With future uncertain, Jets’ Frank Gore doesn’t want to end his career with a winless season

Frank Gore has encountered almost every possible scenario over the course of his long NFL career. He’s gone to a Super Bowl and finished last in a division while suiting up for five different teams.

But it took 16 seasons to encounter something like he has with the Jets.

The team fell to 0-10 with a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, officially making the Jets the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention this season. That was a foregone conclusion, and now the possibility of a winless season is firmly on the table for Gore and the Jets.

No player wants to endure 16 games of hell without sniffing a single victory. But for the Gore, the timeless 37-year-old running back, the future is very much up in the air, and he doesn’t want a winless season to be his final memory of the NFL.

“I’d say it’s tough, because of the stage of my career. When I was younger in (San Fransisco), I always felt like, ‘I got time, I got time.’ And now, I don’t know if I’m going to play next year,” Gore said. “But you just never know. And I’ve got to be real with myself. You know how teams think about my age, and they might not want a 38-year-old running back on the team. But it’s tough because I don’t know about next year.”

To be clear, Gore didn’t say he intends to retire after this season. If he makes that decision, it will come in the offseason. But the realist in Gore knows that decision could be made for him, just based on how teams view veteran running backs.

Gore scored his first touchdown of the season on Sunday, and while the Jets have firmly committed to getting younger players more time on the field, the veteran running back still has a consistent role each week.

The motivation for Gore to keep giving it his all is simple. He wants to show everyone he’s still capable of playing at the NFL level, and he desires to get the Jets at least one victory.

“When you’re up at (my) age with the position I play, guys in the front office, some people don’t go by tape,” Gore said. “They go by, ‘OK, he’s going to be 38 at that position, he’s going to lose something.’ And I think every organization I’ve been in, they know the way I work. If they really know me, they’ll know I’ll be OK if I want to play. Because they know I’m going to give it my all in the offseason to get ready, to help whatever organization that wants me to be on their team. But sometimes it don’t work like that, and I know this.

“So I’ve got to keep it real with myself. But while I’m here, I’m going to try my best to get these young men everything I’ve got, just to get the first win, on the practice field

Read more

This alternative to the electoral college doesn’t require a constitutional amendment

Regarding the Nov. 16 editorial “Abolish the electoral college”:

I wholeheartedly agree that “the electoral college . . . is no longer tenable for American democracy.” Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump took office even though the majority of voters cast ballots for their opponents. Why? Because the electoral college put them there. And earlier this month, we had to wait days to learn the results of the electoral college even as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the popular vote in a 6 million vote landslide.

The right to vote for our president is one of the most fundamental rights cherished by Americans. But when the will of the voters is overturned by an electoral system that undermines the principle of “one person, one vote” — a system with origins in a centuries-old deal to preserve the power of slaveholding states — it undermines the legitimacy of the president and our system of government.

It is past time for us to abolish this arcane institution and ensure that the person who occupies the Oval Office is the same one the majority of Americans voted for. The most obvious way to do this would be to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing the electoral college. I have introduced such an amendment in the Senate. But given the high bar for enacting constitutional amendments, the odds of this happening — as The Post noted — are slim. But the good news is that a constitutional amendment is not the only way to ensure our next president is chosen by popular vote. An alternative path is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The idea is that states would commit through legislation to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, in an agreement that would go into effect if and only when enough states agree to the compact that, together, their electoral votes would add up to the required 270-vote majority.

This is an idea that has a real chance of success. Fifteen states and D.C. have already agreed to join this pact and give their 196 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. If state legislatures representing 74 more electoral votes join in, the United States would join the republics of the world with the gold standard for electing a president: the popular vote. This outcome would change presidential elections overnight. Every citizen’s vote across our great land would count equally. In addition, the popular vote would create a powerful force working to break down the chasm separating our U.S. political parties. Republican presidential candidates would seek votes in every part of the country, including blue states, and Democratic candidates would do the same in red states. Candidates’ platforms would adjust to address the interests of all regions of our nation, not just the swing states. Over time, voters in “safe” states would have more exposure to different ideas and opportunities to hear from voices outside the comfort of our normal echo-chamber bubbles.

Read more

Syracuse University doesn’t want to see another superspreader party on Halloween

Syracuse, N.Y. – One off-campus party at Syracuse University early this month quickly resulted in about 80 students testing positive for coronavirus and another 250 being quarantined.



James Blunt standing on a stage holding a guitar: James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM


© Brengola Morena/ABACA PRESS/Abaca
James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM

That’s why Mike Haynie, an SU vice chancellor, wants students to avoid large gatherings this Saturday on Halloween, traditionally a big college party holiday, and follow safety protocols to protect themselves from the virus.

“A Halloween mask is not a suitable substitute for a face covering that serves a public health purpose,” Haynie said.



a person holding a microphone: James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM


© Brengola Morena/ABACA PRESS/Abaca
James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM

Campus and Syracuse police will step up patrols this weekend in neighborhoods bordering the campus.



a man holding a microphone: James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM


© Brengola Morena/ABACA PRESS/Abaca
James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM

More than 80% of the 220 coronavirus cases reported so far this semester at SU originated off campus.

The off-campus party on Walnut Avenue early this month nearly forced SU to halt in-person classes. The state requires colleges to suspend in-person classes and switch to online learning when they get 100 positive cases within a 14-day period. SU missed the threshold by just 20 cases.



a person standing on a stage holding a microphone: James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM


© Brengola Morena/ABACA PRESS/Abaca
James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM

On Oct. 2, SU had just four coronavirus cases on campus. Within three days the number skyrocketed to 80 because of the party. If SU had not quickly rounded up all the students who were infected and exposed, the outbreak would have gotten out of control, he said.



James Blunt wearing a suit and tie holding a gun: James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM


© Brengola Morena/ABACA PRESS/Abaca
James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM

Some students involved in the party were disciplined, but Haynie would not disclose how many or details of the sanctions.

He said most SU students have been diligent about following health and safety rules. Students will leave campus Nov. 25 and return Jan. 24.

Although SU plans to offer in-person classes again next semester, it won’t bring students back if Onondaga County experiences a steep increase in coronavirus cases, Haynie said.

SU was able to reopen in August because the positive coronavirus test rate in Onondaga County was about 0.7%, he said. SU probably would not have reopened had the positivity rate here been in the double digits like it was in Miami in August when the University of Miami reopened, he said. Onondaga County has seen cases steadily increase in recent weeks. The county reported 70 cases Wednesday, a new daily record high. The county’s average positivity rate is now 1.1%.



James Blunt holding a microphone: James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM


© Brengola Morena/ABACA PRESS/Abaca
James Blunt performs live at DatchForum Assago in Milan, Italy, on April 2nd, 2008. Photo by Morena Brengola/ABACAPRESS.COM

Haynie said SU will closely monitor

Read more

College newspapers in N.J. have stopped printing, but that doesn’t mean the reporting has stopped

Find all of the most important pandemic education news on Educating N.J., a special resource guide created for parents, students and educators. As schools reopen across N.J., we want to know what is and isn’t working. Tell us about it here.

With its neatly coiffed grass untrampled and Georgian architecture unoccupied, the College of New Jersey campus sits quietly. All that’s missing is the tumbleweed.

For TCNJ and New Jersey’s other universities that have gone remote for the semester, college newspapers are faced with a quandary: how to cover the hubbub of campus life with no one around. As a result, many have halted their print productions and overhauled their procedures to meet the moment.

“The main reason why we didn’t have [a print edition] is because who’s going to read it?” Camille Furst, the editor-in-chief of TCNJ’s The Signal, told NJ Advance Media. “There’s no one on campus.”

TCNJ

A file photo of The College of New Jersey, whose campus will sit vacant with virtually no students as classes are conducted virtually.

Each year, a small-but-growing number of college newspapers navigating precarious financial situations make the same decision as The Signal and stop printing, a microcosm of a suffocating print media market. Only this year, college papers have embraced the change, leaping into the digital-first media landscape at a time when the news has never been so ceaseless.

From the coronavirus pandemic and their schools’ responses, to Black Lives Matter protests, to the logistics of virtual learning, college newspapers have covered it all. While The Daily Princetonian, one of the nation’s oldest college newspapers, ceased printing its daily broadsheet in March, its editor-in-chief doesn’t consider the name outdated.

“Though our operations have changed dramatically, the Prince is still publishing daily and our work continues in the same spirit and the same conviction that it always did,” Jonathan Ort, editor-in-chief of “the Prince,” told NJ Advance Media.

The sentiment is shared among other newspaper editors who’ve been working around the clock to adapt processes and manage large staffs, while keeping up with the never-ending flow of news. But of course, that revamp has been anything but seamless for an extra-curricular activity already characterized by 24/7 involvement and weekly chaos.

At Rowan University, The Whit staff were unable to carry out their yearly transition last spring, where outgoing editors train their successors. That left this semester’s staff playing catch-up as students scrambled to learn their responsibilities on the job.

“All of us are extremely new to what we’re doing,” The Whit Editor-in-Chief Kalie VanDewater told NJ Advance Media. “I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do, because I’m in charge of a lot of things that I didn’t realize… I would have to think about. So, it’s just been a learning curve since we got back, and I think it’s going to continue to be a learning curve.”

An already steep learning curve is complicated by the fact that students can no longer gather in person

Read more

ESPN’s bubble popped, but that doesn’t mean college basketball should give up on regular season

It would be nice if the three busiest words in sports in 2020 were a familiar announcer’s play call, such as Mike Breen’s “Puts it in!” from NBA games or Tim Brando’s “Iron is unkind” on college hoops. It might even be tolerable if we heard too much about the “New England Patriots.”

Instead, the three words that have been worn out are these: Shut it down.

That has been the too-common response to every obstacle faced by those in charge of visible sporting entities in the year of COVID-19. And we’re hearing it again, in an amended fashion, now that a significant number of college basketball games have been scuttled by ESPN’s decision not to stage the multi-team tournaments it owns.

Now it’s “conference-only games.”

Different verbiage. Same attitude.

MORE: How to play with college teams in “NBA 2K21”

When Major League Baseball encountered coronavirus outbreaks among the Marlins and Cardinals within the first few weeks of opening its season during the summer, there were widespread shouts to “shut it down.” When college football teams began seeing dozens of games postponed, starting Sept. 5 with the game between Louisiana-Monroe and Troy, we heard it again. And, of course, that flooded through the Twittersphere when we learned on Oct. 1 that the Tennessee Titans would have to postpone a game against the Steelers. Because everything is bigger in the NFL.

Thing is: The baseball season that should have been abandoned months ago will end either Tuesday or Wednesday with the final out of the 2020 World Series. The college football season that should have been abandoned now has been joined by the Big Ten Conference, with the Pac-12 coming on board in a couple of weeks. The NFL season that should have been abandoned just completed its seventh week, which included that elusive Steelers-Titans game. And it was a thriller.

ESPN’s decision to abandon the eight events it planned to stage in an Orlando “bubble” environment similar to the one in place for the resumption of the NBA season was foreshadowed by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports in a Twitter thread late Sunday and reported Monday by Seth Davis of The Athletic. ESPN later confirmed with this statement: “ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando. Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.”

ESPN makes money on college basketball, but it did not wish to assume the risk in this case. That was its prerogative. That left dozens of teams that had expected these events to be part of their current schedules to scramble for alternative arrangements. It is possible that the Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic doubleheaders may yet find a home other than Orlando, but there is no doubt that this was a blow to a sport that already seems to be running late given the planned Nov. 25 start to the season.

Much of the blame

Read more

Belmont Students Want Trump Campaign to Follow University’s COVID Protocol, Say Disregard for Masks ‘Doesn’t Fly Here’

As Belmont University prepares for Thursday’s final presidential debate, students are conflicted over the school’s decision to host the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But it’s not the school administration that students have a problem with, it’s the Trump campaign’s disregard for face masks and other health and safety measures.

Students are confident in Belmont’s handling of the coronavirus and, for the most part, support the college’s “strict” COVID-19 protocol.

“Students are thinking, ‘is it hypocritical that we’re hosting [the debate] if we’re being so strict on campus, yet we’re allowing members of the Trump administration on campus?’,” Belmont junior Caroline Bugg told Newsweek.

“I think there’s a lot of students who are just frustrated—we can’t even have our mom come and stay with us or visitors come, yet both of these administrations are coming on campus and are just allowed to be here,” she added.

Under Belmont’s “Staying Healthy Together Pledge,” students are required to wear masks at all times on campus, both indoors and outdoors, to maintain social distance and undergo COVID-19 screening and testing.

Due to the outbreaks on other college campuses across the country, Belmont added a new protocol at the end of August prohibiting students from organizing, hosting, promoting, or attending large on or off-campus gatherings.

Students lost their Fall break so that the semester could be condensed and completed in time for Thanksgiving. And all these measures have worked.

Since reopening in mid-August, Belmont has reported only 82 student cases of COVID-19. Of the roughly 2,800 students enrolled at the private Christian university, only one percent of the student population has been infected.

There have also been an additional eight coronavirus cases among faculty and staff.

Belmont University Debate
A sign requiring to wear a mask is seen at Belmont University near the 2020 US Presidential elections debate hall on October 20,2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Eric Baradat/AFP

These figures come in stark opposition from those reported in Nashville, where Belmont is located, and the rest of Tennessee, which is undergoing a massive spike in hospitalizations related to the novel coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Tennessee’s COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high when the state’s department of health announced there were 1,259 patients hospitalized for their infections. In Nashville, health officials announced 441 new cases on Tuesday after reporting 276 new cases the day before.

Belmont, however, has managed to inoculate itself both as a college campus and in downtown Nashville, two factors that should have propelled the university into hotspot status.

But students are worried the debate and those attending it will burst their bubble.

“It would be a shame if this is what brought us down because we’ve been doing pretty good so far,” Belmont junior Wade Evans told Newsweek.

Evans said the college has worked tirelessly to enforce its safety protocols but the willingness of students to follow those protocols may not match those of the two presidential campaigns setting foot on campus Thursday.

“The students are all really good about wearing their masks and

Read more

Giants’ Joe Judge doesn’t commit to Andrew Thomas at left tackle after Matt Peart’s solid first career start

Giants head coach Joe Judge reiterated that Andrew Thomas’ benching to start the game against Washington on Sunday was a disciplinary benching, not performance related.

But after Matt Peart put together a solid game while splitting time with Thomas, is there any doubt that Thomas – the Giants’ fourth overall pick in this year’s draft — will be the starting at left tackle this Thursday against the Eagles?

It’s a legitimate question for Judge to consider, as Peart performed well in his 26 snaps at left tackle. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded him the highest of any Giants offensive player that was in for more than 25 snaps on Sunday. He had an 89.7 overall grade with a 93.4 run block grade. He also allowed one pressure in 11 pass block attempts.

When asked about the position for this upcoming game, Judge didn’t commit to Thomas returning to his normal starting job at left tackle.

“Yeah, we’ll go through practice this week and see how everything shakes out right now,” Thomas told reporters via Zoom. “But I was pleased with the way both he and Matt played along with Cam [Fleming]. We have multiple guys that can play the positions.”

That is typical Judge speak – not committing to anyone being a starter and earning it through practice and hard work. So maybe these couple of practices before the game will show Judge whether or not Thomas deserves another start over Peart. He did mention that every tackle gets reps on both sides of the offensive line to make sure they’re ready for anything.

It would be pretty telling, though, if Thomas was benched yet again for Peart to start at left tackle considering Thomas’ draft status and $32 million rookie deal. In the second half, Thomas was actually taken out of the game after allowing Montez Sweat to get around him quickly on a third-and-short run attempt that was a poor attempt at setting the edge and ended with Devonta Freeman not picking up the first down.

In Thomas’ defense, he has been going up against some of the best edge rushers in the league in the past few weeks like Bud Dupress, Demarcus Lawrence and Khalil Mack. Peart hasn’t had such luxury to battle with those NFL studs, but at the end of the day, this is the NFL and that’s the competition both players will be seeing on a weekly basis. 

Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham, two first-round pick themselves, are this week’s challenge. They have 7.5 total sacks between them in the last five weeks.

Still, Peart was drafted out of UConn in the third round and was considered a developmental player that had the potential to play a tackle position in the future. But his teammates are noticing during practice that he hasn’t been performing that way nor does he even seem like a rookie at all. His game against the Football Team further justified that thinking.

“He’s definitely a

Read more

Pac-12 doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the College Football Playoff

Earlier in the month, Washington coach Jimmy Lake was asked about the prospect of getting into the College Football Playoff. Wisely, he refused the bait. 

Lake gave the diplomatic answer, saying the Huskies were focused on getting better each day and that gradual improvement was the team’s only concern. But that particular query raised a bigger question: Does an unbeaten team from the Pac-12 deserve a shot at the national title? 

My thoughts: Possibly — but the conference hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt. 

This might not be fair to the current crop of teams, but history matters in this case. And recent history has delivered 12 rounds of body blows to the Pac-12’s reputation. 

Where to start? How about success on the biggest stage? Not since the 2004 season has a Pac-12 team won the national championship. USC had a shot in ’05 but lost to Texas. Oregon had a shot in ’10 but fell to Auburn. Oregon had another shot against Ohio State four years later but failed to get it done. 

The only team from the conference to make the College Football Playoff since the Ducks were the Huskies in 2016, and their 24-7 loss to Alabama shed light on a definitive difference in ability between them and the SEC champs. A couple years back, former Huskies coach Rick Neuheisel commented on the size disparity between the Pac-12 and other Power Five conferences. 

“We, as a conference, have to get bigger. We play in this league that is small, skilled and makes all kinds of plays, but we don’t look the part physically.” 

But it isn’t just the look — it’s the results, too. Just what exactly did the Pac-12 accomplish last regular season against nonconference foes? Arizona State beat 7-6 Michigan State, which lost by a combined 119 points against Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan. Arizona beat 4-8 Texas Tech, Cal beat 4-8 Ole Miss, Stanford beat 3-9 Northwestern and Colorado beat 5-7 Nebraska. Oregon, meanwhile, coughed up a chance to beat Auburn in Week 1, while UCLA lost to Cincinnati, and Arizona lost to Hawaii. 

For the past few years, that “we’ve arrived” moment has eluded the Pac-12, and you can’t blame the CFP committee for taking notice. Yes, Oregon won the Rose Bowl by a point last January, but it did so against a Wisconsin team that Ohio State beat handily in the Big Ten championship game. A year earlier, as conference champions, the Buckeyes outclassed Washington in Pasadena. Over the past three years, the Pac-12 is 8-15 in bowl games. 

Off-the-field issues shouldn’t affect how voters think, but you have to wonder if it slips into their subconsciouses. And the Pac-12 has certainly had its share of faux pas. A piece that ran in The Oregonian last week noted the Pac-12 Network wasn’t scheduled to show any of the conference’s football games this season. Is that going to have any impact on how the league’s best teams play? No. But

Read more