“The crossing from the Horn of Africa to Yemen is one of several deadly sea routes worldwide that UNHCR watches closely,” spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Adrian Edwards, told reporters in Geneva.“Hundreds of people, including Syrian refugees, have died in recent months crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. In Southeast Asia, just last weekend, dozens of people were reported missing after their boat capsized off the coast of Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal.”Yemen has seen six successive years of high arrivals by sea. Since 2006, when UNHCR started collecting data, more than half a million asylum seekers, refugees and migrants have travelled by sea to Yemen. Most are Ethiopians, citing the difficult economic situation at home and often hoping to travel through Yemen to the Gulf States and beyond. Somalis arriving in Yemen are automatically recognized as refugees by the authorities, while UNHCR has helped determine the refugee status of other asylum seekers, including from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and other countries.UNHCR is encouraging cooperation among countries affected by mixed migration, and is supporting the Yemeni Government to organize a conference next week on asylum and migration together with the International Organization for Migration. The three-day conference will take place in Sana’a, with participants from Governments from the Horn of Africa, Gulf States, donor countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and institutions such as the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat.“The aim of the Yemen conference is to establish a regional plan to help manage mixed migration between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula,” Mr. Edwards said. The objectives of the plan include, saving lives, ensuring better protection systems for asylum seekers and refugees, strengthening law enforcement against smuggling and trafficking networks, increasing funding for assisted-voluntary-returns programmes, and raising awareness of the dangers of irregular migration.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the meeting via video message, expressing solidarity in the worldwide fight against anti-Semitism and noting that Jews have experienced “insidious bias” and “overt violence” throughout the course of history. The event was initiatied by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN and convened by the President of the General Assembly, at the request of several UN Members delegations, including Israel, the United States and Canada.“The systematic murder of millions of European Jews in the Holocaust showed anti-Semitism at its most monstrous,” said Mr. Ban. “A United Nations that wants to be true to its founding aims and ideals has a duty to speak out against anti-Semitism.”Noting that extremism is on the rise worldwide, he said responses to it had to avoid perpetuating cycles of demonization and playing into the hands of those who seek to divide. One particular trap related to the Middle East conflict.“Grievances about Israeli actions must never be used as an excuse to attack Jews,” he said. “In the same vein, criticisms of Israeli actions should not be summarily dismissed as anti-Semitism.”Acting President of the General Assembly Alvaro Mendonca e Moura looked ahead to the International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust next week, underlining not only the need to remember the tragedies but to learn from the ‘unspeakable atrocities’ committed. The international community also had an obligation to prevent acts of intolerance and hate from happening again.Anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance and prejudice were on the rise despite the prohibition of religious and racial discrimination enshrined in many of the international community’s most important foundational documents, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.“As we witness the shadow of intolerance permeating so many segments of public and private life, it is of utmost importance that all stakeholders be actively involved in our efforts to fight against prejudice, while also promoting and strengthening tolerance, mutual understanding, dialogue and respect,” added Mr. Mendonca e Moura.Many tools were available to do so, he said, underlining the importance of education and pointing out that he would convene a high-level thematic debate on 6 April, on ‘Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation.’Keynote speaker Bernard-Henri Lévy said the General Assembly was given the ‘sacred task’ of preventing the spirits of anti-Semitism from awakening. They had awoken, though, he said, and that was why this meeting was taking place.He sought to refute modern analysis of anti-Semitism, including the idea that it was just variety of racism, saying that looking the evil ‘squarely in the face’ required better understanding and the abandonment of old clichés about anti-Semitism and how it operates.Today, he continued, anti-Semitism stemmed from an ‘anti-Zionist delirium’ in those opposing the re-establishment of Jews in their historic homeland, from Holocaust denial and from the perceived use by Jews of the memory of their suffering to ‘overshadow’ other martyrs.“Anti-Semitism needs those three formulations, which are like the three vital components of a moral atomic bomb,” Mr. Lévy said. “Each alone would be enough to discredit a people but when the three are combined, we can be pretty sure of facing an explosion in which all Jews everywhere in the world will be the designated targets.”
Somalia deposited its instrument of ratification at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday during the annual treaty event held in conjunction with the General Assembly’s high-level debate, formalizing the process of ratification started earlier this year.In doing so, the Horn of Africa nation became the 196th State party to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. The United States is now the only country that has not ratified it. “The Secretary-General welcomes the Government of Somalia’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an important measure which binds the Government to ensure specific protections for all children in the country,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. Adopted in 1989, the Convention is the world’s strongest commitment to promote and respect the human rights of children, including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence and from any form of discrimination, and to have their views heard. Mr. Ban encouraged the US “to join the global movement and help the world reach the objective of universal ratification,” and affirmed the UN’s support in these efforts.” Also welcoming Somalia’s ratification was Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Leila Zerrougui, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict; Marta Santos Pais, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Violence against Children; and Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.In a joint statement, they said Somalia’s action is “a significant and very welcome step” toward realizing the rights of the country’s 6.5 million children, who face enormous challenges. Somalia today has one of the highest under-five mortality rates in the world, alarming malnutrition rates, and very high levels of violence affecting children. “By becoming the 196th nation to ratify the Convention, Somalia has committed to uphold the dignity and worth of every child and translate the obligations of the CRC into concrete actions, especially for those children in greatest need and at greatest risk,” they stated. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in a separate statement, also welcomed the ratification and repeated its call for universal ratification of the Convention, adding that it looked forward to engaging with the US. The Committee, which monitors implementation of the treaty, also urged States to ratify the three Optional Protocols to the Convention that deal with protecting children from trafficking, prostitution and child pornography; prohibiting their recruitment in armed conflict; and allowing children to bring forward their complaints to the UN if their rights are being abused.Somalia was among 24 Member States that undertook 31 treaty actions during this year’s event at UN Headquarters, on legal instruments covering issues such as human rights, international trade and development, penal matters, disarmament, and environment, among others.
“Technology has to diffuse to all communities to enable them to leapfrog traditional development challenges,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed at the launch of the new UN Technology Bank in the Turkish city of Gebze; about 30 miles southeast of Istanbul, the country’s commercial hub. The idea of establishing a capacity-building institution dedicated to the least developed countries (LDCs) came out of the LDC Istanbul Conference in 2011 and was included in the world’s action plan to eliminate poverty when the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by UN Member States in 2015. The following year, the UN General Assembly approved the creation of the Technology Bank, which is listed among targets under Sustainable Development Goal 17 on partnership.Monday’s launch of the Technology Bank marks the first SDG target to have been officially reached, among the 169 targets that have been set as part of the 2030 Agenda. “The creation of the Technology Bank responds to the proposition that science, technology and innovation are essential elements to transform the economies of the LDCs, promote economic growth and enable countries to address their technology gaps and support their economic diversification and productive capacity building strategies,” said Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.According to Acting Managing Director, Heidi Schroderus-Fox, the Bank is already starting its work in 16 LDCs, with STI reviews and technology needs assessments under way in Guinea, Haiti, Sudan, Timor Leste and Uganda. Projects aimed at improving digital access to research are also underway in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania, she said.
Car production in July climbed 4.6 per cent to 140,793 units Output for the year-to-date was up 1.2 per cent Export production rose by 9.5 per cent in July and 7.8 per cent year-to-date July CV output on par with last year Provisional output data released today by the Office for National Statistics show that: Production figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that: July 2003 CV production dipped 0.5 per cent on July 2002 Output up 1.3 per cent over seven months to July on the same period last yearFor more on July car and CV production, please download the press release by clicking on the link below.DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
CV output falls again in November Engine manufacturing rose for a third successive month in November, up 3.4% to 231,371 units.Output up 2.5% over the year-to-date to 2,404,146 units.November rise driven by exports; robust home market performance over year-to-date. “With output up 4.5% in 2013 to-date, UK car manufacturing is on track to pass 1.5 million units this year, the best performance since 2007,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “A number of mass-market manufacturers have this year used November to prepare their production lines for new models, so volumes dropped 3.6% in the month. However, the forthcoming new models will play an integral part in what is predicted to be an even stronger 2014 for UK car manufacturing.” Commercial vehicle (CV) output fell 35.7% in November to 7,061 units.CV production over the first 11 months of the year down 21.5% to 82,535 units.Total CV manufacturing volumes expected to remain subdued until mid-2014. Exports fuel strong month for engine production Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) “Ongoing weak European demand and changes to UK manufacturing operations impacted commercial vehicle production in November,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “While we expect the downward trend to continue for a few months yet, CV manufacturing in the UK has a solid base from which to build with more than 200 vans, trucks and buses rolling off domestic production lines every day.” Click through to download the full UK automotive manufacturing news release for November 2013.If you use these figures in online editorial, please reference www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/ as the source. Car production rose 4.5% in first 11 months of year to 1,424,023 units.2013 output set to pass 1.5 million units for first time in six years.Preparation for new model production at several UK sites saw November output dip 3.6%.
Saturday marks Soirée, the annual commemoration of Brock University’s namesake Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock.Hundreds of people are expected to attend the evening event.Please make note of the following interruptions around campus:• All buses will be redirected to the temporary bus staging on Isaac Brock Blvd. West from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Buses will return to their normal pickup in front of Schmon Tower on Sunday.• Lot S East will be reserved for event parking beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday. Permit holders can park in Zone 1.• Pay parking on Isaac Brock Blvd. West will not be available on Saturday. Pay parking is available at Lot D ($7 day rate) or at any pay machine/meter spaces around campus.• Guernsey Market will be closed Saturday as it hosts Soirée. DeCew/Lowenberger dining halls will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and the Hungry Badger will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 24. Cocktails and Au Marche first course at 6 p.m., dinner and entertainment at 7:30 p.m.WHERE: Guernsey Market Hall, Brock UniversityHOW: Tickets are $225 each; tables seat up to eight guestsFor tickets or more information about the 2015 General Brock October Soirée please visit brocku.ca/soiree.
The first NBA game was in Toronto.And now, the NBA Finals are headed there.Finally.The NBA Finals are set after the Toronto Raptors won the Eastern Conference championship on Saturday night and earned the right to play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors. For the Raptors, it’ll be the first time on this stage; for the Warriors, it’ll be an 11th trip to the finals and fifth in a row, as they look for a fourth crown in the last five seasons.Game 1 is Thursday night in Toronto, which will become the first city outside the U.S. to play host to a finals game – a milestone that comes just about 73 years after Toronto was the site of the first game in NBA history.The Raptors weren’t around then: Toronto’s first NBA team was called the Huskies, a club that went 22-38 in its only season. The Raptors have been around since 1995, and in their 24th season they’re finally going to play for a ring.“They’re the champions,” Raptors star Kawhi Leonard said of the Warriors. “We’ve got to go in, have the mental focus, enjoy the moment and take the challenge.”While it is the first finals trip for the Raptors franchise, many players on the team have been there. Leonard and Danny Green got there with San Antonio in 2013 and 2014, with Leonard winning MVP of the series against Miami five years ago. Serge Ibaka was with Oklahoma City for its appearance in 2012 and Raptors reserve Patrick McCaw was part of the Warriors for their title runs in each of the past two seasons.“We’re not satisfied,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “We want to win the championship.”Related stories:Toronto reacts to Raptors clinching NBA finals berthToronto Raptors advance to NBA finals, first Canadian team in historyVideo: Fans sing ‘O Canada’ after Raptors victory For the Warriors, this has almost become an annual rite.Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have been part of each of these five runs to the finals by Golden State. Kevin Durant is going to his third in a row and fourth overall; if he wins Finals MVP – that would seem unlikely at this point, because he isn’t expected to play in Game 1 and it’s unknown if he’ll actually appear in the series at all because of a calf injury – he would join Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players to win that trophy in three consecutive seasons.By the time Game 1 rolls around, the Warriors will have been off for 10 days. They scrimmaged Saturday to break up the monotony.“I think we try and be smart with it,” Iguodala said. “We got a few guys just trying to get back from injury and it’s given us some time to get that rest and take advantage of it.”Warriors coach Steve Kerr has a chance at his ninth championship. He won five as a player, has three already as a coach and is going to the finals for the 10th time in his last 13 seasons in either of those roles.“It’s not like we’ve come to expect it, but we’re veterans of this experience and this run and our guys know how to finish games,” Kerr said. “They know how to win playoff series, and so there’s a sense of confidence going into every round. There’s still a sense of joy and accomplishment getting to the finals. It’s so hard to do.”For Leonard, it’ll be the first trip to the finals since he was MVP of the series in 2014.And it only continues to prove that his first year in Toronto was a success.Traded to the Raptors last summer by San Antonio – DeMar DeRozan was the big piece the Spurs got – Leonard, his health and whether he’d fit in in Toronto was one of the major storylines entering this season.Asked and answered. Leonard has averaged 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in the playoffs, had a 27-point, 17-rebound, seven-assist effort in the win over Milwaukee that clinched the East on Saturday, and had perhaps the biggest moment of this post-season when his buzzer-beater hit the rim four times before dropping to beat Philadelphia in Game 7 of the second round.“He’s been great,” Kerr said. “Not surprising, though. He’s got his finals MVP a few years ago. One of the best players in the league, so he’s been great.”Game 2 is in Toronto on June 2, followed by Games 3 and 4 at Oracle Arena on June 5 and June 7.Either Game 4 or Game 6 – on June 13, if it goes that far – will be the final time the Warriors call that building home. They’re leaving Oakland after this season for the brand-new Chase Center in San Francisco.The Raptors swept the season series, though there are plenty of reasons not to make too big a deal out of that. For starters, the teams haven’t played since Dec. 12. And neither team was at full strength in either of those games – Durant scored 51 in a 131-128 loss at Toronto in a game in which the Warriors didn’t have Curry, Cousins or Green; the Raptors won by 20 at Oracle even without Leonard two weeks later.Regardless, it can now be said: Toronto and the Bay lay claim to the NBA’s two best teams this season.All that’s left to decide now is who’ll be hosting the championship parade and hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Larry Johnson watches the team practice before the Blue and White scrimmage April 20 at Beaver Stadium.Credit: Courtesy of Daily CollegianLarry Johnson is officially an Ohio State Buckeye.OSU made the announcement Wednesday, naming Johnson the next assistant head coach and defensive line coach for the Buckeyes, according to a press release.“I am very pleased that Larry Johnson is an Ohio State Buckeye,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said in the release. “I have great respect for him as a family man, as a coach and mentor of young men and as a recruiter. He is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff.”Johnson spent the last 18 years of his career at Penn State, including overseeing the entire defensive line for the last 14 years. He also spent 20 years coaching high school football in Maryland and Virginia, according to the release.“In just a few hours I can tell that Ohio State cares about football,” Johnson said in the release. “There is a winning tradition that is important here. They care about academics and they care about players, and I like the way coach Urban Meyer approaches things. He’s a great teacher. He is very organized and this is what I was looking for.”Johnson is set to replace former Buckeye defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, who announced via Twitter Jan. 9 he was leaving OSU to take a job with the Houston Texans of the NFL. Vrabel’s jump to the NFL comes after Houston announced the hiring of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien Jan. 3.While coaching at Penn State, six of Johnson’s defensive linemen were first-round NFL Draft selections, most recently Jared Odrick in 2010. Johnson also coached seven first-team All-Americans on the defensive line in his time at State College, Pa., including Courtney Brown, who was picked No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft in 2000.Since 1996, Johnson’s first season with the Nittany Lions, no other Big Ten team has had as many players from one position win Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year than the five defensive ends Johnson coached.“I am really impressed with the Ohio State players. I just met a group of players, walked out of the room and thought, ‘wow,’ these are kinds of players I want to coach,” Johnson said. “They were really impressive.”Johnson, who grew up in Williamston, N.C., coached a defense that led the nation in sacks from 2005-09. He focuses on fundamentals and forming relationships with the players he coaches, according to the release.“I’m a relationship guy and I think in order to get the best out of your players you have to develop relationships,” Johnson said in a released statement. “I’m also a teacher. I like to teach the basic fundamentals of football. I want guys who are fundamentally sound and have the ability to play fast and to play relentless.”Johnson’s salary was not immediately available Wednesday evening, per OSU. The man he is replacing at OSU, Vrabel, earned a base salary of $291,004 last season, according to the USA TODAY coaches database.According to PennLive, Johnson was offered to remain as defensive line coach for the Nittany Lions by their new head coach — James Franklin — but declined.The Buckeyes are set to open their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Vince Doria (far right), Matt Mitten (second from right), Joe Nocera (second from left), and Andrew Zimbalist (far left) are introduced on Friday at the Sports Society Initiative’s forum on paying college athletes. Credit: Mitch Hooper | Lantern reporterThe topic of financial compensation for collegiate student-athletes has been sweeping the nation in recent years, and on Friday, Ohio State, home to one of the country’s most profitable athletic departments, was at the forefront of that discussion.Two separate panel discussions — the first featuring sports policy analysts and writers, and the second consisting of seven former Buckeye athletes — were held on campus in an event organized by the university’s Sports and Society Initiative. The three-hour conversation, titled “Paying College Athletes,” encompassed nearly all sides of the debate, from legal and political angles, to methods and realities of implementation, and to athlete testimonies and alternatives. Dialogue among the panel members was passionate, insightful and respectful, although it jumped around frequently. Yet, that is inherent with any conversation about financial compensation for student-athletes. The issue is so complex, like splitting the atom, that any discussion on it could seem scattered because there are myriad factors to consider and understand.Kristin Watt, an attorney and former OSU basketball player in the 1980s, does not support a pay-to-play model, but she, like the few other panelists with a similar position, completely acknowledged the inequities in the current system. Although she said there likely will be inequities no matter what, there are “absolutely” problems that can be fixed.“Forums like this, I really want to congratulate Ohio State for putting this on,” said Watt, who was on the second panel. “The more we talk about it, the more issues get out and the more people get educated … That’s what helps spur changes.” A high point during the event was when former OSU running back Maurice Clarett delivered his opening statement. Despite his dominant freshman season for the Buckeyes in 2002, Clarett is infamous for his off-the-field tribulations, which included accepting improper benefits that played a role in his dismissal from the university and spending more than three years in prison on multiple charges. When Clarett spoke, the some hundred people in the audience were captivated, clinging to his every word. Clarett said he “absolutely” supports a pay-for-play model for collegiate athletes, citing his personal story as evidence. Growing up in the poverty in Youngstown, Ohio, Clarett said he took money under the table to help him pay personal expenses, namely fixing his car’s transmission. “My spiral of events wouldn’t have happen if I had money,” Clarett said passionately. Clarett said his situation — coming from poverty and needing support beyond just an academic scholarship — is no anomaly. Clarett also spoke poignantly about the lack of emphasis that some programs place on education. Clarett said he was nowhere near the education level needed at OSU and that he was shuffled through classes just to stay eligible. This is common, Clarett said, with those coming from inner city schools. At one point, amid the Youngstown native’s emotional soliloquy on academics, Lawrence Funderburke, a panelist and former OSU basketball player, interpreted. “Preach it,” he said. “Keep preaching.”As Clarett’s opening statement wrapped up, a few members of the audience stood up, applauding. Vince Doria, former Senior Vice President and Director of News at ESPN, started the discussion on the first panel. Doria, an OSU graduate, acknowledged his past employer’s role in the growth of big-time college athletics through massive television deals, yet he said he supports a pay-to-play system. His proposal contains different tiers of payment for players in revenue sports based mostly on playing time. It might not be perfect, Doria said, but at the very least, it “begins to address the unfairness of the current system.” A key portion of Doria’s rationale for supporting additional compensation beyond academic scholarship is that the notion of providing education is misleading, he said. “A scholarship is really the opportunity to achieve an education,” he said. Doria said with the vigorious schedule that athletes have because of games and training, they don’t get the same chance to work outside of the classroom to really take full advantage of the scholarship and obtain a comprehensive education. Joe Nocera, a sports business columnist at The New York Times and co-author of “Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA,” is outspoken about the reforms he feels are necessary. Nocera left no room for where he stood on the issue, enunciating his clear support for paying student-athletes. In fact, Nocera said he even believes that the term “student-athlete” is incorrect.“(The NCAA) shouldn’t call them student-athletes, but rather athlete-students or employee students, because that’s what they really are,” he said. “Let’s be honest about what the NCAA is. … it’s a cartel.”Former OSU basketball player Kristin Watt (right) speaks at a forum about paying college athletes while former OSU running back Maurice Clarett (left) listens. Credit: Mitch Hooper | Lantern reporterWhen Nocera first began writing about the injustices he believes college athletes face, he said he got emails from readers asking why he was spending his time writing about it. His explanation, delivered passionately on Friday, pierced the crowd.“This is not a sports issue. This is a human rights issue and civil rights issue,” said Nocera, who also brought up the NCAA’s transfer policy, which he denounced. “I came at this through the prism of rights, not pay.” Watt, the former OSU basketball player, was not alone in her opposition to a pay-to-play model. Joining her in dissent was a Marscilla Packer, a fellow former OSU basketball player, Funderburke and Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts. “I think there are meaningful reforms that can address the economic injustices without going for the pay-for-play model,” said Zimbalist, who cited concerns over growing television revenue and the complicated tax-exempt status donations to athletic departments have. Some of the most common agreed upon reforms that did not involve a direct cash payment included guaranteed scholarships lasting at least four years. Currently, they are for one year, with the option to be renewed. Lifetime health insurance was another proposal that seemed to be agreed upon by all 11 panelists. Nocera said it’s clear that if an athlete sustains injuries while playing sports in college for a university, it’s the school’s duty to make sure the individual has the proper care he or she needs during his or her lifetime. Funderburke, who founded a youth organization after retiring from the NBA, said he has a five-point plan to help student-athletes that does not involve a pay-for-play system. It included mentoring arrangements, life-skills courses for athletes, a deferred-savings stipend and a family emergency fund. “We’re never going to be fair or equitable, but we can at least be sensible,” he said. If there is one thing the panel illustrated, it’s that there is a lot to consider when looking to address injustices in college athletics. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but having open forums like the panel can prove to be instrumental, said Kelly Trent, a former OSU golfer who is “on the fence” on specifics but agrees collegiate sports are littered with inequity. “For this thing to advance, it’s going to take some giving on both sides,” said Doria, the former executive at ESPN. “And the history of the NCAA in that area hasn’t been good.”
OSU redshirt sophomore middle blocker Blake Lesson goes to serve in the set against No. 4 Long Beach State. OSU won 3-1. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Lantern ReporterThe top-ranked Ohio State Men’s volleyball team (13-0, 4-0 MIVA) is set to play two matches this weekend. Friday they will face Quincy University (3-8, 1-4 MIVA) and Saturday they will take on Lindenwood University (0-11, 0-6 MIVA).After setting the program’s longest win streak with its 33rd straight victory, OSU now sits four games shy of Loyola University’s 40-game win streak set in the 2014-15 seasons. Two wins this weekend would bring OSU that much closer to the national mark.The all-time record of 47 straight wins was set by UCLA in 1983-1985.“Honestly, and I don’t know if people believe this, but I don’t think about that at all,” said redshirt sophomore middle blocker Blake Leeson. “It’s not something that I go into each match thinking about. It’s something to defend and we’re going to the best of our ability continue to do that, but I don’t think I add any pressure on myself more than I already do.”QuincyThe Quincy Hawks come to Columbus having only beat the Buckeyes twice in the 53-game history, and having never beat OSU inside St. John Arena. The Buckeyes have only lost 14 total sets against the Hawks since the teams first met in 1993.The trip to Columbus will be a homecoming for Ohio natives redshirt junior setter Thane Fanfulik and senior middle blocker Jarrod Kelso, both from Hilliard, Ohio, and junior outside hitter Anthony Winter from Olmsted Falls, Ohio.Kelso and Winter are slotted in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in kills per set for the Hawks with 2.10 and 1.70 kills, respectively. Fanfulik comes into the matchup averaging 7.21 assists per set.“I think the challenging thing for us is that we just got to stay focused,” OSU coach Pete Hanson said. “We can’t play down to the level of the opponent. When we talked about that in practice this week about ‘Hey, we got to set a standard and play to our standard.’”LindenwoodIn OSU’s short history with the Lindenwood Lions, the Buckeyes have won all eight matches. Despite its historical dominance against the Lions, OSU is not looking past them this weekend.“They’re young,” Hanson said. “They haven’t won too many matches, but they could come in and just create problems by playing hard and playing with energy if our guys don’t respond. So, we’ve talked more about our response to that physically and mentally and playing our game.”Lindenwood has two players ranked in the top-five in four statistical categories within the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Junior libero Ryan Vorderer is ranked No. 4 in digs per set with 2.25. Lindenwood’s freshman middle blocker Sam Schindler has the fifth-best hitting percentage in the conference at .332, and holds the No. 2 spot in blocks per set and aces per set with 1.16 blocks per set and 0.42 aces per set.Schindler trails OSU senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson, slotted in the No. 1 spot, and OSU senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, slotted in the No. 2 spot, in hitting percentage. Johnson, attacking at a rate of .442, earned his third straight MIVA Offensive Player of the Week honor on Tuesday, becoming the first player since Shawn Sangrey in 2011 to win the award in three consecutive weeks.OSU begins the weekend’s play against Quincy on Friday at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. On Sunday, the Buckeyes take on Lindenwood in St. John Arena at 4 p.m.
Ohio State redshirt junior guard Kam Williams attempts a shot in the first half against Maryland at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 31. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State guard Kam Williams is refuting a report from CBS Sports that said he was returning to Columbus for his redshirt senior season. In a tweet early Monday afternoon, Williams said “I have not withdrawn anything,” a clear response to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, who reported Monday morning that OSU coach Thad Matta told him Williams planned to withdraw from the 2017 NBA draft. A team spokesman was unable to confirm CBS Sports’ report at this time. Williams’ name had previously been on the list of early entrants for the 2017 NBA draft, which was released early last week. Since Williams has not hired an agent, he is able to return to school after receiving feedback from teams about his draft prospects. Williams, who averaged a career-high 9.4 points per game last year on a career-low 39 percent shooting, is unlikely to be drafted if he turns professional. He has not received an invite to the NBA combine. If Williams’ does return to school, it would provide a boost for Matta and the Buckeyes, who struggled last season. They finished 17-15 and missed both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. OSU lost redshirt junior forward Trevor Thompson to the NBA draft, as well as senior forward Marc Loving to graduation. A 6-foot-2 guard known for his ability to catch fire offensively, Williams would provide the team with an experienced player and a scoring threat. Consistency on both ends of the court has been one area during his career where he has struggled. Williams, who typically came off the bench during his first two seasons, started 29 games in the 2016-17, mostly in place for the injured Keita Bates-Diop. The public rebuttal from Williams calls to mind a saga which took place earlier in the offseason between Oregon forward Jordan Bell and Yahoo! Sports’ Shams Charania. Charania reported that Bell intended to enter the NBA draft, but Bell — much like Williams — took to Twitter to say he had yet to make a decision and that Charania’s report was “#fakenews.”One day later, on April 18, Bell officially declared for the draft. Ohio State’s Kam Williams will return to school for his senior season, per Thad Matta. Entered 2017 NBA Draft process without an agent.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 1, 2017https://twitter.com/kd__will/status/859063806307303425Editor’s Note: The original article posted said Williams had withdrawn from the NBA draft. The updated article includes Williams’ refuting comments.