WASSCE: How Prepared are Liberian Students?

first_imgOn Tuesday, April 1, 2014, the Head of the National Office of the West African Examinations Council in Monrovia (WAEC), Mr. John Y. Gayvolor, Sr., announced that the 5,034 students who registered to sit this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), will begin writing the exams today, Thursday.Reading from a prepared list of statistics regarding the number of registered students late Tuesday evening, April 1, at his Congo Town office, Mr. John Y. Gayvolor, Sr., disclosed that of the number of registered students, 2,569 are males constituting 51.03 percent, while 2,495 are females, who constitute 48.97 percent.To this number, Mr. Gayvolor reported an increment of 765 or 17.92 percent, against the number of students that sat the test last academic year.Unlike last year when students who sat the WASSCE represented 32 schools only in Montserrado and Margibi counties, this year students registered from a total of 47 schools in three counties, including Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa.The WAEC head of office told the Daily Observer that of the 47 schools, seven are publicly-owned and constitute 15.91 percent; the remaining 37 or 84.09 percent represent privately-owned or faith-based institutions.Processes leading to the registration of students for WASSCE, Mr. Gayvolor said, were “opened to all schools across the country, but with this number of students that registered for the exercise, it leaves one to wonder as to whether the Liberian students in general were adequately prepared for the tests.”With the writing of the WASSCE, WAEC is of the hope that by next academic year, writing of the WAEC may phase out, and in its place, the WASSCE will be fully activated.Writing the WASSCE will continue up to the end of the April 2014 in keeping with the rules that govern its administration.Unlike the WASSCE, which covers many more subject areas than its predecessor, the WAEC had previously been offered in only four subject areas, with multiple-choice questions. It later increased to nine subjects. But the WASSCE covers all subject areas, testing the breadth of each student’s world view through general knowledge questions.Considering Liberia’s own curriculum where the students are taught in nine to twelve subject areas, the WASSCE is more complex because of the inclusiveness of all subject areas from Math to Music, English to Economics, Shorthand to Computer Science, etc.At a stakeholders’ meeting three weeks prior to the commencement of the WASSCE, principals from various schools in Monrovia and its environs were expected to tell the WAEC administration how academically prepared their students are. Instead, some of them spoke of the constraints and challenges their respective schools were faced with due to lack of libraries, laboratories and modern (approved) curriculum and instructional materials.Some of them even spoke of lack of qualified instructional staff, meaning most of the teachers assigned to the high school levels were themselves not academically up to the task to prepare the students, particularly in the fields of sciences, which formed part of the compulsory subjects featured in the WASSCE.That open outcry from school administrators complaining of constraints and challenges in the sector sent signals of near-panic apprehension as to how well prepared the students would be for this new standardized test. This has no doubt invoked fears of a repeat “mass failure” by students, similar to the recent instance with the entrance exams at the University of Liberia in 2013.What is WASSCE?The WASSCE is a type of standardized test in West Africa. It is administered by the WAEC and is only offered to candidates residing in Anglophone West African countries.However, there are two different types of the examinations: WASSCE, (November/December) also known by its former name, the General Certificate Examinations (GCE). All students from private and public schools are allowed to take this examination, and uniforms are not compulsory.Moreover, other rules and regulations are applied on every candidate.Then there is WASSCE (May/June) – also known as the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), its former name. It is made for all private and public schools in West Africa.Students must wear distinctive uniforms as required by the standards set by the school boards. This examination is offered in the months of May to June, and the results are available by August.The following compulsory subjects including English Language, Mathematics, and Civic Education are offered for WASSCE candidates. Other subjects including Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Geography, Technical Drawing, Financial Accounting, French, Commerce, Economics, Physical Education, Metal Works, Auto Mechanics, Music, Shorthand, Clothing Textiles, Islamic Studies, Literature in English, Building Construction, Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa Languages, Foods Nutrition, Visual Art, Typewriting, Christian Religious Knowledge, History, Arabic, Agricultural and Health Sciences, Applied Electricity, Electronics, Woodwork, Home Management, Government, Computer Science and Information Technology.  Students are expected to choose from among the list of subjects, based on academic or possible career interest, which one they would be best prepared to write.With this elaborate list of the subjects, one would agree that the education system in post-war Liberia might still be in its infancy, if not “messy” state as the President once described it since, at some of the high schools, particularly the public schools, none of the subjects that are listed for WASSCE are offered or even introduced to the students as a possible focus.The curriculum does not offer any of Liberia’s 16 tribal languages as one of the required subjects.  The Vai language of western Liberia is one of the only African languages that can boast of its own, original script.  Also, at the university level, where Kpelle is being introduced because of its popular use throughout the country, the teaching manuals are scarce, if at all available.The preparedness of majority of Liberian students for this new academic regime (WASSCE), therefore, leaves much to be desired.At the completion of these exams, students will be graded by merit and sorted into categories of performance.  The top three categories are known as divisions, with grades between 65% (Division 3) and 100% (Division 1).  To achieve a borderline pass in the exam, a candidate must obtain (score) a grade point between 100 to at least 44 percent.No doubt, the bar has been raised and, with the ousting of the infamous “flexibility fees” and pre-WAEC camps conducted by schools, the chances of cutting corners by both students and school administrations alike are getting slimmer.  The only way up may through good, old-fashioned discipline and hard work.  Perhaps one can begin to look forward to a caliber of schools that can make their students stand out, and a reciprocal caliber of students that can make their school(s) proud.But beginning today, each school and each student will have to face the test, standing on his or her own two feet.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hoping for closure as frozen airman’s body found

first_img The four young men left at 8:30 a.m. on an overcast day with five hours of fuel aboard the AT-7 craft for a navigational training flight through the Central Valley. The weather had been stormy and gusty. Training missions had been canceled the day before, when “it rained cats and dogs” according to a diary entry by serviceman William Bechter, who trained at Mather Field in 1942, and died in action the next year. Leonard Spivey, a friend of Bechter who graduated from the base as a navigator three days after the accident, said strong winds and poor visibility may have led the plane far off course. It crashed nearly 200 miles from home. “Imagine being in a hot air balloon on a windy day,” he said. “At that time, we didn’t have sophisticated navigational devices.” Spivey read Bechter’s diary entry from the night the plane disappeared: “The war was brought close to home tonight when one AT-7 … failed to return from this morning’s hop.” Bechter wrote that flights scoured the valley for days. They gave up a month later, after 581 hours of fruitless ground and air searches, according to a 1942 military accident report. Five years later, ice climbers scaling the 60 degree slope of the Mount Darwin glacier found the first hard evidence of the crash: pieces of the motor, scattered shoes, clothing, and a piece of frozen flesh. Among them was a badge with the name of Mortenson, of Moscow, Idaho. That appears to eliminate him as the frozen airman because the uniform on the remains also bore a name tag. Forensic anthropologists in Hickam Air Force Base, in Oahu, Hawaii, have examined the body and sorted through decades-old dental records to piece together the identity of the airman who died of massive trauma in the crash. The ice tomb preserved the skin and muscle, the young man’s fair hair, even the trinkets he carried in his pockets – a 1942 calendar, coins, a fountain pen and a comb. Physical remains weren’t conclusive, so officials are gathering samples of DNA from the airmen’s families to look for a match, said Nielson-Green. The news of the find generated a lot of excitement in Munn’s hometown of St. Clairsville, Ohio, where most who grew up with him just “married and settled down,” said Shriver. Two of her sisters still live there. The find brought back bittersweet memories of the ambitious youngster who wanted to see the world beyond his parent’s confectionary store and the placid landscape of rural Ohio, Shriver said. But a phone call from military officials early in November laid her hopes to rest. “They told us they didn’t think it was him,” she said, without giving more details. That leaves only Gamber and Mustonen, the youngest son of Finnish immigrants who settled in Brainerd, Minn. Anna Mustonen never overcame her son’s disappearance, said Marjorie Freeman, who went to school with Leo and his brother, Arvo Mustonen. Freeman lived with her mother-in-law during the war and Anna Mustonen would visit their house for coffee each day. The two older women chatted in Finnish at the kitchen table. Sometimes Mustonen broke down and cried over her missing son, said Freeman. Leo Mustonen had pushed himself through junior college and the University of Minnesota. He enlisted to pursue a goal of designing aircraft, Freeman said. Anna Mustonen died in 1968, without conclusive word of her son. But if this airman turns out to be him, Freeman said, she believes he should be buried not in a military cemetery, but in Brainerd’s Evergreen Cemetery. “She would have wanted him nearby,” she said. “What mother wouldn’t?” Ewing, 92, and in a retirement home in Ohio, is also eager to bring her brother home. She had followed him to California when he enlisted. The two were close, and it was up to her to pick up Gamber’s clothes and car from the base after he disappeared. But she waited a year, hoping for some sign of the handsome former college basketball player. When she finally returned to their hometown, she was alone. For decades, she’s ached to give the body of her 23-year-old brother a proper burial in their family plot. Being able to do it now, she said, would be “truly amazing.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FRESNO – When a flight crew training for combat in World War II disappeared in the Sierra Nevada on Nov. 18, 1942, four families were left waiting for a word or a body to bury – for some end of the grief that was only partly eased when wreckage and scant remains were found five years later. Now, 63 years later, one family might get their wish. “It’s been a long struggle,” said Millie Ewing, the sister of pilot William Gamber. Military anthropologists analyzing the well-preserved body of an airman found encased in ice last month in Kings Canyon National Park have narrowed their options to four men who flew out of Sacramento’s Mather Field on the mission that went astray: Gamber, 23, and aviation cadets John Mortenson, 25, Ernest Munn, 23, and Leo Mustonen, 22. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Experts were able to read a name on a faded badge on the serviceman’s clothing, but they won’t reveal it until they confirm the identity through DNA. It could take weeks, or months – but that’s not long for family members who waited for decades. “What we do has to stand up to scientific and legal scrutiny, so that the family knows for sure this is their loved one,” said Maj. Rumi Nielson-Green, with the Hawaii-based Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command, which identifies remains of missing service members. “These families have been waiting for a long time, and they deserve that.” The details and the wait have been nerve-racking for Lois Shriver, who, like Ewing, was never able to bury her brother Munn, a cadet with slicked-back blond hair who still smiles, handsome, in a family picture. Munn, like the other three, was given a military funeral in San Bruno’s Golden Gate National Cemetery, but the grave is empty – a bitter memory for Shriver, who was 17 when the cadets disappeared. “You never forget these things,” she said. last_img read more

Sharks without three key players for do-or-die Game 6 vs. Blues

first_imgST. LOUIS — The Sharks were without center Tomas Hertl, defenseman Erik Karlsson and Joe Pavelski for a do-or-die Game 6 of their Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.Earlier Tuesday, coach Pete DeBoer said.Pavelski’s availability would be determined at game-time. But Pavelski, who traveled with the Sharks to St. Louis, did not take part in pregame warmups and missed his seventh game of these playoffs.Hertl and Karlsson, who played in all 19 Sharks playoff games …last_img

If You Are Flying, You Should Be Buying Carbon Offsets

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Ensia.   You desperately want to book that flight for the family wedding. But the frightening Fourth National Climate Assessment released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program in November has flipped on the guilt switch for you. Climate change used to be a faint background murmur you could ignore when there were fun places to go. But November’s report is clear: It’s here, and it’s bad.RELATED ARTICLESIf Carbon Pricing Is So Great, Why Isn’t It Working?Tracking Our Company’s Carbon FootprintReducing Our Carbon Footprint — Part OneReducing Our Carbon Footprint — Part Two The good news is, you can offset the carbon generated by your air travel. Offsetting is simple and surprisingly cheap to do. While you put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in one place, somebody else is paid to take them out in another. Numerous skeptics frown upon this tool, arguing that carbon offsets are ineffective or even unethical. The doubts are worth investigating. I have been offsetting my flying for the last few years and, as an environmental ethicist, I want to get this right. So here is how I think the arguments stack up. Argument 1. Offsets allow the rich to keep on polluting while easing their guilt Offsets do allow payers to keep polluting, and they are mostly used by the rich. But think about it: Stopping people from flying is not the primary purpose of the offset. In my case, I’m committed to visiting overseas family from time to time. It’s an emissions burden I’m stuck with. By buying offsets, I shrink the harm I cause no matter what. My primary goal is not to lessen the guilt but to lessen the impacts. If an additional policy mechanism were placed on top of the offsets (for example, a very high price on carbon or an imposition of a carbon emissions cap) then people may feel some economic pressure to fly less. But changing behavior is not the primary purpose of the offset; reducing harm is. In this regard, they work. Argument 2. Offsets don’t do anything Do carbon offsets actually reduce harm? It would surprise me if the small amount of money I pay for an offset will actually remove all the carbon I am responsible for emitting during my flight. How can I be sure the carbon removal I’m paying for wouldn’t have happened anyway? Or that it’s not just temporary or shifted to another location? To address this, buy offsets that are independently certified to provide precisely these assurances. Standards such as the Gold Standard, the Verified Carbon Standard, and Climate Action Reserve exist to help individuals buying carbon offsets feel confident their money is doing what they intend it to do. Although providing this reassurance remains complicated and a healthy skepticism is appropriate, I trust that concerned and informed people are working hard to make sure that purchased offsets do what they claim. Argument 3. Carbon offsets contribute to global injustice Some argue that by allowing the rich to buy themselves out of their guilt, carbon offsets end up exacerbating the injustice caused by climate change. The painful reality of climate change is that the people suffering the greatest burdens are typically those who are least responsible for the problem and least economically equipped to adapt to changing and dangerous conditions. And it’s true that if all offsets do is to validate pouring more and more carbon into the atmosphere, they might indeed make poor people’s lives worse. Fortunately, there are reasons to think they do exactly the opposite. Carbon offsets invested in the developing world represent a transfer of wealth — albeit a small one — from the rich to the poor. Such transfers can reduce global injustice if they are invested in infrastructure that improves the lives of those at risk, for example, in forest restoration, renewable energy infrastructure, or more efficient cook stoves. To the extent they provide a buffer against the effects of climate harms already occurring, they are on the right side of the moral ledger. Argument 4. Offsets only serve to indicate how unwilling you are to change your wasteful ways Yes and no. Buying a carbon offset is only necessary if you are committed to carrying on emitting carbon. And the reality is that, with current transportation infrastructure, most of us are. On the other hand, paying for a carbon offset indicates a willingness to put your money where your mouth is. It can increase renewable energy generation infrastructure and create visible examples of greenhouse gas reduction projects. Restored and protected forests, methane capture projects, and solar and wind farms are a statement about a certain kind of future. If you tell your friends what you are doing, offsetting also creates a social pressure for others to recognize there is a cost to carbon. A few caveats To be sure you are on the right side of the offsets debate, a few more conditions must be met: First, any offsetting must be accompanied by continued efforts to reduce your own emissions and to persuade elected officials to pursue a less carbon-intensive path. Buying an offset is a stop-gap measure. Nobody should think this is all they have to do to address climate warming. Second, even as you purchase offsets, remain skeptical about whether the shockingly small amount they cost is actually enough. To compensate, consider purchasing 25% or 50% more offsets than the trip demands. Third, offsets should not provide an excuse for shifting the burden of climate change mitigation entirely to individuals. Nothing you do is going to come close to what corporations and governments must accomplish on a far larger scale. With these conditions in place, however, the conclusion is clear. Though not a perfect fix, the moral argument leans strongly toward purchasing offsets. They are absolutely an imperfect tool. But they absolutely make a difference.    Christopher Preston is a University of Montana philosophy professor and author.last_img read more

Azkals draw Yemen, stay unbeaten in AFC Asian Cup qualifier

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/STEPHEN TANBACOLOD CITY – It was a bittersweet homecoming for national team veterans Phil and James Younghusband last Tuesday night. Returning to the stadium where they represented the Philippines for the first time as teenagers, the Younghusband brothers scored a goal each to salvage a 2-2 draw against Yemen in AFC Asian Cup Qualifying here. ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:07Nothing wrong with raids on offices of progressive groups—Palace02:02PNP to prove activists’ link to CPP NPA01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa But Yemen always proved dangerous on the break and the visitors pulled ahead again in the 55th minute with a well worked counter attack completed by Abdul Al-Matari. James snatched another equalizer with a header off a Manny Ott delivery in the 71st minute as the Azkals grabbed a share of the points. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses View comments UP appeals to overturn UAAP ruling on Ouattara’s eligibility LATEST STORIES For all the talk on their struggles of traveling and finding difficulty with the weather conditions here, the Yemenis looked likely to score each time they counter. “We’re satisfied with the result considering the difficult conditions of playing here,” said Yemen coach Abrham Mebratu. “Traveling here was tough and I have to give my players credit for fighting hard until the final whistle. We would have loved to get three points and take top spot in the group, but the Philippines also showed why it is one of the top teams in the group. We’re happy with our position now and we can be proud with the performance because the players have not played in this kind of weather.”The Azkals increased their haul to seven points from three matches for top spot in the group with Yemen two points behind. The two sides face off anew in Doha on Oct 10.Mudir Al Radaei gave Yemen a shock lead in the 27th minute with a diving header off a corner kick, stunning the crowd atPanaad. But Phil levelled three minutes later with a trademark free kick, scoring from 30 yards out – a goal similar to his strike against Tajikistan last June and Indonesia last December in the Suzuki Cup.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ The result at Panaad Stadium was enough to keep the Azkals on top of Group F, although the Filipinos feel slightly disappointed not to make the most of home advantage against a team that had a difficult time reaching this football-loving city. “We’re a bit disappointed not to get three points, but the team fought hard until the end,” said Phil Younghusband who jacked up his tally to 47 international goals. “We can still take a lot of positives from this game. We’re still top of the group and hopefully get a better result next time.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m happy with the 2-2 and being in first place in the group,” said Azkals coach Thomas Dooley. “We didn’t get three points but a point is still good. The players gave their all.”Phil equalized with an exquisite free kick in the first half, before James made sure there was no heartbreak for the Azkals with a second half header. last_img read more

Muscle strain

first_imgA muscle strain is the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. A muscle strain can be caused by sports, exercise, a sudden movement, or trying to lift something that is too heavy. Symptoms of a muscle strain include pain, tightness, swelling, tenderness, and the inability to move the muscle very well.Review Date:4/13/2013Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.last_img

Recent Breakthroughs In Womens Tennis Have Yet To Stick

At six of the last 10 Grand Slam tournaments, a woman has reached her first major singles final. All six first-time finalists lost the match, four of them in straight sets while winning no more than six games. Five then lost their first match at the next tournament. None has reached another major final since. Four of them failed to reach the quarterfinals at the next major they played. Three have fallen out of the Top 10 in the rankings.Breakthrough performances have been followed by letdowns.The most promising of the six players is Simona Halep. She came the closest to winning her major final debut, taking 15 games off Maria Sharapova at the French Open in June. Halep followed that by reaching the semifinal at Wimbledon the next month. And she enters the U.S. Open — which began this week — ranked No. 2 in the world. Yet she doesn’t look likely to reach the final in Flushing, New York. She won just two matches at warm-up tournaments, and Halep dropped the first set to unranked Danielle Rose Collins (the U.S. college singles champ) before coming back to win her opening match Monday.“Every day we have to work to reach the top and to stay there, because it’s more difficult to stay there than to reach it,” Halep said at a news conference after her win.It’s a bit early to declare the most recent first-time finalist a letdown; Eugenie Bouchard hasn’t gotten a chance to play another major since reaching the Wimbledon final this summer. On Tuesday, she begins her U.S. Open against Olga Govortsova. Early returns for Bouchard aren’t good, though: She’s won just one match in three tournaments since getting routed by Petra Kvitova in the Wimbledon final.Like the current group of young contenders, Kvitova didn’t immediately back up her breakthrough performance. She won Wimbledon in 2011, at age 21, in her first major final. Then she lost three of her next five matches, including her first-round match at the U.S. Open. But she won two tournaments and the Fed Cup later that summer, and Wimbledon this summer. She has been a regular in the Top 10 since reaching her first major final.Victoria Azarenka followed shortly after Kvitova and was more consistently successful. She reached her first major final at the Australian Open in 2012, at age 22, and won it — routing Maria Sharapova, as Kvitova had done the previous summer at Wimbledon. Then Azarenka won the next two tournaments she played and held the No. 1 ranking for much of the next year, including during her successful defense of her Australian Open title the next year.It’s natural that an athlete who is playing her first major final against a player who has been there before would be an underdog. And it’d be unfair to expect the player to repeat her performance at the next major, rather than regressing a bit to the mean. Plus, the women who have broken through recently are young and have time to return to the sport’s most prominent matches.Among the six most recent first-time major finalists, Sara Errani was the oldest at the time of her breakthrough. She had just turned 25 when she reached the 2012 French Open final, relatively young in the aging sport of tennis. Four of the others were younger than 24 when they reached their first Grand Slam final. But only Bouchard was younger at her first breakthrough than Kvitova and Azarenka were. read more

Opinion Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan the bestkept secret in college football

OSU sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) celebrates during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 7 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 28-14. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes are stocked with talent. Household names such as redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller and junior running back Ezekiel Elliott immediately come to mind whenever the Buckeyes are mentioned.Yet, there’s one player deserving of such notoriety that has flown under the radar for quite some time now.Through the first nine games of the season, sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan has quietly led the Buckeyes in total tackles with 83, good for third most in the Big Ten. McMillan has not only capably anchored the middle of OSU’s stout defense, but he’s become the heart and soul of a unit that has been the single most consistent entity on the team. His conservative temperament on the field explains the lack of buzz coming from the national media. He leaves the boisterous celebrations to the likes of other notable names on the defense, like junior defensive end Joey Bosa and his signature shrug.In spite of the shuttered spotlight, McMillan has outshined his fellow starting linebackers, senior Joshua Perry and redshirt sophomore Darron Lee. Overall, though, he’s been as good and as consistent as any linebacker in the country.Averaging roughly nine tackles per game, few teams have been able to successfully move the rock against the McMillan-led front seven of the Buckeyes. His sophomore campaign is going so well, in fact, that he’s been named as one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the best linebacker in college football.With Curtis Grant currently pursuing a career in the NFL, McMillan has stepped up big time in what is his first season as a full-time starter. He attributes much of his success to newfound confidence, saying as much on Monday. “I wouldn’t say comfortable, but I would say confident,” McMillan said. “I’m out there making calls on the field; calling things out as I see it. Last year, I was more tentative on the field. But this year, I’m more confident in what I’m saying and I’m saying it loud.”That confidence is something that has helped the Buckeyes to a top-15 ranking in total defense. Despite that high level of play, McMillan is still yearning for more.“We’re steadily getting better every week,” he said. “That was one of our things at the beginning of the season: to progress every week and to be playing your best football at the end of the season. And I think we’re working toward playing our best football at the end of the season.”With only three more games left on the Buckeyes’ regular-season schedule, McMillan will look to continue what has been nothing short of tremendous play at the middle linebacker position. Guys like Bosa, Lee and Perry may make all of the headlines, but it’s No. 5 who quietly serves as the integral leader of the defense. All things considered, McMillan may just be the best kept secret in all of college football, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. read more

OSU mens basketball schedule highlighted by 16 nationallytelevised games

The 2011-12 Ohio State men’s basketball schedule was released Tuesday and a 31-game schedule awaits players, students and alumni alike.  OSU begins its 2011 campaign with a seven-game home stand at the Schottenstein Center. After a Nov. 6 exhibition game against Walsh, the Buckeyes will open regular season play on Nov. 11 against Wright State. Four days later, the Buckeyes will get the first of several early-season tests when they host Florida, which claimed back-to-back NCAA national titles in 2006 and 2007. The four-time national champion Duke Blue Devils, along with coach Mike Krzyzewski, will then visit the Schott on Nov. 29 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Buckeyes’ first road game will come on Dec. 10 when they visit the University of Kansas’ famed Allen Fieldhouse, named for the late, former Jayhawks’ coach, Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen. That matchup with the Jayhawks is one of 16 OSU games scheduled to be televised nationally by CBS, ESPN or ESPN2. The Buckeyes will close out the home portion of their schedule on either Feb. 25 or 26 against Wisconsin. OSU finishes the regular season with road games on Feb. 29 and March 4, 2012, at Northwestern and Michigan, respectively. The Big Ten conference tournament will take place from March 8-11. OSU finished its 2010-11 campaign with a 34-3 record, which included an undefeated, 20-0 record at the Schott. The Buckeyes were eliminated in the third round of the NCAA tournament on a last-second shot by Kentucky’s then-freshman guard Brandon Knight, who gave the Wildcats a 62-60 win.  The Buckeyes lost David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and Jon Diebler to graduation, but return freshmen forwards Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas and guard Aaron Craft, as well as guard William Buford, the team’s lone senior. read more