Royce White, the 16th overall pick in June’s NBA draft, was suspended by the Houston Rockets Sunday for refusing to provide services required by his contract.“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract,” Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”One week ago White refused his assignment to Houston’s D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers after spending the majority of the season on the Rockets’ inactive list, while he and management tried to reach a reasonable solution for his overall mental health and anxiety disorder.The 21-year-old White is requesting that the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, the Rockets and himself sign a document for mental health protocol, and does not plan to show up for any team activities until everyone signs the document, according to USA TODAY Sports.White’s demands will be difficult to accomplish because such an agreement is banned under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.The 6-foot-8 White went on a Twitter rampage after being suspended indefinitely by the Rockets organization.“What’s suspending me suppose to do. I’ve been away from the team for a month ½. Guess we want to give it a title shift accountability,” he tweeted.White even took at shot Morey in his second tweet.“Threat, Fines, Suspension won’t deter me. I won’t accept illogical health decisions, I will keep asking for safety & health. #BeWell @dmorey,” he tweeted.White, whose contract is guaranteed for $3.3 million for the first two seasons, will not be paid during his suspension.The Rockets and White had a tentative agreement in place at the beginning of the season to deal with his anxiety disorder due to the rigorous demands of the NBA’s travel schedule. Both parties agreed to allow him travel by bus to some games in an attempt to tackle his fear of flying and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He managed to fly to Detroit for the season opener and then bused to Atlanta and Memphis for the following games.Shortly after that White made the decision to stop participating in all team activities and took to Twitter saying dealing with his mental health was more important than his NBA career.White is hopeful that he can change the protocol for himself, the entire league and future players.“There’s no mental health protocol here, for not only the Rockets but the entire league, really,” White said in a SirusXM interview. “I expressed that that’s really unsafe if you think about it. So, basically, I’m fighting to have that rectified. I just don’t think it is OK or responsible or even logical to have GMs or any front office personnel have executive authority in medical situations.”
Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On Friday’s show (June 1, 2018), Neil and Kyle discuss the controversial end to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, whether this series is more competitive than pundits thought it would be, and what more LeBron James has to do for his team to win.The Lab will be back with another episode next week. In the meantime, keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions, which are updated after every game. By Neil Paine and Kyle Wagner
The injury to Brazil’s Neymar might have made more headlines, but Argentina will also be shorthanded in its World Cup semifinal. Attacking midfielder Angel di Maria, who was hurt in the first half of Argentina’s win against Belgium, will miss the team’s match against the Netherlands on Wednesday.Di Maria is a big deal. He ranked No. 72 on The Guardian’s list of the world’s top 100 footballers and was UEFA’s man of the match in Real Madrid’s victory over Atletico Madrid in this past spring’s Champions League final.We can evaluate the impact of di Maria’s injury the same way we did for Neymar — by using the plus-minus rating system embedded within ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI). The plus-minus system has some blind spots. It will underrate world-class defensive players whose contributions don’t show up in the stat line, and it has a limited sample of data for players who don’t play in one of the top five club leagues in Europe. But for di Maria — an attacking player in Spain’s La Liga — it should do reasonably well.The system estimates that di Maria is worth about 0.33 goals per 90 minutes of play, relative to an average international footballer. (Of these, 0.28 are from his offense and 0.05 are from his defense.) That’s not quite in Neymar’s league, but it would imply that di Maria is somewhere around the 30th best player in the world — a little ahead of where The Guardian ranks him.Some of di Maria’s value lies in that he can play center midfield or on the wing. That flexibility also makes it hard to say how Argentina will replace him. There are at least five possibilities, including forwards Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio, and midfielders Enzo Perez, Ricardo Alvarez and Maxi Rodriguez.In contrast to Neymar’s potential replacements — which SPI had rated about evenly with one another — the footballers who might spell di Maria are seen rather differently by the system, as shown in the chart below (numbers are rounded). SPI rates Palacio and Rodriguez highly, Perez relatively poorly, and the others somewhere in between.But the ratings for Rodriguez and Perez are based on a small sample of games. (This is especially so for Rodriguez, who plays for Newell’s Old Boys in the Argentine Primera Division, not a league that we track.) Therefore, I’ve weighed the potential replacements by the number of minutes with them on the pitch in recent games in the SPI database.This weighted average estimates that the replacements are the equivalent of 0.13 goals per 90 minutes worse than di Maria, including both offensive and defensive play. This is enough to lower Argentina’s chances of beating the Netherlands from 57 percent at full strength to 53 percent.Nevertheless, the trade for Argentina — one missed match for di Maria (it’s hoped he’ll be back for the final) in exchange for two Neymar absences and one Thiago Silva suspension on rival Brazil — isn’t a horrible one. The injury-adjusted version of our World Cup odds, shown in the table below, gives Argentina a 21 percent chance of winning it all. This is slightly higher than the unadjusted version, which assumes Argentina and Brazil are healthy and puts Argentina’s chances at 20 percent instead.
OSU senior forward Kenny Cunningham (19) celbrates after a goal during a game agaisnt Penn State on Sept. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU tied 1-1.Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternSenior defender Liam Doyle converted a penalty kick in overtime, extending the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s unbeaten streak to seven with a 1-0 victory at Indiana.The Buckeyes improved to 6-4-2 overall and 2-1-1 in Big Ten play, while the Hoosiers fell to 7-4-1 on the season and 1-3-0 in Big Ten conference action.The Hoosiers came out strong as they immediately took charge of the game.By the 12th minute in the first half, shots were 2-0 Indiana.The Hoosiers continued to pile up offense, but OSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer came across with two saves in the 17th minute to prevent the Hoosiers from putting a point on the board.In the 21st minute Indiana earned a corner kick, but Froschauer blocked the corner attempt keeping the game scoreless.The Hoosiers came close to scoring in the 29th minute when a shot hit off the post in a one-on-one break.Froschauer gained his fifth save of the game in the 30th minute after a diving save to keep the Indiana off the board.OSU junior forward Danny Jensen tried to get it going for the Buckeyes when he attempted a header near post off a free kick. However, Indiana’s junior goalkeeper Colin Webb was able to save it. The final action of the first half came from the Buckeyes when OSU earned its first corner kick of the night in the 38th minute, but the kick was knocked away leaving the score at 0-0 heading into the second half.After a scoreless first half, both teams began the second frame looking to break the game open. In the 52nd minute, OSU earned another free kick that was taken by OSU senior defender and co-captain Liam Doyle. His shot barely missed sophomore forward Marcus McCrary in front of the net.The Hoosiers went for a shot attempt in the 61st minute, but Froschauer came up with another diving stop to keep the game scoreless. In the 73rd minute, Doyle took another free kick for the Buckeyes but Webb denied the attempt, keeping his clean sheet intact for the time being. McCrary fired another shot from a distance in the 85th minute, but his shot went wide of the net.The final five minutes of play resulted neither team finding the back of the net, sending the match to overtime. Neither team could manage to score as it headed into the final three minutes of overtime.In the last three minutes of the game, the Hoosiers earned a yellow card, giving the Buckeyes an opportunity for a penalty kick.Doyle made that opportunity count, finding the back of the net to win the game for the Buckeyes.Overall shots were 18-4 in favor of the Hoosiers, with a 6-2 lead in corner kicks.Froschauer had a season-high seven saves and improved to 6-4-2 on the season.The Buckeyes will continue on the road against Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Lexington, Kentucky.
Dan Wallenberg, Ohio State’s associate athletic director of communications, is in charge of handling what might seem like a constant media frenzy surrounding Buckeye sports. His job – which includes working with football coach Urban Meyer and a men’s basketball program coming off a Final Four appearance – becomes more hectic as OSU sports move further into the national spotlight. “As you get to the Final Four, there are more media to coordinate because there are less teams to cover in the tournament,” Wallenberg said. “When you are hiring a new football coach like Urban Meyer, basically every football outlet in the country wants information.” The day-in and day-out demands from the media is something Wallenberg’s gotten used to. He has been the associate athletics director since August 2007 after originally joining the staff in July 1998 as the men’s basketball communications contact. For some, Wallenberg’s gig might even seem like a dream job. “Everyone always tells me how my job must be fun and it is,” Wallenberg said. “But it’s also work.” When controversy consumes OSU athletics, Wallenberg plays a key responsibility dealing with the influx of media attention. “His leadership during some of the department’s more troubling times within the past few years have proved Dan can handle anything and make sure his staff is prepared for anything,” said Kendra Willard, an assistant director for OSU’s athletics communications . The work comes with a price, too. “I go to work on weekends and holidays,” Wallenberg said, “and I don’t always get to leave the office at 5 p.m.” Wallenberg, though, said he tries to find time to do the things he loves. He said he wakes up at 6:15 a.m, grabs his iPod and his dog and sits outside on his porch while he catches up on the morning news. “I like being outside in the quiet of the morning,” Wallenberg said. “It’s my time to read the news. I like knowing what’s going on in the world.” Besides keeping up with the news, Wallenberg also enjoys traveling. “I like to go to Chicago and stay downtown. I grew up there and absolutely love it,” Wallenberg said. “I go about three times a year.” He even likes to indulge in his grandmother’s home-cooked food. “If there was one meal I could have for the rest of my life, it would be my grandma’s pasta sauce and spaghetti,” he said. “I love to grill too, but nothing beats grandma’s spaghetti.” Wallenberg extends his knack for communicating to other people in his life, including his colleagues. “Dan is a great communicator with both people inside our office and externally with media, coaches and other athletic department personnel,” said Brett Rybak, an assistant director for OSU’s athletics communications . Even though Wallenberg’s career is immersed in sports, his wife, Laura Wallenberg, has never been a fanatic. “I’ve never come home from a football game day to have the Hallmark Channel on,” Dan Wallenberg said. “But after the first game day this season, that’s what she was watching.” Laura Wallenberg appreciates her husband’s sports enthusiasm, but also loves other characteristics about him. “Dan is a pretty face-value guy and that is pretty cool,” she said. “What you see is what you get with him.” Although many people might find Dan Wallenberg to be an interesting person, he insists that his job is the only thing that makes him unique. “I’m just like everyone else,” he said. “I love to mow my grass, I like to work outside and I love to golf.”
Ohio State’s men’s basketball team got its second scorer when it needed him the most. For much of this season, members of the No. 14-ranked Buckeyes have expressed the need for an additional offensive threat behind junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Against unranked Penn State, though, such an conundrum failed to manifest itself as sophomore forward Sam Thompson dropped 16 points on the Nittany Lions en route to a 65-51 win Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. Already a Buckeye fan favorite because of his theatrical dunks, Thompson’s 16 points helped push OSU (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) past a Penn State squad that finds itself still winless (0-8) in Big Ten play more than halfway through the regular season. Thompson, who was 6-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-2 behind the arc, proved to be a catalyst for OSU in a game that saw its other starters shoot a combined 9-for-27. Notably, Thomas struggled with his touch against Penn State (8-12, 0-8 Big Ten), shooting 4-for-13 and 1-for-3 from 3-point range. The 11 points he mustered were the lowest output for Thomas in any game this season. And, perhaps against a more formidable opponent, such a deficit would’ve proved costly – especially on the road. In losses against Duke, Illinois and Michigan State away from the comfortable confines of the Schottenstein Center, OSU stuggled to find someone – anyone – outside of the Big Ten’s leading scorer. Need an example? Most recently, against the No. 13 Spartans, Thomas scored 28 of the Buckeyes’ 56 total points. In the team’s worst loss to date, a 74-55 defeat to the Illini, Thomas notched 24 points and junior guard Aaron Craft’s 11 points made him the only other Buckeye that day to score in double digits. In its game against Penn State, however, Thomas had help – and not just from Thompson. Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. totaled 11 points and knocked down 7 of 8 free throws to help keep the game out of reach from a gritty, yet offensively anemic, Nittany Lions crew. While OSU’s bench helped the Buckeyes manage a 43 percent outing from the floor, Penn State shot 36 percent in total and 24 percent from behind the arc (4-for-17). Most devastating for the Nittany Lions, though, was a 10-minute scoring drought in the first half that allowed OSU to mount a double-digit cushion that would withstand a late Penn State rally that cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 10 with 2:41 to play. It wasn’t enough to overcome an otherwise shaky performance, as the Nittany Lions were outrebounded, 39-25, despite only turning the ball over four times compared to OSU’s eight miscues. OSU also made 83 percent of its 23 free throw attempts while Penn State struggled its way to a 59 percent connection rate. The loss is the Nittany Lions’ 18th straight to OSU. Conversely, OSU OSU is scheduled to next play Wisconsin Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State sophomore infielder Conner Pohl (39) takes a swing at a pitch in the fourth inning of the game against Ohio University in April 10. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorSophomore shortstop Noah West’s earned a consistent starting role for the Ohio State baseball team almost exclusively because of his defense. He’s batted .232 and slugged .284 resulting in a near-permanent spot at the bottom of the order.It must have startled the poor baseball West obliterated in the eighth inning, enough that it jumped all the way over the left field fence for a grand slam, West’s first ever. “It didn’t hit me until I rounded third base and saw coach [Greg Beals] and slapped his hand,” West said.The blast put Sunday’s game out of reach at 14-6 before another home run made it 16-6, securing a senior day win for the Ohio State Buckeyes (33-17, 13-8 Big Ten) against the Purdue Boilermakers (30-18, 14-6 Big Ten). He was far from the only underclassman to deliver for the seniors.“I think everybody was in ‘deliver for senior’ mode today,” Beals said.Beals specifically referenced a play in the seventh inning where junior catcher Jacob Barnwell went first to third on a wild pitch.“That’s a momentum thing,” Beals said. “Barnwell played harder than they did, and that hurts the psyche of a ballclub.” Not everything began so well for the Buckeyes, but down 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth it was West, sophomore Dominic Canzone and junior Kobie Foppe that got the offense humming again with three consecutive doubles to manufacture two runs.All told, Canzone went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, but arguably more crucial than any of his offense was a throw he made in the seventh to throw out Purdue left fielder Ben Nisle. Nisle was attempting to go first-to-third on a single by right fielder Alec Olund.“One-run ball game, assist to third base, that’s a pretty big play,” Beals said. More underclassmen broke the game open in the sixth.Canzone singled through the right side to score senior first baseman Bo Coolen, and sophomore third baseman Conner Pohl came through for a two-run single with the bases loaded to give the Buckeyes a 7-6 lead.Combined underclass batters scored 12 of Ohio State’s 16 runs and batted in 10 of them. West finished 3-3 with four runs scored and five RBIs“The thing about us is, we have fight in us,” West said. “Especially on senior day, we’re not gonna go down without a fight.”
BBC journalist Emma Cameron has her live report rudely interrupted by a ‘giant wasp’. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The charity is concerned that job centres are driving young women away and alienating them from claiming the temporary financial support they need.Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said: “Young women are more likely to be out of education, employment and training than young men. They want to work and be financially independent but they aren’t getting the necessary support. It is clear from this report that job centres need to change.“Young Women’s Trust’s report offers solutions based on what we have found works. We are calling on the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to learn from this and improve the advice and support they offer.”The charity also found that more needs to be done to support young women into work as more than half said they lack self-confidence generally while nearly 40 per cent said they are not confident applying for a new job.Around 62 per cent said they will not apply unless they feel they meet all the criteria, compared to 54 per cent of young men – while 85 per cent say they do not receive feedback when they do apply. Only 19 per cent of young women who visited a job centre in the last year said it helped them find a position, new research shows.The Young Women’s Trust surveyed more than 4,000 18-30 year olds, and found the vast majority were negative about their experiences.Almost half of the 358 who visited a Jobcentre Plus said it had not given them useful information about work and training opportunities.More than half described their time at the job centre as “humiliating” and 68 per cent said it was “stressful”. Twenty-one per cent said they were treated with no respect by centre staff. The charity has launched a ‘Work It Out’ service which provides free coaching and personalised advice on job applications in a way that empowers young women and fits around their lives. ‘Work It Out’ client Isis Mason said: “My coach was fully flexible and ever supportive of me. We’d arrange to talk after I had tucked my daughter into bed, and spend the evening focusing on me, my achievements, and where I wanted to go in life. She gave me practical ways to deal with anxiety and overcome issues that made me feel as though I wasn’t good enough. By the time my coaching had come to an end, my confidence was fully restored… I secured part-time employment and had begun the process to apply for postgraduate study.”A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “This report fails to recognise that there are more women in work than ever before – up by well over a million since 2010 with fewer than five per cent of all young women unemployed and not in full-time education.”Our jobcentre staff provide first rate support to thousands of people looking for work each day and our latest survey showed that over 85 per cent of women were happy with the help they received.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.