Rate has a Morey+ of 110, while a team with a 45 percent Moreyball Rate has a Morey+ of 90.Using the same formula, we can calculate that during the 2012-13 season when the Rockets had a Moreyball Rate of 73.6 percent against a league average of 57.1 percent, they had a Morey+ of 129.1, meaning they attempted shots in the restricted area or from three-point territory at a rate 29.1 percent higher than that of the average NBA team. That is a ridiculously high mark. But it was also essentially the high-water mark for the McHale-era Rockets, whose Morey+ plummeted over the next few seasons, though not through any offensive fault of their own.At the same time the Rockets’ math advantage on offense was shrinking, the same thing was happening on the defensive end of the court. During that 2012-13 campaign, the Rockets did an excellent job of limiting their opponents’ attempts from the Moreyball areas of the floor. Slowly but surely, however, they ended up yielding better and better shots, and their opponents’ Moreyball Rate crept upward at an even faster rate than the league average.The decline of the Rockets’ math advantage during that time looks even starker when pitting their offense and defense against each other. At the same time as they were shooting 29.1 percent more often from Moreyball areas than the average team in 2012-13, they were forcing opponents to shoot from those areas 3.2 percent less often than the average squad. Add those two numbers up, and the Rockets had a Moreyball Advantage of 32.2 points during that season. By the time they got to the 2015-16 campaign, however, their Moreyball Advantage had been cut by more than half (to 13.8 points).During those four years, the Rockets were the only team to have a Moreyball Rate above 68.8 percent, but the average team still gained steadily gained on them, and their ability to prevent their own opponents from getting to Moreyball areas declined as well. And it was then that Morey decided to hire Mike D’Antoni. Because if the Rockets couldn’t stop the rest of the league from following their lead in following The Math, then the next-best option was for them to take The Math to new heights.In D’Antoni’s first season, the Rockets had a Moreyball Rate of 81.8 percent, blasting the previous league highs they’d set over the prior few seasons. That 81.8 percent figure was, obviously, the highest in the NBA by far, making it the fifth consecutive season during which the Rockets led the league. Crucially, that rate bumped their Morey+ all the way back up to 128.8 — almost all the way back to where it was during that 2012-13 campaign, when the Rockets first began truly orienting their offense around The Math.
Patrick Klein calls out a play from the sideline during an OSU basketball game. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsPatrick Klein didn’t quite get the introduction to basketball that he expected. He wished to become a walk-on player as an Ohio State student, but things changed quickly.“I left my dorm and my friends were wishing me luck,” Klein said. “I came back and said ‘Hey, I made it, but the women’s practice team.’”Even though the position was not what he had originally envisioned, Klein rolled with the punches and quickly began working his way up the ranks of women’s college basketball, recently leading to a promotion to associate head coach of the OSU women’s basketball team.By the time he graduated from OSU in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Klein — a native of Belpre, Ohio — served as a student manager for the women’s basketball team from 2004-2005.Upon earning his undergraduate degree, Klein stayed at OSU as a graduate assistant under former head coach Jim Foster from 2005-2007.Klein then moved on to the University of Illinois, where he was an assistant coach from 2008 to 2010. For the 2011-2012 season, he returned to OSU, where he spent the next five seasons as an assistant coach.“For them to make that job title for me, it was an honor,” Klein said.Although he is appreciative of the promotion, Klein has never been caught up with labels.“When you work with great people, it’s not about the titles,” Klein said. “It’s just about every day working together for that common goal.”Despite the new title, Klein’s duties for the team remain the same. He will continue to be a key contributor in the recruiting process, provide detailed analysis on OSU and its opponents and will continue to push his agenda of proving OSU has a top women’s college basketball program“One of the big things for us here is being the best, the absolute best at developing young people,” Klein said. “In order to be the best, you have to really have the opportunity to focus on the details every single day.”Coach Kevin McGuff has had Klein as an assistant coach in his first three years at OSU.“He’s done a great job since he’s been here,” McGuff said. “He’s really helped us develop the program.”Off the court, Klein has helped bring in several highly rated recruiting classes for the Buckeyes.“Really, he’s been impactful on all of the recruits that we have gotten here,” McGuff said. “He’s very much a people person and he’s got great organization skills.”Klein also helped aid the club’s scoring spike in the 2015-2016 season, when OSU scored 86 points per game to set a new school record.“I think it’s just trying to execute coach McGuff’s vision, it’s trying to play really fast and aggressive,” Klein said. “We have great players out there that play hard and create an environment where both defense and offense creates points.”Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, Klein said he is excited to see this year’s group take the floor.“Not only from a talent standpoint, but just the chemistry and how our team has grown together. I think that makes us really special,” Klein said. “When we’re playing the schedule that we’re playing — South Carolina, Miami, UConn — these are teams that you have to be totally focused and you have to continue to be prepared. Everybody’s role is going to be important this year.”As for his coaching future, Klein isn’t in any rush to move on from his current role with the Buckeyes.“Any time that you can coach at your alma mater, it’s a really special thing.” Klein said. “I have one of the best jobs in women’s college basketball.”
OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) rushes upfield with his teammates during their game against Michigan on Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 30-27. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorJunior H-back Curtis Samuel has decided to enter the NFL draft, forgoing his final season at Ohio State. Samuel’s decision was arguably the most important one of any players who could have declared early.The news was first reported by Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.com, then confirmed later by Samuel on Twitter.Samuel was the glue to OSU’s offense in 2016. The do-it-all running back/wide receiver was perhaps coach Urban Meyer’s closest replica of the production he witnessed from Percy Harvin at Florida. Samuel accumulated 771 rushing yards and 865 receiving yards with 15 total touchdowns.The Brooklyn, New York, native was the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision with more than 700 yards both receiving and rushing.OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett will be without his top two targets, Samuel and Noah Brown, in 2017. The departure of Samuel could lead to a starting role for freshman running back Demario McCall, who provides a speedy threat both out of the backfield and on routes.Samuel is currently ranked as the fourth overall wide receiver and sixth best running back in this year’s NFL draft according to WalterFootball.com. He will most likely be a first or second round selection.#Gobucks pic.twitter.com/5U8guwNMn7— Curtis Samuel (@CurtisSamuel4__) January 9, 2017
Ohio State football was banned from the postseason, but you can’t say the Buckeyes didn’t make progress during college football’s bowl season. OSU grabbed two coveted recruits at the linebacker position during weekend all-star games to add to a 2013 recruiting class ranked No. 3 in America by Rivals.com. The two commits fill an area of need for coach Urban Meyer’s 2013 class, which lost linebacker Alex Anzalone to Notre Dame in May. Starting linebackers Zach Boren and Etienne Sabino will be lost to graduation, leaving sophomore Ryan Shazier as the only returning starter at the position. OSU gobbled up four-star linebacker recruit Mike Mitchell of Plano, Texas, late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Mitchell, of Prestonwood Christian Academy, boasts a 6-foot-4, 216-pound frame and was ranked the third-best player in talent-rich Texas, according to Rivals.com. The weekend’s first piece of good recruiting news for OSU came Friday during the Under Armour All-American Game when four-star linebacker Trey Johnson of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Central Gwinnett High School donned an OSU ball cap to announce his decision to join Meyer’s 2013 recruiting class. Johnson stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs in at 221 pounds, according to Rivals.com. The verbal commitments from Mitchell and Johnson bring the total number of four-star players in the Buckeyes’ 2013 class to 14, according to Rivals.com. Only Notre Dame and Alabama, respectively, have classes ranked higher than OSU’s. Verbal commitments are something of an appetizer in the world of college football, with the main course coming on National Signing Day, which falls on Feb. 6. Recruits are able to put pen to paper on that day and make their commitment to a given program binding.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is greeted at home by Andrew McCutchen after hitting a three-run homer against the New York Mets on May 24, 2015, at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.Credit: Courtesy of TNSAs the summer has heated up, so too has the playoff race in Major League Baseball.Teams have now gone through the July 31 trade deadline, are tweaking their 25-man rosters for their playoff pushes, and are looking at players who clear the waivers until Aug. 31 (most notably being Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes). These teams will be looking to get the right formula to make a strong run at the playoffs to be one of the 10 teams with a chance at obtaining the coveted World Series trophy.At this point, teams are either all in or looking at what they can manage out of this year. There are just five spots in each league to make the playoffs and only two ways to get in: winning a division crown or wild card.This year has shown us that the game of baseball can be very strange at times. For example, at this moment the best five teams, by record in order, are: the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. The National League has four of these teams, with all but Kansas City. Three of these teams are even in the same division with St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago all being from the National League Central.In the National League, if the playoffs started today the top seed would be the Cardinals, the No. 2 seed would be the Dodgers, the No. 3 seed would be the New York Mets and the Pirates would host the Cubs for the wild card game. The winner of the wild card game would move on to face St. Louis in the divisional round, with whoever winning that series meeting either the Mets or Dodgers in the National League Championship Series and a chance to play for the World Series.Going back to how baseball this year is strange, look at the third- and fourth-best teams in baseball. Both would get a wild card, and the fourth-best team even has to go on the road. Look a little closer at it, though.The best team in baseball also gets shorted due to having to play either the third- or fourth-best team in the division series. When playing a wild card, you expect it to at least be worse than most of the division winners. In the National League, bizarrely, both of the wild cards are better than the leaders of the National League East and West divisions.The Dodgers and Mets are looking to win their divisions with weaker teams, meaning they need one fewer game to play to advance to the NLCS than the better-record wild-card teams. This is only in the National League, and we haven’t even talked about the defending World Series champion, the San Francisco Giants, who are a handful of games out of the second wild card.The National League has a lot of other storylines as well, with the other two division races.The East has been between the Washington Nationals and the Mets all year. The Mets have taken over at this point, but if the Nationals can string some victories together they can make a run for it. Plus these teams still have six games remaining on the schedule against the other.The National League West is having a very typical year as of recent. The Dodgers lead the division, but only by a couple of games over the Giants. These two have been going at it all season; both teams have the right pieces to make a late-September run. These two teams have seven games left against each other.The American League may not have as many teams in the top five, but they do have some good storylines, too. Kansas City starts it off by running away with the best record in the league, as well as in the American League Central. The American League East, which started out the year as the “American League Least,” has come into form with New York Yankees leading the Toronto Blue Jays by a shred of a game. They also have seven games left between one another. The American League West is slowly turning into the most talked about division in the league. The West features the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels in a back-and-forth battle this summer. Houston sits atop right now with a slight lead over the Angels.This season still has a lot to offer with October baseball just around the corner. Teams that might be viewed as a non-contender at the moment could go on a surprising run all the way to and through the playoffs. As we work our way into September and the air gets a little colder, look for MLB to be heating up into the 2015 playoffs.
Urban Meyer paces during a Buckeye offensive possession from the sideline in the third quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 55-24. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State could be given $500,000 to spend in its investigation into how football head coach Urban Meyer handled the domestic abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, according to Columbus Dispatch reporter Jenn Smola.According to the report, Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine has given Ohio State a budget of $500,000 to spend on the law firm handling the investigation. That budget will require approval from the Ohio Controlling Board on Monday. The report goes on to say that Ohio State cannot exceed a $1,620 per hour rate.Ohio State will be responsible for compensating the law firm, Debevoise and Plimpton, when the investigation has concluded, the report said.According to a statement issued by the university on August 5, an independent group will complete its investigation in 14 days. That group is chaired by former Ohio House speaker Jo Ann Davidson and is responsible for directing the work of the investigative team led by former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White. She is also the senior chair for the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton.
Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa coaches his unit at a fall practice on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorPASADENA, Calif. — Ryan Day is focused on the Rose Bowl. Although Day has not been shy in expressing his feelings towards taking the Ohio State head coaching job after his stint as offensive coordinator for the past two seasons under head coach Urban Meyer, the current offensive coordinator would not disclose the specifics of the position, the decisions he will make after he officially takes the job on Jan. 2. He has not disclosed information regarding his coaching staff for the 2019 season other than taking the interim tag off wide receivers coach Brian Hartline on Dec. 8. “Right now it’s all about winning this game,” Day said. “It’s on us right now. That’s where the focus is.” Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa is one of the position coaches seemingly in limbo, not knowing whether his contract will be retained when Day officially takes over. Studrawa has a similar story to many other coaches on the roster, including defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and linebackers coach Billy Davis. After leaving the offensive line coaching job at Maryland in 2015, Studrawa joined the Ohio State staff because of a close friend: Meyer. “I’m going to miss him, obviously, because we are friends,” Studrawa said. “I came back to coach for him and obviously that is a part of our relationship that I am going to miss, seeing him every day and doing those things.” Studrawa knows his job is in flux, something he said is part of the business. He said he has to focus on his current job: getting his offensive line ready for its Rose Bowl matchup with Washington on Tuesday. However, Studrawa said he has been given no indication that he would be losing his position after the leadership change from Day. He and Day have discussed plans for the future on the offensive line, significant plans that are vital for success of the line in 2019. “We’ve had discussions of when we get back, what is going to happen with the line, how are we going to get this thing moving forward,” Studrawa said. “Those things, we have talked about a plan with him being the boss.”And one of those plans has begun being implemented in bowl practice. If junior Michael Jordan returns to Ohio State for his final season of eligibility, he said Saturday he wants to return to left guard, the initial position he held with Ohio State and was an All-American for before moving to center. With Jordan back at his original position, Day and Studrawa told redshirt freshman Josh Myers he would be the leading candidate for the starting center position heading into the 2019 season. To Myers, it’s an honor to be considered for this position, following in the footsteps of who he considered to be elite guard-turned-centers: Jordan, Pat Elflein and Billy Price. As a converted center himself, Myers said it takes a level of experience, a level of confidence and vocal leadership to take charge of the position in the middle of the offensive line. Even though he may be the favorite for the position heading into 2019, he said job security is no guarantee. “It’s something I will still have to fight for,” Myers said. “I understand that it’s not going to be a position given to me. It’s an elite position with a lot of really good players that have been there in the past. It’s something I have to go win for myself. It’s not given and I understand that.” That is a recent history Studrawa was there for, molding Price, molding Elflein into two Rimington Award winners, two NFL-caliber centers after spending three years at guard. He helped Jordan, even though he is moving back to his original position next season, to have an All-American season in the middle. This was something Studrawa mentioned when talking about his own job security, talking about how Ohio State held a top-ranked offense and had All-Conference players on his line. Studrawa knows football is a business. He knows that it’s Day’s decision to make. But, at this point, Studrawa is going to continue to coach the offensive line, preparing his unit for the 2019 season. “It’s unbelievable, but you know what? That’s part of this business, everybody understands it, you know, and you hope that you’ve done a good enough job and you’ve got the proof in the pudding, and that the guy wants you on his staff,” Studrawa said. “I’ve got no indications otherwise, so I’m looking forward to getting the guys ready to play this game.”
Ohio State then-freshman pitcher Morgan Ray (6) throws a pitch during a game against Maryland on March 26. Credit: Gabriella DiGiovanni | Lantern photographerThe Ohio State softball team (18-9, 3-0 Big Ten) blanked Indiana (25-9, 0-3 Big Ten) in the final game 2-0, sweeping the three-game series against the Hoosiers. Senior pitcher Morgan Ray recorded a complete game, striking out five while allowing two hits in seven innings pitched. Ray complimented the play of sophomore catcher Claire Nicholson in her seventh complete game of the season. “Claire did awesome behind the plate today,” Ray said. “I can’t do it without her.”Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said Ray is a true competitor and a great model for the rest of the team, getting better every day. The game tied at zero until the fourth inning when senior second baseman Emily Clark doubled down the left field line, scoring senior shortstop Lilli Piper and giving the Buckeyes the lead. Freshman right fielder Kaitlyn Coffman singled up the middle, brought Clark in and extended the lead to 2-0 for Ohio State.After losing three games against Indiana this past year, Schonely said this was a big series for Ohio State. “This is like one of the most rewarding series,” Schoenly said. “It’s great to see the kids put all together. They deserve all the credit. They did all the work. I am super proud of them.”Ohio State will next take on Kentucky on the road Wednesday at 5 p.m.
The operation, led by Immigration Enforcement, took place from November 27 to December 3 and saw officers visit more than 280 businesses across the UK.The majority of the 97 people arrested were Vietnamese nationals, but the number also included suspected immigration offenders from Mongolia, Ghana, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and India.Those who are potential victims of trafficking will be offered support, while those who have no right to be in the UK will be removed, the Home Office said.Officers also issued notices to 68 businesses warning them they may be liable for financial penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found if they cannot provide evidence that appropriate right to work document checks were carried out.Fourteen people were referred to the National Referral Mechanism hub, which supports those identified as possible victims of slavery and human trafficking.Operation Magnify is an initiative aiming to tackle exploitative employers who provide low-paid jobs to illegal migrants.It focused on the construction, care, cleaning, catering, taxi and car wash industries during 2016, with further activity in similar sectors planned for 2017. Scores of people were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences in a crackdown on alleged illegal working in nail bars.A total of 97 people were held during the week-long operation launched at the end of last month.It also saw dozens of businesses warned they could face fines and 14 people identified as potentially being at risk of modern slavery.The activity was part of Operation Magnify, a cross-government drive to clamp down on illegal working by targeting specific “risk” industries. Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “This operation sends a strong message to those employers who ruthlessly seek to exploit vulnerable people and wilfully abuse our immigration laws.”Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society.”This Government has taken world-leading action to tackle it by introducing the Modern Slavery Act, giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need and increasing support and protection for victims.”At the same time, we have also introduced strong measures through the Immigration Act to tackle illegal working, including making it easier to prosecute employers who repeatedly break the rules and creating the power to temporarily close businesses that do not comply with the law.” Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our societyRobert Goodwill 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.
In November a report by the Commons health select committee warned that A&E departments need at least 8,000 doctors – 50 per cent more than the 5,300 currently employed – to keep pace with the rise in emergency admissions in the last five years.Across the country, latest figures show levels of bed-blocking have risen by more than 40 per cent in a year, with more than 450 patients left to endure trolley waits of more than 12 hours in A&E. Health officials said the figures for November reflected “pressures in social care” with just 88.4 per cent of casualty patients seen within four hours, against a target of 95 per cent. The data from NHS England follows warnings from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Nursing that the NHS is now experiencing its worst ever winter crisis.The research for England highlights acute problems with delayed discharges – where patients are medically fit to leave hospital but are stuck in beds due to problems arranging care in the community. Most of the trusts needed around 10 to 12 “middle grade” doctors, but only had two or three. “They’re very reliant on locums,” he said. Such medics are junior doctors, who have finished basic training but are still learning specialist skills and have yet to qualify as a consultant. Mr Foster, who was formerly Department of Health director of of human resources, said the plans could form part of a national recruitment exercise.”We are talking about the possibility of getting 200 [trainees] from India and the same number from Pakistan,” he said. Hospitals report this affects their ability to quickly admit emergency A&E patients, so the NHS is working closely with local councils and community health services to enable older patients to get the support they need after a hospital stay, back at homeMatthew Swindells, NHS England NHS England has warned the health system is under strainCredit:Lynne Cameron/PA Wire The head of the NHS could risk his job unless he “calms” things down following his row about healthcare funding with Theresa May, senior Government sources say.The remarks will increase pressure on Simon Stevens, who technically does not have to report to ministers as chief executive of the NHS in England.Mr Stevens is at loggerheads with the Prime Minister amid a mounting crisis in Accident & Emergency units.On Wednesday the NHS chief executive said Mrs May was “stretching it” to say that the NHS had been given more money than it asked for and said the NHS had been given less than it needed. The source said the Government considered Mr Stevens was doing a good job running the NHS. But the source went on to say that Mr Stevens was only secure in the long term “as long as things calm down”.The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was forced to tell reporters in Westminster that Mrs May had full confidence in Mr Stevens for the second consecutive day.Nick MacPherson, the former Treasury permanent secretary, also stepped into the row, writing on Twitter: “Simon Stevens [is] a good guy but he should not determine health spending. NHS bottomless pit. Money should be linked to reform.”Stephen Dorrell, the chairman of the NHS Confederation, backed Mr Stevens, telling The Telegraph: “He is obviously a Cameron appointee, he has widespread respect. We should be looking at the evidence of what is happening. Simon is not saying ‘it is all impossible’. “What he is saying is that if we don’t invest particularly in social care but in a range of public services, and if the health service ends up as the only place where the light is on, then it won’t meet the demands being placed upon it.”As head of NHS England, an arms-length body, set up under the Coalition, Mr Stevens does not report directly to ministers, but to the organisation’s chairman, Sir Malcolm Grant. But any further withdrawal of Government support could make it difficult for him to continue in the role, which depends on close working with ministers. The tensions come amid a deepening crisis in A&E units. New figures show high rates of norovirus – which is 77 per cent higher than last year – and a sharp rise in flu.The official statistics show that last week there were 18.8 cases of flu per 100,000 people, compared with 12 per 100,000 the week before.Health officials say hundreds of doctors may be drafted in from India and Pakistan to plug the spiralling crisis.The scheme will start in Greater Manchester, with 20 medics due to be flown from India this year for up to three years.The region’s eight Accident & Emergency departments have been under severe strain in recent weeks amid staffing shortages.Officials behind the plans said the scheme, backed by Health Education England, could be expanded in respond to widespread shortages of A&E doctors across the country.The project is being run by the Greater Manchester devolution team and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust.Andrew Foster, trust chief executive told Health Service Journal said the region’s A&E departments were now “very reliant on locums.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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Explosive new evidence has emerged over claims that thousands of children suffered birth defects after their mothers took a controversial pregnancy-testing drug.Hundreds of families have for years been battling for compensation over claims the hormone-based drug Primodos led to their children suffering severe deformities and serious health problems.Until now, campaigners have failed to establish a causal link between the drug prescribed by GPs during the Sixties and Seventies and the birth defects. But the discovery of thousands of pages of previously unseen documents has given them new hope of justice.The papers, which were unearthed in the Berlin National Archives, will be examined by a committee of experts. A Sky Atlantic documentary to be broadcast on Tuesday discloses that a separate document showed a warning had been placed on Primodos packets by UK regulators in June 1975.It stated that the drug should not be taken during pregnancy because of the risk that it may cause malformations. These documents were found by Karl Murphy, 44, who was born with shrivelled hands and feet and whose mother, Pam, had been part of a campaign group that attempted to prove Primodos had harmed their babies.Despite the evidence accumulated over the years, an attempt to bring the case to court by the alleged victims in 1982 collapsed and legal aid was withdrawn from the 700 families who were suing the drug’s manufacturer, Schering, for compensation. Marie Lyon, whose daughter Sarah was born with a foreshortened arm, is chair of the Association for Children Damaged by Hormone Pregnancy TestsCredit:PAUL COOPER Campaigners have claimed a cover-up and likened the scandal to that of Thalidomide, the morning-sickness drug that led to thousands of children being born with malformed limbs.Yasmin Qureshi, the Labour MP, who has long supported the families in their battle for justice, told The Telegraph: “These documents form a significant discovery and could lead to important developments.“I believe there may have been a cover-up over the effect of this drug on pregnant mothers.”Marie Lyon, whose daughter Sarah was born with a foreshortened arm and believes that the tablets stunted her development in the womb, welcomed the discovery. She said: “It’s unthinkable that more than 40 years after our children were born, neither the sufferers nor their mothers have had justice.”The files, which had been stored in archives for decades, showed that in January 1975, Dr William Inman, principal medical officer for the British Government, had found that women who took a hormone pregnancy test “had a five-to-one risk of giving birth to a child with malformations”. Dr Inman wrote to Primodos’s German manufacturer, Schering, so the firm could “take measures to avoid medico-legal problems”, rather than recall the drug. A later document explains that Dr Inman destroyed the materials on which his findings were based, “to prevent individual claims being based on his material”.The Berlin archive documents will be examined by the Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests.It is now known that one dose of Primodos contained super-strength hormones that, later, would be used in the morning-after pill.In 1967 a paediatrician called Isabel Gal found that a high proportion of babies born with spina bifida had mothers who had taken hormonal pregnancy tests. She fought a 10-year battle to get the drug removed from the market, but said she was stonewalled at every turn. It was deemed unlikely that they would be able to prove a causal link between the drug and the malformations suffered by their children.Schering is now owned by Bayer, which insists that sales of Primodos in were “in compliance with prevailing laws”. The pharmaceutical giant said that the view – both at the time and, after a full review, today – is that “evidence for a causal association between the use of hormonal pregnancy tests and an increased incidence of congenital malformations was extremely weak”.Bayer “rejects any suggestion” that anything has been concealed by Schering, other than privileged documents. Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi believes ‘there may have been a cover-up’Credit:AP 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.
Nava left three notes at her home saying “why he stabbed her was beyond him”, apologising to her mother and saying he planned to kill himself.Opening the trial, prosecutor Sally Howes QC described the moment officers discovered Natasha’s body slumped in a cupboard at her home.Miss Howes QC said: “Upon entering the living room, police inspector Matthew Chutter noticed an understair cupboard.”When he opened it, his attention was drawn immediately to a mass of platinum coloured hair which was nestled on top of a white, blood stained duvet.”Disturbing the duvet revealed a female face. Dried blood had matted around the nose and mouth and in her hair. The body was curled up into the foetal position.”Her body was rigid, her eyes were open and fixed. She was not breathing, she had no pulse, she was very cold to the touch and completely unresponsive.”Within a few minutes of Natasha being declared dead, other police officers attended a local area of natural beauty and found a young man, in dense undergrowth, hanging.”The court heard the on-off couple, separated at the time of Natasha’s death, were arguing after she discovered he was investigated for an alleged sex attack.CCTV images of Nava and a friend were shared on a local newspaper site after a woman reported she had been sexually abused.An investigation was carried out and Nava and his friend were not charged or arrested but Natasha discovered they were investigated after his friend left him a voicemail. The court heard Nava, who joined the army in January 2015, first began his relationship with Natasha, who worked at Nationwide bank, in January 2013. The murder address in Bournemouth where Java Nava is said to have killed Natasha WakeCredit:BournemouthEcho/BNPS A soldier stabbed his partner to death and then told her young children that blood on the wall was “ketchup”, a court heard today.Jay Nava and on-off girlfriend Natasha Wake argued while her children were sleeping upstairs after she discovered he was investigated by police for an alleged sexual assault on another woman.A jury heard 27-year-old Nava, who was on leave from the army, then struck the 26-year-old mother-of-two before stabbing her repeatedly with an eight-inch kitchen knife.Such was the force of his attack, Winchester Crown Court, Hants, heard “six of the stab wounds went completely through her trunk and out of her back”. Police and ambulance searching nearby Hengistbury Head where Jay Nava was eventually foundCredit:BournemouthEcho/BNPS “[She told police] The blanket had big, medium, and small red dots on, there was red on the walls.”Nava gave her orange juice and said ‘go upstairs and don’t come back down’.”In the morning she asked why he had a knife in his trousers and why Natasha was on the floor. He said they were being silly, Natasha was asleep and it was ketchup on the walls.”He still had the knife in his trousers and said Natasha had gone shopping.”Nava took the children to his grandparents nearby the following morning, and was described as ‘not with it’ and vomited in the garden.Miss Howes QC said after leaving “he made contact with his mother in Australia and told her he had killed Natasha” and “said he was going to kill himself.”Police were alerted and found three notes written by Nava at Natasha’s home.Miss Howes QC said of Natasha’s injuries: “The severity and multiplicity to the large organs were such that she was rendered helpless, she would have bled to death very quickly.”The trial continues. Minutes later a young child came downstairs and saw him with blood on him and a knife in his trousers, as well as a dead Natasha slumped on the floor with a blanket over her.The court heard the youngster told police she saw “red on the walls” – later identified as blood – and that Nava had told her it was “ketchup” before saying: “Go upstairs and don’t come back down.”The following day Nava took the children to his grandparents home before he contacted his mother and confessed to killing Natasha and also told her he was going to kill himself.As police searched beauty spot in Dorset, Nava was spotted by an officer who was able to intervene. After he was resuscitated his first words were “I want to die.”Nava, of the Royal Artillery’s 29 Commando Regiment in Plymouth, Devon, denies murdering Natasha at her home in Bournemouth. Miss Howes said: “Both men co-operated with the police enquiry and both were interviewed about the allegations.”Following a review of the evidence, police took the decision that the matter would not be proceeded with.”Unsurprisingly [Nava’s friend] phoned Jay Nava to tell him the good news, he left a voicemail at 21:26 to which he responded at 21:48.”However, by then Natasha had already found out what was going on behind her back for so many weeks.”She added, after explaining that week Nava spent the week with Natasha and the children, the atmosphere was “completely shattered.”Miss Howes QC continued: “It is apparent the contented family atmosphere is completely shattered when Natasha discovers the details of the incident.”Not only that, but she also discovers that other close family members were aware of it and had kept it from her.”A “bitter and acrimonious” argument then broke out between the pair and Nava stabbed her 11 times, the court heard.Miss Howes said: “She was stabbed to death in the living room whilst the three children slept upstairs.”[One child] was sleeping when she was woken by a scream. She was later to tell police officers that she then went downstairs to ask Nava for a drink.”She saw him in the kitchen, he had a knife in his trousers. There was red spots on the blade and handle.”She recognised the knife as the one Natasha used to cut onions. [Nava] had blood on his shirt and trousers, she saw Natasha lying on the floor in the lounge with a blanket covering her. 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.
Ex-EastEnders actor Joseph Shade arrives at Norwich Crown CourtCredit:Joe Giddens/PA “On one occasion and only one occasion he touched one of them.” Joseph Shade, left, as Peter Beale in EastEndersCredit:BBC Mr Paxton said Shade had no previous convictions and was “tearful and expressed a degree of remorse” when he was interviewed by police.Shade, of Sheringham, Norfolk, appeared unshaven in a blue shirt, dark blue tie and suit trousers and spoke only to enter his pleas.The trial had been due to start on Monday and Shade denied 11 sexual offences against four girls, but on the fourth day of trial he admitted six sexual offences against three girls and the prosecution ordered that the remaining five counts lie on file.Judge Maureen Bacon, bailing Shade until a sentencing date to be fixed, warned him that he could be sent to prison. A former EastEnders actor turned youth worker has admitted sexual offences against three teenage girls while in a position of trust.Joseph Shade, 24, who played Peter Beale in the soap from 1998 to 2004, admitted five counts of causing or inciting a child under 18 to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust and one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.Prosecutor Chris Paxton told Norwich Crown Court that Shade was a youth worker at a project in Norfolk when he sent sexual text messages to girls and touched one on the bottom.The offences were against three girls aged between 14 and 17 and happened between 2012 and 2015. “He himself attended that youth project as a young person and got help from them,” said Mr Paxton. “As he reached the age of 18 he became formally employed as a youth worker and in this capacity as a youth worker he then engaged with many young people who came from similar backgrounds and vulnerabilities as he had.”During the course of his employment he accepts by his pleas that his relationships became too close to a number of attendees and he would engage with them by texting them messages asking them to have sex or to send sexual pictures of breasts and the like. 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.
Made In Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo has been named queen of the jungle as the winner of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!The reality TV star lasted three weeks in the ITV show, and was visibly shocked as presenters Ant and Dec announced she had won.Toffolo, whose nickname is Toff, shook as she said: “I don’t know what to say!”Obviously I didn’t think anyone would like me. I’m really taken aback!”She added that it was “overwhelming” and thanked the public for voting her. Introducing @ToffTalks your brand new Queen of the Jungle 👑 #ImACeleb pic.twitter.com/7NZhvRccwQ— I’m A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) December 10, 2017 Omg why am i about to start crying about Toff 😩😂 So well deserved 🙌🏼👸🏼 #ImACeleb— Rachel Leary (@rach_leary) December 10, 2017 Next years I’m a celeb should be made up of Gemma Collins, Gillian Mckeith, Stanley Johnson, Joey Essex, Gino D’Acampo, Lady C, Kim Woodburn and Scarlett Moffet #imaceleb— Katie Green♡ (@xkatiegreen) December 10, 2017 Toffolo was handed her queen of the jungle crown by last year’s winner Scarlett Moffatt, who told her: “It’s girls like you that make me so proud to be a young woman.”Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas was the show’s runner-up, and comedian Iain Lee came in third place.Some viewers were surprised that Lee did not make the final two.”Seriously, who the hell is voting for Jamie?! What is wrong with you!!!” one viewer posted on Twitter.”Genuinely shocked that @iainlee has just come third place, wanted him to beat jamie so bad,” said another.”I’m fuming that Iain came third. He deserved to win,” said another disgruntled fan. But the comedian said he was “thrilled” as he left the camp. As he met presenters Ant and Dec, Lee said: “I’m shocked, look at the state of me!”I cannot believe I’ve come third, this is incredible.”He said he went “above and beyond” his expectations, and that the experience has been “a thrill”.Asked why he did not leave on the third day in the jungle, when he was notably struggling following his late arrival, Lee quipped: “When they said you don’t get paid, I thought I’d stick this one out!”He said the trials were not the most difficult part of the programme.”They’re such a small part when you’re in there,” he said.”For me it was being around lots of people, I’m very solitary, being around lots of people made me so uncomfortable.”But the radio host said he also stayed in the jungle to leave a good impression for his children, as they “don’t remember me being around for being on the TV, I wanted to show them how silly my job is”.He said he had no problem with fellow campmates Lomas, Dennis Wise and Amir Khan – who had been accused of bullying him in the jungle. 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 lot of the high end consumers are so intimidated they voice concerns regarding those sitting outside the shops begging and clearly under the influence of drugs and drink that unless the situation improves they will desist from shopping in Torquay.”But Ms Colley’s attitude to the work of Humanity Torbay has been condemned by the charity’s supporters, who have denounced her as a “heartless snob” Peter Brooks, 43, who was previously homeless and struggled with mental health problems also defended the work of the charity.He said: “This has been a real lifeline for me. It allows me to cope. I was on the homeless scene but I have since been housed and am renting in Torquay.”I am here every day from when it opens until it closes. I think it is awful what had been said about it. You can not brush a problem under the carpet and forget about it.”Natalie Butters. 27, of Torquay, who was previously homeless before moving in with her partner, said: “I was recommended to come here through a friend. I really like it and the people are really decent.”It is a good environment. It is helping me get back on track and helping me sort myself out. I was at breaking point before I came here. I has helped me a lot.” “The businesses are just looking for someone to blame for their own inadequacies. If their takings are down 60 per cent then they are clearly not doing something right. A lot of people in Torquay are Nimbys. What would people do without us though?” Ellie Waugh, the chairman of Humanity Torbay, which looks after as many as 500 people every week, said: “Apparently I have brought ten per cent more people to Torquay who are homeless. That’s just not true. We are not a soup kitchen, we are a registered charity. We help everybody. We don’t just help the homeless but those on drugs, alcohol, with mental health issues and facing domestic violence.“When we are open our clients are indoors, six days a week not hanging around. The ones hanging around are professional beggars who have somewhere to stay.”Ms Waugh added: “We have really good results and got lots in accommodation and over 100 into jobs. Six have gone to university who were proper street homeless.”We want them off the streets. Everything here is donated. We have no funding from the council and I think we put them to shame. We have ex head teachers, doctors and people from all walks of life helping out. With its palm trees, pleasure gardens and tea rooms the Devon resort of Torquay has long drawn thousands of visitors from around the country every year.But one class of visitors proving to be decidedly unwelcome on the streets of the coastal town are the homeless, with retailers now accusing them of making the town look derelict and even blaming them for a fall in shop takingsSo much so that one of Torquay’s leading dignitaries has called for a charity dedicated to looking after the homeless to shut up shop and move elsewhere.Susie Colley, who runs the town’s Chamber of Commerce, blames Humanity Torbay for a sharp increase in the number of rough sleepers in Torquay since it set up a soup kitchen there.Ms Colley also blames the charity’s users for a fall in the takings in local shops, claiming that one shop has had to close its doors on two occasions because of rough sleepers “intimidating shoppers and the staff”.Ms Colley, a former nurse in London’s East End who is now the managing director of the private health care provider West Country Health Care, said: “I am sure Humanity Torbay’s motives are very laudable but their actions are increasing the problems in the town. To put it bluntly, unless something radical is done regarding the rough sleepers and begging, which is ongoing and is affecting these stores and impacting on their sales, they will close and that basically will be the end of Torquay. Ellie Waugh, the chairman of Humanity Torbay, has denied the accusations against her charity 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 idea of using treated drinking quality water to water our gardens and wash our cars in the 21st century just doesn’t seem appropriate. As a regulator, it is something we will push the companies to innovate on.”We will work with government and other partners to do everything we can to make sure we have secure, affordable and an environmentally friendly approach to delivering future water supplies.”She also warned against building large numbers of new homes in areas the puts pressure on water supplies, particularly in the middle of the country.The threat of a hosepipe ban has loomed large in recent weeks as supplies became stretched due to a lack of rainfall. Pressure on supplies was particularly large in areas where firefighters tackled large moorland blazes lasting over a week in the north of England. Utility firms including Severn Trent , United Utilities and Anglian Water have all issued advice on how to cut down on usage, including turning off taps while brushing teeth.Sir James Bevan, head of the Environment Agency, also said climate change was playing a role in the shortage, and told MPs water leakage targets must be made tougher on companies to ensure there was little waste.Environment minister Therese Coffey told MPs that ambitious targets would help cut tap water use from the current 140 litres per person, per day, and urged people to cut down their showers to four minutes a day.Doug Clarke, spokesman for Severn Trent, pleaded with customers to limit the amount they use. He said: “Demand for water is massively up thanks to several weeks of extremely hot weather.”While we have lots of water available and our reservoir levels are healthy and we’re putting millions of extra litres of water into the system, people are using water as fast as we can treat and pump it into supply.” Households must stop using tap water on their gardens and cars for good as pressure on supplies is worse than ever, the official watchdog has said.Rachel Fletcher, the head of water services regulator Ofwat, called on the Government to find environmentally appropriate methods instead.Miss Fletcher said gardens must have water butts so that homeowners can recycle rainwater for outdoor use, and suggested families could also recycle water from baths and showers.It comes as Britain recovers from a heatwave where record temperatures have been recorded up and down the country.Ms Fletcher told MPs on the Commons environment committee: “We do as a sector need to think about transferring water from one region to another. And we have got to shift the frontier in the technology we are using in delivering water supplies. 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.
Beckham has just arrived back in England from China, where he was promoting his male grooming range, called house 99. He was also “flying the flag for British fashion” as part of a joint initiative with Chinese businesses and the British fashion council, according to his social media. Last week, he visited the Great Wall of China and posted a heartfelt message to his 51 million Instagram followers, thanking insurance giant AIA for the opportunity to play football with local children. Beckham played 115 times for England, became the first Englishman to win league titles in four countries and collected 19 major trophies in his 20-year playing career. He retired in 2013 after turning out for Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris St Germain. David Beckham behind the wheel of his car having left a Justin Bieber concert at the O2 in 2016Credit:Splash News Beckham was driving a Bentley Continental, which has a top speed of 207mph and costs at least £156,000. The former footballer was not present at court, but just after 11:30am, during proceedings, he posted a photo of himself in a car on his Instagram account with the caption ‘London Traffic’ and an ‘angry’ emoji. It is believed that his lawyer had no idea about the post which received a negative reaction on social media. Mr Freeman, who has previously represented Sir Alex Ferguson, Colin Montgomerie and Ranulph Fiennes has gained a reputation as ‘Mr Loophole’ after fine combing cases and finding errors by the state. Instances of successful cases include noticing spelling mistakes on names, late serving of notices and his client needing to speed in order to use the toilet (Sir Alex Ferguson). Between them, they could not successfully argue beyond reasonable doubt that the letter would have been sent in time to be received in time. It was noted that on February, 3487 NIPs were sent out. The defence called two witnesses, a legal assistant and the woman in charge of the post room at Bentley’s Crewe offices who have over four decades’ work at the car company between them. Colette Hollies, the legal assistant, said she recalled opening the notice of intended prosecution on February 7 because it was the same car and the same driver as an NIP received the week before.This is to say that Beckham was contacted about being the driver of a speeding vehicle in an incident one day before the one in court today. It is unknown what the outcome of that case was.“It isn’t every day that you get a Bentley being driven by David Beckham which prima facie is being driven too fast,” said Mr Freeman. Freeman argued that the Bentley post system was efficient and that the first letter arrived on time, but the second letter arrived late and that was not the fault of Bentley or his client. Freeman, who lives in Cheshire and has a villa on the French Riviera, wrote a book called ‘The art of the loophole’ in 2012. 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 case against Beckham, which lasted more than five hours, came down to proving when the notice of intended prosecution was sent and received. The law states that an NIP must be received within 14 days of the offence being committed. Beckham’s lawyer said that it arrived on February 7, which was 15 days after the offence and was therefore invalid. Three prosecution witnesses were called from the Metropolitan Police, who worked in IT, the post room and the camera processing services team. David Beckham has swerved a speeding fine after his lawyer, dubbed “Mr Loophole”, successfully argued that despite driving too fast, the notice of prosecution was defective. The former England football captain had been caught driving a Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone, and although the speed was not contested, the fact that the notice arrived late meant that Beckham could not be convicted.Summing up, his lawyer Nick Freeman said: “He is accepting he is driving, he is accepting the speed. That isn’t in any way in dispute. It may cause some disquiet but that is a matter for Parliament. It is a statutory requirement and if the law needs to be changed then so be it.”The celebrity lawyer had earlier failed in a bid to get the case completely thrown out on the technicality when District Judge Barbara Barnes ruled there was a case to answer. But having heard the evidence, she ruled: “In this particular case and on the evidence I have heard, what I find is that it is more likely than not that the notice was not served on the registered keeper of the vehicle in time.”The incident took place on January 23 this year, just after 5:30pm on the A40 in Paddington, not far from the 43-year-old’s Holland Park home, Wimbledon Magistrates court heard.
The son of a wealthy Liberal Democrat donor is suing his wife to prevent her disclosing “pillow talk” about his part in a Rolls-Royce corruption inquiry.Bhanu Choudhrie is taking legal action against Simrin, his wife, to bar her from disclosing what he says are confidential details about the investigation and his business associates.The entrepreneur admits he disclosed confidential information to his wife after he was questioned as part of an investigation into claims of bribery by Rolls-Royce in 2014.Mr Choudhrie, 40, and his father Sudhir, 69 – who has donated more than £1.5 million to the Lib Dems since 2004 – were arrested and questioned by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in 2014 as part of an inquiry into bribery allegations at the Derby-based firm. They were released and have not been charged.The company, Europe’s largest maker of commercial jet engines, agreed in January 2017 to pay about £670 million to settle US and UK investigations into allegations its representatives bribed foreign officials.The deferred prosecution agreement reached by Rolls-Royce allows the company to avoid prosecution in exchange for full co-operation. But the SFO is now looking into allegations that Rolls-Royce illegally used middlemen such as Mr Choudhrie and his father to conduct deals. 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. Mr Choudhrie’s lawsuit contains few details about what he told his wife or who he thinks she may talk to. He wants her to agree that she will not tell anyone what he told her, except her lawyers or if she is required by law or ordered by a court to do so.According to legal papers Mr Choudhrie only told his wife about the case so that she could “understand what he was going through”, and the information he told her was “obviously confidential”.In a statement, a spokesman for Mr Choudhrie said that he has “never embarked on any kind of illegal activity” and the lawsuit would not stop Mrs Choudhrie from co-operating.Mrs Choudhrie’s spokesman did not respond to a request to comment.An SFO spokesman declined to comment as did Rolls-Royce, other than to say it is “continuing to co-operate with the SFO”.Mrs Choudhrie filed for divorce in May 2017, but the couple continued to live together until November last year and are now going through divorce proceedings.Mr Choudhrie, who lives in a £20 million Grade II listed house in Belgravia, is seeking an order directing his wife to disclose the names of who she shared the information about his case with and what she used it for.
When Jonah was swallowed by a whale it was three days and three nights before he was finally spat back out, alive, on a beach.Fortunately for Rainer Schimpf, 51, who similarly found himself trapped in the jaws of a huge whale, his ordeal was of rather less biblical proportions.The South African dive tour operator has described the moment everything went dark as his head and torso were suddenly swallowed by a Bryde’s Whale mid feeding frenzy as it gulped down everything in its path.“There was no time for fear or any emotion,” he told the Telegraph.“I knew instantly what had happened. I knew that a whale had come and taken me and I I instinctively held my breath, assuming that it would dive down again and spit me out somewhere in the depths of the Indian Ocean.”Mr Schimpf had been snorkeling with two colleagues some 25 nautical miles off the coast near Port Elizabeth Harbour. Rainer Schimpf in the ocean with the Bryde’s Whale Credit:Heinz Toperczer / Barcroft Images The experienced marine conservationist and photographer was attempting to film a sardine run, when gannets, penguins, seals, dolphins, whales and sharks work together to gather the fish into bait balls.Keen to get the best shots, he had plunged into the centre of a swirling ball of fish. Incredibly, the experience barely knocked the wind out of him and after checking he had no injuries, he dived back into the water in search of the bait ball. Rainer Schimpf, 51, has worked as a dive tour operator in South Africa for over 15 years When the sea suddenly churned up, the group realised that something strange was happening.Out of the darkness loomed a Bryde’s Whale, shooting up from the depths, jaws wide open. In that split second Mr Schimpf found himself wedged, head first, inside the mammal’s mouth.“I felt enormous pressure around my waist which is when I guess the whale realized his mistake,” he added.“As the the whale turned sideways, he opened his mouth slightly to release me and I was washed out, together with what felt like tons of water, of his mouth, while the whale himself was swallowing all the fish in his throat.”Watching from a nearby boat were Heinz Toperczer, a photographer and Silke Schimpf, Mr Schimpf’s wife, who were forced to watch on in horror as events unfolded.As the ordeal lasted just 1.8 seconds, they did not register what happened until Mr Schimpf was back up and out of the water, still clutching his underwater camera.“Silke saw there was a foreign object in the whale but it was only when I popped up by the boat she realised it was me,” Mr Schimpf added. 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.