Across all 50 states, young leaders and activists helped to organize the first “March for our Lives,” aimed at enacting gun control reforms in the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland, Fla.One of these marches was held Saturday afternoon in downtown South Bend, where students from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s marched in time with millions across the country advocating for a change to America’s gun laws.The students flocked to Morris Performing Arts Center where they carried signs and shouted chants into the cold March air. Photo courtesy of Teresa Brickey Saint Mary’s students junior Teresa Brickey, left, and sophomore Olivia Sencion, right, stand with South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg at the South Bend ‘March for Our Lives’ March 24. The rally was held to advocate for gun control reform.Among those carrying signs was Saint Mary’s junior Teresa Brickey.“I’ve been to a lot of protests and a lot of organizations, but what made this one special was that it was organized by people who can’t even vote yet, but have this intense love for our country,” Brickey said. “It’s very much about our future as a country and who’s going to be in positions of power and who’s going to be heard.”Brickey’s desire to listen to affected individuals and participate politically motivated her to attend the march, she said, but the most influential factor driving her decision involved the prevalence of gun violence.“It’s absolutely ridiculous that as a developed country, this is happening,” she said. “It just keeps happening, and every once in a while it happens to the scale where it’s on the news everywhere. But it happens every day.”Attending the march constituted a civil mode of taking action, Brickey said.“I think it’s really important to participate in forms of democracy that we’re called to and that we’re given these rights to do,” Brickey said. “It’s not necessarily that we can get rid of gun violence as a whole, but we can have ways that diminish it or decrease the rates. I just believe that there are ways we can change it.”Notre Dame sophomore Kelsey Allen, who grew up twenty miles from the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and attended the march, expressed frustration at the continued prevalence of gun violence in American society.“I had to hide under a desk for several hours when the Newtown shooting happened,” Allen said. “Several people in my school lost family members, we lost a couple members of our community and I can’t believe it’s not over.”In explaining her decision to take part in the march, Notre Dame sophomore Sheila Gregory also mentioned the scale of gun violence in the United States.“I’m marching because in the years since Columbine we’ve had more deaths from gun violence than basically all wars,” Gregory said. ”It’s disproportionately affecting students, and we‘re afraid to go to school. We need to get out there and show our representatives that enough is enough and this is going to be what breaks the camel’s back. We will vote you out of office.”Saint Mary’s senior Caroline Koenig said Parkland shooting — in which 17 students were killed and another 17 were wounded — especially resonated with her and sparked a desire to seek active outlets for her frustration.“It’s such a uniquely American issue,” she said. “There has to be a reason for that and a way we can fix that.”The freedom to express her opinions, Koenig said, cannot be neglected.“It’s important for me, if I believe in something, to participate in protests such as these,” she said. “If I want to say that I believe in it, I should go out and act.”Notre Dame senior Carolyn Yvellez said in an email she was marching to stand with victims of previous gun violence.“I participated in the event to march in solidarity with the survivors of Parkland, Sandy Hook, Columbine and the African American community who have been advocating for an end to gun violence in their communities before the media and the American public gave this issue proper attention,” Yvellez said. “As a young person, I feel particularly motivated to join Parkland students in demanding grown adults and our legislators do their job in protecting students and children who do not have a voice, and continue to be victims of gun violence.”The march also saw participation from international students. Notre Dame junior Camille Taltas, a native of France, said marching gave her a chance to express her views on gun safety.“I can‘t vote in this country, so this is the only way for me to protest,” Taltas said.Direct political participation, rather than more passive avenues of support, spark productive discourse and catalyze societal change, Saint Mary’s sophomore Olivia Sencion said. “You can say anything you want, but taking the action and physically doing something about it and making your voice heard … is the most critical part,” she said.A definite shift has occurred in the concerns she had as a young person and the fears children endure today, Sencion said. One poster at the march, she said, captured this sentiment by stating: “I don’t want to have to worry about going to school with my book-bag and coming out in a body bag.”“I never had to worry about that, and I don’t want young kids to have to worry about that,” Sencion said. “That hit me most because these are children being scared for their lives and whether or not they’re going to survive their school day.”Saint Mary’s junior Melissa Palencia said though she appreciates the intention behind offering thoughts and prayers for victims of violence, taking concrete steps toward reform is just as necessary.“What really needs to happen is action,” Palencia said. “Especially for me personally — I’m trying to be an educator, so seeing [violence] firsthand and having so many people in this community be affected … there needs to be so much change in the community, in society, in everything.”Gregory said she felt the policies of certain lawmakers on the issue of gun violence were at odds with their stances on other questions.“Another reason why I‘m marching is because 33,000 [people], on average, are killed every year from guns, but Republicans in Congress don’t make it a pro-life issue and it is obviously a pro-life issue,” she said. “If you’re going to call yourself [pro-life], you should support legislation that restricts the sale of assault weapons and increases background checks.”Yvellez also mentioned this issue in relation to her decision to march.“Given [that Notre Dame] identifies as a pro-life campus, I hope these demonstrations are highly attended and embraced as consistent with Notre Dame’s values,” she said.Koenig said she feels compelled to defend students’ rights to live and earn educations.“This is something that I don’t really want to have to protest for — for children to be in their school environment,” Koenig said. “The innocence of children is impactful and powerful in the eyes of, hopefully, legislators, who can empathize with mothers and fathers.”Tags: Downtown South Bend, March for Our Lives, Parkland, protest, South Bend, vote
All Kazakh and Belarusian weightlifters could now be banned for a year from all international weightlifting competitions.Under International Weightlifting Federation rules, automatic bans come into effect if at least three of a country’s athletes fail Olympic retests.The International Olympic Committee has reported a total of 98 positive cases from recent retests of samples from the Beijing and London Games.At least six of those cases came in one weightlifting event, the men’s -94kg category in 2012.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Three weightlifters from Kazakhstan have been stripped of Olympic gold medals won at London 2012 after new tests found them guilty of doping.Zulfiya Chinshanlo, Maiya Maneza and Svetlana Podobedova were all caught when samples from 2012 and the 2008 Games in Beijing were retested.Chinshanlo won at -53kg, Maneza at -63kg and Podobedova at -75kg and all tested positive for steroid stanozolol.It has not been confirmed if their gold medals will now be re-assigned.Eight athletes were sanctioned yesterday, with Marina Shkermankova of Belarus losing her London 2012 bronze medal in the -69kg class.
The NFL doesn’t suffer from the same talent gap as college football. The Chiefs and 49ers don’t get the first two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s not a comparison that fits, because college football relies on recruiting more than anything else.Five schools have mastered that in the CFP era. They continue to stockpile the nation’s best players at programs that are ready-made for national title runs. College football is cyclical, sure, but look how long Saban has kept the wheels spinning in Tuscaloosa. Swinney, Day, Smart and Orgeron are rolling, too.If you want to break the wheel, then you have to find a way to consistently break up those teams in recruiting. Until that happens, expect more of the same in January. National Signing Day affirmed what continues to be the overwhelming theme of the College Football Playoff era. Only a select few schools can truly say they can win a national championship.Those schools — there are five — are, unsurprisingly, at the top of 247Sports’ Composite team rankings for the 2020 recruiting class. And they are going to dominate the sport again in 2020 and beyond. You don’t have to wait until next January to complain about it. Just look at what Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, LSU and Ohio State are doing on the recruiting trail: Those five schools combined to reel in 19 five-star recruits and 72 four-star recruits (14.4 per school) in this year’s class.MORE: Georgia, Alabama once again lead top-10 recruiting classesThe schools comprising the rest of the top 25 totaled 10 five-star recruits (Oregon landed three) and 206 four-star recruits, an average of 10.3 per school.Those five powerhouses have the most difference-makers, and that accumulation of talent — even if it’s one five-star recruit and three four-star recruits per cycle — continues to create a gap in the competition that shows on fall Saturdays. Yes, the rankings matter. Until there’s a sizable shift in recruiting between the haves and have-nots, don’t expect anything to change in the CFP era, even if it expands to eight teams. Consider the following trends:— Alabama has eight No. 1 classes since 2011, and the classes continue to remain strong under Nick Saban. Even if the Tide didn’t finish with the top class in 2020, they’re continuing the greatest continuous recruiting run of all time. Five-star quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2020, should keep that going.— Georgia has put together four straight top-five recruiting classes under Kirby Smart, including the No. 1 class in 2018 and, now, 2020. Florida finished No. 8 this year — its highest mark in that four-year stretch.— LSU is back in the top five for the first time since 2017 after winning the CFP championship under Ed Orgeron. The Tigers have put together back-to-back top-five classes, which was the standard under Les Miles and Saban before that.— Clemson brought in the most five-star recruits (five) this cycle, including quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. Dabo Swinney is recruiting at the highest level, and nobody else in the ACC has a top-10 class.— Ohio State didn’t drop off from the Urban Meyer recruiting level with Ryan Day. The Buckeyes landed three five-star recruits, while Penn State and Michigan failed to land a single five-star player in this cycle.The rich got richer, and it’s easy to see why. Those five schools can offer the best chance at a national championship, complemented with the best three-year developmental plan to the NFL. All five were among the top 10 highest-producing schools when it came to NFL Draft picks in the 2010s. It’s a safe bet they’ll start this decade with the top five spots.MORE: Updated top-100 recruit rankings for 2020They do it better than everybody else, and are pulling away from everyone else trying to break through. Is anybody close even close?— Oregon might be the best longterm bet, considering how well Mario Cristobal has done in the Pac-12 (and how well he has recruited California).— Oklahoma and Texas have each put together three straight top-10 classes in the Big 12, but they must be in the top five more often. The Big 12 remains the only Power 5 conference that has not won a Playoff game.— Notre Dame has not had a top-five class since 2013.— Penn State and Michigan are the next-best bets in the Big Ten, but both slipped out of the top 10 this year.— Texas A&M, Auburn and Florida have the sixth-, seventh-and eighth-ranked 2020 recruiting classes, and are still trying to catch up in the SEC. Those are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth in the SEC, respectively.Those nine schools have combined for one Playoff victory since 2014. Not a national championship — a single Playoff victory, which came when Oregon beat Florida 59-20 in the first-ever Playoff game. The Ducks were then routed by Ohio State 42-20 in the first Playoff championship game. The Buckeyes had better players and better recruiting classes.Those five schools have accounted for 11 of the 12 Playoff championships appearances, too.MORE: Updated recruiting class rankingsIs that bad for college football? That depends on whom you ask. The championship games are heavyweight fights, flush with NFL talent. But they have also become regionalized and repetitive over the last five years. An eight-team Playoff field would help freshen up the field, but it wouldn’t eliminate the lack of parity. You still have to beat those five schools.Fans expecting something in the realm of the NFL playoffs would be sorely disappointed. Upsets such as Tennessee-Baltimore in the AFC divisional playoffs happen at the NFL level. At the college level, Tennessee hasn’t beaten Alabama since 2006.
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Story Links Florida State’s No. 56 Lucas Poullain defeated Thorold, 6-3, 7-6 at No. 3, to put the Seminoles up 3-1. Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,4,3,5,1,2) The Bulldogs came out strong and won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Vinny Gillespie and Barny Thorold rolled past No. 18 Jose Garcia/Lucas Poullain, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles. Juniors Ben Clark and Tom Hands clinched the doubles point with a hard-fought 7-5 win over 44th-ranked Terrance Whitehurst and Terrell Whitehurst. The Bulldogs’ schedule doesn’t get any easier as they travel to No. 47 Oregon on Sunday, March 25 1. #87 Aziz Dougaz (FS) def. Vinny Gillespie (DU) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6) The Seminoles didn’t allow Drake to continue its momentum in singles as FSU managed to win the first set on five of the six courts.Florida State earned straight set wins on courts No. 6 and No. 4, respectively, to take a 2-1 lead. 3. Tom Hands/Ben Clark (DU) def. #44 Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst (FS) 7-5 5. Alex Knaff (FS) def. Finley Hall (DU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 2. Aziz Dougaz/Alex Knaff (FS) def. Ben Wood/Finley Hall (DU) 6-4 Drake’s freshman Finley Hall took the first set 6-1, but Alex Knaff came back to win the final two set 6-3, 6-3 to clinch Seminole victory. 2. #16 Guy Iradukunda (FS) def. Tom Hands (DU) 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (4-7), 10-6 Match Notes 4. Jose Gracia (FS) def. Ben Clark (DU) 6-4, 6-2 3. #56 Lucas Poullain (FS) def. Barny Thorold (DU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Drake University men’s tennis dropped a tough 6-1 match to No. 19 Florida State Friday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. Doubles competition 1. Vinny Gillespie/Barny Thorold (DU) def. #18 Jose Gracia/Lucas Poullain (FS) 6-2 Box Score #19 Florida State University 6, Drake 1Mar 16, 2018 at Tallahassee, Fla. (Scott Speicher Tennis Center) Singles competition 6. Chase Wood (FS) def. Ben Wood (DU) 6-2, 6-2 Print Friendly Version