Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) looks at seven different studies that estimate what the US’ annual emissions levels will be in 2025 under a range of possible scenarios based on Trump’s policies versus what would happen if Obama’s policies were left intact.While Trump’s policies will lead to far more emissions than Obama’s would have, the authors of the analysis, WRI’s Taryn Fransen and Kelly Levin, found that all scenarios considered in the studies lead to US emissions being higher than the 2025 target the US committed to when it ratified the Paris Climate Agreement.Can sub-national efforts led by cities, states, and businesses actually make up the difference between the US Paris Agreemen targets and the current trajectory of US emissions? Fransen and Levin looked at two different studies that explore this question, as well, and discovered that it is indeed possible. Given that Donald Trump tweeted in 2012 that he believes concern about global warming is the result of a ploy by China to make American manufacturing less competitive, and then in a 2014 tweet explicitly called global warming a “hoax,” it was no surprise when his administration moved aggressively to undo the climate actions taken by former President Barack Obama.Trump began exploring ways to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement before he was even sworn into office, and announced on June 1, 2017 that he was officially pursuing withdrawal from the pact signed and ratified by Obama. The soonest any country can formally withdraw is four years after the Paris Agreement went into effect, or 2020 — but Trump made it clear at the G20 summit in July that the US would “immediately cease” any effort to honor the emissions reduction plan (known as a nationally determined contribution or NDC) that the Obama Administration committed to in ratifying the accord.Under Trump, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a key component of Obama’s climate legacy that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, and has gutted numerous other rules and regulations aimed at drawing down emissions, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and otherwise protecting the environment.So what impact will this climate action rollback have? A new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) seeks to answer that question by looking at seven different studies that estimate what the US’ annual emissions levels will be in 2025 under a range of possible scenarios based on Trump’s policies (such as whether the Trump Admin succeeds in overturning the Clean Power Plan or not) versus what would happen if Obama’s policies were left intact.The authors of the analysis, WRI’s Taryn Fransen and Kelly Levin, found that all scenarios considered in the studies lead to US emissions being higher than the 2025 target in the US NDC.The “studies suggest that if Trump’s policies are put into effect, U.S. emissions in 2025 will range from 5.6 to 6.8 Gt carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e),” Fransen and Levin write. “Under Obama’s policies, estimates suggest emissions would have ranged from about 5.0 to 6.6 GtCO2e.”NEW from WRI: The impact of Trump’s policy rollbacks on climate change: https://t.co/pO4fHbbxR9 pic.twitter.com/GR1KWxNCFP— WRI Climate (@WRIClimate) December 6, 2017However, while Trump’s policies will likely lead to much higher emissions levels, Fransen and Levin note that even Obama’s policies would have failed to meet the US NDC target of 4.8 to 4.9 GtCO2e in 2025, meaning that, no matter what, significant additional actions would have to be taken between now and then.Which isn’t the same as saying that there’s no difference in Trump’s and Obama’s climate policies, of course: “Unsurprisingly, the studies find that the United States would have come closer to hitting its NDC target under Obama’s policies than under Trump administration proposals,” Fransen and Levin add.Even as the Trump Administration seeks to weaken the US response to global warming, however, there are a number of sub-national and private sector efforts emerging to reduce emissions, usher in an era of renewable energy, and honor the Paris Agreement commitments.Most notably, there’s the We Are Still In network, which was launched just days after Trump announced he would pursue withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and now boasts more than 2,500 state and local elected officials, business leaders, academic institutions, and more. There’s also the America’s Pledge initiative, led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown, which works in tandem with We Are Still In and attended the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany in November to represent the many people and institutions in the US who continue to work to combat global warming.But can efforts led by cities, states, and businesses actually make up the difference between the US NDC targets and the current trajectory of US emissions? Fransen and Levin looked at two different studies that explore this question, as well, and discovered that it is indeed possible.One of the studies found that 2025 emissions could be reduced by as much as 4.5 GtCO2e through a variety of actions available to local governments and businesses, such as aggressive replacement of coal-fired energy production with clean energy sources and the implementation of policies like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard and tougher vehicular fuel standards regardless of whether the federal government pursues them or not.Another study “explores the levers states can use to control emissions from electricity, transport and on-site sources,” according to Fransen and Levin, and “concludes that if states find the political will to use these levers, they could meet the U.S. climate commitment.”At the same G20 summit where Trump let it be known that the US would not honor its Paris Agreement commitments, the leaders of the 19 other nations in attendance reaffirmed their own intention to work together to meet the emissions targets they had set for themselves. That means that sub-national efforts in the US are not acting alone, as Fransen and Levin point out: “Many U.S. cities, states, regions and companies are already joining other countries in taking the helm on climate and clean energy action and pointing the way toward a low-carbon future.”The Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, California, is the third-largest land-based wind farm in the world. Recent research has found that state, regional, and local efforts to combat climate change have the potential to meet the gap between the US’ emissions reduction targets and the projected emissions levels under Trump Administration policies. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, Environment, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Article published by Mike Gaworecki
Michalski, Hanson earn all-conference honors for TigersBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterWISCONSIN RAPIDS — Marshfield tied host Wisconsin Rapids for third place with a score of 345 to wrap up the Wisconsin Valley Conference Tournament at the seventh and final leg of the tournament Friday at Ridges Golf Course.Marshfield finished two shots behind second-place Stevens Point and eight in back of meet winner Wausau West.Stevens Point won the WVC team title for the seventh-straight season as it won five of the seven meets. Marshfield finished third, and Wausau West took second.Marshfield senior Derek Michalski, who signed a letter of intent to play collegiate golf at NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) earlier this week, led the Tigers with an 82, tying Josh Yang of Wausau West and Marshfield teammate Grant Michaelis for sixth place.Russell Detterming was the meet medalist with a 75, and the Merrill freshman wrapped up an individual championship as well with the first-place finish.Michalski ended up eighth in the overall standings to earn second-team all-Wisconsin Valley Conference honors.Zach Hanson had a 92 to finish in a tie for 22nd and ended up tied for 15th in the overall standings to grab honorable mention all-conference accolades for the Tigers.Brendan Schneider shot an 89, and Joe Kirschnik had a 99 to round out the scoring for Marshfield.Marshfield will compete at a WIAA Division 1 regional at Northwood Country Club in Rhinelander on Tuesday.The top four teams and top four players not on those qualifying teams move on to the D-1 sectional at RiverEdge Golf Course in Marshfield on May 30.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Wisconsin Valley Conference Boys Golf TournamentMeet No. 7, May 19, at Ridges Golf Course, Wisconsin RapidsTeam scores: 1. Wausau West 337; 2. Stevens Point 343; 3. Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids 345; 5. Wausau East 352; 6. D.C. Everest 361; 7. Merrill 368.Top 10 individuals and Marshfield finishers: 1. Russell Dettmering (MER) 75; 2. Mike La Pree (WE) 77; 3. Dawson Simon (WR) 80; 4. Matt Tuman (WE) and Max Bancker (SP) 81; 6. Josh Yang (WW), Derek Michalski (MAR), and Grant Michaelis (MAR) 82; 9. Hunter Ricklefs (WW) and Spencer Sparks (WR) 84; 17. (tie) Brendan Schneider (MAR) 89; 22. (tie) Zach Hanson (MAR) 92; 30. Joe Kirschnik (MAR) 99.Final overall standingsTeam standings: 1. Stevens Point 47; 2. Wausau West 44; 3. Marshfield 31.5; 4. D.C. Everest 26; 5. Wausau East 20; 6. Wisconsin Rapids 19.5; 7. Merrill 8.Top 10 individuals and Marshfield golfers: 1. Russell Dettmering (MER) 88.5; 2. Matt Tuman (WE) 86; 3. Max Bancker (SP) 80.5; 4. Evan Thomas (SP) 79; 5. Josh Yang (WW) 76; 6. Charlie Okray (SP) 59; 7. Ben Langlois 56.5; 8. Derek Michalski (MAR) 50; 9. Mike LaPree (WE) 35; 10. Ben Peloquin (DC) 28; 15. (tie) Zach Hanson (MAR) 16; 20. Grant Michaelis (MAR) 10; 23. (tie) Brendan Schneider (MAR) 6.5; 26. (tie) Ben Baur (MAR) 4; 29. Joe Kirschnik (MAR) 2.
There are few workers who think “one for the road” is a good idea these days, as targeted drinking-and-driving campaigns and stringent police enforcement have rendered the practice a taboo. Most people would not even think about getting behind the wheel after having consumed two or more alcoholic beverages, but paradoxically, the same attitudes do not stretch to the workplace, even though the influence of alcohol may impact performance and productivity. Workplace alcohol abuse could put staff in danger and even risk brand reputation if fatalities are suffered as a result.It is the paradox of the modern world that the use and misuse of alcohol in the workplace is visible by its very invisibility. Drinking culture forms such a major part of the fabric of most societies that its abuse is often hidden in full view, seldom acknowledged, and even when it is suspected, not confronted.In fact in some industries, a drinking culture is widely accepted as simply part of how business is done or given and received as a reward for positive results. In short, alcohol mixed with certain industries is a heady cocktail. Unlike drugs, alcohol is not universally condemned as a corporate taboo. Occupations involving repetitive work, irregular hours, or high-stress environments are the most likely places for a drinking cult.- Sponsor – Workplace Alcohol Abuse by the NumbersFrom the boardroom to the shop floor, alcohol continues to be a prop for some individuals who, according to experts, are in denial as to its impact on their performance, despite the fact that it is widely recognized as a depressant.Strong mints, chewing gum, or aftershave cannot mask their unkempt appearance and slurred speech, yet they seldom get reported, even though alcohol abuse represents a major issue for a significant number of the working population.Between 5 and 20 percent of workers across Europe are regularly involved in drinking beyond the limits of social and health acceptability, and it is especially prevalent in some sectors and occupations. However, the fact that the variance in figures is so wide indicates why few scientists and medical professionals have been able to thoroughly research its true impact.Different countries have different cultural attitudes to alcohol, which is reflected in their myriad approaches and laws to control the use and misuse of alcohol as it impacts different sectors—from construction to shop and bar workers to forklift truck operatives and drivers, all of whom feature in the most at-risk industries.In the UK in January 2016, the chief medical officer reevaluated the government’s position on the harmful impact of alcohol for the first time in twenty years and drew the conclusion that there is no “safe” level of consumption when it comes to our health. However, because of the strong relationship the British enjoy with alcohol, the government immediately came under fire as a “nanny state,” trying to remove people’s enjoyment. Aquarius, a UK charity dealing with business education on alcohol in the workplace, said the problem was endemic and was costing the UK economy £7.3 billion (~ $8.9 billion) a year in alcohol-related sickness and loss of productivity.According to its figures, drug misuse cost the economy a smaller £1.4 billion (~ $1.7 billion), but because of the taboo surrounding illicit substances, employers are taking more proactive steps to address this specific problem, with many retailers employing sniffer dogs in their back-of-store operations and distribution centers to identify offenders.Conversely, no company has yet gone down the road of random alcohol testing of staff, possibly because of the inherent human resources issues that would ensue–despite the fact that there are almost 9,000 workplace deaths linked to alcohol each year in the UK.Aquarius, which works with companies to provide workplace strategies to help workers overcome their issues, argues that most businesses have no formal process in place to identify and support staff.According to Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 76 percent of Europeans had consumed alcohol at work or during breaks. Each session represented an average of two drinks per person and was more prominent among men and older workers, the so-called Baby Boomers. A staggering 10 percent of the sample owned up to having five drinks or more.According to the organization’s survey, 24 percent of British workers admitted to having at least four drinks per day, a figure only eclipsed by Ireland, where more than a quarter of the workforce made the same admission. Indeed, a study of Irish construction apprentices revealed that 40 percent of those sampled admitted to “feeling drunk” at work. Back in the UK, 32 percent of the employees sampled admitted to turning up to work with a hangover.This level of drinking, most reasonable people would accept, would put the individual over the driving limit, yet they believe they “can handle it” at their desks, workbenches, or on the factory or shop floor, even though they may be working with dangerous equipment or be responsible for people occupied in risky environments.More than 11 percent of Austrians drink every day at work, but this figure increases to a massive 75 per cent when special social events take place at work. In Belgium, workers are often served wine and beer by their employers during the working day, and one in seven Danish workers regularly drank beer at work.In Malta, around a fifth of employers were aware of staff who drank in the workplace, while in the Netherlands, around 4 percent of staff consumed alcohol before they went to work. In the country as a whole, 21 percent of Dutch workers admitted to drinking excessively, which was defined as someone who consumes in excess of 20 alcoholic drinks per week or six per day.Around 8 percent of Polish workers consumed alcohol at work, but this was higher in the professional sectors and larger corporations. Conversely, in Portugal, around a quarter of construction and public sector workers regularly drank at work.Put simply, the consumption of alcohol at work can have negative impacts for individuals and organizations in terms of their health. There are more instances of sick leave, short-term absenteeism, reduced performance, colleague or customer conflicts, more workplace safety issues, company or brand image problems, and damage to equipment or products.Public authorities and social partners in EU countries have developed national legislation and agreements banning or limiting the use of alcohol in the workplace, with a focus on testing practices intended to control usage at work. Public authorities and social partners have also adopted various policy measures to prevent and combat the negative effects of alcohol and drug use at work. However, while alcohol is viewed as an acceptable social lubricant rather than a dangerous, drug-like substance, progress on this challenging issue will remain slow.Absenteeism vs PresenteeismOne of the key side effects of excessive use of alcohol in the workplace is absenteeism caused by hangovers from boozy weekends. This has a negative impact on work morale in the sense of colleagues having to work harder to cover for absence.An area not readily studied is the impact on “presenteeism,” or being at work under the influence of alcohol. This can manifest itself in obvious health and safety risks of operating heavy or dangerous machinery (a forklift truck in a warehouse, for example) where there are obvious dangers. But what about presenteeism creating conflict between other members of staff or customers? One ill-timed word combined with the limited mental capacity caused by the effects of alcohol could trigger a colleague or customer confrontation, which in a retail store or restaurant environment could also be brand damaging.Can of Worms?Aquarius says that tackling the issue can seem like opening a can of worms for most employers. If they go down the testing route, what type of regime would it be–breath, saliva, or urine? And who would take these samples—a trained occupational health officer, or an external provider? Would it be prompted by targeted suspicion of an individual or random testing? What are the consequences for a positive test result—suspension, dismissal, or police involvement? In terms of whistleblowing, could an employee who tests positive be the victim of malicious claims and therefore open the business up to potential litigation?The argument is further nuanced by the social stigma associated with alcohol abuse—the shame and embarrassment felt by an individual whose actions may be a cry for help.The answer to overcoming the barriers, Aquarius argues, is education and training awareness, bringing the issue and the unacceptable behavior into the open. It’s also important to establish closer working among departments (human resources, risk management, and loss prevention, for example), and positive promotion of help and well-being services to staff, so they know there is somewhere to go. Confidentiality and discretion must be used at all times.Help inside the workplace can also provide an antidote to other issues that may trigger drinking at home. A more empathetic approach can help break a cycle of despair. Positive examples of people who have reached out to alcohol support services prove the case in that individuals have felt benefits including being healthier and improved relationships with their work colleagues. There is also a sense of relief that they are back in control of their drinking and their lives and that they have a better relationship with alcohol. They are more motivated and have greater energy because the symptoms of alcohol abuse, such as sleepless nights, have disappeared.Workplace Alcohol Abuse: Retail Industry Case StudiesExamples of drink-related incidents are hard to come across because the issues are understandably dealt with discreetly, except in high-profile cases where death or serious injury has resulted.But it is fair to say that most businesses have strict alcohol and drug policies, wherein the alcohol policy is devised by the health and safety or corporate risk team, but the issue is “owned” by the human resources department in terms of the consequences or penalties.The head of health and safety for one prominent UK High Street business said, “In the last two years, we have re-emphasized our drug and alcohol (D&A) policy and enhanced it via a communication to the entire business. We have trained senior managers in the DCs on the process for legal D&A testing; however, we currently employ the services of an external company to come in and carry out the testing on our behalf.“This is routinely done immediately in cases such as if a forklift truck (FLT) driver has been involved in an accident. To date, there have been a few drivers tested, but none have come back with a positive result for D&A. In cases where there is an issue, we seek to assist the individual, but if felt absolutely necessary, we will dismiss them. This is reiterated in our D&A policy.”Another head of health and safety added, “In a previous life, a nightshift worker managed to overturn his FLT [forklift] while under the influence of alcohol. Due to it happening in the middle of the night, there was no effective management response to it, and by the morning, the root cause of the problem had been effectively covered up by the shift supervisor. It took extensive efforts by the team to identify a culture of drinking prior to a shift start and a poker club during work hours.”This last example highlights the fact that many cultures embrace alcohol as a social glue and form of cohesion, but this has consequences in the workplace when that glue begins to come unstuck. A structured approach including zero-tolerance to drinking at work supported by workplace education and helplines for all staff can keep a sense of perspective for affected individuals and help protect colleagues, the business, and the brand.This article was originally published in LP Magazine EU in the Spring 2016 issue and was updated January 18, 2017. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger.Mike Gundy to LSU could be a real thing. The Times-Picayune is reporting that Jimbo Fisher is choice No. 1 with Tom Herman serving as backup. One problem: Jimbo probably won’t leave Florida State, and Herman is likely to go to Texas.Then what for the Tigers? All the OSU coaches, apparently.LSU also has contacted North Carolina’s Larry Fedora and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy about the job. Gundy, a source said, would be a top option if either Fisher or Herman falls through.LSU’s target date for the hire continues to be near the end of this month or early December at the latest, according to sources. The college football regular season concludes this week.LSU officials want an answer from Fisher, a former Tigers assistant, and his representatives by the end of this week, ahead of when Texas will reportedly fire Strong. [Times-Picayune]James Franklin’s name was also mentioned along with the prize for securing the job: $6 million a year. That’s a 60 percent raise from what Gundy makes at Oklahoma State.Do I think Gundy would leave Stillwater? I don’t. If somebody offered me 60 percent more than what I make right now to come do the same job, would I listen? Yes I would. If I was happy where I’m at would I then leverage that potential move to get more money at my current job?You tell me …”Texas, LSU and Oregon are all going to be open, and I’m probably underpaid right now. Sounds like a new tractor to me.” pic.twitter.com/S9V3lCxbzC— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 21, 2016Hat tip to Carson Cunningham on the find. 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.
Mike Gundy addressed the media on Monday following the first spring football practice. As confident as ever with the mullet in full flow, the head man addressed what many would consider borderline major changes to the roster.Kenneth Edison-McGruder, who spent time at safety last season, will be moving back into the box at linebacker — a position he dabbled in last season including during the Alamo Bowl. And perhaps the bigger news: Ramon Richards is being moved from corner to safety this spring.“We used Ramon Richards at safety last year,” said Gundy. “We feel like he has good range and that he can make some plays from there. .. Ramon will be a guy who plays more in the middle of the field.”That’s obviously a major change, even if it winds up being temporary. Richards has played at cornerback since his true freshman season (which we won’t speak of), and last year he emerged as one of the top playmakers in the secondary. He has a knack for finding himself in the right place at the right time, and it seems that quality coupled with his previous experience at the position and Gundy’s confidence in his youngsters is enough to make the position change.“We’ve got some young guys that we want to get a lot of work,” Gundy said. “They’ll get a lot of work as far as from a depth perspective, and they’ll definitely get a lot of reps in the spring until we get some young guys in. We need those young guys to come in and improve. That’s one of the positions where we need those guys to come in and play well for us next year, and to do it earlier than what you normally would at that position.“We like the young guys. We like what they bring to the table. They just don’t have a ton of experience yet. They’ve had a good offseason.”The young guys in the program do have some promise. OSU signed a solid 2016 class of defensive backs, all but two of which took redshirts last season. But now it’s time to step up and see what they can do. Here are the four candidates most likely to be in line for immediate playing time, including a true frosh — along with some candidates who I think have a chance to separate themselves this spring. I’ll also make a final assessment at the bottom.Madre Harper (Sophomore)Harper is the prospect who should be next in line to replace Richards. An early enrollee a season ago, he made his presence felt mainly on special teams last season. But he’s an ideal candidate to step up right away given his time spent in the program and his ceiling as a defensive back.Harper has a perfect frame at 6-foot-1, he was a lockdown defender in high school out of Lamar — the same school as Texas QB Shane Buechele — and he’s likely going to see a majority of first-team reps.AJ Green (Sophomore)Green was a lesser-heralded recruit out of DeSoto, Texas, whom OSU was very high on in the recruiting process. Like Harper, Green has a 6-foot-1 frame and played for one of the more dominant programs in Texas High School football. He played a good chunk of time as a true freshman, and while he may not have been a flashy recruit, he has all the fundamentals down and a good base to build on.I’m really high on Green as well. His mechanics and footwork are well beyond his age, and he has the discipline to not bite on double moves and keep his receiver in front of him as we saw last year. That’s something you can coach, but it makes it easier if they’re already heady enough to know those little things.Rodarius Williams (Redshirt Freshman)Representing first team All-Confidence, Williams might just be the next big thing if his attitude towards his own game rounds into on-field results. The former Shreveport (Louisiana) native took a redshirt last season, and he’s been able to bulk up and grow into what was a promising but thin frame.Williams might be the most raw of the group, but he has a high upside a la Justin Gilbert. He’s a former track star and will figure to be in the rotation in some capacity.LaMarcus Morton (Freshman)Color me intrigued with LaMarcus Morton, an early enrollee out of Gilmer, Texas, who starred at wide receiver in high school. Morton played all over the field including safety, but cornerback is going to be fairly new to him. Because of the need for defensive backs (and the overflow of talent at WR), Morton might be a natural fit on the outside.Like many others, he’s also a former track star. But his time spent as a wide receiver gives him an edge. He knows the mentality, and thus might be able to defend the pass better. Spring will be huge for him in learning and picking things up on the fly, and I don’t think we’ll learn much about whether he can contribute right away until the summer. But he’s got a high ceiling and the need might usher in immediate playing time for him.Final assessmentOklahoma State is confident in its youth, but make no mistake, it is also making every effort to supplement it with experience. Clemson defensive back Adrian Baker is a top priority after making an official visit last weekend, so don’t be surprised if Gundy fills a hole with a graduate transfer like he’s done in the past.The group on the whole is young but talented, sharp yet inexperienced. Working in young guys (and moving Ramon to safety) will speed up the growing pains with extra reps against a future NFL quarterback. If they’re not good, Ramon can always switch back to the outside (Glenn Spencer already noted that). But I think this is a good move on the whole to get young guys reps and work them in right away.There are several players who might go from relative unknowns to starters in 2017, and the likelihood seems high that it will be one (or more) names from this list. 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.
I’m going to miss Bob Stoops.It feels good to admit that. I know I’m probably supposed to unfurl my football field-sized Crazy Pete flag and run it up and down my street like a mid-summer spirit run, but Bob Stoops was one of the best things to ever happen to Oklahoma State.Unfortunately for OSU, he was also one of the best things to ever happen to OU.Stoops went 190-48 (excuse me while I LOL) in his 18 years at the helm in Norman. He won more Big 12 Championships (10) than the other nine schools currently in the Big 12 have won … combined (9). He won more conference titles (10) than he lost home games (9). He kicked Oklahoma State’s ass all over Payne County which sucked a lot while it was happening, but it also served to make OSU into what it is today.AdChoices广告The necessity of trying to build a team to overthrow a superpower like OU drove Oklahoma State to be one of the best teams in college football over the last 10 years.Big 12 titlesBob Stoops: 10Other 9 teams currently in the conference: 9 (collectively)— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) June 7, 2017Stoops (re)built a program that gave the Cowboys something to shoot for every college football season. When the benchmark for success in your industry is 10 states away and operating outside your circles, it’s easy to dismiss that entity. When that same touchstone is conducting business 70 miles down I-35 and recruiting the same guys you’re chasing and making the same bowls you want to make and winning the same titles you want to win, you have something to strive for up in your face nearly every single day of your professional life.Mike Gundy entered the coaching world in the thick of it. He lost as many games in his debut season (7) as Stoops had lost in the last five. Stoops was just a few years removed from a national championship and on his way to playing for more. But Gundy hung in after a bumpy couple of years and truly rolled with OU over most of the last decade of Stoops’ tenure despite only beating him twice.These are the two teams’ records since 2009.Oklahoma State: 77-27Oklahoma: 81-24The flip side of this is that maybe OSU wins several more Big 12 titles without OU’s dominance. Who knows? You’ve heard Boone Pickens talk. It chaps his ass that OU is great at the most prominent sport in college athletics and Oklahoma State is not on its level. Would OSU have ascended to where it has without Stoops’ excellence? Maybe, but most great contenders have great foes in the throes of their dominion. It keeps you honest. It keeps you grounded.All I know for sure is that Oklahoma State football was made better because OU football was so great.There were bumps for Stoops, no doubt. The most notable one 20 years from now will be the Joe Mixon saga, but there were others (Frank Shannon, DGB etc.) as well. No college football coach who hangs around the same place for two decades is without them. They aren’t footnotes. They are part of the story. But for Stoops they are a small part.I don’t get real caught up in the whole “he’s a great dude” thing because the majority of us barely know our best friends well enough to say definitively whether they would or would not do something, but Stoops certainly gave off the appearance of legitimacy. Great coach, bigly in the community and a strong ambassador for the state. And I’m supposed to hate this guy?Always thought this quote from former #Sooners captain @Just_JD38 nailed Bob Stoops. pic.twitter.com/IwTFp4MUwv— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) June 7, 2017No, I don’t hate Bob Stoops. I admire his work and am glad for what he elicited out of Oklahoma State. Whenever Mike Gundy responds to the news — likely when he gets back from his armadillo hunt in Tahlequah — I think he will say the same.Bedlam will also feel different now. Even though Gundy is nearly 10 years Stoops’ junior, it always felt like they came up in the state together. Gundy and Lincoln Riley squaring off in November? It just won’t be the same.“I think what’s encouraging for the state of Oklahoma is that for a considerable number of times over the last six years, these two schools have gotten together to decide a conference championship, and I don’t think we can ask for anything else,” said Gundy last December before playing Stoops for the conference crown for the fourth time in the last six years.So the only thing that comes to mind when I see Bob Stoops exiting stage left is thanks for punting again, Bob respect. For building OU. For being the rising tide to lift Gundy’s steamboat. For ejecting while you’re still on top with a lot of life left in front of you. Stoops was not the most dynamic, electric coach the Big 12 has ever seen (to say the least), but he was the best. Respect. Loads of it. 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.
Being one of the last picks of the NFL Draft can be both a blessing and a curse, but it seems to be working out well for former OSU running back Chris Carson.The rookie tailback entered summer camp with little expectations after being selected 249th overall. Unlike first-rounders Leonard Fournette or Christian McCaffrey, no one expects Carson — the seventh-round pick from OSU — to be the starter from day one. But he has generated enough buzz this offseason that head coach Pete Carroll has taken notice.“Well, uh, he’s looked pretty good. He’s looked pretty good,” coach Pete Carroll told ESPN. “Last practice, he had an excellent finish to the practice — that last four carries, he was ripping. He had a couple big runs today again.AdChoices广告“I’m really excited about this guy. Really have high hopes for him. We’ll see how he does. We’re just getting started. He’s a very physical runner in the style that we like. You can’t tell all of that here because we’re not finishing the runs with tackling. But I know it’s in his background, and we keep chirping at him, and we’ll see it happen when the time comes. We might have a really competitive guy at that spot.”Physicality was never an issue with Carson during his two-year tenure in Stillwater. He’s an aggressive runner whose production increased alongside his experience at the Division I level. And it’s his ability to pick up blitz — something that he’s been a natural at even before his arrival at OSU — that could earn him a roster spot in Seattle.The rookie running back out of Oklahoma State had a great day on Tuesday and followed it up with another strong practice Thursday. Blitz pickup is something that rookies typically struggle with. But that was not the case with Carson.During one drill early in practice, he got matched up with veteran linebacker Michael Wilhoite on multiple occasions and stoned him. Later during practice, Carson had a big run. [ESPN]Although the odds to make an NFL roster are long even for a player of Carson’s stature, he’s done well for himself by proving his worth in camp early and often. With Seattle boasting Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls as some of its best options at running back, though, Carson will have to fight for a roster spot with rookie Alex Collins and South Carolina alum Mike Davis. 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.
Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell pulls up for a shot in the second half against Wisconsin at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 19. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorThe 12th-ranked Ohio State women’s basketball team (25-5, 15-1) defeated Rutgers 73-45 to clinch its 15th Big Ten title. The Buckeyes stellar defense was the driving force in capturing the program’s first title since the 2009-10 season.With Sunday’s win over the Scarlet Knights (6-23, 3-12), the Buckeyes have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament.Sunday’s game was OSU’s first in their last eight games that the team failed to score at least 87 points. The Buckeyes usually rely on their offensive output to win their games, but it was stellar defensive play that allowed OSU to pull away with the win. Junior guard Kelsey Mitchell led OSU with 21 points and five assists, her 10th straight game with 20 or more points. She was followed by senior forward Shayla Cooper — a player that has stepped up since the injury to junior forward Stephanie Mavunga — with 12 points and seven rebounds. For the first few minutes of the game, OSU’s 63 percent shooting on Monday didn’t carry over, but the Buckeyes 2-2-1 press forced nine Rutgers turnovers that turned into a 15-0 run that lasted for the majority of the first quarter.OSU continued the steady offensive pace into the second quarter with consistent outside shooting. The Buckeyes shot well from deep, hitting 50 percent in the second quarter, and knocking down four shots from 3-point range. On defense, the Buckeyes continued to throw off Rutgers, switching from a man defense to a 2-3 zone, then to a 3-2 zone. Those different looks prevented Rutgers from getting into an offensive rhythm, leading to a miserable 22 percent from the field. The Buckeyes led 37-17 at halftime.At the start of the third quarter, Rutgers got the ball out quickly to avoid full-court pressure and ran the ball up the floor. The Scarlet Knights hit five consecutive shots midway through the quarter and stayed in the game with 57 percent third-quarter shooting. The Buckeyes fired back by penetrating the basket, grabbing their own points from the field, and ended the quarter maintaining a 17-point lead, 53-36.In the last quarter of play, OSU reestablished their defense and slowed down the Scarlet Knights with its full-court press. On offense, OSU outscored Rutgers 20-9 and made three 3s to keep any chance of a comeback at bay. Ohio State is set to play the winner of No. 8 seed versus the No. 9 seed on March 3 at noon. The final Big Ten standings have yet to be determined.