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  • Year in Sports : Along for the ride: Olympic sports take backseat in conference realignment

    first_img Published on April 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] The whispers quickly made headlines in the sports world on Sept. 16, 2011. Syracuse and Pittsburgh, longtime members of the Big East, were discussing the possibility of joining the Atlantic Coast Conference.Talk of superconferences picked up steam again when the Southeastern Conference approved Texas A&M as its 13th member on Sept. 7. Nine days later, Syracuse was at the center of the latest rumors swirling around conference realignment.The news was unavoidable, becoming the top story on ESPN and local television stations around the country as experts and analysts weighed in on the future of college athletics.‘It was on every time you turned the TV on. Everyone was talking about it and analyzing it every way,’ SU men’s soccer coach Ian McIntyre said. ‘Not specifically from a soccer perspective at that time. But as a Syracuse fan, it was exciting to just start contemplating.’By Sunday, Sept. 18, the rumors became official. Syracuse and Pittsburgh accepted offers to join the ACC as the 13th and 14th members in the conference, respectively. The news set off a new round of debates, questioning loyalty and tradition in college athletics as universities moved to solidify their futures competitively and financially. Schools focused mostly on football – which generates the most revenue through television deals – and locking up a place in a Bowl Championship Series conference.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFootball and men’s basketball stole the headlines, but Syracuse’s decision to leave the Big East for the ACC meant change for its non-revenue, or Olympic, sports programs too. Of the Orange’s 18 men’s and women’s teams, 16 will compete in the ACC when SU officially joins the conference on July 1, 2014.Though the non-revenue sports took a backseat and were overlooked in the big picture of conference realignment, McIntyre and his colleagues at Syracuse see the move to the ACC as an opportunity. The ACC is among the top conferences in the country in nearly every non-revenue sport, which will only push its Olympic programs to new heights, they said.Coaches have already seen gains in recruiting and have high expectations for the future, but with the move currently set for 2014, they said it’s hard to predict the challenges and obstacles that may emerge. Ultimately, they feel the potential growth caused by the additional revenue and exposure from the ACC make any risks involved worth it.‘The reality of it is it’s about dollars and sense,’ tennis head coach Luke Jensen said. ‘Can we make the dollars that make sense to continue to build the facilities, recruit the players to win? Our fan base wants to win.’For the coaches of the non-revenue sports, the ACC will largely present more competitive challenges. McIntyre and Jensen described the ACC as the elite conference in their respective sports. Field hockey head coach Ange Bradley echoed those statements as her team moves into a league that has produced the last 10 national champions. In women’s soccer, the ACC has had a representative in five of the last six national championship games, and the league’s softball programs are traditionally stronger nationally than the Big East.Though it may be tougher on the field, the conference will also aid the programs in recruiting a larger pool of talent on a national level.It’s something that excited McIntyre and Jensen when they first heard about the possible move in September.McIntyre and his team were in Akron, Ohio for a tournament when the news first broke, and the move to the ACC overshadowed the team’s games against Cal Poly and New Mexico. Off the field, the news was everywhere. Even opposing coaches were curious about the reports and their effect on the future.‘They also commiserated us because we were moving into the No. 1 conference in the country,’ McIntyre said, ‘so they told us to start hitting the ground, doing some work.’Jensen was surprised when his ESPN colleagues began asking him questions about the possible move. He had heard rumors about Syracuse going to the Big 10 in previous years, but never the ACC, which was a perfect fit for his rising program.Jensen said the Big East ‘wasn’t a legit conference’ because it didn’t have a mandated conference schedule. As a result, Syracuse only played Notre Dame once during Jensen’s six-year tenure, despite trying to schedule the Fighting Irish annually, he said.In the ACC, the team’s strength of schedule will help it move closer to qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Jensen acknowledges his program hasn’t won a Big East title, but he also said recruiting picked up the day after the announcement. The head coach can now focus on elite recruits to take the program to the next level, he said.Jensen said the combination of factors will help him move closer to his goal of making the Orange a national championship contender.And Bradley, the field hockey coach, expects her program to become a regular in the national title discussion each year, too.Compared to the Big East, where Connecticut is the only team on Syracuse’s level as a top-5 program, the Orange will be in for a battle every week in conference play. With an intense playoff atmosphere against conference opponents during the regular season, she said her team will be ready to get over the hump and make deep runs in the NCAA tournament.‘In our conference play, we’re in it about one week out of the year,’ Bradley said. ‘In conference play in the ACC, you have to bring your game because they’re quality opponents.’Quentin Hillsman, the women’s basketball head coach, has seen the biggest advantage on the recruiting trail. Hillsman brought in the No. 6 recruiting class in November, according to Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, and said the move to the ACC helped him finish the recruiting season strong.Hillsman landed Cornelia Fondren, a consensus top-100 guard from Memphis, Tenn. and Pachiyaanna Roberts, the state player of the year in Georgia, along with two McDonald’s All-Americans as part of a loaded class.With the move to the ACC, Hillsman said he has started to expand his recruiting to top players in the South.‘I think that is the biggest benefit to be able to recruit down South, also, because obviously, it gives you a larger pool of players to recruit from,’ Hillsman said.But despite all those advantages for non-revenue sports, the move comes with risks. With increased operational costs, specifically in travel, Syracuse will need to ensure its profits from the move outweigh the costs.The athletic department is currently starting to evaluate its finances and budget for the move to the ACC, said Jamie Mullin, associate athletic director for team services.‘We’re focused on our current programs benchmarking against our new peer groups in the ACC,’ Mullin said, ‘how their facilities are, number of coaches on staff, operational budgets. We’re just starting that process because the phase-in period’s over the next couple of years.’Syracuse will have to make more flying trips to compete in the South, which piles up expenses quickly, said Rodney Paul, economics and finance of sports professor at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.Paul said nothing is certain and that those losses could cut into profits more than expected. But he also said locking up the security that comes with the television revenue deals in football will likely cover the additional costs in travel for all sports.‘The guess gets to be is that obviously, they thought the answer to that is yes,’ Paul said. ‘But we don’t really know that until all the cards are played and everything comes out.’For non-revenue sports, the travel is arguably even more taxing.Coyte Cooper, assistant professor of sport administration at the University of North Carolina, has conducted research focused on challenges for non-revenue sports and how administrators view them compared to revenue sports.Cooper said the Olympic sports are valued for strong academic performance by institutions, while fundraising and revenue production are emphasized more in the big-time sports.With that in mind, Cooper said it’s alarming that universities haven’t appeared to consider the effect of conference realignment on athletes’ educations.‘When you think about the reclassification even, for a place like Syracuse, is more travel, means that they’re going to be on the road more,’ Cooper said, ‘which means they’re going to be out of the classroom more, and that can’t be something that’s right when you’re considering you value those things in Olympic sports.’Though universities value the non-revenue sports, Cooper said it’s clear conference realignment ‘never really has anything to do with Olympic sports.’ Football and the big money attached to it take first priority.And Paul said that in the current landscape, that’s the only way for schools to survive and remain relevant in the future.‘It seems like, to be able to ensure those football revenues and be able to be on the big stage when it comes to college football, that at the time, at least,’ Paul said, ‘you’re kind of stuck unless you made that jump.’The Syracuse coaches think the jump will also solidify the futures of the non-revenue teams nationally. While the headlines and immediate implications surrounded football in September, each sport can now see how realignment will shape its program heading into the future.For Jensen and his fellow coaches, that future is bright.‘It’s a quantum leap for this program to move forward,’ Jensen said. ‘You’ve got to be evolving and innovative in all walks of life to be successful. … And this move to the ACC is a quantum leap in that direction.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

  • Beat writers unanimously predict outcome for Syracuse on the road at Pittsburgh

    first_img Published on January 26, 2018 at 9:18 pm Matthew Gutierrez (17-3)Tough as SteelSyracuse 63, Pittsburgh 55Expect a relatively low-scoring, fairly close one Saturday afternoon, because Syracuse will be on the road against a slightly-improved Pitt team. The Panthers almost edged North Carolina State at home Wednesday night, and the Wolfpack is a team that beat Wake Forest and almost beat Miami last weekend. The bottom line: Winning on the road in this conference is not easy. With that aside, we should get another look at how Marek Dolezaj fits into the SU scheme, given starting forward Matthew Moyer’s game-time-decision status. SU should skate to a win and improve to 4-4 in conference play. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSam Fortier (16-4) It’s the PittsSyracuse 69, Pittsburgh 57Syracuse’s three players who can score — Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard — are top three in the conference in minutes per game, and they got to actually chill for a seven-day stretch. After looking the best it has all season against BC, Syracuse has now geared up for a crucial stretch in the rest of its slate. Beat the Panthers and Syracuse earns its first conference road win. Lose and it becomes the biggest NCAA Tournament resume shiner in recent memory. There’s every reason to believe, though, that the Orange will beat the Panthers handily even though it’s an ACC game on the road: Lock down Parker Stewart, get Battle and Howard going early, out-rebound maybe the least-physical team in the conference. Syracuse needs this one, and they know it. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Tomer Langer (15-5)Out of the PittSyracuse 68, Pittsburgh 49The Orange exploded offensively against Boston College on Wednesday, scoring 81 points on a season-high 60.4 percent from the field. To me though, the Orange also looked different, playing with a swagger that seemed to be gone when the team was mired in the 1-4 stretch. Playing a really weak Pittsburgh team is just what Syracuse needs to keep the good times rolling, as the Orange picks up an easy win and climbs back to .500 in ACC play. Commentslast_img read more

  • PowerComm buys Unified Valve

    first_imgPowerComm Inc has entered into an agreement to purchase Unified Valve.Unified Valve has operations in Fort St. John, Calgary, Brooks. Red Deer, Edmonton and Grande Prairie and services all types of industrial and commercial valves with a focus on pressure relief valves.PowerComm started in 1993 as an industrial electrial/instrumentation contractor and valve reconditioning company in the Lloydminster and Provost Alberta areas. PowerComm has 11 offices in Alberta.- Advertisement -“Joining forces with a company of PowerComm’s reputation and capability is extremely exciting for Unified Valve,” said Keith Levoir, President and CEO of Unified Valve. “As it will without question create the largest aftermarket valve service company in western Canada giving us the opportunity to increase the services and product lines that we are able to provide our customer base,”he concluded.The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and approval by PowerComm’s Board of Directors.last_img read more

  • TAXI REGULATOR IN CLAMPDOWN

    first_imgTHE possibility of a large number of illegal taxis operating in Letterkenny has been the conclusion of a weekend investigation by the authorities.The Taxi Regulator carried out spot checks on vehicles in the town on Saturday night.It was noted that at midnight on Saturday there were just four taxis available for hire on at the rank on Main Street, while just one taxi was available for hire on the Ramelton Road. It’s understood the checks were part of a pre-planned operation with inspectors reacting after several weeks of intelligence work.We also understand that more spot checks will take place in the run-up to Christmas. TAXI REGULATOR IN CLAMPDOWN was last modified: November 23rd, 2014 by John2Share 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:donegalillegal taxisletterkennyTaxi Regulatorlast_img read more

  • QPR take Spurs youngster on trial

    first_imgQPR are giving a trial to teenage Tottenham midfielder Freddy Champion – a player who was previously on the books at Loftus Road.Champion, who was born and raised in Shepherd’s Bush, was with Rangers and Chelsea before Spurs snapped him up in 2010.The 17-year-old featured for QPR’s reserve side in a match against Watford on Wednesday afternoon.last_img

  • Brilliant Farah storms to Olympic gold

    first_imgTwickenham’s Mo Farah stormed to a stunning victory to become the first Briton to win Olympic 10,000m gold.The home favourite triumphed in a time of 27 minutes, 30.42 seconds – four years after failing to qualify for the 5,000m final in Beijing.Farah, 29, was roared home by an ecstatic 80,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium as he kicked past Ethiopian world record holder Kenenisa Bekele in a sprint finish.“It’s the best moment of my life,” he declared after being greeted on the track by his wife and children.“I have had great support from the crowd. They got so behind me. My legs were getting tired and I could see the crowd and it gave me that boost.“The crowd was getting louder and louder. I have never experienced anything like it. I just want to thank everyone who has supported me.”See also: Legend Cram backs Farah to shine (11 May)Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

  • Darwinists Still Writing the Origin of Species

    first_imgA new book on the origin of species has come out.  In the July 30 issue of Science,1 Benjamin K. Blackman and Loren H. Rieseberg review Jerry Coyne and H. Allen Orr’s new book, Speciation (Sinauer, 2004, 557 pp.).  The reviewers first describe the subject matter: “The last two decades in particular have brought major advances in molecular genetics, comparative analysis, mathematical theory, and molecular phylogenetics; speciation has consequently matured from a field fraught with untestable ideas to one reaching clear, well-supported conclusions.”  Presumably some of those untestable ideas hark back to Darwin.  So in what ways does this book surpass the one penned by the master’s 1859 opus?  The reviewers outdo themselves praising the substance and style of this new book:Jerry Coyne and Allen Orr’s Speciation provides a much-needed review of these developments.  The exceedingly well-written and persuasive text eschews speculation.  The authors instead resolutely develop testable criteria for distinguishing alternative hypotheses about evolutionary processes that may result in similar biological patterns, critically evaluate how theoretical and empirical results meet the burden of proof, and actively confront important caveats and unresolved questions with practical suggestions.  It is a testament both to the authors and to the state of the field that the book provides such a robust picture of the origin of species.Well, this has to be good, then.  The leading definition of species is the biological species concept (BSC), that distinguishes species by the ability to interbreed.  This is not much help for systematists and paleontologists, the reviewers admit, but the book tackles what they view as the basic question of the “species problem,” which is, “why do sexually reproducing organisms fall into discrete clusters?”  Here, the debate revolves around allopatric vs. sympatric speciation (see 01/15/2003 headline).    Coyne and Orr take the majority view that speciation is essentially synonymous with reproductive isolation: for example, two populations of squirrels might get isolated by a canyon between them, and evolve into species that can no longer interbreed.  This is called allopatric speciation.  It does not require a geographic barrier, necessarily, but differs sharply from the view of sympatric speciation, which proposes that species might diverge right within a single interbreeding population.  The book gives ear to the sympatric concept but considers most cases to be allopatric.    So the question becomes, how do reproductive barriers arise?  And how can biologists find evidence of positive selection for traits after isolation?  This becomes the core of the book, according to the reviewers.  Related issues involve teasing out the effects of natural and sexual selection:Speciation convincingly presents evidence for several once-unpopular theories that have returned to dominate current thinking.  Most important among these is the primacy of natural and sexual selection over drift in driving speciation.  Signatures of positive selection on genes involved in postzygotic isolation and reproductive proteins as well as experimental evidence from both the lab and field connect adaptation and sexual selection to reproductive isolation.  Another major finding is the congruence of the Dobzhansky-Muller model for the evolution of postzygotic isolation with the genetics of hybrid incompatibilities in many natural systems. In contrast, classical models of chromosomal speciation remain unpopular.  Instead, chromosomal rearrangements are now cast as facilitators, rather than causal agents, of reproductive isolation because reduced recombination within these regions restricts gene flow, thereby enabling the accumulation of selected differences and hybrid incompatibilities.The book treats “controversial questions” reinforcement, sympatric speciation, and diploid hybrid (recombinational) speciation, although claiming evidence only occurs for the latter.  It also treats polyploidy in plants as a mechanism for speciation.  “Treatments of other plant-related topics like mating system isolation or hybridization are insightful as well, but may raise eyebrows,” but the book downplays other theories like cryptic introgression or hybrid speciation.    Overall, the reviewers give high marks to the authors; “The book is a rich and thorough review, critique, and synthesis of recent literature that is sure to become a classic read for anyone interested in speciation.”1Benjamin K. Blackman and Loren H. Rieseberg, “Evolution: How Species Arise,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5684, 612-613, 30 July 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1101064].So is this the book to supersede Charlie’s, and to answer the question of how bacteria turn into humans over time?  Not likely.  Every mechanism mentioned, controversial or not, appears aimed at explaining slight variations, sometimes misleadingly called “microevolution.”  Horizontal variation is not controversial even among staunch creationists.  If evolutionists expect people to believe we evolved from slime, they need to do better than extrapolate low-level trends, and they need to show that is indeed what happened by providing the intermediates and fossils.  Talk about the origin of species if you please, but what about the origin of phyla?  (See 07/28/2004 headline).    Phillip Johnson, a Berkeley law professor and expert in baloney detecting, put Darwin on Trial in 1991.  His book of that title put the real issue on the table:Whether selection has ever accomplished speciation (i.e., the production of a new species) is not the point.  A biological species is simply a group capable of interbreeding.  Success at dividing a fruitfly population into two or more separate populations that cannot interbreed would not constitute evidence that a similar process could in time produce a fruitfly from a bacterium.  If breeders one day did succeed in producing a group of dogs that can reproduce with each other but not with other dogs, they would still have made only the tiniest step towards proving Darwinism’s important claims. (pp. 19-20)As Johnson stresses in the book, it is not sufficient to base the major claims of evolution on extrapolating small changes or drawing analogies to artificial breeding.  Nor is it adequate to infer that macroevolution must have occurred because one’s philosophical preference requires it.  If the origin of species (speciation) is to be logically connected to the emergence of all living things, with all their complex organs and functions, then evolutionists must make the case that their mechanism is creative enough to add massive amounts of functional information to genes, and that the fossil record actually shows that this occurred.  Neo-Darwinism (mutation plus natural selection) fails miserably on both requirements.    The hype in this book review is no more to be trusted than the word of the party faithful evaluating the nominee’s speech at a political convention.  Instead, the book needs an investigative reporter who understands the real controversies and can ask the hard questions.  Noticeably absent in all this backslapping was any mention of the severe weaknesses in conventional Darwinian theory that drove Stephen Jay Gould and others to propose punctuated equilibria, or the recently-deceased Francis Crick to propose directed panspermia, another group to propose niche construction (see 06/09/2004 headline), and others as recently as last week to propose other non-Darwinian mechanisms (see 07/20/2004 headline and others like 09/29/2003).  Nor was there an admission that the very fruitflies that Coyne and Orr make their life work fail to exhibit neo-Darwinian evolution (see 05/18/2004 headline).  Nor was their any mention of Coyne’s embarrassing flip flop on the peppered moth story that he long assumed was one of the best examples of speciation ever documented (see 06/25/2004), or the weakness of other examples put up in its place (see 04/18/2003 and 04/01/2004 headlines).  The only way some Darwinists can stay sane with all this controversy is to go postmodern (see 08/19/2003 headline).    Some evolutionists have admitted evidence is lacking that numerous, successive, slight modifications can add up to big ones (see 01/15/2004, 10/14/2003 and 08/20/2003 headlines).  Coyne and Orr may dazzle some readers with case after case of reproductive isolation and microevolution, with the assumption that this bolsters the case for slime evolving into ostriches, maple trees, squid, platypus and biologists over time.  This is as unjustified as observing a cell bobbing around with Brownian motion and deciding the mechanism is capable of propelling it through the Olympic marathon.  But that’s putting it too mildly; to make the comparison more realistic (considering all the champions in the living world), better add the decathlon, weight lifting, gymnastics, archery, rowing, steeplechase, high dive, synchronized swimming, soccer, basketball, cycling….(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

  • The Mixed-Up IAQ and Infiltration Limit Blues

    first_img Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Last week, I caught the second day of Building Science Corporation’s Experts’ Session. (Click the link to download the presentations from the BSC website.) Joe Lstiburek spoke the whole day about ventilation, and I’ll be writing an article about that soon. At the end of that day, though, we got a little surprise.Eric Werling got up and gave a short presentation, making some recommendations on reconciling the differences between Joe and the ASHRAE 62.2 committee (more on that later as well, after I get a copy of his presentation). He also performed a great little song about the ventilation wars. Here it is, with the lyrics below.Enjoy! RELATED ARTICLES Eric Werling’s Building Science BluesHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need? Resistance May NOT Be Futile in the Residential Ventilation WarsAn Interview with Dr. Joseph Lstiburek ASHRAE 62.2 Committee Chair Defends Ventilation Standardcenter_img Mixed up IAQ and Infiltration Bluesby Eric WerlingWell, ASHRAE standard 62-89 was really fineWay back in nineteen hundred eighty nine.Then Max and Joe, they came along,And ever since I been singing this song:Got those mixed-up IAQ and infiltration blues.One thing [no-glossary]led[/no-glossary] to another,Now houses are really tight.Test and seal all day longTill there ain’t a leak in sight.Just be careful when you’re caulking in itNot to pass that building tightness limit,I got those mixed-up IAQ and infiltration blues.Now Max and Joe started getting rough,Pretty soon they were slinging stuffAbout a lousy 2 cfm per hundred square foot credit.A hundred times I think I’ve read it,And I’ll be damned — I still don’t get it,I got those mixed up IAQ and infiltration blues.But now I don’t feel so bad,I don’t feel like I’ve been had,Because my building science buddies are all confused too.Just be careful when you’re caulking in itNot to pass that building tightness limit,I got those mixed up IAQ and infiltration blues.I said, I got those mixed-up IAQ and infiltration blues.Yeah, I got those IAQ mixed-up abba-dab blues.last_img read more

  • Tripod Tips & Tricks

    first_imgThese tripod tips and tricks will keep your equipment in tip top shape and help you to capture better shots.Whether you’re just getting started in photography/video production or are a seasoned veteran, you’ll likely benefit from these useful tripod tips…This recent post by video pro Rich Harrington gives 10 tips for tripod use. My personal favorite, “Check yourself consistently. If you use a tripod, get in the habit of tightening and checking all the tripod and head knobs in exactly the same order every time…” Check out all 10 tripod tips:The following 2:00 video by Matthew Pearce is more focused on tripod shooting tricks, like the dramatic tripod rock:Lastly, this Adorama tutorial goes in-depth about things you should consider before purchasing your own tripod. Tons of useful tips here!Got your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more