Rugby rape trial: Harrison 'not acting to protect friends' – BBC News


Rory Harrison

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PAcemaker

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Rory Harrison is charged with withholding information in the case and perverting the course of justice, he denies the charge

A friend of two Ulster rugby players accused of rape has denied agreeing to “look after” the alleged victim.

Rory Harrison, 25, of Manse Road, Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information in the case.

Under cross-examination, Mr Harrison rejected suggestions he took the woman home on the night in question to protect his friends.

A prosecution barrister asked him if he was told “to go and look after her”.

“No, I was not,” replied Mr Harrison.

‘Loyalty to friends’

Paddy Jackson and fellow rugby player Stuart Olding deny raping the same woman in Mr Jackson’s house, in the early hours of 28 June 2016.

On Monday, evidence called by the defence in the long-running case concluded.

The jury was told that the trial would now move to the next stage.

There will be no sitting of the trial in front of the jury on Tuesday. It will resume on Wednesday.

Concluding his cross-examination of Mr Harrison, the prosecution barrister put it to him: “Regrettably, however good an upbringing you have had, or good a family you have undoubtedly come from, sadly you have put loyalty to your friends first.”

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Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison deny all charges against them

Mr Harrison replied: “No. I disagree with you.”

Mr Harrison was treated initially as a witness rather than a suspect in the case. He gave a police statement two days after the alleged attack.

Earlier in Monday’s hearing, he was asked if he heard the woman say upstairs in Mr Jackson’s house: “How often must a girl say ‘no’ before it sinks in?”

He said he did not hear her say that.

The court also heard how Mr Harrison had memory gaps about parts of the night, possibly due to his level of intoxication.

He could not recall much about the alleged victim’s physical appearance, but could remember her “staring” at Mr Jackson.

He could also remember her following Mr Jackson upstairs, the court heard.

He later shared a taxi home with the woman and remembers her being upset.

Having initially thought she may have been rejected by Mr Jackson, and that is why she was upset, he told the court his view changed to thinking she had done something she regretted.

The next day he received a message from the alleged victim saying that the sexual activity the previous night had not been consensual.

“My initial reaction was shock but, as I have said before, based on the character of Patrick, I did not think it was true,” he said.

‘Code’

Earlier in the trial, the court heard from the taxi driver who drove him home on the night in question.

The taxi-driver said he remembered him taking a phone-call from a friend during the journey and it sounded as if he was speaking to him in code.

When this was put to Mr Harrison, he said: “I was surprised because I don’t know any code. None of the words I said sounded like code to me.”

In his re-examination, his defence barrister asked him if he had “lied at any stage”.

Mr Harrison answered: “No, I did not.”

In total, four men have been charged in connection with the case.

Mr Jackson, 26, from Belfast’s Oakleigh Park, is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies the charges.

Mr Olding, 25, from Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is also charged with rape. He too denies the charge.

Blane McIlroy, 26, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure. He denies the charge.



The top free agent needs for every NFL team – Washington Post



All eyes will be on Kirk Cousins in NFL free agency. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The NFL’s so-called legal tampering window opens Monday, two days ahead of the start of free agency Wednesday. Teams will be looking to plug holes in their rosters with a free agent class that includes Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Sheldon Richardson, Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson and a host of other top talents.

To get an idea of which players teams could target, The Post’s national NFL writer, Mark Maske, broke down the biggest needs for every NFL team.

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles

Needs: WR, LB, offensive line, TE, RB

Analysis: After Howie Roseman, the team’s top football front-office executive, said at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Eagles can’t stand pat on the heels of their Super Bowl title, they already have been active by trading for defensive end Michael Bennett and cornerback Daryl Worley. Their biggest offseason decision remains whether to trade backup quarterback Nick Foles, the reigning Super Bowl MVP. But there are issues to be addressed elsewhere. The Eagles traded wide receiver Torrey Smith and have a group of players eligible for free agency that includes linebacker Nigel Bradham, tight end Trey Burton and running back LeGarrette Blount. Left tackle Jason Peters is 36 and must return from an injury-shortened season.

Dallas Cowboys

Needs: LB, defensive line, WR

Analysis: There has been plenty of talk about wide receiver Dez Bryant’s contract and whether he will agree to rework it to remain with the team. But even if Bryant stays, the Cowboys might need wide receiver help. The defensive front seven also must be addressed.

Washington Redskins

Needs: CB, LB, defensive line, WR, offensive line

Analysis: The biggest issue has been settled, with the Redskins having arranged to trade for quarterback Alex Smith to compensate for the free agent departure of Cousins. The deal will cost the Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller, much to the consternation of some. With fellow cornerback Bashaud Breeland eligible for unrestricted free agency, the Redskins must address their secondary. Wide receiver also is an issue, with Terrelle Pryor back on the market after one disappointing season in Washington.

New York Giants

Needs: Offensive line, RB, CB

Analysis: The eventual successor to Eli Manning at quarterback is likely to come on draft night rather than via free agency. But the offensive line must be fortified. The trade for Alec Ogletree helps at linebacker, but perhaps more can be done there. The release of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intensifies the need at cornerback.

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings

Needs: QB, offensive line, CB

Analysis: Many within the NFL, including agents familiar with the quarterback market and executives with other QB-needy teams, expect Minnesota to be the landing spot for Cousins. His contract is likely to exceed the record $27.5 million average annual value of Jimmy Garoppolo’s recent deal with the 49ers. Cousins might sign a deal shorter than Garoppolo’s five-year contract. The Vikings might have to remake the position entirely, with Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater all eligible for free agency.


Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patrici needs a rebuilt defense. (Darron Cummings/Associated Press)

Detroit Lions

Needs: Defensive line, offensive line, LB

Analysis: General Manager Bob Quinn got the coach of his choosing in Matt Patricia, and now he must rebuild the defense to Patricia’s liking. There is plenty of work to be done in the defensive front seven, especially with linebackers Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow eligible for free agency. The Lions used their franchise tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah but still could use some pass-rush help.

Green Bay Packers

Needs: CB, offensive line, TE

Analysis: The general manager transition from Ted Thompson to Brian Gutekunst promises to make the Packers players in free agency for a change. They already have agreed to trade cornerback Damarious Randall to the Browns for quarterback DeShone Kizer. That bolsters the QB depth behind Aaron Rodgers but could leave the Packers looking for a cornerback. They also could use help on the interior of the offensive line, especially with guard Jahri Evans eligible for free agency.

Chicago Bears

Needs: CB, WR, offensive line, defensive line

Analysis: It’s up to newly hired Coach Matt Nagy to get the most out of would-be franchise quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. That will take reinforcements around Trubisky on offense. The Bears used their transition-player tag on cornerback Kyle Fuller, so they will be able to retain him by matching any offer sheet he signs with another team.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

Needs: QB, TE, LB

Analysis: Despite the constant public assurances that Brees isn’t leaving New Orleans and a deal will be worked out soon to keep him with the Saints, it hasn’t happened yet. It still would be shocking if the quarterback leaves or even entertains other offers. But the longer the situation remains unresolved, the more interesting it becomes. There has been talk of a return to the Saints by tight end Jimmy Graham, who’s eligible for free agency and seemingly will not remain with the Seahawks.

Carolina Panthers

Needs: WR, RB, CB, safety

Analysis: Norv Turner was brought in as offensive coordinator to try to help quarterback Cam Newton develop as a passer. Giving Newton better receivers also would help. The Panthers have lined up a trade for Torrey Smith, but they shouldn’t stop there. After releasing Jonathan Stewart, Carolina also will need a running back to pair with Christian McCaffrey. The trade of Worley to the Eagles creates the possibility of a cornerback being added.

Atlanta Falcons

Needs: Defensive line, WR

Analysis: The defensive line needs attention, with Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn eligible for free agency. The Falcons, one season removed from their Super Bowl appearance and coming off another playoff year that ended with a near miss loss at Philadelphia, also could use a wide receiver to complement Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Needs: Offensive line, defensive line, RB, CB

Analysis: The Buccaneers released running back Doug Martin and defensive end Chris Baker, and cornerback Brent Grimes is among their potential free agents. They must improve their pass rush.

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams

Needs: Defensive line, LB, WR, offensive line

Analysis: The Rams are an ascending team with a great nucleus in place, and they’ve moved quickly this offseason to trade for cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. But trading away Robert Quinn and Ogletree has intensified the need to bolster the defensive front seven, and the Rams must deal with a group of their own free agents that includes wide receiver Sammy Watkins and defensive end Connor Barwin.

Seattle Seahawks

Needs: CB, safety, defensive line, offensive line, WR, RB

Analysis: The dismantling of the familiar Seahawks accelerated with the trade of defensive end Michael Bennett and the release of cornerback Richard Sherman. The Seattle defense must be remade by General Manager John Schneider.

Arizona Cardinals

Needs: QB, WR, offensive line, safety

Analysis: The Cardinals could be in the running for Keenum to fill their quarterback void. They must remake their offensive line and, even with Larry Fitzgerald’s return, the wide receiver spot needs attention. Safety Tyrann Mathieu might have to take a pay cut as part of a reworked contract to stay.

San Francisco 49ers

Needs: Pass rush, offensive line, WR, CB, LB

Analysis: The Niners, after winning their final five games of last season, have begun the offseason by re-signing Garoppolo and adding Sherman a day after he was released by the Seahawks. That’s a great start, and it’s not difficult to envision the 49ers emerging as the top challenger in the NFC West to the Rams. But don’t get carried away. As Coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch have reminded everyone, this was a 5-11 team and there remains plenty of work to be done.

AFC East


The Patriots need depth at tight end as Rob Gronkowski’s future remains unclear. (Elsa/Getty Images)

New England Patriots

Needs: CB, pass rush, LB, RB, TE, offensive line

Analysis: The expected departure of cornerback Malcolm Butler as a free agent, following his still-mysterious benching in the Super Bowl, creates a need at that position. The pass rush must be improved and linebacker help is needed. The offensive line requires work, and depth is needed at running back and tight end, especially with Rob Gronkowski’s talk of possible retirement.

Buffalo Bills

Needs: QB, offensive line, WR, defensive line

Analysis: The trade of quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Browns netted a very good return for the Bills, in the form of the first pick in the third round of the NFL draft. But it leaves the Bills in a start-over situation at QB. They certainly aren’t going to turn over the starting job to Nathan Peterman, who struggled so much as a rookie last season. The good news for them is that there are options, both in free agency and in the draft. And now the Bills, with five of the top 65 choices, could move up on draft night for a quarterback.

Miami Dolphins

Needs: WR, QB, LB, CB, offensive line

Analysis: The trade of wide receiver Jarvis Landry means the Dolphins need a difference-maker to replace him. Ryan Tannehill presumably returns as the starter at quarterback, but the Dolphins probably need to add at the position with Jay Cutler and Matt Moore both eligible for free agency. The arrival of Robert Quinn via the trade with the Rams helps the defensive front seven, but that doesn’t mean the Dolphins should stop there.

New York Jets

Needs: QB, RB, defensive line

Analysis: If Cousins indeed goes to the Vikings, what are the Jets going to do at quarterback? They certainly could address the situation on draft night, but they probably need to get a veteran to go with any prized rookie. And whichever quarterback they get, much work must be done to improve the surrounding cast. General Manager Mike Maccagnan has close to $90 million in estimated salary cap space, a league high entering free agency, with which to work.

AFC North


What’s the Plan B behind Le’Veon Bell for the Steelers? (Keith Srakocic/Associated Press)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Needs: Safety, LB

Analysis: Franchise-tagged running back Le’Veon Bell has said he will show up at some point and play the 2018 season even if he doesn’t agree to a long-term deal by the mid-July deadline, but do the Steelers have to have a Plan B at the position in case things don’t work out? The bigger priorities, however, should be on defense, especially at linebacker and safety.

Baltimore Ravens

Needs: WR, TE

Analysis: The Ravens tried but failed to land Jarvis Landry as the franchise-tagged wide receiver instead was traded to the Browns by the Dolphins. Baltimore simply must get better in the passing game as it seeks to end a postseason drought that now has reached three seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals

Needs: CB, offensive line

Analysis: The Bengals declined to exercise an option in the contract of cornerback Adam Jones, making him a free agent. They told him that they’re interested in re-signing him. But if Jones moves on, he’ll have to be replaced. Chris Baker has been signed to bolster the defensive line. The Bengals might focus on improving their offensive line. The departure of backup quarterback AJ McCarron in free agency will create a need for depth behind Andy Dalton.

Cleveland Browns

Needs: Offensive line, defensive line, CB, RB, WR

Analysis: John Dorsey, the team’s new general manager, already has been busy by arranging trades for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Damarious Randall. But there is plenty more to be done. This is a team, after all, coming off a winless season. The Browns still have abundant salary cap space, although down from the more than $100 million they had before their flurry of trades, and must balance which roster voids to fill now and which to address during the NFL draft, in which they possess five of the first 64 picks. Even if left tackle Joe Thomas decides to continue playing, his eventual replacement probably must be added sooner rather than later. The Browns have the first and fourth overall selections in the draft and probably will use one of them on a quarterback. Could they use the other on running back Saquon Barkley? Such an approach would lessen the need to add a running back in free agency. But more help at wideout and cornerback would be welcome, even with the trades for Landry and Randall.

AFC South


Jacksonville must find Blake Bortles help at wide receiver. (Don Wright/Associated Press)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Needs: WR, TE, offensive line

Analysis: The Jaguars gave quarterback Blake Bortles a new contract after he helped them to reach the AFC title game. It will be interesting to see whether they bring in another quarterback as an insurance policy. More importantly, they must give Bortles some help at wide receiver with Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee among their players eligible for free agency.

Tennessee Titans

Needs: Pass rush, RB, offensive line, LB

Analysis: The Titans have Derrick Henry to take over at running back but, with DeMarco Murray’s release, might need to add a complementary runner. But the top priority should be adding to the pass rush, perhaps with multiple moves.

Indianapolis Colts

Needs: RB, offensive line, WR

Analysis: The Colts told Frank Gore that they won’t re-sign him, opting to go younger at running back. That could mean that the team plans to draft a player at that position, but adding a free agent also could be an option. The Colts would be wise to devote far more attention and resources to their offensive line than they did in the past, with hopes that quarterback Andrew Luck finally will return to the field after missing all of the 2017 season following shoulder surgery.

Houston Texans

Needs: Offensive line, safety, CB, defensive line, RB

Analysis: As quarterback Deshaun Watson returns from the knee injury that cut short his brilliant rookie season, properly safeguarding him next season should be the leading priority. The offensive line must be restocked. There are needs all over this roster, but ensuring that Watson is protected must be the top task.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Needs: CB, LB

Analysis: The trade of Peters to the Rams creates a big issue at cornerback, and it’s debatable whether the arrivals of Fuller and David Amerson are enough. A remaking of the defensive front seven might be in order.

Los Angeles Chargers

Needs: Offensive line, LB, safety, TE

Analysis: Antonio Gates is eligible for free agency. The future Hall of Famer no longer is the team’s top tight end as Hunter Henry has taken over as a productive pass catcher. But Gates should end his career with the Chargers, and re-signing him should be regarded by the franchise as a must.

Oakland Raiders

Needs: RB, WR, defensive line, CB

Analysis: There has been speculation about running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver Michael Crabtree not being in the Raiders’ plans. But little seems certain as the team tries to shape its roster to the liking of Coach Jon Gruden, who lamented at the NFL Scouting Combine that he must make decisions about players he barely knows because of his lack of contact with them under the sport’s offseason rules. Help is needed just about everywhere on defense, but the need at cornerback is particularly glaring.

Denver Broncos

Needs: QB, offensive line

Analysis: Keenum could be the fallback plan for the Broncos at quarterback if they lose Cousins to the Vikings, as so many expect. But what if they miss out on Keenum, also? Front-office czar John Elway said he would be ready to adjust to the market once it begins to form, and Elway and the Broncos might have to be resourceful. Elway also must focus on the offensive line and tweak a defense that needs to remain dominant if Denver is going to have much hope of returning to contender status quickly.

Read more on the NFL:

The story lines that will dominate the NFL offseason

Everything is on the table as NFL reexamines national anthem procedures

With higher NFL salary cap, Redskins have room to spend, but won’t necessarily splurge

Pizza Hut scores NFL pizza sponsorship deal after Papa John’s bows out

How much is Peyton Manning worth? ESPN and Fox reportedly want to find out.

 



Spring Break Tennis Fever – Kozi Radio


[3/12/18] Spring Break Tennis Fever

Junior Clinics at Chelan’s new Tennis Academy

@ Lake Chelan Shores Resort

April 2nd – 6th, 8am to 10:30am

Chelan’s new tennis academy invites junior players to join in the tennis fun over Spring break! Academy director and USPTA elite tennis pro, Dial Jones, is giving free (That’s right Free!) tennis clinics to kids in our community of all ages and ability levels. No racquet! No problem. Racquets and balls are provided. Limited reservations available for this fun activity.
Reserve your spot today by calling 509-423-6065.

Junior Clinics at Manson’s New Tennis Academy

@ Wapato Point Resort

April 2nd – 6th, 10:30am to 12pm

Manson’s new tennis academy invites junior players to join in the tennis fun
over Spring break! Academy director and USPTA elite tennis pro, Dial Jones,
is giving free (That’s right Free!) tennis clinics to kids in our community of all ages and ability levels. No racquet! No problem. Racquets and balls are provided. Limited reservations available for this fun activity.
Reserve your spot today by calling 509-423-6065.

http://dialjonestennischelan.com/



How Auburn football can spread wealth among deep WR group in 2018 – SECcountry.com


SEC Country wants to tackle the best questions from Auburn football and basketball fans. Look for our Auburn Question of the Day most weekdays. Go here to see all of our previous answers.

How do you think we will get all of our talented WRs on the field?

– @HunterCamTaylor

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football is about to have an embarrassment of riches on its hands at wide receiver.

The Tigers return every receiver who finished the season with the program in 2017. They add four more in a star-studded Class of 2018 in top-100 player Matthew Hill, America’s fastest teenager Anthony Schwartz, top-200 player Seth Williams and versatile early enrollee Shedrick Jackson.

Add those freshmen to the group of Auburn receivers that caught at least 2 passes last season, and the Tigers will have 11 wide receivers ready for 2018.

It’s unlikely that Auburn will use all 11 this fall. With four freshmen, at least one will be a redshirt candidate, much like Auburn did with Darius Slayton in 2015.

But how many can Auburn expect in the rotation in 2018?

MORE: 2 projected starters expected to fully return to practice after spring break

In Chip Lindsey’s college offenses, at least four wide receivers have caught double-digit passes in each season. In his first season at Southern Miss in 2014, the Golden Eagles had seven receivers with at least 10 catches. That number went down to four in 2015, thanks in part to USM’s top two running backs combining for 79 receptions.

At Arizona State in 2016, five had double-digit catches. Running back Kalen Ballage was third on the team in receptions, and the Sun Devils had two tight ends that combined for 11 catches.

Last season at Auburn, the Tigers had five — Ryan Davis, Slayton, Will Hastings, Nate Craig-Myers and Eli Stove. Fans should expect all five of those players to crack double-digits again in 2018.

With all the receiving talent that’s back and the return of Jarrett Stidham, Auburn should throw the ball more this season that it did a season ago, when it set a school record for completions at 255. (It’s also hard to imagine Ryan Davis getting 80-plus catches again in 2018, leading to more balance.)

jarrett stidham-auburn football-quarterback-improvement-2018
A more experienced Jarrett Stidham should mean more opportunities for Auburn’s receivers in 2018. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

That should mean more targets for Auburn’s receivers. The Tigers don’t have a veteran pass-catching tight end or running back like Lindsey’s Southern Miss and Arizona State offenses. Whoever emerges as the top running backs in 2018 will get looks as receiving threats, but the vast majority of the catches should come from the receivers.

Without a go-to receiving threat at tight end and a question mark at running back, Auburn could work more out of the four-wide receiver, one-running back sets in 2018. That would get Davis, Slayton, Stove and Craig-Myers all on the field at the same time more often and open the possibility for more rotation at the position.

Marquis McClain is a prime candidate to break that double-digit mark in 2018. McClain is the top name behind Slayton and Craig-Myers at the split end and big slot positions. Now a third-year sophomore, he has the knowledge of the system to go along with arguably the best mix of size and speed on the roster.

If Auburn wants to be two-deep at every receiver position in 2018 like position coach Kodi Burns has said in the past, the door is open for a couple of freshmen to break into the rotation.

MORE: It’s spring break for football, and the Tigers are NCAA Tournament bound

Jackson has an early edge as a spring enrollee. With Noah Igbinoghene concentrating more at cornerback right now, first-year playing time is a greater possibility for flanker types such as Jackson. Hill and Williams could fight for depth chart spots when they arrive, as Auburn could use more depth on the outside.

Schwartz’s world-class speed should earn him some sort of playing time in 2018. Unless he has a hard time adjusting to the college game, it’s hard to see Auburn letting one of the fastest amateur football players in the country stand on the sidelines all season.

The timing and personnel are right for Auburn to get the ball in the hands of more receivers in 2018. The Tigers won’t go full Air Raid and get 10 different players double-digit catches.

But with more four-wide sets and a second-year combination of offensive coordinator and quarterback, finding a solid rotation shouldn’t be a problem. After all, Auburn’s coaching staff stacked all these receivers together for a reason.



England all-rounder Stokes denies affray charge


Ben Stokes arriving at court

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Getty Images

Image caption

Ben Stokes arriving at court in Bristol for a previous hearing

England cricketer Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty after being accused of fighting outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder is charged with affray after a man allegedly suffered a broken eye socket.

At Bristol Crown Court on Monday, Mr Stokes denied the charges via video link from New Zealand where he is on duty with the England squad.

Mr Stokes is accused jointly with Ryan Hale and Ryan Aslam Ali.

Mr Hale, 26, and 28-year-old Mr Ali, both from Bristol, also deny the same charge of affray.

The trial date has been set for 6 August and the three defendants were granted unconditional bail.

Mr Stokes, Mr Hale and Mr Ali were detained early on 25 September following a disturbance in the Clifton Triangle area of the city – several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies.

What is affray?

The charge of affray is made under the Public Order Act 1986 and effectively relates to fighting in public.

It is a triable either-way offence, which means it can be heard in either the magistrates’ court or the crown court.

It carries a maximum penalty when tried summarily – in the magistrates’ court – of a fine or up to six months in prison, and when tried on indictment – in the crown court – of up to three years in prison.

As a result of the charge, Mr Stokes missed the Ashes series, which hosts Australia won 4-0, although he was allowed to play some domestic matches in New Zealand.

England declared him available once more after he indicated a plea of not guilty at Bristol Magistrates’ Court in February.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ben Stokes made his Test debut in Australia in 2013

England are due to play the first test match of a five-game series against India at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham between 1-5 August, with Mr Stokes’s trial due to start a day later.

The trial is expected to last between five and seven days, which means there is a risk Mr Stokes could miss the second test which starts at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 9 August.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said: “We fully respect the legal process and the player’s right to defend himself against the charge.”

In January the ECB said that, “given the potential length of time to trial”, it would not be “fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period”.



NCAA volleyball: Top beach teams get victories, USC men snap skid … – Volleyball Magazine


Maddie Ligon-LSU-Tigers-East vs West-Manhattan Beach-College Beach Volleyball
LSU’s Maddie Ligon goes airborne fro a save/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

There was rain and cold, but the top-ranked NCAA beach teams persevered Sunday on Manhattan Beach in the East Meets West Challenge as No. 1 Pepperdine, No. USC, No. 3 Hawai’i and No. 4 UCLA all held form.

And in the only NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball match Sunday, Jack Wyett of USC tied for the most kills of any MPSF player this season as the Trojans broke a seven-match losing streak by beating Harvard.

East Meets West: UCLA was the host team and the Bruins beat No. 5 Florida State 3-2 and then No. 20 TCU 4-1.

“A little nerve-wracking. Anytime you get a win over Florida State, that’s a great win,” said UCLA coach Stein Metzger, whose Bruins went 4-0 for the weekend and is now 10-3.

They clinched at No. 3, when Savvy Simo and Zana Muno beat FSU’s Brooke Kuhlman and Francesca Goncalves 17-21, 21-18, 17-15.

“They’re a great team and I’m glad we were able to put it together,” Metzger said. “We went up early, and when you start to see them close, it’s hard to finish. But nice job by Savvy Simo and Zana Muno to get us the win at the end.”

Click here for the UCLA recaps and results of both matches.

Florida State (9-3) had a tough day, also losing to USC 3-2. And USC (8-4) earlier swept TCU. Click here for the USC recap, and click here for the Florida State summary.

“I think we’re used to playing in rain, because we get it a little bit more in Florida and we still practice,” FSU coach Brooke Niles said. “We bring out the rain balls and in Tallahassee we get a little colder weather, so I think they’re actually more comfortable in these situations than most teams.

“But in all these games you have to grind. Every wants to play beach volleyball when it’s sunny and 90 degrees and there are a lot of people cheering you on, but these are the times that matter, when there’s a little bit of rain, bad weather, maybe some wind. We try to prepare them for this as much as we can.”

Hawai’i won twice, beating No. 9 LSU and No. 13 FIU. Pepperdine beat the same teams and will likely stay No. 1 in the next AVCA poll. Click here for the Pepperdine recap and summaries.

FIU had a rough weekend, losing to all four top-ranked teams, including Hawai’i and Pepperdine on Sunday.

“We’ve really come with a solid showing for our team, so that’s very good,” FIU coach Rita Buck Crockett said. “We’re playing 1-2-3-4 in the nation and we’re literally going down to the wire with them.

“It’s a very good thing to see for us, we’re young and still growing. I’m pretty happy with how things are going.”

To keep up with all things NCAA beach volleyball, collegebeachvb.com compiles results from around the country.

And to see our gallery of photos from Sunday at Manhattan Beach, scroll down.

USC men beat Harvard: The Trojans of the MPSF won 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 28-26 to improve to 5-14, while Harvard of the EIVA dropped to 5-10. Wyett hit .558 and had eight digs and two aces. Lucas Lossone had 12 kills, six digs, five blocks and two aces. Harvard’s Brad Gertsch had 17 kills and four blocks.