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2019-2020 High School Bounce

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Archive for September 5th, 2020

Crew SC-FC Cincinnati Preview: Columbus Midfielder Fatai Alashe recently played for Cincinnati


Fatai Alashe Crew SC Midfielder Preview FC Cincinnati who he used to play for 9 5 20 (4:46)

COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC hosts in-state rival FC Cincinnati at MAPFRE Stadium as part of Phase One of the continuation of play schedule on Sunday, September 6 [7:30 p.m. ET / SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & (English), (Spanish)]. Sunday’s “Hell is Real” derby match marks the fifth all-time regular-season meeting between the two clubs since 2019, with the Black & Gold currently undefeated with a record of 2-0-2 against FC Cincy. An extremely limited number of tickets will be available to season ticket members for Sunday’s home match at MAPFRE Stadium against FC Cincinnati on September 6.

Ahead of Sunday’s match, Crew SC trains at the Crew SC Training Center at Obetz.


Fatai Alashe meeting fans after the game. 2015 photo By Noah Salzman - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

26-year-old Crew SC Midfielder Fatai Alashe is very familiar with Sunday’s opponent FC Cincinnati. He played for them during their inaugural MLS season of 2019. On July 30, 2018, Alashe signed a deal to join FC Cincinnati on loan from San Jose for the remainder of the 2018 season when the team was still a member of the USL.  Then he joined the team permanently in 2019 for $135,000 in allocation money. Alashe played 14 games and scored 1 goal last season.

Born Abdul-Fatai Alashe in Southfield, Michigan, Alashe spent all four years of his college career at Michigan State University where he made a total of 86 appearances for the Spartans and tallied eight goals and eight assists.

Alashe is of Nigerian descent.

In this preview interview with the media via Zoom Video Conference, he talks about playing for FC Cincinnati, the friendships he built there and his new team Columbus Crew SC in this 4:46 presser

Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer. Crew SC is operated by The Edwards Family and Haslam Sports Group. The Black & Gold won their first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 2020 campaign is the Crew’s 25th season in MLS and the 21st season at historic MAPFRE Stadium – the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States.

Website: | Twitter: @ColumbusCrewSC | Instagram: @ColumbusCrewSC | Hashtag: #Crew96 | | Snapchat: ColumbusCrewSC | Stadium: MAPFRE Stadium | Training Facility: Crew SC Training Center at Obetz | Future Training Facility (2021): OhioHealth Performance Center | New, downtown stadium coming July 2021.



PAC-12 names former NFL star Merton Hanks as Head of Football Operations


Merton Hanks (courtesy PAC 12 )


The Pac-12 announced back in August that it has appointed longtime NFL and college football executive Merton Hanks as its new Senior Associate Commissioner for Football Operations, effective September 8.  In his new role, Hanks will be responsible for all aspects of Pac-12 football administration, including all football initiatives and programs such as scheduling, officiating, replay command center, operations, Pac-12 Football Championship Game and bowl relationships.  He will also serve as the primary contact for Pac-12 athletic directors and football coaches, bowl partners and NCAA administrators on football matters.   Hanks will report directly to Commissioner Larry Scott and be based out of the Conference’s headquarters in San Francisco.

“I am very pleased to welcome Merton Hanks to the Pac-12 to lead and drive the continued success of our Pac-12 football operations,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.  “Football success is a priority for our athletic programs and the Conference, and having someone with the college football and NFL experience that Merton brings to the table will be a great asset for our members and senior management team.”

“I am excited to be joining the Conference of Champions and to have the opportunity to contribute to the continued growth of the Pac-12’s football programs,” said Hanks.  “The Pac-12 boasts world class universities and an incredible football history, and I look forward to working with the Pac-12 athletic directors, administrators, and Commissioner Scott’s great team to support our student-athletes success on and off the field.”

Arizona State University Vice President for University Athletics, and current Chair of the Pac-12 Athletic Director group, Ray Anderson added: “Merton and I worked together at the NFL for close to a decade, and during that time he was an incredible asset to the league thanks to his knowledge of all aspects of football operations, ability to connect with players and coaches, and business acumen. Pac-12 football programs will benefit greatly from the appointment of Merton to our Conference senior management team.”

As part of his role at the Pac-12, Hanks will serve on the College Football Officiating Board of Managers, College Football Officiating Competition Committee and the NCAA Football Rules Committee.

Hanks joins the Pac-12 from Conference USA, where since 2016 he has served as Senior Associate Commissioner responsible for football along with baseball operations, including scheduling, officiating, game operations, player conduct and safety, among other responsibilities.  Hanks was credited with achieving a nationally recognized level of training for officials at Conference USA, along with ethnic and gender diversity among officials.  Entering the 2020 season, Conference USA retained the highest percentage of NFL officials in service with the NFL, including the first female official for the NFL.  Hanks served on the inaugural NCAA Football Competition Committee and was subsequently voted the second chair of the committee, following the chairmanship of Arizona State University Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson.

Prior to joining Conference USA, Hanks spent 13 years with the National Football League, where he held the position of Vice President, Football Operations & Compliance since 2011.  In that role, he served as the NFL Compliance Appeals officer, instituted safety and equipment upgrades, and coordinated departmental business strategy.  Hanks served as the Co-Chair of the NFL College Relations and Campus Visitation Committee and served as the lead liaison to AFCA, NFLPA, NCAA and NFL club administration.  Prior to his promotion to Vice President in 2011, Hanks served in the NFL’s Football Operations and Consumer Products areas for eight years.

Hanks played nine seasons in the National Football League, including eight with the San Francisco 49ers.  He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro member.  Hanks was a starting safety on the 49ers team that won Super Bowl XXIX over San Diego in January 1995.  Hanks was nominated for the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.  Since his retirement as a player, Hanks has served in a number of radio and television roles, while also conducting speaking engagements around the country.

A native of Dallas, Hanks graduated from Lake Highlands High School. He played college football at Iowa, earning a B.A. in Liberal Arts in 1990.  Hanks also completed the Sport Administration master’s program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Executive Education in 2005 and 2012. He currently resides in Dallas with his wife Marva and will be relocating to San Francisco.


About the Pac-12 Conference


The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 54 of the last 60 years, with 529 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities – the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to​





California Bears Football Community mourns passing of former player Dr. John Najarian at age 92


Pioneering Transplant Surgeon Played For Pappy Waldorf’s First Two Teams And Earned Second-Ever Glenn T. Seaborg Award


STILLWATER, Okla. – Former Cal football student-athlete and pioneering transplant surgeon Dr. John Najarian passed away Monday at the age of 92.

Najarian, who went on to serve as the head of surgery at the University of Minnesota, played four seasons of football as an offensive tackle for the Golden Bears (1945-48). He was a member of coach Pappy Waldorf’s first two teams at Cal that combined for a 19-2 record, won a Pacific Coast Conference co-title in 1948 and played Northwestern in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1949. Najarian graduated from Cal in three years and played his final season of collegiate football with the Golden Bears in 1948 while attending medical school at UC San Francisco.

Dr. John Najarian (courtesy Cal Bears Athletics)

“The two weeks leading up to the Rose Bowl were when my med school classmates spent their time studying for finals, which were very important and very difficult in the first year,” Najarian said in an article originally published in 2007 in the Cal Sports Quarterly. “So, I went to the Rose Bowl with a suitcase full of books, which I never opened, needless to say.”

Najarian may not have opened his books during those two weeks but he earned his M.D. from UCSF in 1952. He became a leader in the field of transplant surgeries and formed one of the world’s largest transplant programs at the University of Minnesota. In 2004, he received the Medawar Prize, which is widely deemed as the most prestigious award for outstanding achievement in organ transplantation.

Najarian became the second recipient of Cal’s Glenn T. Seaborg Award in 1996. The honor is named after the former University of California chancellor and 1951 Nobel Prize-winning chemist and presented annually to a former Cal football student-athlete for his career accomplishments while representing the honored Cal principles and traditions of excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and attitude.



PAC 12 Conference postpones all Sports competitions through end of 2020 Calendar Year

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 CEO Group voted unanimously to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

The decision was made after consultation with athletics directors and with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice.  The report and updated guidelines of the Committee can be found here: Pac-12 COVID-19 Return to Play Considerations – Aug. 10, 2020 and a full list of Committee members can be found here: Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee. The Conference also announced that when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after January 1, 2021.

Student-athletes impacted by the postponement will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed.  Additionally, the Pac-12 Conference strongly encourages that the NCAA grant students who opt out of competition this academic year an additional year of eligibility.  As part of their guaranteed scholarships, they will continue to have university support, including academic advising and tutoring, among other support services.

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.  “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

Scott noted that while the Conference’s detailed plan to keep student-athletes safe was working in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee guidelines and state and local government orders, the situation was becoming more challenging: “Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble,” he said. “Our athletic programs are a part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant.  We will continue to monitor the situation and when conditions change we will be ready to explore all options to play the impacted sports in the new calendar year.”

“We know that this is a difficult day for our student-athletes, and our hearts go out to them and their families,” added Scott.  “We have made clear that all of their scholarships will be guaranteed, and that as a Conference we are strongly encouraging the NCAA to grant them an additional year of eligibility.”

About the Pac-12 Conference

The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 54 of the last 60 years, with 529 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities – the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to​





Mountain West Conference postpones 2020 Fall Sports Competitions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West has announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests and MW championship events in response to ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition. The MW Board of Directors prioritized the physical and mental health and well-being of the Conference’s student-athletes and overall campus communities in its decision – as it has done throughout the course of the pandemic.

The fall sports affected by today’s decision include men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball (with the exception of the unique circumstances involved with the military service academies). Last week, the league announced that all fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, softball and baseball was canceled. At this time, there are ongoing discussions regarding the status of winter sports.

The Mountain West will begin to explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition, including the possibility of those sports competing in the spring, and develop options for consideration. Athletically-related activities and training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will also be evaluated consistent with NCAA legislation and guidance, as well as state, local and campus parameters.

“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and overall communities,” said Dr. Mary Papazian, President at San José State University and Chair of the MW Board of Directors. “Through the hard work of many over the past several months, the Conference made every effort to create an opportunity for our student-athletes to compete, and we empathize with the disappointment this creates for everyone associated with our programs. The best interests of our students and student-athletes remain our focus and we will persist in our efforts to forge a viable and responsible path forward.”

“Since the start of the pandemic, our membership and staff have been working diligently to prepare for a fall sports season,” said MW Commissioner Craig Thompson. “We were hopeful we could carefully and responsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place. However, numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary. I fully understand the impact of this outcome on our student- athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who work so hard daily to play the sports we all love, and I share in their disappointment. We will continue to navigate this pandemic together, overcome the obstacles and return to intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.”



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