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World Cup: No Russian? No Problem. There’s an app for that

The Free Press WV

Randall Garcia and his wife were on a bus in the Russian city of Samara when a local resident stared at the couple and pointed his phone at them. The screen read: “Good luck Costa Rica!”

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Neymar may be the stars of the World Cup. But Google Translate has been the Most Valuable Player for many fans to leap over the language barrier in Russia. They have used the mobile app version to order food, change money and meet new people, especially in cities like Samara, where most people only speak Russian.

“Google Translate has been a fundamental tool,” Garcia said, wearing the red jersey of Costa Rica’s national team.

“In a country where people are going out of their way to try to understand us, it’s key,” he said. “We thought there was going to be a language barrier, but it wasn’t like that.”

Before hundreds of thousands of fans descended on Russia, many of them studied phrases or took lessons to learn the basics of the language and the Cyrillic alphabet in time for the tournament that kicked off on June 14.

“It’s really hard, My partner has been learning a little bit of Russian, but other than that we use Google Translate,” said Ruth Morris from Queensland, Australia. She who wore a yellow t-shirt in the colors of the national team emblazoned with green kangaroos that read: “Aussie, Aussie Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!”

The day that she arrived to Moscow with her husband, they struck up conversation with a group of local residents at a bar.

“We managed to communicate and make friends using a mix of Google Translate, sign language and - piba!” Brian Mckinley said, using the Russian word for beer.

These days, one scene has been repeated thousands of times in cities across Russia: A person types a sentence on a phone or taps into the microphone and waits until the other one reads it or hears the words, nods, and responds.

“In many ways Google Translate is remarkable. If your intent is to have basic straightforward communication, then Google Translate can serve you adequately,” said Andrew Cohen, professor emeritus in second language studies from the University of Minnesota.

Cohen has been using Google translate to assist him with Mandarin Chinese, his 13th language. But he said the offerings are sometimes wrong.

“There are several reasons for this: One is that GT does not have a brain and so it really cannot deal effectively with connotations of word meanings, nor with various collocations of words with other words,” he said. Then, there’s the issue of pragmatics, since it can’t interpret the intentions of the person trying to communicate.

It “may have considerable difficulty translating humor, sarcasm, subtle forms of criticism, curses, apologies so that they work, even requests in a way that they are appropriately mitigated rather than bossy sounding,” he said.

“This is where Google Translate still has lots of work to do.”

Translate was launched in 2006 and has grown into one of Google’s most popular services with more than 500 million monthly users and more than 100 billion words translated each day, according to the company. Russian is one of the most used out of more than 100 languages that range from Afrikaans to Yiddish. They can be used on websites, with speech recognition and as an app on mobile phones, even if there is no connection. Others use one of its features to recognize and translate the writing on billboards, menus and street signs.

“The Russian Cyrillic is unlike any word in our alphabet,” said Marilyn Mattos, 30, a Colombian fan who wore earrings in the yellow, blue and red colors of the national flag.

“But we used Google Translator to take pictures, select the text and translate it into Spanish without a problem.”

It has even been used to break the ice between journalists and players. During a recent press conference with Antoine Griezmann that only allowed questions in French, a Spanish journalist put the microphone on his phone and used Google Translate to ask, drawing a wide grin from the French striker who plays professionally in Madrid and speaks Spanish.

And it has also been used for safety tips to reduce accidents. Marat Gurjan, a 15-year-old lifeguard whose favorite player is Neymar, uses the app to help communicate on a Volga River beach.

“The World Cup is a great honor,” the screen on his phone read in English after he typed a sentence in Russian. “For our country, and especially for Samara.”

USA! USA! Wait, We Didn’t Make The World Cup?

The Free Press WV

U.S. Men’s National Team great Landon Donovan tells “PodcastOne Sports Now” co-host Jim Litke as the tournament begins that without the U.S. team in the World Cup, he’s rooting for Mexico and fellow CONCACAF members Costa Rica and Panama.

But the leading scorer and most-capped player ever to don a U.S. jersey also worries that the failure to qualify could mean a generation of American kids may decide not give soccer a second look.

Also on the show: co-host Tim Dahlberg joins Litke and Associated Press golf writer Doug Fergsuon to preview the U.S. Open golf tournament and tries to answer the question on everyone’s mind — how will Tiger Woods fare? On the menu: scavenging the food stands at Heathrow airport.

U.S. jury set to resume deliberations in FIFA bribery case

The Free Press WV

After convicting two former South American soccer officials of bribery, a U.S. jury is set to return to court on Tuesday to decide the fate of a third official charged in the FIFA scandal.

Jurors found Juan Napout, of Paraguay, and Jose Maria Marin, of Brazil, guilty on multiple conspiracy charges after a week of deliberations in federal court in Brooklyn. But they told U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen that they were divided over a verdict for Manuel Burga, of Peru, on his single racketeering charge. Chen told them to come back and try again after the holiday weekend.

The judge immediately jailed Marin, 85, and Napout, 59, agreeing with prosecutors that if left free, the men had enough connections and wealth to flee the U.S. to avoid prison terms, which she said could be more than 10 years on the top charge alone.

Burga, 60, the former president of Peru’s soccer federation, was allowed to remain free on bail pending the outcome of his case. His lawyer, Bruce Udolf, said his client was hopeful that the jury would clear him.

Marin, Burga and Napout had been arrested in 2015. Prosecutors accused them of agreeing to take millions of dollars in bribes from businessmen seeking to lock up lucrative media rights or influence hosting rights for the World Cup and other major tournaments controlled by FIFA.

The three were among more than 40 people and entities in the world of global soccer charged in the U.S. in connection with an investigation that uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. Many of the other defendants pleaded guilty.

During the trial, the defense argued that the men were innocent bystanders framed by untrustworthy cooperators angling for leniency in their own cases. Burga’s lawyer claimed there was no proof he took bribes.

“I would submit to you that never has more been made of less evidence,“ Udolf said.

Burga got some unwanted attention early in the trial when prosecutors claimed he unnerved the government’s star witness, a former marketing executive from Argentina, Alejandro Burzaco, by directing a threatening gesture at him — running his fingers across his throat in a slicing motion. The lawyer claimed his client was merely scratching his throat, but the judge took the incident seriously enough to tighten Burga’s house arrest conditions.

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  MEC Football

#2 Shepherd 63 UVa-Wise 35

Second-ranked Shepherd capped off the regular season with a 63-35 win over UVa-Wise. The victory marks the 30th consecutive MEC win for the Rams, who clinched the conference title outright last week.
Shepherd (10-0, 10-0) piled up 567 offensive yards in the contest while holding UVa-Wise (5-6, 4-6) to 252 yards over the course of the day and just 43 yards on the ground.
Connor Jessop accounted for five touchdowns on the day. He completed 25 of 45 pass attempts for 386 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 38 yards with a score.  He connected with five different receivers in the with including Ryan Feiss 12 times for 173 yards and one touchdown and Wanya Allen eight times for 118 yards and two scores. Duron Norris recorded two receptions for 21 yards and one touchdown.
Jabre Lolley tallied 99 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns for the Rams.
Jake Sturgill was 14-of-33 for 144 yards and two touchdowns for the Cavaliers. Kaian Duverger hauled in five passes for 61 yards for two scores while Victor Mitchell led UVa-Wise on the ground with 34 yards on seven carries. Javonte Latney and Devontae Jordan both notched touchdowns in the loss.
Defensively, DeJuan Neal recorded eight tackles (six solo) for Shepherd while Chrys Lane, Jared Austin and Myles Humphrey all notched seven stops on the day. Humphrey recorded two sacks on the day.
Kwadwo Diawuo led all players in the game with 11 tackles for the Cavaliers.

Urbana 35, Concord 15

Tajuan Green rushed for 186 yards and threw for 199 more to help lead Urbana to a 35-15 win over Concord on Saturday afternoon at UU Stadium. Trevon Saunders had six catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

The Blue Knights (5-6, 4-6) rushed for 320 yards as a team and finished with 519 yards of total offense averaging 8.4 yards per play. Trevon Saunders had six catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Saunders started the scoring with a 71-yard TD reception from Green. The Mountain Lions (2-9, 1-9) answered early in the second quarter with a touchdown run from Jamal Petty, who finished the game with 164 yards on just 16 carries. The Blue Knights were able to pull away with two late second quarter touchdowns, including one as time expired from Green to Saunders from 34 yards out.

Neither team was able to get points in the third quarter, and Concord pulled to within one score after Petty’s second touchdown run of the day. Urbana was able to close things out on a two-yard plunge from Trey McFadden and then a 51-yard scamper with less than two minutes to play to seal the victory.

Josh Dillard led UU with a game-high 16 tackles. Isaiah Turner had 1.5 sacks in the game, L.A. Kelly had seven tackles and an interception for the Blue Knights.

Concord was led defensively by Zach Malone who finished with 10 tackles. Ke’Shawn Hall had seven tackles, including a TFL and a fumble recovery. Jeremiah Johnson picked off a pass for CU in the loss.


West Virginia State 45, West Virginia Wesleyan 28

West Virginia Wesleyan pulled within three points early in the second half, but West Virginia State responded with 21 of the game’s next 28 points to close out the season with a 45-28 win over the Bobcats on Saturday afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets (6-5, 5-5) were able to win despite giving up 310 yards rushing to Devin Montgomery. Montgomery needed just 24 yards to rack up 310 yards in the game—just the second 300-yard rushing game in MEC and school history. The 310 yards is the third-most rushing yards in NCAA Division II this year (as of games through November 10).

The Yellow Jackets led 24-7 in the second quarter, but touchdown runs by Tra Jackson at the end of the first half and another to open the third quarter pulled West Virginia Wesleyan (5-6, 5-5) to within a field goal at 24-21 with 12:52 left in the period.

WVSU had to punt on its next possession, but got a three-and-out on defense and took back over at the Wesleyan 44-yard line. West Virginia State needed just six plays to go the 44 yards and the drive was capped by a 19-yard reception by Calil Wilkins from Matt Kinnick.

The Yellow Jackets then blocked a field goal by WVWC on its next possession, and would later add another TD pass from Kinnick as he found Gray from two yards out to make it 38-21 early in the fourth quarter. Dante Satcher had a 48-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Deal for the Bobcats, and Kinnick added his fourth TD pass of the day to AJ Barnette to close out the scoring.

Kinnick finished 21-of-29 for 269 yards and the four TDs. Dylan Lucas added 100 yards on the ground with a score, and Wilkins had 93 yards rushing and 29 yards receiving. Gray totaled five receptions for 59 yards and two scores.

In addition to Montgomery’s 310 yards rushing, Jackson ended with 86 on the ground and WVWC had 426 as a team. Ryan Deal was 9-of-17 for 109 yards and had two touchdowns but was picked three times.

WVSU’s Moises Valcarcel had 13 solo stops, forced two fumbles and recovered one, and also picked off two passes. Trent Williamson had 11 tackles (nine solo), including 2.5 for a loss. Robert Branch was also in on a pair of TFL.

Brandon Grayson had 12 tackles (10 solo) for WVWC. A.C. Caldera had five tackles and broke up three passes. 


#10 Indianapolis 42, Notre Dame 27

enth-ranked Indianapolis held off Notre Dame late and pulled away from the Falcons to take a 42-27 win.

The Greyhounds (11-0) out-gained the Falcons (8-3) by a 546-425 margin. The Falcons had the edge in first downs, 29-25, but Indianapolis was able to hold Notre Dame’s rushing attack to just 120 yards on 36 carries (3.3 yards per carry).

The game was tied 14-14 after the first quarter, but quarterback Jake Purichia had a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter to stake UIndy to the 28-14 lead at the break. The Greyhounds were able to push the lead to 35-24 with a TD on their first possession in the third quarter, but NDC did not go away. Brian Walker opened the fourth quarter with a two-yard scoring run, and Tay Johnson added 25-yard touchdown reception to make it 35-27 with still 9:31 to play.

The Falcons got the stop it needed on UIndy’s next possession, but was stopped on 4th-and-4 at the Greyhounds 43. Just three plays later on 3rd-and-10, Indianapolis responded with the score that put the game away as Purichia had a 50-yard touchdown pass to Malik Higgins. 

Notre Dame quarterback Malik Grove was 28-of-49 for 305 yards and two touchdowns against one interception, and also added 41 yards on the ground with a score. Walker finished with 58 rushing yards and a score. Conner Henry had seven catches for 102 yards, and Darius Johnson also had seven catches for 91 yards and a score. Johnson’s four catches for 72 yards and one TD.

For Indianapolis, Purichia was 22-of-31 for 348 and five TDs. Higgins had nine grabs for 197 yards and two scores. Tyre Lee had 18 carries for 121 yards.

On defense, NDC was led by R.J. Goodwin was in on seven tackles, including two for a loss with a sack. Davion Johnson had six tackles and forced a fumble, Curtis Collins was also in on six tackles.

Indianapolis’ Joe Lambright had 12 tackles and broke up two passes, while Jacob Schmatz had 10 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks.


Charleston 28, Glenville State 14

Charleston closed the regular season out with a 28-14 win over Glenville State on Saturday afternoon at UC Stadium.

The Golden Eagles close the season with a record of 4-6 (4-6 MEC), while Glenville State falls to 4-7 (3-7 MEC).

After a scoreless first quarter, Glenville State managed to get on the board first with a D.J. Williams touchdown reception from Jaylen McNair.

UC’s Tevion Cappe tied things up shortly after that going in from four yards out. Vernard Roberts put the Golden Eagles up 14-7 just before halftime with a one-yard touchdown plunge.

Early in the third quarter, James Bryant caught a hook from Mason Olszewski, broke a tackle and went the rest of the way for the 37-yard touchdown catch to make it 21-7.

Glenville State got a key stop forcing and recovering a fumble just as UC looked to go in for the score at the three-yard line. However, on the next play, McNair’s pass was batted into the air where Keon Mabin snagged it and went in for the touchdown.

After a UC turnover, McNair and Williams hooked up again on a quick slant pass to cut the Golden Eagles lead to 28-14. However, neither team was able to manage a score in the fourth as Charleston picked up the victory.


►  UC Edges WVWC, 1-0, In NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament

Charleston’s Robin Lapert headed in a corner cross from Kieran Bywater in the 36th minute, and the Golden Eagles made the goal stand up the rest of the way as they defeated West Virginia Wesleyan, 1-0, in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament.

The Golden Eagles (17-1-2) will play host to the next two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, including a matchup against West Chester next week. Game dates and times will be announced later next week. West Virginia Wesleyan concludes its season with a record of 12-6-3.

The game was played mostly in the midfield and looked destined to go into the half scoreless before UC’s first corner kick of the game in the 36th minute. Bywater served the ball high towards the near post, and Lapert beat his defender to get to the ball and put it in the back of the net. Lapert scored on a similar goal last week against the Bobcats in the MEC Tournament championship match.

West Virginia Wesleyan looked for the equalizer but could not break through, and then got a bit of a break when UC keeper Paulo Pita left the game with an injury. Ewen Le Gallo came in and played the final 30 minutes and made three saves to preserve the shutout.

Alessandro Armenia made eight saves on the night to help keep WVWC in the match. The Bobcats were limited to just five shots in the match, two of which came from Juwon Akintunde.


►  Pioneers Come Up Short in Season Opener Against Slippery Rock

The Glenville State Pioneer men’s basketball squad came up short in their season opener against Slippery Rock 75-64 in the Jakobi’s Journey Basketball Classic on Saturday evening at the Waco Center.

Glenville State (0-1) shot 38 percent on the night and just 20 percent from deep while Slippery Rock (1-0) finished the night shooting 41 percent from the floor and 28 percent from deep.

Slippery Rock held a big advantage on the boards as they out rebounded GSC 52 to 36. The Pioneers also got outscored in the paint 42 to 30.

Glenville State got a great performance from sophomore guard Darhius Nunn as he scored a game high 21 points as he went 10-of-22 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. Jon Dunmyer and Elisha Mayberry each scored nine points in the ball game with Brooks Ely chipping in with eight points.

Slippery Rock had three players score in double figures with Micah Till leading the way with 20 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. Brandon Simmons scored 15 points off the bench while Aaron McDonald chipped in with 13 points.

Glenville State (0-1) will return to action tomorrow Sunday, November 12th in Jakobi’s Journey Basketball Classic as they take on California PA at 4 p.m. following the Slippery Rock vs. West Virginia Wesleyan game.


►  McLeod Leads Lady Pioneers Past Bloomsburg in Season Opener

Glenville State’s Paris McLeod scored a high 22 points as she helped the Lady Pioneers pickup their first victory of the season over Bloomsburg University, 73-69.

Glenville State (1-0) forced Bloomsburg University (0-1) into 32 turnovers and scored 28 points off of them on the night. However the Huskies outscored the Lady Pioneers in the paint 32-30 but GSC had 24 second chance points while BU finished just nine.

GSC had a tough night shooting the ball as they went 24-of-85 for 28 percent and finished 7-of-32 from deep for just 21 percent. Bloomsburg went 29-of-63 for 46 percent and went 5-of-16 from behind the three-point line for 31 percent.

Paris McLeod was the only GSC player in double figures as she scored a game high 22 points to go with eight rebounds and four steals. Erika Toney scored nine points off the bench while Emily Stoller, Courtney Davis, and Julie Bishop all chipped in with eight points each. Davis also grabbed a game-high of 13 rebounds.

Bloomsburg had four players in double figures with Alyssa Mack leading the way with 14 points while Meghan Corridoni scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Glenville State (1-0) will play West Chester tomorrow Sunday, November 12th at 3 p.m. in the Carol Eckman Memorial Tournament.


►  College Football Rankings: Associated Press Top 25

1. Alabama
2. Miami (Fla.)
3. Oklahoma
4. Clemson
5. Wisconsin
6. Auburn
7. Georgia
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
10. Oklahoma State
11. TCU
12. Southern California
13. Penn State
14. UCF
15. Washington State
16. Washington
17. Mississippi State
18. Memphis
19. Michigan
20. Stanford
21. LSU
22. Michigan State
23. South Florida
24. West Virginia
25. NC State


►  College Football Rankings: Coaches Poll

1. Alabama
2. Miami (Fla.)
3. Clemson
4. Wisconsin
5. Oklahoma
6. Auburn
7. Georgia
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
10. Southern California
11. Penn State
12. UCF
13. Oklahoma State
14. TCU
15. Washington
16. Washington State
17. Memphis
18. Michigan
19. Mississippi State
20. South Florida
21. LSU
22. NC State
23. Stanford
24. Michigan State
25. West Virginia

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  WVWC, NDC Advance In Women’s Soccer Tournament

West Virginia Wesleyan and Notre Dame College each won in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. The Bobcats blanked Gannon, 2-0, while the Falcons overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit with a pair of goals in the second half to claim their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.

Notre Dame advances to take on top-seeded West Chester on Sunday at noon. West Virginia Wesleyan will play second-seeded East Stroudsburg at 2 p.m.


#5 Notre Dame 2, #4 Kutztown 1

After trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Notre Dame College women’s soccer team came out strong in the second 45 minutes to win 2-1 against Kutztown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This is the first NCAA postseason win for the NDC program.

Within the first minute of the second half, MEC Offensive Player of the Year, Alexis Manoa scored on a corner kick, curving the ball into the net.

Less than 10 later, fellow senior Jackie Corrigan scored on a header, which was assisted by Manoa.

Manoa and Corrigan both lead the team with nine goals apiece this season after defeating the No. 4 seeded Golden Bears.

“We needed big performances today and we got them,” said head coach Mike Shiels. “I’m so proud of the team and what they have accomplished so far. Kutztown is a very good team and to get a result against them was fantastic.”

Part of those big performances was freshman goalkeeper Kyra McDowell who matched her career best six saves. McDowell faced 12 shots and seven corner kicks to earn her 13th win in her debut season. The Ogden, Utah native tied the NDC single-season wins record with this Tournament victory.

The Falcons pressured the Golden Bear defense in the second half to earn three corner kicks after attempting none in the first half. Both goals were results of corner kicks as Notre Dame was able to take advantage of their positioning on the field.

NDC relied heavily on their starters, like many of their games this season, as their three midfielders and four defenders played all 90 minutes of the contest.

Notre Dame advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will play #18 West Chester on Sunday, November 12, at noon.


West Virginia Wesleyan 2, Gannon 0

West Virginia Wesleyan scored a goal in each half and posted its 16th shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Gannon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Natalie Prater’s free kick from 30 yards out in the 24th minute of the game provided the Bobcats (18-2-1) a lead it would not relinquish. Despite pressure from Gannon (13-5-2) in the second half, WVWC got an insurance goal as Carolyn Saulle chipped the goalkeeper from the edge of the box after taking a feed from Kelsie Hibbs.

Ashlee Schumacher and Chelsea Hubner shared time in goal on Friday with Schumacher playing the first half and Hubner playing the second. Schumacher made three saves, while Hubner made four stops and was under pressure in the second half and also stopped a penalty kick shortly after WVWC went up 2-0. Gannon outshot the Bobcats, 16-7 in the game, including 11-2 in the second half. The Knights also had six corner kicks compared to just one for West Virginia Wesleyan.

The Bobcats will now take on second-seeded East Stroudsburg on Sunday at 2 p.m. on the the Warriors home field.

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  MEC: Men’s Soccer: UC, WVWC To Meet In NCAA Tournament

The University of Charleston and West Virginia Wesleyan each earned berths into the 2017 NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Tournament.

The Golden Eagles (16-1-2) are the top seed in Atlantic Region and automatically have a spot in the second round where they will face the fourth-seeded Bobcats (11-5-3).

This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season, with each team winning a game and one ending in a draw. WVWC defeated Charleston on Sunday in the MEC Tournament final to earn the MEC’s automatic berth into the tournament.


►  MEC: Women’s Soccer: Bobcats, Falcons Earn NCAA Tournament Berths

West Virginia Wesleyan and Notre Dame College will both represent the Mountain East Conference in the 2017 NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament.

The Bobcats (17-2-1) are the third seed in the Atlantic Region and are coming off their MEC Tournament victory. West Virginia Wesleyan will face sixth-seeded Gannon (13-4-2) on Friday, November 10, at 2 p.m. The game will be played at East Stroudsburg and the winner of that matchup will get the second-seeded Warriors on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Falcons (13-4-2) are the fifth seed in the tournament and have drawn fourth-seeded Kutztown (16-3-1). Notre Dame and the Golden Bears will play on Friday, November 10, at noon, and the winner of that match will get West Chester (16-3-1), the top seed in the region, on Sunday at noon. 


►  MEC Announces Weekly Football Honors

Tajuan Green (Urbana), Brandon Grayson (West Virginia Wesleyan) and Anton Vrebac (Notre Dame) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors for their play in the tenth week of the season.

Green, a senior from Columbus, Ohio, is the Offensive Player of the Week for helping guide Urbana to its largest comeback in school history. Green had 366 yards of total offense on the day with 143 rushing yards and 223 through the air. Green was 9-of-12 with four touchdowns in just the fourth quarter alone as UU out-scored 30-7 in the quarter. He also had 82 rushing yards in the final 15 minutes, including a 20-yard scamper on fourth down to set up the game-winning touchdown.

Grayson, a senior from Middleburg, Va., is the Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in helping West Virginia Wesleyan get past Glenville State, 27-20. Grayson had eight tackles on the day, including one for a loss, and also had an interception. He helped lead a defense that held the Pioneers to under

Vrebac, a senior from Willowick, Ohio, is the Special Teams Player of the Week as the Falcons edged UVa-Wise. He punted five times for 36.6 yards with a long of 50 and three of those landing inside the 20 and another at the 21-yard line. He also converted on 4th and 13 on a fake punt rushing for 39 yards and leading to a NDC touchdown on the next play.

Other Top Performances

Offense: Connor Jessop (SU) completed 25 of 39 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns and rushed six times for 67 yards and a score to lead the Rams to the MEC title…Dominique Gibson (GSC) rushed for a game-high 119 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns in a 27-20 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan, marking his second consecutive 100 yard outing…Terell Charles (FSU) turned in his second-straight 100 yard rushing performance with 134 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown in a shutout win over Concord…Matt Kinnick (WVSU) completed 27 of 28 pass attempts for 307 yards and five touchdowns against Urbana…Darius Johnson (NDC) caught three passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns against UVa-Wise.

Defense:   Cory Roberts (GSC) paced the Pioneer defense with nine total tackles and ranks 6th in the country in solo stops with 66 on the year…Zach Malone (CU) climbed in the top 10 all-time at Concord in career tackles (220) after recording 12 stops against Fairmont State…Marcus Porter (FSU) led the Falcons to their first shutout of the season with eight tackles (seven solo) and a pass breakup…Tavon Hooks (NDC) totaled five solo tackles, one tackle for loss, four pass breakups and an interception in Saturday’s win over UVa-Wise…L.A. Kelly (UU) paced the Blue Knights defensively with 10 tackles and a key stop in West Virginia State’s last drive.

Special Teams: Kelvin Flores (GSC) kicked two field goals, one for 24-yards and one for 21-yards, in a 27-20 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan.

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers seek to depose NFL owners in collusion grievance case

Attorneys for quarterback Colin Kaepernick have notified the NFL that they are requesting that several owners of teams, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and the Houston Texans’ Robert McNair, participate in depositions as part of Kaepernick’s grievance accusing owners and teams of colluding to keep him out of the league, a person familiar with the case said Friday.

The request also seeks access to electronic communications, including emails and text messages, involving several teams that were linked to Kaepernick, according to that person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Kaepernick’s grievance remains pending.

The NFL declined to comment. The teams involved either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kaepernick has remained unsigned since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following last season. He began the movement of players protesting during the national anthem while with the 49ers last season. He is being represented in his collusion grievance by Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Geragos, with support being offered by the NFL Players Association.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFLPA, Kaepernick must prove that teams conspired with each other or with the league. The fact that he remains unsigned, in comparison to players who have been signed and are on rosters, does not by itself prove collusion, under the CBA.

Jones has said he would bench any Cowboys player who protests during the anthem. McNair created a controversy when he reportedly said during a recent owners’ meeting that the NFL “can’t have the inmates running the prison.“

The request by Kaepernick’s legal team was previously reported by other media outlets, including CBS and ESPN. Those reports also mentioned Jed York of the 49ers, Paul Allen of the Seattle Seahawks and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots among the owners who could be deposed, and the Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens among the teams from which electronic communications are being sought.


►  WVSSAC High school soccer state championship scores

The high school soccer state championships wrapped up on Saturday as Hurricane, Cabell Midland, Robert C. Byrd and Nitro all won titles.

CLASS AAA BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Hurricane 2, Wheeling Park 0

CLASS AAA GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Cabell Midland 1, University 0

CLASS AA-A BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Nitro 2, Robert C. Byrd 1

CLASS AA-A GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Robert C. Byrd 3, Charleston Catholic 2 (OT)


►  WVSSAC Women Cross Country: Pineault, Chambers Qualify For NCAA Championships

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Sydney Pineault and Wheeling Jesuit’s Kelsey Chambers each qualified for the NCAA Championships after their finish at the Atlantic Regional Championships on Saturday at West Branch Cross Country Course in Lock Haven, Pa.

A large pack came in behind winner Julie Friend of California (Pa.), and Pineault emerged as the runner-up with a time of 21:17.4 on the 6,000-meter course. Summer Hill of Cal was next at 21:18.2, Edinboro’s Stefanie Parsons was fourth with a time of 21:19.3 and Chambers was fifth with a time of 21:20.7. WJU’s Kaitlyn Workman was next with a time of 21:24.1

With California, Shippensburg and Edinboro earning berths into the NCAA Championships by finishing in the top three, the next two individuals from non-qualifying teams earned berths to the NCAA Championships in Evansville, Ind., on November 18. Those two spots went to Pineault and Chambers, and Workman will be in the pool of individuals up for an at-large berth when the entire team and individual field is announced on Monday.

West Virginia Wesleyan finished ninth with a score of 243 points, and Wheeling Jesuit was next with 249. Concord was 15th (359), Charleston was 19th (535), Fairmont State was 21st (630) and West Liberty was 22nd (690).


►  WVSSAC Men Cross Country:  Weitzel, Concord Lead MEC Teams

Concord led all Mountain East Conference teams with a fourth place finish at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships at West Branch Cross Country Course in Lock Haven, Pa.

CU just missed an automatic spot to the NCAA Championships for a second-straight year as the top three teams qualify. The Mountain Lions will be in the pool of teams up for an at-large berth as the complete field is announced on Monday. The NCAA Championships will be held Nov. 18 in Evansville, Ind.

Concord was fourth with 138 points. Charleston had an impressive eighth-place finish with 240 points. West Virginia Wesleyan was 11th (277) and Wheeling Jesuit was 15th (409) and West Liberty was 18th (512).

CU’s Jason Weitzel became the first MEC athlete to earn an individual berth into the NCAA Championships by virtue of his eighth place finish on Saturday. He completed the 10,000-meter course with a time of 31:20. He was seconds ahead of teammate Justin Snyder (31:26) who was ninth. Snyder, along with West Virginia Wesleyan’s Matt Dearth, are up for individual berths into the championship. Dearth was 11th in the race with a time of 31:46.

Wetizel, Snyder, Dearth, along with Concord’s Tyler Kosut (13th, 31:51) and Charleston’s David Cecchi (24th, 32:22), earned All-Atlantic Region honors by virtue of their top 25 finish.

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The Free Press WV

►  MEC Announces Football Week 8 Awards

Connor Jessop (Shepherd), John Cominsky (Charleston) and Sam Keil (Fairmont State) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors for their play in the eighth week of the season.

Jessop, a senior from Ashburn, Va., is the Offensive Player Of The Week after directing the No. 2 Shepherd Rams to a 48-14 win over Urbana. In addition to throwing for 259 yards and four touchdowns, he also rushed for 45 yards for a score and caught a TD pass from six yards out. Jessop had a role in all six SU touchdowns on the day.

Cominsky, a junior from Barberton, Ohio, is the league’s Defensive Player Of The Week for helping the Golden Eagles get past UVa-Wise last week. He helped the UC defense hold the Cavs to just 52 yards rushing and 229 yards of total offense. He was in on nine tackles in the game, including four for a loss and one sack, and also batted down a pair of passes. Cominsky is second in the country in tackles for a loss this season with 16.5

Keil, a senior from Carmichael, Calif., is the Special Teams Player Of The Week after providing all the scoring for Fairmont State in an 18-15 overtime win over Glenville State. He tied an NCAA Division II record with six field goals in the game hitting from 20, 46, 25, 37 and 34 yards out. Keil’s made 15 field goals so far this season, tied for the most at FSU in a single season, and has hit three decisive field goals to win games this year for FSU.


Other Top Performances

Offense: Juawan Etheredge (WVSU) needed just 14 carries to rack up 111 yards and scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime against West Liberty ... Jamal Petty (CU) had 167 all-purpose yards with 120 rushing with a touchdown and 47 receveiving with another score ... Jeremiah Ortiz (WLU) led all rushers last week with 179 yards on 30 carries ... Trevon Saunders (UU) notched his 29th career touchdown reception against Shepherd ... Tra Jackson (WVWC) had 106 yards rushing and his first career touchdown ... Tevion Cappe (UC) had 109 yards on the ground with a score ... Jaylen McNair (GSC) was 16-of-30 for 202 yards vs. Fairmont State.

Defense: Cody Goode (WVWC) had 12 tackles with two for a loss and a sack in the Bobcats win over Notre Dame ... Jonathan Roebuck (CU) had a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Mountain Lions non-conference win over UNC Pembroke ... Stephen Turner (FSU) had six tackles and an interception for the Falcons ... Darius Goode (WVSU) recorded 15 tackles (seven solo) ... Andre Dalton (GSC) had 12 solo tackles and broke up two passes ... Logan Deri (WLU) posted a career-high 14 tackles, including two for a loss ... L.A. Kelly (UU) had nine tackles and returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown against Shepherd.

Special Teams: Zach Wise (SU) made two field goals and all six of his PAT ... Zack Keaton (CU) made three field goals for the Mountain Lions in a win over UNC Pembroke ... Aaron Ball (WVSU) went 4-for-4 on field goal tries in a 39-33 win over West Liberty ... Kelvin Flores (GSC) had three field goals for the Pioneers.


►  Shepherd, Notre Dame In Region Rankings

Two teams from the Mountain East Conference are in the first edition of the NCAA Super Region 1 football rankings.

The Shepherd Rams came in at No. 3 in the rankings, while Notre Dame College was No. 8. The top seven teams in the final regional rankings will earn a berth in the playoffs.

Super Region 1 includes the MEC, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Great Midwest Athletic Conference and the Northeast 10.

Indiana (Pa.) is first in the rankings, followed by Assumption.

After Shepherd, Findlay was fourth, followed by Slippery Rock, West Chester and Kutztown. The Falcons were eighth, while Shippensburg and LIU Post rounded out the rankings.


►  Falcons Sweep Men’s Soccer Awards Again

For the second-straight week, Notre Dame has swept the weeky honors for men’s soccer in the Mountain East Conference with Guilherme Gloria Albuquerque earning Offensive Player of the Week honors, while teammate Daniele De Angelis is the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for the second-straight time.

Albuquerque, a sophomore from Santo Andre, Brazil, tallied three goals in two games last week for the Falcons. He opened the week with a brace in a 4-0 win over Shepherd, and then scored the lone goal in a key MEC win over West Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday.

De Angelis, a sophomore from Parma, Italy, continued his strong play between the pipes adding two more clean sheets to his total last week. The Falcons blanked Shepherd and West Virginia Wesleyan last week with De Angelis coming up with five saves in the win over the Bobcats.


►  Elias, McDowell Earn Women’s Soccer Honors

Concord’s Pilar Elias is the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Notre Dame’s Kyra McDowell is the league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Elias, a junior from Waterville, Maine, produced a hat trick in a come-from-behind win against Wheeling Jesuit. She put CU up early, and then had an equalizing goal, and her third score proved to be the difference in a 4-3 win over the Cardinals. She also had three shots in a win over Fairmont State, a victory that clinched an MEC Tournament berth for the Mountain Lions.

McDowell, a freshman from Ogden, Utah, had two shutouts last week for the Falcons. After making two saves in a 4-0 win over Shepherd, she made five saves to help preserve a 2-0 win over No. 10 West Virginia Wesleyan.

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The Free Press WV

►  MEC Announces Week 7 Football Honors

Malik Grove (Notre Dame), Aman Speed Jr. (West Virginia Wesleyan) and Tyler Fischer (West Virginia Wesleyan) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors for their play in the seventh week of the season.

Grove, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, paced the NDC offense in a 45-7 win over Urbana. He threw for 229 yards and five touchdowns and added 83 more yards on the ground. He broke the school record with 8,882 yards of total offense and set a new NDC mark with 91 touchdowns accounted for.

Speed Jr., a sophmore from Baltimore, Md., was key in West Virginia Wesleyan’s 10-7 win over UVa-Wise. He scooped up a fumble and raced 41 yards for WVWC’s only touchdown in the game. He also recorded six tackles in the game, including a pair of sacks that totaled up 14 yards.

Fischer, a sophomore from Chalfont, Pa., had four key points in WVWC’s narrow win over UVa-Wise. He had a 36-yard field goal to start the game and also added an extra point in the win.


Other Top Performances

Offense: Ryan Feiss (SU) had seven catches for 97 yards a touchdown in a win over Fairmont State ... Jaylen McNair (GSC) had a 37-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that lifted the Pioneers to a win over West Liberty ... Adam Fulton (CU) had three touchdown passes and 193 yards for the Mountain Lions ... Rodell Rahmaan (UU) had an 81-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the game against Notre Dame ... Laurence King (FSU) had four catches for 86 yards vs. No. 2 Shepherd ... Juawan Etheredge (WVSU) carried the ball 17 for 100 yards and two scores.

Defense: Myles Humphrey (SU) became the school’s all-time sack leader with two last week and also had eight stops in a win over Shepherd ... Earon Settles (GSC) had 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss, in a win over Wets Liberty ... Duray Hall (UU) had a season-high 16 tackles against Notre Dame ... Naiquan Thomas (FSU) had seven tackles and scored on a 37-yard interception return against Shepherd.

Special Teams: Brandon Purk (UU) averaged 44.9 net average and had three punts of over 50 yards with three inside the 20 yard line ... Anton Vrebac (NDC) punted the ball eight times for an average of 41.0 yards with five inside the 20.


►  MEC Men’s Soccer: Falcons Sweep Soccer Honors

Notre Dame’s Leonardo Paiva is the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Daniele De Angelis is the league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Paiva, a senior from Vitoria, Brazil, led the Falcons to a 2-0-0 week. He scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Concord, and then scord both goals in a 2-0 win over Salem International. His scores pushed his total for 11 on the year.

De Angelis, a sophomore from Parma, Italy, notched a pair of shutouts to help Notre Dame to a 2-0-0 week. He stopped five shots in a win over Concord and then made six saves in a shutout victory over Salem International.


MEC Women’s Soccer: Mountain Lions Take Weekly Women Soccer Awards
Concord’s Courtney Wallace is the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Morgan Carmichael is the league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Wallace, a freshman from Castleford, England, had five points in two games to help Concord to a pair of important conference wins last week. She tallied both goals in a win over Notre Dame, and then provided the game-winning assist as the Mountain Lions downed West Liberty 1-0 in double overtime.

Carmichael, a freshman from Fleming Island, Fla., led the Mountain Lions to a pair of wins last week. She contributed a pair of assists as Concord knocked off Notre Dame, and then helped lead the defensive effort as CU shut out West Liberty, 1-0, in double overtime.


►  MEC MBB: Cardinals Tabbed As Men’s Basketball Preseason Favorite

Wheeling Jesuit is the preseason favorite to win the 2018 Mountain East Conference men’s basketball championship after a vote conducted by the league’s coaches. The poll had five different teams receive first place votes.
The Cardinals finished atop the poll with 112 points and six first-place votes, just two points ahead of Fairmont State’s 110 points and two first-place votes. The Cardinals and Falcons played for the NCAA Atlantic Region title last year with FSU winning and going on to play for a national championship.

WJU returns a pair of All-MEC players in seniors Pat Moseh and Haywood Highsmith from last year’s team that went 25-8. Moseh averaged 16 points and six rebounds last year, while Highsmith averaged a double-double with 15.3 points and 10.8 rebounds. The Fighting Falcons bring back several key components from the team that went to the NCAA title game including Jason Jolly and D’Ondre Stockman, and get back Caleb Davis and R.J. Hutcherson who missed last season with injuries.

West Liberty, which will be led by All-American Dan Monteroso, was picked to finish third with 102 points and two first-place votes. Shepherd was fourth in the poll with 92 points and one first-place vote. The Rams return their top two scorers from a year ago in Steffen Davis and A.J. Carr. Notre Dame had the final first-place vote and finished in fifth in the poll with 86 points. All-American Will Vorhees, the nation’s second leading scorer last year with 26.8 points per game, is back for his senior season to lead the Falcons.

West Virginia Wesleyan was picked to finish sixth with 64 points, followed by Charleston (58), UVa-Wise (47) and Glenville State (46). Concord was picked 10th with 31 points, and West Virginia State (30) and Urbana (14) rounded out the poll.
The poll was released on Monday at the Mountain East Conference Media Day at the Bridgeport Conference Center in Bridgeport, WV.

The men’s basketball season begins on Friday, November 10.

2017 MEC Preseason Poll
1. Wheeling Jesuit (6) 112
2. Fairmont State (2) 110
3. West Liberty (2) 102
4. Shepherd (1) 92
5. Notre Dame (1) 86
6. West Virginia Wesleyan 64
7. Charleston 58
8. UVa-Wise 47
9. Glenville State 46
10. Concord 31
11. West Virginia State 30
12. Urbana 14
() Indicates first place votes
* Coaches not able to vote for own team


►  MEC WBB: Glenville State Picked To Win Women’s Basketball Title

Glenville State has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2018 Mountain East Conference women’s basketball championship in a vote conducted by the league’s coaches.
The Pioneers finished atop the poll with 120 points and 10 first-place votes. The Pioneers return eight players who averaged 20 minutes last season from a team that went 24-6 and won the MEC regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Paris McLeod, the reigning league Player Of The Year, is back after averaging 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.9 steals per game. Courtney Davis, who nearly averaged a double-double with 9.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, returns in the post for GSC.
Wheeling Jesuit, the two-time defending MEC Tournament champions, was picked to finish second in the poll with 110 points and one first-place vote. The Cardinals dynamic backcourt duo of Mariah Callen and Monica Burns, along with Chenelle Moore in the frontcourt, will try to help the team to a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. West Virginia State, under the direction of second-year head coach Charles Marshall, was picked to finish third in the poll with 85 points and had the remaining first-place vote. The Yellow Jackets will be led by Aurreshae Hines who averaged 16.7 points and 5.3 assists and last year’s Freshman of the Year Sydney Bates (11.8 points per game in 2016-17).
Notre Dame was picked fourth with 75 points, followed by Charleston (71), Fairmont State (69), Shepherd (65) and West Liberty (62). West Virginia Wesleyan was tabbed ninth with 51 points, and UVa-Wise (43), Urbana (21) and Concord (20) rounded out the poll.

The poll was released on Monday at the Mountain East Conference Media Day at the Bridgeport Conference Center in Bridgeport, WV.

The women’s basketball season begins on Friday, November 10.

2017 MEC Preseason Poll
1. Glenville State (10) 120
2. Wheeling Jesuit (1) 110
3. West Virginia State (1) 85
4. Notre Dame 75
5. Charleston 71
6. Fairmont State 69
7. Shepherd 65
8. West Liberty 62
9. West Virginia Wesleyan 51
10. UVa-Wise 43
11. Urbana 21
12. Concord 20
() Indicates first place votes
* Coaches not able to vote for own team


►  Column: Talladega is too dicey to be in NASCAR’s playoffs

Here’s what went right at Talladega Superspeedway:

— It was a beautiful day with packed grandstands.

— Fans were treated to a sincere send-off to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

— NBC’s overnight television rating was the highest for this race since 2012, when it was aired on ESPN.

— Brad Keselowski used a last-lap pass to win Sunday and advance into the next round of the playoffs.

So, what’s the problem?

There were a lot of accidents in the race, contributing to almost 35 minutes of stoppage over three different red-flag periods. There were only 14 cars on the track at the checkered flag, and only four were playoff drivers. Two of them finished a lap down.

Sorry, that is not a playoff-quality event.

NASCAR did the right thing this season in moving Talladega into the middle of the second round of the playoffs so it would no longer be an elimination race. The event is too much of a crapshoot, and too many drivers have had their championship chances destroyed by some misfortune — often out of their hands — for the race to play such a pivotal role.

After Sunday, it could be argued that Talladega shouldn’t be in the playoffs at all.

No one is suggesting taking it off the schedule. Fans love restrictor-plate racing at Daytona and Talladega, and many thought Sunday was a great race. Maybe it was. But it wasn’t the kind of product that should be deciding a championship.

Chase Elliott could have won that race, same for Ryan Blaney, and each ended the day as spectators alongside their junked race cars. So, yeah, both sounded a little bitter about their results.

Blaney had won the second stage of the race to pick up valuable playoff points, and was for sure a contender.

“It’s all ruined now,“ said Blaney. “We had a really good day, and now it’s down the drain.“

The 12-driver playoff field will be cut by four after this Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, and all seven of the drivers at the bottom of the standings were involved in accidents at Talladega. That includes reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson, who was parked because his team worked on his damaged car during a red flag. He’s now on the cutline to advance out of Kansas.

Talladega produces dramatic racing that draws fans to their feet for the entire 500 miles. Look away and you might miss something. That’s great, and the four times a year that NASCAR puts the plates on, the customers generally leave satisfied.

But consider this: Keselowski overcame a broken antenna — a setback that not only hampered team communication but required a special pit stop to fix his radio — dodged all the accidents and then timed his pass for the lead perfectly to win. After, he credited luck, not skill, for his ability to “survive.“

Also, the victory was the fifth straight for a Ford driver at Talladega. It gave Fords a season sweep of the plate races, and since Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 in a Toyota in the 2016 season-opener, Fords have won seven consecutive plate races. Clearly Talladega is a race about horsepower, and engine builder Doug Yates is winning it right now.

Ryan Newman has been critical in the past about plate racing, but declined after Sunday’s runner-up finish to answer if it was a good race.

“That’s a matter of opinion,“ he said. “I mean, it is what it is. I don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary or a big surprise for this type of racing. It’s totally different than what we had last week and what we’ll have next week. I don’t know that there’s a desire to have a different product here at this type of racetrack.“

Fair enough. Keep the racing as is, just keep it out of the playoffs. NASCAR doesn’t have a road course in the playoffs because it’s a novelty, something the Cup Series does just twice a year. Including it in the playoffs wouldn’t be fair because drivers don’t do it enough for it to be an accurate factor in determining the champion.

So why does Talladega get a pass? There’s too much at stake — for drivers, teams, the sport — for days like Sunday to be a factor in deciding a champion. NASCAR needs to find a new place on the schedule for Talladega.

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The Free Press WV

►  Want to clean up college athletics? Pay the players

The University of Louisville basketball program had just put Stripper-gate in the rearview mirror. Assistant Coach Andre McGee was fired; everyone agreed that the illicit sex parties in Billy Minardi Hall occurred without the knowledge of any higher-ups. Bullet dodged.

Then came the FBI’s bribery and fraud investigation. The inquiry, which led to the arrests of 10 people last week connected to the world of college basketball, identified Louisville as having paid $100,000 to Brian Bowen, an incoming recruit. Last Wednesday, Louisville effectively fired legendary coach Rick Pitino and placed Athletic Director Tom Jurich on paid leave. Indications are that these arrests may be the tip of the iceberg.

Given that both scandals emerged from attempts to work around the ban on paying players, and after decades of trying to police such behavior, will the NCAA finally conclude that only one step can truly clean up college athletics’ seedy underbelly? Paying players.

After all, the cause of paying players had been gaining steam even before the Louisville fallout. Articles and opinion pieces trumpeting the cause have been published by the dozens over the past few years.

Yet, that response would make the current scandal markedly different from countless past instances of illegal payments. In the 1980s, Southern Methodist University boosters illicitly paid dozens of football players. A University of Kentucky envelope mailed to the father of recruit Chris Mills in the late 1980s had $1,000 cash fall out in transit, sparking an NCAA investigation. The University of Colorado admitted in 2004 that it used sex and alcohol to lure prospective student athletes into signing with the school. Michigan’s Fab Five took under-the-table payments.

None of these scandals led to a change in the NCAA’s amateur model.

Instead, over the past century, protest against unpaid student athletes has been docile and inefficient, almost always a low-risk, low-commitment cause. Talk about compensation has rarely been accompanied by actual change, because a strange elixir exists in college athletics: a still-pervasive belief in amateurism by many university leaders is coupled with billions of dollars in annual revenue. This money pays the salaries of thousands of athletic coaches and administrators. Paying the college athletes who generate revenue (and most don’t) requires them to take money out of their own pockets - something that’s possible only if the movement for change is a lot less talk and a lot more action.

The idea of paying college athletes is really old. In 1905, Harper’s Magazine published an editorial (subsequently reprinted in newspapers nationwide) addressing the “Pay of College Athletes.“ Harper’s saw the issue as one of visible inequity. The popularity - and profitability - of college athletics made the problem of “how to make athletes work for nothing” - or to put it another way, “how to keep the athletes from drawing salaries” - increasingly difficult for university administrators to manage. Harper’s concluded that unless a more transparent and fair compensation system arose, college athletes would continue to be paid “surreptitious wages.“

In 1915, the University of Chicago Daily Maroon upended the college football community by pushing the matter further. Given that the editor of the college newspaper and the tuba player in the marching band received compensation from the university, the Maroon argued, why not the college athletes? “They work hard for the university organization known as the football team, which is a money making enterprise, the receipts from football being something like $20,000 [roughly $478,000 today] more than expenditures for the sport. Why not give the players a share of the profits accruing from their hard and faithful labors?“

The University of Chicago was only one year removed from a national championship in football; its voice on the subject mattered.

In 1929, Major W.H. McKellar of the University of the South (Sewanee) proposed that his school’s conference - the Southern Conference - embrace open, above-board payments to college athletes. Actually, the Major preferred universities doing away with charging admission to college football games. But recognizing that this was crazy talk, McKellar argued that “his proposal to openly pay college athletes in the Southern conference” was the only reasonable way forward.

Even the nation’s most beloved humorist at the time - Will Rogers - provided flyby support for the pay-for-play model. He was the John Oliver of his day, just pithier. “There is only one fair way to ever arrange amateur athletics in any line in the country,“ Rogers declared, “and that’s let the athletes work on commission of what they draw at the gate then make them pay their own schooling expenses.“

Every few years the compensation issue resurfaced, usually in response to some sort of scandal. Then it went away.

Which is not to say that there haven’t been any changes along the way. In 1956, the NCAA voted to allow full athletic scholarships. In 1972, Title IX began pushing some of that athletic scholarship revenue to young women. Beginning in 2015, a new cost of attendance provision added several thousand dollars to athletic awards. But direct compensation has remained out of reach. In each case, after the bluster of a pay the players episode died down, the same thing happened: nothing.

That’s because activism on the issue has always been about words - passionate editorials, enthusiastic speeches and well-constructed research projects - rather than actions. There has never been an ethos of change or else among critics of college athletics.

No one expects commentator Jay Bilas to quit his work for ESPN because of his strong objections to the NCAA structure that he is covering. Similarly, it is not uncommon for faculty members at major football or basketball universities to rage against the inequity of the NCAA (using social justice theory, Marx, the whole nine yards) - and then take full advantage of their discounted athletic tickets.

This activism hasn’t gone further because paying college athletes is a collective action problem, a situation where members of a group might benefit from or support a certain action, but the individual costs make it difficult for the crowd to band together toward that end. In essence, someone says, “I could forfeit going to college football games because student athletes should be paid, but that would just result in me sitting at home on Saturday afternoon while everyone else is at the game.“ What good would that do?

And of course there’s the money involved. CBS recently extended its contract to televise the annual NCAA March Madness tournament for $8.8 billion over eight years. Nick Saban makes $11 million annually coaching the University of Alabama football team. The Big Ten conference just awarded Jim Delany more than $20 million in bonuses for his leadership. The status quo is working quite well for many of the parties involved.

Given that financially significant collective action problems are notoriously difficult to solve, what’s next?

Allowing athletes to control and profit from their names, likenesses and athletic abilities seems reasonable. Even for YouTubing, cross-country studs. Allowing college athletes open access to agents would be a start. Perhaps the NCAA, as ESPN’s Jay Williams suggests, is about to crumble.

But I doubt major changes will occur anytime soon. History tells us that we’ll continue to talk about this problem. We’ll debate it. We’ll write about it. We’ll even argue and fight about it.

And then things will die down, and we’ll go back to the way it has always been.

Ryan Swanson is associate professor of history in the honors college at the University of New Mexico and author of “When Baseball Went White: Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Dreams of a National Pastime.“


►  Analysis: What’s the end game for NFL and protesting players? Right now, there isn’t an answer

The conversations are taking place all over the NFL, in various settings and between different combinations of players, coaches, owners and league leaders. On Sunday in Baltimore, it was Ravens Coach John Harbaugh talking to Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva and DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, before the Ravens and Steelers played at M&T Bank Stadium.

“Coach Harbaugh has done a lot of things for the military. . . . It was just a very friendly conversation regarding all the events that have transpired and how we as sort of players, coaches and the union can make this right,“ Villanueva, the former Army Ranger who has been a high-profile figure in the recent national debate about patriotism, unity and protests by NFL players during the national anthem, said later Sunday.

The NFL spent much of last week trying to figure out how to move forward on the issue. Commissioner Roger Goodell met with a group of players and owners on Tuesday night in New York. But as the league attempts to orchestrate its end game to all of this, here’s the problem: There is no quick and easy solution, because the interests of the league and the players who are protesting are divergent.

“At this point, this whole kneeling [or] standing up is a much bigger issue than the things that we’re asking for as a league,“ Villanueva said Sunday. “We’re trying to be conscious of social issues. We’re also trying to be very respectful of the flag. And how it’s being demonstrated has taken a much larger stage than the actions on the field.“

The NFL just played its second Sunday of games since Trump intensified the controversy over players taking a knee during the anthem by using crass language to say that those who do so should be fired. This week, fewer players knelt.

On Sunday in Baltimore, Villanueva was joined by his Steelers teammates on the sideline, standing for the anthem. A week earlier in Chicago, the Steelers had decided not to be on the sideline for the anthem, although Villanueva stood at the front of a tunnel leading to the field, with his hand over his heart.

The Ravens seemed to seek a compromise solution Sunday, with their players taking a knee before the anthem. The crowd was asked to join the players and the Ravens organization in a prayer to embrace kindness, unity, equality and justice for all Americans. The Ravens then, like the Steelers across the field, stood for the anthem. The Ravens’ display drew boos, with some cheers mixed in, from the crowd.

“I’ve heard people say that my colleagues and I are un-American and unpatriotic,“ Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece. “Well, we want to make America great. We want to help make our country safe and prosperous. We want a land of justice and equality. True patriotism is loving your country and countrymen enough to want to make it better.“

The Ravens’ gesture Sunday was in line with the Dallas Cowboys’ attempt last Monday night in Arizona to blend the interests of players who wanted to kneel for the anthem and those who wanted to stand for it. Owner Jerry Jones joined Cowboys players and coaches in locking arms and taking a knee on the field before the anthem. The Cowboys then stood and returned to their sideline and remained standing for the anthem.

It raises the question: Is a protest still a protest if it’s a compromise? Protest is, by definition, necessarily provocative. Some players have concerns that the original message of the movement started last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, has been lost. Kaepernick took a knee to protest what he viewed as racial inequality in the U.S. and police brutality toward African Americans.

Those who took exception to the form of the players’ protests, including Trump, have made the national debate about patriotism. NFL owners reacted to Trump with statements of support for players and shows of unity in which some locked arms with players on the field. Players said they appreciated the support. But is it all about inequality, patriotism or unity?

“I think these conversations make people uncomfortable, and I think that’s a way for them to deflect from the issues that we really want to talk about and steer the narrative in a different direction,“ 49ers safety Eric Reid, who protested alongside Kaepernick last season, told ESPN last week.

The league has a business to run, and it must run that business while avoiding alienating fans on both sides of this polarizing, emotionally charged issue. At least for now, the league is drawing the ire of both those angry about the players’ protests, as well as those supportive of them and upset that Kaepernick remains without a job. The league is acutely aware of this.

The volume undoubtedly will be turned down at some point, though perhaps not soon. One former NFL general manager expressed wariness in recent days that any team contemplating signing Kaepernick must fret that Trump will return to the issue at some point and, the next time, that team would find itself bearing the brunt of the president’s scorn. But there is a country for Trump to run, after all. Surely the NFL won’t remain so prominent on Trump’s agenda forever.

The NFL, which dealt last season with sagging TV ratings, ultimately will be left to assess whether its business model has suffered lasting damage - and, if so, to what extent. Some players, meanwhile, have urged the league to become more involved in supporting their activism. And that, Jenkins argues, is the ultimate end game in all of this.

Jenkins wrote in The Post that he appreciated the support of a white teammate, Chris Long. He wrote about taking Long around Philadelphia to speak to police and community leaders, of going to bail hearings and talking to public defenders.

“This is where we need to point our attention now,“ Jenkins wrote. “Not to guys demonstrating but to the issues and work to be done in cities across the country.“


►  The MLB playoff bracket is set

The Colorado Rockies clinched the final playoff spot in Major League Baseball when the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. With that result, we now know all the matchups when the Major League Baseball playoffs begin on Tuesday.

The Minnesota Twins will take on the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday in the 1-game American League Wild Card game. On Wednesday, the Rockies will take on the Diamondbacks in Arizona in the National League Wild Card game. The winners of those games will take on the top seeds in each league’s League Division Series, the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.

The other ALDS will begin on Thursday between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. The other NLDS will have the Chicago Cubs facing the Washington Nationals and will begin on Friday.

Here is the playoff bracket, via Major League Baseball:

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