Disclose names of Indians in Panama papers, demands SP in RS

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) A demand to disclose the names of Indians allegedly figuring in the leaked Panama papers on those holding offshore accounts to launder money and dodging tax was made in the Rajya Sabha today. Naresh Agrawal (SP), through a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to discuss the issue, alleged that the government was “deliberately sitting” over the names that have come to light in the leaked documents from the files of law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in the tax haven of Panama. Under the Panama-India tax treaty, companies have to pay tax only in the nation where they are headquartered. So, black money is laundered from India to Panama, a nominal 5 per cent tax paid, the money then converted into white and brought back as FDI, he claimed. As part of the treaty, Panama is not to disclose names of the company owners, he said, adding that the government has all the names of persons who have used this route to avoid paying taxes and convert black money into white. The BJP government, he said, came to power on the promise of unearthing blackmoney but has done very little so far. Only Rs 5,000 crore has been disclosed in the voluntary disclosure window for holders of foreign blackmoney, he said, adding that besides Panama, Mauritius, Dubai and Singapore were earlier used to convert black money to white. He claimed the black or illegal money was thrice the size of legal money. “This is a big racket,” he said. “Why are you not disclosing names? And what action is being taken,” he asked the government. “Government is deliberately sitting over it.” He alleged that government patronage allowed a member of House, who owed hundreds of crores to public sector banks, to flee the country. Agrawal however did not name anyone. He demanded a discussion on the Panama papers, disclosure of names of Indians and action taken against them. PTI ANZ ARCadvertisementlast_img read more

Video: Georgia State’s Ron Hunter Broke His Cast Celebrating His Son’s 3-Pointer vs. Baylor

first_imgRon Hunter does interview after NCAA Tournament game.Ron Hunter’s celebratory fall out of his chair proved to be a somewhat costly one – it was clearly worth it, though. On Thursday, the Georgia State coach dropped to the floor after his son, R.J. Hunter, hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Baylor in the NCAA Tournament’s Second Round. Ron Hunter, who was sitting on a rolling chair because he tore his Achilles celebrating his team’s NCAA Tournament berth, cracked his cast as he fell to the ground. A doctor is on his way to Jacksonville to re-cast the foot. Ron Hunter told CBS Sports’ Jamie Erdahl about the situation Friday morning. What would you do for an NCAA Tournament victory?Georgia State is set to face Baylor on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on TNT.last_img read more

Dawson Creek hires new CFO

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The City of Dawson Creek says it has hired a new Chief Financial Officer.The City’s Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said in a release that Ms. Flavia Rossi Donovan will be stepping into the position effective July 16th. Donovan will be relocating to the City of Dawson Creek from Mackenzie, where she is currently serving as the District’s CFO.Redfearn said that Donovan brings a wealth of international experience including working for The Coca-Cola Company & Group in Greece and India, Ernst & Young LLP in Brazil and volunteering at the United Nations – Migration Agency in Switzerland. “I think Flavia will be an excellent addition to our team”, says Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn, “we are very fortunate to have found someone with such a unique background in Corporate and Government operations.”“My family and I are very excited to be moving to Dawson Creek,” said Donovan in a statement. “The community has so much to offer and I am really looking forward to working with the staff and Council at the City of Dawson Creek.”last_img read more

Indonesian baby reunited with dad as flood death toll hits 77

first_imgSentani (Indonesia): A baby trapped under rubble after flash flooding destroyed his home in Indonesia has been reunited with his father after the disaster killed the rest of their family, officials said Monday, as the death toll hit 77. The five-month old was plucked Sunday from debris inside a house where his mother and siblings were found dead in the hard-hit northeastern town of Sentani. The tot has since been returned to his surviving father. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We took the baby to the hospital and had him treated,” Papua military spokesman Muhammad Aidi said. “He was in stable condition and has been released. The father was distressed but happy to be reunited with his baby.” The news came as Indonesia’s disaster agency raised the official death toll from 58, with more than three dozen people still missing. Scores have been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain and landslides on Saturday. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”The death toll could still go up with 43 people unaccounted for,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Rescuers battled mud, rocks and fallen trees in the hunt for survivors, as medical personnel treated the wounded in makeshift tents. The military said 5,700 people have been evacuated from the hard-hit area. “We have over 1,000 personnel searching for more victims,” Aidi said. Indonesia has issued a 14-day state of emergency in response to the floods. Papua shares a border with independent Papua New Guinea on an island just north of Australia. Flooding is common in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season which runs from October to April.last_img read more

AAP’s GBN candidate fails to find proposers, nomination rejected

first_imgG B Nagar: In a major set back to Aam Aadmi party (AAP), the nomination of their candidate for Gautam Budh Nagar Lok Sabha seat was disqualified on Tuesday. Official cited the reason to be technical errors in the nomination form. However, the AAP leaders alleged the ruling party in state to have used their powers illegally to pressurise the DM cancel the nominations.A K Singh, AAP district spokesperson, Gautam Buddh Nagar said that rejection was done under pressure from ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). “The Bhartiya Janta Party was afraid of our candidate so they chose to eliminate her by wrongfully using their powers. They pressurised the District Magistrate to cancel our nomination which amounts to denying our democratic rights,” said Singh. Shweta Sharma, AAP candidate from Gautam Buddh Nagar said that she was not given time to correct the errors on the scrutiny day. “As when the Magistrate highlighted some mistakes in the form, we asked just half an hour to correct all the errors. However, the Magistrate didn’t listen to us and cancelled the form. It looks like he was under some pressure,” said Sharma. Meanwhile, the returning officer, District Magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar, B N Singh said that AAP is not recognised as a national or state party in Uttar Pradesh and thus, has to provide the name of 10 proposers but had submitted the name of only one. “Ten mandatory proposers are required for any candidate who is not from a recognised national or regional party in a state. However, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not a recognised regional party in Uttar Pradesh neither it is recognised as a national party by the Election Commission. If it was recognised in UP only one proposer was required in that case. The AAP candidate came up with none of the required documents while she had only one proposer. The decision to reject her nomination was taken on this basis,” said Singh. However, A K Singh claimed that the Magistrate didn’t listen to any of their plea and cancelled their nominations. “If time was given to us, we could have fulfilled all the formalities. We will not keep quiet, while the matter is already reported to the election Commission. We will take legal advice and will take the matter to court” said Singh. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is in power in adjoining Delhi and had last week announced fielding three candidates in Uttar Pradesh, but with cancellation of Sharma’s nomination, it will be fighting only on the other two — Aligarh and Saharanpur. In 2014, the Aam Aadmi Party had fielded Kishan Pal Singh as its candidate from this seat who got 32,358 votes, a 2.70 per cent share of the total votes polled. Gautam Buddh Nagar goes to polls on April 11 during the first leg of the seven-phased general elections.last_img read more

Capital market soars despite global, domestic headwinds

first_imgNew Delhi: Indian capital market outperformed several major global markets, including the developed ones like the US and the UK as well as developing economies such as China and Brazil, with double-digit returns in the fiscal ended March 2019 despite numerous global and domestic headwinds, data shows. The Indian market benckmark indices also improved on their own performance in the previous fiscal, with the BSE’s Sensex (17.3 per cent) giving relatively better returns than the NSE’s Nifty (14.9 per cent) in 2018-19. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThis is much better than the equity market returns recorded in the US (7.6 per cent), the UK (3.2 per cent), China (minus 2.5 per cent), Brazil (11.8 per cent), Japan (minus 1.2 per cent), South Korea (minus 12.5 per cent) and Hong Kong (minus 3.5 per cent) in 2018-19. An analysis of equity market returns for these countries shows that the Indian benchmark indices had underperformed those in the US, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong in 2017-18, though the performance was better than the UK and China even in that year. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostWith positive performance by benchmark indices and increasing fund raising from the market, the size of the capital market in India also continued to expand during 2018-19, with the market capitalisation rising by over 6 per cent to over Rs 151 lakh crore. Besides, mutual fund asset under management grew by 11.4 per cent to nearly Rs 24 lakh crore and Foreign Portfolio Investors’ asset under custody expanded by 8.6 per cent to close to Rs 30 lakh crore. This is despite the fact that 2018-19 was relatively a difficult and challenging year on account of global and domestic headwinds. Fundraising from the capital market also continued its positive trend during 2018-19, with funds raised through debt and equity rising by 5.3 per cent to nearly Rs 9 lakh crore. The double-digit returns came in despite subdued sentiments at times in view of certain negative developments since September 2018, particularly on the fixed-income securities front. On the mutual fund front, debt-oriented funds witnessed net outflows on the back of certain developments in debt market since September 2018. But, equity-oriented mutual funds continued to receive positive net inflows across all months during 2018-19 and other mutual funds received positive net inflows in 10 out of 12 months of the financial year. Net fund inflows in equity-oriented and other types of mutual funds together were to the tune of Rs 1.58 lakh crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 2.84 lakh crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1.30 lakh crore in 2016-17. The year also saw the much-awaited REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) finally taking off in India. REITs have been used worldwide as a vehicle for monetisation of assets by real estate developers. As an instrument class, it provides to investors stable and predictable returns, matching those and often exceeding returns from other alternative investments. Capital market regulator Sebi had issued REIT regulations in 2014 to give impetus to this instrument and, in turn, to the real estate sector in the country. The government has also provided pass-through tax status to REITs registered with Sebi. In March, the first REIT public offer came and it has listed units worth about Rs 4,750 crore. The issue was well received with oversubscription of two times in institutional category and upwards of three times in retail category. This is the largest listed REIT in Asia in terms of area of assets. ptilast_img read more

‘Safai Adha Iman’ campaign blooming in Walled city

first_imgNew Delhi: It’s 6 am in the morning when most of the people in the walled city are still in their cosy beds, a group of young women and men are already at work. With masks on their faces and brooms in their hands, they move to narrow lanes and bylanes of the walled city cleaning the garbage all by themselves.This group has young professionals from all walks of life who have taken up the cause to clean old Delhi streets and lanes. The group has given a name to this special cause “Safai Adha Iman” ( Cleanliness is half your faith ) and has declared a war on uncleanliness in the area. The member of the team feel no shame cleaning the area which is spread with garbaage thrown from the window of the houses in the lanes. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe female members of the group are given the task of interacting one to one with the housewives in the walled city. “We are also appealing the housewives through loud speakers to throw the house garbage inside the bins we have placed ourselves in the lanes. Also, we are interacting with the women of the area to take them into confidence and tell them the importance of cleanliness which will bring good health and hyegine to the area,” said Sadia Syed, a volunteer. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe male members of the group are holding a meeting with the RWAs and also the owners of food chains in the area to make a substantial change in the Walled city. The Imams of various mosques are also contacted for the same.The group is also calling for more volunteers through social media and is also appealing to youths from different parts of Delhi to apply the same concept of cleanliness in their areas. “We are doing the campaign at the micro level starting from various lanes in the area of the walled city, we are utilising the social media platforms to create awareness and also call for volunteering for the cause. We have also made vertical gardens on the walls to beautify the area,” said Irtiza Quraishi, President of an NGO Marham. The areas like lanes of Matia Mahal and Jama masjid have already started feeling the change and many lanes in Pahari imli, Gai Sayyedain, Pahari Bhjlia, Gali Andheri and Gali Mandir wali has also started looking cleaner along with others in the Walled city.last_img read more

How A MultipleChoice Test Became A Fixture Of The NFL Draft

What it was designed for was something more basic. In the 1930s, Eldon “E.F.” Wonderlic — friends called him Al — was working as the director of personnel at consumer loan provider Household Finance Corporation.5It’s now called HSBC Finance. His employer was looking for a more efficient way to hire entry-level workers at its branches, so it sent Wonderlic to graduate school at Northwestern in hopes that his research would yield a solution to the problem.E.F. Wonderlic acknowledged that the single best predictor of job performance was previous work experience. But as Charles Wonderlic put it: “How do you predict someone’s performance if they have never done that job before?” The second-best predictor of job performance, E.F. Wonderlic reasoned, was cognitive ability.“What he found was that different jobs had different cognitive demands ranging from very low to very high,” said Charles Wonderlic, E.F.’s grandson. “And there were really distinct IQs around each job. And the further away you got from that distribution, that’s when you started to experience problems.”The original Wonderlic Personnel Test was born out of that theory. The first copyrighted version of the test appeared in 1937. Its brevity and simple scoring system, Charles Wonderlic said, allowed virtually any manager to both administer the test and interpret scores. (This is also the likely reason for modern pundits’ love of Wonderlic scores: They’re easy talking points.)After a stretch at Douglas Aircraft Corporation during World War II, E.F. Wonderlic worked in finance and sold copies of his test. He didn’t advertise, but eventually big companies like Spiegel and AT&T started calling. In 1961, E.F. Wonderlic left his job as president of General Finance Corporation and founded E.F. Wonderlic & Associates. By then, Charles Wonderlic said, an estimated 4 million people a year were taking the WPT.In the early 1960s, Gil Brandt was a young scout with the expansion Dallas Cowboys. “We were not a very good team,” he told me. His bosses, general manager Tex Schramm and coach Tom Landry, were looking for ways to change that. After doing some research, Brandt said that the trio determined that successful businesses used the Wonderlic and the team should, too. It’s unclear exactly when the Cowboys began testing players. Brandt did say that at some point during the ’60s, he remembers watching spring practice at Northwestern and then stopping by the Wonderlic headquarters to learn more about the company.By the late ’60s, George Young was an ambitious personnel assistant for the Baltimore Colts. He’d been a public school teacher before transitioning to football full time, and he asked the head of the guidance department in Baltimore for a handful of different tests to peruse. Of the 10 he reportedly looked at, the Wonderlic stuck out, and soon the Colts began using it.Other teams followed suit by the 1970s, and the NFL eventually began to use it to assess college players en masse. Since 2007, Wonderlic, Inc. staff members have traveled annually to Indianapolis to administer the test at the Scouting Combine. As Charles Wonderlic drove from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to his company’s headquarters near Chicago on February 27, 2011, he made the mistake of turning on a sports radio show. The host, as Wonderlic remembers, was talking about Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy’s near-perfect Wonderlic score. Each winter, hundreds of football prospects take the multiple-choice test that claims to measure their intelligence. Results are supposed to be kept confidential, yet they always seem to become media fodder.In reality, there’s no way anyone could’ve known McElroy’s score. On that day four years ago, as reports of McElroy’s supposed feat trickled out, sealed boxes containing every single Wonderlic answer sheet were sitting in Charles Wonderlic’s car, still unscanned. Wonderlic, Inc. didn’t send an encrypted file of the players’ results to the NFL until March 1. Unsurprisingly, a variety of news outlets ran with the story anyway.1For example: purveyor of NFL rumors and gossip ProFootballTalk — which, has since mostly ended its coverage of Wonderlic scores — published three conflicting blog posts about McElroy’s alleged score. The first named McElroy’s alleged score, the second quoted an anonymous scout saying there was “no chance” McElroy’s score could’ve leaked that quickly, and the third claimed that McElroy didn’t score as high as initially reported. The third report was closest to the mark, as it turned out. The months leading up to the NFL Draft feel like election season: Everybody’s trying to dig up dirt on candidates.“Are we just so starved for information this time of year that we search for anything?” wondered NFL Scouting Combine director Jeff Foster, who only agreed to be interviewed for this article after I assured him that I wouldn’t be reporting individual Wonderlic scores.In an era when the NFL schedule release is treated like the premiere of the new “Star Wars,” the answer to Foster’s question is a resounding “yes.” We crave even the smallest bits of information about players entering the NFL Draft, even if it’s not meant for our consumption. Forget Foster’s estimate that half the Wonderlic scores he sees in news stories are incorrect. As long as the test is administered at the Combine, media and fans will fixate on it.“The only person it impacts is the player,” Foster said of a leaked Wonderlic score. “How would you like to be branded unintelligent because you scored a 5 on an intelligence test?”The story of the Wonderlic, however, is more than just a range of easily regurgitated numbers. It’s the story of how one guy’s American Dream helped shape a new American pastime. Eldon Wonderlic. Wonderlic Inc. But before we get there, let’s first look at what the Wonderlic purportedly tests. “What we’re measuring is not what you know — that’s what’s being measured on the ACT or the SAT,” said Charles Wonderlic, president and CEO of Wonderlic Inc. “This is really saying, ‘How quickly does your brain gather and analyze information?’” The 12-minute Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) features 50 questions arranged by difficulty, lowest to highest. Here’s a sample:Jose’s monthly parking fee for April was $150; for May it was $10 more than April; and for June $40 more than May. His average monthly parking fee was ___ for these 3 months?J) $66K) $160L) $166M) $170N) $2002The answer: M) $170A player’s Wonderlic score is always a number between 1 and 50, and across all professions, the average score is approximately 21. (Systems analysts and Chemists top the scale 32 at 31, respectively.) For pro football players, the oft-cited number is about 20. Tracking down the average scores by position is tricky, mainly because the buttoned-up NFL isn’t interested in sharing any broad Wonderlic data. In an email, Charles Wonderlic said that while his company has published “norms” for other industries, “we maintain the confidentiality of test scores for single organizations. Since the NFL is the only client by which we can produce a quarterback average, we would need their permission to provide this information. Traditionally, the NFL prefers to keep any information about tests scores internal to their own organization.”Like Wonderlic, Inc., the NFL declined to provide any historical data related to NFL players’ test scores for this piece.For his 19843The first edition of the book was published in 1970. classic “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football,” Sports Illustrated writer Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman did get one anonymous staffer to spill some then-current averages. Offensive tackles led the way at 26, then came centers (25), quarterbacks (24), offensive guards (23), tight ends (22), safeties and middle linebackers (21), defensive linemen and outside linebackers (19), cornerbacks (18), wide receivers and fullbacks (17), and halfbacks (16). And what about place kickers and punters? “Who cares?” the source said.On its own, a solid Wonderlic score means little. Like a 40-yard dash time, it provides one tiny, standardized data point to employers who presumably take a holistic approach to hiring. But because teams have decades of data on file, they can compare the Wonderlic scores of current college players entering the draft to those of past prospects. “They simply use it to find the extremes,” Foster said. A very low score or a very high score, he added, could lead teams to conduct more testing or look into the prospect more closely.“Wonderlic gives you an area to investigate,” the late New York Giants general manager George Young told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1997. “If a guy doesn’t have a good score on the test, you don’t say he’s not smart. But you go in and investigate and find out [why he scored low]. You go in and talk to his coach. You find out how he did in school. You find out how he retains. If you think he’s a poor reader and did poorly because it was a verbal test, you give him a non-verbal test.”The most famous extreme occurred in 1975, when Harvard receiver and punter Pat McInally4McInally’s post-NFL life has been much more interesting than his football career. He’s the guy who invented Starting Lineup action figures. reportedly scored a perfect 50 on the Wonderlic. The Cincinnati Bengals picked him in the fifth round of that year’s draft, but not before his reputed intelligence reportedly scared some teams away. In 2011, McInally told the Los Angeles Times that Young informed him that acing the Wonderlic “may have cost you a few rounds in the draft because we don’t like extremes. We don’t want them too dumb and we sure as hell don’t want them too smart.”That slightly paleolithic line of thinking, however, wasn’t shared by everyone. “I don’t care about that stuff,” the late Raiders owner Al Davis said in “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football.” “If a kid is street smart, that’s enough. Our coaches’ job is to make a kid smarter. I just wonder if they checked some of the coaches’ IQs around the league, how high they’d score.”By now, the value of the Wonderlic has been debated so vigorously, especially among NFL executives, that it’s easy to forget that the test wasn’t designed for football. But the Wonderlic is not without its detractors. Charles Wonderlic estimated that since the test’s inception nearly 80 years ago, it has faced legal scrutiny hundreds of times.In the summer of 1965, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began operations a year after it was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Duke Power Company in Draper, North Carolina, began allowing its black employees to work in its higher-paying divisions. Until that point, black employees had only been permitted to work in the low-paying Labor department. Duke Power also instituted a policy that required all new applicants6Duke Power started permitting current employees without a high school degree to transfer to higher-paying departments in September of 1965, but to do so they still had to pass two aptitude tests. to have a high school diploma and pass two aptitude exams: the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test and the Wonderlic Personnel Test.These measures crippled the efforts of black workers to advance. At the time, the percentage of white men who both possessed a high school diploma and were able to pass the two aptitude tests was significantly higher7According to the 1960 North Carolina census, 34 percent of white men had a high school diploma while only 12 percent of black men had the same level of education. The newly formed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that in this case, 58 percent of white people and only 6 percent of black people who took the Wonderlic and the Bennett tests passed. than the percentage of black men who met the same criteria.Griggs v. Duke Power Co., a U.S. Supreme Court case argued in 1970, condemned the company’s requirements. Not only did they disproportionately affect black workers, but they also failed to show “a demonstrable relationship” to job performance, Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote in the majority opinion. He also noted that nothing in the Civil Rights Act “precludes the use of testing or measuring procedures; obviously they are useful.”While the Wonderlic test has shown itself to be a useful tool for workplace assessment, it has also faced longstanding criticism from those who argue that it is racially and culturally biased. It’s unclear whether the NFL, a league in which more than 67 percent of players are African-American, agrees with those accusations or if the league actually uses the Wonderlic to make personnel decisions.“How determinative it is depends on the club,” former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi told ESPN.com in 2013, “but it’s usually not ‘the’ determinative factor.”When it comes to football, is the test a demonstrably reasonable measure of job performance? Because official NFL Wonderlic scores aren’t publicly available, it’s difficult to know for sure, but that hasn’t stopped researchers from attempting to find out. Brian D. Lyons, Brian J. Hoffman, and John W. Michel8At the time, Lyons, Hoffman and Michel were working at University of California, Fresno, the University of Georgia and Towson University, respectively co-authored a 2009 study examining the reported9They found the scores on NFLDraftScout.com and CBS.Sportsline.com. Wonderlic scores of 762 NFL players from three draft classes. They found that there was little correlation between Wonderlic scores and on-field performance, except for two positions: Tight ends and defensive backs with low scores actually played better than those with high scores. The researchers surmised that this “could be explained by the notion that performance for these positions entails more of an emphasis on physical ability and instinct” than general mental ability.Today, the NFL continues to ask potential draftees to take the Wonderlic, although the test now has company. In 2013, the league introduced the Player Assessment Tool, which was developed by attorney Cyrus Mehri, whose report led to the implementation of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, and psychology professor Harold Goldstein. Louis Bien of SB Nation recently reported that the PAT is a 50-minute exam that examines a player’s football smarts, psychological attributes, learning style and motivational cues. “Players are not given a numeric score, unlike on the Wonderlic, so technically there is no way to do poorly on it,” Bien wrote.Mehri’s hope is that the new test can measure what the Wonderlic can’t. “This kind of levels the playing field from a socio-economic point of view,” he told USA Today. “A lot of guys may be very intelligent, but are not as book-smart as others. Someone may not be the best reader, but they can still be very smart in picking up things.”As long as the Wonderlic is administered at the NFL Scouting Combine, Foster, the Combine director, will be fielding questions about it — and shaking his head at leaked scores. “It has some value,” he said of the test. “It does not have near the value of what we spend talking about it between February and May.”After all, a high or low score won’t automatically doom or anoint a prospect. Just ask Greg McElroy. After doing exceptionally well on the Wonderlic in 2011, the New York Jets picked the quarterback in the seventh round of the draft. Before announcing his retirement in 2014, he played in a total of two NFL games. read more

Ohio States latest Sports and Society Initiative panel discusses athletes and socialjustice

Tommie Smith (left), Malcolm Jenkins (middle right) and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (right) talk about social justice in sports at the Blackwell as a part of an event hosted by Ohio State’s Sports and Society Initiative. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Senior Lantern reporterOhio State’s Sports and Society Initiative hosted panelists Thursday night at the Blackwell Inn to discuss the role of athletes in the field of social-justice activism.Panelists included Tommie Smith, a gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics in the men’s 200-meter dash; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles and former OSU safety; and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a former NBA guard in the 1990s. The three have contributed nearly 50 years worth of social justice activism. Vince Doria, the former senior vice president and director of news for ESPN, acted as moderator during the event.Doria began the evening with a brief history of athletes and social activism, noting that activism of this kind almost always involves race — something he said should not be surprising given the contributions that African American athletes have had on the sports industry and American culture.From the days of Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali resisting policies they saw as unjust to, more recently, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving donning “I Can’t Breathe” shirts before a Cleveland Cavaliers game, Doria said the sports industry has had a long history of African American athletes breaking barriers for social justice.“In the past half dozen years, there has been a steady drumbeat of social activism among athletes,” Doria said.Each of the panelists shared their personal stories and answered questions prepared by Doria and submitted by faculty, students and audience members.Smith is most recognized for his demonstration on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, when after winning his gold medal, he and his teammate, John Carlos, donned black gloves and Olympic Project for Human Rights badges then raised their fists in a Black Power salute. Smith and Carlos were immediately reprimanded and sent home from the Games. Smith said that he did not view the gesture as a symbol for black power, but rather as a salute for human rights.“A lot of people view that as a negative message to our country or an insult to America,” he said. “But for Tommie Smith, it was a cry for freedom … it was a plea through faith –– and there was no hate involved.”Though his actions were arguably the most overt political protest in Olympic history, Smith said he views his display of protest differently.  “We wasn’t there to change the world, only to help the world change,” Smith said.Abdul-Rauf is best known for refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games in 1996, saying that standing for the national anthem would be a contradiction to his Islamic beliefs. His actions led to a one-game suspension, after which he agreed to stand during but would keep his eyes closed and look downward, often reciting prayers. After growing a thirst for reading in college, Abdul-Rauf said he “developed a conscience” the more he read about the troubles of the world, which motivated him to sit in protest of the American flag and the anthem.“We speak about equality, we speak about fairness,” said Abdul-Rauf. “This is something that many of us hope for and dream for. I really want it to be a reality. And this was the way, as (Smith) was saying earlier, it was a cry for freedom.”A month after Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, gained national attention when he took a knee during the national anthem in protest the treatment of people of color in 2016, Jenkins took a stand of solidarity with Kaepernick. Alongside several of his teammates, the former Buckeye raised his fist during the national anthem, symbolic of Smith’s own protest at the 1968 Olympics.“What (Kaepernick) did showed me how far and how much influence we have as athletes,” Jenkins said. “When he took a simple knee, it started a worldwide conversation … Regardless of how you feel about what he did, whether he did the right thing or not, he started a conversation.”The panel discussed a number of different issues included in social activism, including Abdul-Rauf and Smith sharing the impact their activism had on their professional and personal lives and Jenkins experiences meeting with members of Congress to discuss criminal justice reform.Despite their efforts, Jenkins said he knows activism is not for every athlete competing today, rather all he asks is for those who want to be involved would be involved wholeheartedly.“We can get a lot done with the few that are committed,” he said. “But if we have the whole team and everyone has lukewarm convictions, we still won’t get anything done.” read more

Football Fields Martell attempt to gain eligibility after transfer

Freshman quarterback Justin Fields sits at the Ohio State men’s basketball game between the Buckeyes and Michigan State on Jan. 5 following his transfer to Ohio State from Georgia. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternJustin Fields and Tate Martell each walked into a full quarterback room. Martell, a freshman at Ohio State, walked into a room inhabiting three starting quarterbacks: J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow, who transferred and eventually started at LSU.Fields walked into the quarterback room at Georgia as one of three five-star quarterbacks, joining Jake Fromm and Jacob Easton, who transferred to Washington prior to the 2018 season. But both Fields and Martell had something else in common: Both thought they had a legitimate shot at the starting quarterback job at their respective schools. And both, having each spent a year of eligibility, were proved otherwise. After the 2018 season, both Fields and Martell decided to leave their initial colleges when Fields’ decision to transfer to Ohio State led to Martell’s eventual transfer to the University of Miami. But for both Fields and Martell, the NCAA transfer rules remain the same: The player will have to sit out one season at the institution they transfer to in order to serve an academic year in residence.However, the institutions that Fields and Martell transferred to — Ohio State and Miami, respectively — can apply for a waiver that would make the athlete immediately eligible.“It has become much more common now than it once was,” William Brooks, a partner of Lightfoot Law who specializes in NCAA compliance and investigations, said. “Over the last year or two, you have seen more and more of these requests granted than not, easily more than a majority are granted.” Brooks said there are a number of grounds the student can assert, but that it does have to be a stated reason that does not involve the student-athlete wanting to play next season. Fields had a different reason in mind when he came to Ohio State. During Georgia’s 38-12 win against Tennessee on Sept. 29, Adam Sasser, a former first baseman on the Volunteers’ baseball, team yelled racial slurs toward Fields on the sideline. “I don’t know whether it was Jake Fromm had a bad series or something, but this guy was really drunk, and he decides to yell out, ‘Put the N-expletive in the game. Put the N in the game,’” Michael Hebert, the football beat reporter for the Red and Black, Georgia’s student newspaper, said. Sasser, who never denied the incident and later sent out an apology, was kicked off the baseball team on Oct. 3. “It seemed like it was just an unfortunate incident that wasn’t going to affect anything,” Hebert said. However, Fields will use this incident, according to reports, as a means to gain immediate eligibility in his first season at Ohio State, teaming up with Tom Mars, the attorney who helped former Ole Miss players, including Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, gain immediate eligibility for the 2018 season after their transfers. Brooks said the incident involving Sasser already has an important element that could contribute to Fields’ eligibility. “The incident that occurred was documented. We know that it happened, so it seems like he has satisfied that part,” Brooks said. “The second part is that it has to directly impact his health, safety or well-being, and that’s what the ultimate decision will be.”  But Herbert believes there is really no hard feelings between Fields and Georgia that led to his transfer. “I don’t really see Fields having animosity towards anyone,” Herbert said. “It really had a lot to do with the football decision and wanting to be at a place where he feels he could be better.”  Coming into the 2017 season as the No. 2 recruit in the class, Fields had extremely high expectations, despite the level of talent Georgia already had at the quarterback position. However, throughout the season, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart would bring Fields in for an occasional running play and take him back out. “Everyone was kind of confused as to what was going on with the plan there,” Herbert said. “Kirby Smart said there was no plan.” After Georgia’s 41-17 win against South Carolina on Sept. 8, Fields was filmed walking off the field telling a teammate, “I didn’t do s***. I just handed the ball off, and it was good as f***.” Fields completed one pass for eight yards and recorded one rush for three yards in the victory. Without a direct path to playing time with Fromm firmly holding the starting quarterback job, rumors about Fields possibly transferring swirled around the freshman throughout the 2018 season. After the 2018 SEC Championship, Jake Reuse, a recruiting writer for UGASports.com, said Fields was “noncommittal” when asked about the transfer rumors, saying he was focused on Georgia at that point in time. But Reuse felt a transfer was in Fields’ future. “I think that people left that interview and left that SEC Championship game feeling like it was moving away from rumor and probably more into fact sooner rather than later,” Reuse said.  Fields will not be the only one trying to play next season. According to a report from 247Sports, Martell will be trying to gain immediate eligibility as well, citing the head coaching change — with Urban Meyer announcing his retirement prior to the Rose Bowl and offensive coordinator Ryan Day taking over as head coach — as his grounds to play for the Hurricanes next season. Brooks said the standard to gain immediate eligibility is that the circumstance is “a documented, mitigating circumstance outside of the student-athlete’s control.” Prior to Fields’ transfer to Ohio State, Martell said he was ready to earn the starting quarterback job under Day. “I feel like it’s my turn to go out there and do my thing. I feel like I’ve earned that,” Martell said. “I’ve worked extremely hard to get to the point where I am, and each year, I keep climbing and getting better.” Due to the increasing trend of granted requests for immediate eligibility, Fields at Ohio State and Martell at Miami could both have a chance to prove their ability within their new programs starting as soon as the 2019 season. read more