Wenger eyeing quality additions

first_img Wenger’s only purchases so far have been the free transfers of Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini, the latter making his second Arsenal debut when coming on as a substitute for Jack Wilshere, who was forced off with a stomach problem which is not expected to rule him out of England’s World Cup qualifiers. However, after making unsuccessful bids for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye earlier this summer, Wenger believes the 100million euro (£86.3million) switch of Gareth Bale to Madrid could now set in place a “domino” effect which would allow the likes of 24-year-old German international Ozil – who is also on Paris St-Germain’s wanted list – to come onto the market at the 11th hour. However, Wenger moved to allay any fears. ”He has a stomach bug, but nothing that will stop him from playing for England,” said the Arsenal boss, who had to put full-back Bacary Sagna on the bench because of a similar issue. Arsenal have responded well since they lost the opening Premier League game at home to Aston Villa, winning at Fulham and also securing a place in the group stages of the Champions League by beating Fenerbahce both at home and away. ”This team has lost one game since March in all competitions. You don’t do that with an average spirit,” Wenger said. Arsenal have also been linked with his Real Madrid team-mates Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria and Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano. Following the 1-0 north London derby win over Tottenham, secured by a first-half goal from France striker Olivier Giroud, Wenger again addressed the issue of getting in extra bodies – a problem highlighted by the inclusion of youngsters Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem, only 16, on the bench. Spurs, meanwhile, had £26million man Erik Lamela among their substitutes following his transfer from Roma. ”Tottenham got a lot of money for Bale, they have to invest it – I understand that,” Wenger said. “The need is different for us, we need one or two super players and we will try to add that. ”It is a little bit like a domino game. Maybe something will happen in the last 24 hours, maybe not. It is very difficult to predict, but maybe we can surprise you.” Arsenal may be sitting on a £70million war chest, but Wenger insists the club will not be held to ransom as the last-gasp shopping dash begins. ”I am not against spending. I am ready to pay what we can afford, even if it is a bit over the market (value) and as long as it is not crazy,” he said. There was brief cause for concern for England boss Roy Hodgson ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, as Wilshere signalled to the bench he could not continue just before half-time. Press Association Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains confident of adding quality to his squad ahead of Monday night’s transfer deadline – with a £40million bid for Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil reportedly lodged following a 1-0 win over big-spending Tottenham.last_img read more

NCAA rule changes: Agents for ‘elite’ prospects, back to school after the draft and independent investigations

first_imgIt’s effective immediately for college players, who can hire an agent after a season, pending an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. All agents will be certified by the NCAA.For high school recruits, the NCAA has also expanded on official visits, allowing a player to take up to 15. The visits breakdown like this: five between Aug. 1 to the end of an athlete’s junior year of high school, five from the end of junior year to Oct. 15 after graduation, then five more from then to the end of their college eligibility. This is effective Aug. 15, 2018. On the draft front, college players who declared early from 2016-18 all had until 10 days after the combine to withdraw from the draft. The new rules allow players to stay in the draft, and if they are not picked, return to school. This rule will become effective when the NBA changes rules making college returnees ineligible until the completion of their next collegiate season. Athletes will be required to go to the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee before entering the draft early.Lastly, if a men’s or women’s basketball player does leave for the pros early but returns to the same school to finish their degree, the school is now obligated to pay for “tuition, fees and books” for that athlete.Cleaning up the recruiting trailEffective January 2019, the NCAA will more strictly and rigorously certify basketball-related events for high schoolers. Criteria for certification and administration of certification will be handled in-house by the NCAA.With these tighter restrictions, there will be fewer non-high school related basketball events for coaches to attend, so the NCAA has tweaked the recruiting calendar. The new rules will allow college coaches to attend more high school-sanctioned events.Added to the calendar are four-day periods, Monday through Thursday, in April; the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp in June; a choice of two events the last two weekends in June, if the events have National Federation of State High School Associations approval, organized by groups affiliated with high schools and takes place at a middle school, high school or college and lastly, coaches can attend one weekend youth basketball event in early July.Still, the limits on days (130) an individual coach can recruit remain. Coaches will also be able to attend a new collaborative event in late July in the NCAA youth development camps. All this goes into effect in April 2019.In a move for transparency, coaches and athletics staff are also mandated to disclose basketball-related income greater than $600 not coming from their university.One of the biggest moves, which touches on the very crux of the FBI’s corruption and fraud investigation, is the NCAA is pursuing agreements with apparel companies. The deals are about “expectations for accountability and transparency regarding their involvement in youth basketball.”The NCAA is hoping in the agreements to have requirements that the apparel companies make annual disclosures, remain NCAA certified and report any potential violations.Investigation, enforcement, accountabilityAs part of the omnibus of new rules, coaches and university presidents, as terms of employment, must commit contractually to cooperate fully with investigations. This applies to contracts and appointments on or after Aug. 8, 2018. Penalties will be effective in February 2019.In this instance, full cooperation means “reporting violations in a timely manner; sharing all knowledge and documents requested in a timely manner; providing access to all electronic devices, social media and other technology; and maintaining confidentiality.”The NCAA is also holding university presidents and chancellors “personally accountable” for the failings of their athletic departments. That goes into effect in August 2019 for Division I.“College or university presidents are ultimately responsible for the behavior of the people involved in their athletics programs,” said Bud Peterson, Georgia Tech President and Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, on Wednesday’s teleconference.Further, the NCAA has tweaked the investigation process in an effort to create more efficient and fair outcomes. Primarily, the NCAA has created an independent investigation unit. Facebook Twitter Google+ The NCAA Board of Governors released an array of new rules pertaining to college basketball Wednesday afternoon. The rule changes are a response to the recommendations of the Commission on College Basketball, or “Rice Commission” — created in response to the 2017 FBI investigation into corruption in college hoops to investigate the causes of the corruption and offer recommendations to fixing it.NCAA President Mark Emmert said on a teleconference with the NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday: “The boards have now adopted the recommendations of the Rice Commission, and I couldn’t be more pleased with that outcome. They’re, in general, aimed at eliminating some of the corrosive influences that we’ve seen in college basketball.“We’re trying to strengthen the integrity of the game and strengthen the accountability of all of us that work inside the game. And at the same time, do that in a way that provides student athletes with much more flexibility about their decisions.”The new rules are designed to eliminate or mitigate the factors that led to the corruption scandal and arrests of several coaches that rocked college basketball almost a year ago. Rules range from allowing “elite” high school prospects to hire agents to mandating schools provide scholarships for athletes returning to finish their degree.Here’s a rundown of the changes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMore freedom for student-athletesOne of the biggest highlights of the rule changes is also the biggest hit to the NCAA’s veil of amateurism: Allowing “elite” high school and college prospects to hire an agent, though there will be no financial relationship between players and agents outside of some meals and transportation, according to the NCAA. High school prospects will be chosen as “elite” by USA Basketball, the NCAA announced.ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweeted Wednesday that the NCAA hadn’t conferred with USA Basketball on this rule. Published on August 8, 2018 at 3:19 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamcenter_img Emmert, on the teleconference, noted that the relationships between the NCAA, NBA and USA Basketball have never been better during his nearly eight-year tenure as NCAA president.There’s another snag: This rule, for high schoolers, at least, won’t be implemented until the NBA and NBA Players Association end the “one-and-done” rule. The process starts with a case being sent to the new Infractions Referral Committee, filled by NCAA officials. If the case is deemed “complex” or serious enough, it will be sent on to the Complex Case Unit.This group, made of independent external investigators and select NCAA enforcement staff, will determine if the case needs more investigation. From there, it will investigate and then pass the case on to the Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel.This panel, made of 15 people with “legal, higher education and/or sports backgrounds who are not affiliated with NCAA member schools or conferences,” will ultimately oversee case hearings and hand down penalties. Only five members sit on a panel per case.In the new investigations process, groups are now allowed to use facts from new sources like courts and government agencies, among others. Also, when a school and the NCAA agree on the facts of a case, there is new framework to work together on resolutions to reduce costs and time.Lastly, the NCAA will be imposing harsher penalties, namely longer suspensions and postseason bans, but also scholarship reductions and reduced revenue sharing for a delinquent school.Senior Staff Writer Matt Liberman contributed reporting. Commentslast_img read more

TOBINS CLEAN UP AT Q MARK AWARDS – AGAIN!

first_imgThe Team from Tobins Service Station with their award.It’s official! Tobin’s Service Station, based in Letterkenny has just been named as the Best Forecourt in Ireland for Hygiene and Food Safety at this year’s National Q Mark Awards.This is the fourth year in a row that the team at Tobin’s have won this award.The team from Tobin’s Service Station was beaming with pride as they were called to the stage to receive the winner’s trophy during a glamorous awards ceremony held in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin on Friday night. The Q Mark Awards are indelibly associated with Quality and Excellence in the minds of Irish consumers and is the only system which allows businesses to monitor 100% of their processes and procedures 100% of the time.Winning this award has shown that Tobin’s truly cares about their customers and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they achieve the highest possible standards at all times.Irene Collins, Managing Director of The National Q Mark Awards, said: “Tobin’s Service Station clearly understands that winning the title of Best Forecourt in Ireland for Hygiene and Food Safety, which is one of The Q Mark’s most competitive categories, shows their customers that they are a forecourt that excels at what they do. Eddie, Annette and the team are no strangers to the awards stage, and winning again this year is fabulous testament to the energy and commitment of the whole team. Well done to everyone!”Tobin’s Service Station has demonstrated extraordinary levels of dedication and unerring quality throughout The Q Mark assessment process. Their award winning success can be attributed to the dedication of every single member of the team in their interaction with The Q Mark. Achieving a place as a finalist for The Q Mark Finals demonstrates exceptional standards in and of itself. Businesses like Tobin’s which go on to win a National Q Mark Award, prove that they have exceeded even these impeccable standards, thereby earning their title as the Pioneers of Business Excellence.  TOBINS CLEAN UP AT Q MARK AWARDS – AGAIN! was last modified: October 1st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkennyQ AwardsTobinslast_img read more