The future of media: More digital and more economic pain, Reuters Institute says

first_imgBut a ray of hope may be that increasing numbers of people are willing to pay for news online, though that may also increase informational inequality as many cannot afford top quality journalism.And a “winner takes all” process can be seen: Around half of those that subscribe to any online or combined package in the United States use the New York Times or the Washington Post, the Reuters Institute found.A similar trend can be seen in the United Kingdom with The Times or the Telegraph.And for those predicting the dominance of video news, the Reuters Institute found that in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and South Korea, people under 35 preferred to read rather than watch news online.The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is a research center at the University of Oxford that tracks media trends. The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, funds the Reuters Institute.  The coronavirus outbreak has prompted a significant increase in news consumption but the economic turmoil is forcing news businesses to accelerate their move to digital, The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said.The coronavirus lockdowns prompted a global rise in viewing of television and online news though concerns about misinformation remain high, with Facebook and WhatsApp seen as the main channels for spreading so called “fake news”.The broader picture is that the outbreak is accelerating the trends wrought by the technological revolution, including the rise of smartphones as an interface of news consumption, The Reuters Institute said in its annual Digital News Report ( Topics :center_img “The headline is that we see an accelerated move to digital media and mobile media and various kinds of platforms,” Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute, said by telephone.”This is accompanied by a continued decline in trust in news and growing concerns over misinformation, in particular on social media and from some politicians.”The biggest increase in concern over media misinformation was in Hong Kong – where anti-government protesters have opposed attempts by China to tighten its control of the former British colony.The business of news remains bleak. Media across the world are cutting staff to cope with a dramatic fall in advertising revenue.last_img read more

China tests entire city for virus as Europe tightens controls

first_imgTopics : Vaccine setback With the pandemic already claiming more than one million lives worldwide, scientists in different nations are rushing to develop vaccines and effective treatments.Some have made it to late-stage clinical testing, but the optimism was dented Monday when Johnson & Johnson announced it had temporarily halted its 60,000-patient trial because of an unexplained illness in one participant.They are one of 10 firms conducting final Phase 3 trials of their products globally.The pharma giant has been awarded about $1.45 billion in US funding under Operation Warp Speed, championed by President Donald Trump, who is keen for a political boost ahead of the November election with a coronavirus breakthrough.Critics have excoriated Trump for his handling of the crisis, with more known infections and deaths in the United States than anywhere else in the world.Trump was sidelined from the campaign trail for 10 days after he got COVID-19, but returned to the stage Monday.”I went through it and now they say I’m immune… I feel so powerful,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Florida, few of whom wore masks.In north Africa, Tunisia has reinstated curfews in several regions to check a surge in infections.The International Monetary Fund says the economic crisis this year will not be as grim as feared, but global GDP will still contract 4.4 percent and the damage inflicted by the pandemic will be felt for years. ‘Ethically problematic’ In opposition to lockdowns and social distancing, some politicians have proposed letting the coronavirus circulate in the population to build up “herd immunity” — where so much of the population has been infected there are insufficient new victims for the virus to jump to.But the World Health Organization has dismissed such plans as “ethically problematic” and requiring mass vaccinations to work.Underlining the challenge, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal indicated that exposure to the virus may not guarantee future immunity — and the second infection could come with even more severe symptoms. China rushed Tuesday to test an entire city of nine million people within days after a minor coronavirus outbreak in the sprawling country, a far cry from the struggle in Europe to tackle surging infections with tough new steps including partial lockdowns.The virus is still spreading rapidly worldwide, with over one million deaths and 37 million infections, and many nations that suppressed their first outbreaks now face a second wave.Without a vaccine, governments are wary of allowing the virus to spread unchecked.center_img China — where COVID-19 first emerged late last year — launched a drive to test all residents of Qingdao after a handful of cases were detected on Sunday.More than four million samples had been collected and 1.9 million results returned as of Tuesday afternoon, Qingdao authorities said, adding that no new cases had been found beyond already confirmed infections.Chinese officials intend to test the entire city — around 9.4 million people — by Thursday.In scenes contrasting with the fumbled testing efforts elsewhere, health workers in protective clothing swiftly set up tents and residents queued deep into Monday night to provide samples. In Europe, governments are battling to curb surges with new controls and increased testing, while trying to avoid the devastating nationwide lockdowns of March and April.Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the Netherlands will go into “partial lockdown” from 2000 GMT on Wednesday, with all bars, cafés and restaurants to close for two weeks at least.French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce tighter restrictions and faster testing in a prime-time TV interview Wednesday night, with some media speculating Paris and other cities could face evening curfews.Hospitals in Paris will have most of their intensive care beds packed with COVID-19 patients as soon as next week, the system’s chief warned Tuesday.”It’s inevitable,” Martin Hirsch, the head of the 39 hospitals in Paris and its suburbs, told the Parisien newspaper, estimating beds would reach 70-90% capacity by October 24.Russia on Tuesday reported its highest-ever number of daily virus deaths, at 244, and a record number of new cases at almost 14,000.Italy imposed new, tougher rules to control a resurgence, including an end to parties, amateur football matches and snacking at bars at night.Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday became the latest high-profile figure to go into quarantine after coming into contact with a person with COVID-19.And Portugal’s football federation said star striker Cristiano Ronaldo had tested positive for the virus.Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country has the highest death toll in Europe, on Monday had already ordered pubs in Liverpool to shut as part of a new strategy.He said businesses forced to close would get support from the government, but his focus on shutting hospitality venues sparked anger, as have similar measures elsewhere.Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer called Tuesday for a 2-3 week “circuit break” lockdown to slow infection rates, saying the government had “lost control” of the outbreak having ignored stringent measures suggested by scientific experts on September 21.last_img read more

Emmanuel Petit slams Unai Emery and rates Mikel Arteta’s start as Arsenal manager

first_img Metro Sport ReporterSunday 9 Feb 2020 11:30 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.4kShares Advertisement Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates in December (Pictures: Getty)‘The first priority when Arteta took over was to stop the team conceding stupid goals, and he has done that.‘But in the meantime they’re suffering a bit up front – I think if they keep playing like this that, sooner or later, they’re going to win games.’Arsenal are currently tenth in the Premier League and face Newcastle United next weekend.MORE: Juventus preparing to sell Aaron Ramsey just year after Arsenal transferMORE: Cedric Soares provides positive injury update to Arsenal fans Emmanuel Petit has been impressed by Arsenal under Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)Emmanuel Petit claims Arsenal were ‘sick’ and ‘weak’ under Unai Emery and has outlined how Mikel Arteta is changing his former club.Ex-Arsenal midfielder Arteta returned to the Emirates in December after being confirmed as Emery’s permanent replacement.Arsenal have won just one of their seven league fixtures under Arteta but club legend Petit insists there have been signs of progress from a team that was ‘sick’ and ‘weak’ under former manager Emery.‘When Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, the team was sick,’ Petit told Paddy Power.ADVERTISEMENT‘Sick on the pitch and in the dressing room. They were losing shape and blindly going nowhere. They were weak.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Now, after several weeks of the Arteta regime I’ve seen different things happening in terms of intensity, togetherness and work rate off the ball.‘The mentality is different and some players are getting back to form, like Granit Xhaka. I’m very pleased with how he has played and the mentality he has shown.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Mesut Ozil has looked better on occasion and I’m happy with what I see from Lucas Torreira.‘The players seem to be getting the message from Arteta and I think it’s clear what he wants from them on and off the pitch in terms of discipline and commitment. It looks like they’re following the rules he sets out on the training pitch.‘They haven’t been winning as many games as they’d like but they also haven’t been losing. More goals are needed if they want to win, which is the major problem. Emmanuel Petit slams Unai Emery and rates Mikel Arteta’s start as Arsenal manager Advertisement Commentlast_img read more

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang assesses Arsenal’s title chances ahead of Liverpool clash

first_imgAdvertisement Metro Sport ReporterMonday 28 Sep 2020 10:59 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.9kShares Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says Arsenal ‘believe’ they can win the Premier League title (Picture: Canal+)Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has talked up Arsenal’s title chances and says the club are aiming to be a ‘nuisance’ for Liverpool this evening and throughout the Premier League campaign. Third-placed Arsenal sit above Liverpool on goal difference ahead of their trip to Anfield and will no doubt be buoyed after three wins on the trot in all competitions. But it’s been eight years since the Gunners last tasted victory at the stadium and current manager Mikel Arteta was on the winning team that day. The Arsenal forward is yet to score against Liverpool in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Aubameyang scored a sublime early goal as Arsenal beat Liverpool to lift the Community Shield last month but the Gabon international is yet to find the net against Jurgen Klopp’s side in the English top flight.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHowever, the striker appears unfazed despite this not-so-flattering record and insists Arsenal’s squad are full of belief that they can beat the champions and end their long wait for the title this season.‘It would be impressive,’ Aubameyang told Canal+ when asked whether Arsenal can win the title this term.‘Our aim is to be a nuisance for Liverpool (tonight) and all season. ‘We believe we can [win the title].’ Commentcenter_img Aubameyang is yet to score against Liverpool in the top flight (Picture: Getty)Elsewhere in the interview, Aubameyang confirmed that he had turned down an offer to join Barcelona before putting pen to paper on a new contract at the Emirates.The Arsenal captain said: ‘There were several offers, notably from Barca, but also other clubs.‘My priority was to stay for two reasons: the first is the coach, Mikel Arteta, because we spoke a fair amount during the lockdown, as they say here, we were at home and spoke several times and he convinced me, notably in terms of the project.‘Of course, secondly, is the love that I receive from the fans and people at the club. ‘Since I have been here I have been treated like one of their own, and as I am one of their own, I am going to stay here, it is as simple as that.’Can Arsenal realistically win the title this season?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Darren Bent urges Arsenal to sign Dele Alli from TottenhamMORE: Granit Xhaka delivers verdict on Arsenal’s transfer deals for Willian and Gabriel Advertisement Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang assesses Arsenal’s title chances ahead of Liverpool clashlast_img read more

COVID-19: Traore withdraws from Spain squad

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Adama Traore has withdrawn from Spain’s squad ahead of their Nations League fixture against Ukraine after testing positive for coronavirus antibodies in his PCR test.Traore was initially omitted from Spain’s 1-1 draw with Germany in Stuttgart on Friday (AEST) following an inconclusive COVID-19 test. The Wolves star underwent PCR testing on Saturday and the uncapped 24-year-old – who is still waiting to make his first international appearance – will sit out Monday’s visit of Ukraine.“On receiving the results of the test, and despite the player showing a high level of antibodies such as a positive IgG count, the RFEF medical services, in accordance with UEFA, have decided to liberate the player from his duties with the national team, even though he poses no risk of spreading the virus to his teammates,” the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said in a statement.“Under UEFA protocol, it is recommended not to travel to a stadium if the result of a PCR is not totally negative.”Spain welcome Ukraine to the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in Madrid for the League A Group 4 showdown.Ukraine top the standings after their 2-1 win over Switzerland last time out. —Tags: Adama TraoreCOVID-19GermanySpainUkrainelast_img read more

Fabregas needed no persuading – Mou

first_img Press Association Fabregas lines up against his former club Arsenal on Sunday, despite the Gunners reportedly having had first option to re-sign the playmaker if he left Barcelona. Mourinho, who is not aware if Fabregas wanted to return to the Emirates Stadium, said: “The only thing I know is that I spoke with him for the first time and, when I spoke with him, obviously he knew that I was Chelsea manager. “If he doesn’t want to come to Chelsea, I think he refuses to speak with me, he refuses to meet with me. “When I invited him for the meeting, he told me immediately ‘yes’. “I spoke with him and, after 10 minutes, he was telling me he wants to join us. “What happened before that, I don’t know. What I know is that after that, we did things perfectly. “He was really happy to join us. After that (meeting), I contacted my club. “Normally, these things, they take more time, but my club was fantastic.” Mourinho missed a football tournament his son Jose was playing in to meet Fabregas. The Blues boss added: “My son was in Germany with Fulham and they qualified to play the final against Paris St Germain and I wanted to go. That’s normal. “I never go. And that weekend, I wanted to go but it was the only day that he (Fabregas) could travel to London so I had to stay, to do my job. “No problem, I will watch my son play other times.” While his son’s team beat Bayern – “They won 1-0. They won the tournament,” the Portuguese added – he was talking to Fabregas about making him the centre-piece of his rejuvenated Chelsea. Mourinho added: “We spoke about football, we spoke about Chelsea project, we spoke about where I want him to play, the way I want him to transform my team, the Chelsea philosophy also as a club.” There were also general discussions on pay – “not specifically, because this is not my job, but just to give him an idea,” Mourinho said – and the response was an unequivocal ‘yes’. In discussions, Mourinho also spoke of Chelsea in comparison to Fabregas’ other options, promising the Spain playmaker his versatility would not be used against him, as it appeared it was at times at Barcelona. “I was objective with him,” Mourinho said. “And I gave him the different possibilities, with me (Chelsea) or playing here or there. ‘This is the way we want to play’, ‘this is the way we want to develop the team’, ‘no way with me you are going to play fake number nine, outside left, outside right – no… what I need is you to do this, this and this’. “Everything so clear.” Fabregas played 303 times for Arsenal, scoring 57 goals, but Mourinho sees no reason to speak to the former Gunners skipper ahead of Sunday’s match. “I can feel it that it will be another game for him, with that little bit (of emotion) that will be present before the match or in the first couple of minutes, but he played against Barcelona with Arsenal,” Mourinho said. “He is a great professional, the way he behaves, the way he works, a great professional so another professional job for him on Sunday.” Jose Mourinho insists he took merely 10 minutes to convince Cesc Fabregas to join Chelsea. last_img read more

Swan left with ‘no regrets’

first_img The 6-1 shot turned in a thoroughly impressive performance in the hands of Nina Carberry, accounting for the pacesetting Horse No Name with ease and eventually winning by 12 lengths. Swan admits he may still have a small interest in training, but expects to send out his last few runners under his current guise next week. Charlie Swan may be handing in his licence in the coming days but he showed he can still train a winner as Rogue Trader claimed the opening 2015 Navan Membership Maiden Hurdle at Navan. Press Associationcenter_img He said: “I have no regrets and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s not an easy game and with the way things are, if you don’t have the numbers it’s not really viable. “I’ll probably have two more runners, Drumlee on Thursday and a filly on the Flat at Dundalk on Friday. “I’ve been 20 years as a jockey and 15 as a trainer and I’m happy to so something else. I might train the odd one for a bumper in our own colours and a few point-to-pointers.” Rogue Trader, who runs in the famous colours of John and Sue Magnier, will now switch to the care of Tom Taaffe. Swan added: “He’s a staying type of horse but he’s not slow and he’s a chaser in the making. “They went a strong gallop and Nina used her brain as I told her to make it.” last_img read more

Cricket News Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur retained as ODI and T20I captains; Veda Krishnamurthy dropped

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur were retained as captains of the ODI and Twenty20 squads respectively for India’s tour of New Zealand which will begin in January. The series will be the first assignment for new coach WV Raman, who was appointed on Thursday after he piped Gary Kirsten, the former India men’s cricket team coach. India will play three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals and the squad sees the omission of Veda Krishnamurthy, who has been suffering from poor scores. In the last eight Twenty20 Internationals, Krishnamurthy’s scores have been 11*, 8, 11*, 3, 2*,8*, 9,3,8. Her poor run in the World T20 tournament in West Indies in 2018 increased pressure on her.Mona Meshram replaced Veda in the ODI squad while two changes were made in the squad that went to the West Indies for the World T20. The New Zealand tour will be the team’s first assignment after its controversial exit from the World T20 last month when it lost to England in the semi-finals. Gary Kirsten was ahead of Raman in the pecking order but the former India men’s coach was not ready to give up on his role with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. The BCCI had invited fresh applications after Ramesh Powar’s term ended on November 30, following the World T20 loss in which he and Harmanpreet had collectively decided to drop senior player Mithali for the all-important semifinal, triggering a massive controversy.  Read More | Raman appointed as the new coach of the India women’s cricket teamThe women’s team stood divided with Harmanpreet and her T20 deputy Smriti Mandhana backing Powar for an extension while Mithali was against such a move. However, both Harmanpreet and Mithali had agreed on sorting out their differences going forward.Read More | Harmanpreet, Mandhana write to BCCI, back Ramesh Powar Harmanpreet is currently playing the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder while Mithali will be aiming to continue her good form in both ODIs and T20Is.SquadsODI Squad: Mithali Raj (captain), Poonam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Tanya Bhatia (wk), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bist, Mansi Joshi, Dayalan Hemlatha, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey.T20 Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, Dayalan Hemlatha, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Tanya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bist, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Priya Punia. last_img read more

NZ to host West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh during home season

first_imgNEW Zealand (NZ) are set for a full programme of international cricket during their summer with men’s tours by West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh while a visit by the Australia Women’s team is also in the early stages of planning for the gap created by the postponed ODI World Cup in February.NZC are currently working with the government on the biosecurity measures that will need to be in place for the touring teams with visitors to the country currently required to isolate for 14 days on arrival.David White, NZC CEO, said they are looking at a model similar to that used by the ECB during their ongoing season, which was the first international cricket to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.“We are making tremendous progress. I was just on the phone to the West Indies, they’re confirmed, Pakistan is confirmed, Australia and Bangladesh … so 37 days of international cricket,” White told reporters in Auckland.“The White Ferns will tour Australia in September and then the Australia Women’s team will tour New Zealand in February. We are just working through the content but probably five ODIs and three T20Is.“We’ll just be held up for a week or two while we work with the government agencies on the managed isolation but they’ve been extremely supportive.”Under the current Future Tours programme, West Indies and Pakistan were down to visit for Tests and T20Is with Bangladesh scheduled for ODIs and T20Is and then Australia for T20Is, although the final structure of the seasons remains to be confirmed given the postponement of the Men’s T20 World Cup. The Tests against West Indies and Pakistan are part of the World Test Championship.The last time the men’s team was in action was in the behind-closed-doors ODI against Australia at the SCG in mid-March shortly before that tour was called off with New Zealand needing to get home before the borders were closed.The women’s team are set to be the first back on the field with their trip to Australia in late September that includes three T20Is and three ODIs.The Women’s ODI World Cup, which was due to be staged in February and March next year, was postponed by 12 months earlier this week when it was decided that there would not be sufficient time for teams to qualify and prepare for the tournament.New Zealand has been one of the most successful countries in combatting COVID-19 and recently marked 100 days without community transmission, but things have changed a little bit since then.On Tuesday, local media said four fresh cases of community transmission had been reported in the country, and Auckland would move to Alert Level 3 from Wednesday, with the rest of the country moving to Alert Level 2*.White was speaking as NZC confirmed a new deal for radio coverage of cricket in New Zealand with MediaWorks Radio. Earlier this year, previous rights holders NZME confirmed they would not be extending their broadcast deal with commentary on Radio Sport, a station which has now been taken off the air. (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

Trojans have nothing to be ashamed of

first_imgMarch is sneaky.The other day, it crept up behind me more quietly than Elmer Fudd, tapped me on my opposite shoulder and then laughed as I looked the other way.I couldn’t help but smile, as I was finally reunited with my good buddy.We walked to class together and discussed many things. I caught a whiff of spring break as we ventured past the lovely ladies of McCarthy Quad, sunbathing so that they are tan by spring break. I felt the presence of baseball as we caught a glimpse of Dedeaux Field. We joked that March’s step-sister, February, was saved by the glass slipper of the Olympics.But mostly we reminisced about the best times we’ve had in the past and the new memories we will create this year with the NCAA basketball tournament.March couldn’t contain its excitement when discussing how basketball has become relevant again on Tommy Trojan’s campus. We relived one of the best games of the tournament last year: USC’s close loss to eventual runner-up Michigan State in the second round.When I reminded March that USC won’t be in the tournament this year, it lowered its eyes and looked to the ground.That’s when it hit me. Even though USC inflicted self-harm by banning itself from any postseason play this year, this current team has nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, when the Trojans walk off the court for the last time this season at around 1 p.m. Saturday in Tuscon, Ariz., they should hold their heads high.This group of players — a collection of castoffs, transfers, role players and rappers — performed more admirably than anybody expected.After losing its coach and top three core players over the summer, USC was written off as an easy win on almost every Pac-10 team’s calendar. The Trojans were projected to finish ninth in the Pac-10 and last in sympathy points.It looked that way early, with an embarrassing home loss to Loyola Marymount and blowouts at the hands of Texas and Georgia Tech.Then, something straight out a Disney movie happened. The Trojans started winning. Not just winning but smothering ranked opponents with their asphyxiating defense.That eight-game win streak in December gave the team and the entire school hope for something that seemed impossible just a few weeks before.It was all thanks to the basketball team’s own Trojan Horse. Hidden amid the USC roster was Mike Gerrity, a scrappy guard formerly of Pepperdine and Charlotte. He kept schooling the five-star recruits of Tennessee and Arizona and they kept following his every dribble.Gerrity, a senior, led the Trojan Fever fans on that remarkable run. After the dismemberment of No. 9 Tennessee, the steady wins over St. Mary’s and No. 20 UNLV and the solid 2-0 start to Pac-10 play, it seemed as if the Trojans were bound to overcome the Mt. Vesuvius-sized odds and make the NCAA tournament.Then Mt. Vesiuvius erupted.Jan. 3, 2010 might go down as the saddest and darkest Sunday in USC basketball history. With one quick statement by Athletic Director Mike Garrett, the dreams of players who put in hours upon hours of conditioning, weight lifting, sprints and jump shots (well, maybe not so much the jump shots part — USC ranks 325th out of 334 Division-I teams in scoring offense) were cut apart as easily as a sharp knife slices through a tender rib eye.“I hope I don’t ever have to do that again because when you break young people’s dreams and hearts that’s hard to do,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said the day after he had to inform his players of the sanctions.USC lost its first game after the announcement — a one-point loss to Stanford. Nobody would have blamed them if they went on to lose the rest of their games and finish 10th in the Pac-10. If they couldn’t be in the tournament, what was the point of playing anymore?It turns out, even though wins and losses technically didn’t matter, the players still found that they could enjoy themselves on the court. They beat the Pac-10 leader, Cal, and the team many predicted to join the Golden Bears in the tournament, Washington.“To play against a team that knows they’re playing for nothing and can’t go to a tournament, they’re just out there having fun,” Washington junior guard Venoy Overton said after USC beat the Huskies in January.Then there was something that O.J. Mayo, DeMar DeRozan and Tim Floyd never did — sweep UCLA.As it sits now, USC is fourth in the Pac-10 and could finish as high as second if it wins out this weekend. The Trojans have been getting respect nationally for their defense as they rank third in the country in scoring defense.With these numbers, some people might feel USC deserves to go to the Big Dance. Because of past events, that won’t happen, but it’s not because of a lack of effort, heart and desire shown by the current team.“Spittin’ Sports” runs Wednesdays. To comment on this article, visit or e-mail Kenny at read more