Steals Are Predictive But Are They That Important

This is the final part of my four-part response to questions and comments stemming from my article “The Hidden Value of the NBA Steal.” Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.Near the beginning of my article on steals, I made the following claim:If you had to pick one statistic from the common box score to tell you as much as possible about whether a player helps or hurts his team, it isn’t how many points he scores. Nor how many rebounds he grabs. Nor how many assists he dishes out.It’s how many steals he gets.My argument went like this: Steals are super-valuable predictors relative to other box score stats. They are “worth” — predictively —  as much as nine points because they’re more difficult to replace than other stats.But a number of astute readers noticed something missing. Here’s commenter Mike Schloat:I struggle with the real life value of steals when looked at in this way since there are SO SO few of them. Averaging 2.5 steals — finishing a game with 2 as often as you finish with 3 — is such a minuscule part of the game, and frighteningly random when you actually look at what sometimes constitutes a steal.It’s a fair point. Because steals are so rare, they could be much more predictive than other box score stats on the margins and still be less important overall. And in the original article, I didn’t show that marginal steals are such a great predictor that, despite being so rare, they are still the most valuable predictor.So let me address that concern. There are two levels we need to consider: The first is how rare steals are relative to other events recorded in the box score, and the other is how much steals vary from player to player, relative to how much other stats vary from player to player.For example, in my dataset, players who played more than 20 minutes averaged .92 steals and .55 blocks per game. But the standard deviations — the typical amount that any particular player is likely to differ from an average player — were .43 steals and .59 blocks.One way to judge how skilled a player is at a particular thing is to measure how many standard deviations they are above average. These values fluctuate, but the difference between Ricky Rubio (the league leader this year) and an average player is about a steal and a half, making him a little over three standard deviations above average for the steals per game stat.To judge a stat’s overall predictivity, what we want to know is the extent to which a player’s skill in that stat predicts his overall value (measured by the impact on his team’s performance by his playing or not). For example, if a player is two standard deviations above average in steals per game but only one standard deviation above average in points per game, how does his value compare to a player who is the reverse?To figure this out, we can run a regression similar to the one in the original article. But instead of using a player’s raw box score stats as our variables, we use his standardized stats; that is, the number of standard deviations the player is above or below the mean for each. The relative size of the coefficients (how much a stat should be weighted) that this type of regression spits out tells us the relative predictive importance of each stat overall.Here are the results of such a regression, from the player’s standardized box score stats to his impact on team win percentage. I’ve listed the relative size of each stat’s coefficient (weight) as a percentage of the whole — reflecting the percentage of information about a player’s value that comes from each (note that turnover value is negative, I’ve converted it to a positive “skill at not giving up turnovers” for purposes of comparison):This was the finding behind the claim that of all the basic box score totals, steals are the most predictive. It may be less sexy than nine points, but it’s pretty remarkable that a skill that comes up so infrequently can be so important.Of course, there are a lot of different ways to structure this kind of regression: You have to decide which types of variables to use, how advanced they should be, whether to use game-based or play-based data, and what specific difference to predict.So, why am I analyzing this particular group of stats at all?I made a list of all the people who use points, rebounds and assists per game in their analysis and reporting more often than steals per game:Almost all sports reportersAlmost all sports commentatorsAlmost all sports columnistsAlmost all sports fansEstablishing the predictive ability of box score stats is only a tiny step toward improving our understanding of the dynamics of basketball. But, like the steal itself, it has outsize importance. read more

Michael Jordans 2016 Shoe Earnings Was Greater Than LeBron

Michael Jordan (left) can thank his Air Jordan for his huge Nike sales over LeBron James. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Although LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers lost the 2017 NBA Finals, the small forward can take solace in knowing he brought in the most moolah among current ballers with a shoe deal.The only thing is, he’s nowhere close to retired Chicago Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan’s earnings.James’ Nike deal brought in $32 million in the last year, Forbes estimates. His endorsement began when he entered the NBA in 2003, which had an eventual $100 million payout over seven years — the biggest shoe deal to be given to a rookie.Yet Jordan’s $110 million earnings, thanks to Air Jordan revenues reaching $2.8 billion in the 2016 fiscal year, makes James’ $32 million look paltry. A combination of payouts from current top-earning NBA players — Kevin Durant’s $25 million from Nike, James Harden’s $14 million with Adidas, Stephen Curry’s $12 million with Under Armour, Derrick Rose’s $11 million with Adidas and James’ income — doesn’t break the $100 million mark.Such high earnings make LaVar Ball’s push for his basketball-playing sons to go their own way with the Big Baller Brand even more significant, as Uproxx reported James and Durant make almost equal amounts from playing ball as they do from shoe deals. Ball’s three sons have yet to enter the NBA, although Lonzo Ball is considered a top prospect for the draft. read more

The NFLs New Defensive Rules Probably Arent Going To Make A Difference

Every offseason, NFL officials make an instructional video that highlights new rules and gives players a warning about which existing ones will be called more tightly in the upcoming season. This year, officials say they’re going to key in on defensive holding and illegal contact, ensuring they’re called correctly.According to reporting by ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha, officials became concerned that those particular penalties were not being called as often as they were a decade ago. (Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, blamed the Seattle Seahawks’ dominant defensive performance against Peyton Manning’s record-setting Denver Broncos offense in the Super Bowl.) With an assist from the data of Pro-Football-Reference.com, we wondered if the official rationale holds up: Have illegal contact and defensive holding really been called less (on a per-pass basis) in recent seasons?In the case of illegal contact, yes. In 2004, Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian spent the offseason lobbying the NFL Competition Committee to more strictly enforce the illegal contact rule in the wake of his team’s 24-14 playoff defeat against the New England Patriots (a game in which Manning — then playing for Indianapolis — tossed four interceptions).As the chart below shows, referees began calling the penalty much more often the very next season, a 15-year high point. Since then, the penalty’s frequency has steadily receded.However, the pattern is less obvious with defensive holding, which also peaked around the middle of the decade but reversed its decline by 2010, and was near its 15-year high just last season. It doesn’t seem to be a penalty in need of greater emphasis.Then again, concerns about the wisdom of placing more restrictions on defenders in an already pass-happy league may be largely academic. At least in terms of illegal contact and defensive holding, there doesn’t seem to be any relationship between the frequency of either penalty being called and the NFL’s overall level of passing efficiency (as measured by Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt).The last time the NFL cracked down on holding and contact by defenders, it didn’t make any noticeable dent in the rising trend of passing efficiency. Pass offenses have steadily become more and more efficient over the last decade and a half — but that’s part of a longterm trend of increased passing efficacy, not because of the rule changes inspired by Polian a decade ago. The same will likely be true for the changes made this offseason as well. read more

Opinion Three position groups to keep an eye on during the Ohio

OSU then-redshirt senior Corey Smith (84) and then-sophomore Cam Burrows (16) face off during the 2015 Spring Game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe 2015 Ohio State football team came into the year with very few questions, riding a wave of consistency and experience. The same cannot be said for coach Urban Meyer’s 2016 squad heading into its annual spring game on Saturday.Most of the headlines surrounding the program this offseason centered around the nine players leaving early for the NFL draft, including defensive stalwart Joey Bosa and offensive playmakers Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Thomas. Returning just six starters — three on offense, three on defense — from last year’s team that went 12-1, there are a lot of new faces at the top of the depth chart for the Buckeyes.Although most of these competitions won’t likely be settled until the final days of fall camp, here are a few position battles to watch for in the Scarlet and Gray scrimmage.Offensive lineBehind what might be considered the most intimidating front line in school history, “The Slobs” have a remodeled look in 2016. Redshirt senior Pat Elflein and redshirt junior Billy Price return up front for OSU. They’ll be looking to lead a group of unheralded, or perhaps even unheard of, Buckeyes who will try to fill sizable holes. Elflein is moving over to center from his previous stake at right guard, while Price is set to slide over from left guard to right.Junior Jamarco Jones is thought to be the replacement at left tackle for possible first-round pick Taylor Decker, who manned the position for the past three years. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, the former U.S. Army All-American has not yet had a chance in the spotlight despite being ranked as the No. 4 offensive tackle by 247Sports in his class.For the last two spots on the line, true sophomore Isaiah Prince, true freshman Michael Jordan, redshirt sophomore Demetrius Knox and redshirt junior Evan Lisle are all aiming to start on first-year offensive line coach Greg Studrawa’s front line.Prince was the first member of the 2015 recruiting class to lose his black stripe, granting him rights to practice with the team. Prince, Jordan, Knox and Lisle all were consensus top 100 players in their respective recruiting classes.Although it’s not a real game, the live action that the young offensive linemen will see should be valuable for Meyer to assess what the best five-man unit will be in the regular season. LinebackerOnly one member of Luke Fickell’s starting linebacker corps returns for the 2016 season. With two-year starters Darron Lee and Joshua Perry both gone, junior Raekwon McMillan — already named a team captain — mans the middle for the Buckeyes this season, while young, unproven talent is competing for the two outside linebacker positions.Two former Ohio Mr. Football candidates — Dante Booker, who won it in 2014, and Justin Hilliard, a finalist the year after — were highly touted recruits who haven’t had a chance yet to shine. Expect the two to consistently earn playing time all year, as Meyer has shown he likes to rotate a lot of bodies into the mix at linebacker. Booker, who had 22 tackles last season as a two-deep linebacker, is an early favorite over Hilliard to earn a starting job.The other linebacker who is expected to receive plenty of first-team reps is redshirt junior Chris Worley. Along with Booker in 2015, Worley played on the second group and recorded 17 tackles last season.Wide receiverLast season, Thomas was without a doubt the most talented pass catcher on the field. Now with Thomas, Jalin Marshall and Braxton Miller leaving empty spots, Meyer’s offense is desperately looking for someone from the inexperienced group of receivers to emerge.Returning from a broken leg last season against Indiana is redshirt senior wide receiver Corey Smith. However, as he only collected 25 receptions and 317 receiving yards in a year and a half with OSU, it’s worrisome for Meyer to count on Smith for big numbers this season.Also recovering from a season-ending leg injury, this one suffered in fall camp, Noah Brown has a much-anticipated 2016 campaign ahead considering all reports out of the 2015 camp were positive from Meyer and his team. At 6-foot-2, the 222-pound wideout has great size and control in the air. The redshirt sophomore is known as a physical receiver, which has been a staple in Meyer’s spread offense. If healthy enough to go, Brown will be a heavy favorite for a starting receiver position.Dontre Wilson is another member of the unit who could be looked to for big production in 2016. Yeah, remember this guy? Playing a lot his freshman campaign in 2013, the 5-foot-10 speedster from Texas enters his senior season with his career thus far been marred by injuries. Only at 180 pounds when he arrived on campus and now listed at 195 pounds, Wilson has one season to live up to the hype OSU fans had for him when he first entered the OSU facilities.Finally, if you’re going to watch one skill position player in Saturday’s game, look out for Austin Mack. The early-enrollee freshman has very impressive athleticism and knowledge of the position for a player who is just 18 years old. Mack is a U.S. Army All-American who showcased his skills impressively against future OSU talent in July at OSU’s Friday Night Lights high school showcase event. Don’t be surprised if Mack emerges as the standout in this year’s spring game. read more

Womens soccer Ohio State defeats No 16 Virginia Tech on the road

OSU women’s soccer players celebrate during a game against Indiana on Sept. 26, 2014. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s soccer team defeated No. 16 Virginia Tech, 2-1 on Thursday in Blacksburg, Virginia. The Hokies suffered their first loss of the season, and the Buckeyes improved their perfect season to 5-0-0.For much of the first half, neither team converted on shot attempts, but after 33 minutes, senior forward Lindsay Agnew received a cross-field assist from junior midfielder Nikki Walts and scored the first goal of the game, putting OSU ahead 1-0 through one half. It was Agnew’s third goal this season, making her the highest scoring Buckeye thus far.In the 58th-minute senior defender Morgan Wolcott managed to send the ball to the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage, padding OSU’s lead over the Hokies.The Hokies quickly cut the Buckeyes’ lead in half just six minutes later with a goal from senior forward Murielle Tiernan. For the final 26 minutes, the Buckeyes played an aggressive defense backed by senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker, who made seven saves during the game propelling OSU to a top-25 victory. OSU now sets its eyes on the West Virginia Mountaineers for a match in Morgantown, West Virginia, on Sunday. read more

Block O tattoo signified early commitment from Buckeyes new quarterback Braxton Miller

Discussing when in the recruiting process he gets a sense a recruit will be joining Ohio State, co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said he’s not usually comfortable until he sees that player’s signed letter of intent. That wasn’t the case with Braxton Miller. When Miller, who is ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in his class according to multiple recruiting services, announced in June that he’d be joining OSU’s 2011 recruiting class, he left little doubt in his future coaches’ minds about his level of commitment, as he showcased an OSU Block “O” tattooed on his left shoulder. Though he announced his intentions months ago and has been taking classes for weeks as an early enrollee at OSU, Miller was officially introduced as a Buckeye on Wednesday at a ceremony introducing OSU’s 23-member recruiting class. Wearing his new No. 5 OSU jersey, along with a retro-style Buckeye hat, Miller said he’s still getting the hang of college life. “The first week was hard to adjust to,” he said, “but I’m cool now.” With OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season, OSU coaches say they are hopeful that Miller’s ability to adjust carries over to the football field. With the 15 extra practice sessions Miller has received from enrolling during Winter Quarter, he likely will compete with Joe Bauserman, Ken Guiton and Taylor Graham to fill the temporary void Pryor will leave. Miller said he’s excited for the opportunity to compete right away but that it’s too early to get caught up in the competition. “It’s just an opportunity,” he said. “Just got to get the job done, do the work and see who wins it out.” OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano agreed that it’s too early to see when, or if, Miller will contribute in the upcoming season, but he acknowledged that Miller’s decision to enroll early only improved his chances. “That’s all going be determined to how fast he adapts to what we do on an offensive standpoint — our play-calling, our formation setups and all those things,” Siciliano said. “Any time you’re here from any position, it gives you an advantage to play football a little bit more. I think that really is an advantage for a quarterback, to be able to get 15 extra days of snaps.” Like Pryor, Miller has displayed an ability both to throw and run the ball. In his senior season at Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, Miller passed for 2,167 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 658 yards and 17 touchdowns. Miller led his team to the Division I state title game. As a three-year starter at Wayne, Miller compiled a 31-7 record. Enrolling early gave Miller the opportunity not only to practice early with his new team but also to bond with Pryor, whom he’ll attempt to replace either this season or the next. “He’s a cool dude to hang out with,” Miller said of Pryor. “I figured I’d learn from the best.” read more

Commentary Decision to elect game captains unfair to Buckeyes proven leaders

Luke Fickell hasn’t even endured his first game as the head coach yet, but he’s already made his first mistake. After a summer full of speculation about which players would lead the team onto the field as OSU’s captains this fall, Fickell announced Tuesday that he would be departing from the program’s tradition of selecting season-long captains. Instead, Fickell said that the team will be choosing captains on a game-by-game basis. The reasoning behind Fickell’s decision is pretty clear; it would be tough to select OSU’s typical four to six captains without including one of four Buckeye seniors who are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving impermissible benefits. The decision to select captains on a game-by-game basis essentially rewards DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Daniel “Boom” Herron and Solomon Thomas by giving them the opportunity to be selected after they return from their suspensions, but that’s not where I have a problem. My issue with Fickell’s decision is the indirect punishment for players who would likely have been season-long captains, regardless of the transgressions committed by the aforementioned players. Even if Posey, Adams, Herron, and Thomas had not been suspended for the start of the 2011 season, it’s almost certain that senior center Michael Brewster would be representing the Buckeyes at midfield for each coin toss this upcoming fall. Brewster committed to OSU during his junior year of high school in Orlando, Fla., but even before then, he was helping recruit a top-rated 2008 recruiting class to Columbus that would go on to be nicknamed the “Brew Crew.” Upon arriving at OSU, all Brewster has done is become a four-year starter and the face of a team who was in desperate need of one when turmoil struck last December. He could have been named a captain as a junior and nobody would have batted an eye. Now it appears he won’t even be a captain for all of his senior season. The absence of season-long defensive captains is even more absurd considering that the only suspended Buckeye on that side of the ball — Thomas — happens to be a back-up. So, thanks to the transgressions of a player who’s played sparingly throughout his time at OSU, a player like sixth-year defensive back Tyler Moeller, who’s bounced back from being the victim of an assault that cost him all of the 2009 season, and a torn pectoral that cost him most of the 2010 season, from being a season-long captain. Or what about senior linebacker Andrew Sweat, who is entering his second season as a starter at OSU and, despite having roomed with former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, has managed to keep his name out of the press for negative reasons?   You mean to tell me that he doesn’t deserve to be a season-long captain? I’ll grant Fickell that allowing players to vote for four (or in the case of last season, six) captains would have likely resulted in one of the suspended players — most likely Posey — being selected a captain, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t better alternatives than electing game-by-game captains. One option would have been for Fickell to simply select Brewster, Moeller, and Sweat as the team’s three captains and say “that’s that.” Just because former coach Jim Tressel allowed his team to vote for captains doesn’t mean that Fickell needs to do the same. Another option would have been to allow the players to vote on captains and if a suspended player were to be selected, he could either be absent or replaced by a rotation of players for the first five games. There’s even a precedent for this —  during the 2009 season, three defensive captains were named and were then joined by a rotating offensive player each week. Now more than ever, the Buckeye football program needs stability in its leadership. Not just in its coaching staff, but in its players too. The idea of different captains on a game-by-game basis is anything but that. Fickell said that season captains will eventually be named, possibly at the team’s postseason banquet, which will be a nice moment for deserving players like Brewster, Moeller, and Sweat, even if it comes a few months too late. read more

The Freshman Connection

Ohio State football’s current freshman class might hold a go-to offensive duo that Buckeye Nation could enjoy for years to come in quarterback Braxton Miller and wide receiver Devin Smith.Miller and Smith have combined for three touchdowns through the Buckeyes’ first four games, and at least one OSU coach expects the first-year duo’s productivity to continue.In both players’ first game in Scarlet and Gray on Sept. 3 against Akron, Miller found Smith in the end zone late in the contest for his first career touchdown pass. Smith’s catch, which went for 14 yards, was his first career touchdown as well.The two freshmen didn’t stop there.On Saturday against Colorado, Miller linked with Smith on a 32-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.Smith described that play as “too easy” for he and Miller.“(Colorado) played a little outside on me,” Smith said. “And I ran a post on that play and I was wide open.”The next time the players connected for a touchdown — a fade by Miller in the third quarter, which required Smith to catch the ball and drag his feet in the end zone — was evidence enough to suggest that the two players might be developing an on-field relationship, which players and fans alike can rely on.“(Smith and I are) comfortable in practice in the things we do,” Miller said. “We take time out to throw the ball.”Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Bollman said he hadn’t initially considered the burgeoning relationship between Smith and Miller.Bollman said it makes sense that the two players would be helping each other succeed.“Well, it’s interesting because I hadn’t thought about that at all,” Bollman said. “Naturally, both players coming in together at the same time, you can see that situation evolving between receivers and quarterbacks who are getting some opportunities to play early.”Of the five passes Miller completed against the Buffaloes, Smith caught three for a total of 64 yards.Smith said the relationship fans see between he and Miller on the field extends far beyond Ohio Stadium and the practice fields.“(Miller) is sort of quiet, funny a little bit,” Smith said. “We walk to class. Everybody’s asking him questions and stuff like that, he’s real cool about it. I think that’s what makes him a great kid.”After Smith’s three catches for 64 yards on Saturday, he is now tied for the team lead in receptions with eight and leads in team in receiving yards with 183.And how’s this for a relationship — the night before the Colorado game, Smith even said he dreamt about catching touchdown passes from Miller.“That’s what I was thinking about the whole time,” Smith said.Other freshmen, including receiver Evan Spencer and linebacker Ryan Shazier, have seen playing time for the Buckeyes, but Miller and Smith have set themselves apart from their classmates.Bollman is optimistic the Miller-Smith partnership will evolve as the team moves into conference play.“It’s good to see, no question about it,” Bollman said. “We hope (they) continue to improve.”Miller agreed.“We (Smith and Miller) are getting a connection on the field,” he said. “(We’ll) just keep working for the next game.”Miller and Smith will attempt to continue their shared success on Saturday when OSU hosts Michigan State in its Big Ten opener. Kickoff at the ‘Shoe is set for 3:30 p.m. read more

Blue Jackets fall to Stars 42

Blue Jackets’ interim coach Todd Richards said he was pleased with the way his team battled back in Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars, but it wasn’t enough in the end. “The problem was, we weren’t ready from the start,” he said. The Blue Jackets got second period power-play goals from center Vinny Prospal and left-winger Rick Nash, but came up short, losing, 4-2, against the Stars, at Nationwide Arena. The Stars used left-winger Jamie Benn’s two-goal effort to hold on for the victory. Defensemen Stephane Robidas and Alex Goligoski added the other markers for the Stars. Curtis Sanford stopped 31 shots for the Blue Jackets as the team attempted to go on its first three-game winning-streak of the season. “We really wanted to get that third win in a row,” said left-winger R.J. Umberger. The scoring started just 1:35 into the game after Benn spun around in the slot and fired a shot that beat Sanford high to the glove side. Things didn’t get any easier for the Blue Jackets. Just less than three minutes later, Blue Jackets’ defenseman Marc Methot was on the receiving end of a puck to the face. Stars’ center Tomas Vincour fired a shot from the slot that, after striking Methot in the face, fell to the crease for a tap-in by Goligoski to put the Stars up, 2-0. “The first five minutes really killed us and put us in a big hole,” Umberger said. Methot did not return to the game after suffering a broken jaw, Richards said. “To get hit like that is fluky,” Richards said. Methot was not the only casualty of the game as right-winger Jared Boll left the game with a broken foot, Richards said. “It was a tough night body-wise, as far as injuries,” Richards said. After giving up an early power-play goal in the second period to the Stars, the Blue Jackets finally took some of the momentum back and responded with two power-play goals of their own. With Stars’ defenseman Sheldon Souray off for roughing later in the second period, defenseman Fedor Tyutin fired a low shot from the point that Prospal redirected into the net for the Blue Jackets’ first tally, at 8:32. Then at 12:12 during another Stars’ penalty, center Derick Brassard slid a cross-ice pass over to Nash who buried it for his 18th goal of the season. Richards called the play “textbook” and said it was what the team worked on in practice. Nash said the power play was “definitely positive” and the team could take that away from the game. The Blue Jackets added sustained pressure in the third, but were not able to find the back of the net again. “It was tough in the third,” Nash said. Benn added an empty-net goal with less than 10 seconds to go to seal the victory for the Stars. Nash, despite complimenting the Stars’ execution in the third period, felt it was still up to his team to tie the game. “It was good play by them, but we’ve got to find a way to get chances in the third,” Nash said. Nash was still optimistic about the team’s play. “We’re giving ourselves a chance to win and it seems like we’re following our system a lot better,” he said. Umberger agreed that the team just needs to persevere. “We gotta keep fighting, keep playing hard,” he said. The Blue Jackets travel to Minnesota Saturday to take on the Wild at 8 p.m. for the final time this season. read more

DAngelo Russells 32 lead Ohio State mens basketball to 58point win

Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) passes the ball during a game against Sacred Heart on Nov. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 106-48.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe Ohio State men’s basketball game against Sacred Heart was delayed for a matter of minutes because of a lighting conflict, but it didn’t keep the Buckeyes from lighting up the scoreboard once the game tipped off.The Buckeyes shot 56.4 percent from the floor in the first half and didn’t let up as they defeated the Pioneers, 106-48, Sunday night.The Buckeyes were led by freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, who scored an OSU season-high 32 points, coming up eight points shy of the school freshman single game scoring record.Jared Sullinger holds the freshman record with 40 in a game against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in December 2010.Russell said after the game he wasn’t trying to make up for only scoring six points against Marquette.“The last game was behind me at the end of that game. I didn’t think about it at all. The beginning of this game, I just tried to prep for it,” Russell said. “I didn’t honestly know who the opponent was, I just prepared the best way I could and I just told myself whoever was guarding me, I was going to destroy him.”Russell executed his plan well, as he added nine rebounds and shot 57.1 percent from the floor.Senior guard Shannon Scott, who compiled 25 combined assists in his first two games of the season, recorded a double-double and broke the OSU single game assist record as he tallied 16 helpers to pass the previous record of 15 set by Aaron Craft in 2011.After the game, Scott said that the record isn’t significant if the Buckeyes don’t continue to win games.“It doesn’t mean a lot, I mean it’s good to say that you have it, but I can’t really hold my head on that,” Scott said. “We want to win a lot more games and you can’t really focus on just having a record right now. We want to be the best team that we can be. We can kind of put the game behind us now and get ready for the next one.”OSU had 24 assists as a team, which coach Thad Matta said he was pleased with.“We did a great job of sharing the basketball,” Matta said after the game. “Shannon, 16 assists and whatever he had the other night, he has got a great command right now in terms of his demeanor and finding guys.”Matta put it as simple as he possibly could after the 58-point win.“That was a heck of a performance by our starting backcourt tonight,” he said.The Buckeyes never trailed as they opened up a 25-point lead at halftime as Russell, sophomore forward Marc Loving and senior forward Sam Thompson all scored in double figures in the opening 20 minutes.Thompson got the crowd of 12,941 at the Schottenstein Center out of their seats early with a trio of alley-oop slams in the first half, the last coming at the first-half buzzer off a lob from Russell.Russell said he gets just as much, if not more, excitement when his teammates make a play as compared to when he does.“They are both a crazy feeling. Sam is a crazy athlete,” Russell said. “Just throwing it up to him, knowing he is going to dunk it, I think it is more exciting when he is dunking the ball than me (scoring).”Thompson finished the night with 12 points on six-of-eight shooting.OSU shot a sweltering 56.9 percent for the game from the floor as all nine Buckeyes that played scored at least four points.Redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee got his first career start as a Buckeye with senior center Amir Williams sitting out Sunday’s game with a sore right knee. Lee finished the night with six points and four rebounds.Matta said after the game that Williams was held out as a precaution, but could have played if needed.“It’s just been a lingering problem. I felt like we probably needed to hold him out one more night. He told me during the game, ‘Just so you know, I am playing on Wednesday,’” Matta said. “It’s nothing structural or anything like that. We have just been monitoring it and thinking big picture for him.”Senior center Trey McDonald led all players with 14 boards and added eight points in extended minutes with Williams out.Sacred Heart freshman center Filip Nowicki led the Pioneers with 10 points to go along with nine rebounds.The Buckeyes are set to return to action Wednesday against Campbell University. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Richard Strauss lured students to private clinic with local advertising

Dr. Richard Strauss opened a private clinic in Columbus in August 1996 just 12 days after he finished working at Ohio State Student Medical Services.Richard Strauss in his Ohio State College of Medicine photograph. Ohio State has interviewed more than 100 former Ohio State athletes with sexual abuse claims against former team physician Richard Strauss. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio StateHowever, even though Strauss was not regularly treating Ohio State students, he still had access to them. Advertisements for “Men’s Clinics of America” ran in several issues of The Lantern, according to the student newspaper’s archives. He also ran ads over local radio, said Brian Garrett, a former nursing student who worked at Strauss’ clinic.The advertisement in The Lantern described his clinic as offering “prompt treatment of common genital/urinary problems,” as well as providing examinations for rashes, lumps, pain/burning, checkups, testing, sexually transmitted diseases and “answers to questions.” It said the clinic had experienced doctors, a male staff and “strict medical confidentiality.”University Provost Bruce McPheron said during the Audit & Compliance Committee meeting on June 7 that investigators had learned about the clinic and knew there were acts of sexual misconduct alleged to have occurred there. The independent investigation, led by the Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie, has been looking into the hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005, and whether the university knew about the acts and allowed it to happen. McPheron said the Columbus clinic is part of the investigation because Ohio State students were reportedly treated and abused by Strauss while there.In the advertisement, it said there was a student discount. However, Garrett said when an Ohio State athlete would come in, Strauss would tell Garrett and the other employees that the athlete would receive free treatment and that the treatment was to be kept “off the record.”Garrett said that through those advertisements, he would not only get students to seek treatment, but also to help to run the clinic. “The crazy thing was, is he got OSU students — current OSU students — to run it, help him run it,” Garrett said. “But then he, like I said, he had OSU athletes coming in from teams that he was doing freebie exams with them.”Garrett was recruited by Strauss to work as a “receptionist” for the clinic, and said the office was located at 1350 W. Fifth Ave. The Lantern confirmed Strauss was listed as having owned property at the address from WhitePages.Garrett, who now resides in Powell, Ohio, told The Lantern one of his friends was approached in Larkins Hall — the old recreational facility at the university — by Strauss and was asked about working for him at the clinic. His friend then informed Garrett and another friend about the offer, all of whom accepted.While Garrett said he is not certain other students were abused, Garrett said he was abused by Strauss. He said after complaining of heartburn, Strauss told him to lie down on the exam table. He said Strauss began by pushing on Garrett’s stomach, but then removed his pants and began to closely examine his genitals. After five to 10 minutes, Garrett said he left and never returned to the clinic. Garrett said this had come the same day he was asked to sit in on one of Strauss’ exams of an Ohio State athlete. He described in graphic detail the abuse he witnessed Strauss commit on the athlete.“I just asked him if I had heartburn,” Garrett said, referring to the abuse committed against him by Strauss. “And then shortly after that — I never told anybody — I was like I can’t do this anymore.”The setup of the clinic was unusual compared with most others, Garrett said. The phones were forwarded to the apartments of Garrett and his friends when patients would try to call and schedule appointments, and that “people coming into the office had to be kept secret from the people leaving the office,” Garrett said.“Anytime the phone would ring, we would have to say, ‘Men’s Clinic of America’ and the person would say, ‘Hey, I’m trying to get an appointment for this,’” Garrett said. “And we would write down the appointments and we would tell him how many people called in.”According to documents obtained from the Ohio secretary of state’s office, Strauss’ company was officially incorporated on Aug. 19, 1996 and was dissolved two years later on Aug. 27, 1998.A screenshot of advertisements Dr. Richard Strauss ran for his private clinic found in The Lantern archives. Credit: Lantern FileHe also said Strauss was a part-time physician in student health services from July 1, 1994 until Aug. 7, 1996, but was a professor emeritus at Ohio State until he retired on July 1, 1998.Though it is unclear what Ohio State’s policy on outside practice of medicine was at the time Strauss ran his clinic, current policy forbids any faculty members in the College of Medicine to be “employed by other entities for the practice of medicine.”When asked whether university faculty referred students to Strauss’ clinic, Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said the university cannot discuss details of the independent, ongoing investigation. Ohio State is scheduled to provide another update on the Strauss investigation at 10 a.m. during Thursday’s Audit & Compliance Committee meeting.Athletes from 14 different sports have been interviewed and over 200 former students and staff members have talked with investigators about Strauss, the university said in a release on July 20. There are more than 100 former students and student-athletes believed to have been abused by Strauss while he was at the university, and investigators are also looking into whether he abused high school students.The university urges anyone with information pertaining to the investigation to contact investigators at osu@perkinscoie.com. read more

Revealed Police blunders that allowed chef to murder girlfriend five years after

first_imgThe couple said that for years their pleas to re-investigate were ignored by police.Brandyn McKenna, Miss Devlin’s youngest son, said: “Finally we have got justice after 11 years. Finally as a family we can put some closure to this. We’ve always said it is down to the Skelton family.” The death of Miss Devlin, a mother-of-four, was originally recorded as the result of an aneurysm.Dr Nathanial Cary, a pathologist, who re-examined the evidence, found her death was caused by a blow to the back of her head.Trigg, of Park Crescent, Worthing, West Sussex, had claimed he accidentally suffocated Miss Nicholson by rolling on top of her on the sofa as they slept.Police treated him as a bereaved partner rather than a suspect. But Ms Nicholson’s parents were suspicious from the outset, not only because of his violent past but also because the sofa was too small for a couple to sleep on.Dr Cary found she had been deliberately suffocated by having her head forced onto the sofa. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Robert TriggCredit: Caroline Devlin, left, and Susan Nicholson Mr Skelton said: “They should have done more. Their first investigation wasn’t up to standard. It got us down a bit. My wife had a mild heart attack.” The trial at Lewes Crown Court heard both women suffered violence at the hands of Trigg during their relationships with him.After one outburst, Ms Devlin ‘prophetically’ told a friend: “I won’t be here for my 40th.”Trigg was described in court as a “possessive, controlling and jealous” man and by one former girlfriend as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who drank heavily.Similarities between the deaths were highlighted during the trial, including the revelation Trigg failed to dial 999 in either case after the women’s bodies were found.Trigg, who faces life in jail, will be sentenced on Thursday. Nigel Pilkington, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was an extremely unusual case and required us to put together a compelling case in the face of initial pathology results that suggested the victims had died of natural causes. “With the benefit of knowing the wider picture, this allowed the pathologist to now consider what else could have happened on those fateful nights, with the results telling a very different story.”Detective Supt Tanya Jones, of Sussex Police, said outside court: “Sussex Police are sorry that we had not presented all the facts before the CPS previously but we have now thoroughly investigated both cases.”center_img In the four months leading up to Miss Nicholson’s murder, officers had been called to the flat they shared six times.Just two days before her murder, he had been cautioned by police for punching her in the face.Despite the violence that included beating another girlfriend “to a pulp” in 2003, Sussex police ruled out foul play.Ms Nicholson’s family, however, refused to believe her death was an accident and hired a senior pathologist and a lawyer to re-examine the two deaths.Ms Nicholson’s parents Peter and Elizabeth Skelton, who are in their 80s, said Sussex Police had failing to investigate the murder properly. Caroline Devlin, left, and Susan NicholsonCredit: A series of police blunders allowed a chef with a history of domestic violence to remain free to murder his girlfriend five years after he killed a previous partner.Robert Trigg was only brought to justice after a campaign by the elderly parents of Susan Nicholson forced police to reopen both cases. Police finally apologised in a statement issued after a jury found Trigg guilty of the killings.Trigg was convicted on Wednesday of the murder of Ms Nicholson, 52, who was found dead on the sofa in 2011, and the manslaughter in 2006 of Caroline Devlin, 35, whose body was discovered in their bed. Robert Trigglast_img read more

Man accused of mothers manslaughter after she criticised Christmas dinner court hears

first_imgMr Jennens, who had been the sole carer for his mother for ten years, denies manslaughter.According to a 999 transcript read out at start of the trial, Mr Jennens is reported to have told operators: “After being told I’m stupid for trying to sort Christmas dinner out I just lost it and went to chuck her out of the door.”Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Mr Jennens lost his temper with his mother on Christmas Eve 2015.Rachel Brand QC, prosecuting, said: “They argued about potatoes. He got angry, threw a writing pad across the table. He said ‘that is the last time you speak to me like that’. They argued about potatoes. He got angry… he said ‘that is the last time you speak to me like that’Rachel Brand QC Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mark Jennens and his mother had rowed about potatoes, the court heardCredit:Alamy UPDATE: On July 17, after this article was published, Mark Jennens was found not guilty of manslaughter at Wolverhampton Crown Court.A man killed his mother after she criticised his efforts at making Christmas dinner, a court heard.Mark Jennens, 40, tried to throw 78-year-old Hazel Jennens out of a house they shared in a row over potatoes on Christmas Eve, jurors were told.He is alleged to have frogmarched his mother, who had osteoporosis and lung cancer, to the door before pushing her to the floor.Ms Jennens, of Brierley Hill, Dudley, West Midlands, fractured her hip and later died from bronchopneumonia in hospital.center_img “She responded to that by leaning forward and gritting her teeth. He panicked, went to the arm chair and picked her up and frogmarched her to the door to get her away from him.”His intention was to put her outside and slam the door. He held her arms, then she was on the floor.”After undergoing surgery at Russells Hall Hospital, she began making a recovery, but on January 18 she fell unwell and died two days later at the hospital.”They have an argument and in the course of it he pushes or throws her to the floor.” Ms Brand added: “A fractured hip led to her being in hospital. It was that which caused the need for her to have surgery, to the risk of respiratory problems, bronchopneumonia which led to her death.”A cascade of events all led from a fractured hip, which she suffered at her son’s hands.”The court heard that Mr Jennens had been taking antidepressants at the time of the incident. The trial continues. Potatoeslast_img read more

British watersports instructor dies while snorkelling in Greece

first_imgA statement from Eastbourne College said its community was “deeply saddened” by his death. “Our thoughts are with his family at this incredibly sad time.”The college and CCF (Combined Cadet Force) flags will fly at half-mast at the beginning of next term.”His parents and sister have asked us to let the college community know and to advise that further details about arrangements will follow in due course.”Tributes were paid to Mr Byatt on his memorial Facebook page, describing him as a “beloved son, brother and friend”.A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Zakynthos, Greece and are in contact with the local authorities.” A 19-year-old British snorkelling instructor has died while swimming underwater off the Greek island of ZakynthosHarry Byatt, a former pupil at Eastbourne College, failed to surface after diving into the sea, his employers said.He had been as an instructor at the Peligoni Club, the BBC reported. Staff at the club raised the alarm five minutes after he started swimming using a monofin and a mask.CPR was administered on the rescue boat after Mr Buatt had been found unconscious, but doctors and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. Harry Byatt, 19, died while snorkelling off ZakynthosCredit:Facebook Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Harry Byatt, 19, died while snorkelling off Zakynthoslast_img read more

Shoppers should only be given new pound coins in their change says

first_imgCashiers should make sure consumers are only given new pound coins in their change as part of efforts to phase out the old version, a minister has said.The new 12-sided £1 coin was brought into circulation in March, and the old round coin will cease to be legal tender from October 15.The Royal Mint has encouraged consumers to “spend, bank or donate” their old coins before that date. Old pound coin Mr Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, also warned about companies accidentally returning the new version of the coin rather than the old one, saying “businesses must remain vigilant”.He said: “There has been a fantastic effort from both the public and businesses in returning more than one billion old round pounds, and I thank everybody involved in this process so far. “But there is still more to do before the 15 October deadline.” The new coin was brought in to tackle the problem of fakes. Approximately one in thirty of the old round £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit.The 12-sided coin, with a gold coloured nickel-brass outer ring and silver-coloured nickel-plated alloy inner ring has been described as “the most secure in the world”.It also has a hologram-style image that appears as a £ symbol and a number 1 depending on the angle it is viewed from.center_img Treasury minister Andrew Jones has urged businesses to do their part to make sure shoppers are not given more of the old coins.He said: “Businesses must remain vigilant when returning coins and ensure old and new coins are organised in separate packaging to make the sorting process quicker and easier.”Shopkeepers must “play their part  to ensure only new pound coins are given to shoppers in their change”, he said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The old pound coin will cease to be legal tender on October 15Credit:Alamy last_img read more

Football coach Barry Bennell predatory paedophile with unfettered access to boys

first_imgA former youth football coach and talent scout was a “predatory and determined” paedophile whose job gave him unfettered access to boys, a court has heard.Barry Bennell allegedly abused one victim more than 100 times and spent decades assaulting boys in changing rooms, in his car and during sleepovers at his home.The 63-year-old former Crewe Alexandra coach appeared at Liverpool Crown Court via video-link on Tuesday, accused of 48 counts of child sexual abuse.The jury heard some of the abuse took place at the club’s ground, or when it was on tour, while many of the incidents also took place at his home addresses.Bennell, who has since changed his name to Richard Jones, is charged with offences including indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery on 11 boys aged between eight and 14. Undated file photo of football coach Barry Bennell Undated file photo of football coach Barry BennellCredit:PA Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, told the court Bennell worked as a youth football coach in Cheshire, Manchester and Derbyshire in the late 1970s and into the 1990s.Mr Johnson said: “As such, he had pretty much unfettered access to large numbers of young lads who dreamt of a life in professional football.”Although it seems that Mr Jones, or Mr Bennell, was a skilled and relatively successful coach, we allege that he had a much darker side. “He was also, we say, a predatory and determined paedophile: his particular predilection was pre-pubescent boys”.Mr Johnson said some of the abuse took place at the ground of Crewe Alexandra and when the football club was on tour, while many of the incidents also took place at his home addresses.At the start of a trial expected to last up to eight weeks, the jury was told Bennell would appearing via video-link because illness means he needs to be fed through a tube.Bennell pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault ahead of his trail.Summarising the complaints, Mr Johnson told the jury one alleged victim had been abused by Bennell on more than 100 occasions after meeting him when he was a scout for Manchester City.The alleged victim and other boys would stay at Bennell’s house, which he said at first seemed an “attractive proposition” for the youngsters.He said: “Not only was there the promise of high quality football, but they were given lots of sports kit and allowed to eat takeaway food.”Bennell equipped his home with arcade machines, a pool table and televisions to entice boys to stay the night.The complainant alleged Bennell would turn the lights off once the boys were in bed and would play music to mask the sound of the abuse, the court heard. Bennell told police he had been attracted to 13-year-old boys because they were “pedigree footballers who were athletic and good looking”.The court heard he admitted in interview he would lose interest in boys as they reached puberty.Mr Johnson told jurors they would have to decide whether they were listening to a group of men who, as Bennell alleges, had “jumped on the bandwagon” and maliciously made up stories, or if they agreed with the Crown’s case that a devious paedophile was committing serious sexual offences on a large scale and over a long period of time against “very vulnerable lads”.Mr Johnson added: “In those circumstances we will suggest in due course that it is no surprise either that the extent of his offending has taken so long to emerge or that there is repetition in the way, we allege, he committed his offences.”The trial continues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Oxford University student cleared of rape charge as yet another case collapses

first_imgLawyers asked for the case to be dropped hours after Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, raised eyebrows when she said photographs and social media accounts do not necessarily need to be fully checked in rape cases.She insisted she does not believe anyone is in jail after being wrongly convicted because of failures to disclose evidence.She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The police obligation is to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry. That doesn’t mean going into every single avenue of your life.”Ms Saunders met senior police officers and barristers on Thursday to discuss concerns that vital material is not being disclosed. Isaac Itiary, left, and Liam Allan both had cases against them dropped too An Oxford University student has become the latest accused rapist to have his case dropped against him after two years on bail amid wider public concern about the actions of police and prosecutors.Oliver Mears, 19, was told he was to be found not guilty following a review of evidence just days before he was due to go on trial.The Crown Prosecution Service said it decided to offer no evidence against Mr Mears after reviewing evidence handed to them by Surrey Police, some of which was only received last week. A police spokeswoman told the Times prosecutors decided to discontinue the trial “for a number of reasons”.It comes at a time where the Metropolitan Police has ordered a review of all its investigations into rape and serious sexual assault following the collapsed trials of Liam Allan, 22, and Isaac Itiary, 25. A third case against Samson Makele, 28, was also halted at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday after his defence team unearthed key images from his mobile phone which had not previously been made available, law firm Hodge Jones and Allen said.Chemistry student Mr Mears, of Horley, Surrey, was arrested weeks after his 17th birthday and accused of raping and indecently assaulting a woman in July 2015. He was charged last June. He reportedly left St Hugh’s College because of stress. His lawyers complained of a failure to disclose evidence, including social media material, which they believed may have proved his innocence. His trial was due to start on Monday at Guildford Crown Court, but his hearing was brought forward to Thursday morning.center_img Isaac Itiary, left, and Liam Allan both had cases against them dropped too Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Spotify entrepreneur loses legal battle to stop brother sending emails about his

first_imgTanweer, the head of credit and emerging markets at Unicredit Bank, admitted that some of his emails “may have been a bit overzealous”. But he told Mr Justice Nicklin that although Shakil’s claim had been “dressed up” as harassment, the case was really all about protecting his reputation. His behaviour was described as “less than exemplary” but the judge said there was no suggestion that he did not believe the allegations against his brother were true.He ruled that the emails had caused Shakil little more than “annoyance or distress” and did not justify an injunction. He suggested that the businessman could “exercise a degree of self-help” and simply delete them.And he said the order sought against his brother would “represent a very serious interference with his right of freedom of expression.”The judge, who said Shakil played a “significant role” in Spotify and was a close personal friend of Mr Ek, refused to deal with the case anonymously.Refusing an injunction, the judge said: “I do not consider these emails have crossed the line from unattractive, even unreasonable, to oppressive and unacceptable.” He did not make any findings as to whether the emails amounted to harassment, which will be dealt with at a later hearing. Lifting reporting restrictions, so that the brothers can be publicly named for the first time, the judge said: “There is … no justification for a blanket order.”center_img A Spotify entrepreneur has lost a High Court battle to stop his banker brother from sending “harassing” emails detailing his criminal past.Shakil Khan, an investor in the digital music service, argued that emails sent by his brother, Tanweer Khan, should be blocked.The court heard that 70 messages were sent by Tanweer to his brother, as well as Daniel Ek, the Spotify chief executive, and other associates between late 2016 and 2017.Shakil Khan had “a number of spent convictions” dating back to the Nineties, the court heard, including a “serious drugs conviction” for which he was imprisoned for two-and-a-half years. But while the content of some of the emails was described as “strident”, a senior judge concluded that they did not amount to harassment.The two brothers had fallen out over comments made by Shakil Khan in a podcast last year. Tanweer Khan attacked his brother’s public presentation of his criminal record as “a varnishing of the truth” and was said to have been “incensed” when his brother accused their father of beating him up during his childhood in Dagenham.The banker said that “in his culture, disrespecting one’s father is regarded very seriously and all the more so if he is dead”.last_img read more

Government should set policies on hijabs in schools Ofsted chief suggests

first_img“We have a very autonomous school system where we delegate a great deal down to individual heads, compared with most countries in the world we give more autonomy to individual heads,” she said.”If we are going to end up with an asymmetry where people conscientiously, running often quite small schools, can be effectively targeted and bullied in this way, I think we’re in a very worrying world. Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of schools The Government must step in to set policies on hijabs in schools, the head of Ofsted has suggested.Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, said it is “worrying” that headteachers can be “bullied” by campaigners into changing their uniform policies.Her comments come after she threw her weight behind the head of an east London primary school who attempted to ban pupils under the age of eight from wearing hijabs.Neena Lall was later forced into reversing the ban at St Stephen’s School in Newnham after an angry backlash from activists who accused her of Islamophobia.She became the subject of an intimidation campaign which included a video posted on YouTube comparing her to Hitler.Speaking at the Commons education select committee, Ms Spielman agreed with MPs that the events at St Stephen’s School set a “dangerous precedent” since young girls wearing the hijab is a “cultural preference” rather than a religious dictate. Last month Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector of schools, called for the Government to implement an official policy on wearing hijabs in primary schools to stop headteachers from feeling “isolated and vulnerable”.Sir Michael  claimed that the Government’s fear of being politically incorrect has stopped it from providing guidance to schools.   “The Government needs to step in. It can no longer say it’s up to the headteachers,” he said. Lord Agnew, an education minister, has previously said that teachers, school leaders and governors are “completely within their right to make decisions on how to run their schools in the best interests of their pupils… and we back their right to do so.” “Historically there may have been a concern not to be too inflammatory. We recognise that we need to be more explicit in future,” she said. “It opens the question for me whether it is right to leave so much decision-making at individual school level and whether some of these decisions that are becoming increasingly difficult and sensitive should be taken at local authority or MAT [multi-academy trust] or central government level.”Ms Spielman, who was being quizzed by a cross-party group of MPs, told how inspectors have seen some “very disturbing things” at unregistered schools, including youngsters being taught in “squalid conditions”.She told the Commons education committee that she would like tougher powers to inspect suspected unregistered schools and to seize evidence.”We have seen some very disturbing things. We have seen poor education, we’ve seen squalid conditions and we’ve seen some very worrying teaching materials in some of those institutions,” she said. “Books by people who are banned from entering the country, books promoting very concerning practices advocating men beating their wives to punish them, advocating, teaching, that women are not entitled to refuse sex to their husbands and so on.”Ms Spielman said that she would like Ofsted reports to be more “explicit” about their findings at faith schools, rather than skirting around the edges, particularly where children are being exposed by extreme views.     Sir Michael Wilshaw  Sir Michael WilshawCredit: Geoff Pughlast_img read more