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first_imgSaan Mustopa, deputy chairman of the House Commission II overseeing home affairs, told the Post on Friday that nine political party factions at the legislative body were still divided over the draft, saying only the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Golkar Party had so far agreed to adopt the closed-list system.”This draft is still very open for changes as factions are still divided over it. Each faction is currently in discussion and we will deliberate the draft again on Monday. After that, we will send the draft to the Baleg [House Legislative Body],” the NasDem Party politician said.The PDI-P and Golkar — the two largest political parties at the House and largest supporters of the government — have been rallying support for the revision since the beginning of 2020 as both parties argue that the closed-list system, which was applied during the 1999 and 2004 legislative elections, would reduce vote-buying and the fierce competition among candidates within a party or against those from other parties.All factions were also still divided over raising the parliamentary threshold, with only the NasDem Party and Golkar agree on the 7 percent threshold, Saan said. “The PDI-P, meanwhile, still wants to maintain the current threshold, as well as the others.”Therefore, he said, the draft might be changed to add several options. For instance, the provision on the electoral system might include a list of factions that agree with the open-list system and those that support the closed-list system. The draft might also include some parliamentary threshold options.All factions, however, unanimously agreed to maintain simultaneous general elections for the national legislature, regional representatives and the presidency.”The 2024 elections will still have the same with five ballot boxes [at the polls],” he said, adding that the House was still looking at the possibility to separate legislative and executive elections between the central and regional administration as proposed by some experts after the 2019 general elections.Experts, however, have opposed the idea of reinstating the closed-list system and increasing the parliamentary threshold, saying they were not a solution to the issues surrounding elections in Indonesia and would distort the people’s sovereignty.Edward Aspinall, a professor at the Australian National University who has researched vote-buying across Southeast Asia, said there were also consequences of ditching the current system, saying that it might trigger corrupt practices within the party with candidates attempting to purchase positions from party leaders.He went on to say that the country should instead consider a mixed-list system that would also have a proportional element.Titi Anggraini of election watchdog the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) said that a higher parliamentary threshold would not necessarily increase the number of legitimate votes and would instead increase the chance for wasted votes.“More parties would fail to meet the legislative threshold and this would result in political dissatisfaction,” she said.Lawmakers are set to finish deliberating the bill in 2021, well before the next general elections in 2024.“Hopefully, we will have enough time to finish it this year,” said Zulfikar Arse Sadikin of the Golkar Party.Saan echoed Zulkifar’s sentiment, saying that he would like to see the bill resolved in early 2021 “so that we will have more time to raise awareness about it among public and in case individuals or groups want to challenge it when it passes into law”.Topics : The House of Representatives is mulling over changing the current open-list proportional representation electoral system and raising the 4 percent minimum parliamentary threshold in a proposed revision to Law No. 7/2017 on general elections.Article 206 of the draft bill, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, the House proposes to change the current system that allows legislative candidates with the most votes to automatically secure seats after the election into a closed-list system that will grant political parties the power to decide which candidates would represent them in legislative bodies.The House also seeks to increase the parliamentary threshold from 4 to 7 percent as stipulated in Article 217 of the draft bill dated May 6.last_img read more

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first_imgRelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Solskjaer criticises England over handling of youngster Greenwood Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says Pep Guardiola has been inducted into the League Managers Association Hall of Fame.The Manchester City boss was recognised at an LMA event on Thursday evening, where he received a commemorative shield from Gareth Southgate and Sir Alex Ferguson alongside fellow inductee, Jurgen Klopp.The LMA Manager of the Year in 2018, Guardiola expressed his pride for the latest acknowledgement of the unprecedented success he has achieved since his arrival at the Club in the summer of 2016.“It’s a privilege,” he said.“When you come down the corridor you see all the big managers who have been here to help make football better, to make the football we have right now. Of course, it’s an honour.”Under Guardiola, City have broken countless records in English football, lifting seven trophies in three seasons.In 2018/19 we became the first Club in to win all four men’s English trophies in a single campaign, whilst our league title that year saw Guardiola become the first manager in a decade to retain the Premier League.Twelve months earlier the 48-year-old was crowned LMA Manager of the Year.He was the first City boss and the first Spaniard to receive the award, but having been inducted into the Hall of Fame, Guardiola paid tribute to the players he feels fortunate to have worked alongside.“Big clubs and big players,” he added, when he asked what he attributes his success to.“I think all the managers in the Hall of Fame were in incredible clubs with incredible players. There are no secrets.“Without the quality of the players that you have, the managers cannot have success.”Guardiola is the 11th LMA Hall of Fame inductee to have managed City.He joins Steve Coppell, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Brian Horton, Kevin Keegan, Howard Kendall, Roberto Mancini, Joe Mercer, Stuart Pearce, Manuel Pellegrini and Joe Royle on the list.Tags: Alex FergusonGareth SouthgateJurgen KloppLMA Hall of FameManchester CityPep Guardiolalast_img read more

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first_img Their combination stands alone as the world’s most-capped centre duo, with O’Driscoll clear why: near-telepathic understanding. “We just know each other’s style of play,” said O’Driscoll. “We’ve a good ability to be able to read what one another are thinking, and have a lot of comfort in being beside one another. “In a lot of new centre partnerships you need communication to be a huge aspect of your cohesion. “Whereas with us, not that there’s an air of telepathy, but there’s definitely an understanding that I don’t have with other people there, where I can see, having been in the situation lots of times with him, I see what he’s doing. “There’s huge trust as well, particularly from a defence point of view, Gordon is a dream to defend with, because I know he’s going to make his tackles. “I remember one missed tackle pretty much in his entire career that was costly. “So he’s been an exceptional defender, and I just really enjoy playing with him: when he’s there I feel as though we’ve got a good relationship that can cause teams trouble.” O’Driscoll admitted he thought last March’s 13-13 draw with France in Dublin would prove his final Ireland turn on home soil. Three-quarters of his bonus season later, the decorated British Lion finds it easier to shrug off the emotions of retirement the second time around. Ireland can still pinch the Six Nations title, and O’Driscoll is refusing to focus on anything else. “It doesn’t feel any different, it’s just hard: you just want to get on with it,” he said. “I’m excited about it being a last home game, for sure, in that it will be one to remember. “But at the same time and more importantly it’s an opportunity to put ourselves in an opportunity to win the Six Nations. “I really won’t think too much on the final games until it’s done and dusted, and there’ll be plenty of time to reflect on it afterwards. “There was emotion last year; against France I did at the time think that was going to be it. “But a couple of different factors convinced me to play on for another year. “I’m not really that emotional a person, and so I won’t allow the build-up to affect me. “Whatever emotions you do have after that will happen organically. “Sure aspects will be difficult and I’ll be sad, but I can’t wait. “There is no individual feeling, there really isn’t. “I’ve never been one for great sentiment. “There’s always time to reflect afterwards, and that’s the time to do it. “The team is the absolute priority. “There will be no extra emphasis made from anyone, other than an opportunity to give ourselves a final-day showdown with France.” Brian O’Driscoll believes Robbie Henshaw can be Ireland’s next “seasoned campaigner” at outside centre. But the 35-year-old rebuffed any sentiment ahead of his final Ireland bow at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, before his summer retirement. Backing three-cap Henshaw to lead the next generation of midfield talent, O’Driscoll said: “Robbie is a very, very talented young lad, who is a great listener, a really good young talent, and really good lad too. “I think he has all the attributes to be a seasoned campaigner for Ireland for many, many years. “And then you have the beauty of guys who have played there before in Luke Fitzgerald, someone like Jared Payne who qualifies in November. “As 13s absolutely Robbie and Darren Cave are well-placed; we’ve an abundance of talent coming through. “I think it’s testament to Darren, who has not been in the frame for a while, but keeping an eye on his form for Ulster he’s been playing extremely well. “So I think we’re in a good place with guys coming through, and in no time no one will remember me!” O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy have been near ever-presents in both Leinster and Ireland’s midfields since 2000. Press Association Former captain O’Driscoll threw his backing behind the 20-year-old Connacht centre to succeed him in Ireland’s coveted number 13 shirt. Iconic centre O’Driscoll is fully fit and ready to surpass George Gregan’s world-record 139 Test cap haul in Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy on Saturday. last_img read more

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first_img The Baggies boss is cautious about the pressure placed on the striker after his dream start to the season. Berahino is the club’s eight-goal top scorer and is the top English marksman in the Barclays Premier League. “Other than that Wayne had no problems mentally, he was unbelievably strong and loved playing football. “We had no concerns and we tried to teach him how he needed to be. “I’m not seeing Saido being a problem, the biggest thing is we support him as coaches and everyone provides him with as much support as possible.” Alan Irvine admits he is worried about the spotlight on Saido Berahino and insisted he is keeping a close eye on the West Brom star. The Under-21 international is also tipped for a senior call-up next month but Irvine wants to protect his player. “So far he is coping well but it does worry me as it’s a lot to ask of a young player,” he said. “The big thing for him is that, in order to maximise the potential, he has got to train the way he has been training, live life as he has been living life and then hopefully put in the performances he has been so far. “That is difficult enough without all of the added attention he has been getting but so far he is handling it very well.” The Baggies go to Leicester in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday after being dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Bournemouth on Tuesday. They drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace in their last top flight game when Berahino scored a last-minute penalty to level. Irvine was assistant manager at Everton when Wayne Rooney broke into the side as a 16-year-old and the Scot believes Berahino can handle the spotlight in the same way as the England skipper. He said: “Wayne was extremely mature as far as all that is concerned. He had a short fuse but has got better at managing that. Press Associationlast_img read more

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first_imgUnder a bill the Trump administration is pitching to Congress, Americans could get a check in the mail sometime soon. The bill is part of an economic stimulus package to ease the financial pain of the coronavirus pandemic. The Washington Post reports the plan would provide two payments of a thousand dollars each to many Americans. The bill calls for the first payments to be issued beginning April 6th, with another wave of payments beginning May 18th.The ink is barely dry on a coronavirus relief bill, but one Florida lawmaker is already working on another bill. Republican Senator Marco Rubio told Fox News last night he’s working on a bigger stimulus bill than the one President Trump signed yesterday. One of the problems Rubio has with the current bill is that it gives businesses no money to pay workers sick leave.The C-D-C is detailing a number of missteps at the Life Care Center in Washington state that became the first epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Nearly three dozen deaths from the virus where linked to that senior facility. The report said staffers who worked at the facility went on to work a second shift at another facility, helping the virus spread.The president could make an exciting announcement today in conjunction with the FDA about a possible medical treatment.last_img read more

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first_imgBIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Ramsey and Kyler Edwards have led the Red Raiders. Ramsey is averaging 13.5 points while Edwards is putting up 11.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The Longhorns have been anchored by juniors Coleman and Jericho Sims. Coleman has averaged 12.7 points and 4.1 assists while Sims has put up 10.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.CREATING OFFENSE: Coleman has made or assisted on 41 percent of all Texas field goals over the last three games. Coleman has accounted for 18 field goals and 12 assists in those games.WINLESS WHEN: Texas Tech is 0-5 when scoring fewer than 61 points and 14-3 when scoring at least 61.ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Red Raiders have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Longhorns. Texas has an assist on 29 of 74 field goals (39.2 percent) over its previous three contests while Texas Tech has assists on 42 of 75 field goals (56 percent) during its past three games.DID YOU KNOW: The Texas Tech defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 23.5 percent of all possessions, which ranks the Red Raiders 25th among Division I teams. The Texas offense has turned the ball over on 20.4 percent of its possessions (ranking the Longhorns 263rd, nationally). ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Associated Press February 6, 2020center_img Coleman III, Texas host Texas Tech Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditTexas Tech (14-8, 5-4) vs. Texas (14-8, 4-5)Frank Erwin Special Events Center, Austin, Texas; Saturday, 4 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Two guards will be on display as Jahmi’us Ramsey and Texas Tech will take on Matt Coleman III and Texas. The freshman Ramsey is averaging 16.2 points over the last five games. Coleman, a junior, is averaging 15 points over the last five games.last_img read more

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first_imgVirginiaTech and Arizona State are this year’s Syracuse, and Hokies coach SethGreenberg is suddenly sounding very much like Orange coach Jim Boeheim did lastMarch.TheHokies and Sun Devils were No. 1 seeds in the 32-team NIT, the traditionalconsolation prize for the best teams left out of the NCAA tournament. The othertop seeds announced Sunday night were Ohio State and Syracuse, and all hadtheir gripes with not playing elsewhere next week.“Allthese schools had very good basketball seasons, played at a very highlevel,” Greenberg said. “I understand the committee has a toughdecision. I have a tough time facing my kids. But it doesn’t diminish what weaccomplished this year.”TheHokies (19-13) open Wednesday night against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conferenceregular-season champ Morgan State, which earned an automatic berth under a rulethat rewards teams from smaller conferences who lost in their leaguetournaments.ArizonaState (19-12), which had perhaps the strongest resume of any team that didn’tget picked for the NCAA tournament, gets Alabama State for its opener. TheBuckeyes (19-13), who played in the national championship game a year ago, willplay UNC-Asheville, and Syracuse (19-13) gets a first-round date with RobertMorris.Ayear ago it was Syracuse that had 22 wins, finished sixth in the rugged BigEast and got an NIT bid to show for it. Boeheim wasted no time in voicing hisdispleasure not only for the NCAA selection committee, but also the computerrankings used by the committee and that more at-large bids aren’t available toteams from bigger conferences.Thistime it was Greenberg with the familiar refrain of every coach whose team gotleft out.“There’snumerous schools for those 34 spots that are very, very equal,” saidGreenberg, whose Hokies finished fourth in the ACC, the toughest leagueaccording to the RPI, and played top-ranked North Carolina to the final secondin the conference tournament.“It’snot an exact science and they have a very difficult decision to make.”TheOrange entered last week’s Big East tournament teetering on the brink of an NCAAbid, but lost what amounted to an elimination game to Villanova, which earnedthe last NCAA tournament at-large berth.“Afterlast year, we probably had to win two or three games,” Boeheim said afterthe 82-63 loss to Villanova. “We had to keep winning and I don’t think onewin would have been enough. … In my mind and their mind, if they’re not inthe NCAA tournament it’s not a good year.”Alsoin the NIT field is two-time defending NCAA champion Florida (21-11), whichlost eight of its final 11 games and was bounced early from the SEC tournament.The Gators are a No. 2 seed and will play San Diego State in the opening round.Ifeverything holds, they would get Arizona State in the semifinals at MadisonSquare Garden, and with the Buckeyes on the other side of the bracket, arematch of last year’s NCAA title game is a possibility.Otherfirst-round games in Ohio State’s portion of the bracket are California againstNew Mexico, Dayton against Cleveland State and second-seeded Illinois Stateagainst Utah State.Alsoin Virginia Tech’s section are Virginia Commonwealth, Alabama-Birmingham,Nebraska, Charlotte and second-seeded Mississippi, which will play UC-SantaBarbara in the opening round.Massachusettsalso got a No. 2 seed and will play Southland Conference regular-seasonco-champ Stephen F. Austin in the opening round. The winner advances to playeither Florida State or Akron, in a rough quarter of the bracket that alsoincludes Maryland and Minnesota.“We’reexcited about the opportunity to continue to play,” UMass coach TravisFord said. “We think we had a great regular season and not every team inthe country has the opportunity to continue.”Itappeared the top tier of teams that weren’t chosen for the NCAA tournamentaccepted invitations to the NIT. The others picked for the tournament wereSouthern Illinois, Oklahoma State, Creighton and Rhode Island.Therewas some concern that a new postseason tournament set up by the Gazelle Group,which runs the 2K Sports College Hoop Classic and the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBEClassic, would snap up the best teams left out of the NCAA tournament.NITcommittee chairman C.M. Newton lauded the NIT’s quality and depth the pastcouple of seasons, including an entertaining final two rounds last year inwhich all four No. 1 seeds advanced to New York with West Virginia beatingClemson in the championship game.“Ithink it’s viewed as a real basketball event again,” he said. “It’snot the national championship, there’s only one road to the Final Four and weall understand that. But it’s a very good invitational championship for thoseteams.”last_img read more

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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments When Skip Holtz watches last year’s film of B.J. Daniels, he sees a completely different player than the one on the field this season. With a year of experience in Holtz’s offensive system, the South Florida quarterback knows exactly what he’s doing in the pocket in 2011.‘It really is a night-and-day difference from where he is mentally,’ Holtz said in the Big East coaches teleconference on Monday. ‘I think it all goes back to his comfort level. … It’s really starting to show.’Daniels is just one of the standout quarterbacks in the Big East this season and is a big part of the team’s 4-0 start. He’s led the Bulls offense to 45.5 points per game so far.Joining him at the top of the Big East is West Virginia’s Geno Smith, who is having a breakout year in his first season in the spread offense. And Zach Collaros has directed Cincinnati to a conference-leading 49.5 points per game so far.For the coaches of these teams, the offensive success comes down to taking care of the football and getting it in the hands of their playmakers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDaniels had to learn a new system when Holtz replaced Jim Leavitt at USF last season. Under Leavitt, Daniels burst onto the college football scene after replacing an injured Matt Grothe at quarterback in 2009. He led USF to an upset 17-7 victory at then-No. 18 Florida State, passing for 215 yards and rushing for another 126.But after finishing that season with 23 total touchdowns and leading the team in rushing with 772 yards, Daniels took a step back last year.Holtz wanted Daniels to play within the system in the pocket and to take off and use his athleticism only when a play broke down.‘That’s a fine line to draw because you don’t want him to be so robotical that he loses his ability to freelance when things do break down,’ Holtz said. ‘But you don’t just want him out there running around with his eyes all over the field.’Daniels struggled to find that balance and only rushed for 259 yards in 2010. He threw two more interceptions than touchdowns on the season.Now, though, he is making better decisions and has found his comfort zone in the pocket. He has thrown eight touchdowns and just one interception to lead the Bulls to an undefeated start.‘He’s making good decisions,’ Holtz said. ‘He’s been in the pocket throwing the ball more than he has in the past, and I’ve really been proud of the way he’s handled that.’Smith is making a transition to a new offense this season and hasn’t missed a beat for the Mountaineers either. Head coach Dana Holgorsen said Smith is ‘what makes us go offensively.’ The head coach has been impressed with his presence and body language in the pocket.Smith has already recorded career highs in completions, attempts and yards multiple times this season. He has completed 65.6 percent of his passes, while throwing nine touchdowns and three interceptions.Against Louisiana State on Saturday, Smith set program records in all three passing categories against the No. 2 Tigers, completing 38-of-65 attempts for 463 yards.Though Smith has been productive in leading West Virginia to 36.8 points per game, Holgorsen said he is still picking up the offense and learning which matchups to exploit on each play.‘It’s a constant and never-ending improvement situation,’ Holgorsen said in the teleconference. ‘He’s got to continue to get on the same page with me and understand exactly where we want to go with the ball.’Cincinnati’s Collaros came into the season as an accomplished pocket passer. Like Daniels, he first gained notoriety two years ago when he filled in for the injured starter Tony Pike.The sophomore led Cincinnati to a 4-0 record, throwing for eight touchdowns and one interception. He continued his success last season, leading the Big East in passing yards and ranking third in pass efficiency. But the Bearcats stumbled to a 4-8 record.This season, behind Collaros’ arm, Cincinnati is off to a 3-1 start. Head coach Butch Jones said he has managed the game well and avoided costly turnovers.Collaros was the top quarterback in the Big East last year, but he also threw 14 interceptions. Jones said the team’s success early on this season has been a product of taking care of the ball.And that starts with Collaros.‘Zach’s doing a great job, too, of getting rid of the football and throwing in rhythm,’ Jones said.Cincinnati leads nation in forced turnovers Cincinnati is tops in the country with 16 turnovers forced after intercepting North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon twice and recovering a fumble in its 44-14 win over the Wolfpack last week. The Bearcats defense — which entered the season as the team’s biggest question mark — has been an opportunistic bunch after finishing 119th with a minus-15 turnover margin last season. The 16 turnovers already surpasses last season’s total of 14 in 12 games.Big man on campusMohamed SanuRutgersWide receiverLast week: 16 catches, 176 yards, two touchdownsSanu set a Big East record with 16 receptions against Ohio on Saturday. His 16 catches are the second-most in the nation in 2011 to USC wide receiver Robert Woods’ 17 against Minnesota. The junior has been the Scarlet Knights’ go-to receiver this season after taking snaps in the Wildcat formation last season. His 176 receiving yards and two touchdowns were also career highs. center_img Published on September 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.edulast_img read more

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first_imgAt this early stage, the 2012 season has been less than memorable for the Wisconsin men’s tennis team. A losing record and zero wins away from home rarely round out the recipe for success.When stacked against quality competition, the Badgers have typically faltered, but the doubles team of sophomore Fredrik Ask and junior Billy Bertha has endured as the exception to that rule.Through only seven matches of a 23-match season, the Badgers’ No. 1 slated duo has piled together a record of 6-1, recording just their first loss this past weekend at Minnesota.Before falling to No. 32 Rok Bonin and Julian Dehn, 8-5, Ask and Bertha had produced six straight victories; all the while Ask was recovering from three weeks worth of sickness.What is likely even more impressive is their ability to translate success while owning greatly contrasting profiles.Ask weighs in at 165 pounds and stands 6 feet tall. Bertha, on the other hand, stretches to 6 feet 5 inches and nearly outweighs Ask by 30 pounds.The differences do not end with their physical frames, though. Ask is a sophomore from Oslo, Norway, whereas Bertha is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wis., placing nearly 4,000 miles between their hometowns.One difference that undoubtedly works in their favor stems from each of their biggest tennis assets, coincidentally related to their physique.“We have different strengths and they match up good together,” Ask said. “[Billy] serves big and has power, and I have a good feel and good eyes for the game.”In addition to playing styles, Ask is left-handed, which complements Bertha, who is right-handed.Despite these distinctions, they maintain an important similarity in the fact that they consistently win doubles matches. For head coach Greg Van Emburgh, this is all that matters.“We’re just looking for the best team that really communicates well together and gels well,” Van Emburgh said. “They’ve seemed to be able to get off to a strong start, so we’ve ended up keeping them together.”Though Van Emburgh noted that the arrangement of Ask and Bertha as a doubles team can change “like the wind,” if they keep winning, they will definitely stay together. Thus far, there are no signs of their winning ways being halted.In just the past two weeks, the twosome has faced its highest competition, matched against multiple teams in the top 60 doubles rankings. In consecutive days, Ask and Bertha triumphed over Clemson’s top doubles team, ranked 57th nationally, as well as Georgia Tech, ranked No. 2 in the nation. Succeeding over some of the best competition across the NCAA has brought the pair even closer as teammates.“Playing with Fred for the first time, we had only played a couple matches, so we weren’t sure where our level of play was,” Bertha said. “But after we beat Clemson we felt like we were meshing pretty well, and once we beat Georgia Tech we realized what level we were at, so it felt good.”Though currently unranked nationally, it may be only a matter of time before the team of Ask and Bertha has a number tagged to it. Two top 60 victories speak for themselves as opportunities are abounding within the remaining Big Ten schedule.The conference lays claim to 12 of those top 60 teams, so the top Badger duo will certainly be tested. Van Emburgh just hopes his players can keep a mental edge regardless of any impending national recognition.“I hope they can continue to play loose,” Van Emburgh said. “Obviously when you are not in the rankings you tend to play a little looser, and continue to have some success.”In the rankings is where Ask and Bertha want to be, however, because competing in the NCAA doubles tournament is a shared goal between the two.Only 32 doubles teams are selected to battle within the Big Ten against great teams such as Ohio State, Michigan, and Illinois. Wisconsin will likely be searching for one of the even fewer at-large bids.Both players agreed they are capable of advancing to the tournament.“We dropped that one in Minnesota,” Bertha said. “But going perfect in the Big Ten the rest of the way is a good goal. After that you try to make the NCAA tournament, and maybe see if we can become All-Americans.”With an abundance of aspirations, only time will tell for the success of Ask and Bertha as doubles teammates.As far as the Badgers’ number one squad goes, the phrase runs true that opposites attract. These two opposites push the old adage aside, however, and attract success instead.last_img read more

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first_imgThere are a few traditions that span decades of the Super Bowl — wings, beer, crazy halftime shows, that one uncle who gets too drunk and thinks he’s turned into Joe Buck. And, of course, there’s the annual tradition of watching a handful of former Trojans duke it out on football’s biggest stage.With 116 total appearances, the Trojans boast the second-largest number of alumni in the Super Bowl, outflanking UCLA, Michigan and Penn State.But this year, the 51st Super Bowl took place without any USC alumni present on the field.It was a rather odd sight to see. Before Sunday, there had only been five Super Bowls without a Trojan on either sideline. The players who made it to the championship were game changers: the likes of Marcus Allen, Keyshawn Johnson and Clay Matthews. Three were named Super Bowl MVP, including current Athletic Director Lynn Swann.Before anyone starts speculating that the prestige of USC football is dying out, let’s take a quick look back at the 2015 Super Bowl, when the Seattle Seahawks listed a combined 16 former Trojans on their roster and coaching staff. The skill level of USC alumni is clear, even if they aren’t always present in the championship game.For instance, oddly enough, the New England Patriots didn’t — and still don’t — roster a single Trojan on their team in 2015, when they eventually took home the Super Bowl trophy in a last-minute heart stopper.However, this year’s Super Bowl brings into question what type of impact the Trojans are bringing to the NFL. In the past, names shaped by USC such as Junior Seau, Troy Polamalu and Marcus Allen brought fear into the hearts of opposing fans. My mother still jokes that she had nightmares of Seau chasing her after he clobbered our Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line for four quarters.That isn’t the case for former Trojan stars anymore. Reggie Bush used to carve defenses apart with his speed and agility, averaging close to 1,000 yards a season during his breakout from 2011 to 2013. But in 2016, he earned a devastating total of -3 yards for the Buffalo Bills on their way to a 7-9 season.The same goes for Matthews, who fought off ankle, hamstring and shoulder injuries this year to finish with half as many sacks and tackles than he has consistently posted in years past. And Trojan quarterbacks don’t fare much better. Carson Palmer tossed 364 yards on his way to the Cardinals’ 7-8-1 finish, and Cody Kessler barely broke 100 yards in his rookie season. Even Brian Cushing, an inside linebacker for the Houston Texans, saw the same slow down in his eighth season after graduating from USC.It might just be a fluke — the result of a few poorly timed injuries — but it’s hard to argue against the facts: 2016 wasn’t a good year for the Trojans left in the NFL.The dominance of the USC football program’s impact in the pro league stretches back for decades, with more NFL draft picks (496) than any other university. Only USC and Michigan can claim an NFL draftee every year since 1939, and those 78 years saw hundreds of Trojans become pro athletes.So what happened? It’s not as if USC struggled to put players into the NFL: At the start of the summer, there were 51 alumni on NFL teams, including 11 recently graduated rookies. Trojans could be found on 25 pro rosters, mostly consisting of linebackers, defensive backs and linemen.The year before, 35 Trojans made opening day rosters, more than any other program except for LSU and Miami. And for 40 years, the Trojans led the NFL in total players represented on teams.What was it about this year? While I’d be fascinated to hear the wildest speculations of how the Patriots are conspiring against USC, I’d put it down to a simple realization that we’ve all come to this season — it’s time for the Trojans to turn a new page in their history.It’s a universally recognized truth that Trojan football is marked by different eras of coaching. But ever since our last great era ended with Pete Carroll’s departure for the NFL, there’s been a visible gap in the Trojans’ impact at the professional level. Our campus stars don’t become NFL stars, and it’s rare to see little kids wearing the jerseys of any USC players who graduated after 2009.But anyone who watched this year’s season can agree that we’ve officially ushered in a new era: the Clay Helton era of USC football. As fans, we can’t be sure where this era will take us, although the aftertaste of the Rose Bowl and the promise of a future led by redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold has a dangerously promising feeling to it.It’s hard to tell if it will be this year’s class of Trojans — who range from wideout JuJu Smith Schuster to offensive tackle Zach Banner — will be the ones to kick start a new wave of USC dominance in the pros. Maybe it will take a few years and a combination of Helton’s phenomenal recruiting skills and his coaching methods. But as the Trojans continue to regain their pride and prestige in the NCAA, fans can count on the fact that our future alumni will gain the same recognition in the pros.As a program, the Trojans are starting a new chapter. And in a few years, the NFL will have Clay Helton to thank for that.Julia Poe is a sophomore studying print and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, Poe’s Perspective, runs on Wednesdays.last_img read more

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