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Curome Cox Jersey Retro

After a historically bad season on defense, UConn has dismissed a pair of defensive coaches among a number of moves announced Friday.

Defensive coordinator Billy Crocker and defensive backs coach Curome Cox will not return to the Huskies staff in 2019.

The Huskies set FBS single-season records for points allowed (605) and yards allowed (7,409) en route to a 1-11 finish in 2018. The Huskies went winless in conference play for the first time since going 0-4 in the Yankee Conference in 1954.

“After evaluating the program throughout the season and during the recruiting process, I decided to make these changes to my staff,” coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. “I appreciate all the work these four men have done and thank them for their effort and dedication during their time at UConn.”
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Also let go Friday were director of football strength and conditioning Eric Klein and assistant strength and conditioning coach J.D. Mehlhorn.

UConn also announced that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach John Dunn would get the additional title of associate head coach.

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Trevon Wesco Jersey Retro

BALTIMORE — New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold won’t have his top red zone threat for the remainder of the season, as tight end Ryan Griffin was placed on injured reserve Thursday before their game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Griffin already had been ruled out after suffering an ankle injury last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. His roster spot was filled by backup offensive lineman Brent Qvale, who was activated from IR.

The Jets (5-8), who have 15 players on IR, needed another body to dress for the game because they had only 45 healthy players.

Griffin was one of the pleasant surprises this season and was rewarded recently with a three-year, $9.6 million contract extension.

Signed on the eve of training camp, Griffin leads the team with five touchdown catches, including four in the red zone. He finishes the season with 34 catches for 320 yards.
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The Jets are down to two tight ends, Daniel Brown and rookie Trevon Wesco. They also will be without wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (knee) and running back Bilal Powell (ankle) on offense, with safety Jamal Adams (ankle) and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (neck) likely to sit out on defense.

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Andy Tomasic Jersey Retro

It was 1987, and D.J. Dozier was watching a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game on television with a couple of friends.

“I can do that,” Dozier, then a star football player at Penn State, muttered.

“All of a sudden the two guys turned their head toward me and said, ‘You can do what, that, play baseball?’ ” Dozier recalled recently. ” ‘Man, get out of here. You can’t do that.’ ”

The roommates didn’t let up and continued to badger Dozier.

“They said these are major league players,” he said. “We know you’re a great athlete, but come on, there’s only so far that goes.”

Dozier didn’t back down from his comments, and he went on to prove his friends wrong.

Five years later, Dozier had played five seasons in the NFL, and on May 6, 1992, he made his Major League Baseball debut with the New York Mets.

Later in the season on Sept. 26, Dozier went 1 for 2 with a double against the host Pirates.

Sitting in the stands watching the game were the same Penn State friends who questioned Dozier’s ability five years earlier.

“That was a great moment,” Dozier, 53, said, laughing. “After the game, these guys were like, ‘This is crazy. You told us you could do it, but there was no way that this could happen. To see you out there is absolutely insane.'”

Dozier is one of just seven athletes since 1970 to play in both the major leagues and the NFL. The others are Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Brian Jordan, Drew Henson, Chad Hutchinson and Matt Kinzer.

And according to a Sporting News story published early this year, Dozier was just the second player to go from a football-only career to a baseball-only career and reach the major leagues. The other was Andy Tomasic, a former NFL punter, halfback and defensive back who pitched two innings for the New York Giants.

In all, fewer than 70 athletes are known to have played in both sports at the highest level, including Portsmouth native Ace Parker.

It’s an accomplishment that still humbles Dozier.

“Leaving high school and not playing baseball, you’re pretty much done,” Dozier said about his chances of playing in the majors. “Then two years after college, to then pick it back up and experience what I experienced, it was a gift.

“Personally I wanted to play at least five years in the majors, but that didn’t happen. I wanted to play at least eight years in the NFL, but that didn’t happen. What did happen is I had a chance to experience some things that not many people do.”


William Henry “D.J.” Dozier Jr. was a three-sport star at Kempsville High in Virginia Beach who played football, baseball and basketball. In football, he was a two-time first-team All-Tidewater selection at running back and was a Parade All-American. He also won the Hertz No. 1 Award as the best athlete in Virginia.

Kempsville teammate T.J. Morgan was Dozier’s backup for two seasons.

“He was definitely the most dynamic athlete that I have ever seen,” said Morgan, who was named the 1983 Abe Goldblatt All-Tidewater Player of the Year a season after Dozier graduated. “He was great catching the ball out of the backfield and he was an amazing open-field runner. He would break ankles on almost every play. And he was super-fast.”

Dozier and former Booker T. Washington standout receiver James Church were teammates in a Virginia high school all-star game. Church had heard about Dozier’s exploits but saw them first-hand on the first day of practice.

“D.J. took a draw and two guys went to hit him, and he made a move where he spinned out and the two guys collided,” Church said, laughing. “D.J. just took off and no one even touched him. I had never seen an athlete who was more amazing.”

Knowing the opposing all-star defense would key on Dozier, coach Billy Morrow drew up a play in which Dozier would throw a halfback pass to Church.

“He threw me a pass in the game and it was like the longest play of the game,” Church said. “We laughed about it. Again, it was a thing where Coach knew D.J. was a good athlete and could trust him with the halfback pass, because people weren’t doing that play back then, and this guy hits me in perfect stride like it was nothing. I told everybody, that’s one of the best athletes that I had ever played with, and I’ve played with a ton of great athletes, like Hall of Famer Bruce Smith.”

Morrow laughed when reminded about the play. He agreed with Morgan and Church about Dozier’s phenomenal ability.

“All the years that I’ve coached, he’s been one of the greatest athletes that I’ve ever had an opportunity to coach,” Morrow said. “He had the size. He had the speed. He had the quickness. And he had the mentality. He was awesome.”

As good as he was in football, Dozier was just as good in baseball. He was chosen by the Detroit Tigers in the 18th round of the 1983 draft. But instead of signing, he opted to play football at Penn State.

“I knew I was a good baseball player, and if I hadn’t gone to college, then there was a good chance that I would have been a first-round draft pick,” he said. “So I ended up not playing baseball, but it was always on my mind. I never stopped thinking about it.”


At Penn State, Dozier and Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno had an agreement that he could play both sports only after he played just football as a freshman. But Dozier never got on the diamond because he had arthroscopic knee surgery after his sophomore season. And after his junior year, he thought it would be best to focus on football heading into his senior year.

Morrow said seeing Dozier play at Penn State was a thrill for him.

“When he went to Penn State, I was excited because I grew up about 40 miles from Penn State in Williamsport,” he said. “I was excited for him and he did well up there. People in the community where I grew up … all they talked about was him.”

Dozier left Penn State as the second-leading rusher in school history with 3,227 yards (he’s now seventh).

Dozier also left a lasting impression after his game-winning touchdown in the January 1987 Fiesta Bowl national championship game against Miami. Penn State trailed 10-7 in the fourth quarter before an interception return to the Miami 6. Two plays later, the 6-foot, 200-pound Dozier barreled his way into the end zone. Dozier raised the ball in the air and then quickly dropped to one knee. A couple of his teammates followed, and after his quick prayer, he tossed the ball to a referee and dropped to one knee again. The scene was captured by many photographers.

“After every touchdown I scored, I would kneel down and just say, ‘Thank you Lord for your glory,’ ” Dozier said about his strong faith. “I started doing that my senior year at Penn State.”

Dozier was a consensus first-team All-American that senior season and a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was selected in the first round of the 1987 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings with the 14th pick. He played five seasons with the Vikings and Detroit Lions from 1987-1991. But it was during those latter years that he had an overwhelming desire to play baseball.

Many thought he was crazy, including his agent. But a call to Dave Rosenfield, general manager of the Tidewater Tides, the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, got Dozier a tryout. In 1990, the Mets signed him as an amateur free agent, and he spent 1990 and 1991 in the minor leagues and showed promise.

Dozier got the call up by the Mets in 1992 and played in 25 games that season. He batted .191 (9 for 47) with four runs, four stolen bases and two RBIs.

Dozier said he’s always had confidence in his ability and a tenacity to keep fighting. That, he said, comes from his parents — William and Janifer.

“My parents instilled in me an unwavering confidence that anything was possible,” he said, “no matter what it is.”

William Dozier also always reminded his son to be thankful.

“I always told him to remember where his gifts came from and let everybody know that the talent that you have is God-given talent,” said the elder Dozier. “We always tried to keep him humble. He’s talented and he’s been given a gift, but it’s not a gift that he woke up with one morning.”


Dozier officially retired as an athlete after the 1993 baseball season, never getting back to the major leagues.

Since then, Dozier has been involved in missionary work and has worked as a financial planner, an investment banker and a business consultant. He is currently a partner for a cybersecurity firm and wrote a self-help book entitled “Decide To Dominate.” He also still stays close to Kempsville High, including serving on recent committees to hire new football coach Daryl Cherry and new basketball coach Darren Sanderlin.

He was inducted into the Hampton Roads African American Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

But one of his greatest honors didn’t come from a hall of fame or from other people. It came from his four kids, who now have a different appreciation for their dad’s accomplishments.

Dozier — along with his wife, Mindy, and the kids — went to a Penn State football game for a reunion in recent years.
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“They announced all the players from that season,” Dozier said. “And so, everyone got an applause. But when they announced my name, the stadium just erupted. And so for the first time, my kids saw that. They’re sitting up in the stands. So when I got back there, they were like, ‘Dad, we didn’t know. Like everybody got applause, but when your name was announced, the whole stadium went crazy. We didn’t know that you were like that.’ ”

Yes, Dozier was like that.

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A federal judge on Wednesday rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to toss out a lawsuit over missing notes documenting President Donald Trump’s face-to-face meetings with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

American Oversight and Democracy Forward, a pair of left-leaning watchdog groups, sued Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the State Department, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the archivist of the United States in June over the missing notes. The groups charge that Pompeo violated the Federal Records Act by allowing Trump to reportedly confiscate meeting notes prepared by State Department employees and for failing to preserve them.

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In a ruling from the bench on Wednesday, Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case.

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The order by McFadden, a Trump appointee, means that the lawsuit will be allowed to move forward and gives the government until Jan. 10 to say whether Pompeo complied with federal records law or show why he was not obligated to do so. Pompeo will then have until the middle of March to produce the State Department’s record of evidence.

The Washington Post first reported in January that Trump had gone to “extraordinary” lengths to conceal the details of his meetings with Putin, seizing the notes of his interpreter after the leaders’ first meeting in 2017 and ordering the translator not to disclose details of the discussion. Furthermore, The Post reported that no detailed record of Trump’s communications with Putin existed, prompting a flurry of document requests from Congress and outside groups.

Trump and Putin have met in person multiple times, including a handful of occasions where few, if any, other U.S. officials were present. The disclosure of a lack of records came in the midst of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

“The administration has done everything it can to hide what Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed in Hamburg,” Austin Evers, executive director at American Oversight, said in a statement in response to Wednesday’s ruling. “Today’s ruling is an important step to ensuring the government complied with its legal obligations.”

Democracy Forward’s senior counsel also cheered the order. “President Trump clearly wishes to shield his interactions with foreign leaders even from those within his administration. But the law doesn’t allow Secretary Pompeo to turn a blind eye to those efforts,” Nitin Shah said in a statement, calling the ruling “a win for government transparency and accountability.”

The State Department declined to comment on pending litigation.

In its motion to dismiss earlier this fall, the State Department rejected the watchdog groups’ characterization of the interpreter notes subject to the Federal Records Act and argued that Pompeo, who was not yet secretary at the time of several of the Trump-Putin meetings, was not obligated to recover and preserve the interpreter notes Trump took possession of.
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Trump’s efforts to keep under wraps the details of his conversations with other world leaders have taken on a new light in the wake of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

As outlined in an August whistleblower complaint, the White House took the unusual step of placing a rough transcript of the July phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, which is at the heart of the probe, in a secure server meant only for highly classified documents.

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Craig Penrose Jersey Retro

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the aftermath of Drew Lock’s first career start, his phone buzzed with a text from Archie Manning.

The father of former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning offered his congratulations to the rookie quarterback, who won his debut against the Chargers.

“’You can’t win them all if you don’t win your first,’” Lock remembered the text saying. “That gave me a good giggle and a good laugh. He’s so right.”

Lock, who became close with the family at the Manning Passing Academy in 2018 ahead of his senior season, also received a text from Peyton.

“Being able to hear from those guys meant a lot,” Lock said.

Since joining the Broncos, the relationship has only grown between Lock and the Manning family.

On Sunday against the Texans, Lock could earn another congratulatory text — and a place in Broncos history.

Lock became just the sixth Broncos quarterback to win his starting debut as a rookie with a win over Los Angeles, and he could join a more-exclusive club this weekend.

John Elway, Craig Penrose and Marlin Briscoe are the only Broncos quarterbacks to win their first two starts as rookies. The streak ends there, though. Elway lost his third game, and Penrose didn’t start another game until 1978. Briscoe’s starts, meanwhile, were not in consecutive weeks.

As he aims to tie Elway and Penrose, Lock will face a Texans defense that ranks 28th in passing defense and interceptions, 26th in sacks, 31st in red-zone percentage and 32nd in third-down percentage.

Those rankings suggest Lock could improve upon his debut in which he finished 18-of-28 for 134 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Head Coach Vic Fangio agreed.

“Just some better throws in some situations, a little bit more accuracy,” said Fangio of areas in which he wants to see Lock make progress. “Just general improvement all the way across the board. Obviously, the one thing that everybody noticed is the throws. I thought he missed a couple the other day, but that’s to be expected. Hopefully he misses less this game.”

Lock has already learned a lesson that could help him Sunday in his first road game.

“Going back to the pick, just learning not to force anything,” Lock said. “In college, I might have been able to get away with a couple decisions like that, but these guys are quicker, these guys are faster and these guys are smarter. I’m not going to be able to get away with things as much as I did in college. Where being able to take the things that they give me 24/7, that’ll just help us move down the field better. [It’s a] you-can’t-go-broke-if-you’re-taking-a-profit-type deal, so take what they give you. Being able to realize the little decisions throughout the game can really affect the big picture of the game, that was one of the big takeaways.”

Lock noted the game slowed down for him even between his first and second drive. On that first drive, he missed a deep throw to Courtland Sutton and completed a pass short of the first-down marker as the team went three-and-out.

“People were buzzing around my head, I was pretty antsy and excited to go,” Lock said. “The heartbeat was pounding for sure, but once I went out there for my second drive, it was way more relaxed and I felt super confident about it.”

Lock responded on his second and third drives by twice finding Courtland Sutton in the end zone for a 14-0 lead.

Neither Lock nor Fangio said the playbook was simplified for the rookie in his first start. Instead, the team aimed to put Lock in a position to succeed by choosing what to implement.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say last week was simple, but we definitely tried to keep a clear head for me — make some of our plays and what we’re checking to, this and that, a little easier,” Lock said. “I might get a little bit more this week, but regardless of what their plan is, I’m super excited. I looked over the plan last night and went over it this morning. I think it’s an awesome plan that we have going into this game.”

Fangio said any changes to the plays the Broncos run against the Texans will have more to do with the Broncos’ game plan rather than Lock.

Lock, though, said he feels more comfortable talking to the offensive coaching staff about the plays he likes and what he thinks he can execute.

“I feel like I can definitely talk a little bit more, but as far as what we talked about yesterday, it was, ‘Let’s prep the exact same way that we did last week,’” Lock said. “You put in just enough time, let’s maybe put in even a little bit more this week. Not change your schedule, not change when you go to bed, not change when you eat, just keep it the same and we’ll try to ride this thing out. I think as the weeks go on, I could probably put more input in, but as Week 2 as a starter, I’ll still probably defer to them.”
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If Lock can replicate the result, he’ll join Elway and Penrose in an exclusive club.

And as Archie Manning may say, “You can’t win them all if you don’t win your first two.”

Correction: Marlin Briscoe also won his first two starts as a rookie. Briscoe, however, appeared in five games between his two starts. The Broncos lost the next game in which Briscoe appeared.

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Louisville football is looking to solidify what has been an extremely productive period of recruitment for its first class under Scott Satterfield. Here are the three biggest fish for the Cardinals with a week remaining.
National Signing Day early signing period is on December 18th, and Louisville football is rounding out a class that should consist of some marquee instant-impact type of players.

Still, Louisville has quite a few positions of need and they are looking to add 3-4 more players before things are said and done.

Though the “regular period” begins on February 5th, Louisville, like most other power five schools, is going to look to get the bulk of its class to sign early in order to begin planning out the season to come.

Let’s take a look at three players Louisville fans should want to land most.

Marcus Dumervil – OT
6’6,” 305 | St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, FL

We start with the biggest long shot for the Cards in stud offensive tackle Marcus Dumervil.

In college football, if you want to keep up with the Joneses you have to start by building up your play in the trenches. That’s seriously the only way to keep up.

Look at Louisville’s losses this year: Notre Dame, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Kentucky. Those are the five teams that the Cards faced with the most talent on the offensive and defensive line. And in each of those games, Louisville was exposed on both sides of the football.

You can coach technique, discipline, etc., but you can’t teach big, strong, and fast. When Louisville could hold its own upfront, they blew the doors off of some teams this year, but when they faced the big-name squads, things got ugly fast.

The Cards need a few big-time linemen and they would land perhaps their best player ever in the legacy recruit Dumervil.

His uncle, Elvis, was an absolute terror in the early 2000s at Louisville and ranks No. 2 among our All-time Louisville football player rankings. His older brother, Dejmi Dumervil-Jean redshirted this year in an effort to get into better playing shape for the 2020 season.

Dumervil would be a massive get, but the Cards have stiff competition for his services. Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Auburn are among the 60 + schools to offer him, and according to 247Sports experts, he is a lean towards LSU.

Still, you know offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford and recruiting mastermind Cort Dennison are going to be in on him until the end.

The opportunity to play with his brother and get immediate playing time are likely to be enticing.

Greedy Vance- CB
5′ 10,” 160 | Edna Karr, New Orleans, LA

While Dumervil feels like a longshot for the Cards, they are certainly the favorites to land the services of talented New Orleans cornerback Jamie Greedy Vance.

Vance has offers from the likes of Auburn, Arizona State, and Houston, but he has been trending towards the Cards for a while.

Here’s what 247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks had to say about Vance, who he projects as a soon-to-be power five starter with a high upside:

Athletic cover corner who compensates for lack of size with impressive on-field athleticism. Owns adequate height, but has a lean, thin frame and must add some bulk in college. Plays with awareness. Has played plenty of snaps in press coverage, off-man coverage, and zone. Looks most natural lining up on top of the receiver at the LOS. Shows a smooth, upright effortlessness about his gait. Willing to hand fight with receivers and mixes it up pretty well relative to size. Willingness to defend the run and screen game are encouraging, particularly relative to size. Competitive, fiery player. Plays for consistently talent-laden program and faces strong competition in practices and games. Play speed is good, but 40 time has not been verified in a combine testing environment. Could be targeted in the red zone against taller, go-get-it wideouts. Flashes some surprising pop behind his pads, but needs to clean up occasional glancing blows. Size concerns are there, but instincts, on-field athleticism, and motor suggest a quality Power Five starter at the next level.
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A 5’10” corner with a slender frame, excellent instincts, and great motor? Sounds like another corner that panned out just fine at Louisville in second-year Packer Jaire Alexander.

Not that Vance would become a first-round pick by any means, but he is the kind of talent that could wind up having an extremely successful career as a Cardinal. His size and speed fit perfectly with what Louisville is trying to do on defense.

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Earlier this week Sheldon Rankins said he had the best sack celebration of any Saints player. But when Mario Edwards finally unleashed his, it would be “pure comedy.”

Edwards sacked 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo late in the third quarter and showed off the move Rankins was talking about. After wrapping up Garoppolo, Edwards made a dipping motion, before consuming an imaginary item. That item was supposed to be a chicken strip from Cane’s, Rankins said earlier this week.

The celebration came from training camp where Edwards developed a reputation for his affinity for the chicken strips.

“We used to call him Caniac,” Rankins said with a laugh. “He used to go to Cane’s and (got to town),”
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Edwards said earlier this week he intended to do the celebration when he got his first sack but didn’t.

“The first one didn’t go that way, so when I get the second one, I got one in store for ‘em,” He said.

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Garrett Reynolds Jersey Retro

The Bruins’ hopes at a men’s championship died in the final week of the regular season, and only one woman in blue and gold qualified for nationals.

But assistant coach Devin Elizondo said there were still some positive takeaways.

“Not everything went as we hoped,” Elizondo said. “But there were some amazing bright spots for the program.”

UCLA cross country saw an All-American finish from junior Christina Rice, and two top-125 placements from senior Garrett Reynolds and redshirt senior Colin Burke at the NCAA championship Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana. However, it was the second consecutive year that neither the men’s or women’s squad qualified for the championship as a team.

The last time there were no Bruin team qualifiers in consecutive years was in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

The UCLA men held a top-10 ranking for two weeks this season and had its sights set on the possibility of an automatic bid to the NCAA championship, but a late-season injury to redshirt senior Robert Brandt derailed the team’s qualifying chances.

Brandt was the Bruins’ top runner and was a top-10 finisher in every race he participated in this season.

While Elizondo said he was concerned with the gap between the front and back runners for the Bruins, new faces were able to tighten the pack in the latter half of the season. Elizondo said the performances of redshirt junior Andy Ehrenberg, redshirt freshman Darius Riley and junior DJ Lawson at the Pac-12 championship Nov. 1 stood out most.

“On the men’s side, we got a lot from some of our role players,” Elizondo said. “We came in believing our depth was one of our greatest strengths. We went further down the lineup than we thought we were going to have to. Those young guys stepped up – (Ehrenberg, Riley and Lawson).”

UCLA will lose its top three men’s runners – in addition to three other seniors – to graduation. Reynolds – who finished 84th at nationals – said the future of the men’s team will be in good hands if they buy into the legacy they’ve left behind.

“I think it’s definitely a big transition point for the team going into the next school year,” Reynolds said. “If the freshmen and the young guys that are here right now, as well as the incoming guys, if they can carry out, act, train, perform and have the same mentality, they’ll be in a good place.”

Rice said she saw a lot of growth within herself over the course of the season, rising into scoring positions and garnering an All-American title in the first championship race of her collegiate career.

As for the women’s team as a whole, Rice said it took a step back from last year and need to get back on the right track.

“I think we just need to learn how to work together as a group and get everyone on the same page,” Rice said. “I think that we definitely had a lot more focus last year. I think this year was just a learning and growing year.”
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Many of the cross country athletes will suit up again in the spring once the track and field season begins. Reynolds said his training program will have to shift in his 13-week offseason to prepare for the shorter distances of the indoor track season.

“This season, the training was fantastic,” Reynolds said. “(Elizondo, assistant coach Austin O’Neil and I) will come up with a plan to make a clean transition from how we trained in cross country and move that toward 5K and 10K training in the spring.”

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South Carolina Department of Insurance Director Ray Farmer and Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier have been elected to the positions of president and president-elect, respectively, of the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners).

The two were voted in at the NAIC’s fall meeting this week in Austin, Texas. They will assume the roles Jan. 1, 2020.

Previously, Farmer served as president-elect at the NAIC while Altmaier served as vice president.

As part of the state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standard-setting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

South Carolina Director of Insurance Ray Farmer
Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally

Farmer was first appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as director for the South Carolina Department of Insurance in 2012. He has more than 40 years’ experience, having served as a deputy insurance commissioner for the Georgia Department of Insurance and as vice president for the American Insurance Association.

In 2018, Farmer oversaw the passing of the Insurance Data Security Act – a law that is the first in the nation to require insurance companies to have a comprehensive and secure plan to protect consumer data. In 2019, Farmer was asked to serve on Governor Henry McMaster’s Floodwater Commission, working to increase resiliency among South Carolina’s most at-risk citizens who face yearly challenges with hurricanes and floodwaters.

According to SCDOI, Farmer will tackle issues such as climate risk & resilience, long-term care & cybersecurity for NAIC. He has served as chair of the organization’s Cybersecurity Task Force.

“It is an honor to serve as president of the NAIC and I look forward to leading insurance regulators from around the country and continuing to ensure the South Carolina industry is well regulated and our consumers are well protected,” said Director Farmer.

Altmaier has served as Florida’s insurance commissioner since 2016. He was chosen by the Florida Cabinet, which consists of the state’s governor, chief financial officer, attorney general and agriculture commissioner. He previously served as OIR deputy commissioner and has worked for OIR since 2008.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier
He has served on various committees of the NAIC, including chairing the P/C Risk-Capital Working Group and the Capital Adequacy Task Force.

“As one of the largest, most complex insurance markets in the world, it is critical for Florida to have a seat at the table for state, national, and global regulatory discussions. I am glad that Commissioner Altmaier will play a leading role in these critical areas,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
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“I am honored to have been chosen as President-Elect of the NAIC,” Altmaier said. “This year, we have made significant progress on many key issues. As president-elect, I will continue the open dialogue to strengthen the consumer-focused framework that guides our mission as state insurance regulators.”

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When the Illinois Fighting Illini football and the Northwestern Wildcats get together, typically the better team wins. We really haven’t seen many upsets in this series lately, as the LOL HAT (Land of Lincoln Hat Trophy) rivalry often goes chalk. Illinois is seeking their first win in this series since 2014, the famous match-up of 5-6 teams that would see one team go on to the post-season, the other home for the holidays.

As it’s Thanksgiving and LOL HAT week, let’s break it all down.

Saturday, Nov. 30

Illinois vs. Northwestern (11 am CT//Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Illinois//FS1, FS1 App)

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The Illini are favored in this game for the first time in a long while, and it’s actually a double digit spread. If you’re making free expert college football picks, you can find the Illini priced most typically at -10 1/2 points. If you want tickets to this game, they are readily available through the box office for as low as $20. In the secondary market, they are dirt cheap. Regardless of the teams’ records, or venue, this game is always poorly attended. As it’s always held on Thanksgiving weekend, people typically have better things to do

TV Segment Preview, yours truly with Jarret Payton on CLTV Sports Feed:

Thanks @PaulMBanks for talking college football and Chicago Fire FC soccer with @paytonsun on Tuesday’s @CLTVSportsFeed:

— Larry Hawley (@HawleySports) November 27, 2019

Illini Football Preview

Illinois is playing for their first winning conference season since 2007, and a chance to bring the four game slide against Northwestern to an end. They took a very unorthodox and circuitous route to six wins/bowl eligibility, with a chance at a seventh right there for the taking.

Losing to Eastern Michigan, beating Wisconsin, winning at Michigan State- who saw that as the path to six? Illini football coach Lovie Smith could be sweating on the fitness of cornerback Tony Adams and starting quarterback Brandon Peters. The latter has been as key as anybody to this season’s massive turnaround.

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Peters can be maddening sometimes with all the turnovers he tosses sometimes, but his gunslinger mentality is huge. Like any good outside shooter in basketball, he has a short memory on his mistakes and he just keeps making plays. Peters, plus the new added depth at the skill positions this season has gotten the offense to finally click in both facets.

What makes Illini football what it is in 2019 though is the turnover margin. No other defense in the nation can consistently get the ball back like this Illini football team can. It’s why Illinois revenue sports can finally have nice things again, with a bid to the Red Box or Pinstripe Bowl upcoming.

For the Illini football bowl summary and history, go to this link.

Northwestern Wildcats Preview

As the Illini are rising, NU is falling. The Wildcats are already set for their worst season since 2002, and a loss here gives them a bottom that you would have to go all the way back to the Francis Peay era, 1989, in order to be matched.

Northwestern has by some measures the worst offense in the nation, or at least among the worst. In the passing game, they are absolute bottom, and stuck in the basement by a very significant margin. It’s fair to say that this might be the final game for Quarterbacks Coach and Offensive Coordinator Mick McCall.

What a terrible message it would send to kids, if he stays: “you can be the worst in the entire nation, at what you are highly paid to,” and still keep your job. At this points it’s about principles and ideals

— Paul M. Banks??? (@PaulMBanks) November 24, 2019

Or at least it should be. If McCall survives this season, then you can best be sure his job could survive a nuclear winter. NU has plenty of stellar defensive playmakers, like all-time sack leader Joe Gaziano and Baby Fitz middle linebacker Paddy Fisher.

Unfortunately, the offensive side of the ball has kept them from being all that they can be. Nevertheless, the Illini will have plenty of NU defensive playmakers to account for and game plan around.
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Prediction: Illini Football 27, Northwestern 10

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.