Viral Video Helps Atlanta Officer Get Fired After Choking

Henry County police admitted that the mobile phone video didn’t convey “the level of resistance by Mr. Marrow while officers were arresting him, and the struggle officers encountered while trying to get control of the situation while Mr. Marrow was fighting with those officers.”The department claimed that the officers’ behavior was “within departmental policy.”However, Rose, on the other hand, violated the department’s rules on maltreatment and unnecessary force, according to Henry County Police. A Georgia officer was fired for choking ex-NFL player Desmond Marrow during an arrest in December.Officials announced the decision on Thursday, May 10 after an investigation conducted by internal affairs concluded that officer David Rose’s use of force was unnecessary, CBS reported.The in-car camera footage of the officer showed him saying he choked Marrow and that he purposely planned to leave the incident out of the report according to Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman.The County’s District Attorney’s Office told USA TODAY that the obstruction of a law enforcement officer charge was dismissed against Marrow and the judge dropped the other felony charge of terrorist threats. The misdemeanor charges which includes reckless and aggressive driving remains under review.“We have reviewed the police reports, witness statements, 911 calls, audio and videos, as well as interviewed witnesses, and determined there is insufficient evidence to present any felony charges to a grand jury,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said in a statement.Marrow posted the video of the incident from his phone on social media and the video instantly went viral. The former player is heard yelling,”I can’t breathe.” read more

How Two GradeSchoolers Set Off A Tennis Revolution

Evonne Goolagong (left) and Peaches Bartkowicz at Wimbledon in 1970. Daily Express/Getty Images By Carl Bialik When Peaches Bartkowicz and Chris Evert put their left hands above their right hands to grip their tennis racquets, they were girls in grade school unknowingly defying tennis orthodoxy to hit backhands the way that felt most comfortable. Today, more than half a century later, a little girl who hit backhands without using both hands would be the one defying tennis orthodoxy. One-handed backhands have almost completely disappeared from women’s tennis. And that’s thanks in part to the success that Bartkowicz and Evert had with their two-handed backhands. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed The two-handed backhand’s dominance has continued: Its users have won 35 of the last 36 women’s major titles. Every woman in the top 10 and 48 of the top 50 use it. It’s also become the dominant backhand in men’s tennis, though with accomplished one-handed holdouts such as Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. (Tennis-nerd note: Every player occasionally hits backhands with one hand, especially in defensive positions, either to slice the ball or when forced to take a hand off the racquet to reach the ball. What we’re talking about are how players hit the backhand when they have time to get to the ball and drive it offensively.)Bartkowicz and Evert hit their backhands with two hands because they felt just one didn’t give them enough strength. The two-hander took over pro tennis for similar reasons. Using their off hand on backhands lets players hit with additional power, which gives the ball more speed and spin, especially in concert with the latest racquet and string technology. The one-hander’s advantages — better feel for the ball, more equipped for wide reaches and low bounces, smoother transition to one-handed backhand volleys at net — count less in a game played rarely on low-bouncing, volley-friendly grass and usually contested behind the baseline.The two-handed backhand is especially valuable when returning serves, as the extra support helps to absorb and redirect powerful, high-bouncing shots. Tennis analyst Jeff Sackmann has shown that in men’s pro tennis, players with two-handed backhands get the return in play more often, and win the point more often when they do. Data collected through Sackmann’s crowdsourced Match Charting Project for the women’s game shows the same general trends: Players with two-handed backhands have more success returning serves than do players with one-handed backhands. It’s hard to reach firm conclusions because there are simply so few women hitting one-handed backhands.The dearth of top women using one-handed backhands may be the most compelling data point demonstrating the two-handed backhand’s dominance: If it weren’t the best option, more women would be hitting backhands with one hand. Tennis, like all sports, has its share of domineering coaches, but it is also primarily an individual and individualistic sport. Players command their own games and choose the shots and tactics that will win the most. That makes tennis a sport that breeds innovation, whether it’s among pros at a Slam or among two young girls who chose the backhand that best suited them. And if the one-handed backhand ever makes a comeback in women’s tennis, it might begin with a girl defying orthodoxy and taking one hand off the racquet.Emma Morgenstern contributed research.This is part of our new podcast series “Ahead Of Their Time,” profiling players and managers in various sports who were underappreciated in their era. In the latest installment in our documentary podcast series Ahead Of Their Time, we look at Bartkowicz and Evert, the innovators who brought the two-handed backhand to women’s tennis in a major way. Evert’s story is well-known: She rode her backhand, accuracy and focus to 18 Grand Slam singles titles. Bartkowicz’s is more obscure: After an extraordinary juniors career, she never reached a Grand Slam semifinal as a pro and played her last Slam soon after turning 22. But Bartkowicz’s backhand was ahead of her time. When she was just 12, a photo of her swinging with two hands at the Southern Girls Tennis Tournament appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The caption began with the all-caps “TWO HANDS!” and called the shot a “baseball backhand.” When she won the 1965 U.S. Open girls title, The New York Times commended her “tremendous marksmanship” with that shot. By the time she closed out her junior career without a loss at the 1967 U.S. Open, the Philadelphia Inquirer called her “the foremost exponent of the two-handed backhand in women’s competition.”Evert is nearly six years younger than Bartkowicz and was unknown when Bartkowicz’s baseball backhand became famous. But Evert soon surpassed her older rival. She played her first Grand Slam at the 1971 U.S. Open — just two months after Bartkowicz played her last major at Wimbledon — and made the semifinals at age 16. In 1974, Evert won her first two Grand Slam titles, and the first two on record by a woman who hits a two-handed backhand. (A few notable men used two-handed backhands in the 1930s and 1940s, but the shot had mostly fallen back out of favor among men, too, when Bartkowicz and Evert were starting out.) By the time Evert won her last major, in 1986, her signature shot was tightening its grip in the sport, thanks also to its use by men’s champions Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg. And two years after Evert’s retirement, Monica Seles won three of four majors while using two hands on both backhands and forehands.By 2014, when The Economist tracked the decline of one-handed backhands in the pro game, just one woman with a one-handed backhand had won a major since 2008: Francesca Schiavone, at the 2010 French Open. Embed Code read more

Despite late rally Illinois sweeps Buckeye softball team

Late-game drama built up in the bottom of the fifth inning Saturday afternoon at Buckeye Field, as Ohio State shortstop Alicia Herron came to the plate with two outs, the bases loaded and a run needed to extend the game, which Illinois led, 8-0, in the bottom of the fifth inning. But it was short-lived as Herron’s pop-up to center field was caught over the shoulder by sprinting Illinois second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz. The 8-0 score stood and OSU ended the game with three runners left on base. The run-rule victory gave Illinois the first win of the two-game series over the weekend and dropped the Buckeyes to 10-22 overall, 2-3 in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini improved to 17-14, 4-1 in the Big Ten. “A lot of their runs came off of walks and home runs,” OSU pitcher Karisa Medrano said. “I wasn’t attacking the batters like I normally do.” Medrano gave up five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon on three hits. All five runs given up by Medrano came off the bat of Illinois left fielder Jessica Davis, who had a two-run home run in the first inning, followed by a three-run home run in her next at bat in the third inning. Davis was walked on four pitches in her third and final plate appearance. The Buckeyes couldn’t do any damage offensively either, as Illinois sophomore pitcher Pepper Gay gave up just two hits in the five-inning shutout. OSU freshman Melissa Rennie accounted for one those two hits, and said moving on is the only thing to do after a tough loss. “We’ve got to come out attacking like they do,” Rennie said. “Nothing you can do. Just got to get over it and move on.” Illinois completed the sweep of the Buckeyes with a 13-4 victory Sunday at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes return to action for a series against Indiana at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday in Bloomington, Ind. read more

The State of The Game

For the 95th consecutive year, The Game endures – as strong as it ever has. The Ohio State and Michigan football teams are prepping for their 109th meeting on Saturday at Ohio Stadium and the series, known to many simply as “The Game,” is far from stale. It’s a matter that’s as salient for first-year OSU coach Urban Meyer and players up and down his roster as it likely was for the renowned Buckeyes coaches and players of yesteryear. Recognized by the United States Congress as the greatest rivalry in sports, the OSU-UM rivalry dates back to 1897, and an air of hatred for “that team up north” still pervades the OSU football facilities. Letter “M’s” visible on campus signage were covered with red tape and the name of the state that borders Ohio to the north might as well have been a four-letter word for OSU players during Monday press conferences at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Media availability began with Meyer, who, with a glint in his eyes, recounted his memories of The Game by rattling off names like Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes, Pete Johnson and Archie Griffin. Meyer recalled the OSU’s 1987 win at Michigan Stadium. It was the final game for Meyer’s mentor, former OSU coach Earle Bruce, who was informed of his firing prior to the contest. “I can tell you (about) walking into coach Bruce’s office right here,” said Meyer, who was an assistant on Bruce’s staff at the time of the incident. “I saw a bunch of coaches with their arms on the table, with their face in their arms, and tears and the whole deal. I was like the last guy to walk in, and he said that coach Bruce will no longer be the coach after this game … Just an incredible moment in Ohio State history.” OSU went to Ann Arbor, Mich., the following Saturday where Bruce’s Buckeyes defeated UM, 23-20. Bruce was carried off the field on the shoulders of his players. To understand how deep The Game still permeates the sporting culture at OSU in modern times, look no further than athletic director Gene Smith’s Monday press conference at the Fawcett Center. Smith was made available to discuss the University of Maryland’s move to the Big Ten Conference, and Smith found himself fielding questions about OSU’s current bowl ban and whether he could or should have administered a self-imposed ban during the 2011 season. His focus? Beating Michigan. Smith said he wasn’t worried about hypotheticals. In the midst of the historic addition of Maryland to the Big Ten, Smith said his aim was to help the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines. “I’m worried about making sure that we position our football staff, our student-athletes – everything we can to have the opportunity to beat that team up north,” Smith said. “That’s my mission right now.” The teams have taken turns dominating the rivalry for years at a time. From 2004-2009, OSU won six consecutive times. The Buckeyes also won in 2010, but the game was later vacated due to NCAA violations for which OSU is also currently serving an NCAA-imposed postseason ban. Those penalties came as a result of the “Tattoo-Gate” scandal in which players received extra impermissible benefits in exchange for OSU football memorabilia. OSU’s dominance in the mid-2000s caused some to forget about the rivalry, said Buckeyes senior wide receiver Taylor Rice. “To be honest, people felt like the rivalry was dying down because it had been so many years since they beat us,” Rice said. Both teams come into this year’s game ranked nationally, making the game relevant to both sides and the rest of the country. OSU enters this year’s grand finale with an unblemished, 11-0 record, which is complimented by the Associated Press‘ No. 4 ranking. The Buckeyes are also playing for the sixth undefeated season in program history and the first since 2002. UM didn’t quite fulfill expectations this season – it began its 2012 campaign with a 41-14 loss to then-No. 1-ranked Alabama in its opening game, followed by later losses to Notre Dame, America’s current No. 1-ranked team, and Nebraska. The Wolverines have managed to claw their way to an 8-3 overall record and the No. 20 ranking in the AP poll – they still have a meaningful bowl game to play for. The Buckeyes are coming off a loss in Ann Arbor last year, too. While frustrating for OSU, the defeat, Rice said, was for the good of the rivalry. “Honestly, I think that reality check helped us,” Rice said. “It let people know that this is a rivalry and there’s nothing like it. This game alone will make or break your season.” Several OSU players, and scores of Buckeyes before them, have echoed that sentiment – The Game is all that counts. In 2012, OSU players likened the OSU-UM game to “their Super Bowl” and “their national championship.” The superlatives change, but the message is consistent – The Game is still The Game, and it’s as strong as it’s ever been. “This is what it all comes down to – playing Michigan,” Rice said. “Winning or losing. This is what determines the outcome of our season … It’s been a great season but this is what really counts. This is what our season comes down to. This is our Super Bowl.” This year’s installment of The Game will is scheduled for a noon start at Ohio Stadium. read more

Wrestling Tom Ryan eyes more dual meet emphasis in NCAA

Ohio State wrestling coach Tom Ryan addresses his team after the Buckeyes’ practice on Oct. 20. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Lantern ReporterThe television outside of Tom Ryan’s office is often set to ESPN. Inevitably, he walks by a lot of College Football Playoff talk on the sports network. And every time he hears it, he can only think of one thing — a college wrestling playoff. This idea has been more than a thought in the mind of Ohio State’s wrestling coach. Ryan has pushed for a stand-alone, dual-meet championship tournament in the NCAA, among other things. He’s even a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force committee, which is dedicated to developing a long-term plan for NCAA wrestling. The Blue Ribbon Task Force includes members such as North Carolina State Athletic Director Debbie Yow, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs Oliver Luck and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. The task force was formed by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. “We’ve got some big dogs involved,” Ryan said. “And they all like the sport and they all see the value in wanting to move in this direction. And because they’re involved now, things can happen.”There is currently a proposal, unanimously approved by the committee, in the works that would change college wrestling to a one-semester sport that starts during December and would end about six weeks later than usual with a dual-meet tournament. The current individual championships would stay in March. The NCAA has yet to sign off on the proposal. Ryan’s reasoning for the change stems from the idea that dual meets are more fan-friendly than longer individual tournaments. He wants to attract more interest in his sport. “I think it’s spectator-friendly,” Ryan said. “An hour and a half, an hour and 45 minutes is way better than three days in a gym, or tournaments two days in a gym. I think it’s substantially more team-oriented. I think team sports are sports that our culture follows. I think it’s important for the sport of wrestling that we value the team aspect as much as the superstar aspect.”Ohio State has experience balancing individual success with team success. The Buckeyes won a team national championship in 2015 and their current roster is home to former individual national champions and an Olympic champion in heavyweight Kyle Snyder. Ryan said the proposed changes would place importance on more wrestlers in his program, due to the fact that dual-meet wins and losses would count more in preparation for a dual-meet tournament. “I think it would add more value to more people,” Ryan said. “Because, right now if you lose a dual meet, it doesn’t hurt your chance to win the national tournament. And because of that, you’re hesitant to put all your guys in when they may be banged up or not. So, because of that, it brings less value to your guys in the room.”Ryan said most of the opposition that the proposal faces involves the timing and scheduling of the hypothetical events. He said there also are differing viewpoints on how teams would be chosen for a dual-meet tournament and how many teams would be involved. The ability of wrestlers to maintain their peak performance for an entire season is also up for discussion. Redshirt senior Nathan Tomasello seemed to be all for the proposed changes. He placed value on the ability of dual meets to attract new, casual fans to the sport. “I think it’s important to make it more of a team sport and easier to follow,” Tomasello said. “If you don’t really know wrestling that well, it’s tough to follow how people get points at national tournaments.” Ryan said wrestling is one of the few collegiate sports that actually succeeds as a business model with ticket sales, and that gives the NCAA incentive to retool the sport and maximize profit. A dual meet at the Schottenstein Center between Ohio State and Penn State drew an attendance of 15,338 just last season. Ryan drew a comparison to Ohio State football fans tuning in to Saturday’s game between Penn State and Michigan because of a vested interest in the sport and the outcome of the game. That type of heightened interest is what he desires for the sport of wrestling. “We don’t have that in wrestling,” Ryan said. “And we need it. And until we get it, we’ll continue to be a sport that’s kind of status quo instead of one that’s thriving.” read more