Driven by declines in both satisfaction and brand image, customer commitment to retail banks has decreased in 2009, according to the JD Power and Associates 2009 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study(SM) released today. This marks a steady decline in customer commitment since 2007. Now in its fourth year, the study finds that only 35 percent of customers say they are highly committed to their retail bank in 2009, compared with 37 percent in 2008 and 41 percent in 2007. On average, highly committed customers use more products, give more referrals and are much less likely to switch to another bank, compared with customers who have lower commitment levels.”Customers reporting the lowest levels of commitment in 2009 happen to be those with deposit balances that are 15 percent higher than average,” said Michael Beird, director of the banking practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “With this in mind, it is crucial that banks take steps to address this steady decline in customer commitment, as moving just 5 percent of customers from low and moderate levels of commitment to high commitment can mean additional deposit growth of more than 2 percentage points higher than average. This is critical in an environment where 4 to 5 percent is the norm.”The study finds an increase in problems experienced by customers in 2009, as 15 percent of customers reported a problem in the past 12 months — up from 12 percent in 2007. Among customers experiencing a problem, the most frequently reported issue deals with fees, with 46 percent of customers reporting a problem in 2009. This also marks an increase from 44 percent of customers reporting issues with fees in 2008.As such, customers report lower satisfaction levels in the area of fees in 2009 — dropping 19 points compared with 2008. Fees are also the greatest driver in customer attrition, with one in three customers who switched banks during the past 12 months doing so because of higher fees. In particular, overdraft fees increased more than other types of fees, rising on average from $30 in 2008 to $35 in 2009.”Despite the increase in problem incidence, banks are making strides in resolving problems that do occur, as customer satisfaction with problem resolution has improved — up 30 points from 2008 to 527 in 2009,” said Beird. “In particular, banks are taking steps to resolve more issues at the initial point of customer contact and have reduced the number of times the customer must contact the bank for answers. Additionally, customers report higher satisfaction with the number of conveniently located branches and online transactions.”The study also finds that customer perceptions of bank brand image have declined for a third consecutive year. Low customer ratings in the areas of overall reputation, customer focus and personal service primarily drive the decrease in brand image among banks.”These findings not only reflect recent negative media coverage about the banking industry, but also the reality of staff cuts, higher service charges and the effects of bank mergers on customer perceptions and experiences,” said Beird. “The challenge that banks face is most clearly underscored by findings from the recently released 2009 Purchase Funnel Special Report, which shows that 30 percent of customers cite questionable ethics, financial instability or poor reputation as key reasons for specifically avoiding a particular institution when shopping for a new bank.”The 2009 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study also finds that despite the challenging financial market, some banks have achieved high commitment levels from more than 50 percent of their customers, which is well above the industry average of 35 percent. In addition, these banks exceed the industry average for key satisfaction measures, including convenience, fees and transactions. Customers of these banks also rate them highly regarding brand image, particularly for customer focus, personal service and financial stability.”Banks with high brand image scores typically engage in practices that focus on strong communication with customers, such as welcoming them to the branch office or following up on problems,” said Beird. “By focusing on aspects most critical to the banking experience, banks can win the favor of their customers, which can lead to considerable financial rewards.”The study analyzes customer satisfaction with the retail banking experience based on six factors: transactions; account statements; account initiation/product offerings; convenience; fees; and problem resolution. Study results by region are:Mid-Atlantic Region: TD Bank ranks highest in the region with a score of 774, performing particularly well in convenience. Community Bank (766) and Susquehanna Bank (761) follow in the regional rankings.Midwest Region: With scores of 754, Commerce Bancshares, Inc., and Harris National rank highest in a tie in the region. Chase follows with a score of 748.Mountain Region: Wells Fargo ranks highest in the region with a score of 727, performing well in account initiation/product offerings, account statements, convenience, fees and transactions.New England Region: People’s United Bank ranks highest with a score of 751, performing particularly well in convenience, account initiation/product offerings, account statements and transactions. TD Bank (746) and Wachovia (726) follow in the rankings.Southeast Region: With a score of 815, Arvest Bank ranks highest in the region and performs well in convenience and account initiation/product offerings. First Tennessee Bank (788) and First-Citizens (Bancshares) (771) follow in the regional rankings.Southwest Region: Wachovia ranks highest in the region with a score of 792, performing well in account initiation/product offerings, fees, account statements and transactions. Zions First National Bank follows with a score of 760, and Capital One ranks third with 756.West Region: Bank of the West ranks highest with a score of 749 and performs well in account statements and transactions. Wells Fargo (743) and WaMu (730) follow in the regional rankings.The 2009 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 28,570 households regarding their experiences with their primary banking provider. The study was fielded in January 2009.Customer Satisfaction Index RankingsMid-Atlantic Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- TD Bank 774 5 Community Bank 766 5 Susquehanna Bank 761 4 Citizens Bank 755 4 Northwest Savings Bank 755 4 Chevy Chase Bank 747 4 PNC Bank 744 4 SunTrust Bank 743 4 WaMu 740 4 First Niagara Bank 739 4 National City Bank 738 4 HSBC Bank 731 3 Mid-Atlantic Region Average 728 3 First NB of Pennsylvania 726 3 Sovereign Bank 726 3 Wachovia 725 3 Bank of America 723 3 Chase 723 3 M&T Bank 720 3 First Commonwealth Bank 706 2 Citibank 699 2 KeyBank 698 2 Capital One 689 2 Astoria FS&LA 686 2 Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: BB&T, Fulton Bank, Harleysville National B&T, Hudson City Savings Bank, Huntington National Bank, National Penn Bank, NBT Bank, New York Community Bank, Provident Bank of Maryland, S&T Bank, and Valley National Bank.Included in the Mid-Atlantic region are: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Deleware and Washington D.C.Midwest Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- Commerce Bancshares 754 5 Harris National 754 5 Chase 748 4 M&I Bank 746 4 Fifth Third Bank 745 4 Citizens Bank (MI) 743 4 FirstMerit Bank 743 4 Old National Bank 742 4 Comerica Bank 734 3 KeyBank 733 3 Midwest Region Average 733 3 Huntington National Bank 732 3 National City Bank 728 3 Wells Fargo 728 3 Associated Bank 726 3 Bank of America 723 3 Regions Bank 717 2 Charter One Bank 715 2 U.S. Bank 710 2 First Midwest Bank 707 2 TCF National Bank 706 2 Citibank 698 2Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: 1st Source Bank, AMCORE Bank, AnchorBank, Bank Midwest, Bank Mutual, Bremer Bank, Chemical Bank, First Bank (MO), Flagstar Bank, Independent Bank, PNC Bank and UMB Bank.Included in the Midwest region are: Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa.Mountain Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- Wells Fargo 727 5 Mountain Region Average 722 3 U.S. Bank 711 2 Bank of the West 699 2 Chase 695 2 Bank of America 689 2Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Commerce Bancshares, First Interstate Bank and KeyBank.Included in the Mountain region are: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.New England Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- People’s United Bank 751 5 TD Bank 746 5 Wachovia 726 3 Citizens Bank 724 3 New England Region Average 721 3 Sovereign Bank 718 3 Webster Bank 711 3 Bank of America 707 2 Citibank 694 2Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Eastern Bank, KeyBank, NewAlliance Bank and Rockland Trust Co.Included in the New England region are: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.Southeast Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- Arvest Bank 815 5 First Tennessee Bank 788 4 First-Citizens (Bancshares) 771 4 BancorpSouth Bank 767 4 BankAtlantic 761 4 BB&T 756 3 WaMu 755 3 Colonial Bank 753 3 Wachovia 752 3 Regions Bank 746 3 SunTrust Bank 746 3 Southeast Region Average 746 3 PNC Bank 738 3 Fifth Third Bank 735 3 Bank of America 734 3 Capital One 732 3 National City Bank 729 3 RBC Bank 727 3 Chase 726 3 U.S. Bank 725 3 Citibank 714 2 BBVA Compass Bank 712 2 Chevy Chase Bank 680 2Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Capital City Bank, Carolina First Bank, Carter Bank and Trust, Community Trust Bank, First Citizens Bank & Trust (Bancorp), Hancock Bank, Riverside NB ofFlorida, Trustmark National Bank, United Bank, United Community Bank and Whitney National Bank.Included in the Southeast region are: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee,Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia.Southwest Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- Wachovia 792 5 Zions First National Bank 760 4 Capital One 756 4 Chase 745 3 Southwest Region Average 742 3 Woodforest National Bank 741 3 Bank of America 736 3 Wells Fargo 735 3 Citibank 734 3 WaMu 727 3 U.S. Bank 713 2 BBVA Compass Bank 703 2 Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Amegy Bank, Arvest Bank, Bank of Oklahoma, Bank of Texas, Bank of the West, Comerica Bank, First National Bank, Frost National Bank, Guaranty Bank (TX), International Bank of Commerce, MidFirst Bank, Nevada State Bank, Prosperity Bank and Regions Bank.Included in the Southwest region are: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.West Region(Based on a 1,000-point scale) Bank Index J.D. Power.com Score Power Circle Ratings For Consumers —- —— ————- Bank of the West 749 5 Wells Fargo 743 4 WaMu 730 3 West Region Average 729 3 Wachovia 728 3 U.S. Bank 724 3 Union Bank of California 723 3 KeyBank 718 2 Citibank 712 2 Bank of America 706 2Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Downey Savings, Sterling Savings Bank and Umpqua Bank.Included in the West region are: California, Oregon and Washington.About J.D. Power and AssociatesHeadquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.About The McGraw-Hill CompaniesFounded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com(link is external). Media Relations Contacts: Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Agoura Hills, Calif.; (310) 589-7749; firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 312-4119; email@example.comNo(link sends e-mail) advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate(link is external)Source: JD Power. PRnewswire. May 19, 2009
Wyoming moves forward with self-bonding limits FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Casper Star Tribune:Wyoming’s largest coal mines would effectively be banned from self-bonding if the proposed rules that passed an advisory board Wednesday make it through one more round of public input and onto the governor’s desk.At a sparsely attended meeting in Casper, citizen members of the Land Quality Advisory Board voted 4-1 to require strong credit ratings for companies that want to self-bond. The credit rating would determine whether a company is financially healthy enough to guarantee millions of dollars in cleanup costs without securing a form of insurance. Wyoming has the largest open surface coal mines in the country and the money required to return those mine sites to open prairie or ranchland someday is significant — both as a potential risk to the state and as a cost carried by companies in a difficult coal market.The state is also proposing that mines have at least five years of production remaining in order to qualify for self-bonds, and that even companies that qualify for self-bonds hold a percentage of their reclamation obligation in more secure channels so the state has faster access to cash if a company dissolves.Under the new rules, the massive mines in Wyoming that produce about half the country’s thermal coal are less likely to become a state liability if companies bust, regulators say. Kyle Wendtland, administrator of the state’s Land Quality Division, said the credit rating would give Wyoming foresight into the projected financial health of mining firms. Credit ratings also consider the market and using them would hopefully mitigate the financial and environmental risk to the state posed by a firm heading for insolvency.“You have to consider the physical size of the mines in Wyoming. Nowhere else in the country are they talking about $250, $350 million liability,” he said. ‘Wyoming is not a bank. We’re not in the business of bankrolling reclamation … If you cannot make that minimum, self-bonding just isn’t the right choice.”The Land Quality Advisory Board’s Wednesday decision kicks the proposed rule changes to the Environmental Quality Council – a board of seven that is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Wyoming Senate. If that board approves of the changes, the new rules will be sent to the governor for final approval.More: Despite coal pushback, rules limiting self-bonding advance in Wyoming
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Open plan living.A keen golfer, he installed a putting green and a driving net in the backyard to give him the perfect place to hone his skills. 82 Domrow Road floorplan.With his kids grown up he and his wife planned to sell up and move to a smaller home in Brisbane.He said the home would be perfect for people that wanted acreage that was still easy to manage. Acreage living.The interiors of the home were updated, with the 1960s style lime green tiles taken out of the bathroom in favour of more neutral tones. Out the back the swimming pool area has been expanded upon to give his two children a perfect outdoor play area with a small water slide and shade sales. This Brisbane backyard has its own driving net and putting green.WHEN John Letch moved to Queensland from the outskirts of Melbourne in the ’90s he wanted to buy a standard of living that would have been impossible in is hometown.“We realised we could get acreage within 20 minutes of the city,” Mr Letch said. “(In Melbourne) we were 50km out of the city, and the closest acreage probably would have been about 100km out of Melbourne.” Perfect for summer.“It is safe for families, because it has a no-through road. It is quite unique,” he said.“It would suit someone that doesn’t want big acreage.”The home at 82 Domrow Road, Camp Mountain is on the market now. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoInside 82 Domrow Road.“(The backyard) had mature trees but there was no real landscaping,” he said.“We put in lovely gardens.”A later addition to the home was something just for him.
Harvey will install four systems on its remaining LNG PSVs without battery systems, Harvey America, Harvey Liberty, Harvey Power and Harvey Freedom, converting them to Tri-Fuel vessels. Courtesy of Harvey Gulf The company has committed to install 10 additional battery systems on its vessels. Guidry further noted there are further transformation plans in the pipeline, all with a view to helping the company’s customers achieve net carbon zero. Guidry further noted that this fleet of vessels will be crucial in assisting Harvey’s clients’ efforts to achieve net carbon zero. Harvey Gulf International Marine, the New Orleans-based LNG-powered PSV owner, and LNG bunkering pioneer, has continued the transformation of its fleet. Two systems will be installed on Harvey’s MPSV Harvey Subsea, making it the only MPSV in the Americas that is dual fuel and with electric battery power. CEO of Harvey Gulf and QLNG, Shane Guidry, stated, “Now that we have successfully completed sea-trials of the Harvey Energy, America’s first Tri-Fueled vessel utilizing three fuel sources, diesel, LNG, and electric battery power, and with battery power being installed on the Harvey Champion, making her dual-fueled, my team and I have made the decision to purchase 10 additional battery systems to be installed on our largest PSVs and one of our newest MPSVs.” The remaining four batteries will be installed on three of Harvey’s 300 and 310’ PSVs, Harvey Supporter, Harvey Hawk and Harvey Condor, with two systems being installed on one of those vessels. Harvey operates platform supply vessels powered by both LNG and battery systems, a hybrid anchor handling tug for ship tendering service, America’s only LNG marine fueling dock, and will soon take delivery of America’s first dynamic position class liquefied natural gas (LNG) articulated tug and barge bunkering vessel.
The French defender has played a key part in helping Leipzig to the top of the Bundesliga and has been linked to some of Europe’s top clubs. Arsenal failed again to keep a clean sheet after John Fleck equalised for Sheffield United in a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Boateng is seen as a solid temporary fix before they build a side for the future in the summer transfer window. Arteta is keen to partner Upamecano with William Saliba, who is currently on loan at Saint Etienne. Arsenal have only managed one win in five Premier League matches under Arteta and the 37-year-old knows he has a big job on his hands, starting with the defence. Read Also:Abraham orders Chelsea to revenge on rivals Arsenal after Newcastle defeat They face another test tomorrow night as they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.The Gunners are now closer to the bottom three than the top four. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better10 Actors And Actresses Whose Careers Were Boosted By Soap Operas7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black Holes11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread ArtWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?10 Largest Cities In The WorldPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksTop 10 Most Populated Cities In The World Mikel Arteta knows he needs to strengthen his defence, which has kept just four clean sheets in the league this season. Boateng, 31, is reportedly keen to move on after starting just nine league games this season. The central defender did start in Bayern’s 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Sunday. Arteta knows the defence needs improving, with a goal difference of minus two. The Spaniard is also planning on bringing RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano in on a permanent deal.Advertisement Arsenal are looking to bolster their defence with the loan signing of Jerome Boateng from Bayern Munich, according to reports. Loading…
The four-year-old colt collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack after passing the line in a dramatic, and deeply sombre, renewal of the Group Two race over a mile and a half. Murtagh said: “He ran his heart out and was pulled up at the line. He lost his balance and I don’t know what happened to him. It’s heartbreaking for everyone involved – it should have been a great win. It’s just devastating the way it’s finished.” The 9-4 favourite, Ektihaam, slipped up on the bend when making the running and gave Paul Hanagan a nasty fall, though the horse was reportedly unscathed. The rider was stood down for the rest of the day and went to hospital for X-rays on his shoulder. Murtagh kicked for home well over a furlong out and though Frankie Dettori, still searching a first win of the week, got a great tune out of Dandino, he could not sustain his challenge and went down by a length to the 8-1 scorer. Universal was another two and a half lengths back in third. The sense of sadness was felt even more sharply by the fact Sir Henry Cecil, Thomas Chippendale’s former trainer and wife of Lady Cecil, died last week. Lady Cecil said: “I have to say that leading up to the race he was in such good form. He was enjoying himself. He loved and enjoyed it all – it’s heartbreaking. We had never been happier with him beforehand. We’re just devastated. We were thrilled when he won and now we feel so bad. “The horse and jockey seemed fine so I wondered what had happened. It was quick, so the horse wouldn’t have felt anything. We’ve gone from one emotion to the other, from a real high to a real low. I feel so sorry for poor Sir Robert (Ogden, owner). He’d been looking forward so much to this day and I just don’t know what to say.” Dandino’s trainer Marco Botti said: “It was a very messy race and he got hampered when the other horse fell, and by the loose horse. He finished the race very well and we will continue preparing him for the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.” Mark Johnston, trainer of Universal, said: “It was unsatisfactory. The jockeys didn’t know whether to go with the loose horse or not. It hasn’t suited us, but he stayed on well. He’s in the King George and that would be tempting, while races like the Canadian International, Japan Cup and the Irish Leger will also be considered.” Joy instantly turned to despair at Royal Ascot when Thomas Chippendale lost his life after winning the Hardwicke Stakes for trainer Lady Cecil and jockey Johnny Murtagh. Press Association
Comments Published on June 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm NEW YORK — Minutes after it happened — after Wes Johnson strolled to the podium to greet NBA commissioner David Stern with his trademark smile, after he gave television interviews, and after he strolled out of Madison Square Garden’s theater past a horde of cheering fans chanting his name — Wes Johnson got a call from a familiar face.It was Jonny Flynn.‘I was on the phone with him before,’ Johnson said. ‘He was yelling out, ‘Teammates!’ He’s excited, too.’Johnson was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fourth overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, a pick that will reunite him with Flynn, who was selected sixth overall last year by Minnesota. Johnson sat out the 2008-09 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but was allowed to practice at Syracuse with Flynn that season.In Flynn, Johnson sees a point guard and friend that can ease his immediate transition into the NBA.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘We worked together really well,’ Johnson said of the pair’s time together practicing on the Carrier Dome court. ‘Just how he plays, how he passes and how he sees the court, his knowledge of the game. We went hand in hand with each other when he was there. I think we worked really well together… He’s my friend, besides a great player.’Dressed in perhaps the most eye-opening outfit of the night — a dark blue blazer with stunning plaid pants — Johnson hugged his mother after hearing his name called. He took it all in, flashing a smile while shaking hands with Stern. As he gave television interviews, he pointed to Orange-clad fans in the arena’s theater who were chanting, ‘Wes-ley John-son!’He took a moment to remember where his ascent to a Top 5 pick started, right here in Madison Square Garden in a 2K Sports Classic tournament in November in which he averaged 21 points and 9.5 rebounds in upset-wins over California and North Carolina.‘When I got an opportunity to play and come back to the Garden,’ Johnson said, ‘especially after missing last year, I wanted to make the most of it.’Johnson was talking, of course, about sitting on the bench during SU’s epic six-overtime contest against Connecticut in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Big East tournament. Ironically, it was that game at the Garden in which Flynn began his rise to a Top 10 selection.Now, the duo was reunited in the NBA in the same arena. No one was happier than Johnson.‘I thought about that last year,’ Johnson said. ‘When he was at Syracuse, we talked about it a lot. Now that (it’s a) reality, I think it will be good, us finally getting to play with each other.’Flynn shared in the excitement. Though he wasn’t immediately available for comment to address the Timberwolves’ pick, Flynn took to his Twitter account to express his approval.‘You know I’m happy!’ he wrote. ‘That’s my bro!’Though Johnson and Flynn got plenty of reps in practice during their one season together with the Orange, few have actually seen them in action.Enter SU assistant coach Rob Murphy, who helped mold both Johnson and Flynn into Top 10 picks in their two seasons at Syracuse. Murphy put the duo in elite company when assessing what they could bring to an NBA team.‘Anytime you pair a great point guard and a great finisher, those two always work well together,’ Murphy said. ‘Like Magic Johnson with James Worthy, or Steve Nash with Shawn Marion.‘Anytime you can get out on the break and a point guard feels comfortable with somebody he knows is going to finish, that’s instant chemistry. Jonny always got a kick out of throwing Wes an alley-oop in practice.’Johnson and Flynn will get one of their first chances to showcase that chemistry in the Carrier Dome on Oct. 15, when the Timberwolves will travel to Syracuse to play the Detroit Pistons in an exhibition game.The prospect of seeing Flynn and Johnson play together was good enough for Chris Stefanec, a senior accounting major at Syracuse University, to come to MSG Thursday night.‘That’s why I came here,’ Stefanec said. ‘I thought he might not go (to Minnesota). I didn’t know if he was going to go so high. But I think it’s really exciting.’In between his smiles and his heart running ‘one thousand miles per hour,’ Johnson had time to consider the situation as well.From that season of practice, Johnson knows the possibilities. When asked if he and Flynn could be a special tandem, all he could do was flash his smile.Said Johnson: ‘It’s going to be a lot, a lot of highlights.’firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor Andrew L. John contributed reporting to this article. Facebook Twitter Google+
With signing day quickly approaching, football recruits will visit USC this weekend to meet with the Trojans’ coaches and staff and tour the football and campus facilities.The Feb. 3 signing date is especially important for recruits who have not offered a commitment to any school and are visiting USC in the upcoming days.Four-star recruit safety Demar Dorsey, who is nationally ranked among the top 15 at his position, will visit campus Friday. If he joins USC, Dorsey could be among the Trojan hopefuls looking to replace departing senior safety Taylor Mays.The safety looked to be headed to Gainsville, Fla. to join the Florida Gators at the beginning of the recruiting season, but after he refused to cancel his trip to USC, his offer from the Gators was withdrawn.Dietrich Riley, another four-star recruit at safety, will also be on campus this weekend. Riley was recruited by one of the newest Trojan coaches, Willie Mack Garza.Joining Dorsey and Riley this weekend will be Eureka, Calif.-native fullback, and sometimes linebacker Soma Vainuku.Vainuku had planned to visit Oregon State this weekend, but his interest in visiting the USC campus changed his plans.“I’m down to two schools: ASU and USC,” Vainuku told ESPN. “This is honestly one of the toughest decisions I have ever made.”Former USC offensive line coach Pat Ruel recruited the 251-pound Vainuku but Ruel was let go from the Trojan staff last week, so Vainuku’s recruitment remains up in the air.Seeing how Anthony McCoy is at the Senior Bowl this week, the Trojans will be in the market for a new tight end this recruiting season, and four-star recruit tight end Christian Thomas is also among the visitors coming to campus this weekend.Thomas was recruited by tight ends coach Brennan Carroll, former coach Pete Carroll’s son. Brennan Carroll was among those new coach Lane Kiffin retained after the coaching switch, a continuity that will likely help the Trojans in Thomas’ recruitment.The second-ranked commit from the state of Maryland, four-star offensive tackle Arie Kouandjio, will also join the slew of recruits this weekend as the Trojans look to replace a large contingent of departing seniors from the offensive line.Kiffin reportedly visited Kouandijo in Maryland on Tuesday, although the 325-pound lineman has made no school a favorite in his recruiting.Offensive lineman Chaz Green will also make his official visit this weekend.The Trojans will also welcome other recruits who have verbally committed to other schools in one final attempt to convince them to join the Trojans.Five-star recruit athlete Latwan Anderson, four-star cornerback Nickell Robey and three-star linebacker Jordan Zumwalt will all be on campus before they make their final decisions Wednesday.
After failing to qualify for the second successive Africa Cup of Nations, and included in a “group of death” for the preliminaries of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Amaju Pinnick led Nigeria Football Federation is targeting French -man, Paul Le Guen, to lead Super Eagles to the promised land. In this report, Kunle Adewale asks if Le Guen can part the qualification red sea for NigeriaIn spite of Sunday Oliseh’s unceremonious exit as Super Eagles coach and Amaju Pinnick’s insistence of his passion for a local coach for the senior national team, it came as a little surprise that the egg heads of the Nigeria Football Federation now favour Frenchman Paul Le Guen to lead Super Eagles in its quest for a ticket to 2018 World Cup in Russia. “At the moment, everything remains temporal. We are weighing a lot of options and within the next few weeks, we are going to come out with a statement. But inasmuch as we are weighing a lot of options; we are not leaving the door closed. We are still working at the coaches that are in charge presently.“We are looking at their adequacies and inadequacies. We are looking at the appraisal and if at the end of the day, we realise that they cannot live up to the federation’s expectation, we would look beyond them. At the moment, my dream is to have a Nigerian coach anytime, but it goes beyond technical competence on the field. What about managerial prowess? There are lot things that come to play when it comes to coaching,” Pinnick had told THISDAY before going for Le Guen.The Glass House boss said while he was in Ghana as a match commissioner, he engaged some Ghanaian players and was told Avram Grant spent 18 hours with his18 players – meaning he spent an hour per player. “And what do they do, it’s just all about psychology. Do our coaches have the energy to do that?” he queried.Speaking further, he said: “We do not want to make any mistake this time around. Even if we are in a group that has Algeria and Egypt, we would still qualify. We don’t care who is in our group. Other countries should be scared of Nigeria now because of the quality of the new team we are presenting.“One thing I can assure Nigerians is that whatever decision we arrived at eventually, would be in the best interest of the country without any bias. But my dream is to have a Nigerian coach, but if ultimately we settled for a foreign coach, it will not be for more than two years. “Nigeria has the youngest and the most enterprising team in the world today. Look at the Italian team playing in Euro 2016, they don’t have any big name but look at what they did against Belgium that boast of well-known players. Today’s world is youth football; players between the ages of 18 and 21.”Pinnick, however, agreed that the World Cup qualifying draws that pitted Nigeria against Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia would be tough to scale through“It is a tough draw, but then I have always said that you have to beat the best to get to the World Cup. Now, we have the draw, we know how to prepare. The preparation has to start right now and we must make good use of every single day leading to the kickoff of the series. The other pools are tough as well, because for me, you can never afford to underrate any team these days. Now, we must quickly sort out the issue of Head Coach and his assistants and put every other thing in place in good time,” Pinnick said.The leadership of the NFF may settle for the Frenchman as the manager to lead the Super Eagles campaign to qualify for the next FIFA World Cup in Russia.The NFF leadership was said to have weighed all the options available from the coaches that applied for the job and may settle for the former Olympique Lyon and Cameroon coach.A top level source at the Glass House in Abuja hinted that Le Guen appears to have first-hand knowledge of almost all top Nigerian professional players in Europe and is ready to roll with them as soon as possible.“He knows our players very well and how to use them. In our meeting with him earlier, Paul (Le Guen) demonstrated to us his capacity to turn around our football. We are also looking at reaping from his knowledge of both Cameroun where he coached the Indomitable Lions and Algeria who are desperate to have him,” the NFF source said.Meanwhile, former national team coach and captain, Christian Chukwu believes that Nigeria stand a chance against Cameroon and Algeria to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but said early preparations and immediate appointment of a substantive handler will ensure the country avoid a tortuous route to Russia 2018.“Why not? We stand a very big chance to qualify likewise others but all depends on our level of preparations. If we prepare very well, we have a very young team that can qualify us from the group. Though they are not pushovers, but the truth is that the way we are talking about them is also the same way they would be having sleepless nights because of us. “They are very afraid of us and another thing that gives us an advantage is that they would be playing at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations while we will not, which gives us plenty time to get ready and be focused,” he said.Le Guen had a successful managerial career in France, most notably leading Olympique Lyonnaiis to three consecutive Ligue 1 titles and has also managed Stade Rennais, Paris Saint-Germain, Glasgow Rangers and the Cameroonian national teamDuring his time at Rennes between 1998 and 2001, Le Guen was noted for signing then unknown players, such as Shabani Nonda and EL Hadji Diouf, who under his guidance, developed into talented footballers. He resigned from Rennes in 2001 after a fall-out with the club’s board. This led to his taking a year off from football.Le Guen replaced Jacques Santini as manager of Olympique Lyonnais in 2002 after they captured their first league title. He experienced a grim start to his managerial career at Lyon, winning only three games of the first nine, but eventually took Lyon to a further three consecutive championships and reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. He resigned in 2005, the day after the club won their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 championship.After leaving the club, Le Guen embarked upon another year away from football management. During this time, he turned down management positions at several top European clubs including Benfica and Lazio.In March 2006, Le Guen agreed to replace Alex McLeish as manager of Rangers on a three-year contract with the option to extend his stay at Ibrox, He however made a poor start to his Ibrox career. His record across his first 10 league games was the worst start to a season by an Old Firm debutant since John Greig. He left Rangers by mutual consent in 2007Le Guen was named Cameroon’s national football team manager in July 2009, signing a five-month contract and made an immediate impact by leading the team to qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However Cameroon were the first team officially knocked out of the 2010 World Cup. He announced his resignation on 24 June 2010.In 2011, he e accepted an offer from Oman national football team and led Oman to qualification for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Oman were eliminated in the group stage of the tournament with one win and two losses. He was sacked on November 2015 after a poor start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram