Nittany Lions wary of Michigan State’s tough run defense
By TRAVIS JOHNSON
Friday, October 12
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A bye week allowed Penn State players to watch more film on their upcoming opponent, but all viewings showed the same thing: Michigan State stuffs the run and makes teams one dimensional.
“These guys are giving up 33 yards per game running,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “And I think the mistake you make is when you’re playing a team like that is that you abort the run and go all pass.”
So the No. 8 Nittany Lions (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) will be patient, Franklin said, when Michigan State (3-2, 1-1) brings its top-ranked rushing defense into Beaver Stadium on Saturday where both teams will try stay in the chase in an East Division that’s getting crowded at the top.
No. 3 Ohio State and No. 12 Michigan are unbeaten in conference play while the Nittany Lions and Spartans are coming off losses.
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley is coming off his best rushing performance after racking up 175 yards on 25 carries against the Buckeyes. But he handed off on a fourth-down play the Buckeyes easily stuffed to hand the Nittany Lions a 1-point loss.
McSorley’s ready again if designed quarterback runs and scrambling are what it will take to open Michigan State’s defense up.
“Their mentality that teams aren’t going to run the ball against them, it’s given them the rush defense they’ve had over the last couple years,” McSorley said.
SO THROW IT
When Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio looks at the numbers, he doesn’t see a secondary that’s struggling that badly considering the situation. Opposing quarterbacks are being forced to throw on average 44 times against the Spartans and are averaging just under 8 yards per attempt.
“The answer for that probably is, they’ve hit some deep balls on us where deep ball judgment comes into play,” Dantonio said. “And again, I go back to a game of inches.”
It’s also a game of bodies and the Spartans have lost a handful. Corners Josiah Scott and Scott Smith are out, leaving a thin group for Penn State to attack.
McSorley’s 461 total yards in the Ohio State game is a program record. He would’ve had more if his receivers could hold the ball.
So far, the Nittany Lions have dropped 17 passes. Five came against the Buckeyes when Penn State was without star KJ Hamler for much of the second half because of an apparent head injury.
Hamler is expected to play Saturday, Franklin said.
A BOOST UP FRONT
Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns when these teams last met but could have a tougher time now.
Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry said he’s seen the defensive line improve each week and will get end Shane Simmons back into the rotation. Simmons, who played more down the stretch last season, has been limited after an unspecified injury in camp.
“How quickly he gets back to his peak playing potential, we’ll see,” Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry said.
A GREAT PRACTICE AND A CHALLENGE
McSorley agreed with Franklin’s remark that Tuesday’s practice was the best in the four years the coach and his staff have been in Happy Valley.
Spartans linebacker Joe Bachie, meanwhile, had stern words after Michigan State’s loss to Northwestern.
“If you don’t want to lead, if you don’t want to go win, get out of the locker room,” he said.
Dantonio understood his captain’s frustration.
“When you are a leader, when you’re the head coach or when you’re the coordinator or you’re the assistant coach or the leader, captain, sometimes you have to be more demanding,” Dantonio said. “So that’s a part of it and … that’s what we all do.”
Canadians increasingly live in the auto-dependent suburbs
October 9, 2018
David L.A. Gordon
Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning; Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, Ontario
David L.A. Gordon receives funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is the Research Chair for the Council for Canadian Urbanism.
Queen’s University, Ontario provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.
Canada is a suburban nation. More than two-thirds of our country’s total population now live in the suburbs, meaning policy-makers must deal with the multitude of issues regarding this suburban explosion.
In all our largest metropolitan areas, the portion of suburban residents is higher than 80 per cent, including the Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal regions.
The downtown cores of these cities may be full of new condo towers, but there is often five times as much population growth on the suburban edges of the regions.
In a 2013 article in the Journal of Architecture and Planning Research (JAPR), our research team found that 66 per cent of all Canadians lived in some form of a suburb. That figure was based on 1996 and 2006 census data.
Ten years later, that figure has risen to 67.5 per cent based on the 2016 census data released in late 2017.
As you can see in the above Google Earth map of the Toronto area, we classified the neighbourhoods in Canada’s Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) into four types:
Exurbs: Very low-density rural areas where more than half the workers commute to the central core. They live in rural-estate subdivisions or along country roads, and comprise about eight per cent of the metropolitan population in 2016.
Automobile suburbs: These are the classic suburban neighbourhoods. Almost everybody commutes by car, there is little transit use and hardly anyone walks or cycles to work. They include about 67 per cent of metropolitan populations.
Transit suburbs: Neighbourhoods where a higher proportion of people commute by transit, comprising about 12 per cent of metropolitan populations.
Active cores: Downtowns and other neighbourhoods where a higher proportion of people walk or cycle to work. These neighbourhoods, which most international observers would consider “urban,” make up only 14 per cent of Canadian metropolitan populations.
Suburbs continue to sprawl
In the new census data, our research team found that within Canada’s metropolitan areas, 86 per cent of the population lived in transit suburbs, auto suburbs or exurban areas, while only 14 per cent, as mentioned above, lived in active core neighbourhoods.
The active cores and transit suburbs grew by nine per cent and eight per cent, respectively, below the national average population growth of 15 per cent. The auto suburbs and the exurban areas, on the other hand, grew by 17 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, exceeding the national average.
The net effect of this trend is that 85 per cent of the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) population growth from 2006–2016 was in auto suburbs and exurbs. Only 15 per cent of population growth was in more sustainable active cores and transit suburbs.
The 2006–2016 findings show that the population of Canada’s auto-dependent communities is growing much faster than the national growth rate, which has significant policy implications when it comes to public health, transportation, education planning, electoral issues and community design.
Statistics Canada Census Data, 2006-2016
The national pattern is similar regarding construction of new residential units, though not as extreme. That’s because new housing units in the active cores have about 40 per cent fewer occupants than those in auto suburbs, according to 2016 data.
Even if dwelling units are a growth measure, 78 per cent of new dwelling unit growth from 2006-2016 occurred in the less sustainable auto suburbs and exurbs.
Many people over-estimate crowding and traffic in highly visible downtown cores and underestimate the vast growth happening in the suburban edges of our metropolitan regions.
The population in low-density auto suburbs and exurbs is still growing five times faster than inner cities and transit suburbs across Canada.
Despite their inner-city condo booms, even the Toronto and Vancouver metropolitan areas saw 3.4 and 2.4 times as much population growth in auto suburbs and exurbs compared to active cores and transit suburbs.
Canada is, in fact, a suburban nation, and its population became more suburban from 2006–2016, despite the planning policies of most metropolitan areas.
A graph showing population growth patterns in major Canadian metropolitan areas. Author provided
Preliminary 2016 census analyses in some CMAs show that the past decade of municipal intensification policies is finally having an effect on the location of dwelling units, but the large majority of population growth still continues to occur in automobile suburbs and exurbs.
This means policy-makers must:
— Monitor the edges of metropolitan areas more closely than the centre.
— Set growth and intensification targets using both population and housing units.
— Calibrate infrastructure programs to shape suburban population growth.
— Increase bus rapid transit and light rail transit, rather than subways, subways, subways….
Even if urban development trends were to become significantly more intense, the current suburban neighbourhoods will comprise the bulk of the nation’s housing stock well into the 21st-century. That means Canada appears destined to remain a suburban nation in the decades ahead. It’s time for governments and policy-makers to grapple with the myriad implications.
No. 6 West Virginia on upset alert at Iowa State
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
Friday, October 12
AMES, Iowa (AP) — No. 6 West Virginia will head into the second Saturday in October as the Big 12’s last undefeated team.
The elements of a potential upset appear to be in play for the Mountaineers (5-0, 3-0 Big 12).
Iowa State is just 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the league. But the Cyclones seem to be finding themselves after a strange and sluggish start, and freshman quarterback Brock Purdy looked like a future star in his first extended action last week.
Throw in a chilly forecast, a nighttime finish and a stingy Iowa State defense, and West Virginia — fresh off a turnover-riddled win over Kansas — could be on an upset alert from the opening kick.
“These guys don’t care who they’re playing,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said of the Cyclones. “They’re going to line up and play the same. They’re a well-coached, disciplined, hard-working bunch that continues to get better. We don’t care if they’re 2-3 or if they’re 5-0.”
Still, West Virginia has beaten all comers behind an attack led by quarterback Will Grier and an underrated defense that’s among the best in the Big 12.
West Virginia (18.6 points per game) is the only team in the conference giving up less than 20 an outing, and it ranks behind only TCU with just 332 yards allowed per contest.
“They’re physical, they run to the football and they play really hard,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “They’re not going to going to give up the big play and, when they want to be aggressive and come after you, they’re going to have the ability to do it.”
Despite throwing three picks last weekend, Grier is having a fantastic senior season. Grier has thrown for 21 touchdowns to 10 different receivers, and he is completing 71.2 percent of his passes while averaging 10.28 yards per attempt.
“All of these guys can make plays, and it’s my job to make the right reads and get us in good plays and get the ball in their hands,” Grier said.
Pressed into duty last week in hopes of reviving the offense, Purdy responded with 318 yards passing and four TDs and 84 yards rushing and another score. But it is unclear if Purdy will have star running back David Montgomery to hand the ball off to. Montgomery hurt his upper arm late in a 17-14 loss to TCU on Sept. 29 and didn’t play last week.
“He looks healthy. He looks ready to go. But again, he’s looked that way for the last week or so,” Campbell said. “It’s not the look, it’s the feel.”
Iowa State has won four of its last six games against ranked opponents — including a 14-7 home win over then-unbeaten TCU last season — after dropping 20 straight to Top 25 teams. The Cyclones are 1-1 against ranked teams in 2018, falling to Oklahoma by 10 before knocking Oklahoma State out of the poll with a win.
The only team to get within 10 points of West Virginia is Texas Tech. The Red Raiders fell 42-34 in Lubbock two weeks ago. … Iowa State broke its school record with 16 tackles for loss against Oklahoma State and tied the team record with seven sacks — recorded by seven different players. … West Virginia has 27 touchdowns in 56 drives this season. …The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and a wind chill in the 40s for kickoff. And though Iowa State typically does a great job maintaining its grass field, central Iowa has been inundated with rain for weeks.
HE SAID IT
“We’re going to put (Josh) Norwood on Keith (Washington Jr.) shoulders and let them cover them that way.” — West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson on Iowa State’s receivers, one of the tallest groups in the country led by 6-foot-6 Hakeem Butler.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Izzo says he never tried to cover up sex assault allegations
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
Thursday, October 11
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo insisted Thursday he was never part of an effort to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct within the school’s athletic department.
The Hall of Famer said the idea that he would be involved sickens him.
Izzo said the low point in his life was an ESPN report last winter saying Michigan State had a history of covering up incidents of sexual assault in the football and men’s basketball programs. It stated that former Spartans basketball player Travis Walton was named in a sexual assault report and had assault and battery charges dismissed in 2010. At the time, Walton was a graduate assistant.
Izzo said he felt the report lumped him and football coach Mark Dantonio in with Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State and Team USA sports doctor imprisoned for child pornography crimes and molesting female athletes.
“That’ll go down for the rest of my life as the lowest part of my life, being on there with a pedophile like I was on there with,” Izzo said.
As for a potential cover-up? Izzo was adamant: There was none.
“The thought of that makes me sick,” he said. “It’s never been hidden. It never was. That was the big complaint on me and Dantonio and (retired athletic director Mark Hollis). And it never was hidden and it never will be hidden.”
The NCAA cleared Michigan State of any rules infractions in the Nassar scandal. The basketball and football programs were also cleared of any potential violations related to how sexual assault allegations against their players were handled.
Izzo acknowledged he might have handled things a little differently in hindsight during a lengthy session with reporters at the Big Ten’s annual basketball media day. But he also insisted policies were followed to the “Nth degree.”
“I want to make this the greatest place,” Izzo said. “I want to make this better. … I’m hoping the day comes when a lot of the survivors that were Michigan State girls come back. That’s what I’d like to see. … It’s never gonna be OK with me, what happened.”
Izzo drew sharp criticism in January when he defended then-school President Lou Anna Simon — who resigned shortly afterward — and the university on the same day Nassar’s victims addressed their assailant in court. While praising the “courageous women,” he said it had been “a very difficult week for me.”
That drew a sharp rebuke on Twitter from the mother of Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman. Lynn Raisman wondered if Izzo was a “moron” or “liar.”
“There’s nobody arguing that it was horrific what happened,” said Izzo, who has a daughter and son. “There’s nobody that stuck up for them more. Every other team in the country didn’t do anything. I did something every night. My team, my players, I talked about it until people told me to knock it off. I talked to their parents. I talked to some of them myself.”
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Out of Matthew Shepard’s tragic murder, a commitment to punishing hate crimes emerged
October 12, 2018
Professorial Lecturer, Department of Government, American University School of Public Affairs
Lara Schwartz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
American University School of Public Affairs provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
On an October night in 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, driven to a remote field, tied to a fence and left to die. The cyclist who found him reported that the unconscious young man’s face was covered with blood except where tears had washed the skin clean.
People gathered for vigils nationwide. The press flocked to Laramie to cover the story.
Matthew died six days later, on Oct. 12, 1998.
It soon became clear that Shepard had not been a random victim of a savage crime: He had been murdered because he was gay. One of his killers, Aaron McKinney, would describe Shepard as “a queer” and a “fag” in his confession. He would later state that Shepard “needed killing.”
Shepard was far from the first person to be targeted for violence because of his identity, nor would he be the last.
In fact, earlier that year, an African-American man named James Byrd, Jr. had been murdered by three white supremacists who chained him to a pickup truck and dragged him for 3 miles.
But their stories and their families’ advocacy raised awareness and would lead to a federal law that bears their names: the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
As a lawyer with the Human Rights Campaign, I worked on the legislation from 2002 until it passed in 2009 and President Barack Obama signed it into law.
Twenty years after Shepard’s murder, hate crime legislation has come a long way. Nonetheless, reports of hate crimes have ticked up in recent years, and those trying to enforce these laws still face a number of obstacles.
The importance of federal resolve
Before the Matthew Shepard Act passed, many states did have hate crime laws on the books. California’s hate crime law, for example, has included sexual orientation since 1984. However, state laws vary; many don’t include sexual orientation and most don’t include gender identity. Some state statutes cover property crimes such as arson motivated by bias.
The Matthew Shepard Act makes it a federal crime to commit certain violent acts motivated by race, color, religion, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.
The act also authorized the federal government to assist local law enforcement agencies investigating hate crimes with funding, manpower and lab work.
This is an important aspect of the legislation. Prosecuting these crimes can be expensive and challenging, and many communities don’t have adequate resources. For example, investigating and prosecuting Matthew Shepard’s murder was so expensive that the Laramie Sherriff’s office had to temporarily lay off employees.
When Congress was considering the hate crimes bill, most arguments against its passage centered on the bill’s protection of LGBT people. Many opponents said they would support the bill – so long as it left out LGBT people.
They claimed that it would criminalize thoughts, with prosecutors unfairly using someone’s prior statements about gay people as evidence that a crime was a hate crime. If this were the case, they argued, then people would essentially be jailed for their speech and opinions. Others claimed that because the law included sexual orientation, ministers would be prosecuted for preaching the gospel, which they believed condemns homosexuality and limits marriage to a union of a man and a woman.
In truth, these fears are unfounded: The federal law is limited to crimes that result in death or serious bodily injury.
In the end, the coalition supporting the bill held firm about including protections LGBT Americans. In fact, in 2007 the bill’s sponsors added explicit protection for transgender people to the bill.
How many hate crimes fall through the cracks?
Because most criminal prosecutions take place at the state and local level, there are fewer federal hate crimes prosecutions than state and local ones.
Nonetheless, it’s difficult to truly know how many hate crimes happen in this country.
Under the 1990 Hate Crimes Statistics Act, state and local law enforcement are responsible for reporting hate crimes. Many agencies fail to report or underreport instances.
Furthermore, about half of bias-motivated crimes aren’t reported to police at all. This makes sense when we consider that targets of hate crimes are often marginalized in their communities. They might mistrust law enforcement or wish to avoid “outing” themselves. Hate crimes against people with disabilities are often committed by people the victim knows, a factor that can also deter reporting.
Proving bias as a motivation is also difficult. A prosecutor might conclude it’s better to enter into a plea agreement for assault than go to trial to get a hate crime conviction.
Finally, though hate crimes laws cover crimes of violence or property destruction, hate speech lies in an entirely different realm. While it can make life painful for the people it targets, hateful speech is protected by the First Amendment, whether it’s Ku Klux Klan marches or protesters holding signs reading “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” near a military funeral.
So when people today see viral videos of truly hateful behavior, they might think they’re seeing a hate crime and want justice. But unless there is an assault or harassment, our criminal laws don’t cover this shameful behavior.
Ultimately, the most powerful aspect of hate crime legislation may be the message it sends.
A hate crime has a ripple effect: It tells those who identify with the victim that they aren’t welcome in a community and stokes fears that they may be next.
Hate crimes laws are an unequivocal statement that it is unacceptable for anyone to live in fear of being targeted for who they are.
The strength of this message – and the potent symbolism of the legislation – is one reason the Matthew Shepard Act took 11 years to pass. It’s why anti-LGBT groups were its fiercest opponents. And it’s why President Obama, during the bill’s signing, reiterated the importance of taking a stand against “crimes that are meant not only to break bones, but to break spirits – not only to inflict harm, but to instill fear.”