Greater Shepparton Secondary College brings in more teachers, security to stop ‘uncontrollable’ fights

A Victorian high school is bringing in extra teachers and security amid outbreaks of “uncontrollable” violence on the grounds.

Police were called to Greater Shepparton Secondary School’s Wanganui campus on Friday following reports of a fight that resulted in a boy being taken to hospital with a head injury.

In a statement, acting executive principal Barbara O’Brien said additional teachers and support staff, were being called in.

“Heavy sanctions have been applied immediately to students involved in the incidents that occurred last week, including suspension from school,” she said.

Police said no-one had been charged but an investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Parents and a teacher who have spoken to the ABC said this was not the first fight at the school this year.

A teacher who asked to remain anonymous said there had been ongoing incidents since the start of the year.

“We’ve seen it escalate to a point where it is uncontrollable,” they said.

Mark Bentley has decided to take his son Rylie, a student at the McGuire campus, out of school until he believes it is safe.

“I’ve withdrawn my son, he’s not going back,” Mr Bentley said.

“It’s continued this year — he comes home all the time and tells me, ‘Dad, there’s been another fight today, Dad, there was this fight in the canteen today.'”

Mandy, a parent whose child also attends the McGuire campus, does not believe the changes the school has announced will address its deeper problems.

“I don’t feel like they are actually accepting that there’s a problem and actually getting to the base of the problem,” she said.

A grandmother whose three grandchildren attended the campus said her grandchildren witnessed Friday’s incident and that students had had enough.

“They just want to study and have a proper school life — this is not a proper school life for them,” she said.

The teacher said time would tell whether the extra resources allocated to the school helped to address the problem.

“It’s a good start,” they said.

“The underlying problems have not gone away.

The teacher said they were concerned about the impact the fights were having on their ability to do the job.

“We just can’t teach our kids to the standard that we are capable of because of these extreme disruptions,” they said.

“We can’t give the parents what they expect from us because we’re not getting the support we need just to make it run like a school.”

Staff from the school have been offered support through the Employee Assistance Program.

In a statement to the ABC, Ms O’Brien said the health and wellbeing of students was the school’s top priority and any form of violence or bullying was completely unacceptable.

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Nature Care College – Enrolment Open for Term 1 2021

Revive, restore & renew in 2021 with Nature Care College

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Private Sydney boy’s school Waverley College bans students from wearing mullets

It’s one of the world’s most recognisable and ridiculed haircuts, but now the mullet is fast becoming rejected by schools.

Waverley College in Sydney is the latest educational institution to rule the ‘do often described as “business at the front and party at the back” inappropriate for its campus.

“A lot of people are getting it,” Kim Van Heel from Ziggy’s Barber Salon said of the mullet.

The mullet hairstyle has been banned at a Sydney private school. (9News)

“I doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, every one is seeing it as normal now.”

The popular barber shop saw requests for mullets grow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone started realising they can grow their hair out,” Ms Van Heel said.

“When you’re working from home there is less pressure.

Waverley College has told its students to avoid the do. (9News)

“Then they realised you can go shorter on the sides but still have fun at the back like Billy Ray Cyrus said.”

The haircut was known as an 80s and 90s staple with rock stars like David Bowie, John Farnham joining the country star Cyrus in leading the craze.

Australia’s footballers also caught mullet mania.

Mullets are becoming more popular – again. (9News)

Now, three decades on, the hairdo has infiltrated the once stuffy world of professional golf.

“It’s become a good luck charm,” Australian golfer and world number 27 Cameron Smith said recently showing off his longer locks.

“It needs a bit of a trim at the front.

“I’d really like to go full business at the front and party at the back.”

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College a breeding ground for sporting, stage stars

FROM premiers to neuroscientists, musicians to sports stars, the state’s school have seen incredible people educated within their walls that have gone on to do amazing things.

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Salesian College, St Anne’s Primary School closed after hotel quarantine cases

The two latest cases at the Holiday Inn are a worker and a returned traveller. Their infections have forced anyone who has worked or stayed on an entire floor of the hotel into isolation and prompted a further review of the state’s hotel quarantine system.

The returned traveller tested positive to the virus after finishing her 14-day quarantine period.

Three cases have now emerged at the Holiday Inn in less than a week, while five have been detected in less than a fortnight across three Victorian quarantine hotels. Three are confirmed to be the more infectious British variant of COVID-19.

The Health Department updated its list of exposure sites late on Tuesday night with seven venues in Sunbury, including Cellarbrations and several stores in the Sunbury Square Shopping Centre.

Anyone at those venues at the specified times must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their test result.

New COVID exposure sites

  • PJ’s Pet Warehouse, Sunbury: Case attended venue from 3.37pm to 4.10pm on Friday.
  • Bakers Delight, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre: Case attended venue from 3.40pm to 4.15pm on Friday.
  • Aldente Deli, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre: Case attended venue from 3.45pm to 4.23pm on Friday.
  • Sushi Sushi, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre: Case attended venue between 3.53pm and 4.28pm on Friday.
  • Asian Star – Sunbury Square Shopping Centre: Case attended venue between 3.57pm and 4.30pm on Friday.
  • Cellarbrations, Sunbury: Case attended venue between 6.17pm and 7.02pm on Saturday.
  • Sunny Life Massage, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, Sunbury: Case attended venue from 4.30 to 6.30pm on Saturday.
  • Cellarbrations, Sunbury: Case attended venue between 5.44pm and 6.19pm on Sunday.

In a late Tuesday afternoon press conference, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was likely that the two new cases at the Holiday Inn were a result of transmission inside the hotel as they were on the same floor.

He flagged the government may move to close the hotel altogether.

“At the moment [the investigation] is absolutely focused on that floor and all the individuals who have been on that floor – staff or residents – are going to be in quarantine and will go through the testing process,” Professor Sutton said.

“If there is any indication that the risk extends beyond that floor, then it is an option for us to close the hotel need be.”


Doctor floats caravan parks as an alternative to hotels

Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, an infectious diseases physician at Monash University said it was crucial to understand whether the latest cases in quarantine were instances of a “slow-burning” virus with long incubation periods, or whether people were actually catching the virus in the hotels.

“We’ve known for a long time, that COVID can be spread through fine aerosols, which basically accumulate in the air, remain suspended for hours,” she told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Wednesday morning.

“The issue though is that we haven’t really seen this addressed in any meaningful way by any level of government.

“It’s been discussed and floated people have talked about it and then danced around it but there really hasn’t been any meaningful interventions put in place to mitigate this risk.”

Dr Ananda-Rajah said she was opposed to extending the period of quarantine for overseas arrivals if it was found that new strains of the virus had longer incubation periods.

“If you go to Hong Kong, you have to quarantine for 21 days. And that’s been in place for quite some time there now there. [But] there are real humanitarian issues at play here as well,” she said.

“I don’t like the idea of putting people into hotel quarantine I think that no, there’s a real dark underbelly to all of this, which is the mental health effects on confining people in closed spaces with no access to fresh air.“

The doctor said she had even been mulling on the novelty idea of housing quarantine cases at caravan parks, instead of hotels.

“I’ve been thinking to myself whether caravan parks might work. At least people would then get access to fresh air,” she said.

Berejiklian says Andrews “pretty good at spin”

Meanwhile, interstate tensions over standards in hotel quarantine have resurfaced.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian took a swipe at Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews after he claimed Victoria had “higher standards” in quarantine hotels than NSW on Tuesday.

“I can foreshadow for you that we’re not going to anywhere near the capacity NSW has, we will have less capacity because we have a different model and I believe higher standards,” Mr Andrews said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday morning, Ms Berejiklian said her Victorian counterpart was “pretty good at spin”.

“He’s pretty good at spin and that’s all I’ll say. I think the people of NSW don’t want me to lower myself to those sorts of statements.”

The NSW Premier said she believed the success of a state’s hotel quarantine system should be measured by how many Australians have been returned home while keeping the community safe.

“All I know is that NSW has welcomed more than half the Aussies coming back home: when other states were in lockdown or refused to take people or weren’t able, we’ve done that on behalf of the states,” she said, adding that she did not believe any state’s system was perfect.

“Is the system in NSW perfect? No. And I would never boast about it.”

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Registries Could Offer Insight Into COVID-19’s Impact on College Athletes’ Hearts

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 (American Heart Association News)

Researchers are soon expected to release initial findings from a national cardiac registry of NCAA athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, giving hope to health care professionals trying to better understand the impact of the disease on the heart.

The data could help doctors diagnose and treat athletes recovering from COVID-19 who have developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. While the number of such cases known publicly among athletes is low, the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council has outlined recommendations for when athletes who have tested positive for the coronavirus can resume physical activity. Guidelines include cardiac testing for those who had COVID-19 symptoms.

Sports medicine and cardiology experts at Harvard University and the University of Washington formed the national registry in collaboration with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association to track cases of COVID-19 and its heart-related aftermath in NCAA athletes. More than 60 schools are currently contributing to the registry.

Before COVID-19, myocarditis accounted for 7% to 20% of deaths attributed to sudden cardiac events in young athletes, according to a recent study in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. But data on heart injury in athletes recovering from COVID-19 is limited.

“Registry data of cardiac testing and outcomes in athletes after COVID-19 are needed to guide future screening strategies,” the study authors said.

The research database, called Outcomes Registry for Cardiac Conditions in Athletes, or ORCCA, already has collected data from more than 3,000 athletes. It initially will focus on athletes who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to identify how the condition impacts the cardiovascular system and injures the heart muscle, the AMSSM statement said. The long-term objective is a registry for athletes diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, regardless of whether it was related to COVID-19.

“You wouldn’t want someone working out intensely in the middle of an inflammation of the heart because it could weaken the heart in the long term,” said Dr. Rachel Lampert, a cardiologist with Yale Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. She is on the steering committee for the registry. “That’s why the question is particularly relevant in athletes.”

According to a small study published in September in JAMA Cardiology, 4 out of 26 athletes (15%) from Ohio State University who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and underwent heart MRIs had results “suggestive of myocarditis.”

Ohio State, which lost to the University of Alabama in Monday’s college football championship, is among the 14 schools in the Big Ten Conference. The conference has its own cardiac registry and is contributing to ORCCA.

Dr. Eugene H. Chung is an electrophysiologist and sports cardiologist at Michigan Medicine and member of the Big Ten Cardiac Registry Steering Committee. “It would be very interesting to get a sense of how often we’re seeing myocarditis in student-athletes infected with COVID-19 – we don’t quite know that yet,” said Chung, who also is chair of ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council.

The Big Ten plans to separately review its registry data and have specialists not involved in the initial data collection report independently on findings from cardiovascular evaluations. The Big Ten registry also will include control groups of athletes not affected by COVID-19 and those suffering from other illnesses such as the flu to compare cardiac risk among all three groups.

“With the cardiac registry, the Big Ten will take the lead to further our understanding of the athletic heart as well as the course of COVID-19 infection in the collegiate student-athlete population,” Chung and fellow conference registry steering committee members wrote in a recent article in the AHA journal Circulation.

“Our findings will be informative for broader public health policy as we fight coronavirus and all strive for safe return to play.”

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected]


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These immunocompromised college students felt isolated when the fall semester began. So they did something about it

On the list of proposed topics: “Have you had a hard time with friends in the pandemic?”, “Are you planning to go back to school in the fall?” and “How have you been coping on a day-to-day basis?”

But Lynch quickly realized that the group of immunocompromised college students didn’t need questions to guide them. They just wanted to talk about their shared feeling of isolation during the pandemic.

They bonded over the fact that people assume that all teens are healthy. They questioned whether their schools were taking the right measures to help those who are more at-risk. They vented about their friends not understanding their inability to leave the house without fear of contracting Covid.

It’s a virtual support group for immunocompromised students — but its members don’t call it that. They prefer the name “Chronic and Iconic.”

It all started with a social media post. Lynch, who has Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and a form of muscular dystrophy, opened up in a heartfelt letter to her friends and followers.

“While I have been preparing my body to fight the virus by running so my lung capacity can be better, eating healthy so that my body has enough nutrients to fight, and attempting to manage my disease (which is difficult with teenage hormones), it seems that everyone else has stopped caring,” Lynch, 19, wrote in the letter, which she shared with CNN. “My reality is different. My reality is isolating.”

Her reality means she can’t hang out with other college students who she said she sees on her social media feed “flood to the beaches to drink their White Claws.” Instead, it means she sits alone in her bed “afraid that no one cares.”

Much to Lynch’s surprise, the post resonated beyond her own social network. What started in July as a five-person Zoom hangout has turned into a 50-plus person group — with students from across the US — who have an ongoing GroupMe text messaging chain and frequent video calls.

As US colleges and universities return — either in-person, online only or both in what’s called the “hybrid model” — immunocompromised students are struggling to figure out how to navigate school during a pandemic. If their classes aren’t offered online, some are forced to rearrange their schedules or risk falling behind. If they don’t feel safe going to campus, some have to take a leave of absence. And throughout it all, some say the feeling of isolation has become overwhelming.

“I think one thing that the media and schools don’t seem to understand is how these policies are impacting the mental health of their students,” Lynch told CNN.

“By saying that in-person learning is essential, that’s basically saying the community can function without us, and is better off when we’re not there.”

Covid puts life on hold for high-risk students

In her letter, Lynch emphasized that her new normal means limiting time outside, even though she’s sick of watching shows on Netflix. Unlike her peers, who can cautiously partake in activities, she feels she has to keep her life on hold until Covid is no longer a threat.

Their lives are in other people's hands:  Young people with immune conditions fear coronavirus

People with underlying medical conditions are more likely to become seriously ill if they get Covid-19. Some of them are young and most of them may not look sick at all. Millions of them are living with a compromised immune system.

“People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of getting severely sick from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) writes on its website. “They may also remain infectious for a longer period of time than others with COVID-19.”

Aside from worrying about getting infected, many of these immunocompromised students said they feel anxious about people — specifically their peers — disobeying health and safety guidelines.

To date, there are more than 40,000 cases of Covid-19 among students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities nationwide. The number represents cases that CNN has reported so far — and is likely higher due to a lag from schools that update their data every few days.

With social life trickling back to life on campuses, coronavirus outbreaks have hit places where students congregate, like fraternities and sororities, where some have continued to gather despite remote learning. While most students will likely recover, health experts have expressed concern that young people would spread the virus to the more vulnerable in their communities.

“With the pandemic, we don’t have same sense of immortality as other people,” Lynch said. “This is very real for us. If we get a cold, we’re in hospital for four days. We have to take it more seriously. If there aren’t systems in place we have to make them.”

They found comfort in a virtual community

Samantha Price, who has Type 1 diabetes, was among the first to respond to Lynch’s letter.

Price and Lynch met doing community theater in Richmond, Virginia, when they were 10 and nine years old, respectively. They bonded after realizing they both have diabetes. Over the years, they lost touch. But Price saw Lynch’s post and reached out.

Together, the two created the support group, which now includes people with a range of disabilities.

“We always say, ‘Can you explain what that is please?’ when people say what their disability is,” Lynch said. “We learn what everyone’s going through, and how we can better support each other.”

Price, a junior at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, said it’s been comforting to connect with people who understand how she’s been feeling.

“We’re not normally surrounded by people who can relate to us,” Price told CNN.

“It (the group) helps us have our feelings validated. If I’m super depressed or down in the dumps one day because my friends are going out and posting about it … complaining isn’t going to do anything,” the 20-year-old said.

Hundreds of Covid-19 cases reported as students return to college campuses

“But if I’m able to go to this group and say, ‘this happened’ 15 people like it or respond and say, ‘I totally understand, that happened to me.'”

Kaitlin Ahern, a 20-year-old student at Lafayette College, saw Lynch’s social media post circulating online and reached out, eventually joining the group.

“At this time it’s very easy to feel ostracized and alone,” said Ahern, who said she is immunocompromised because of a medication she takes. “Because everyone’s kind of paying attention to older people because they are immunocompromised, and younger people kind of expect all young people to be able to reckless and go out and party and everything.”

Ahern’s college is mostly remote for the semester, but she lives near other schools and sees students everywhere.

“I can’t see my friends because they are all partying, they aren’t willing to give up partying just to wear a mask and social distance (and) see me,” she said. “There’s very little contact outside of my family. It’s very lonely not interacting with anyone.”

The virtual group has been “amazing,” especially as she struggled to connect to her existing social circle during the pandemic, she said.

CDC study sheds new light on mental health crisis linked to coronavirus pandemic
It’s not surprising that the pandemic has affected the mental health of many nationwide, including young people. The National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau estimate that more than a third of Americans have experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety since spring.
A recent CDC survey found that almost 41% of respondents are struggling with mental health issues stemming from the pandemic — both related to the pandemic itself and the measures used to contain it, including physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.

“A lot of students in the group text us, like ‘Today was a terrible day, I’m so frustrated,'” Lynch said. “We’re kind of like a help line in a sense. We’re all at home so people respond very quickly.”

Now, the group has gone beyond just sharing their problems.

“People will talk about their highlight of the week, what quarantine crafts they’ve started,” Price said. “Some people will tell us about their personal lives. We’ve actually gotten to know these people really well.”

Students ask peers to ‘stay safely away’

Aleah Colón-Alfonso, who has small fiber neuropathy, Lyme disease and accompanying secondary illnesses, said she felt the need to do something after noticing the lack of social distancing and facial coverings in Sarasota, Florida.

Though the junior at the New College of Florida isn’t part of the virtual support group, she has found a different way to help people who are in similar situations.

Aleah Colón-Alfonso, founder of Stay Safely Away, models for her newest "Science is Real" collection.
In July, she officially launched a business called Stay Safely Away, which sells wearable merchandise that lets people display their immunocompromised status to urge others around them to “stay safely away.”

“Communicating behind masks and from a distance is difficult, so my idea and all my products attempt to serve as an unspoken and polite assertion,” she told CNN.

The company now sells more than 150 products, including beach towels, face masks, backpacks, school supplies, swimwear and stickers. All merchandise includes some sort of catchy yet informative message, like: “I’m not rude, I’m just immunocompromised” and “science is real.”

“‘I’m not rude, I’m just immunocompromised’ was a direct quote of what I wanted to say to every person I socially distanced myself from,” she said. “The phrase is essentially a shortened version of ‘I really don’t want to be rude — but I also really don’t want to end up on a ventilator!'”

Big plans beyond fall

In recent interviews with CNN, three developmental psychologists said they believe the majority of students are taking the pandemic seriously and acting accordingly.

Viral videos of maskless parties and packed bars account for hundreds out of the nearly 20 million college students in the US, they said.

Utah Valley University students walk to campus after being dropped off by the UVX bus in Orem, Utah, on Monday, August 24, 2020.

But for at-risk students, the fear is still there — and some must decide whether they feel safe enough to return to campus.

“The first feeling I had about universities and schools reopening was fear,” Colón-Alfonso said. “Fear of lives lost, fear of the academic and social impact, and fear of how to accurately make decisions in a time where everything seems uncertain and ever changing. I also felt a distinct trepidation towards institutions who need student tuition if they want to remain afloat.”

Colón-Alfonso said her school has been very “accommodating,” and she feels safe returning to in-person learning. However, she added, “I know that my experience is an exception to the rule. Seeing parties on the news, receiving texts from family and friends in college with stories of the danger they see every day is unsettling.”

Many at-risk students remain wary of the risks. Lynch, who is in the UK with her family, and Price, who is in Virginia with her parents, said they have barely left their homes.

The psychology behind why some college students break Covid-19 rules

But the time in quarantine has also given them a renewed sense of purpose — and the two said they have big plans. Eventually, Lynch said, she and Price want to create a national organization for disabled students, with branches at universities and colleges.

“There’s college diabetes network which we’re both apart of,” Lynch said, “but this would be for more disabilities — physical, learning and invisible disabilities.”

The two also hope to create a conference when it’s safe to meet in person.

“My goal is getting people to even acknowledge that there are young disabled people,” Lynch said. “It’s really important.”

For now, though, they continue to focus on building their community virtually — and staying healthy while studying remotely.

“We have an understanding that things suck right now,” Price said. “But (staying home) is what we have to do. It’s going to be better for us in long run.”

CNN’s Scottie Andrew, Annie Grayer, Faith Karimi and Christina Zdanowicz contributed to this report.

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How Alabama Won College Football’s National Championship

One of the mightiest powers in the history of college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide, turned to a ferocious offense on Monday night and paired a yard-by-yard rushing attack with a constellation of daring, electrifying passing plays to ravage Ohio State, 52-24, during the College Football Playoff’s national championship game.

The title was the sixth at Alabama for Coach Nick Saban, equaling Bear Bryant’s mark in Tuscaloosa.

But this championship season was not like all of Saban’s others at Alabama. For as sound as Alabama’s defense so often was, a mainstay of any Saban team, and for precise as its special teams play was, the Crimson Tide plowed past one opponent after the next with one offensive outburst after another. By early in the fourth quarter on Monday, this Alabama team, which won the Southeastern Conference championship, was assured of a new program record: most points per game.

DeVonta Smith, a wideout of such speed and grace that Alabama once mulled whether he should play defensive back, became the first receiver in nearly three decades to win the Heisman Trophy. Before he exited Monday’s game with an injury, he had 215 yards and three touchdowns for the night, finishing his senior season with 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Then there was Najee Harris, a senior tailback who maintained Alabama’s rigorous running game even as Smith soared and dazzled. Mac Jones, the quarterback who had waited and waited for his starting job, found he could trust both Harris and Smith, but also tight ends and receivers like Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie III. The offensive line, stocked with a few talented seniors, was a shifting, swarming fortress from the time Alabama started its season on Sept. 26, when it crushed Missouri.

And in the end, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., the Alabama offense did what it had done in its previous dozen games during the coronavirus pandemic-disrupted season: It scored, scored and scored some more. Ohio State, the Big Ten champion who feared just five months ago that it would not play a single down this season, turned in enough points to have made an impression and to have created, at least for a spell, a scare for Alabama.

But it was Alabama’s night, the Tide’s statistics a record-setting display of power in a playoff-era title game. Jones captured a year-old record for passing yards in the playoff’s title game, seizing the mark from Joe Burrow, who led Louisiana State to the championship last January. Smith’s receptions set a record. And Alabama set a new standard for the most points ever scored in one of the playoff’s championship games.

The third-ranked Buckeyes had hoped to keep it competitive with the No. 1 Tide. The first quarter ended in a 7-7 stalemate. But the second quarter was when Ohio State’s ambitions collapsed. The Buckeyes scored 10 points that period, a fine showing against a defense that does not give up many.

The problem for Ohio State was that Alabama scored 28 in the second quarter and never surrendered the lead again. At the end of the third quarter, the Tide held a 45-24 advantage. Alabama predictably added even more points in the fourth.

By then, though, the game’s tension had long ago slipped away. By then, Alabama was assured that it, and Saban, had a new spot in history.

George Gusman, a member of the Big 12 officiating crew calling tonight’s title game, nearly missed the season.

A college official since 1986, Gusman lives in Hawaii and has long commuted weekly to games for the Big 12 and Mountain West Conferences. But as the season approached, he expected the coronavirus pandemic would keep him far from the continental states.

“It looked bleak, dark, you name it,” Gusman, then 69, said in an October interview with The New York Times. For safety reasons, he said, the Big 12 had initially opted to have officials drive to games — leaving people like him who must fly out of their annual gigs. But once the Mountain West resurrected its schedule, the leagues were in need of experienced officials.

Hence the late summons to Gusman, who called two previous championship games and got his start in officiating with Catholic Youth Organization basketball. He ultimately wound up on the football field, working the University of Hawaii’s nonconference games before he drew the attention of top officiating executives. He’s been around the most prominent leagues in college football ever since.

Even with his fate in doubt this season, he planned as if he would be able to make it some game, somewhere.

“I was still doing all the practice tests, I was still looking at video, looking at training video,” he said.

It paid off, it turns out, with Monday’s gig as the head linesman for the game near Miami. And it might keep him going for future seasons.

“If I didn’t officiate this year, I’m not sure I would come back next year,” he said in the fall. “Every year that ticks off the clock, there is a difference. It’s a lot different when you get over 60, 65.”

Mac Jones at the line of scrimmage during the fourth quarter.
Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Joe Burrow broke a lot of records last year when he led Louisiana State to a national title win over Clemson.

They include the most touchdown passes in a single season by a college quarterback (60), the most touchdowns in a College Football Playoff title game (6) and the most passing yards in a championship game (463).

Burrow had just clinched the Heisman Trophy, and tossed the ball around with the safe knowledge that he would be the first pick in the N.F.L. draft. L.S.U. beat Clemson, 42-25.

Alabama’s Mac Jones has 464 passing yards in this game so far, meaning that record is his now.

And he’s within reach of some of those other numbers — even with his Heisman-winning teammate, DeVonta Smith, out with an injury. He has five touchdowns.

While he is not expected to be the first pick of the 2021 N.F.L. draft, Jones should go early.

He is dealing with a lower leg injury, but it’s not keeping him out of the game. Alabama retains a steady lead, 52-24, with eight minutes to play.

DeVonta Smith heads to the locker room after hurting his right hand.
Credit…Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

DeVonta Smith, the Alabama wide receiver who has poked all sorts of holes in Ohio State’s defense during this championship game, has headed to the locker room with a right hand injury.

It’s not clear whether he will return to the game. He’s logged 215 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 12 catches.

A few minutes after Smith went to the locker room, Alabama scored again to push the Crimson Tide lead to 45-24 with 2:52 to play in the third quarter. More than half of Alabama’s plays on the eight-snap drive were runs.

Fields during the third quarter.
Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Justin Fields had a shaky first half that left him with just 90 yards of passing. It took him and Ohio State just three plays to score on their opening possession in the second half.

Fields started the march toward the end zone with a 17-yard pass to Garrett Wilson. Then he reminded all of us of how he can extend a play and ran for 33 yards. A 20-yard pass to Wilson was good for a touchdown to narrow Alabama’s lead to 38-24.

Fields’s status for Monday’s game was something of a question mark after he took a hard hit during the Sugar Bowl against Clemson. (By night’s end, he had still managed 385 passing yards and six touchdowns against Clemson, which appeared in last season’s title game.)

But Alabama spent much of the time between the semifinals and the title game fretting over Fields. Speaking to reporters last week, Pete Golding, the Alabama defensive coordinator, offered an extended assessment of how Fields has developed since his freshman season, which he played at Georgia:

I think he looks much more veteran. I think he does a good job of getting them in and out of plays. Obviously they’re a big check-with-me team, and based on the shell and the front he can control the run game and the pass game.

So I think he’s come a long way obviously of understanding coverages and fronts and how they fit together. He does a really nice job of getting them in and out of plays. Obviously, I think he’s got a really good arm, a really strong arm, another one. He threw on his back foot 68 yards last week for the touchdown, but I think his accuracy has improved.

I think he’s done a better job of keeping his feet in the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield, but he still has the ability to be able to hurt you and tuck it and run. So I really think he’s become a complete quarterback, not labeled an athlete.

I think he can make the throws, can make the checks, understand his coverages, so I think he’s really grown up.

Dylan Moses, a senior linebacker for Alabama, said that Fields reminded him of Cam Newton, the Auburn quarterback who tormented Alabama and engineered an Iron Bowl comeback that makes Tide fans shudder a full decade (and four national championships) later.

“He can deliver the ball to his receivers, has a strong arm, athletic,” Moses said. “He’s everything that you want in a quarterback.”

And now all Alabama wants is for Fields not to be able to come up with a Newtonian-style revival. We’re at about five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

It doesn’t happen often, but it has tonight: Alabama put together a scoring drive without a single yard from DeVonta Smith.

Alabama went for 75 yards over nearly seven minutes and hit a field goal to extend its lead to 38-17. But Smith, who wasn’t in the game for the whole of the drive, dropped the one ball that came his way.

Alabama fans will be holding their breath until they see Smith, who retreated into a sideline medical tent after appearing to injure his right hand, line up for another snap. But at least they know their team can score anyway.

Mac Jones had 342 yards passing in the first half.
Credit…Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Lane Kiffin, one of the great offensive minds of his era, knows how to size up a quarterback. And when he looks at Mac Jones, the redshirt junior who takes almost all of Alabama’s snaps, he thinks of a quarterback he coached more than a decade ago: Matt Leinart.

Pretty high praise considering Leinart won the Heisman Trophy in 2004.

“Matt was a great player, won the Heisman, but he had great weapons and a great offensive line,” Kiffin, Mississippi’s coach, said in an interview last week. “That’s what this offense really reminds me of. They have a Reggie Bush, but he’s a receiver, not a running back” in DeVonta Smith.

Please say more, Coach.

“He’s really accurate, really smart, doesn’t turn the ball over, and on top of that, he’s got great weapons,” Kiffin went on about Jones who, like Leinart, is being coached by Steve Sarkisian, Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

The Jones stat file entering Monday night’s game: 5,699 yards of total offense across three seasons at Alabama, with 51 passing touchdowns and a career completion percentage of 74 percent. He stumbled in the second quarter on Monday night with a fumble that set the stage for an Ohio State touchdown, but he recovered minutes later with the engineering of a five-play drive that restored Alabama’s lead.

As Alabama starts the second half with a 35-17 lead, Jones has 342 passing yards and has completed 25 of his 30 passes. Not bad for a guy who was seen as a talented, but maybe not history-making, quarterback when he finished high school.

But he has been a stabilizing, reassuring presence for Alabama throughout the season and placed third in the Heisman voting (Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was second behind Smith).

As Alabama coaches and Kiffin will say openly and frequently, Jones benefits from the talents around him, namely Smith, who had 215 yards in the opening half, and Najee Harris, the premier tailback for the Crimson Tide.

Removing Smith from the equation is no easy task, Kiffin said, as much as Ohio State might want to right now.

“The problem is there are so many weapons,” he said last week. “Everybody said, ‘OK, drop eight and play double cloud.’ Well, the problem is then they just run you out of that because of the offensive line and Najee. They don’t allow you to really take him away because you can, but then you’re just going to die a slower death with the running.”

Coach Tom Allen and Indiana nearly broke Ohio State during the regular season, so I texted him at halftime to see what he made of the game so far.

If you’re an Ohio State fan, it might be best to look away.

DeVonta Smith, Alabama’s Heisman Trophy-winning wideout, and Najee Harris, the starting Tide tailback, “are at another level!!!” Allen wrote, adding that injuries were straining Ohio State. (Before the game, he was effusive in his praise for Trey Sermon, the running back for the Buckeyes who left the game hurt.)

“Bama’s athleticism and power is impressive,” Allen added. “I think OSU must pressure the QB more!!!”

The key so far, as Allen sees it: Alabama’s dominance at the line of scrimmage.

With no sustained pressure, he said, Ohio State has no chance.

DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy winner, celebrates with Najee Harris after scoring a touchdown for Alabama.
Credit…Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Heisman Trophy did not go to DeVonta Smith’s head. His feet just headed toward the end zone again and again.

Smith, the first wide receiver in almost three decades to win college football’s top individual prize, used the opening half of Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game as if he still had a case to make to voters. He didn’t, of course, but he scored three touchdowns and amassed 215 receiving yards on a dozen catches anyway.

Again, that was in one half. There’s still another to play.

Smith’s graceful, speedy runs were the signatures of yet another offensive outburst by Alabama, which built a 35-17 lead over No. 3 Ohio State at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. But Najee Harris, a tailback, added more moments to his perpetually swelling highlight reel, and Mac Jones, the Crimson Tide quarterback, didn’t let a rare miscue of a lost fumble derail him or the offensive juggernaut that has Alabama in strong position to reign over the sport once more.

For a program accustomed to championships so often built on sturdy defenses, Alabama’s approach to Monday night’s matchup was a departure from so much of its long history — but also in keeping with its recent run of record-shattering, bracingly powerful offenses that produce big plays through the air.

By halftime, Smith had set the record for most receptions in a playoff-era championship game. And Jones had set a first-half record for passing in a playoff championship, upending the mark that Joe Burrow, a Heisman winner, set in last season’s game.

Alabama’s eruption in Monday’s opening half puts extraordinary pressure on Ohio State, which played far fewer games this season and headed to the locker room with just 190 yards in total offense. Alabama posted 389.

The star quarterback for the Buckeyes, Justin Fields, struggled, going 6 for 15 with his passes for only 90 yards. Trey Sermon, a tailback who had made defenders look foolish, left the game early with an injury and was not expected to return. The Ohio State receiver with the most productive night so far? A tight end.

More trouble might be imminent for Ohio State: Alabama will receive the kickoff to start the second half.

“The whole offense is really playing well,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban told ESPN as he headed toward the locker room. And with that, a whole bunch of heads snapped in surprise that the oft-scowling Saban would say something so glowing during a game.

Ohio State place kicker Blake Haubeil kicks a 43-yard field goal during the first half of the Big Ten championship.
Credit…Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The list of problems Ryan Day, Ohio State’s coach, wishes he didn’t have during a championship game assuredly includes not having two-thirds of the kickers on his roster absent.

But here we are.

Ohio State announced before the game that Blake Haubeil, who handled half of the field goal tries for the Buckeyes this season, would be out, along with Dominic DiMaccio, who took care of most of the kickoffs. Haubeil said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The absences left Ohio State with Jake Seibert, a freshman who had missed his only field goal attempt of the season but had a 13-for-13 record on extra points heading into Monday night’s title showdown.

With just over five minutes to play in the second quarter, Seibert got a chance for 3 points. An easy 23-yard kick narrowed Alabama’s lead to 4, and it’s 21-17 as the intermission nears in South Florida.

Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning forces a fumble by Alabama quarterback Mac Jones during the first half.
Credit…Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Coach after coach has insisted that Alabama won’t beat itself.

They might be rethinking that perspective after Ohio State tied the game at 14.

Alabama started a drive on its own 12-yard line, and Mac Jones promptly threw to DeVonta Smith for a 12-yard pickup. On the very next snap, Jones lost the ball for Alabama’s eighth lost fumble of the season.

After the lost possession, Ohio State started its drive on the Alabama 19. A defensive pass interference call against Alabama moved the Buckeyes 15 yards. Master Teague III ran for a 4-yard score and knotted the ballgame with 11:43 to play in the second quarter.

It didn’t last. Alabama went 75 yards on five plays, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris, to seize the lead once more. Jones was perfect on the drive.

It’s 21-14, Alabama, with nine minutes to go before halftime. So maybe the coaches were right, after all.

Waddle in the first quarter.
Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The early verdict for both teams in Miami Gardens is that Ohio State is down a running back while Alabama is up a long-lost wide receiver.

Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle fractured an ankle while playing against Tennessee in October, requiring surgery. His first play back was a 15-yard catch, putting Alabama in a good position to be the first with points on the board — Najee Harris finished a 1-yarder for his 25th rushing touchdown of the season. Waddle did appear to have some discomfort after his catch.

But Ohio State running back Trey Sermon was sent out after the first possession, grasping his left shoulder and heading to the locker room, then the hospital. Master Teague III, another running back for Ohio State, stepped up in Sermon’s absence, rushing to match Alabama’s lead.

But Alabama’s DeVonta Smith opened the second quarter with a 5-yard touchdown catch at the start of the quarter to put Alabama up, 14-7.

We knew there’d be a lot of scoring. Alabama just made it look easy (again).

And as you’d expect, Mac Jones threw the ball a lot to DeVonta Smith, the winner of this season’s Heisman Trophy.

A 32-yard pass. Then a 12-yard pass. Then someone else — John Metchie III — got to pick up nine yards on a pass before Smith caught another pass for three yards. Alabama pivoted to its ever-mighty running game from there, giving Najee Harris the ball for two quick gains that added up to seven yards and brought the Tide within 20 yards of the end zone.

Another pass to Metchie brought Alabama close to a first down, but Harris ran for 3 yards to sustain the drive. A 4-yard scamper by Harris brought Alabama to the brink of a lead headed into the second quarter, but on the next play, Justin Hilliard, an Ohio State linebacker, tore through the chaos to push Harris back two yards.

And when it came time to score? A 5-yard pass to a largely undefended Smith for a touchdown, completing a drive that went just more than five minutes.

Alabama rolled up 153 yards on its first two drives, including 127 through the air.

And now Alabama leads, 14-7, early in the second quarter.

Justin Fields hands off to Trey Sermon during the first quarter.
Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Barely minutes into the game, Trey Sermon, clutching his left shoulder, was shuttled into the Ohio State locker room. It was only the first possession but the running back likely will not see any more action on Monday night, as he was then transported to a hospital for further examination.

A deep loss for the Buckeyes, Sermon blossomed in the last few games of the season. In the last two games alone, he rushed for 524 yards. In the first five games of this season, he rushed for a total of 344 yards.

“He’s one of those guys where you give him the seam, he can take it: I think he’s got breakaway speed and then he still has the ability to catch some out of the backfield,” Pete Golding, Alabama’s defensive coordinator, said of Sermon last week.

Luckily, Ohio State had running back Master Teague III, who suffered an injury in the first half of the Buckeyes’ Big Ten championship win and was unable to play in the Sugar Bowl. Teague was the first player from Ohio State to put points up on the board against Alabama. In the first five games of the season, Teague had 449 yards on 89 carries and six touchdowns.

And he has already proven himself by and large — after the defense forced a turnover, Teague wasted no time for the Buckeyes in landing his second touchdown of the night.

Jeremy Ruckert of Ohio State catches a ball for a first down during the first quarter.
Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Half — half! — of Ohio State’s six passing touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl against Clemson involved tight ends.

Consider the case of Jeremy Ruckert, a 6-foot-5 junior from Lindenhurst, N.Y. When the Buckeyes arrived in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, he had caught five touchdown passes this season and not one in the preceding three games.

But early in the second quarter that night, when Ohio State took the lead it would hold forevermore, Justin Fields targeted Ruckert with a 17-yard pass for a touchdown. He did it again, this time for 12 yards, just before halftime and finished the night with 55 yards on just three catches.

Ohio State’s reliance on its tight ends has been inconsistent this year. But when the Buckeyes turn to players like Ruckert, they’ve generally had positive results.

“They’ve been effective when used, but not used that often, and I think that’s probably a dimension that really stuck out to me,” Tom Allen, Indiana’s coach, said. “Honestly, you don’t think about taking any of those guys away. You’re worried about all the perimeter guys and you’re worried about stopping the run game. Tight ends, to me, that’s where you can really, truly take advantage of a defense because now you put those safeties and linebackers in conflict.”

Alabama had noticed the tight end play on film, of course. The lone outstanding question heading into Monday’s game was how much Ohio State Coach Ryan Day would use them with a title on the line.

“A lot of tight ends, they may be really physical but not that effective in the pass or only effective in the pass but not effective in the run, but I think he can do both of those,” Christian Harris, an Alabama linebacker, said of Ruckert. “He can kill you any moment of the game, whether it’s the run play, put you on your back or the pass. He’s a great route runner. He’s also got some size on him, so it’s really hard to get around him when he’s trying to make catches.”

Ruckert made his presence known early on Monday with a stellar one-handed catch for a 36-yard gain that set the Buckeyes up for an 8-yard touchdown run by Master Teague III.

Tie game in Miami Gardens with a bit under five minutes to play in the first quarter.

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Royal College of Midwives CEO: ‘It’s really important women in labour have somebody with them’

Maria Booker Is from Birthrights, a group that campaigns for better maternity care, and Gill Walton is chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives.

Thank you for dropping in and reading this article on International and United Kingdom Political updates published as “Royal College of Midwives CEO: ‘It’s really important women in labour have somebody with them’”. This story is posted by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

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Trump promises ‘orderly transition’ on Jan. 20 after Electoral College results certified

President Trump promised an “orderly transition” on Jan. 20 after Congress early Thursday certified the Electoral College vote that gave Democrat Joe Biden his presidential victory.

The certification came after a day in Washington, D.C., that was marred by pro-Trump protesters storming the U.S. Capitol.


Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff, posted a statement from Trump on Twitter that called for calm in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” the statement read. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

Supporters of President Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington.
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Trump had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest lawmakers’ actions, and later appeared to excuse the violent occupation by the mob, which forced its way inside and clashed with police.

Members of Congress were forced into hiding, offices were ransacked, and the formal congressional tally halted for more than six hours.


Authorities said four people died during the violence, including one woman who was shot by an officer outside the House chamber.

Detractors of the president criticized him for stoking anger among his supporters and said a violent incident was inevitable. They said the president has been pushing the false narrative about election interference for the past month and his presidency was bound to end in chaos.


Twitter, Facebook and Instagram temporarily suspended the president from posting on their platforms.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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