Pension funds could be exempt from appointing a depository under the latest, and final, revision of the IORP Directive before negotiations with the European Parliament get underway.The fourth compromise draft drawn up during Italy’s presidency of the Council of the EU also sees a streamlining of recommendations for the Pension Benefit Statement (PBS), and relaxes wording on requirements for the management of the funds to be “fit and proper”.First published on 21 November, the draft was on 28 November endorsed as the compromise to be used during negotiations with the European Parliament.The Latvian government, which will assume the rotating council presidency for the first six months of 2015, will begin negotiations next year, with the aim of passing the revised Directive after its first reading in Parliament. In the negotiating mandate, the council said four key issues – the PBS, the risk-evaluation for pensions framework, regulating for the use of a depository and refining cross-border requirements – had been addressed.The presidency was therefore confident the draft represented a balanced approach able to obtain the support of a “vast qualified majority”.The draft upon which negotiations will be based has relaxed requirements for the appointment of a depository, stating that it would be up to individual member states to account for the “nature, scale and complexity” of schemes when deciding whether they will need to appoint anyone.Other revisions that will please the UK market include changes for “fit and proper management” of IORPs, as earlier wording requiring all people involved in the institutions to possess professional qualifications were seen to rule out the use of lay trustees.Instead, the revised draft requires the scheme’s governing body as a whole to have the requisite experience, and ensure that “qualifications, knowledge and experience are collectively adequate”.A key change is the reinsertion of IORPs as a “pension institution with a social purpose”, distancing the Directive from earlier wording that regarded pension funds as financial service providers.The concerns revolve around the IORPs’ often unique anchoring in social and labour law, with services mandated after agreement with social partners, rather than classing the provision as a financial product on par with that offered by insurers.Finally, the draft continues to see the prescription surrounding the PBS reduced, with only two of the initial eight articles on the statement remaining within the Directive.An earlier compromise text saw the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority stripped of its responsibility for drafting the risk-evaluation for pensions guidelines.Correction: The article initially stated that the latest draft continued to refer to IORPs as ‘financial service providers’. However, this was a reference removed from the second draft published by the Council of the EU on 28 November. Instead, mention of IORPs as ‘pension institutions with a social purpose’ was once again included.
LocalNews “Still fragile at 33” by: Swinburne Lestrade by: – November 7, 2011 “Wolfgang and a Texas soldier of fortune – type named Mike Perdue had once organized a military coup on the island of Dominica, a country probably best known today as the setting for Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean films. On November 3rd 1978, Dominica became the western hemisphere’s 30th nation. At the Independence Day ceremony in Roseau, the capital city, Prime Minister Patrick John, the opposition leader Eugenia Charles and Princess Margaret watched as the Union Jack was lowered and the flag of Dominica was raised, a circle of stars surrounding a Sisserou parrot. Centuries of French and British colonial rule were over, but Dominica’s troubles were only just beginning.” This is taken from the Prologue to Stewart Bell’s remarkably well researched book, Bayou of Pigs. Of course the troubles to which he was referring were of a political kind, involving a crackpot bunch of mercenaries intent on making money for themselves in a Rambo-like invasion of our island. In the words of one of the organizers of the invasion: “Imagine what you could do if you owned your own country”. And of course that attempted invasion had considerable local complicity.Difficulties there have been aplenty since that historic day in 1978; indeed since the beginning of time. Buffeted by winds and other forces of nature; by the vicissitudes of an enveloping global economic environment; or self-inflicted by national economic management that was sometimes ill-advised or merely innocent as we sought to learn the ropes of national economic responsibility in our young post-independence era, our national economy continues to be severely challenged to produce the goods. When Prime Minister Skerrit said, “Dominica is a difficult place to manage”, no greater truth was being spoken, as successive governments would all agree. Reflecting on the last days of September you wonder if Mother Nature has made a conscious decision to rain disasters on the Nature Isle. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Golding has had cause to rue the reality of governing in a small, fiscally challenged State: “One of the problems that this Government has had to contend with is that we have had to be prioritising among priorities”. It is said of John Adams, one of the heroes of American Independence that: “No man in Congress had a clearer idea of what independence would entail: the risks, obligations, and burdens that it would impose on Americans” . If we did not know at the time, we have certainly come to appreciate the challenges of independence.Dominica may be among the most generally challenged of Caribbean states. Agriculture is struggling to re-assert its place in the economic landscape; and tourism to establish its place. In these and other areas our country simply has to do better. Strong leadership at all levels in all sectors is an essential pre-requisite going forward. Let there be a clear consensual strategy looking ahead to our country’s 40th anniversary of Independence.What it takes is to build on the good things that are happening, and there are some. Our historically infrastructurally challenged country has been receiving a large boost in recent years. All governments have added to the country’s infrastructure bank. However one perceives now a clearer understanding of the economic and productivity value of the physical infrastructure and an implicit understanding of the critical importance of the imperative of operating on a lever that is a critical pre-requisite to increased productivity, investment attraction and economic growth. And we forgive the ignorance of those who decry the apparent emphasis on the physical infrastructure. Nor do I perceive this emphasis to be exclusive of paying due attention to the country’s other economic and social imperatives. It would be nice … to have more national discussion on these types of issues. To hear of alternative strategies, policies and programmes that might better serve our national needs and circumstances. Our miniscule island requires discussion and consensus-forging and it behooves all to participate intelligently in this debate. Most of all it behooves the Opposition to be a part of this process and not to hide their alternatives under a bushel. Let them be put on the table and subjected to the same type of scrutiny as are the government’s policies and programmes. This would make for a much healthier and more participatory democracy. In the United Kingdom an Opposition Spokesman announced that if elected to office they would not reverse the public sector cuts imposed by the Government: “The Shadow Cabinet has been banned by Ed Balls from promising to reverse any of the Coalition Government’s spending cuts as part of Labour’s attempt to regain credibility on the economy.”This was in the UK. Nearer home in Jamaica the Opposition Party has launched a major JEEP debate with its coherent policy statement on its Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, itself part of a wider-ranging comprehensive statement on a Progressive Agenda for Jamaica. It was what the Opposition Leader called her “national call to action”. That was Jamaica.In Dominica there is this: “We are making a point” – James on UWP’s boycott of Parliament; and that: Parliament opens… and Opposition walks in, then walks out; UWP to stage ‘People’s Assembly’ under Financial Center next week. And then of course there is Boots on the Ground! No problem. But what else is on offer by way of plans, policies and programmes to respond to the considerable challenges that our micro-state faces in these tough times? Surely the “opposition forces” have (or can access) the intellectual muscle required to think through the issues, articulate positions and contribute to substantive national debate. Or is this too much to ask when not even a manifesto was forthcoming the last time around? As we commemorate 33, and even as there are “patriots” who are protecting our democracy, we can be proud of having preserved our democratic traditions. Our media bombard our ears with nagging 24/7 constancy; all kinds of groups abound unfettered; the “nattering nabobs of negativism” are also always with us; people’s parliaments populate the landscape; the grossest disrespect is shown to the country’s Head of Government; calypsos are still as much “art form” as political cannon; all the country’s institutions, (including the State’s Presidency), are under uninhibited attack from certain very vocal quarters; even a State Malice banner is allowed to hang undisturbed right at the entrance to the country’s State House. Long live our democracy! Edison James wants to amend the country’s Constitution to make for even greater democracy: “And so I say that the Constitution that we have must be reviewed, must be renewed, and must be revised.” Hélas!Speaking about congressmen of the newly independent America, George Washington bemoaned, back in 1778, that “party disputes and personal quarrels are the great business of the day whilst the momentous concerns of empire … are but secondary considerations”, and that “business of a trifling nature and personal concernment withdraws their attention from matters of great national moment”. Like poverty, one supposes, such behaviour will always be with us.“Independence has not failed Jamaica”, says former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga; “it is Jamaicans who have failed Independence …” , and Opposition Leader Portia Miller reminds Jamaicans that Independence is a state of mind. What is our state of mind as we contemplate our 33 years of Independence? Going forward, our 33-year old is still fragile; still requires nurturing; still requires support from family and friends, local and international. The Government has to continue to do the good things it has been doing. It needs to do certain things better. The fiscal will continue to be a challenge. Thankfully the Government appears committed to pursuing the path of prudence. Government has to guard against complacency in its various manifestations. They also have to watch the pennies.Another hero of American independence, George Washington, would rail against wastage on his plantation – against “waste of time, waste of supplies, waste of money”. The Government system may need to heed this advice.The Opposition also needs to put its shoulders to the wheel. They are the country’s alternative government, or don’t they believe it? They need to be challenging the Government to do right by the country – on issues of ethics and corruption, by all means; but also on issues of economic and social development. Essentially they need to be apprising the public of their plans for growth and poverty reduction. This would be a great contribution to a thriving and dynamic democracy in our Nature Isle.We are not talking about slogans or pledges. A slogan is not a plan; and a “pledge” does not equate to a policy statement or a programme. Voters these days are smarter than that. An independent writer in the Jamaica Gleaner had this to say recently: “As part of the JLP’s 2007 campaign, Bruce Golding, leader of the then JLP Opposition, promised jobs, jobs, jobs. Frankly, the jobs he promised have not come to fruition. “At last things are changing. The public is no longer accepting promised programmes whose feasibility is suspect”. There is hope, I insist. Former Prime Minister Edison James is quoted as having said recently that he was willing to work with the Government: “Honorable Edison James has reaffirmed his commitment to work with the Dominica Labour Party government for the further development of his constituency.” It would be nice … if he had said this about the Nation and not just about Marigot. It’s a sniff; a sniff of a gift; but who knows? This may yet be our the Opposition’s great gift to the Nation on the occasion of its 33rd anniversary.As we begin our 34th year, perhaps we can look forward with hope to our working together to realise our potential as a nation. We are so small, it’s a shame to be so polarised. Such polarisation means, among other things, that at any point in time, only about one half, (or is it 34 per cent?), of your already limited high-level manpower resources are available to the Government, (though not to the nation). This is one of the tragedies of our political system. Working for the national good is the responsibility of everyone. Perhaps we can all yield time to our higher selves to allow for our playing a constructive role in building this still fragile nation. And while we are at it, let’s laugh at ourselves sometimes – some of us take ourselves way too seriously.___________________________________1.Stewart Bell, Bayou of Pigs, 2008.2.Swinburne Lestrade, (Editor), Continuing the Journey: Dominica’s Development Challenges and Responses Going Forward, 2010.3.Raymond Pryce, “Finding The Right Vehicle … And The Right Driver”, Jamaica Gleaner, 25th September 25, 2011.4.Edmund Morgan, The Meaning of Independence.5.Dominica News-On-Line.6.Jamaica Gleaner, 5th June 2011.7.Robert Buddan in Jamaica Gleaner, 7th August 2011.8.Ken Chaplin, “Jobs, jobs, jobs controversy”, Jamaica Gleaner, September 27, 20119. Dominica News-On-Line, 27th September 2011.This article was published in LINK Magazine’s Independence issue and republished with permission from Mr Swinburne Lestrade. Share Share Tweet Share 39 Views no discussions Sharing is caring!
By Jerry MackeyWEST LIBERTY, Iowa (July 30) – Saturday night’s action at West Liberty Raceway included a full program of IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing with the iWireless IMCA Late Models headlining the program.The main event took the green with Kyle Hinrichs taking the lead early and appearing to be on his way to the win. The 25-lapper went caution-free to the checkers as Chad Holladay chased down Hinrichs and made the winning pass on lap 21 on his way to his third consecutive West Liberty win. Kevin Kile made a late race pass of Hinrichs to take second.The Performance Concepts IMCA Modified feature belonged to veteran Brad Dubil. Dubil took the lead at the drop of the green and went on to lead all 20 laps in scoring his first win in several years at the West Liberty ½-mile. Dubil scored a very comfortable win over Larry Herring and Kurt Kile.The Weikert Iron & Metal IMCA Northern SportMod feature saw Dalton Simonsen advance from a fourth row start and go on to victory lane. Simonsen took the win over Cory VanZante and Jarrett Brown.The Kile Motorsports IMCA Stock Car main event was won by David Brandies. The 71 of Brandies shot out of the pack early and went on to score the win over Johnny Spaw.The action-packed US 6 Bodyworks IMCA Sport Compact feature win went to Steve Struck in his new no. 24 Sport Compact. Struck took the win ahead of Cody VanDusen and Jason KlerkDerus.
Press Association Martinez said: “The two players have been true professionals and that is what I want. They are dedicated to the club. “Marouane Fellaini gave us the push we needed. We deserved to go through. The headlines should go about how well Stevenage played.” Everton dominated proceedings with Ross Barkley and debutant Gerard Deulofeu, on loan from Barcelona, impressing. They were caught against the run of play when Luke Freeman struck for Stevenage but Deulofeu replied with a superb individual effort. Everton squandered a host of chances to settle the tie in normal time and they were almost made to pay when boyhood Evertonian Greg Tansey forced Joel Robles into a fine injury-time save. Fellaini finally entered the fray, for Barkley, six minutes into extra time and his presence paid off in the 115th minute. Martinez said: “It was a typical cup tie. Stevenage were really really good, a well organised team. “The first goal is always important. The goal was a little bit of a mistake, a misunderstanding. “From that point on, I thought we were very good in two thirds, but in the final third we were at times naive. “At times we didn’t show enough sharpness. I couldn’t be happier in the manner we kept a good tempo.” Stevenage manager Graham Westley did not attend the post-match press conference. Everton boss Roberto Martinez has refused to comment on the latest round of speculation concerning key players Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. A fresh report has claimed that Baines has told Everton he wishes to leave for Manchester United while it has also been suggested the Old Trafford club are lining up a £38million bid for him and Fellaini. Everton last week rejected a £28million joint offer for the duo from United as “derisory and insulting”. Speaking after watching Fellaini hit an extra-time winner against Stevenage in the Capital One Cup, Martinez said: “There are so many stories and I hope the authorities will look into it. “It is a circus when the transfer window is open and the games are going on. “If the competitive games weren’t going on I could sit with you here and talk about transfer targets. “At the moment I really feel for the game. We are concentrating on rumours too much. There is nothing to tell. If there is anything to tell we will tell our fans. “We are working to try to add a few new faces in the window but I hope the authorities will look into it and don’t allow this to happen again. “Next season will be even worse with the period of transfers and the games overlapping.” While Everton might be bracing themselves from a renewed approach from United, Martinez still has no doubt over the pair’s commitment. Both players were named on the bench against League One Stevenage, and while Baines did not feature in the 2-1 second-round win at Goodison Park, both received good ovations.
Two of the Premier League’s most charismatic managers did not disappoint as they chose to deviate from normal touchline gear. Slaven Bilic took his seat on the West Ham bench at Newcastle with a beanie hat pulled tight over his head, while Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp kept his neck warm with a club snood against Manchester United on Sunday. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend came at Stoke on Sunday evening. The Potters – once well known for their old-fashioned approach to the game – showed just how far they have come since the Tony Pulis days by sending out four players with gloves on, whereas Pulis’ influence saw West Brom brave the cold weather as one of four clubs without a glove in sight. In total, there were 29 sets of gloves on display over the weekend, interestingly with just three English players (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Lennon and Wilfried Zaha) among them. Here are the results, starting with those most affected: 1. Manchester City (at home to Crystal Palace), five pairs of gloves, temperature 1C 2. Stoke (at home to Arsenal), four pairs of gloves, temperature 1C 3. Everton (away at Chelsea), four pairs of gloves, temperature 5C 4. West Ham (away at Newcastle), three pairs of gloves and a beanie, temperature 2C 5. Arsenal (away at Stoke), two pairs of gloves, temperature 1C 6. Manchester United (away at Liverpool), two pairs of gloves, temperature 2C 7. Aston Villa (at home to Leicester), two pairs of gloves, temperature 3C 8. Crystal Palace (away at Manchester City), one pair of gloves, temperature 1C 9. Leicester (away at Aston Villa), one pair of gloves, temperature 3C 10= Southampton (at home to West Brom), one pair of gloves, temperature 4C 10= Norwich (away at Bournemouth), one pair of gloves, temperature 4C 12= Chelsea (at home to Everton), one pair of gloves, temperature 5C 12= Tottenham (at home to Sunderland), one pair of gloves, temperature 5C 12= Sunderland (away at Tottenham), one pair of gloves, temperature 5C 15= Liverpool (at home to Manchester United), no gloves, temperature 2C 15= Newcastle (at home to West Ham), no gloves, temperature 2C 17= Bournemouth (at home to Norwich), no gloves, temperature 4C 17= West Brom (away at Southampton), no gloves, temperature 4C Footballers have been known to accessorise in the cold, with the snood an example of extreme measures taken before they were banned in 2011, and reporters at Premier League grounds have totted up the weird and wonderful ways the players kept warm this weekend. Things got under way between Tottenham and Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime with temperatures hovering around 5C and a low sun causing problems for Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal, but things got gradually worse up and down the country as the day went on. With temperatures set to drop further in coming days, MeteoGroup (a team of meteorologists) has suggested this is just the start of a sustained cold spell. A spokesperson said on Saturday: “It’s the middle of winter so these sorts of cold spells are not unusual, but we’ve not had a particularly cold winter so far, so expect it (this cold snap) to stay for a while. “Temperatures are expected to reach freezing tonight and the coldest parts and most affected will be in the north-east of England.” The spokesperson added: “It is milder this weekend than in recent days, but expect that to change as the sleet and snow moves down from Scotland and Cumbria towards central England.” Erik Lamela and Patrick van Aanholt were the only men to keep their gloves on during Saturday’s early kick-off, opting for the bizarre combination of short sleeves and gloves – something which was repeated throughout the day. Chelsea striker Diego Costa was the only home player to start the game at Stamford Bridge with his woollies on but quickly took them off, while England manager Roy Hodgson styled it out in a scarf as he took up a watching brief in the stands and Roman Abramovich sported a big Champions League puffer jacket as his club hosted Everton. The bitter cold of Manchester may have spread to Wayne Hennessey’s fingertips as the Crystal Palace goalkeeper let a Fabian Delph shot beneath his body as temperatures reached freezing point. With snow beginning to fall at the Etihad Stadium, there were six outfield players in total keeping their digits warm – the highest aggregate on Saturday. The ‘hairdryer treatment’ may have been well received among the Palace players after they lost 4-0. With temperatures plummeting across the country in recent days, football fans and players alike have been forced to take extreme measures to avoid the cold, and Press Association Sport has carried out its own winter warmers survey. Press Association
ON DAY 1 at Tuschen, West Demerara were dismissed for 346 after they were asked to bat first against Essequibo. contributed 49, Chabriraj Ramcharan made 43 and Safraz Esau scored 35. Bowling for Essequibo, Anthony Adams took 5-68 while Akinie Adams had 2-64.In reply, Essequibo are 87-3 with Keemo Paul on a blistering 43 not out (1×4) and (5×6). Romario Shepherd has so far taken 3-34.At GCC, Bourda, Upper Corentyne, who won the toss and elected to bat made 224 all out. Anthony Bramble top-scored with 93 while Assad Fudadin scored 45. Bowling for Georgetown, Gajanan Suknanan registered figures of 6-78 while Kellon Carmichael took 2-45.Georgetown, in reply, are 116-2 with Robin Bacchus on 55 not out and Christopher Barnwell on 10. Sunil Singh 29 and Andrew Lyght Jr 17 were the batsmen dismissed. Eon Hooper and Keon Sinclair are the wicket-takers so far.At Port Mourant, West Berbice were dismissed for 174. Raffel Estraido top-scored with 55 while Leon Andrews supported with 39. Bowling for Lower Corentyne, Veerasammy Permaul had 4-56, Kassim Khan took 3-38 and Raun Johnson 2-57.Lower Corentyne, in reply, were 283/3 at the close of play. Opener Surujnarine Kandasammy is unbeaten on 127 and Seon Hetmyer is not out on 51. Jonathan Foo earlier made 42 and Gajanand Singh chipped in with 26. Collis Butts, Andrew Dutchin and Brandon Bess have so far taken a wicket each.At Enterprise, the home team, East Coast Demerara, could muster only 125, all out, batting first. Bhaskar Yadram top-scored with 31, Paul Wintz made 22 and Chandrapaul Hemraj contributed 20. Bowling for East Bank Demerara, Stephen Harris had figures of 3-40, Totaram Bishun 3-12 and Stephen Jacobs 2-25.East Bank Demerara, in reply, were dismissed for 165 earning a first-innings lead of 40 runs. Deonarine Seegobin struck 56, Sherfane Rutherford 35 and Tevin Imlach scored 30. Bowling for East Coast Demerara, Ameer Khan took 3-24, Chandrapaul Hemraj 3-38, Kamesh Yadram 2-1 and Paul Wintz 3-39.Batting a second time facing a 40-run deficit East Coast Demerara are 34-0 with Bhaskar Yadram 26 not out and Keon Roberts on 8.Play continues tomorrow at 09:30hrs.
AFRICAN SENIOR ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPSMen and women’s 100m finals to hold this afternoonDuro IkhazuagbeEthiopia’s Jemal Vimer Mekonnen wednesday won the first gold medal on Day One of the 21st Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Senior Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, clocking 29:08.01 to stay ahead of the pack. Mekonnen’s compatriot, Andamlak Belihu Berta (29:11.09) won the silver while Timothy Toroitich of Uganda (29:11.87) settled for the bronze medal.Unfortunately, fellow East Africans from Kenya who were expected to be in serious contention for podium placement were let down by poor logistic arrangements by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) in the Lagos end.The Kenyans who arrived Lagos on Monday evening from Nairobi did not get to Asaba until yesterday morning, just few hours to the 10,000m event.Although morning events were pushed to evening as a result of the last batch of athletes arriving Asaba yesterday, men and women’s 100m heats held in the evening with African Championships, with Marie Josee Ta Lou and Akani Simbine setting the overall fastest times in both categories respectively.South Africa’s Simbine who is the reigning Commonwealth Games champion won Heat 4 in 10.30s ahead of Riffayn Ambdoul Karim (10.48s), Mark Odhiambo (10.61s) and Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke (10.64s).Ngoni Makusha of Zimbabwe crossed the finishing line in 10.37s to win Heat 5 in 10.37s, as Karabo Mothibi (10.46s) and Emmanuel Yeboah (10.50s) came 2nd and 3rd.Defending champion Ben Youssef Meite of Cote d’Ivoire easily won Heat 1 in 10.41s with 2012 champion, Simon Magakwe (10.42), and Nigeria’s Ogho-Oghene Egwero (10.52) placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.Nigeria’s three-time sprint champion, Seye Ogunlewe, also showed class in Heat 6 winning in 10.42 ahead of Gilbert Maseko of Namibia 10.44.In the absence of Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor who pulled out of the 100m and 200m women’s sprint events due to a nagging injury, national Under-20 champion, Joy Udo-Gabriel (11.64) won Heat 3 while Mercy Ntia-Obong (11.66) placed second behind Hamida Basaant of Egypt who won in a time of 11.60 in another heat.Ta Lou clocked the fastest time of all the heats in the women’s category as she won Heat 1 in 11.25s.The semi-finals and finals of both the men and women’s 100m will come up today (Day Two) of the competition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm Nerlens Noel, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012, announced he will attend and play basketball at Kentucky next season.Noel had previously narrowed his choices down to three schools: Kentucky, Syracuse and Georgetown.Noel made the decision in a live telecast on ESPNU, one hour after the No. 2 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad, decided to attend UCLA. Noel, known for his flattop haircut, shaved the UK logo into the back of his head.‘I’ll be taking my talents for college to play at the University of …’ Noel said, before swiveling around in his chair to reveal the UK logo.‘I felt comfortable with these three schools,’ Noel said on ESPNU. ‘I built good relationships with the coaching staffs. I felt I could play well in any three of these styles.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNoel, rated the top recruit in the class by Scout.com, is a 6-foot-10, 205-pound center from Tilton School in Tilton, N.H. He was originally a member of the Class of 2013, but reclassified and moved up a year in February.Syracuse’s recruiting class for next year currently features the No. 6 center in the class, DaJuan Coleman, and the No. 7 power forward, Jerami Grant. Had it included Noel, Syracuse would have shot up the recruiting ranks, and likely the preseason ranks for next year.For the Orange and the Hoyas, missing out on Noel is a big hit for their 2012-13 national championship aspirations.‘You lose someone that can help you go to a Final Four. I mean, it’s that simple,’ Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow said. ‘It’s not easy to get to a Final Four, and to get there you have to have guys that are professional basketball players. That’s the only way to do it.‘And Nerlens Noel is a professional basketball player.’Snow said Noel, a talented shot blocker, can completely dominate a game without scoring. And the top recruit will slide right into the Kentucky lineup to replace national player of the year Anthony Davis, who will likely declare for the NBA Draft. Davis is projected as the No. 1 overall pick in a mock draft on draftexpress.com.Noel immediately places Kentucky at the top of national championship contenders next season, Snow said. He said the center is even better than advertised, warranting comparisons to former Georgetown great Alonzo Mourning.‘They needed him. Now, granted they would have been fine without him, they’re Kentucky, but they needed him to get back to the level that they want to be at, which is holding up a trophy on the final day of the college basketball season,’ Snow said. ‘So they needed him and for college basketball, it just means you got to chase the Wildcats again.’In the end, he decided to join Kentucky, making the defending national champions the early favorites in 2013.‘I just thought it was the best fit for me, personally,’ Noel said. ‘I talked to my mom. She liked it as well.’email@example.com@syr.edu–Staff writer Michael Cohen contributed reporting to this article.
In 2018, fan engagement technology developer InCrowd delivered the Rugby Football League’s full-scale ‘Our League’ digital platform seeking to optimise all core components for the unique sport – ticketing, match streaming, communities and content. InCrowd CEO Aidan Cooney and Marketing Manager Darren Parsons spoke to SBC about ‘Our League’s platform development from concept to planning and delivery, and how InCrowd had to enhance its research dynamics to fulfil Rugby League’s tribal demands…___________________Aidan Cooney – InCrowdSBC: Hi Aidan and Darren, Why has ‘Our League’ been such an important project for InCrowd to deliver?AC: InCrowd and the RFL share a vision. Sports marketing is about inspiring people and in order to inspire you need to know what makes people tick. Our League is a membership first approach, that enables the RFL to reward fans that take part and help us understand what they love about the sport with exclusive content and experiences.InCrowd’s mobile platform underpins the membership but more important was the organizational change undertaken by the RFL to achieve this and we are very proud of this partnership as well as the involvement of Sky Sports, StreamAMG, Rewards4 and Ticketmaster who have facilitated the development of unique features and benefits, which are fully transferable to other sports clubs or rights holders.DP: We are also proud that we have managed to challenge some of the pre-conceptions of an older Rugby League fanbase, with the average age of an Our League member being 10 years younger than the wider audience. We firmly believe that the future of fan engagement and sports consumption is digitally focused, and the first year of Our League has gone a long way to prove this.SBC: We have seen many sports-specific platforms fail. Why is it such a hard endeavour to create a dynamic sports platform? And what key rugby league dynamics did your team research? DP: People talk about the Rugby League Family as a very tight-knit community and this is backed up by the research that presented a hugely engaged following along the M62 corridor, but also in the rest of the UK and overseas. The RFL felt that it made sense to try and capture this community in a digital membership; we also knew that the players were more accessible than their footballing counterparts and so there was an opportunity to base the membership incentive on truly exclusive content.The Rugby League Family are also known to be vocal so we wanted to give the fans a voice, hence the name. Fan focus groups also helped us see the opportunity to service fans in a way that would resonate with them by providing free to play games, allowing them to challenge others, win great prizes along the way and have a say the key decisions such as Man of the Match, Player of the Month etc., which often brought out the tribal side in them.AC: The concept is the easy bit. The hard bit is making the membership work and re-calibrating the organization of the sport to serve its members and this is something that we have been a witness to.We also considered the launch date carefully to coincide with the Rugby League World Cup 2017 and subsequent 2018 Super League season. This meant that we could cater for both the internationally and domestically focused fans in close proximity.SBC: ‘Our League’ delivers live match broadcasting, ticketing, news, stats, and community portals. Did you ever worry about delivering too many components for just one platform? AC: From the outset there was a clear shared objective from the RFL and InCrowd for Our League to become a one-stop-shop for all corners of the Rugby League audience. We have built the foundations for most of those audiences in a short space of time, but there is still a lot more to come before it becomes the ‘must have’ membership that unlocks benefits and efficiencies for all stakeholders. InCrowd has a wealth of technical know-how and we are excited about what the future will bring to enhance the offering further.Darren Parsons – InCrowdSBC: Rugby League is a ‘tribal sport’; how exactly do you build a cohesive and engaging platform for its fans? Did you worry that diehards would just return to their forums? DP: Rugby League is indeed ‘tribal’ and it was very important for us to consider the various fan characteristics from the occasional fan, player, armchair fan, attendee etc. A big part of the journey to date, and going forward, is understanding each fan profile; what aspects of the game interest them and then serving them relevant content.AC: This is where the FanScore authentication steps in. This powers Our League and has facilitated the first year focus on analysing the usage, engagement and other data at our disposal, helping us answer questions like, is a live streaming user more likely to play the predictor, attend a game, take part in polls, open an email etc This joined-up approach sets us apart from other app providers who can often only provide anonymised usage data leading to broad generalisations about wider fan bases.SBC: How do you see Our League developing in 2019; what new developments do you have for Rugby League fans? DP: There is much more to come from Our League in 2019. With the benefit of a World Cup and full Super League season behind us, we have learnt a lot about what resonates with fans and where more work is needed. We know that there is a big rugby league audience to drive awareness and the benefits of Our League to, and that is something we have a real hunger for.The players (both professional and amateur) are a really important part of the family and this is an area that the RFL really wants to focus on including. More digital brand activations are being discussed along with a new prize structure for the predictor, improvements to the match centre and UX of polls and rewards for engagement just to name a few. Lots of this will be driven by focus groups which continues to help us shape the direction Our League takes. 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Final thoughts:The Browns are not drafting to fill big needs, with the exception of adding depth in the secondary and continuing to build the pass rush around Garrett, who had 13.5 sacks last season. Paul Kruger is the only other Cleveland player with 10-plus sacks in a single season this decade. If the Browns can draft a second pass-rusher with double-digit sack potential, then it would be a win.That is why we will not be surprised if Dorsey makes a move up the board given the number of tantalizing pass-rushing prospects in this draft. What will Browns general manager John Dorsey do next after trading the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft in the deal for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.?After Dorsey’s boldest move yet, Cleveland will continue to build around former No. 1 picks Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield, with the latter being the reason the Browns’ hunt for a franchise quarterback appears to be finished. The Browns also added former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who is suspended for the first eight games of the 2019 season. Day 2 planThe Browns should be able to pad their secondary with some value picks in the second round (No. 49) and third round (No. 80). Iowa’s Amani Hooker, Virginia’s Juan Thornhill and Maryland’s Darnell Savage are candidates, along with Delaware’s Nassir Adderley, who could also play cornerback. If Cleveland goes cornerback, then Temple’s Rock-Ya Sin and Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye are excellent candidates to be taken.Ole Miss tackle Greg Little and Kansas State’s Dalton Risner likely won’t fall this far, but the Browns should add a tackle in one of these rounds. South Carolina’s Dennis Daley has been a popular name linked to the Browns in mocks and would be an interesting fit in Round 3. Of those three, Risner would be the best fit. If the Browns want to add another running back early, then Darrell Henderson would be the pick on Day 2. Day 3 sleeperBen Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington (fifth round)Burr-Kirven put together a monster senior season with 176 total tackles for the Huskies, and he is a value pick who would add the needed depth at the position for the Browns at a low cost. He is smaller than Schobert, who was a tackles-for-loss machine in college, but the two could play off each other well. Cleveland also could add another running back on Day 3 given Hunt’s suspension and Duke Johnson’s trade demand. Bryce Love or Trayveon Williams would fit.MORE: Browns coach Freddie Kitchens can handle everything you think he can’t SN’s NFL DRAFT HQ:Iyer’s mock draft | Live pick tracker | TV scheduleThe Browns have talent everywhere on the field and now have something to prove. In this draft, Cleveland will be stocking up with depth for a possible run to its first AFC North title. It will happen April 25-27, and Dorsey has eight picks, including three fifth-rounders, at his disposal to add more talent.Here is a look at how the draft might shake out for Cleveland.Browns NFL Draft picks RoundPickSecondNo. 49ThirdNo. 80FourthNo. 119FifthNo. 144 (from Jaguars)FifthNo. 155FifthNo. 170 (from Patriots)SixthNo. 189SeventhNo. 221 (from Jaguars)Browns’ NFL Draft team needs Cornerback: Denzel Ward made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, but he also suffered two concussions. Briean Boddy-Calhoun and EJ Gaines left via free agency, so Terrance Mitchell and Eric Murray, brought over in a trade with Kansas City, are the best options.Offensive tackle: Cleveland re-signed Greg Robinson, and Chris Hubbard was a good pickup last season, but the Browns could use depth to protect Mayfield, who took 25 sacks last season.Edge rusher: The Browns traded for Olivier Vernon, who averages 7.2 sacks per season over the last five years. He is a solid compliment for Garrett, but this draft is loaded with first-round defensive line talent.Safety: Former Packers defensive backs Morgan Burnett and Damarious Randall are the safeties now, but Burnett has started in just 14 games over the last two seasons. T.J. Carrie remains the nickel back, but there is room for more depth here.Linebacker: Cleveland has room to add a linebacker or two after Jamie Collins left. Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert and Genard Avery are a solid group, but there is room for an upgrade.Browns mock draft 2019First-round planFor the first time since 2008, the Browns do not have a first-round pick. Cleveland traded for Beckham, which is better than reaching for Combine superstar D.K. Metcalf. And given the Browns have had five first-round picks in the last two drafts that netted Mayfield, Ward, Garrett, David Njoku and Jabrill Peppers (who was part of that trade for Beckham) it will be OK if Cleveland stays put and sits out the first round in this year’s draft.MORE: Full 2019 NFL Mock DraftSecond-guessing that plan:We are talking about Dorsey here. Cleveland has three fifth-round picks, and it has two sixth-round picks in next year’s draft. There is still room to package together picks if Cleveland wants to bump back up into the first round and get either an edge-rusher or a cornerback who falls into a value spot. Dorsey has made one splash after another in the past two offseasons, and this would be another. Don’t be surprised if …… the Browns make a run at Ed Oliver or Devin White if the price is right. One can make the argument that Oliver is the most talented player on the board, and he had 53 tackles for loss in college with Houston to prove it. White would be a candidate too, but he would be harder to get. Keep the focus on Oliver.Some of the same questions that were being asked about Garrett two years ago are being asked about Oliver now. He could slip far enough that Dorsey would be willing to take a swing. Imagine putting Oliver on a defensive line that already has Vernon, Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and Sheldon Richardson. New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks would not object.