CDC says new virus spreading beyond travelers

first_imgApr 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – As the official count of US swine influenza cases rose to 64 today, top federal health officials said it’s becoming increasingly clear that the virus is spreading beyond people who recently traveled to Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.”The information we’re seeing from states and locals . . . is that this appears to be acting like a normal flu virus, which has a fairly high rate of transmission in families,” Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a news briefing this afternoon. He said investigators are finding respiratory and flu-like illnesses in family members of case-patients.Besser said the only confirmed case of person-to-person transmission in the United States so far is in the two Kansas cases, which officials have said involved a husband and wife. But he said that probably only reflects the limited extent of testing, adding, “I expect we are seeing transmission within families.”Later he commented that while travel history is an important diagnostic clue in people who have a flu-like illness, “I wouldn’t limit it to that, because it’s really [in] a minority of cases to date that we’ve identified that travel history.”The signs of ongoing transmission seem to fit with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) move yesterday to raise the pandemic alert level to phase 4, which means a new flu virus can spread efficiently enough to cause sustained community outbreaks.This morning the CDC raised its case count to 64, from 40 as of yesterday, including 45 cases in New York, 10 in California, 6 in Texas, 2 in Kansas, and 1 in Ohio. Besser said five patients have been hospitalized—three in California and two in New York—but provided no details on their illnesses.The Associated Press reported this afternoon that “several hundred” students who attend a New York City Catholic school that has been hit by swine flu are sick.Besser reported that the latest illness onset date in a confirmed swine flu case is Apr 24, but that doesn’t mean there has been no transmission since then.”We’re asking that if you are a confirmed case not only that you stay home, but that the rest of your family stay home as well,” to limit the virus’s spread, he said.States all want suppliesIn other comments, Besser reported that all states have now requested their shares of antiviral drugs and personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile, and the CDC is working to fulfill the requests. He called the requests “a forward-leaning step,” since most states don’t have any cases yet.In response to a question, he said the CDC has not yet identified anything that distinguishes swine flu from seasonal flu, aside from the possible clue of a travel history. He said it was an advantage that the new virus did not emerge in the middle of the regular flu season.”If this outbreak had occurred in January or February it would’ve been very difficult to detect because of all the flu activity going on,” he said.On vaccine issues, Besser called the possibility of adding a swine flu antigen to the seasonal flu vaccine “an attractive approach” in that one vaccine could protect against seasonal and swine flu infections. “We do know that seasonal flu vaccine production is moving forward, and we don’t want to delay that, but that is under consideration,” he added.The other possibility is to make a monovalent vaccine, containing just the swine flu strain, he noted.The CDC previously said it was developing a seed strain of swine flu virus for companies to use in making a vaccine. Besser said the seed strain has not yet been sent to the manufacturers.He also reported that the incubation period in US swine flu cases appears to range from 2 to 7 days, which he termed typical for flu.Earlier in the day, Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the WHO emphasized—as he did yesterday—that the swine flu represents “a serious situation” but that a pandemic is not yet inevitable. “We really are in a period in which countries should take this opportunity to really prepare themselves for the possibility of a pandemic,” especially countries not yet dealing with cases, he said.He said that as of today the WHO officially counted 79 cases, including 40 in the United States (the number reported yesterday), 26 in Mexico, 6 in Canada, 3 in New Zealand, 2 in Spain, and 2 in the United Kingdom.Later today, the WHO in an online statement reported that Israel has confirmed 2 cases. The numbers are confirmed cases reported by governments.Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and the environment, stressed how much remains unknown about the new virus, including where it originated and why severe cases seem to be confined to Mexico.”We still do not have a good explanation for why the pattern of cases in other countries appears relatively mild while the pattern in Mexico appears to be much more severe,” he said. Besser said much the same in the CDC briefing.When asked about reports that the virus might have originated in Mexico’s Vera Cruz state, Fukuda said, “I think right now it’s not possible to really know where this virus originated.” He added that the swine flu isolates that have been analyzed have been very similar, suggesting that the virus emerged recently and has not been around long enough to branch into many variants.Fukuda cautioned that even if swine flu activity subsides sometime soon, it will be at least several months before experts can conclude that a pandemic won’t happen. “It’s very hard to know when something like this disappears. I don’t think we’ll be able to conclude that in the next few weeks.”He also warned not to forget how the great pandemic of 1918-19 unfolded. “It also started out as a relatively mild spread of illness that really wasn’t much noted in most places, but then it became a very severe pandemic in the fall,” he said.See also: CDC swine flu pagehttp://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/Apr 28 WHO updatehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_04_28/en/index.htmlWHO swine flu pagehttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Niche market

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

First confirmed COVID-19 case in Bhutan

first_imgBased on the prepared plans, the Bhutanese king personally oversaw implementation of the response strategy, with health officials to take care of the patient.A resident of Washington DC, the patient was travelling with his partner, aged 59. There were 10 passengers on board the plane, of which eight others were Indian nationals. However, upon reaching Thimph on the afternoon of Mar 5, he visited the medical clinic, complaining of bloaty abdomen (dyspeptic symptoms) and nausea. The patient suffers from chronic hypertension and is on medication. However, even at that time, he did not have any flu symptoms. The patient and his partner stayed at Le Meridien on the first night. The following day, he stayed indoor most of the time and went to the hospital again around 3.30pm for stomach upset and diarrhea.The next day, he travelled to Punakha, with two stops on the way for tea and lunch. He had stayed at Densa Boutique Resort. That evening, he had walked until the Bazam next to Punakha Dzong, and returned to the room. Yesterday, upon returning to Thimphu, he visited clinic again. He was found to have fever, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath. He was kept under observation at the flu clinic (designated COVID-19 hospital) and samples were collected and sent to Royal Centre for Disease Control (RCDC).Upon confirmation, he has been isolated in the COVID-19 hospital. Considering his age and underlying conditions, the patient is on oxygen support. At press time, over 90 persons who might have come into his contact have been traced. Health officials and other relevant agencies are in the process of carrying out primary disease management and contact tracing.Contact tracings were launched as per the patient’s itinerary. It included people he associated with at all the points and stops along the way, starting from Paro airport to Thimphu, to Punakha and back. It included tea stops at Druk Wangyal Café, and lunch at Punakha High School park.The close contacts were his partner, the driver and the guide. While all three are asymptomatic for now, they have been quarantined at the designated COVID-19 hospital.The eight Indian passengers have also been quarantined. The government is closely working with the Indian Embassy.Health ministry has asked the four crew members of the particular flight, and the hotel staff at both Le Meridien and Densa Boutique Resort to “home quarantine”. Which means they should stay home and maintain distance from people, including family members. Until all suspicions are ruled out, health officials will closely monitor and provide all services at respective homes. Response planAs per the National Preparedness and Response Plan, with the detection of first confirmed case of COVID-19, the country stepped into “Orange” zone. The zone is defined as having one or more isolated confirmed cases without secondary transmission. It is described as “moderate disruption”, according to which the government has to isolate confirmed cases, quarantine suspects, carry out closure of schools, institutions and public gatherings in the affected localities. Per  the response plan, the government had announced closure of schools and institutes in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha for two weeks with effect from March 6.The duration is specified in keeping with the health advisory, which states that people who would have contracted infection from the primary source would develop full-blown infection by then. Parents are advised to closely monitor the health of the child. Should there be any concern, parents are asked to contact health officials.Topics : At the Paro International Airport, the American patient’s health declaration form was assessed. He had indicated “negative” against all conditions. He did not have a sign of fever. center_img The Himalaya kingdom of Bhutan has confirmed its first Covid-19 case of a visiting American tourist, the PM’s Office has announced.The patient is said to be a 76-year-old from the United States of America, who had come to Bhutan on Mar 2 via India in which he originally arrived on Feb 21.The Bhutanese government immediately imposed a two-week restriction on all incoming tourists. This is to enable rigorous monitoring, source assessment of infection and mitigate the situation. In addition, all international conferences and seminars to be held in the country in the two weeks are also postponed. last_img read more

David Luiz insists Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title this season

first_img Metro Sport ReporterFriday 18 Oct 2019 8:22 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3kShares David Luiz insists Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title this season David Luiz is aiming high this season (Picture: Getty)David Luiz believes Arsenal are capable of mounting a Premier League title challenge this season despite currently trailing league leaders Liverpool by nine points.Liverpool have flown out of the blocks at the start of the campaign winning all eight of their Premier League matches to open up an eight-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City.Those two teams are regarded as the leading candidates to win the title after going toe-to-toe in 2018-19. City pipped Liverpool in the end by a point with the Reds finishing 25 points clear of third-placed Chelsea.Luiz, a Premier League winner with Chelsea in the 2016-17 campaign, is aiming high, though, and insists that Arsenal have the players and coaching staff to ‘fight’ for the title.ADVERTISEMENT Comment ‘I think we’ve started really well and we just lost one game in the Premier League,’ Luiz added. ‘I think the team is improving and now we are in third in the table but we want to finish this season fighting for the title.’Luiz joined Arsenal from Chelsea on transfer deadline day and has quickly established himself as a key member of Unai Emery’s side, featuring eight times and scoring the winner during the 1-0 win over Bournemouth prior to the international break.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalCan Arsenal challenge for the title?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultscenter_img Advertisement Advertisement David Luiz was part of the Chelsea team that won the Premier League title in 2016-17 (Picture: Getty)‘For me, if you start something, and we’ve just started the Premier League and all of the competitions, if you don’t think you can win the competition then you won’t start anything in your life,’ Luiz told NBC Sports.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I want to win titles with Arsenal. I want to improve and adapt myself for the style of Arsenal, as a club and how the manager wants us to play. I think we can do that together.‘My vision, my ambition and my will is always to fight for the title and between the club, the players and the coach, we have the possibility to fight for the title. I think this club deserves to shine again.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool at Anfield in August but that is their only league defeat of the season so far and they currently sit just behind City in third-place heading into this weekend’s fixtures.last_img read more

Stamp honors ‘Father of Modern American Poetry’ Walt Whitman

first_imgHuntington Station, NY — The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) honored the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman with a new stamp in its Literary Arts series, commemorating the life, work and words of the poet some revere as the “Father of Modern American Poetry,” at his Long Island birthplace.Whitman’s poetry was modern in “the topics and themes explored — freedom, human dignity, and democracy,” said Cara Greene, USPS vice president, controller. Greene dedicated the 85-cent stamp, which is intended for domestic First-Class Mail weighing up to 3 ounces. “Whitman was more than a giant in American literature,” said Greene. “He was a remarkable human being who helped nurse thousands of the Civil War’s sick and dying soldiers.”Greene was joined to unveil the stamp by Cynthia Shor, Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site executive director; Jeffrey Gould, Walt Whitman Birthplace Association trustee; Erik Kulleseid, New York State Parks Commissioner; Darrel Blaine Ford, Whitman personator; and David Reynolds, Graduate Center of the City University of New York.Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp, featuring a portrait of Whitman by Sam Weber, based on a photograph taken by Frank Pearsall in 1869. A lilac bush and hermit thrush in the stamp’s background recall the poem, “When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d,” written after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.Whitman’s name lines the bottom of the stamp. “USA” is printed horizontally in the top left corner. The stamp’s denomination, “THREE OUNCE,” is indicated at far right, down the side.News of the stamps can be shared using the hashtag #WaltWhitmanStamps.Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shop under “Collectors.”last_img read more

Murtagh earns Ireland thrilling win

first_img Murtagh’s efforts carried Ireland home by just one wicket, with a solitary ball to spare, in the ICC World Cricket League clash at Stormont after the Scots had looked set to snatch a vital victory. Ireland’s last pair needed nine from the last three balls when Murtagh suddenly changed the game by hitting Rob Taylor for a maximum down the ground and following up with another boundary. Ireland captain William Porterfield, who scored a century against England, carried on where he left off in Malahide by rattling up 62 from 64 balls with 10 fours. But he fell soon after the dismissal of his opening partner Paul Stirling (30) and Ireland struggled to recover the momentum. Former captain Trent Johnston did weigh in with 24 from 34 balls but it was not until Sorensen got to work, putting on 29 for the ninth wicket with Murtagh, that hopes were truly revived. It seemed over when Sorensen swung and missed after coming down the pitch to Machan, but Murtagh held his nerve. Scotland had sensed victory when the dangerous Max Sorensen had been stumped off the bowling of Matt Machan in the penultimate over after a match-changing 31. Prior to that Ireland had slumped from 95 without loss to 180 for eight in pursuit of 224, Majid Haq taking three for 26. The defeat means Scotland, who play Ireland again in their final game on Saturday, can no longer climb into the eight-team competition’s second qualification spot. They will have one last chance in a qualification tournament next year. Ireland, the leaders of the WCL, have already booked their place at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Scotland posted 223 for nine from their 50 overs thanks largely to an unbeaten 91 from their South African-born captain Preston Mommsen. Although wickets fell at regular intervals, Mommsen shared in important partnerships of 60 for the fourth wicket with Calum MacLeod (21) and 44 for the ninth with Safyaan Sharif (26). Mommsen hit 10 fours in his 122-ball knock, holding the innings together after Machan’s promising start was ended on 27 by Sorensen. Somerset spinner George Dockrell, who struggled in the one-day clash with England earlier this week, was the pick of the Irish bowling with four for 24 from his 10 overs while Sorensen took two for 37. Press Association Tim Murtagh smashed a six and a four in the final over as Ireland ended Scotland’s hopes of automatic World Cup qualification with a dramatic win in Belfast.last_img read more

ROSE Hall add Ivan Madray T20 title to collection after beating Albion by 5 runs

first_imgROSE Hall Town NAMILCO Thunderbolt  Flour wrapped up last weekend as double-champs, after winning both STAG Beer 40-Overs and Ivan Madray T20 first-division titles.After beating Tucber Park in Saturday’s STAG Beer 40-Over final, Rose Hall continued their winning ways as they won the toss and elected to bat first in Sunday’s game.Former national players Royston Crandon (18) and Delbert Hicks (42) added 47 for the 3rd wicket while Troy Mathieson (16), Keith Simpson (15) made useful contributions as the team made 130-9 after 20 overs.Bowling for Albion, left-arm spinner Gourav Ramesh bagged 4-36 and Mahendra Chaitnarine 2-7. Albion were then kept to 125 in their pursuit of 130 thanks mainly to spinner and opposition captain Eon Hooper with 3-26 and Keith Simpson 3-29 while pacer Sylus Tyndall and Royston Crandon supported with a wicket each.Jaguars batsman and Albion opener Kandasammy Surujnarine continued his form but failed to make a significant score as he made 22 while former U-19 player Sharaz Ramcharran (31) and Steve Latchana (27) got going but failed to carry on.The game provided much heat during the latter stages of the innings as Albion entered the last over requiring 10 runs for victory. Left-arm spinner Simpson only conceded four runs as Kevin Umroa was run-out for 06 off the second ball of the over.Simpson then dismissed Mahendra Chaitnarine and Gourav Ramesh off successive balls to wrap up a nail-biting win at the No. 69 ground last Sunday.BCB president Hilbert Foster congratulated both teams for entertaining the large crowd with great cricket. He thanked Chandradat Chintamani for sponsoring the tournament in memory of his late uncle, Ivan Samuel Madray.Chintamani, in response, expressed thanks to the BCB for organising a highly successful tournament and stated that the final was one of the best cricket matches he has ever saw. He committed to sponsoring the tournament for as long as he can afford.The Laparkan Senior vice-president further congratulated the Rose Hall Town NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour team for winning the title. Hicks was named Man-of-the-Final for his 26-ball 42. He carried home a financial reward along with a trophy. Albion received $50 000 while the champions bagged the $100 000 purse along with trophies.last_img read more

Taking the torch: Coffey appears ready to take reins of Syracuse offense in sophomore season

first_img Comments Erica Morrow knew exactly how Rachel Coffey felt last year. Three years earlier, Morrow was a highly touted freshman struggling to adjust on the court at Syracuse. After dominating in high school, Morrow received a rude awakening at practices in which mistakes piled up, the coaches criticized every little thing and the physical play wore her down. Morrow’s confidence was broken, and it took time to build back up. Three years later, the senior guard watched Coffey wrestle with the same challenges in her freshman season. ‘The point guard position is probably the toughest position to play on the collegiate level, especially transitioning from high school to college,’ said Morrow, now an SU graduate assistant. ‘So she had the typical bumps in the road that any freshman has — having to play intense at every moment, having to play at a faster, more physical speed.’ Coffey arrived at Syracuse as a top recruit — ranked No. 19 overall in her class by Blue Star Basketball — known for her uncanny ball handling and passing ability in high school. But she only saw limited action last season as she settled into her role waiting behind four-year starters Morrow and Tasha Harris in the SU backcourt. Following the graduations of Morrow and Harris, Coffey will likely take over as Syracuse’s starting point guard in 2011-12. With the growing pains of her freshman campaign behind her, Coffey is confident in her ability to lead the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The sophomore has been preparing for this role since she first started dribbling at 5 years old. Coffey wasn’t interested in playing with toys as a kid. She just played basketball, emulating ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich and eventually learning to dribble two balls at once and spin the ball on her finger as he did. And like Maravich, she dribbled everywhere — around the house, to the store and to church, where Coffey even left during the service to work on her ball handling outside. ‘I didn’t really practice at it,’ Coffey said. ‘I just always had a ball and kept dribbling and it became good.’ Another place she dribbled to was the Rondout Neighborhood Center in Kingston, N.Y., where she played every day for four hours after school. On snow days, she was there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rob Dassie, the recreation leader of the center, always saw Coffey with a ball. When she wasn’t at the center, Dassie said, she was on the playground. Whether she was playing at the center or at the playground, Coffey was taking on older boys. They didn’t give her any breaks. She needed to get better and develop mental toughness if she wanted to survive. Coffey did more than just survive, she took it to them. ‘That’s what I really believe helped her out so well that she played so hard and she did so well against those guys,’ Dassie said. ‘A lot of times, they were nervous about guarding her because at the end of the game they’d sometimes be arguing, ‘She’s a girl. She’s too good. She did us wrong. She took us off the dribble.” Those countless hours spent at the center and on the playground honed her game and laid the foundation for a stellar high school career. Stephen Garner first saw the phenom play in fourth grade at a ‘Sports Saturday’ program held for elementary school students at Kingston High School. She fired one-handed, no-look passes that surprised her teammates and displayed an array of advanced dribbling moves. Impressed by her moxie, Garner kept an eye on Coffey. Garner, Kingston’s girls basketball head coach, made Coffey his manager in sixth grade. A year later, she starred on the JV team, and by eighth grade, she was ready to play varsity. It was the start of a five-year show at Kingston’s Kate Walton Field House. Word quickly spread about Coffey. Soon, the girls team was a bigger draw than the boys. The community flocked to the field house to see the basketball prodigy play. Her no-look passes dazzled the crowd and stunned her teammates. Her killer crossover made opponents fall to the floor and ignited a roar from the fans. ‘Every game, it was almost like you were always wondering what she was gonna do next,’ said Louise DiIulio, her teammate at Kingston. ‘She always put on a show.’ DiIulio said Coffey’s court vision was ‘unreal.’ She could see her teammates were open before they even knew it, and she hit them with perfectly placed passes. Those unbelievable passes happened in every game. Garner always knew when one was coming: on a pick-and-roll with teammate Charlise Castro. Coffey started with a head fake and hesitation dribble to freeze her defender for the screen before exploding around the corner. As the defense frantically collapsed on her, she snapped off a shovel pass to a wide-open Castro under the basket for the layup. Sitting on the bench, Garner hardly ever saw how Coffey managed to thread the needle. At home after every game, he’d pop in the tape of the game and watch the play again, rewinding it over and over in disbelief of the pass he had seen hours earlier. ‘I would rewind that sucker three, four times and go, ‘How did she get it in there?” Garner said. ‘I mean, traffic, traffic, traffic. ‘How did she get it in there?” Rewinding it wasn’t enough to satisfy the coach, though. He’d freeze frame the play and go through it one frame at a time just to see exactly what Coffey saw. But Garner and DiIulio still don’t know how she did it. ‘I saw her do things that I’ve never seen any other female basketball player do to this day,’ DiIulio said. By the time the curtain closed on her career at Kingston, Coffey led the team to five sectional championships and set school records with 1,507 points and 569 assists. Her spectacular play grabbed the attention of multiple top programs, and she ultimately decided to play for Syracuse. SU head coach Quentin Hillsman recruited Coffey to be the point guard-in-waiting as a freshman. He knew he needed a replacement for Morrow and Harris, and Coffey was the total package. For the first time in a long time, Coffey wasn’t the best player on the team. Her confidence disappeared as she sat and watched from the bench. But she pushed the senior guards at practice and never complained. By the end of the season, Morrow saw a different player step in for her at practice as she nursed a knee injury. One filled with the confidence and mental toughness developed at the center and on the playground. The freshman needed that year to learn how to play at the college level. With that experience under her belt, Hillsman said she needed to improve her conditioning for this season, especially because he expects her to handle the ball for 25 to 30 minutes per game. ‘She’s one of the top point guards in the country,’ Hillsman said. ‘And I just believe that once she gets her conditioning together, where we keep the ball in her hand, and she can play for longer stretches, we’ll be a very good basketball team.’ Six days a week during the offseason, she was at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center preparing for her increased role. She ran on the treadmill, lifted weights and then ran some more. Now, Coffey feels she’s ready for the challenge. After spending the last 16 years with a ball in her hand, it’s time for her to run the show at Syracuse. ‘I feel comfortable with the ball in my hands,’ Coffey said. ‘I just gotta make sure I make good decisions and don’t turn the ball over.’ rjgery@syr.edu Published on November 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Reliance on scouts caused by new bylaw

first_imgIn an unsettling era — when arbitrary decisions are often rendered by college athletics’ governing body, unintended consequences tend to emerge.In 2006, the NCAA implemented a new bylaw originally enacted to allow it to exercise greater control over college football recruiting.Specifically, bylaw 13.1.8.9.4 prevents Football Bowl Subdivision coaches from attending any independent football camps or combines showcasing prospective student athletes at any location at any time.Coaches may only be present at “scholastic” activities such as games and practices. Even then, they must be permitted by the respective high school athletic association.In response to such restrictions, college football programs have resorted to soliciting the assistance of various scouting services such as XOS Digital, which in turn, can provide programs with film and analysis of various high school prospects.Think a $99.95 annual subscription to Rivals.com on steroids.With coaches grounded, an increased need for data and information about potential prospects has emerged.USC uses multiple scouting services, as do the majority of major FBS programs. It seems customary these days.But because the NCAA has forced schools to increase reliance on such independent scouting programs, there has simultaneously been an effort made by some schools’ to push the envelope in their payment of “scouts.”Despite helping to foster this climate, the NCAA eventually will want to take action against these rogue scouts.Based on recent events, it appears Oregon is going to allow the NCAA to clean up after it.To clarify: Last week, multiple media outlets reported NCAA officials have begun investigating a $25,000 payment made by the university to Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services in Houston, according to the State of Oregon expenditure records.“This is no different than services purchased by a number of colleges and universities throughout the country,” read a statement issued by the school.But then again, there are some differences. For starters, Lyles, a former athletic trainer, is alleged to have had a “mentoring relationship” with current Ducks freshman running back Lache Seastrunk, who coincidently was a highly-rated recruit coming out of Texas in 2010.And the $25,000 price tag is also significantly higher than most scouts charge.“For $25,000, it better provide a hell of a lot,” said Scouting Evaluation Association founder Dick Lascola in a story published on SI.com on Friday. “That’s an exorbitant amount of money to pay for something.”In fact, the $25,000 package was not even made available on Lyles’ website until Friday, one day after allegations surfaced.Previously, the site listed a “JUCO price list” for $3,000, a multi-state region package for $5,000, a “trifecta package” including any three states for $8,000 and a “national package” for $15,000.That Lyles’ $25,000 package was unavailable insinuates the service was offered only to Oregon, raising questions as to the legitimacy of his scouting.If, in fact, Lyles was used to recruit Seastrunk to Eugene, Ore., it would constitute an NCAA violation, since Lyles would be deemed a booster, as noted by Yahoo! Sports.And considering Lyles’ payments came shortly after Seastrunk signed his national letter of intent in February 2010, such a scenario appears all the more likely.But regardless of Oregon’s guilt, it’s going to get hammered, because the NCAA needs to make a statement regarding this issue.It’s a problem the organization helped create, but, it’s going to send a message regardless.In recent years, the NCAA’s decisions have been largely motivated by a desire to address certain issues it deems unsuitable for the sport.When the topic of student athletes looking to profit off their own images (see: Reggie Bush, Terrelle Pryor), it took action. In essence, it made an example of USC, and, to a much lesser extent, Ohio State.The same goes for the recent developments in Oregon. Despite helping to cultivate this culture, the NCAA is on the warpath and looking to punish Lyles and his top client.At this point, Oregon’s relationship with Lyles is suspicious. On paper, they look guilty.But until conclusive facts emerge, it’s still a relative unknown.Regardless, an activist NCAA is looking to drop the hammer and address the issue of street agents in college sports. And when the NCAA wants to do something, whether right or wrong, it usually does it.We’ve seen this movie before.“The 19th Hole” runs Mondays. To comment on this article e-mail Joey at jrkaufma@usc.edu or visit dailytrojan.com.last_img read more

No. 4 Women of Troy prepare for Pac-12 Championship

first_imgComing off of a monumental win against No. 1 UCLA, the No. 4 USC women’s tennis team defend their regular season Pac-12 title this weekend in Ojai, Calif. for the Pac-12 Championship.“If we do well this weekend it’s great, but if we falter it’s not a huge deal,” USC coach Richard Gallien said. “It will be nice not playing a dual mach, which is a very hair matchup, and with the great schedule we played this year mixing up with these teams again will keep up fresh.”With the Bruins (21-2, 8-2) all but ready to crown themselves Pac-12 champs Friday, the Women of Troy (20-3, 9-1) and their young squad had another idea in mind.“They’re a very good team [UCLA], but they were getting ready for a coronation on Friday and even invited the Tennis Channel to the game,” Gallien said. “Our girls weren’t having anything off it, though, and even after getting barbecued by the crowd early as the day went on we arm-wrestled them down and got a tough win.”After losing their previous two matches this season to UCLA, it was no wonder the Bruins’ confidence was sky-high. Just like they had done all season, though, the Women of Troy fought back strong and even stole the elusive doubles’ point to jump out to an early match lead.“Doubles was so important for us and there were a a couple of matches that were so close like [Valeria] Pulido’s match and Zoe [Scandalis’] that could’ve went into three sets,” Gallien said. “The match I felt we had to have was at No. 2 with Danielle Lao, but by the end we had won the match before she finished.”For freshman Scandalis, her victory against Robin Anderson had multiple implications. Unlike her one-on-one victory against UCLA’s Robin Anderson earlier on this year in Las Vegas, this win was done in a team forum with the entire Women of Troy squad rooting her on. On top of that, this specific victory moved her all the way up to No. 13 in nation, which puts her in the top-16, guaranteeing her a spot on the All-American team.Along with the doubles team of sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshman Sabrina Santamaria, who have clinched All-American spots, Scandalis could also be joined by junior Lao who may need a few wins this weekend to push her into the top-16.“The future looks very good for us, there are a billion ridiculous dumb clichés in sports I can say, but the reality is that all you can hope for is the girls stay sharp, healthy and motivated, and I have no doubt this group will do this,” coach Gallien said.Armed with four potential All-Americans and a Pac-12 title, the Women of Troy have all the firepower they need to make a deep tournament run. On top of the tangible aspects, USC has really coalesced to form a tight knit group made up of savvy veterans and eager younglings.“It’s tough because the girls aren’t used to being on a team. That’s such a challenge and the three freshman who came in did a great job and senior Alison Ramos our captain did an awesome job relating to them,” Gallien said. “Everyone pulled their weight and it made my job easier and more fun.”last_img read more