BATESVILLE, Ind. — The Batesville Community Education Foundation awarded five new grants to the Batesville Community School Corporation recently, bringing its school grant total for the 2016-17 academic school year to more than $10,000.The grant money will fund the following:BHS Resource Room to Receive Therapeutic Seating: Students in the Batesville High School resource room will have additional seating choices that will enable them to more easily focus on their work. Having chairs that enable movement and allow students to release extra energy will make for a more conducive learning environment for those in special education.Writing Program to be Piloted in Kindergarten: Batesville Primary School will be honing students’ writing skills at an early age, thanks to a grant awarded to teacher Kathy Gutzwiller. Students in her kindergarten classroom will learn to write in three different styles: opinion, information, and narrative writing, using the Lucy Caulkins writing program.BMS to Replace Amplifiers from the 1970s: The Foundation decided that after 41 years, the two amplifiers used for sixth grade general music were long overdue for retirement. Batesville Middle School music teacher Leon Enneking received a grant to purchase new amplifiers to replace the ones that have been in use since 1976.3D Printing Technology Expansion: A grant proposal for an additional 3D printer, developed by high school engineering and technology education teachers Craig Hughes and Tim Mauzy, was approved by the foundation. Additional students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics department will have the ability to use 3D-printed parts in their classes, meaning faster production time and more hands-on experience with this cutting-edge technology for our high school students.Unique Interactive Video Conferencing in Anatomy and Physiology: High school science teacher Taira Lynch received funds toward two interactive video conferencing sessions through the Center of Science and Industry for use in a new Human Anatomy and Physiology course at BHS. Students will be provided an experience that goes above and beyond a regular anatomy class. A kidney transplant and an autopsy will be viewed with a group conference webcam while students perform interactive assignments.
New Delhi: Sarfaraz Ahmed has been sacked as the skipper of the Pakistan cricket team ahead of the team’s tour to Australia which will begin in November. Azhar Ali has been appointed as the new Test skipper while Babar Azam, considered one of the best limited overs batsman for Pakistan, has been designated as the new Twenty20 International skipper. The move comes as Pakistan embark on a tour to Australia where they will play three Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests which begin from November 21. The move comes in the aftermath of Pakistan getting whitewashed 3-0 in the recent Twenty20 International series by a second-string Sri Lanka side missing some of their key players. This was the first time since 2015 that Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in T20Is and it was the first loss for Sarfaraz as skipper of the Pakistan team.Sarfaraz took over the captaincy following the retirement of Misbah ul Haq and he led in 13 Tests, winning four but losing eight Tests. Sarfaraz’s high point came in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy when he led Pakistan to victory in the final against India but since then, he has endured a torrid time. Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in the Tests against South Africa and in the same series, Sarfaraz was banned for four games for a racist taunt against Andile Phehlukwayo. The woes continued for Pakistan as they lost an ODI series to New Zealand 2-1 in the UAE while in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, they lost to India for the seventh time in World Cups while they failed to make the knock-out stages of the tournament. Despite winning the ODI series against Sri Lanka, the subsequent 3-0 whitewash by a Sri Lankan side that were missing Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and other key players has prompted the Pakistan Cricket Board to sack Sarfaraz. Pakistan are currently ranked No.7 in the Test rankings and Sarfaraz’s own form in the past couple of years has been woeful. Barring the two Tests against Australia, Sarfaraz has had a highest average of 22 in the subsequent Test series. Even in ODIs, he has been inconsistent. In the England Vs Pakistan series before the World Cup, Sarfaraz managed an average of 93 but he struggled prior to that and even in the World Cup. In eight games, he scored 143 runs with just one fifty. Ehsan Mani, the chairman of the PCB, has approved of the changes. “It has been a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and a leader. But, his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been decided to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from international cricket. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s contributions are second to none and being the gutsy cricketer and fighter that we all know he is, I have no doubts he will be back in Pakistan colours at some stage.”Also Read | Pakistan Cricket Board decides to remove Sarfaraz Ahmed as Test captain: ReportIn a PCB release, Azhar Ali hailed Sarfaraz’s contribution. “Sarfaraz has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players and I now look forward to inspiring those skillful players in our endeavours to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond,” Azhar said in a statement. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
Published on February 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Marwa: [email protected] | @marwaeltagouri The request made by two of Bernie Fine’s accusers for Syracuse University to turn over a roster with the names of former basketball players was denied in a New York City court Friday.Mariann Wang, the lawyer representing former ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, requested the roster in an attempt to keep the defamation lawsuit against men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim in New York City, according to a Feb. 10 article published by The Post-Standard.The document would include the names of all the basketball players from 1992 to 1997 and any information regarding the players who allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with Fine’s wife, Laurie.State Supreme Court Justice Anil Singh rejected the request. Singh said the information Wang desired was not relevant to the request from Boeheim and SU to change the venue of the case to Onondaga County, according to the article.Gloria Allred, the high-profile lawyer representing Davis and Lang, released an affidavit last week in which Davis claimed he knew the names of at least three players who allegedly had sexual relations with Laurie Fine. The plaintiffs argued the players’ names were necessary to see if any of them lived in New York City so that the case could remain downstate.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAllred could not be reached for comment.Davis and Lang claim Boeheim defamed them when he publicly accused the stepbrothers of lying about Fine molesting them. Boeheim later apologized for these comments.Fine, who was fired from the university Nov. 27, has denied the allegations and has not been charged. Federal agents and the Syracuse Police Department continue to [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
… ALAMEDA — While the Raiders are determining which players don’t fit into their short-term plans, they have decided to lock up center Rodney Hudson for the longterm.Hudson has agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $33.4 million that will make him the league’s highest paid center. The deal contains $24.4 million in guarantees.The contract was first reported by NFL Network, confirmed by the Bay Area News Group and later announced by the Raiders.This anchor is staying put.
Giving Tuesday is the global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. USD301M (R4.2B) was raised in 2017 in 24 hours around the world. It harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage local philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. The idea is simple – if you shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, consider a gift back to those who need it on Giving Tuesday.November 27 this year launches the concept in South Africa and is identified to tie in with the centenary celebrations of Nelson Mandela. Trevor Noah is supporting the global #GivingTuesday movement and will match up to R2 million in donations made to his eponymous foundation. His efforts will double the impact he has on education – support for government schools including career guidance, counseling, digital access, and other critical social, emotional, and academic enhancement for kids in South Africa. But more than that, through his leadership, he is empowering and inspiring more people to give.While Trevor chooses education, the beauty of #GivingTuesdaySA is that it is not a single-cause day. It is a day to give to a cause that is meaningful to you at an amount that is meaningful to you. Terry Pheto, Kabelo Mabelane & Danny Koppel, Brent Lindeque, and Bokang M Tshabalala have all offered their giving stories, in support of #GivingTuesdaySA. They share how they support initiatives and give hope through Save the Children South Africa, the Shout Foundation, the Good Things Guy, and the Bokang Montjane Foundation respectively.Trevor also joins the ranks of Bill & Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, Facebook, Paypal and other global icons in using his power and reach to celebrate generosity. As it’s the first year of #GivingTuesdaySA, through this powerful matching gift, the day is truly owned and celebrated as proudly South African. If there’s one thing Trevor excels at, it’s getting us all to have the conversation no one wants to have. His leadership, along with the other notable South African philanthropists, can help us all have a more open and honest conversation around giving, and highlight this generosity to the world. Share a story of giving that’s inspired you here.What if social media could be harnessed to make a more collective impact and our contributions could be more visible to those around us? In giving, we showcase the best version of ourselves. In an age of increasing division, help us use social media to spread generosity. This November 27th, join the movement and give – whether it’s some of your time, a donation, a gift or the power of your voice in your local community.This is global day, but this is also a moment for South Africa to shine. #GivingTuesdaySAWeb: www.givingtuesdaysa.orgSocial: @givingtuesdaySAContact: [email protected]: 011 5233259
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Happy USDA report day!Corn and soybean production and yields were below trade expectations. Quarterly grain stocks were lower than expected for corn and soybeans. Winter wheat acres were all below trade estimates.Not surprising to hear that today is the biggest report day for USDA. At least as far as grains are concerned.Prior to the report grains were all lower. Corn was down 2 cents, soybeans were 4 cents lower, and wheat was down 5 cents. At 12:15 pm all grains were higher.The report was viewed as friendly with corn production pegged at 13.601 billion bushels and a yield of 168.4 bushels per acre. Soybean production was 3.93 billion bushels with a yield of 48.0 bushels per acre. All of those numbers were below trader estimates. Quarterly grain stock as of Dec. 1, 2015 had corn at 11.212 billion bushels and soybean stocks at 2.715 billion bushels. Both were below trade expectations. Wheat stocks were estimated at 1.738 billion bushels, that was above trade estimates.Today’s report contained a lot of numbers to digest. First, this report details final corn and soybean production and yields for 2015. To reach that final number USDA provides a state by state production and yields for corn and soybeans. It certainly provides lots of ammunition for talk days and weeks ahead. Second, USDA publishes a quarterly grain stocks report of grain on the farm as well as grain in commercial facilities. The marketing year for corn and soybeans goes from September to August. November 30, 2015 marks the end of the first quarter of the marketing year. Third, the report today provided the monthly USDA supply and demand tables for all grains. USDA provided supply and demand tables in two formats, the U.S. and the world.Prior to the report traders were looking for corn production to decline slightly from the previous production numbers detailed in November 2015. From August to November, USDA provides estimates for corn and soybean production. The final production number is detailed the following January, skipping production numbers in December. Soybean production numbers were expected to change very little compared to the previous report in November.Weather will play a huge role for grain prices in the months ahead. That is nothing new. The current El Nino is the strongest of any in the past 20 years. This El Nino is responsible for the huge amounts of rain the past several weeks in California. Based on history, we are likely to see weather extremes take place this growing season in at least the western half of the Corn Belt. More extremes could be seen in the southern plains. Demand for U.S. grains continues to be a huge factor and concern for prices. For the marketing year from Sept. 1 to present, corn exports are 102 million bushels behind that of a year ago. Soybean exports are 134 million bushels behind, while wheat exports are 57 million bushels behind those of a year ago.China continues to be in the news with concerns about their economy. Recent reports reveal two tidbits of information. First their currency, the China Yuan reached five-year lows last week. Second, their economy is growing, but at the slowest pace of the last 25 years. We will continue to hear more in coming weeks that other world economies will likely be following the same path the U.S. started several years ago of pumping lots of money into the economy in hopes of improvement.Traders continue to watch weather, both current and forecasts in Brazil. In November and December 2015 southern Brazil received plentiful rainfall. However, northern Brazil was dry and hot, but not for an extended time of weeks and weeks. It was enough to move prices higher in earlier December but unable to hold those gains. If the soybean production in Brazil continues to climb above 100 million tons, prices will see additional downside pressur.With bullish surprises and grains higher shortly following the report with corn up 7 cents, soybeans up 15 cents and wheat up 10 cents, it will be important to see the closing prices today. Some ideas suggest that the rallies will be short lived as the market picks upon the funds that are heavily short grains. They had been adding to wheat shorts in recent weeks. Corn basis levels have been improving the past week. Ethanol facilities have led the charge in pushing the corn basis higher.Snow in central Ohio is more than expected. Some school kids are getting a break that they have been looking for. I will finally be able to get “Little John” out tonight to push some snow and clear the driveway. Have a safe and prosperous New Year!See the three tables below for additional numbers and comparisons. USDA 2015-16 US Grains & Soybean Ending Stocks (Billion Bushels)US Quarterly Grain Stock as of December 1, 2015
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Below are excerpts from a summary of some key requirements compiled by the U.S Food and Drug Administration of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 1. Agricultural waterThe final rule adopts the general approach to water quality proposed in the supplemental rule, with some changes. The final rule establishes two sets of criteria for microbial water quality, both of which are based on the presence of generic E. coli, which can indicate the presence of fecal contamination.No detectable generic E. coli are allowed for certain uses of agricultural water in which it is reasonably likely that potentially dangerous microbes, if present, would be transferred to produce through direct or indirect contact. Examples include water used for washing hands during and after harvest, water used on food-contact surfaces, water used to directly contact produce (including to make ice) during or after harvest, and water used for sprout irrigation. The rule establishes that such water use must be immediately discontinued and corrective actions taken before re-use for any of these purposes if generic E. coli is detected. The rule prohibits use of untreated surface water for any of these purposes.The second set of numerical criteria is for agricultural water that is directly applied to growing produce (other than sprouts). The criteria are based on two values, the geometric mean (GM) and the statistical threshold (STV). The GM of samples is 126 or less colony forming unit (CFU) of generic E.coli per 100 mL of water and the STV of samples is 410 CFU or less of generic E.coli in 100 mL of water.The GM is an average, and therefore represents what is called the central tendency of the water quality (essentially, the average amount of generic E. coli in a water source). STV reflects the amount of variability in the water quality (indicating E. coli levels when adverse conditions come into play — like rainfall or a high river stage that can wash waste into rivers and canals). Although this is an over simplification, it can be described as the level at which 90% of the samples are below the value.These criteria account for variability in the data and allow for occasional high readings of generic E.coli in appropriate context, making it much less likely (as compared to the originally proposed criteria for this water use) that a farm will have to discontinue use of its water source due to small fluctuations in water quality.If the water does not meet these criteria, corrective actions are required as soon as is practicable, but no later than the following year. Farmers with agricultural water that does not initially meet the microbial criteria have additional flexibility by which they can meet the criteria and then be able to use the water on their crops. These options include, for example: allowing time for potentially dangerous microbes to die off on the field by using a certain time interval between last irrigation and harvest, but no more than four consecutive days; allowing time for potentially dangerous microbes to die off between harvest and end of storage, or to be removed during commercial activities such as washing, within appropriate limits; treating the water. Testing surface waterThe final rule adopts the general approach to testing untreated water used for certain purposes proposed in the supplemental notice, with some changes. The rule still bases testing frequency on the type of water source (i.e. surface or ground water).• In testing untreated surface water — considered the most vulnerable to external influences — that is directly applied to growing produce (other than sprouts), the FDA requires farms to do an initial survey, using a minimum of 20 samples, collected as close as is practicable to harvest over the course of two to four years. The initial survey findings are used to calculate the GM and STV.• After the initial survey has been conducted, an annual survey of a minimum of five samples per year is required to update the calculations of GM and STV.• The five new samples, plus the previous most recent 15 samples, create a rolling dataset of 20 samples for use in confirming that the water is still used appropriately by recalculating the GM and STV. Testing ground waterFor untreated ground water that is directly applied to growing produce (other than sprouts), the FDA requires farms to do an initial survey, using a minimum of four samples, collected as close as is practicable to harvest, during the growing season or over a period of one year. The initial survey findings are used to calculate the GM and STV and determine if the water meets the required microbial quality criteria. After the initial survey has been conducted, an annual survey of a minimum of one sample per year is required to update the calculations of GM and STV.The new sample, plus the previous most recent three samples, create a rolling dataset of four samples for use in confirming that that the water is still used appropriately by recalculating the GM and STV.For untreated ground water that is used for the purposes for which no detectable generic E. coli is allowed, the FDA requires farms to initially test the untreated ground water at least four times during the growing season or over a period of one year. Farms must determine whether the water can be used for that purpose based on these results.If the four initial sample results meet the no detectable generic E. coli criterion, testing can be done once annually thereafter, using a minimum of one sample. Farms must resume testing at least four times per growing season or year if any annual test fails to meet the microbial quality criterion.There is no requirement to test agricultural water that is received from public water systems or supplies that meet requirements established in the rule (provided that the farm has Public Water System results or certificates of compliance demonstrating that the water meets relevant requirements), or if the water is treated in compliance with the rule’s treatment requirements. 2. Biological soil amendmentsRaw manureThe FDA is conducting a risk assessment and extensive research on the number of days needed between the applications of raw manure as a soil amendment and harvesting to minimize the risk of contamination. (A soil amendment is a material, including manure, that is intentionally added to the soil to improve its chemical or physical condition for growing plants or to improve its capacity to hold water.)At this time, the FDA does not object to farmers complying with the USDA’s National Organic Program standards, which call for a 120-day interval between the application of raw manure for crops in contact with the soil and 90 days for crops not in contact with the soil. The agency considers adherence to these standards a prudent step toward minimizing the likelihood of contamination while its risk assessment and research is ongoing.The final rule requires that untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin, such as raw manure, must be applied in a manner that does not contact covered produce during application and minimizes the potential for contact with covered produce after application. Stabilized compostMicrobial standards that set limits on detectable amounts of bacteria (including Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., fecal coliforms, and E. coli 0157:H7) have been established for processes used to treat biological soil amendments, including manure. The rule includes two examples of scientifically valid composting methods that meet those standards. Stabilized compost prepared using either of these methods must be applied in a manner that minimizes the potential for contact with produce during and after application. 3. Domesticated and wild animalsThe rule addresses concerns about the feasibility of compliance for farms that rely on grazing animals (such as livestock) or working animals for various purposes. It establishes the same standards for these animals as it does for intrusion by wild animals (such as deer or feral swine). Farmers are required to take all measures reasonably necessary to identify and not harvest produce that is likely to be contaminated.At a minimum, this requires all covered farms to visually examine the growing area and all covered produce to be harvested, regardless of the harvest method used.In addition, under certain circumstances the rule requires farms to do additional assessment during the growing season, and if significant evidence of potential contamination by animals is found, to take measures reasonably necessary to assist later during harvest. Such measures might include, for example, placing flags outlining the affected area.Although the final rule does not require establishing waiting periods between grazing and harvest, the FDA encourages farmers to voluntarily consider applying such intervals as appropriate for the farm’s commodities and practices. The agency will consider providing guidance on this practice in the future, as needed.As was stated in the supplemental notice, farms are not required to exclude animals from outdoor growing areas, destroy animal habitat, or clear borders around growing or drainage areas. 4. Worker training and health and hygieneRequirements for health and hygiene include:• Taking measures to prevent contamination of produce and food-contact surfaces by ill or infected persons, for example, instructing personnel to notify their supervisors if they may have a health condition that may result in contamination of covered produce or food contact surfaces.• Using hygienic practices when handling (contacting) covered produce or food-contact surfaces, for example, washing and drying hands thoroughly at certain times such as after using the toilet.• Taking measures to prevent visitors from contaminating covered produce and/or food-contact surfaces, for example, by making toilet and hand-washing facilities accessible to visitors.• Farm workers who handle covered produce and/ or food-contact surfaces, and their supervisors, must be trained on certain topics, including the importance of health and hygiene.• Farm workers who handle covered produce and/or food contact surfaces, and their supervisors, are also required to have a combination of training, education and experience necessary to perform their assigned responsibilities. This could include training (such as training provided on the job), in combination with education, or experience (e.g., work experience related to current assigned duties). 5. Equipment, tools and buildingsThe rule establishes standards related to equipment, tools and buildings to prevent these sources, and inadequate sanitation, from contaminating produce. This section of the rule covers, for example, greenhouses, germination chambers, and other such structures, as well as toilet and hand-washing facilities. Required measures to prevent contamination of covered produce and food contact surfaces include, for example, appropriate storage, maintenance and cleaning of equipment and tools.The rule does not apply to:• Produce that is not a raw agricultural commodity. (A raw agricultural commodity is any food in its raw or natural state).• Food grains, including barley, dent- or flint-corn, sorghum, oats, rice, rye, wheat, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and oilseeds (e.g. cotton seed, flax seed, rapeseed, soybean, and sunflower seed).• Produce that is used for personal or on-farm consumption.• Farms that have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of $25,000 or less.• The rule provides an exemption for produce that receives commercial processing that adequately reduces the presence of microorganisms of public health significance, under certain conditions. The rule also provides a qualified exemption and modified requirements for certain farms. To be eligible for a qualified exemption, the farm must meet two requirements: the farm must have food sales averaging less than $500,000 per year during the previous three years; and the farm’s sales to qualified end-users must exceed sales to all others combined during the previous three years. A qualified end-user is either (a) the consumer of the food or (b) a restaurant or retail food establishment that is located in the same state or the same Indian reservation as the farm or not more than 275 miles away.• A farm with the qualified exemption must still meet certain modified requirements, including disclosing the name and the complete business address of the farm where the produce was grown either on the label of the produce or at the point of purchase. These farms are also required to establish and keep certain documentation.• A farm’s qualified exemption may be withdrawn as follows if there is an active investigation of an outbreak of foodborne illness that is directly linked to the farm, or if FDA determines it is necessary to protect the public health and prevent or mitigate an outbreak based on conduct or conditions associated with the farm. For much more (including details on the production of sprouts), visit http://www.regulations.gov/ FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act page atwww.fda.gov/FSMA.
In his 26 years, there’s been hardly a few times that Javaid Ahmad Dar has picked up the willow. Despite his interest in the game, he was not such a good cricketer and his appearances in neighbourhood matches were also limited.Thus it came as a great surprise when a cheque worth Rs. 1.68 lakh was sent to him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) and delivered right at his doorstep in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, on May 7.The cheque(serial number 128902) was sent from the office of Ratnakar Shetty, chief administrative officer of the BCCI. Dar, a police officer, was on duty when the cheque arrived. His family called him up to tell him the unexpected news.By the time Dar reached home, his family had already deposited the cheque in his account.”I have an interest in cricket but I am not so great a player that the BCCI would send me a cheque. I was not even a great gully cricketer. So I was surprised when I got a call from home saying I had received a cheque from the BCCI,” Dar said.Back home, when Dar heard that the cheque had already been deposited in his account, he went to his bank and inquired about it, having realised someone had made a mistake.The bank told him that the amount had already been credited to his account and in case he wanted to return it, he would have to get in touch with the BCCI officials.advertisementWhile Rs. 1.68 lakh is not much for the richest sports body in the country, the amount was huge for Dar. Any other person would have perhaps been tempted to keep the money, but Dar doesn’t belong to that group.The honest police officer got in touch with the BCCI officials and informed them about the goofup they had committed.The BCCI officials admitted to the error and said the cheque was meant for one Javaid Mir, a resident of Soura, Srinagar, but had mistakenly gone to Dar. They asked Dar whether he could transfer the amount to Mir, if he was given the bank account details.”They told me the cheque was meant for someone who is a resident of Soura in Srinagar and asked me to transfer the amount to his bank account,” Dar said.However, he said he would rather send the money back to the BCCI, to which the officials agreed and told him that whatever charges he incurred in the process would be returned to him.Dar then got a demand draft of Rs. 1.68 lakh made and couriered it to the BCCI office in Mumbai, having spent Rs. 3,600 from his own pocket, which he hopes the BCCI would return to him.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council has approved two contracts to help start the construction of the new RCMP detachment in the city.At Monday’s Council meeting, a staff report was presented recommending a contract be awarded to KMBR Architects of Vancouver for $1,113,300 plus GST and a second contract to Unitech Construction Management Limited for $1,690,600 plus GST.According to the report submitted by General Manager of Community Services, Wally Ferris “Awarding these contracts puts together the core team of the Integrated Project Delivery team.” The cost of building a new RCMP Detachment could go as high as $43 million. The City hopes to fund the new facility through annual lease payments on 40% of the full capital cost from the Province and through grants with the Federal Government.The City will also use funds from the Peace River Agreement and internal reserves to fund the construction if the project moves forward.
Coach Thad Matta understands the complications of having such a young basketball team going through the rigors of the Big Ten season for the first time. But he says age is no excuse for poor play at this level. “They’ll tell you, I don’t hide behind the fact that freshmen do hit a wall,” Matta said Tuesday. “Just not here. That, to me, is a sign of weakness, a sign of softness. Those guys have to continue to bring it every day.” Freshmen standouts Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft have played integral roles for the latest No. 1 team in the country, just more than halfway through their first season at Ohio State. Sullinger, the power forward who has started all 20 games and averaged a double-double with 17.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, credits his veteran teammates with preventing the team’s rookies from succumbing to the difficulties of Division I basketball. “It’s kind of hard to hit that wall when you have people like Jon Diebler, David Lighty, William Buford and Dallas Lauderdale always in your ear,” said the three-time Big Ten Player of the Week. “Their leadership and communication is always really big … because from day one they’ve been in our ear talking about how they need both (me and Craft) to play good basketball.” Matta and his veteran players have instilled maturity in the team’s freshmen during their first year as collegiate athletes. “We can’t be coming in as a freshman; we have to play like a sophomore or junior,” Sullinger said. “It really hits us. … We’re listening to them and focusing on what we have to do.” Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Sullinger won the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award eight times. Craft and Deshaun Thomas have won the award once. Seven games into the Big Ten schedule, OSU has faced what it expected: a slew of more talented, hungry and difficult opponents than what it saw early against non-conference foes. After cruising through their non-conference slate and winning their games by an average of 28.8 points, the Buckeyes have won their first seven conference games by 6.4 points per game. “I think a lot of it is keeping the foot on the pedal and constantly talking to them about getting better,” Matta said. Sullinger said his teammates have “no compassion at all” for the youngsters — an attitude conducive to mental toughness. “There (are) definitely times when they know they have to get after us. That’s just needed, and it’s understood as freshmen that they’re not doing it to pick on us; they’re not doing it to make fun of us or point us out,” Craft said. “But it’s definitely needed to get us on the right track. We couldn’t have stepped into a better group of leaders for us and all the freshmen on the team.” Although Craft’s 6.3 points and 4.9 assists per game don’t jump off the stat sheet, his strengths lie on the defensive end and controlling the tempo of the game as point guard. Craft recorded a career-high 19 points, along with seven assists, Jan. 15 in the team’s 69-66 win against Penn State. Being the nation’s top team comes with its own set of challenges, especially for a team that features as many freshmen as OSU does. Sullinger averages 30.5 minutes per game, Craft 27.9 and Thomas 16.0. But being a part of a top team is nothing new to Sullinger, who, alongside Craft, starred on one of the nation’s top AAU teams during his high school years. “We won three national championships in a row. After our first … we realized we had a target on our chest,” Sullinger said. “As freshmen, me and Craft are kind of used to it.” Although the team is doing everything it can to keep its younger players playing their best, Matta said there is no contingency plan for a drop in play from any of the team’s star freshmen. “You really can’t. You got to have a trust, got to have a belief in your players that they want to be good, want to be great and want to win,” Matta said. “If you see it, we just make practice harder.”