Zlatan Ibrahimovic could stay with Manchester United, says Jose Mourinho

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimovic could be offered a new deal by Manchester United, the Premier League club’s manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday ahead of a friendly with Los Angeles Galaxy.Speaking at a news conference on the eve of their first pre-season tour match in California, Mourinho left the door open to the Swede returning when he recovers from knee surgery.The out-of-contract Ibrahimovic, 35, was United’s top scorer last term after joining on a one-year deal, but he was injured in April and is likely to be sidelined at least until December.”If the decision is to stay and wait until December — he can’t be back until them — why not wait? We are speaking and changing ideas,” the Portuguese coach told reporters.With Ibrahimovic out of action, Mourinho has brought in Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a fee put at about 75 million pounds ($98.27 million) by British media.Mourinho said United signed Lukaku because he is a ready-made Premier League player, having had lots of experience in England, which hopefully would allow him to fit in immediately.”Obviously there are other good strikers in football, but the Premier League is a very specific habitat, a difficult habitat for strikers, and normally they need some time to adapt but Lukaku has been in the Premier League for five seasons,” he told reporters.”Now he comes to a club with different responsibilities in the right moment of his career. He is still a young player but he has years of experience in the Premier League and the Belgian national team. He will go into the Champions League, which was also his main motivation.”advertisementMourinho needed a player who knows how to score against defensive teams that, using his famous phrase, “park the bus”.”Romelu is not a player that participates a lot in the build-up play. He is a player that normally plays in the last third,” added Mourinho.”We had so many opponents last season that decided clearly to defend, closing spaces, playing with lots of defenders and defensive midfield players.”We needed a target man, which is not (France forward Anthony) Martial or (England striker Marcus) Rashford.”We have good options, good players, but a target man, a clear number nine, one who is comfortable to play in the box, we thought that was Romelu.”last_img read more

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El Tri ramping up pursuit of USA prospect Gonzalez

first_imgUnited States El Tri ramping up pursuit of USMNT prospect Jonathan Gonzalez — and he’s listening Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives Last updated 1 year ago 23:21 1/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Jonathan Gonzalez Christian Tabo Monterrey Atlas JULIO CESAR AGUILAR United States Mexico While U.S. Soccer has not confirmed a report from Mexico saying the midfielder has switched allegiances, he is now weighing his national team options Jonathan Gonzalez was once fully committed to representing the United States on the international level, and while he may not have changed his mind, he is clearly considering his other option.Gonzalez has been in contact with officials from the Mexican Football Federation, and has spoken to coach Juan Carlos Osorio about playing for El Tri, a source with knowledge of the discussions confirmed to Goal last Thursday.A report from Univision Deportes on Monday claims Gonzalez has decided to represent El Tri, and will file the one-time change of association with FIFA, which would permanently tie him to Mexico as an international. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player However, as of last week, Gonzalez had not yet contacted U.S. Soccer to notify them of the switch — something that is required for him to complete the change in his international eligibility. Neither U.S. Soccer nor the Mexican federation have confirmed or denied at the report.Last week, reports surfaced that El Tri are considering calling up Gonzalez for the upcoming friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Jan. 31 in San Antonio, Texas. ESPN Mexico reported Thursday that it is a good possibility Gonzalez will be called up for that friendly, but only if he files his one-time switch. Gonzalez was born in Northern California and has represented the U.S. in official competitions with the Under-17 and U-20 national teams. He is eligible to play for Mexico as long as he had Mexican citizenship prior to playing in an official U-17 competition with the U.S.If so, he must then file for a change of association. The process to have such a switch approved can take from weeks to months, and a source at U.S. Soccer confirmed to Goal that Gonzalez has yet to inform the federation of a decision to switch, which is a requirement in the process.The reality is there is no rush for Gonzalez to file a switch just to play in a January friendly. He would remain eligible for the U.S. and Mexico until he represented the U.S. national team in an official competition, and with the U.S. set to miss the World Cup, the next opportunity to cap-tie him won’t come until the CONCACAF League of Nations kicks off next fall.In theory, Gonzalez could be motivated by an opportunity to play in the 2018 World Cup with Mexico, but he would be considered a long shot to make that squad, especially playing in a midfield where El Tri have a multitude of options.The Mexican federation could be pushing hard to force him into a decision if it is believed he is unhappy with the U.S., which is a prevailing notion after Gonzalez revealed in a recent interview with Soccer America that nobody at U.S. Soccer contacted him about November’s friendly against Portugal.”I wasn’t called in, in November,” Gonzalez told Soccer America . “Personally, nobody came and talked to me and let me know about that friendly. I just wasn’t called in.”Goal reported in December that Gonzalez wasn’t happy about not being called in for the Portugal friendly. Gonzalez’s decision to publicly reveal that nobody at U.S. Soccer even called him to discuss where he stood — even though he was in the midst of an outstanding season in Liga MX — could be taken as a sign he is unhappy with the federation, as could his willingness to discuss a potential switch with Mexican officials.Gonzalez would need to have a change of association approved by FIFA to play in any match for Mexico, but El Tri could choose to have Gonzalez in camp for the Bosnia friendly as a participant or guest. U.S. Soccer invited Gonzalez to take part in its January training camp, but that request was denied by Monterrey, sources confirmed to Goal .last_img read more

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Q&A: Get To Know Texas Tech and Coach Bro

first_imgSeth Jungman of Staking the Plains was kind enough to answer our questions this week. You can see my answers to his questions at his excellent Texas Tech website. Hope you guys enjoy!1. Coach Kliff Kingsbury has a lot of similarities to OSU Head Coach Mike Gundy (offensive background, coaching at his alma mater, former quarterback). What are thoughts so far in year four of the Kingsbury era?These last few games, except for the TCU game, have been rough for me personally. It seems as if there’s some regression in some key areas and the defense really doesn’t show improvement at all. Mahomes is falling into some old bad habits and that’s caused the offense to have significant lapses.The problem is that we all want Kingsbury to succeed because, as you mention, he’s one of us and we really want nothing more than for him to succeed. For me, I need to see some improvement, tangible and consistent improvement and I don’t think Texas Tech is going to win this game, but it would be nice to see some consistency.2. Coach Kingsbury talked about how he challenged the team after the loss to West Virginia and the team looks to have answered the call with a great win at TCU and close losses to OU and Texas. What have been the biggest improvements in the upturn in the 2nd half of the season?It’s funny that you look at it that way as lots of fans, me included, that there hasn’t been a huge improvement the second half of the season other than the win on the road against TCU, that there’s been a lot of bad that’s gone along with the two closes losses to OU and UT.The epically bad defense against OU and poor results for the defense again against UT (over 600 yards of offense and 400 yards rushing) plus an offense that becomes stagnant has led to an some frustrating results for each of those games.If I had to guess as to the positive aspects, the team apparently amped up practice after that game, actually hitting rather than more walk-through stuff.3. There seems to be a youth movement on the defensive side of the ball with Jordyn Brooks leading the team in tackles and Douglas Coleman’s incredible play last week against Texas. What would you say are the strengths of the unit and how the Cowboys would be best off attacking the defense?Oh, jeez. Well, there really isn’t a spot that the Cowboys can’t attack. There’s really not strong point to the defense. Teams have run at will for most games and the same thing with the passing game.There are bright spots, young bright spots, as you mentioned Brooks has played well as well as can be expected and Coleman has played well for two weeks in a row, the fumble return last week and he had an interception in TCU’s end zone the week before. Malik Jefferson has played well as of late and against TCU, Ondre Pipkins played well at nose tackle.4. Coach Gundy compared Patrick Mahomes to Dallas Cowboy quarterback Dak Prescott — can you tell us more about Mahomes and what he brings to the table, and maybe what famous quarterback(s) he most compares with?I think Prescott is as good a comparison as any. Mahomes isn’t really a runner, he’s mobile and a bit elusive, but he’s not fast like a lot of other quarterbacks.Mahomes has a big arm and the problem recently is that he’s had trouble finding open receivers when teams drop seven or eight in coverage. It’s been a significant problem and it’s stalled the offense to the point where they won’t score for five straight possessions.That’s not normal for this offense and Kingsbury and Mahomes have to figure it out because I can almost guarantee that Oklahoma State will attempt the same thing as Texas and TCU.5. What matchup(s) interests you most heading into Saturday’s game?I’m interested as all get-out in how OSU plays the game defensively against Texas Tech. Traditionally, OSU is a 4-3 defense, but if what’s given Texas Tech fits is a 3-3-5 and what worked particularly well for Texas in the second half was Malik Jefferson shadowing Mahomes for the entire second half.It’s time for Kingsbury and Mahomes to figure this out and I hope it’s against the Cowboys, but I’m not betting on it.6. Four years in, Coach Kingsbury is still nearly the youngest Power 5 coach (I believe just barely second to new conference peer Matt Campbell), does he seem to operate differently than more experienced coaches and do you have any interesting stories about you can share?Maybe the most interesting thing is that the “coach bro” narrative is played out. Yes, he’s good looking and all of that, but he’s also a hard worker. His dad is a Marine, his mom passed away when he was in college.He gets to the office at 4 a.m. and he doesn’t leave until late. His hobby is binging on Peaky Blinders and Narcos when he has the time in the offseason. The persona isn’t really what he actually is, which is a hard-working individual.7. Texas Tech is 2nd in the nation at converting third downs (55.1 percent), to what do you attribute such great success?It’s really be at the arm of Mahomes more than anything. There are times where he completes a pass on third down that most quarterbacks just can’t do. That percentage has fallen off as of late and the big reason for that has been opposing defenses.Plus, Texas Tech has some terrific receivers, who have been his go-to for a lot of those opportunities. Jonathan Giles is terrific, Cameron Batson, Ian Sadler, Keke Coutee, Dylan Cantrell and Derrick Willies have been incredibly solid pass catchers.8.  While things seem to have died down on the expansion front, what do you gather to be the general sentiment from Texas Tech fans on whether or not to expand and who they would like to add? Most fans know what’s coming, which is the likely implosion of the Big 12 and I think most fans just want a seat at the table for a Power Five conference. It’s what makes winning so important between now and 2024 when the wheels might start turning in that direction.It’s why this year and the prospect of Kingsbury moving forward has to start putting together some wins. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

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Illinois Judge Is Hearing Arguments Over High School Game Similar To OSU-CMU

first_imgWe have ourselves a situation. We have had ourselves a situation for many weeks now as the Central Michigan loss has loomed over the head of Oklahoma State. Mike Gundy has addressed it. Bob Stoops has addressed it. It seems everyone has addressed it.Obviously everyone knows what happened at the end of the CMU-Oklahoma State game. A play that shouldn’t have happened did happen, and OSU is 9-2 instead of 10-1.“Well, we did get the win; nobody will ever convince me we didn’t get the win,” Mike Gundy said on Saturday after beating TCU when asked about CMU again. He has repeated some variation of this dozens of times and even made fun of the CFB Playoff committee when he was asked if he watches its weekly show.Anyway, the same thing — nearly the exact same thing — happened recently in a 7A Illinois high school playoff game. Here’s Deadspin on Fenwick’s loss to Plainfield North.On the final play of regulation, with Fenwick holding a 10-7 lead with four seconds left on a meaningless fourth-and-15, quarterback Jacob Keller chucked the ball downfield after the clock had expired, seemingly putting a bow on the semifinal win.However, officials slapped Fenwick with an intentional grounding penalty, and gave the ball back to Plainfield North for an untimed down. Plainfield North kicked a field goal on the next play, sending the game to overtime and setting the stage for their wild game-winning play. Thus began the saga that’s since turned into a legal battle over who gets to go to the state championship game.A legal battle, huh? Whereas OSU’s legal battle didn’t really go anywhere, this one is. In fact, a judge is hearing the case today to decide which team will move on to the finals.Judge Kathleen Kennedy is scheduled to hear the case [Wednesday] morning and make a ruling. Fenwick reportedly cited a 2008 decision in Mississippi when a similar situation was eventually overturned by an athletic ruling body, as well as the IHSA’s own reversal of the 2008 Illinois state wrestling tournament.It’s rare for any on-field dispute to go to a professional judge for adjudication, but since Plainfield has said that they will prepare for the upcoming state championship game and will not forfeit, the case rests with a higher authority. Hopefully, justice is served.Whoo boy. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. “It would be one thing if it was a missed holding call or if it was a judgment call, but this was not a judgment call,” Fenwick Principal Peter Groom told the Chicago Tribune. “This was a rule that was not applied when there was no more time left on the clock. I don’t know how I tell my kids (to accept the outcome) in this situation.”Sounds like Mike Gundy.We will be keeping an eye on this case as it unfolds on Wednesday. Will a precedent be set for the CMU-OSU game to follow suit? If OSU doesn’t win Bedlam, none of this matters obviously, but if it does and this gets overturned, Gundy’s press conference next Monday will be one for the ages.Update.Plainfield North will play East St. Louis for Class 7A state title— Michael O’Brien (@michaelsobrien) November 23, 2016last_img read more

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Mike Gundy on Baylor Rumors: Players Don’t Give it a Second Thought

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. After a whirlwind of rumors that surrounded his coaching future earlier this week, Mike Gundy announced himself as “fully committed to Oklahoma State” during the Alamo Bowl introductory press conference in San Antonio Thursday.On Friday, members of the local media caught up with the twelfth-year head coach in his office in Stillwater.Gundy was asked if he ever addressed the situation with the team.“No, you know that’s interesting. I talked about this a little bit down in San Antonio. They know me really well and they know that if there is ever anything that they need, information, that I’m going to give it to them first. And they have never come to me about any of those situations or things that they hear, just from the relationship that I have with them. So, I don’t really see the need to address it and I don’t think they give it a second thought to be honest with you.”Whether or not the players gave it a second thought or not, it seems like Gundy will remain in Stillwater for at least the near future. That’s an important message to send as the coaching staff wraps up a big week of recruiting.last_img read more

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2017 NFL Combine: Chris Carson Impresses On Bench Press

first_imgChristian McCaffreySTAN10 Corey ClementWISC19 De’Vion SmithMichigan22 James ConnorPitt20 The NFL combine is officially underway, as running backs, offensive lineman and special teams players showcased their talents in lifting heavy things on Thursday. The 40-yard dash, which many consider to be the most supreme measuring stick for running backs, doesn’t kick off until Friday. But OSU running back Chris Carson made his presence felt on Thursday with a bench press showing that stacked up favorably among the other participants:Here’s a look at some of the notable bench press performances from the running backs. Carson was a beast among most and finished second to OU’s Samaje Perine: Dalvin CookFSU22 Chris CarsonOSU23center_img Donnel PumphreySDSU5 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Elijah HoodUNC18 PlayerSchoolBench reps Samaje PerineOU30last_img read more

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Gundy Compares ’17 Cowboys To Historic 2011 Squad

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Since 2011 when the Oklahoma State football team was absolutely magical, comparisons to that time have been few to none from coach Mike Gundy, but he did it on Monday.It’s understandable why Gundy wouldn’t like to make the comparison, especially in the past few years. The ’11 Cowboys finished No. 3 in the nation, and as everyone knows, were up to No. 2 before their trip to Ames, Iowa.That team had one of the best statistical offenses in college football history. That team produced NFL pros including Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Joseph Randle and Justin Gilbert.But let’s blow your mind and show you why this year’s is the most qualified comparison yet.*Just a reminder: Mason Rudolph and James Washington returned for their senior seasons, and Justice Hill will be a sophomore in 2017.As a lot of media have recognized, OSU should be one of the best teams in college football. Gundy certainly notices the potential as well as the similarities.“We were a little more experienced then at the running back spot with Joe Randle,” Gundy said. “Justice is a good player, but obviously not as experienced as Joe. Had a group of wideouts then, and we had Blackmon, who Washington could be comparable to him either way arguably.”Hill has more than double the reps than Randle had in 2010, and Blackmon’s stats were far better than Washington’s last year. But this year’s receiver corps is likely far superior to the 2011 group.Here are the receiving stats from 2011 and 2016:Add in Marcell Ateman, Tyron Johnson, Tylan Wallace and others, let’s get real: This will be the greatest group of receivers ever at OSU.Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said all credit goes to receivers coach Kasey Dunn, who not only recruited so much skill, but also has developed it into such a cohesive, close group.“I don’t know how easy it is to have that much talent in a room but yet get those guys geared and focused on one goal,” Yurcich said.More good news is that the ’17 team might be better on defense, Gundy said.Last season’s defense will likely put the ’17 group to sleep after OSU lost Jordan Sterns, Vincent Taylor, Jordan Burton, Devante Averette, Ashton Lampkin and Motekiai Maile, but Gundy is probably right. When the Cowboys were fighting for their spot in the national title game in 2011, the only problem people had was they didn’t play very good defense.The ’11 OSU scoring defense was seventh-worst in the Big 12 at a time when the conference was known for poor defending. Last year, the Cowboys’ scoring defense finished third in a much-improved defensive conference. You have to figure production won’t fall off four spots in the conference.2011 wasn’t the best defensive year, but that group was good a forcing turnovers, Gundy said. In fact, OSU led the nation in turnover margin at 1.62 per game.“(That) allowed us to get more opportunities, and then we’d get in a track meet,” Gundy said. “And we could outscore you.”The positive about the ’17 defense is depth, particularly along the defensive line, Gundy said. There are nine defensive linemen who power clean over 315 pounds, bench more than 350 – five of which can do over 400, and nine who can squat above 450 pounds.Read that again.“I think we’re back into that role that we had where we can play a pretty solid 2-deep and keep those guys fresh,” Gundy said. “In this league, your defense gets beat up in November. We got the best basketball league in the country, but nobody knows it because they beat each other up for two months. That’s what happens to defensive guys.”They just have to find a couple of cornerbacks who can be trusted and can play immediately, he said. Throw in a punter and a quarterback who will probably be tops in the nation at their positions, and you might have something special.“We talk about that, the strategy based on our personnel is and what we think we can do in all three phases,” Gundy said. “So there are a lot of similarities.“I hope it turns out that way.”last_img read more

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Look: Brandon Weeden’s OSU-Themed Golf Clubs

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Former OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden may not be teeing it up in Augusta this weekend but wherever he does, he’ll be playing in style.Whether he’s watching the Masters from Houston or back in Oklahoma, I’ll bet he gets a living-room practice swing or two in with these beauties.last_img read more

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Oklahoma State Commit C.J. Moore Nominated for U.S. Army All-American Game

first_imgFour-star wide receiver and Oklahoma State pledge C.J. Moore is among the 400-plus players nominated to play in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He is one of six Oklahoma standouts to be nominated along with Josh Proctor (Ohio State commit), Jalen Redmond, Ron Tatum (Texas commit), Casey Thompson (Texas commit), and Brey Walker (Oklahoma commit).Six #OKPreps football guys are nominated for the US Army All-American game — 100 finalists will be selected. #OKPreps @LilThurm @rontatum3_ pic.twitter.com/JVgDCFxA0B— Nate Feken (@TheGreat_Nate) May 25, 2017 Of the 400-plus member nominee list, the U.S. Army All-American selection committee will trim the list to 100 finalists for the game. The game will be played on January 6, 2018.OSU has been represented well over the years in the prestigious event, most recently with offensive lineman Tramonda Moore, who is now at Independence Community College. Star running back prospect Herschel Sims also played in the game in 2011. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

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Videos: Ends Brailford and Leveni Praise Each Other’s Play

first_imgWe talked to defensive ends Vili Leveni and Jordan Brailford about their 2017 defense, and they both mentioned each other as somebody to watch out for as the season nears. Both missed time last year because of injury, and both should have a huge impact on how good OSU’s defense could be this season.AdChoices广告 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

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