Joe Biden’s presidential hopes received a huge shot in the arm Monday after former rivals Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the United States’ Democratic race and endorsed the former vice president ahead of the crucial Super Tuesday primaries.The dramatic turn comes at one of the pivotal points in a fractured, often bitter campaign, with the Democratic establishment desperate to coalesce around a moderate candidate who can fight off the surging leftist frontrunner Bernie Sanders.As the five remaining candidates in the race made their final pitch to voters in 14 states, Biden has capitalized on the momentum he seized at the weekend with a blowout victory over Sanders in South Carolina. It was just one of several endorsements Biden earned on a busy day.Klobuchar dropped out Monday and her team said she will endorse the 77-year-old and join him onstage in Dallas.Democrat Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader said his onetime Senate colleague Biden represents “the starkest contrast to Trump’s amorality, corruption and utter incompetence.”Another former presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke, reportedly will also be on stage with Biden in Dallas.”Most Americans don’t want a promise of a revolution, they want a guarantee of results on the things that affect them,” Biden told a rally in Houston in a swipe at Sanders, who advocates a “political revolution” against the status quo.”We need real results and we need them now. I’ve done that my whole career, and I’ll do it as president.”The departures and endorsements of Klobuchar and Buttigieg are gold for a resurgent Biden.His campaign was on life support after disappointing showings in the first three state contests, but he is suddenly the main challenger to Sanders on the biggest day of the primary campaign.New York billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who on Tuesday competes in his first primaries, has also been spreading his message to voters in a lavish multi-state ad blitz, but Super Tuesday will be his first official day on the ballot.Sanders – flush with money for ads, an extensive organization, and momentum in the polls – has focused on multiple states including delegate-rich California, Tuesday’s biggest prize.”It is no secret… that there is a massive effort trying to stop Bernie Sanders,” the frontrunner said about himself during a press conference in Utah.”The corporate establishment is coming together, the political establishment is coming together,” Sanders added. “They are really getting nervous that working people are standing up.”Sanders, whose ascent as a self-described democratic socialist has disconcerted Democratic grandees, is leading Biden nationally in polling, with Bloomberg in third place.Buttigieg had strong showings in predominantly white early voting states but was unable to draw black and Hispanic support after that.The campaign of pragmatist Klobuchar never gained traction. By endorsing Biden, she could deprive Sanders of a large delegate claim in her state of Minnesota, which votes Tuesday.Klobuchar’s endorsement “will bring more votes to Joe Biden,” Myliesha Smiley, a 23-year-old student at Biden’s Houston event, told AFP.Biden’s fortunes were resurrected in South Carolina, where African-Americans turned out in force to give him a crushing 48 percent to 20 percent victory over Sanders.”Super Tuesday is about momentum, and we’ve got it,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, told CNN.The win has earned Biden badly needed campaign funding – $10 million raised on Saturday and Sunday alone.The former number two to Barack Obama says his strength with blacks, Hispanics, women and suburbanites will show in the coming contests.Though Klobuchar was joining Biden’s camp, Sanders weighed in to appeal to her voters.”I hope her supporters will join us in our fight to defeat Donald Trump in November and win real change,” Sanders tweeted.Also courting moderate and independent voters is Bloomberg, who campaigned in Virginia on Super Tuesday eve.”I’ve won three elections so far, I don’t plan to start losing now,” Bloomberg said.Bloomberg has spent an unprecedented $500 million of his own fortune saturating the airwaves with TV spots.Topics : The 77-year-old Biden is consolidating support among moderates eager to blunt the advance of Sanders, who could take a potentially insurmountable lead in the all-important delegate count after Super Tuesday.Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana ran a historic campaign as the first openly gay major presidential candidate.Speaking in Dallas one day before residents of delegate-rich Texas and 13 other states cast their ballots, Buttigieg said he was “delighted” to endorse Biden in part because he embraces the politics of “decency.””I’m looking for a president who will draw out what is best in each of us, and I’m encouraging everybody who was part of my campaign to join me because we have found that leader in vice president, soon-to-be-president, Joe Biden,” Buttigieg said in Dallas, with Biden standing nearby.
“Can you tell your child? Or teach your child to be a good person?” another message read. “Please, just turn yourself in. I will kill your whole family.”Muhammadiyah Klaten has denied that it was in any way involved in the messages and condemned such threats as violations of academic freedom.“The regional leadership of Muhammadiyah Klaten urges the National Police to conduct a complete investigation into the crimes of impersonation, defamation, threats, terror and intimidation toward the organizers’ of the discussion,” the group said in a statement on Sunday. Read also: Fears of repression grow in virus-crippled IndonesiaOne of the students also had their WhatsApp account hacked on Friday. The hacker sent a message saying that the discussion had been canceled to a group of around 300 participants. The hacker also kicked out all participants from the group afterward.The other student’s Gojek account was hacked and was used to order GoCar and GoFood services to the student’s house. Aditya’s Instagram account and the CLS’s official Instagram account were hacked as well, though Aditya managed to recover his account.Constitutional law professor of the Indonesian Islamic University (UII) Nimatul Huda, who was a speaker at the discussion, was also reportedly threatened.“Professor Nimatul called me on Thursday night, and reported that several people had visited her house at 11 pm and knocked on her door and rang the bell repeatedly until 6 am,” UII’s School of Law dean Abdul Jamil said in a television interview.He added that Nimatul also received a death threat via text message.Following the threats, the committee officially canceled the discussion on Friday for security reasons. UGM’s School of Law dean Sigit Riyanto condemned the acts of intimidation as well as those who said the discussion was an act of treason.“This is a serious threat to academic freedom. These people arbitrarily and brutally defined the discussion as treason even before it started. The students are now experiencing psychological shock from the threats,” Sigit said in a written statement.He said he appreciated and supported the students’ initiative and contribution to offering different perspectives through discussion.“It’s also a part of freedom of speech. The School of Law also encourages the public to respect freedom of speech and academic freedom,” he said.The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) also condemned the incident and urged the police to find and arrest the perpetrators.“This is important so that serious crimes like this are not repeated,” the commission said in a statement on Saturday.National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Argo Yuwono said on Sunday that the police had yet to receive an official report about the intimidation, but were ready to start an investigation once it had. Topics : On Thursday, a poster of the discussion went viral after a man named Bagas Pujilaksono, who identified himself as an UGM academic, wrote an opinion article denouncing the discussion as an act of treason.According to the CLS statement, on Friday, two members of the discussion’s organizing committee started to receive threats in various forms including text messages, phone calls and the hacking of their accounts.Individuals claiming to be members of the Klaten branch of the Islamic mass organization Muhammadiyah sent death threats to the committee members’ parents through text messages.“Tell your child they will be charged with treason,” one message said. “I will kill your whole family if you can’t teach your child.” Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University (UGM) has canceled a planned online discussion about the constitutional mechanism for removing a president from office after students and a professor received death threats and faced other forms of intimidation.The Constitutional Law Society (CLS), the student community that organized the discussion, said the event, scheduled for Friday, was meant to be a response to recent public discussions about the possibility of dismissing the President for what some perceive as his inadequate handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.“The aim of the discussion was to inform the public about the dismissal of a president from a constitutional law point of view,” CLS head Aditya Halimawan said in a written statement obtained by The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
“Despite supportive markets during the first half of the year, European asset managers were unable to grow their fee revenues,” said Marina Cremonese, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s, who authored the report.“This reinforces our concerns regarding the secular headwinds facing active asset managers.”However, the stagnation of advisory fees in aggregate masked broad variation between individual asset managers, according to the rating agency.It noted that bank-owned managers recorded a 0.8% increase in net revenues, while net revenues at insurer-owned managers fell 1.7%.Independent asset managers’ fee revenues increased by 3.5%, although this shrank to 2% when the impact of the Henderson-Janus merger was excluded.The Henderson-Janus merger completed in May.MiFID II research cost rule to drive consolidationSeparately, Moody’s said MiFID II was likely to accelerate consolidation in the European asset management industry as a result of the requirement that managers pay cash fees for any external research they use for investment decisions. Previously this was bundled in with the cost for trading.The emerging trend is for European asset managers to absorb the cost of fees for research rather than pass on the cost to clients.Moody’s said this added to operating costs and would squeeze the profits of smaller asset managers.“Small asset managers are particularly exposed because they tend to consume more external research than their larger peers, due to their more limited in-house research capabilities,” said Cremonese.Vontobel today became the latest manager to publicly announce it was taking the costs of research onto its own books for all funds and mandates governed by MiFID II rules.It said the decision would result in additional costs “in the low-single-digit millions of Swiss francs per year”, which were already factored into the its three-year business objectives published at the end of August.Fixed income specialist Muzinich & Co has also said it would absorb research costs. In a statement, the group said: “While we remain highly focused on our own in-depth proprietary analysis, we are committed to ensuring our investment teams also continue to have access to leading third-party market research. This tried and tested approach has enabled us to deliver attractive, risk-adjusted returns in client portfolios for nearly 30 years.”*Allianz Global Investors, Amundi Group, Anima Holding, Ashmore Group, Aviva Investors, AXA Investment Managers, Azimut Group, Credit Suisse Asset Management, Deutsche Asset Management, Eurizon Capital, GAM Group, Janus Henderson Investors, Jupiter, Legal & General Investment Management, M&G, Mondrian Investment Partners, Natixis Asset Management, SAM Investment Holdings, Schroders, Standard Life, UBS Asset Management Net inflows for the group amounted to €117bn, compared with net outflows of €7.8bn in the first half of 2016.Fees were largely flat due to increased demand for low-cost multi-asset solutions and passive products, a trend Moody’s said it expected to continue.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# European asset managers failed to grow their total fee revenues in the first half of 2017 despite assets under management increasing, Moody’s Investors Services said today.Downward pressure on fees and changing asset allocations were the main causes, according to the rating agency.Total advisory fees were largely flat in the first six months of the year, up by just 1% compared with December, Moody’s said. When adjusted for the impact on assets under management of Henderson’s merger with Janus, fees were unchanged.Combined assets under management in the surveyed group of 21 managers* grew by 4% to €9trn in the same period; if the assets of US-based Janus are included the growth rate increased to 6%.
According to Hawley and Lukomnik, however, the way in which the industry had adopted modern portfolio theory (MPT) – both consciously and inadvertently – combined with the industry’s current business models had created a tendency for asset managers to pursue strategies that diverged from this purpose.There were misalignments between the incentives of the industry and the investors who were its ultimate clients, they said: complexity, multiple and opaque fees, and short-termism.“Our clear recommendation is to unify this potential to affect real world risk under a common banner that could be called ‘systems-level investing’.”Jon LukomnikThe main remedy, according to the authors, was for asset managers to focus on changing the systemic risk/return of the market. This was not about a wholesale abandoning of modern portfolio theory, they said, but about adding “systems-level” considerations to security selection and portfolio construction.“Using a systems-based approach alongside modern portfolio theory has the power to evolve the asset management industry and realign its interests with its customers,” said Lukomnik. “Our clear recommendation is to unify this potential to affect real-world risk under a common banner that could be called ‘systems-level investing’. This will benefit not only the performance of the industry and its customers, but society more generally.”The paper is the second in a series about the purpose of finance, facilitated by Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), an insurer of defined benefit pension funds.Tracy Blackwell, CEO of PIC, said: “We believe profoundly in the importance of the finance industry. But asset management, like other parts of the finance industry, must demonstrate that it fulfils a clear purpose. As Hawley and Lukomnik argue, for that to happen, we have work to do.”Industry reactions In addition to arguing for a new intellectual paradigm for investing, the authors also recommended measures such as a simple fee statement – equivalent to the nutrition labels on prepared food – and a ‘do-no-harm’ pledge similar to the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath.According to PIC, the paper generated “considerable interest”. A summary of stakeholder responses said they suggested “profound differences in perspective as to the problems within the asset management industry”.It relayed that “the industry challenges the argument that modern portfolio theory contributes to short termism and is responsible for… reliance on index benchmark approaches”. Short-termism was not inherent to MPT but was mostly driven by regulation, behavioural biases, and other factors, according to PIC’s summary. For further progress to be made on some aspects, asset managers felt asset owners needed to lead.Andreas Utermann, CEO of Allianz Global Investors, was one of the most critical of Hawley and Lukomnik: “The argument that MPT is (mostly) to blame for many of the ills that befall our industry, and in particular that it drives short termism and is responsible for (over-)reliance on index benchmark approaches, is tenuous,” he wrote.His and other stakeholders’ responses were included in the paper. It was “not clear” how MPT contributed to systemic factors being neglected in investment decision-making, added Utermann, and the paper “leaves the reader wondering what ‘systems theory’ is meant to be, other than the implications that it is somehow ‘superior’ to MPT”.“The idea that one can improve ‘beta returns’ is the most fanciful of all,” wrote Utermann. “Directing capital towards certain sectors/activities may have great societal (system) benefits but will likely lead to lower beta returns in those sectors as capital is ‘wasted’ from an efficient capital market perspective.”Gavin Ralston, head of official institutions at Schroders, questioned whether it was up to asset managers to move away from a model based on modern portfolio theory.“We would welcome the industry moving further in this direction, but it needs to be led by the asset owners,” he said.‘The Purpose of Asset Management’ can be found here . An overreliance on modern portfolio theory, which assumes away the effect investors can have on the market, has led to asset managers not adequately fulfilling their purpose, according to a new paper.Managers are ignoring “systems-level risks to investing, such as government actions, diversity issues and climate change”, authors Jim Hawley and Jon Lukomnik wrote in the report, ‘The Purpose of Asset Management’, published today.Lukomnik is a former deputy comptroller for the City of New York and investment adviser to the city’s pension funds, while Hawley is head of applied research at TruValue Labs and a professor emeritus at St Mary’s College of California.The asset management industry had a twin purpose, the authors said: to provide a reasonable, risk-adjusted return to clients by efficiently allocating capital to improve the economy and society.
London CIV has appointed a chief of staff as it works to remedy governance shortcomings that had threatened to scupper the pooling project for the UK capital’s public sector pensions.Kristina Ingate has been appointed to the role, London CIV (LCIV) announced today. She will have responsibility for the company secretariat, governance and strategic planning.Ingate joins London CIV following a number of senior governance roles in both the public and private sector. She has worked at Highways England, housing association Peabody and in financial services, the company said.According to her LinkedIn profile, Ingate is a “company secretary and governance consultant who supports organisations managing change”. Kristina Ingate, London CIV’s new chief of staffIngate added: “I hope my experience will help LCIV achieve its strategic goals and meet stakeholder expectations.“Quality investment management to deliver good pensions is important. I am excited to be joining LCIV at this phase in its development.”Ingate’s appointment comes after consultancy firm Willis Towers Watson found London CIV to be suffering from major governance problems.In a statement, LCIV said it had earlier this year reviewed its governance with its members – 32 London public sector funds – and the board had since approved recommendations resulting from the review.These “deliver the original vision for LCIV while responding to wider changes in the local authority pension fund landscape,” according to the company.LCIV’s assets represent around 40% of the 32 London local government pension schemes’ assets under management. Mark Hyde-Harrison, chief executive of the £13.6bn (€15.4bn) London CIV, said: “Kristina’s extensive governance experience is a valuable addition as we enhance our relationship with our members and stakeholders, and continue to deliver investment opportunities and greater cost efficiencies.”
As you know, the Bengals lost a first-round playoff game again this year. This makes three in a row and 0-5 for Marvin Lewis. Everyone has their theory on what is wrong. Of course, I have one, too. I think the Bengals become too cautious in play calling during playoff games. You have the best wide out in football and you don’t throw to him. Also, they are too predictable on what plays they run in certain situations. It has been reported that opposing teams call out Bengal plays before they even line up. What does this mean? The Bengals are so predictable in certain situations that the defense does not even have to guess what is coming. If they throw on first down and do not complete it, they will run on the second down. If this isn’t bad enough, the Bengals never seem ready to play in games that mean a lot on their schedule. Take, for example, the sleep-walking first half against Pittsburgh and the underwhelming effort at the beginning of the San Diego game. Unfortunately, this is repeated year after year in these important games. That is when you have to take a look at the makeup of your coaching staff. I don’t advocate constantly firing coaches, but this has now been going on too many years in a row. Mike Brown does not like change, so he does not push and Marvin Lewis doesn’t seem to be a rah! rah! guy. Some times you just might have to bend a few ears or burn a few britches to light a fire under your team. I like Marvin’s demeanor on the field, but I wonder if he and his staff do enough in the locker room before a game and during half time. Something is obviously not working!
Spieth added a second round of 66 to his opening 64 to post a total of 130, one shot better than the previous best set by Ray Floyd in 1976. That also equalled the 36-hole record in any major – shared by Nick Faldo, Brandt Snedeker and Martin Kaymer – and at 14 under is the lowest 36-hole score in relation to par. Jordan Spieth carded the lowest halfway total in Masters history to take a massive step closer to a first major title at Augusta National on Friday. Faldo was 12 under on his way to winning the 1992 Open at Muirfield, with Snedeker and Kaymer 10 under at the 2012 Open and 2014 US Open respectively. ” It’s cool. Any time you can set a record here is pretty awesome,” said Spieth. “I’m very excited about today and the way I struck the ball. I struck it, I thought, better than yesterday and didn’t rely on the breaks as much.” Spieth, who led by two shots after seven holes of the final round 12 months ago before finishing second to Bubba Watson, came into the week having finished first, second and second in his last three events. And the 21-year-old has experience of winning tournaments by big margins after claiming the Australian Open by six shots in December and the Hero World Challenge by 10 a week later last December. “I just need to keep my head down, set a goal for myself,” the world number four added. “It’s definitely going to be more challenging and I am going to have to be aware of that and be okay with a bogey or two. “The hardest thing to do is put aside wanting to win so bad and just kind of going through the motions and letting my ball striking and putting happen. “I got off to a great start and had a chance to win last year on Sunday. I’d like to have that same opportunity this year. Again, this is only the halfway point and I’m aware of that. W hat I learned (last year) was patience. The weekend of a major, those rounds can often seem like two rounds in kind of the mental stuff that’s running through your head, the stress levels.” Spieth is just five months older than Tiger Woods was when he became the youngest Masters champion in 1997 and is playing at Augusta for only the second time. ” I got the awe factor out over six months before I even played the first time here,” he explained. “To get here and to play rounds ahead of time; to play the golf course and after getting into contention last year and seeing what Sunday in the final group was like, now it feels more like a regular event. “I think just having the experience of playing it a few times was all I needed to feel that way.” As the second round drew to a close, Spieth held a record-equalling five-shot lead over fellow American Charley Hoffman, who bogeyed the last to add a 68 to his opening 67. Ernie Els was another four shots back after a disappointing 72 with Tiger Woods on two under after a 69, his first sub-70 score at Augusta since the final round in 2011. “I have been there before but then again there’s a pretty big separation between first and third which I didn’t have back in 1997,” Woods said of Spieth. “He has played beautifully, I played with him and Ben (Crenshaw) on the back nine on Wednesday and it was just a matter of continuing that and he has. “Anything can happen here. You can play well and shoot over par, it’s one of those courses that does that to you.” Els added: ” Jordan is playing unbelievably well but we know how far there is to go. Front runners tend to do well here, but there have been some really good comebacks, so it’s a big weekend ahead. “I’d really like to shoot two 67s and see where that leaves me. That’d make me 15 under and that’s about as good as a man can do. “If it keeps blowing like this and the nerves get going… I don’t want to wish badly on anyone but if he takes his foot off the gas or has a bad break here and there, it really gives you thought of catching him.” Rory McIlroy’s bid to complete the career grand slam looked certain to end in disappointment, the world number one covering the front nine in 40 before a birdie on the 10th left him two over par and just inside the projected cut. Press Association
Alando Tucker was selected as the Big Ten’s preseason Player of the Year, but judging by Wisconsin’s 72-48 season-opening victory over Mercer, he may be playing second fiddle to Kammron Taylor at times.Taylor shot the lights out of the Kohl Center from the get-go, scoring 18 points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the three-point arc to make the Bears alter their zone defense strategy.”Tucker deserves every accolade he gets, but for me personally, I thought Taylor was their best player,” Mercer head coach Mark Slonaker said. “He brought so much energy to the game, he defends and he shot us out of that zone early.”Taylor finished with a game-high 22 points, and Tucker was right behind him with 21.After the game, UW head coach Bo Ryan was impressed with how Taylor set the pace of the game as the team’s point guard.”He wasn’t forcing anything,” Ryan said. “He was aggressive. Intelligent aggression was being used and not wild aggression, so I thought his decision making was good.”But after halftime, Taylor’s scoring barrage slowed down, and he suffered a few mental lapses that resulted in three second-half turnovers.”In the second half, he made a couple of those flip passes we’ve been talking about for years,” Ryan said. ” … [T]hose one-handed flip passes he knows have not been successful.”If he eliminates the flip pass, who knows, he could be a [better] player.”While Taylor was satisfied with his performance and the team’s victory, he also knows he still has some improvements to make in regard to handling the ball.”Coach tells me if I get rid of the flip passes then I’ll cut down on my turnovers,” he said. “It’s still a work in progress. I’m trying to get better, and I just have to focus on making the right pass and not trying to force the issue.”Super-JoeWhile Taylor may have been the most impressive Badger from first glance at the stat sheet, sophomore Joe Krabbenhoft turned some heads with his grit and hustle.Krabbenhoft hauled down 10 rebounds and was all over the place, diving for loose balls.”Anything that was loose, Joe got,” Ryan said.Due to his all-out style of play, Krabbenhoft was banged up with some minor nicks and bruises from practice heading into Sunday’s game.But while Krabbenhoft will certainly endure a great number of minor injuries throughout the year with the way he plays, it’s something Ryan can live with.”It’s not like he runs into the wall full speed like Super-Dave, or Super-Joe,” Ryan said. “He doesn’t do things on purpose to get hurt.”And it’s also something Krabbenhoft’s teammates can live with, as they know he’s giving it his all to help the team win, night in and night out.”If there’s one guy that I’d love to have on my team, who I know is going to fight for me, it’s Joe,” Taylor said. “He just attacks it, he’s so aggressive.””He’s an enforcer, he’s our enforcer,” Tucker added. “He’ll take a punch, he’ll take a punch for me, he’ll take a punch for the 15 other guys down the line, he takes a lot of beating.”RotationWisconsin’s rotation didn’t become any clearer Sunday as all 14 available players saw playing time.The usual five suspects started: Tucker, Taylor, Michael Flowers, Jason Chappell and Brian Butch. Krabbenhoft, Marcus Landry and Jason Bohannon received the bulk of the minutes off the bench, but Greg Stiemsma, Trevon Hughes and Mickey Perry all saw their fair share of time on the court as well.At times in the second half, Ryan went with a small line-up with Tucker as the Badgers’ lone post player. Mercer combated with a small lineup of its own, and Tucker was able to grizzle his way to the rim against the Bears, scoring 16 second-half points, mostly on penetration drives to the basket.As a result of Wisconsin’s deep roster, the players are still adjusting to playing with one another.”It’s a work in progress,” Krabbenhoft said. “We’re still in November here, and come March, April down the line, I think things will start clicking. We’re making the right steps toward a successful season.”
Playing on one of the toughest fields in the country in hot and dry desert conditions, the No. 10 USC men’s golf team finished in third place at this week’s Pac-10 championships in Tempe, Ariz.Consistent · Junior Matthew Giles finished the Pac-10 tournament at 8-under-par, good enough to finish in a tie for 10th place. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information The Trojans closed with a strong final round of four under par Wednesday, helping them jump up two places on the leader board after entering the day in fifth.USC, which ended the week at 24 under-par, finished well back of newly crowned Pac-10 champion No. 4 Washington (-37) and runner up No. 3 Stanford (-34).“It’s kind of a similar story to the last few events,” junior Matthew Giles said. “Close [to winning] but just not quite there right now. But it’s coming around.”Eric Mina of California won the individual Pac-10 championship with a four round total of 16 under par.Giles led the Trojans, shooting a consistent 68-70-70-68 to finish the tournament at eight under par, good for a tie for 10th place.“I played pretty solidly all week and hit the ball quite well,” Giles said.Freshman T.J. Vogel had a great start to the tournament, sitting in fifth place after his opening three rounds of 65-70-67. Vogel struggled in Wednesday’s final round, however, shooting 78 and falling into a tie for 16th at 4 under par.“He played great leading up to today,” USC coach Chris Zambri said. “He got off to a rough start today and couldn’t recover. But he’ll bounce back. He’s too good not to.”Freshman Sam Smith, playing in his first tournament for USC in nearly two months, performed well, carding 68-74-71-69 to finish tied for 20th at two under par.“He put up some good rounds for us,” Giles said. “Especially today, when we really needed it.”Sophomore Steve Lim finished one shot behind Smith, shooting 69-69-73-72 and putting him in a tie for 26th.Freshman Martin Trainer shot 70-66-78-70 to finish at even par for the tournament and tied for 28th place.“It was perfect scoring conditions,” Trainer said of the course and the weather. “I’m hitting the ball so much better than I’m scoring right now. I really should be doing a lot better.”Stewart Hagestad, the fourth freshman competing for a young USC squad at the tournament, struggled with his game and shot 74-81-75-72 to finish in 59th place at 18-over-par.USC will tee it up next in one of six NCAA Regional Championships to be held May 20 to 22.If they finish among the top five teams in their region, the Trojans will play for the national championship June 1 to 6 in Chattanooga, Tenn.“We just need to be more consistent,” Trainer said. “We have the game to be the best team in the country.”Last season, USC lost to Michigan in the quarterfinals of match play at the NCAA championship.“We probably haven’t been good enough to win a bunch of times,” Zambri said about his team this season. “But we have two of the biggest and best events left, and we’re getting better all the time, so we’ve got a chance to win a national title still.”
I was drunk and lonely at my own going away party, four days away from calling Syracuse home for the next four years. I’d been nervously looking forward to what was in my future. A new home with new friends. New classes and a new life. This was a night to celebrate the excitement of looking forward. But I was looking back.The late hours of Aug. 17, 2012 were creeping into the early ones of the following day. Everything before has run together, and the days after are a blur. The day I first came out. The day I first said “I’m gay” out loud, instead of letting it repeat in my head, over and over and over. I just wanted to tell someone before I left for college. It was a goal that consumed me. It was a goal that I was constantly aware I was failing at.My right shoulder rested on the living room armchair, my left hand carrying the drink that I was slowly sipping on. I blocked out the 50 drunk high schoolers around me dancing to music blasting out of the small speakers on my counter top. People would come up and talk to me, asking if I was OK. Each time I wanted to just come clean and be honest, break down into an emotional mess and say everything that was isolated to my own tormented head.I had gone every day of my life that I could remember wanting to say it. Different loops of when, where, how and who ran through my mind in what felt like every waking moment.The party made worse everything that was already making me sad. It’s hard to pinpoint why I was too scared to say it. I can’t really explain why I pulled my best friend aside later that night and finally did say it. All I know is that expressing it out loud in the long and echoing hallway of my apartment building felt liberating in the moment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEverything would be easy after that, I had convinced myself. But the short-term relief hasn’t provided me the same long-term liberation that I had hoped and expected. Not even close. Today, as I write this, I feel the same as I did four years before.I’ve spent the four years since as a writer, editor and general addict of The Daily Orange. Each and every single one of my 624 bylines has told someone else’s story. The past three months alone have included stops to St. Louis, Chicago, North Carolina, Queens, Houston and even a Donald Trump rally. I started by covering women’s tennis as a freshman, and finished by covering the Final Four to end my senior year.This is the last time my name will appear, and this is the last chance I have to tell the story that defines me. It’s a story that I thought, by now, would be easy to tell.In the days after my first coming out story, I felt like a pro at telling people.The next afternoon I told two of my friends on two different walks. One on Broadway near my home, the other in Central Park. I told another on Facebook chat and one over text. I told my freshman year roommate over the partial wall of our split double. (I was the first gay person he’d ever met!) I let down a girl who liked me at a party. I told people that were my friends and people that weren’t. I was riding a high, but it didn’t feel natural. I still had an uneasy lump in my gut before the words ever came out. It felt relieving, but it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like I was telling people about the person I wanted to be, just the person that I was.It wasn’t because I got negative reactions. In fact, I only got support. Sure, some people were surprised. Others said awkward things or asked awkward questions. One person apologized for not knowing, another proclaimed they always knew. Everyone accepted me. Except me.It’s supposed to be easy now. It’s no longer weird and people don’t judge you. The Supreme Court said gay people could get married, everyone changed their profile picture on Facebook for a day and it became normal, maybe even mainstream. I wish I was one of those people who could blindly bandwagon with the rest. But seeing the celebration of others only adds to the torture because it reminds me of a feeling I don’t think I can have. I’m a part of a community that I don’t feel like I fit into.There are so many success stories about people being themselves. It gets better, I’ve heard. It might not be a secret anymore, but it’s still a struggle. It was before I wrote this and will be after.Having this platform to write shows what I’ve accomplished. I came to The Daily Orange to write about sports. I lived a dream come true. But it’s also served as a way to perpetuate what I didn’t accomplish, and may never will.I still look back to Aug. 17, 2012, and to the hours that crept into the morning after. I remember how I felt, because it’s how I still feel. In that moment, I wanted the courage to tell people the truth. In this moment, I’m still trying to live that truth.Sam Blum is a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @SamBlum3.-30- Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 1, 2016 at 9:54 pm