Sometimes in life we are faced with difficult choices. I’m talking about the provocative kind of ‘What If?’ questions that your professors pose to you in class on morally ambiguous issues, the things that poke holes in previously held, ironclad ethical beliefs. For those comics buffs out there, think of the ending of Alan Moore’s fantastic graphic novel ‘The Watchmen.’Today’s perplexing problem is this: If you were forced to choose between the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan to be gutted by possible NCAA sanctions, which would you choose?First, some history is in order.Recent thorn in Ohio State’s side, USC, is facing all sorts of potential trouble. The issues started when questions began surfacing about past USC Heisman Trophy-winning running back and future Mr. Kim Kardashian, Reggie Bush. Bush has been accused by two would-be sports marketers of accepting a car, cash and a lavish home for his parents in return for a business partnership once Bush turned pro.According to these two men, when it became clear that Bush had no intentions of following through with his end of the bargain, the businessmen filed a civil suit that brought all the dirty laundry to light.Then there is the case of another USC tailback, Joe McKnight. He was allegedly seen driving an SUV registered to businessman Scott Schenter. According to reports, Schenter owned a company which had registered the domain name 4joemcknight.com.Apparently the USC practice facility parking lot looks an awful lot like the lot outside a typical Jay-Z party—unusual for college kids living on a small stipend.Add to this the already-proven improper benefits accepted by former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo and you have the beginnings of what is known as “a lack of institutional control.” This is often the first note in the death knell of some universities’ athletic programs. At the very least, it can lead to a loss in number of scholarships or the vacating of wins or titles.In the case of Michigan, the infractions appear to be far less serious and yet, could have greater ramifications for OSU’s football program.According to the findings of the NCAA investigation, already-embattled Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez violated NCAA rules by failing to comply with practice time rules. He allegedly allowed members of his staff to improperly conduct and monitor ‘voluntary’ summer workouts.While this may sound trivial to most, in conjunction with his failings on the field, Rodriguez is under heavy fire from not only the NCAA, but his own fan base. This is the first time in the storied history of UM’s football program that there having been allegations of impropriety, and UM’s snooty alumni are all up-in-arms.Apparently the wine-and-cheese crowd at the Big House has short memories and has already forgotten about the basketball banners that were unceremoniously removed from the rafters of their hoops arena following the Fab Five debacle.So there you have it. Who would you rather see laid low by the heavy-hand of the NCAA infractions committee? The Trojans who ruined what could have been a magical season long before the Purdue Boilermakers got their chance to, or archrival Michigan, who Buckeyes bear the deepest of enmity for?It’s like choosing between steak and lobster or paper and plastic: nearly impossible. It’s like choosing between Todd Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor. Okay, maybe that’s a bad example.Part of me would like to pick USC, but I’ve come to realize that most of the reasons I held them in contempt revolved around their jerkishly smug former coach Pete Carroll. But with the grim specter of possible sanctions hovering over his head like the sword of Damocles, he bolted for the rainy gloom of Seattle.The other part, the one that has hues of scarlet and gray, wants to select Michigan. My disgust for the maize and blue has grown since the hiring of Rodriguez, and I’d like nothing more than to see him looking for work. However, that may not serve the long-term interests of Buckeye fans.His grating personality and fish-out-of-water offensive attack may be just the thing to keep us in a position of dominance in the Big Ten for years to come.Faced with a choice like this, I guess I’m gonna have to be a “have your cake and eat it too” kind of guy. I say to hell with ‘em both.
Sporting Lisbon manager Jorge Jesus has hailed Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, ahead of their second leg in the Europa LeagueThe Slovenia international arrived at Portuguese side Benfica in the summer of 2010 at the tender age of 17 years old and, after four loan spells away from the club, Oblak became the first choice goalkeeper under Jesus himself after displacing regular number one Artur in the 2013/14 season.La Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…After keeping several clean sheets in his opening matches, Oblak was later named the Primeira Liga’s goalkeeper of the year and later sealed a €16m transfer to Atletico and has established himself at La Liga as one of the very best.“Oblak arrived at Portuguese football very young. He was 17 years old. He was at two clubs before he had the opportunity at Benfica. He worked [hard] during that time, I have no doubt that alongside Rui Patricio and some others he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The Atletico supporters should be delighted to have him and his work.” said Jesus, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Two Juventus defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli of Juventus have renewed deals with the club; a deal which will keep them with Juventus until 2020 and 2019 respectively.Chiellini has played 26 times in the Bianconeri’s Serie A last season, while Barzagli was featured 25 times as either center-back and right-back.The two defenders will continue their play with the club for another season which could be a major boost for Juventus to concede an average of 0.7 goals-per-game, win 2.3 points-per-match when they link up together, Spotsmole claimsFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.A club statement read:“Side by side they fought, they brought Juventus into #My7H and the historic fourth consecutive Italian cup and now they will continue. Always side by side, to defend the Bianconeri colours with pride, class and passion.“Juventus could not be happier to maintain the services of two men, who for so long have embodies the club’s Fino Alla Fine (to the bitter end) mindset. Here is hoping for further success for both players and the club starting next season.”
AFC Bournemouth left back Brad Smith has left the Premier League side to join Major League Soccer outfit Seattle Sounders.The Australia international has signed for the MLS club on a season-long loan from Bournemouth. The 24-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Cherries first team since joining the club from Liverpool in 2016.Smith has been limited to just 10 appearances over two seasons after becoming joint most expensive Australian two years ago.The defender moves to Sounders in search of more first team action and to team up with fellow Australian John Hutchinson who’s the team’s assistant manager.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I’m really glad to be here. Everything happened so quickly. Once I heard a big club like Sounders wanted me, I couldn’t turn down the chance.” Smith said, according to Caltex Socceroos.“I spoke to Hutchinson and the manager, Brian Schmetzer and then I agree to come here.”Brad Smith has been capped on 19 different occasions by the Australian National team. He played a key role in the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifying campaign which saw them feature in the party in Russia.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has given his predictions for the Premier League season.After two matches played in the 2018/19 Premier League season, Jamie Carragher has made his season predictions. Sky Sports reports.Champions – Man City‘People say how impressive Liverpool have been at the start of the season, but how impressive have City been? They’ve gone to Arsenal, a top-six rival, and then the manner of the win over Huddersfield. It could have been 2-0 or 3-0 after five minutes, that’s how good they are. It’s difficult to look past City and if they do what I expect them to do, I expect them to have a period of domination. At the end of Pep’s time, we could be talking about one of the great teams seen in this country.’Top Four – Liverpool, Man Utd, Tottenham‘It’s hard to leave Chelsea out, but you think of them playing Thursday-Sunday and the goalkeeper is still young He may go on to be one of the world’s best, but it’s not Courtois. They have lost one of the world’s best. I think the other sides have just got the edge on them but we are talking fine margins.’English Premier League flops of the week Taimoor Khan – August 25, 2019 The third round of English Premier League football is pretty much over and we need to take a look at players and coaches who…Top six challengers – Everton‘I like the manager and have always liked him since he was at Hull. They went down and he started well at Watford until Everton came in and it fell apart. There’s something I like about that manager when I see their teams play. Without the transfer business on the last day, I thought he hadn’t brought enough in, but that has given everyone a lift and of course the two performances and results they have had were very good. Richarlison has come in and done well.’Top goalscorer – Kane‘If you ask me the same question for the next seven years, I’ll always say Harry Kane. He will take the penalties, he will never be left out and he has the mentality every season to be the top scorer and as I’ve said before, I think he’s going to break all kinds of records. I think it’s telling he has signed a six-year contract and wasn’t looking to Real Madrid. I think he wants to be the greatest scorer in Tottenham’s history and he wants the Premier League record also.’
AS Roma forward Edin Dzeko refuses to rule out anything in regards to a Premier League comebackDzeko last featured in the English top-flight for Manchester City between 2011 to 2016, where he scored 50 goals in 130 league appearances.After a move to Chelsea fell through in January though, Dzeko admits that time is running out for him at the age of 32.But the Bosnia-Herzegovina international also insists that he’s happy at Rome.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“Regarding the Premier League, maybe it’s too late,” Dzeko told Sky Sports “You never know.“I had four and a half great years there, and had fun every minute of every game. I love the Premier League and England, so we’ll see. At the moment I’m happy in Rome.”Since joining Roma in 2015 from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, Dzeko has managed 78 goals and 30 assists in 148 games.Juventus midfielder and Bosnia teammate Miralem Pjanic even declared that Dzeko has a better goals-to-games ratio than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at international level.
England legend Wayne Rooney is not sorry for missing out on the last World Cup, he is actually quite content with The Three Lions’ recent success.As one of the most competitive animals that England has produced in a long time, it would only be natural if Wayne Rooney felt a little bit envious of his compatriots when they reached that historic World Cup semifinal during the summer.But the DC United player is very happy with the career that he led with the national team, as well as the top scoring record that he left after parting ways with the squad.When asked about the experience of watching England as a fan, Rooney gave the most honest answer and proved that he truly is a legend because he feels happy for all his teammates who experienced that historic moment during the World Cup.“It was great to watch the games. The last time I watched England and wasn’t part of the set up was when I was 16, just 17,” said Rooney on BBC Sport.“So to go back to that and watch as a fan rather than having those connections as being a part of it was different to what I was used to – it was great to chill out, watch the games and support the team.”“I have seen players in the past who have retired and they maybe don’t want England to do well, I’ve spoken to players who have had that opinion.”“But as an England fan I obviously wanted them to go one step further [at the 2018 World Cup] and get to the final, where anything can happen.”Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I think they have brought a bit of pride back to the England set-up. I felt the timing was right when I retired from England, not only for myself but I think for the team.”“It was the right decision to let the team move on and it was the right time. I have no regrets,” he concluded.Wayne Rooney | Record breaker.The @England record goalscorer celebrates his birthday today 🎈Have a great day, @WayneRooney. pic.twitter.com/0GEYIvlP0R— Wembley Stadium (@wembleystadium) October 24, 2018