The man from Kyrgyzstan

first_imgIn 1994, Baktybek “Bakyt” Beshimov was the youngest university president in his native Kyrgyzstan when he first visited Harvard. After two awestruck days, Beshimov stood on a bridge over the Charles River and vowed to bring to Osh State University the same academic freedom, opportunity, and ethical scholarship he had witnessed in Cambridge. “I prayed, and I dreamed,” he said.The dream came true, for a while. During the 1990s, in the first blush of post-Soviet reform, Bashimov made Osh a model of openness, with student exchange programs and an international faculty that by 1996 was 11 percent Western. But the brash young educator was eventually fired and put under house arrest by a national regime skeptical of openness.Beshimov remained defiant, and that made him wildly popular in Osh, which elected him to parliament. By 2000, the historian was on his way to India for a five-year tour as Kyrgyzstan’s ambassador.Then came Kyrgyzstan’s “Tulip Revolution” in 2005, which ushered in a government that Beshimov feared would embrace corruption again. He ran for parliament, was elected, and became an increasingly lonely voice for democratic reform. A front-page newspaper article showed him dressed as the Statue of Liberty, being “Uncle Sam’s agent” and a “spy for the West,” he said.Things got worse. By the summer of 2009, Beshimov had evaded two assassination plots, including what he said was to be a staged car crash on a mountain road.That August, Beshimov and his wife made separate escapes through neighboring Kazakhstan, and fled to the United States. Last May, following a coup, he was offered his country’s ambassadorship to Washington, D.C., but he turned it down. “I didn’t want to be part of an evil system,” Beshimov said. He regards present-day Kyrgyzstan as a “puppet regime” in the thrall of Russia.Today, the former diplomat lives in a suburban Boston apartment with his wife, Fatima Mendikulova, an authority on international trade and development who works at the Harvard Kennedy School. Kyrgyzstan has fallen fast, she lamented, to “the bottom of the world.”Beshimov found refuge last fall in Harvard’s Scholars at Risk program, established nine years ago as part of a network of 194 universities in 23 countries.Harvard has so far sponsored 22 scholars at risk, including a Shakespeare expert from Iraq, a physician-novelist from Burma, and an engineer from Sri Lanka who builds robots that hunt landmines. Beshimov, who is officially a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of the few to speak out.He is bringing his 20 years of experience as a scholar, army officer, diplomat, and politician to bear on a book that will be ready this fall.Why are Central Asian regimes becoming authoritarian, failing at reform, and so prone to conflict? Despite strong scholarship on those questions, said Beshimov, no one has yet written the comprehensive story.Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union are fragile, failing, corrupt, and weak, he said. They make up a tinderbox entangling Russia, China, and the United States that “could become a second Middle East.” He said that these Central Asian nations have rejected what democracy can offer: modernization, diversity, human rights, free markets, and limits to corruption. If they fail, added Beshimov, “Islamist forces” will step into the power void.But his book has a vision too, of how democracy in Central Asia is still possible, he said: “I am still an idealist. I believe in the goodness of people.”In Kyrgyzstan and other former Soviet republics, said Beshimov, there is an understandable nostalgia for an era when people had jobs and when health care, police, and education systems seemed to work.At the same time, “I have no regrets” about the demise of the Soviet Union, said Beshimov, whose fraternal grandfather was executed in a 1930s Stalinist purge.As an undergraduate in the 1970s, Beshimov and his friends read forbidden samizdat literature, listened to rock music, and tuned in to the Voice of America. “Information from the West,” he said, “opened our minds to many things.”Beshimov was the first Kyrgyzstan politician of his day to harness the power of the Internet for campaigning. From Cambridge, in defiance of geographical distance from his estranged land, he is still using the Web, blogging and writing online articles to bring a message of reform to Central Asia.“This is underground literature,” said Beshimov of the unfettered Internet, a conduit for electronic samizdat. “It changes people.”last_img read more

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Wellington Police Notes: Friday, Aug. 28 – Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015

first_imgWellington Police notes for Friday, Aug. 28 to Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015: Friday, August 28, 2015•12:13 a.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 700 block N. B, Wellington.•9:41 a.m. Officers took a report of found wallet in the 1000 block W. 8th, Wellington.•11:54 a.m. Officers took a report of an unattended death in the 800 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.•1:47 p.m. Kaycia R. Hatfield, 26, Wellington was arrested, charged and confined with forgery, theft and conspiracy.•6:38 p.m. Officers investigated an aggravated assault in the 1100 block N. C, Wellington by known suspect.•7:15 p.m. Lana L. Young, 52, Wellington was arrested, charged and confined with aggravated assault.Saturday, August 29, 2015•1:59 a.m. Officers investigated driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and failure to yield at a stop sign in the 100 block W. 12th, Wellington.•2:16 a.m. Thomas Well, 37, Wellington was arrested, charged and bonded with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and failure to yield at a stop sign.•5:14 a.m. Officers investigated aggravated criminal sodomy in the 1200 block N. Poplar, Wellington by known suspect.•7:47 a.m. Dominique L. Vargas, 18, Wellington was arrested, charged and confined with aggravated criminal sodomy.•9:06 a.m. Officers investigated domestic battery in the 1300 block N. A, Wellington by known subject(s).•10:15 a.m. Officers investigated making false information in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington by unknown suspect(s).•3:58 p.m. Officers took a report of cruelty to animals in the 1900 block N. Madison Lane, Wellington by known owner.•4:24 p.m. Officers investigated criminal trespass and theft in the 400 block N. Park, Wellington.•7:43 p.m. Moriah N. Stallbaumer, 22, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for defective brakelights.•7:50 p.m. William S. Plummer, 28, Wichita, was issued a notice to appear for disobeyed stop sign.•8:33 p.m. Non-Injury accident in the 1100 block W. Lincoln, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by Donny A. Bryant, 66, Wellington and a parked and unoccupied vehicle owned by Gary W. Clements, Wellington.•9:20 p.m. Derek E. Hurley, 20, Wellington was arrested and confined on four Kay County Bench Warrants and one Kansas Department of Corrections Absconder Warrant.Sunday, August 30, 2015•2:09 a.m. Jed S. Massoth, 38, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for disobeyed traffic signal.•2:55 a.m. No report.             •4:24 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of a bicycle in the 400 block N. Park, Wellington.•11:02 a.m. Officers took a report of a domestic family dispute in the 100 block S. Tyler, Rd, Wellington by known subject(s).•11:04 a.m. Officers investigated driving while license is suspended in the 500 block N. Plum, Wellington.•11:52 a.m. Heather B. Meredith, 41, Wellington was arrested and charged with driving while license is suspended.•11:52 a.m. Heather B. Meredith, 41, Wellington was arrested on a City of Iola Bench Warrant for failure to appear for driving while license is suspended.•2:20 p.m. Officers investigated aggravated assault, domestic battery and obstruction of law enforcement officers by known suspect.•2:29 p.m. Officers took a report of found property in the 1300 block N. A, Wellington which was returned to owner.•3:36 p.m. Karlyss K. DeBuhr,  52, Wellington was arrested, charged and confined with aggravated assault, domestic battery and obstruction of law enforcement officers.•9:38 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 800 block S. H, Wellington.•9:52 p.m. Officers took a report of an animal bite in the 100 block W. 12th, Wellington.last_img read more

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Wind Chill Warning tonight into Friday

first_imgEmmet-Kossuth-Winnebago-Worth-Palo Alto-Hancock-Cerro Gordo-Humboldt-Wright-Franklin-Including the cities of Estherville, Algona, Forest City,Lake Mills, Northwood, Manly, Emmetsburg, Garner, Britt, Kanawha,Mason City, Clear Lake, Humboldt, Eagle Grove, Clarion, Belmond,and Hampton953 AM CST Thu Feb 13 2020…WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST TODAY……WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS EVENING……WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM CST FRIDAY…* WHAT…For the Wind Chill Warnings, dangerously cold wind chills of 30 to 35 below zero are expected. For the Wind Chill Advisory, wind chills as low as 20 to 30 below zero are expected.* WHERE…Northern Iowa.* WHEN…For the first Wind Chill Warning, until noon CST today. For the second Wind Chill Warning, from 9 PM this evening to 10 AM CST Friday. For the Wind Chill Advisory, until 9 PM CST this evening.* IMPACTS…The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…Avoid outside activities if possible. When outside, make sure youwear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.last_img read more

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Monday’s QPR quiz

first_imgOh dear, Rangers fans. Today is definitely not the time to tease you with another tricky QPR quiz, so here’s a gentle one for you to stroll through on this difficult Monday.[wp-simple-survey-16]Click here for Friday’s QPR quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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Knowing Mandela: a short book about a big man

first_imgThe world celebrated Nelson Mandela’s life in many different ways. (Image: Shamin Chibba) • Sello Hatang • CEO • Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory +27 11 547 5600 www.nelsonmandela.org • Milestones in Mandela’s long walk • Memories of Mandela • Places to visit on Madiba’s Journey • It’s not easy to talk about Madiba – Ahmed KathradaLucille Davie“This is a short book about a big man I was fortunate to get to know, Nelson Mandela.”With these words respected British journalist John Carlin begins his book Knowing Mandela, a record of the years 1990 to 1995, when the late Mandela “faced his most daunting obstacles and achieved his greatest triumphs; it was the time when the full flower of his genius as a political leader was most vividly on display”.Carlin spent those five years reporting on Mandela’s feats, trials and tribulations for the London Independent, and was one of the few foreign journalists at the time to cover both the former president’s release from prison and his early years in the presidency.The book draws on conversations with Mandela, and interviews with those close to him, and writes about Mandela, with his flaws and his gifts, “neither superman nor saint”.The 141-page book is Carlin’s second; the first being Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, which focused on how Mandela used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to unite a scarred nation by encouraging the Springboks to win the cup, which they did. The book was made into the movie Invictus, focusing on how Mandela used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to unite a scarred nation by encouraging the Springboks to win the cup, which they did.“My hope is that readers will come away from this book with a more profound understanding of Mandela the individual and of why he has been the towering moral and political figure of our age,” writes Carlin in the preface to Knowing Mandela.Carlin meets Mandela in his Union Buildings office shortly after he became president, and is charmed that the president remembers his name, greeting him with “Ah, hello, John!” with what Carlin describes as “genuine delight”. They start the hour-long interview with Mandela saying sorry: “I must apologise. I feel certain we have obliged you to work very hard these last weeks.” Carlin responds by saying: “Not as hard as you have been working, Mr Mandela, I am sure.” And the quick response is: “Ah, yes, but you were not loafing on an island for many years, as I was.” Mandela was using self-deprecation to help relax Carlin, and it worked. It would be a tactic he used often elsewhere, with great success.Mandela’s first press conferenceMandela had called a press conference the day after he was released from prison, on 12 February 1990, and Carlin recounts his words: “I am absolutely excited at getting out and I am also excited to have the opportunity of addressing you because throughout these difficult years in prison the press, both local and foreign, has been a brick to us. I think it was the original intention of the government that we should be forgotten. It was the press that kept the memory of those who have been imprisoned for offences they committed in the course of their political activities; it was the press who never forgot us and we are therefore indebted to you. I am happy to be with you this morning.”Carlin was impressed from the beginning. “The press conference lasted forty minutes, and was an exercise in seduction from start to finish.” Mandela recognised the South African journalists’ names, having read their bylines in the newspapers while in prison, and greeted them cheerily.It appears that not only was Mandela cheery but he seemed as “healthy in body as lively in mind”. Carlin had been allowed to interview Madiba’s doctor, who confirmed that the 71-year-old was as fit as a man of 50; the “fresh air, regular diet, the unstressed routine of life, and even the forced labour had done him much good”.Mandela was asked whether he harboured any regrets or bitterness after 27 years in prison. He replied: “I have lost a great deal over these twenty-seven years. My wife has been under all sorts of pressures and it is not a nice feeling for a man to see his family struggling without security, without dignity, without the head of the family around. But despite the hard time we have had in prison we have also had the opportunity to think about problems, and it is an opportunity which is also very rewarding in that regard. And you learn to get used to your circumstances. In prison there have been men who were very good in the sense that they understood our point of view and did everything to try and make you as happy as possible. And that has wiped out any bitterness that a man may have.”He was not bitter and revenge was not on his mind. Carlin writes: “He would now take charge openly, for all to see. Dashing all doubts, his first press conference as a free man was a tour de force, a master class in political persuasion.”Carlin was bowled over – in 30 years of reporting on politicians he witnessed something he’d never seen before: some 200 international journalists burst into “spontaneous, heartfelt applause”.Townships on fireCarlin recounts how Mandela plunged into the challenges of the first years after his release, and before he became president. The townships around Johannesburg were on fire, with nightly murderous raids by hostel dwellers leaving dozens dead, in a bloody war between the right-wing Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party of Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and African National Congress (ANC) members. The situation was exacerbated by the assassination of Chris Hani in April 1993, a year before the first democratic elections. Hani was a South African Communist Party leader, and a leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s military wing.Mandela showed his statesmanship: he saved the country from near civil war by going to television and radio, bringing the situation under control. “With all the authority at my command, I appeal to all our people to remain calm and to honour the memory of Chris Hani by remaining a disciplined force for peace.”Several months later Mandela had to calm the situation again. He went into the volatile Katlehong Township outside Johannesburg, but this time the battle to control the crowd was more difficult. For an hour he went back and forth, winning them over, then shocking them, telling them that they were not disciplined, and killing innocent people meant that they didn’t belong to the ANC. Their task was reconciliation, he insisted. The crowd was restless and didn’t want to hear this message.“Listen to me! Listen to me!” Carlin reports him as saying. “I am your leader. As long as I am your leader I am going to give leadership. Do you want me to remain your leader?” Mandela challenged them, but had to repeat the question, and after some thought, the crowd yelled back in the affirmative. “Mandela responded with a ghost of a smile and curt nod of the head. Then, with a sharp, ‘I thank you,’ he declared the proceedings over.”The violence receded and three months later South Africa’s constitution was ratified. Mandela said: “We are at the end of an era. We are at the beginning of a new era. Together we can build a society free of violence. We can build a society grounded on friendship and our common humanity – a society founded on tolerance . . . Let us join hands and march into the future.”Talking to the far right wingBut Mandela had another challenge before elections could take place in April 1994: the far right wing in the shape of the Afrikaner Volksfront, led by General Constand Viljoen, had thousands of followers, armed and combat ready, standing by to fight to the death to stop the elections from happening.While in prison Mandela had taken a two-year correspondence course in Afrikaans, and used it to disarm people like Viljoen. It took him six months to work on Viljoen, but in the end Viljoen had his men lay down their arms and vote in the elections. He said: “That first impression Mandela made on me made it less difficult later for me to make my decision. The important thing when you negotiate with an enemy is the character of the people you have across the table from you and whether they carry their people’s support with them: Mandela had both.”Viljoen managed to get a third of the Afrikaner vote, and went to parliament. Ten years later, once Viljoen was retired from politics, Carlin asked him whether he would like to see Mandela again. “Yes, I would. I would love to see him, though I do not wish to impose. But, yes, yes. I would love to see him again. He is the greatest of men.”Carlin contemplates whether Mandela’s behaviour to old enemies was self-serving, with a political motive, or to ensure that people who worked for him served him loyally. “Certainly, Mandela had a clear political purpose with these deliberately staged acts of public forgiveness.” But he discounts it. “Mandela was big-hearted and generous in the use of the power he commanded, and as a man, too.”He says he had learnt two things in particular from South Africa’s first democratic president. One was to be kind. “The second lesson Mandela taught me is as simple as it is rare to find: that one can be a very great politician and a very great person at the same time.”last_img read more

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Endangered Species Act Changes Finalize

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — The federal government finalized three rules on Monday that make a number of changes to the Endangered Species Act, after introducing the proposal in 2017 as a result of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.Most notably, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed its blanket rule in the ESA that automatically grants the same protections for threatened species that are available for endangered species.The final rules do not affect protections for species currently listed as threatened, but instead will receive protections tailored to species’ individual conservation needs.Gary Frazer, assistant director for endangered species at USFWS, said during a news conference on Monday the ESA included protection for species for the “foreseeable future” but did not define the term.“We’ll look out into the future as far as we can reliably predict,” Frazer said, “so long as we can determine threats and species’ reaction to those threats. Our purpose in codifying is we want to be clear and make sure they are reasonable determinations.“There are zoning plans that reach out 30 to 50 years. When you reach out to 70 to 80 years, the confidence in predictions starts to degrade significantly.”Farmers and ranchers across the country face challenges in managing their land when critical habitats are present.By most accounts the Endangered Species Act hasn’t done the job it set out to do in 1973 and has recovered only a few endangered species.As of July 2016, 34 of 1,596 listed species were delisted because of recovery, or a success rate of 2.1%, according to USFWS. About 75% of listed species use private land as habitat.American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement on Monday the reforms will make species recovery more likely.“These new regulations restore the traditional distinction between threatened and endangered species,” he said. “That’s important. In the real world, the things we must do to restore a threatened species are not always the same as the ones we’d use for endangered species. This approach will eliminate unnecessary time and expense and ease the burden on farmers and ranchers who want to help species recover.“Keeping species on the endangered list when they no longer face the threat of extinction takes valuable resources away from species that still need ongoing protection under the ESA. These new regulations will provide much needed consistency in the listing and delisting process to better allocate critical resources to species in need.”The final rules also require that lands designated as unoccupied critical habitat, have to include at least one physical or biological feature needed to conserve the species.“While this administration recognizes the value of critical habitat as a conservation tool, in some cases, designation of critical habitat is not prudent,” USFWS said in a news release. “Revisions to the regulations identify a non-exhaustive list of such circumstances, but these will continue to be rare exceptions.“When designating critical habitat, the regulations reinstate the requirement that areas where threatened or endangered species are present at the time of listing be evaluated first before unoccupied areas are considered. This reduces the potential for additional regulatory burden that results from a designation when species are not present in an area.”BEST-AVAILABLE SCIENCEThe final rules state that decisions made to add or remove species from the threatened and endangered lists will continue to be based solely on best-available scientific and commercial information.USFWS said it received public comments stating concern about a lack of transparency in making listing decisions, and the economic effects associated with those decisions.“Public transparency is critical in all government decision making, and the preamble to the regulation clarifies that the ESA does not prohibit agencies from collecting data that determine this cost and making that information available, as long as doing so does not influence the listing determination,” the USFWS said in a news release.Revisions made, however, will now require consideration of the same factors when looking at delisting and reclassification of species that were used in listing a species in the first place.“This requirement ensures that all species proposed for delisting or reclassification receive the same careful analysis to determine whether or not they meet the statutory definitions of a threatened or endangered species as is done for determining whether to add a species to the list,” USFWS said.ECONOMIC FACTORS NOT CONSIDEREDWhile the Trump administration has urged federal agencies to consider economic factors when it comes to federal rules and regulations, Frazer said the agencies have not developed a method for considering the economic effects of species listings.Changes made to section 7 of the ESA, make it less likely for government actions to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or destroy or adversely modify their critical habitat.Federal agencies are required to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. Revisions made in the final rules are designed to clarify the interagency consultation process.In addition, the new rules establish a 60-day deadline for informal consultations. The deadline is designed to help provide more certainty for federal agencies and applicants that timely decisions will be made without compromising conservation of listed species.Environmental groups were unified in their opposition to the ESA changes.Environmental Defense Fund Senior Attorney Holly Pearen, said in a statement the Trump administration’s actions will harm wildlife.“Many of the rule changes are overtly political, do nothing to enhance science-based decision-making, and undermine key incentives for proactive and collaborative conservation,” Pearen said. “Further, they would allow the agencies to deliberately ignore how plants and animals, just like people, are affected by the impacts of climate change. To get ahead of this problem, we urgently need flexible and innovative policies that reward collaborative conservation on private lands, where wildlife is most threatened and where we can make the biggest advances in restoring habitat.”Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for energy and environment policy at the Center for American Progress, said the new rules will make matters worse for species that need protection.“The final rules sideline science, allow industry to put a price on extinction, and deal a major blow to the prospect of recovery for America’s imperiled wildlife,” she said in a statement. “At a time when more species are threatened by climate change and natural area loss, these rule changes undercut one of the country’s most successful environmental laws that since its inception has helped keep 99% of listed species from going extinct.”Read the final regulations here: https://www.fws.gov/…Todd Neeley can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. 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SlideShare Launches Custom Channels for Businesses

first_imgTags:#news#NYT#web Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… frederic lardinois A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting According to Sinha, these custom channels – which include all of the standard social networking features of SlideShare – will allow businesses to create communities around their content and help these companies to engage their customers. Besides sharing slides, these companies will also be able to aggregate content from their blogs or their Twitter feeds on their SlideShare pages.In addition to offering branded channels with company logos and a custom look and feel, SlideShare now also offers enterprises the ability to sponsor topical channels. Sadly, though, it doesn’t look like the company plans to give regular users the ability to create and curate their own channels anytime soon. Being able to curate topical channels would be a nice feature, but for now, if you want to do this, you will have to resort to embedding SlideShare files on your own site. SlideShare just announced that it now offers businesses the ability to create their own custom channels on the popular document sharing service. These channels allow businesses and enterprises to share their presentations, e-books and whitepapers with a wider audience. Microsoft, Ogilvy, Adobe and Razorfish Marketing are among today’s launch partners. The White House also now uses a SlideShare channel to share over 1,000 documents with the public. In addition, you can also find a our own custom ReadWriteWeb channel here.According to SlideShare’s CEO and co-founder Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare current gets over 25 million unique visitors per month. For now, SlideShare is only offering these new channels to larger businesses. This is clearly part of SlideShare’s monetization strategy and fits in well with SlideShare’s other business-oriented products like AdShare and LeadShare, both of which are part of SlideShare’s strategy to position itself as a site where professionals can share their content and connect with potential customers. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_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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With Mike Gundy, Culture Remains Vital

first_imgI have long been president of the “Mike Gundy is the most underrated outside-the-box thinker in college football coaching circles” fan club. Despite his misdirection — the mullet, the Big Daddy coffee mug, the Carhartt jackets — Gundy is bent on (and good at) building a sustainable culture of success in Stillwater.We talk about this a lot with Brad Underwood — deservingly so — because Brad Underwood talks about it a lot. He uses the word “culture” like my three-year-olds use the words “can we watch Daniel Tiger.” That is to say, liberally and without any inhibition.To see what it means to Mike Gundy, though. You have to look a little bit closer.You have to see that he was one of the first to experiment with short practices and no tackling and contorting an offense to fit his personnel instead of the other way around. His hairstyle belies the fact that he is lowkey impressive when it comes to innovation.And when it comes to the culture, he knows what he’s built doesn’t happen everywhere. It’s why OSU has won the 10th-most games in the last eight years with the 35th best recruiting classes.“We’re thrilled with it,” Gundy said of the culture this week. “I think the one thing that I’m most happy with is the culture that we’ve created here has been very positive and successful in a lot of different areas. We went through a transition with the APR that we’ve made the adjustments and have been very successful in that area.“We’re graduating players on four-year schedules, and we’re very competitive in a clean fashion and winning at a rate that is fairly impressive for the history at Oklahoma State.”Not just the history at Oklahoma State. The history of anyone. Here are the records of two Big 12 schools since 2005 when Gundy took over. The year Texas won it all.“All while doing that, our players and coaches like being here, and there’s an environment that has been created where we can have some sort of a life,” added Gundy.“I enjoy that part of it, but years ago I said that the one thing that would make me happy is to have a team that when we go out on Saturdays, we know if we take care of the ball and minimize big plays we have a chance to compete with or beat anybody we play.”OSU is 65-17 (79 percent) under Gundy when committing 0 or 1 turnovers in a single game.“That’s really all we can ask for,” said Gundy. “If we don’t play well or turn the ball over then we’re not going to win, but for the fans, I want them to be able to come to the games and say, ‘If we play well today, we can win.’ For a long time, it wasn’t that way. They would come to the stadium and there was that faithful 32,000 who would come to the stadium knowing there was probably a chance we’d get our butt kicked. That was encouraging and fulfilling for me personally.” 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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Where OSU Football Decommitments Are Now (Part 2)

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. Part 1 of our series covering where OSU football decommitments have landed through the years included the likes of three 4-star receivers flipping elsewhere and enjoying successful careers, but part 2—the final part, for now—might be even more difficult to thumb through as the wounds are still fairly fresh.Here’s where football recruits who decommitted from OSU from 2015 to 2018 landed and how their young careers have fared.2015Ronald Jones, 4-star running back: After hanging on to the commitment of McKinney North standout Ronald Jones throughout the football season, the four-star standout had second thoughts late in the process after USC and Notre Dame came calling. He backed away from OSU in December before signing day and committed to USC at the Under Armour All-American game the same day OSU rolled over Washington in the Cactus Bowl in 2015. Jones has 2,069 rushing yards through two seasons and is slated to start for the Trojans in 2017.AdChoices广告Kenneth Edison-McGruder, 3-star safety: McGruder committed to OSU in the summer before signing day but decommitted following an offer and visit from Nebraska. A month later, McGruder made an official visit to OSU and re-committed to the Cowboys, where he’s been in the fold since. McGruder has played spot duty at safety but has switched to linebacker, and shows good promise as a contributor in 2017.Jaylon Lane, 3-star cornerback: Lane was a four-star recruit at the time he was committed to OSU and appeared next in line to replace Justin Gilbert, but he decommitted from OSU after the school pulled his scholarship following an incident at school in which he threw a calculator and overturned tables during class in a temper tantrum. Lane went the JUCO route, instead, and is set to make his Division I debut next season with Texas Tech.Joshua Jones, 3-star offensive tackle: Houston offensive lineman Joshua Jones pulled a fast one on signing day by flipping from Gundy to Tom Herman in Houston after a six-month long commitment to the Pokes. Herman sold him on staying home and leading the H-Town movement, and has been a steady contributor for the Cougars, starting in all 13 games last season.2016Tyrell Alexander, 3-star receiver: Like the aforementioned Edison-McGruder, Alexander had a difficult time deciding on his destination. He originally committed during the spring game in 2015, backed away from OSU in the summer, then re-committed in November of the same year. He stayed loyal despite a late offer from Oregon. Alexander redshirted last season and has a high upside as a speedy receiver after transitioning from high school quarterback at Lancaster.Tyrell Alexander could take on an expanded role in 2017. [PFB]Nick Starkel, 3-star quarterback: Like Alexander, Starkel committed early in the process but had a lackluster senior season that had OSU cooling on the now Texas A&M Aggie. Starkel decommitted after preferred walk-on quarterback Nyc Burns joined the fold, in part, I believe, because Burns’ elite high school production scared him off. Starkel hasn’t been a factor in Aggieville but could compete for playing time next season.Jonathan Marshall, 3-star defensive end: Of all the decommitments, Marshall’s was the most damaging. The three-star defensive end was locked in with OSU but a late official visit to Arkansas changed his mind. He later decommitted on Twitter by saying that Fayetteville is “where it’s at.” He’s been a bit player in Arkansas thus far.Ryan McCollum, 3-star offensive lineman: McCollum was the first in a long line of offensive linemen who later committed to Texas A&M under coach Greg Adkins. He redshirted last season.2017Levi Draper, 4-star linebacker: Draper decommitted from OSU shortly after a Bedlam bludgeoning and committed to the Sooners, but his original commitment led some to believe he committed to the Pokes in spite because of OU’s lack of early interest in him.Levi Draper went from a Cowboy to a Sooner.Adrian Wolford, 3-star offensive lineman: Wolford decommitted from OSU and signed with Texas A&M.Derek Kerstetter, 3-star offensive lineman: Kerstetter decommitted from OSU and later committed and signed with Texas after late interest from the Longhorns.Dan Moore, 3-star offensive lineman: Moore decommitted from OSU in December, and committed to Texas A&M after the Aggies pulled the trigger with a late offer.Nelson Mbanasor, 3-star defensive end: Mbanasor backed away from his OSU pledge to join Texas Tech.Tyon Merchant, 3-star cornerback: OSU cooled on Merchant in recruiting and he later ended up signing with Sam Houston State.Spencer Misko, 3-star tight end: Like Merchant, OSU cooled on Misko late in the process and shifted their attention elsewhere. Kansas State signed him in February as a defensive end.Ty Thomas, 3-star safety: The son of former Texas Tech safety Bart Thomas, Ty had a change of heart in the process and signed with Arizona State. He was originally the first pledge of OSU’s 2017 class.Tyler Henderson, 3-star tight end: Henderson flipped from OSU to Baylor late in the process last cycle, probably because Baylor has a long track record of integrating tight ends into its offense.2018So far, so good. I can think of only one explanation.Mike Gundy hair update: Full-blown American Glory. #okstate ?? pic.twitter.com/9fxZSrItFU— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) July 5, 2017last_img read more

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