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Well, someone had to win

first_imgSenior guard Trevon Hughes and the Wisconsin Badgers escaped with a win Wednesday night at the Kohl Center, thanks in large part to the 20-point performance by Hughes. The native of Queens, N.Y., helped UW rally past the Wolverines with 16 second-half points.[/media-credit]When the final horn sounded Wednesday night at the Kohl Center, the scoreboard read 54-48 in favor of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team — and thankfully for the Badgers, that is the only stat that matters.Playing its ugliest game of the season so far, UW finished with several offensive statistics that would make James Naismith blush.Wisconsin shot 34 percent from the floor and a cool 16 percent from beyond the arc. The Badgers didn’t score their first points until six minutes had bled in the game, and they ended the half with a mere 18 points. Calling this matchup a Big Ten slugfest would be putting it kindly.Still, Wisconsin came out with a “W” on the left-hand side of the column due in large part to a resiliency that has marked Bo Ryan’s teams for the past nine years.“I think it just shows a lot about our team,” UW’s only true big man to play, Keaton Nankivil said. “We have a setback with Jon (Leuer’s wrist injury), but we are not the kind of team to make excuses… even when we don’t shoot well, we still do a lot of stuff well that puts us in position to win and that is the way Coach coaches us.”Making up for the dreadful shooting night was Wisconsin’s intelligent play. For the game UW only turned the ball over five times, including just once in the second half. And with the outside shots not falling — or even coming close in the case of two ill-advised attempts from Tim Jarmusz — the Badgers worked their way to the free throw line and connected on 14 of 17 attempts. Those 14 makes were more than Michigan had attempts.“That is how you get it done. When you are shooting a poor percentage you need to be making free throws and you need to not turn the ball over,” Ryan said. “That is the only way you have a chance, when those two things happen.”Wisconsin started the game missing its first seven shots — six of which were three pointers — but managed to stay in the game by only allowing Michigan to score six points.According to Ryan, the six minute stretch to open the game doesn’t bother him because all teams go through scoreless bouts some time during the course of play.“If you are not hitting shots it’s called a slow start,” Ryan said.“In every game there are little spells. We have talked about this a million times. It could have been with five minutes to go in the game… in this case it happened early.”While the Badgers’ scoring was balanced, with three different players reaching double figures and seven guys getting at least one bucket for the game, Michigan’s attack was based almost solely on getting DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris shots.Unfortunately for the Wolverines, only one half of that combo was clicking.Sims finished the game with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, but Harris was held to 11 points — eight below his season average — and only reached the charity stripe once.While a lot of credit can be given to Jarmusz for keeping the athletic guard in front of him, Michigan coach Jim Beilein thought some of the trouble was Harris simply missing makeable shots.“[Wisconsin] always has a guy that can do that, but I do think several times Manny got a couple of good looks,” he said. “Tim is a good defender but I’m sure Manny would want to have some of those shots back.”As Badger fans should be used to seeing by now, the ball was in Trevon Hughes’ hands down the stretch, and the senior guard did not disappoint.Finishing the game with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting, UW’s leading scorer poured in eight points over the final five minutes, including a backbreaking layup with the shot clock about to expire.“I had to get a spark and get something going,” Hughes said. “I had to stay aggressive, I know my teammates feed off of that.”Playing in the third straight game without Leuer, the Badgers attempted 24 three-point attempts to only 28 two-point field goals. In this three-game stretch, nearly 50 percent of UW’s shots have come from beyond the arc, and the team has only averaged 55 points a game.With a hint of stubbornness in his voice, though, Ryan said the team has no plan to change how they are playing — saying in effect, they will continue to take what the defense gives them.“Who knows?” Ryan said about the three-point attempts. “We are just going to keep finding ways. It could be ten the next time, it could be 40 the next time.”last_img read more

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Kotoko responds to GFA – read full letter

first_imgAsante Kotoko have written a long riposte to the Ghana Football Association in response to the decision to ban them from playing at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi following acts of hooliganism.Below if the full letter to the GFAWe refer to your letter of 15th May, 2013 on the above subject and with reference number GFA/PLC/AK/VOL 161.Our understanding of your letter is that the Executive Committee of the GFA purports to ban our club from using the Baba Yara Stadium until such a time that the Executive Committee decides otherwise, for alleged acts of violence and misconduct perpetuated by its supporters on 8th May, 2013 at the venue in question.The Executive Committee seeks to invoke the powers vested in it by Article 15 (2) of the GFA Regulations and has then requested the Premier League Board to determine alternative venues for our home matches in accordance with article 15 (3) of the GFA Regulations. It also seeks to refer the misconduct of the club to the Disciplinary Committee as the club is being held liable for the conduct of its supporters per Article 35 (4) of the same regulations.We would like to point it out to the Executive Committee that a true, uncolored and proper interpretation of Article 15 (2) would show the Executive Committee acted beyond the powers vested in it by the said Article. By purporting to ban Kotoko from using the stadium they have attempted to usurp the powers of the Disciplinary Committee of the FA to punish clubs for misconduct or violence as foreseen by Article 39. Article 15 (2) states that:“The GFA may order the closure of any league center where the safety of clubs, match officials or spectators cannot be guaranteed”This regulation anticipates a situation where either due to structural deformities to the stadium or an inability to arrange adequate security means that participants in football matches organized at this center cannot be assured of their safety. In such a situation closure of a league center means it is closed to all football related activities, no matter which club is involved.The GFA can close a venue without recourse to a club based on Article 15 (2) since it is the safety of everybody using a particular ‘unsecured venue’ that the GFA seeks to protect. Closure of a stadium on safety grounds is not meant to be the punishment or part of the punishment for the misconduct of supporters and that is why there is no link between Article 15 (2) and Article 35 on Offences or Article 39 on punishment. Any attempt to link Article 15 (2) and Article 35 (4) would be a misinterpretation of the GFA Regulations.It needs to be pointed out that closure of a league center is not the same as banning a club from playing its home matches at a particular league center. The GFA cannot ban a club from using a venue without finding them liable for an act of misconduct by the club, its officials or supporters as provided for by Article 35 (4) and following the steps outlined in Article 35 (8) stated below: “Any club, Director, Official, Referee, Assistant Referee, player or Member charged with any act of violence or misconduct under this Article shall be furnished with details in writing of such act of violence or misconduct at least three (3) days before the date the Club, Director, Officials, Referee, Assistant Referee, Player or member is requested to appear before the Disciplinary Committee or any special Committee set up for that purpose of answering charges(s) relating to the act of violence or misconduct.A letter delivered to the accredited representative of a club or any official of the club shall be deemed to have been served on the club or official or player thereof”. (Article 35.8)A club can only be found liable for an act of misconduct or violence after being duly charged with these acts and being found liable by the Disciplinary Committee or a Special Committee as provided for under Article 35 (8) and given the punishment in article 39 (1) (d).The Emergency Committee cannot be considered as a Special Committee in this instance since it is a Statutory Committee of the FA and it was not set up to investigate individual instances of misconduct or violence as foreseen by Article 35 (8). Even if it were to act as a Special Committee to investigate the incidence it would have to give the affected club a right of hearing before it can pass its judgment.In this particular instance the Executive Committee can order that matches involving Kotoko be shifted to other venues only if the stadium is closed to all football related activity (as foreseen by article 15 (2) and which the same committee purported to have done in the case of Robert Mensah Stadium in March 2012). This would include matches involving all teams that use the Baba Yara stadium as their match center. Otherwise the Baba Yara Stadium can be considered to be safe for the playing of football matches and Kotoko is being banned from using the place only because of the misconduct of their fans. The right to punish Kotoko for the misconduct of their supporters lie solely within the purview of the Disciplinary Committee or any other Committee provided for under Article 35 (8). The framers of the regulations anticipated that the GFA Executive Committee could be made up of people with self-interest in the punishment meted out to one club based on competition for league positions, reason why it does not give the power to punish clubs to the Executive Committee. The current composition of the Executive Committee does not give us any comfort that the framers of the regulations were wrong.By choosing to exceed its powers and purporting to ban Kotoko from the use of the Baba Yara Stadium without due process the Executive Committee has buckled under pressure from the public and self-centered individuals who are focused on ensuring that Kotoko fails in its attempt to defend its league title. Their calls for Kotoko to be banned should have been considered alongside what the regulations of the FA provide for. The Executive cannot re-write the regulations because it suits the interest of some people.We are by this letter indicating to the Executive Committee that it was wrong in exceeding the powers vested in it by Article 15 (2) based on wrong advice from people with little or no understanding of the letter and spirit of the specific FA Article. We would not be part of an attempt by the Executive Committee to undermine the powers conferred on the Disciplinary Committee or prejudice the outcome of the Committee’s investigation. If the Executive Committee cannot close the stadium to football related activities, they need to wait for the outcome of the Disciplinary process, just like they did in the recent Berekum Arsenal case. By banning us for the alleged misconduct of our supporters and asking the Disciplinary Committee to also ‘hear the case’ of alleged misconduct amounts to double prosecution, leading to the possibility of double punishment for the same offence.We are in no way, by this response justifying hooliganism of any form perpetuated by any set of fans, being it ours but we believe that the right process must be followed so that justice is not only done but is seen to be done. In effect the Executive Committee should either close the stadium to all football related activity in accordance with article 15 (2) or allow Kotoko to use the stadium pending the outcome of the Disciplinary process. The Executive Committee at this stage should be collaborating with the clubs in seeking alternative solutions to incidences of violence as its current strategy of ‘educate your supporters’, ‘shifting of match venues’, ‘closure of stadia’ and ‘fining clubs’ seems not to be working. The Executive Committee should lead this crusade for more effective solutions.We await your response. Yours faithfully,Benjamin NtiKotoko Administrative ManagerFor: Executive Chairmanlast_img read more

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