Gareth Bale reached 16 goals for the first time in a La Liga season as Real Madrid thrashed Getafe 5-1 to move one point behind leaders Barcelona. Real’s seventh successive league win kept alive their hopes of a first title since 2012 and sent neighbours Getafe to the bottom of the table.Karim Benzema put Real ahead and after Isco made it 2-0 at half-time, Bale raced clear to add the third. Getafe replied before James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo added late goals.Barca, who have taken just one point from the last possible nine, play at home to Valencia today. Real kept the pressure on the defending champions, while Juan Esnaider made a losing start as Getafe’s new coach. His side have now lost 11 of their past 13 games.Real, who beat Wolfbsurg in the Champions League on Tuesday to set up a semi-final with Manchester City, barely had to extend themselves to get the result they needed to go above Atletico Madrid, who play Granada today, and into second place.Coach Zinedine Zidane was able to take off both Bale and Benzema in the second half to give them a rest before Real’s midweek league game at home to fourth-placed Villarreal.Wales forward Bale, 26, set his best Liga tally since arriving in a world-record £85m move in September 2013, racing into the Getafe area from the right and curling left-footed into the far corner.Ronaldo continued his record of having played every minute of Real’s La Liga campaign and claimed his 47th goal of the season, scoring for the fourth league game in a row in stoppage time when he tapped in after being set up by Jese.Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane: “We are doing our job and are getting closer and closer. We are going to bed one point behind, but we can’t look beyond that.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Let’s play a game of word association. Ready? OK, here’s the word.Big Ten.So what’s the first word that comes to your mind?Maybe it’s one of the sports like football and basketball that the conference is renowned for. Then again, maybe it’s one of the schools that make up its DNA, like perennial powerhouses Michigan and Ohio State. Or perhaps it’s even one of the great players that the league has produced over the years, like Heisman winners Desmond Howard, Eddie George and Ron Dayne to name just a few.But who in their right mind would say Maryland or Rutgers?It reminds me of my childhood learning programs like Sesame Street, where they played the game “one of these things is not like the other.”This Big Ten’s conference expansion was sudden, but not unexpected. But it still seems baffling – until placed under closer examination – why the conference chose these two schools to incorporate into its ranks, and why these schools decided to bolt to greener pastures.Geographically, Rutgers and Maryland couldn’t lay farther apart from the latest add-on to the conference, Nebraska. In fact, the distance between the campuses of Maryland and Nebraska is more than 1,200 miles. So, with the extension comes the destruction of the classic pre-held notion that the Big Ten is a Midwest-only collection of collegiate athletic programs.That being said, Pennsylvania does border the states whose campuses the Big Ten’s newest members reside in, helping to expand the eastern flank of the conference’s reach.The positive of this expansion lays in the fact that the move extends the reach of the conference across the nation not only in recruiting but also in terms of exposure.For recruiting, the Big Ten will be able to open up – well, more than before – the East Coast and compete with other conferences for the region’s best players. Now athletes in the respective states of New Jersey and Maryland will get a chance to see the Big Ten first hand, not only in terms of the athletic contests themselves, but also in terms of regional penetration by the Big Ten Network, a key player in the allure of the conference to its two newest members.Something that offers long-term security with the Big Ten is not only its strong record of athletic prowess and the revenue that its large enrollment schools and prestigious programs bring, but also the money that lays in its television market and its deal with the Big Ten Network. Those deals alone bring the conference’s schools several millions of dollars in revenue each year.If the Big Ten Network can penetrate the basic cable market in its new states and the major metropolitan areas around them – Washington, D.C., New York, etc., it could make an absolute killing. And even if it doesn’t, the network will still make a disgusting amount in subscription fees. Because, keep in mind, the Big Ten has a strong base of alumni that populates the East Coast and there’s plenty of people willing to pay to see the conference’s games.So money, money, money. Who does it go to? The schools, the conference and the network. Everyone gets a piece of the pie and money makes the world go around, so why not get in while the gettin’s good?Additionally, the ACC and Big East are renowned as basketball conferences. What brings in more revenue? Well, besides overall numbers, maybe this imagery can explain it. The biggest basketball facility in the NCAA, seating wise, is 33,000 at the Carrier Dome, home of Syracuse, who coincidentally just joined the ACC – along with Pittsburgh – confirming the idea that the conference is a basketball-centered one.The biggest seating facility for FBS college football? Try Michigan Stadium. The “Big House” holds 109,901 people. Based on ticket sales alone, revenue from football beats the hell out of basketball. Moving to a conference where the schools are bigger and the football is more relevant on a national stage makes too much sense for Maryland and Rutgers.Also, keep in mind that Maryland was in a hole financially (the school lost $4.5 million last year) and had to cut a few sports programs. Rutgers’ football program is stuck in the rather weak Big East and apparently has some ambitious construction and upgrade plans for its campus and facilities planned. The needed financial boost that the Big Ten brings will only help revenue, boosting the schools to new heights both academically and athletically.If there was 800 more words to this column I could go into much deeper detail and provide the solid figures and stats that would bore most readers to death and satisfy all the critics to this article, but keep this in mind: In 2008, the Big Ten had seven of its then 11 teams reported in the top 25 for total revenue earned from athletics.It’s disappointing that rivalries and the geographic location that made the Big Ten special are largely taking the back burner to the reformation and expansion of the conference. But in a sport – and world – where money rules all, it’s a necessary evil in the ever-changing landscape of college athletics.Nick is a fifth-year senior majoring in history and English. Catch Nick calling color commentary for WSUM’s broadcast of the Penn State game this weekend on www.wsum.org. Have a thought on the column? Email Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @nickkorger.
‘I’m happy at Crystal Palace’ – Jordan Ayew says amid transfer speculation Basketballghana.com can confirm Keta Business College (KETABUSCO) has been banned from competing in the Sprite Ball Championship indefinitely.This is punishment to the school for fielding unqualified players at the recently held 2020 Sprite Ball Championship which runs from January 3-4 at the El Wak Stadium in Ghana’s capital Accra.KETABUSCO won the title for the first time ever by beating Mfantsipim School 48-40 in the Boys Division Final; the win was KETABUSCO’s second over Mfantsipim in the competition following a 32-24 win in the opening game.Following the school’s triumph, several allegations including fielding unqualified players were leveled at the school by some schools that participated in this year’s edition.Following investigations by the Ghana Education Service (GES), KETABUSCO was found to have fielded five unqualified players in the High School basketball competition regarded as Ghana’s biggest.The decision comes after GES Deputy Director-General Anthony Boateng, National Physical Education Coordinator Emmanuel Dormenyah, Deputy Physical Education Coordinator Cynthia Wise and Rite Sports CEO Yaw Sakyi Afari met with an entourage from KETABUSCO headlined by Headmaster Seake-Kwawu.KETABUSCOGES will release a statement stating further punishment to the Headmaster and Physical Education tutors in the coming days.KETABUSCO bench celebrates a made basketKeta (green) v Mfantsipim (white) Source: www.basketballghana.com RelatedPosts ‘We want to play in big competitions’ – Jordan Ayew targets European spot with Crystal Palace Tags: 2020 Sprite Ball ChampionshipKeta Business College Ivory Coast FA elections: Asamoah Gyan backs Didier Drogba