According to the Sacramento Bee, former New York Giant running back Brandon Jacobs, a free-agent signee of the San Francisco 49ers, recently took 6-year-old Joseph Armento and his 4-year-old brother to Jump On In bounce house in Boonton, N.J., as a gesture of gratitude for Armento’s desire to keep the running back with the Giants.Joseph send $3.36 to Jacobs in an attempt to keep him as a member of the Giants.Jacobs was moved by the gesture. He planned to take Joseph to Chuck E. Cheese with his son, Brayden, when he returned to New Jersey to gather some of his belongings.“He told me he really wanted to get out there with the kids,” Julie Armento told The Bee. “He really wanted to enjoy it, and he did. It was amazing.”Jacobs played alongside the three boys for a couple of hours.“It was just us in the whole place and we were just going room to room — just bouncing and flipping all over the place, hitting each other with balls, sweating, our shirts filthy,” Jacobs told The Bee. “We were just dirty, stinky boys, you know?”Jacobs was released by the Giants on March 9 after the two sides could not agree on terms of a restructured contract. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent after spending seven seasons with the Giants and winning two Super Bowls.Joseph Armento did not get his wish of keeping his favorite running back in blue, but Jacobs gave one of his biggest fans a signed Giants helmet and memories he won’t soon forget.In turn, Jacobs said Armento’s loyalty has motivated him.“I’m at a point in my career when people have stopped believing in me and not believing that I can still play,” Jacobs said. “But that’s not the case. Joe believes in me, gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of want-to. And I’m ready to go. I can’t wait until the season starts.”Jacobs also gave Armento a $5 bill to refill his piggy bank.“He had some interest in there just for being a good kid,” Jacobs said. “He’s worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him.”
Europe’s shooting stars In Saturday’s Champions League final, two of European soccer’s most decorated clubs will square off. Real Madrid will be looking to add to its record 12 European championships, while Juventus aims to win its third and first since the Calciopoli scandal forced the club out of the Italian top flight in 2006. The match is expected to be close, with Real Madrid slight favorites at 56 percent in the Soccer Power Index. Juventus’ defense has failed to keep a clean sheet only once in the knockout round, while Real Madrid is riding a 64-match scoring streak. The Italian club will need to find a way to contain a dominant Real attack, while Madrid’s bend-but-don’t-break defense will be tested by Juventus’ dangerous inside forwards. Here are the players to watch as both sides seek to establish their game plan.Cristiano Ronaldo, Real MadridEven at 32 years of age, Ronaldo is still the man defenses must plan around. Scoring 103 Champions League goals in your career will do that. Real Madrid’s attack is relatively simple, built to get the ball in to Ronaldo in the center of the 18-yard box. While most top clubs have cut back on the use of crosses — this season in the Premier League, none of the top six clubs used crosses to assist more than 40 percent of their shots from the center of the penalty area — Real Madrid used crosses to assist 44 percent of its shots from that area. This strategy focuses on getting the ball to Ronaldo even with risky or difficult passes, and the striker pays it off with shot totals that only Lionel Messi can match. At 5.5 shots per 90 minutes played in La Liga, Ronaldo got off a higher rate of shot attempts than anyone in the top five leagues with at least 2,000 minutes played. 6Robert LewandowskiBayern MunichBundesliga4.4 PLAYERCLUBLEAGUESHOTS PER 90 MIN. Real Madrid will force the ball to Cristiano by whatever means are available. There may be no solution to a player as great as Ronaldo, who scored eight goals in the quarter- and semifinals, but if Juventus can hold him to three or four shots that could make the difference.Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Real MadridAlong with crossing, another way Real Madrid is unusual among the world’s elite club is its relaxed midfield defense. Real Madrid only breaks up about 45 percent of opposition midfield possessions within three passes, which is 12th in La Liga.1Barcelona lead the league with a 52 percent pressing rate. This relative lack of pressure means that opposition clubs can complete more passes into dangerous areas. Real conceded about 17 open-play completed passes per match into the penalty area and about 62 completed passes in the center of the pitch in the attacking third. Real Madrid’s numbers resemble more closely those of counterattacking sides such as Atletico Madrid and Monaco, who both average 67 final-third passes and 19 penalty-area passes conceded per match.However, Real holds possession at higher rates. While Atletico and Monaco plan to pack more defenders behind the ball to break up attacks in dangerous areas, Real Madrid is more likely to depend on its center back pairing of Ramos and Varane to make plays. Madrid’s center backs make about 3.5 open-play clearances from the penalty area per match, more than any of the top clubs beside Atleti and Monaco. The CBs must hold the line for Real’s defensive strategy to work. Juventus can expect to have opportunities to play dangerous passes, and it will require excellent center back play to hold the Italian club scoreless.Paulo Dybala, JuventusWhen Juventus sold Paul Pogba last summer to Manchester United for roughly $120 million, chairman Andrea Agnelli had a decision to make. The club, which can boast an array of scudettos but only a bare two European Cups, could use the money to rebuild or take a shot at glory. Juve chose the latter route: Using the Pogba cash on veteran Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain ($100 million) and Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic ($36 million). While Higuain and Pjanic have been effective, this win-now strategy would not have worked without the development of Paulo Dybala into an elite force. The Argentine attacker not only gets on the scoresheet with a combined 15 goals and 7 assists between Serie A and Champions League, he also offers Juventus a replacement for Pogba’s creativity and ball progression. Pogba led Juventus last year with 4.5 progressive passes or runs per 90 minutes2Defined as a pass or run in the attacking half that moves the ball forward into the penalty area or over 10 yards beyond the previous progression of the ball, including 1.4 passes or runs into the penalty area per 90. This year Dybala has picked up the load, at 4.2 and 1.2, respectively. No one else on Juventus is close (Pjanic is next with 2.8/0.7). When Juventus is attacking, Real Madrid will need to watch for Dybala and prevent him from creating chances on the ball. If Dybala can get free to move the attack forward as he did against Monaco, Juventus have a chance.Mario Mandzukic, JuventusThe journeyman forward has been reborn at Juventus as a do-everything winger. Having played more than 95 percent of his minutes since 2011-12 at striker, the Croatian spent under half his minutes up top this season, playing mostly out wide instead. His shot totals dropped from an average of about 2.9 shot attempts per 90 over the previous five seasons to 1.8 shots per 90 this year. But patrolling the left wing, he has been a highly effective defender. Opposition clubs started fast attacking moves down Juventus’ left wing 146 times this season, but only eight times did the opposition continue that move at speed into the penalty area. 3Fast moves are defined as those in which over half of the ball movement is directly toward goal. That rate of conceding attacks from the wing was the third-lowest in Serie A behind Atalanta and Fiorentina.Despite adjusting to a new position, Mandzukic helped prevent dangerous attacks down his wing. Real Madrid will pose his most difficult test all year, and one can expect Real may target the former striker.Madrid may be slightly favored but it will be a game of margins, and whoever can win these key positional battles should take the match. 7Lorenzo InsigneNapoliSerie A4.3 5Sergio AgueroManchester CityPremier League4.8 9Zlatan IbrahimovicManchester UnitedPremier League4.1 4Dries MertensNapoliSerie A4.9 2Lionel MessiBarcelonaLa Liga5.4 1Cristiano RonaldoReal MadridLa Liga5.5 8Edinson CavaniParis Saint-GermainLigue 14.2 3Edin DzekoRomaSerie A5.0 10Philippe CoutinhoLiverpoolPremier League4.0 Includes players with at least 2,000 minutes played. Based on 2016-17 club performance in the five major European leagues.Source: OPTA
Then-junior midfielder David Planning (12) takes a shot during a game against Michigan April 12 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 15-6.Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team defeated Detroit Mercy Titans in a physical victory that ended 14-8. The Buckeyes (2-0) used an explosive six-goal first quarter to set the pace for the offense. OSU sophomore attackman Lukas Buckley scored first and went on to lead the team with three goals.OSU freshman attackman Tre LeClaire had two goals in the game, both of which he made in the first period. This is the second week in a row LeClaire has put points on the board. “I think at the start our defense was clicking perfectly,” LeClaire said. “We transitioned the ball up the field, we gave it to our offense and our offense’s job is to score the goals.”The Buckeyes’ offense slowed down after Detroit Mercy junior midfielder Sean Birney scored late in the first quarter to put the game at 6-4. The Titans outmatched OSU’s physicality, which allowed them to tie the game midway through the second quarter — Birney scored again and junior attackman Alec GilHooly followed with a goal of his own.Soon, however, the Buckeyes offense opened up with a flurry of goals.The offensive surged started with OSU senior attackmen Johnny Pearson and senior midfielder Tyler Pfister who scored a minute apart. Then just 43 seconds later, senior attackman Eric Fannell sent another past Detroit goalie Jason Weber for a 9-6 OSU lead at halftime.“Everyone realized we needed to step it up,” Pearson said.OSU senior midfielder John Kelly, junior attackman Collin Chell and Pfister scored for the Buckeyes early in the third, capping six unanswered goals and extending the lead to 12-6.“When we’re at our best, there is no one guy. We got a set of guys both at attack and our midfielders,” coach Nick Myers said. “We feel strongly that we have the depth there and we have some defensive middies that can definitely contribute.”OSU won all four quarters on the scoreboard, and scored twice in the final frame. OSU outshot Detroit 34-25 and made 11 more shots on goal, 25-14.Coach Myers said he wasn’t resting on the win.“We still have a long way to go,” he said. “We gotta do a better job just about with every facet, but I’m happy with the output we got.”The Buckeyes look to continue their success next week against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday in Columbus.
OSU football redshirt-senior defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge is honored prior to a game pitting the OSU women’s basketball team against Pittsburgh on Dec. 3 at the Schottenstein Center. Karageorge died Nov. 28. Credit: James Grega / Asst. sports editorIn a back-and-forth matchup, the Ohio State women’s basketball team lost at home to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.The first half saw both teams trading scores with neither able to gain a sustainable edge over the other.With the game tied at 22 apiece, the Buckeyes (4-4) went on an 11-6 run to take a five-point lead with a little more than three minutes left in the half. The Panthers (5-2) closed out the final minutes of the half with an 8-4 run to cut the deficit to one.In the second half, the teams continued to match each other with the lead changing and the game tying several times.The game was tied at 56 each with 11 minutes remaining when Pittsburgh started a 14-7 run to pull away from OSU.The Buckeyes kept fighting back and were able to cut the lead to two after a 3-pointer from junior guard Ameryst Alston. OSU had a chance to regain possession after a missed jumper from Pittsburgh but the Panthers were able to recover and were immediately fouled. Pittsburgh hit both of its free throws to win the game 78-74.Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell led all scorers with 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists.Junior guard Cait Craft added 20 points while shooting 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Freshman forward Alexa Hart recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds and tallied five blocks.Craft said that OSU’s offense wasn’t to blame for the loss but instead it was the defense that cost them.“We scored enough to win that game,” Craft said. “We score enough but defensively we don’t want it and it shows.”Alston noted that the Buckeyes had a chance to use the bonus in their favor toward the end of the second half but made the mistake of taking longer jump shots.“We were in the bonus and we should have taken advantage of that,” Alston said. “We didn’t take advantage that we were in the bonus and drive to the basket, we settled for 3-point shots.”Coach Kevin McGuff attributed the loss to OSU not matching the focus and drive of the Panthers in certain parts of the game.“Overall our energy (and) concentration wasn’t where it needs to be,” McGuff said. “We just couldn’t sustain enough energy and effort to beat (Pittsburgh), they played harder for longer stretches than we did, that’s why they won.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Winthrop (S.C.) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State added another wide receiver to its 2019 recruiting class Friday when three-star prospect Craig Young announced his commitment to the Buckeyes. The No. 72 receiver in the nation according to the 247Sports composite rankings, Young was the No. 9 recruit in the state of Indiana, playing at Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Young joins four-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson in the 2019 class. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver is one of eight recruits in the class hailing from outside the state of Ohio.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore goalie Parker Siegfried (1) sends the ball back downfield in the game against BGSU on Sep. 22. Ohio State won 1- 0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignFriday marks the beginning of a new era for the Ohio State men’s soccer team.First-year head coach Brian Maisonneuve will make his debut on the sidelines for the Buckeyes after longtime coach John Bluem retired after 21 years following last season. Maisonneuve comes over after a decade as an assistant coach at Indiana, where he helped guide the Hoosiers to a national championship in 2012, and a runner-up finish last season.The Buckeyes return key players such as redshirt junior goaltender Parker Siegfried, redshirt senior midfielder Brady Blackwell and sophomore midfielder Joshua Jackson-Ketchup from a team that went 8-10-1 overall a season ago. The 2018-2019 squad will feature a mix of veterans and newcomers that look to set the tone for a new era in Buckeye soccer.Alongside Blackwell and Siegfried, sophomore defender Will Hirschman rounds out the group of three Buckeyes to be named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List.Last season, the Buckeyes got off to a hot start, yet fizzled down the stretch, losing nine of their last 10 games, ultimately undone by an inability to find the back of the net during the losing streak.The loss of leading scorer Abdi Mohamed will hurt after he transferred to Akron in the offseason, but Maisonneuve will look for Jackson-Ketchup and others to pick up the scoring slack.FurmanThe season kicks off Friday night with a visit from the Furman Paladins out of the Southern Conference. Furman ended the 2017 campaign with a 12-5-3 record and a third-place finish in the conference, capped off by a run to the semifinals in the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship.This season, the Paladins will return their top six scorers, including leading scorer and 2017 SoCon Player of the Year, Laurence Wyke. Furman also returns their starting goaltender redshirt sophomore Ben Hale, who ended 2017 with a 0.95 goals against average. HofstraThe 2018 Wolstein Classic concludes on Sunday with Ohio State taking on Hofstra. A member of the Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra is coming off a 6-6-6 (3-1-4 Colonial) campaign, often maligned by a stagnant offense. Making matters more difficult for the Pride this season will be the loss of Danny Elliott, who tied for the team lead in points last season with nine.However, the Pride do return Luke Brown and Oscar Ramsay, who combined for 17 points respectively and will look to carry the load offensively. Richard Nuttall enters his 30th season as the head coach at Hofstra.
A former city councillor has been jailed for two months after pleading guilty to providing a false address to an elections officer.Richard Smalley was elected to Derby City Council in May for the Allestree ward and became deputy leader of the Conservative group on the Labour-run authority.The 49-year-old resigned his seat only 10 days after the election – triggering a by-election expected to cost between £15,000 and £30,000 – after becoming aware of rumours on Facebook he had been “rumbled”.He appeared at Derby Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday accused of filling in an electoral registration form claiming he lived in Allestree – which would make him eligible to stand for Derby City Council – when his real address was in Borrowash, outside the Derby city boundary.Jailing him, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “This is an attack on the fundamental principles of democracy and a gross breach of trust.”He added Smalley was guilty of a “calculated and deliberate decision” to provide a false address to allow him to stand in the safe Tory seat in Allestree.Prosecuting, Fiona Morrison told the court Smalley knew Allestree was a safe Conservative seat and he claimed to live at the address of someone he knew so that he could stand at the election. She added that Smalley knew “if anyone stood for the Conservatives in Allestree that they would be elected there” and he admitted voting “in elections he was not able to stand in”.Smalley was elected with 2,820 votes, or 60.7% of those who turned out, more than 2,000 votes ahead of Labour’s Oleg Sotnicenko, who came second.The court heard he would have earned £10,073 in allowances per year in his role, topped up by £3,000 for taking the position of deputy leader in the Conservative group.In mitigation, Andrew Oldroyd admitted his client felt “uneasy at the situation” on election night as the gravity of his crime became apparent.Smalley had previously served on the council between 2002 and 2008 in a different ward and got involved in politics again ahead of the general election in 2015. On the back of this, he was offered the chance to stand for election to Derby City Council, an offer which “seduced and flattered” Smalley, Mr Oldroyd said.The court heard Smalley, a company director for a scrap metal company for 20 years, was dealing with personal issues when he made the false statement in January.Mr Oldroyd said: “Politics was a useful diversion from the stresses and strains.”It was that stress which explains why a man of 49 years old and previous good character finds himself in the situation he is in.” It was that stress which explains why a man of 49 years old and previous good character finds himself in the situation he is inMr Oldroyd 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 Marks and Spencer worker was a flasher who repeatedly exposed himself to staff members before passing off his offending as “workplace banter”.For around 16 years, otherwise-respectable Nigel Farrow used excuses such as claiming to have a rash as he showed his genitals to female colleagues, a court heard.Now the 51-year-old has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting exposing himself eight times to six different women during his 27-year career with the retailer.Farrow, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty on the basis it was “workplace banter taken to grossly inappropriate levels”, Newcastle Crown Court heard. 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 Fish added that Farrow was employed in “store operations” and was not in a significantly enhanced role.Mr Fish added: “He has lost his job as a result of this, not surprisingly, bearing in mind the grossly inappropriate nature of his conduct.”A Marks and Spencer spokesman said Farrow was a store operations assistant, with additional responsibility for health and safety. Nigel Farrow was a health and safety officer at the Sunderland branch of Marks and Spencer. Library imageCredit:CARL COURT/AFP Judge Adams told him: “Surprisingly, perhaps, for years and years no one made a complaint. This must have been, in part, because of the position you occupied.”It was not until the person who you exposed to this year made a complaint that the others who had suffered as a result of your activities also came forward to say what you had done over previous years.”You have lost your job you had for a number of years and you have lost your good name.”Lee Fish, defending, said Farrow now recognises his behaviour was wrong.Mr Fish said: “It was grossly inappropriate banter. He is not a sexual predator, he is not a risk to the public – this is a defendant who simply did not fully appreciate what was acceptable behaviour, even when having a laugh with work colleagues.”This defendant behaved in this way not through sexual desire or anything of that nature, it is because he simply allowed workplace banter to be taken to extreme and grossly inappropriate levels.” (He) simply did not fully appreciate what was acceptable behaviour, even when having a laugh with work colleaguesLee Fish, defending Nigel Farrow, pictured outside court, now recognises his behaviour was wrong, his barrister told the courtCredit:Will Walker/North News Prosecutor Jonathan Devlin told the court: “On a number of occasions, to various members of staff, of differing ages, he exposed himself in various circumstances.”Once he claimed he had a rash and asked colleagues to look at it and matters of that nature. Members of staff, bearing in mind his status as, effectively, an executive officer, found it difficult, if not impossible to complain at the time.”The court heard Farrow was a health and safety officer at the Sunderland branch of Marks and Spencer.It was only when the last victim came forward earlier this year that other colleagues reported similar offences.Farrow, of Seaham, County Durham, pleaded guilty to eight charges of exposure.Judge Robert Adams sentenced him to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and 100 hours’ unpaid work. Farrow must also sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
Asked about his claims to the undercover reporters, Mr Petty said Bonas MacFarlane’s work was “conducted in accordance with all relevant legal obligations”, adding: “We have never facilitated acceptances in return for donations.”Anthony Wallersteiner, the headmaster at Stowe, said the school had “clear policies on admissions and on seeking and accepting donations” and that Mr Fletcher had resigned after admitting making “inaccurate and inappropriate statements”. The school has “no reason to believe” that a donation has ever influenced a decision to award a place. 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. Show more Ekaterina Ametistova, a partner at Bruton Lloyd Sitting in the bar at Claridge’s, drinking a glass of wine, David Fletcher admitted: “OK, everything I say is going to start sounding a bit dodgy.”He had agreed to meet a representative of a communications consultancy acting on behalf of a fictitious Russian businessman seeking a place for his son at the £34,000-a-year Stowe boarding school, where he was registrar.In reality, he was speaking to an undercover reporter, acting on a tip-off that key personnel at some of England’s most in-demand private schools were willing to accept donations in return for coveted places. At the meeting he disclosed: “I get phone calls from time to time saying, usually from Russian agents where their English language isn’t brilliant, but there is now this kind of code which says Mr [redacted] would like to ‘work with’ Stowe. And we always have to say, I’m not going to be indiscreet, but I mean we are pretty … pretty straight, we always say look here, they have to be able to pass [an entrance exam]. “But if that’s the case then, you know, there is no reason why they shouldn’t go all the way through.”Yet when Mr Fletcher was asked whether a donation would help secure a place for a child considered on the borderline of academic acceptability, his response was unambiguous: “Yeah, that’s right, yeah.” He continued: “OK, everything I say is going to start sounding a bit dodgy, but if it was the case that somebody was keen to work with the school, if there are marginal decisions, then that can be helpful.“We had a family a little while ago, this is entirely confidential … and we were in the process of funding, raising money for [particular project]. And in the end, I think they [donated] about £100,000 or something like that.” Procuring a British education for the children of the global super-rich is, “a big growth industry”, Mr Fletcher remarked, despite the fact that “as private education prices itself out of the market with British families, many schools are having to go down that international route just to stay afloat”. He listed a handful of the country’s most highly regarded public schools which he said would “all be on [his] list” of institutions to target with donations. “It’s not so much about opening doors that are shut. This is about making sure that the doors that are a tiny, sort of, a little bit ajar, we get in there first and that’s guaranteed for your son,” he said.Meanwhile, Ekaterina Ametistova, a partner at the Mayfair-based educational consultants Bruton Lloyd, told undercover reporters that in the case of at least one public school: “It would help if the parents are prepared to sort of sponsor [the school] a little. We’re talking potentially about a quite substantial amount.”But the boy has to be good. It has to be both.” She said the school was “quite commercially minded in that respect”. However, this week she said she had never facilitated a payment to a school. William Petty, co-director at Bonas MacfarlaneCredit:Bonas Macfarlane Prince Harry’s ex-girlfrirend Cressida Bonas went to Stowe school, as did Chelsy DavyCredit:Dan Wooller/REX He said: “A lot of the big developments that have been done at Stowe have been done very much with the help of some very, very generous benefactors, many of them international.”Would it, then, be more helpful to make a donation or to build something, such as a library? “Donations are always better,” Mr Fletcher replied. “We certainly at the moment are very keen on … it may sound paradoxical, building up our bursary and scholarship funds, and those are difficult at the moment.”The Telegraph’s undercover reporters also met education consultants who spoke of donations being provided to help secure places at a series of public schools.William Petty, a director of the south-west London firm Bonas Macfarlane, explained how making a donation to secure a place at one top public school would be “eye-wateringly expensive”. He told undercover reporters posing as a Russian parent and his adviser: “No one is going to move a muscle at [the school] for less than a million and a half. I know those guys, they’re ruthless and they will push for five [million pounds].”He named another school which he said would be a “much easier” case. “I know that we can go to there and say right, ‘a single price right now’, and I know that they will be within what I just talked to you about.” He assured the undercover reporters that any payment to a school would be handled discreetly, saying “they kind of do things so that that’s pretty difficult to spot”. Asked if schools do due diligence checks on companies making the donations, he replied “absolutely none”. Stowe school, Buckinghamshire As Mr Fletcher, 60, said: “I always say to my headmaster: ‘You just don’t realise how things operate elsewhere. You just don’t understand that some of these people are rich beyond Croesus.’ ”Stowe teaches some 500 pupils aged 13 to 18, the majority of whom board within the grounds of the Grade I-listed property in Buckinghamshire.Two undercover reporters met Mr Fletcher at the school in June to discuss whether it might be possible for the fictitious businessman’s 14-year-old child to secure a place. Two months later, one of the reporters met Mr Fletcher a second time in London for a wider discussion about her other clients.