Liberty University President defends keeping the school open amid the coronavirus pandemic – – KUSI

LYNCHBURG, VA (KUSI) Despite concerns of a possible coronavirus outbreak on campus, Liberty University has remained open and has become a role model to follow for other campuses all over the country.

The President of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., discussed his decision to keep the campus open amid the coronavirus pandemic with KUSIs Paul Rudy on Good Morning San Diego.

There was recently an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, by William McGurn, that explained why Falwell Jr. was right all along. McGurn started the piece writing, How it must hurt to have to admit: Jerry Falwell Jr. was right.

And continued, no doubt this explains why were not reading stories about how the president of Liberty University kept his Lynchburg, Va., campus open while keeping his community safe from Covid-19. The doomsday predicted when Mr. Falwell announced Liberty students would return after spring break never came to pass.

The full WSJ opinion piece can be read here.

Liberty Universitys football stadium is empty as students were welcomed back to the universitys campus, Tuesday March 24 , 2020, in Lynchburg, Va. Officials in Lynchburg, said Tuesday they were fielding complaints and concerns about the hundreds of students that have returned from their spring break to Liberty University, where President Jerry Falwell Jr. has welcomed them back amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Liberty University President defends keeping the school open amid the coronavirus pandemic - - KUSI

Liberty Media’s John Malone still believes in the future of live events despite coronavirus – CNBC

John Malone, Liberty Media

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The pandemic has pushed events online by necessity. But Liberty Media Chairman John Malone is still bullish about the future of live events.

"I think the thesis of live events is still a good one," Malone said during Liberty Media's annual meeting of stockholders Thursday. "Human beings are gregarious by nature. And I can tell you here in Florida, the bars are open and they're pretty packed. So we'll see."

Malone is an icon in the media and cable industries, who built cable empire TCI in the 1970s before selling it to AT&T in 1999 for roughly $50 billion. Liberty Media Corporation operates and owns interests across the media, communications and entertainment businesses, including stakes in the Atlanta Braves baseball team and concert producer Live Nation.

Malone said he believes there will be a therapy and or a vaccine for Covid-19 "sooner rather than later that will get us back closer to normal."

"There's undoubtedly going to be a hangover in terms of valuations and like everything else if this depression in valuation is excessive, it presents opportunity for those of us who believe in the longer-term thesis that this is a good place to be, live events," he said. "Particularly where you have a substantial part of the revenue that has little to do with the gate attendance and a lot to do with television and digital distribution."

Greg Maffei, who serves as Liberty Media's president and CEO as well as the chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, Sirius XM and TripAdvisor, said the company has seen evidence that there's still demand for live events. He said "well under" 10% of concert customers have asked of refunds on postponed concerts, and mentioned there are some Atlanta Braves ticketholders that have deferred tickets instead of asking for refunds.

"There is demand for live events," he said. "The question will be what can we do in the world of vaccines and therapeutics and social distancing to make sure those work for everybody involved, safely."

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Liberty Media's John Malone still believes in the future of live events despite coronavirus - CNBC

Liberty’s Top 5 DBs of all-time – A Sea of Red

With the conclusion of the 2019 football season, the Liberty football team saw the end of careers of some of the best players to ever wear the Liberty jersey.

That got us thinking, who are the best at each position to ever play at Liberty? We started with the quarterbacks, and have also discussed the running backs and the wide receivers. Today, we move to the defensive backs.

Heres our ranking, be sure to let us know where we messed up and who we left off:

Arguably the best returner in school history, Kevin Fogg also made his mark as one of the programs top cornerbacks as his career developed. By his senior season, Fogg and Aikens combined to make one of the best CB tandems in the country.

First breaking onto the scene as an explosive returner, Fogg received numerous national awards for his explosive ability his first couple of seasons at Liberty. By the end of his career, he became entrenched as a starter at corner opposite of Aikens.

After a short stay in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fogg has gone on to a standout career as one of the top defensive backs and returners in the CFL.

Drafted in the 4th round of the NFL Draft in 2014, Aikens starred at Liberty after transferring from Illinois. He led the team with 62 tackles his senior season. A three-year starter, Aikens was named a Big South all-conference performer each season.

He even tried his hand at basketball for a season as he was a two-sport athlete briefly for the Flames. In addition to his 62 tackles as a senior, Aikens added 3 interceptions and 7 pass deflections. He finished his career with 7 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles.

Aikens NFL stock began to rise at the Senior Bowl and then at his pro day he had over 20 scouts show up as he went from being considered a fringe draft pick consideration in the late rounds to being projected as high as a 2nd round pick before the Miami Dolphins eventually selected him No. 125 overall.

The final two years of Sheltons career, he combined to have 100 tackles and finished his career with 11 interceptions and 26 breakups. In addition to being a standout at corner, he was also very dynamic as a returner. He still holds program records for career punt return yardage, punt returns for a touchdown and punt return average.

His 20 pass breakups in 1988 are tied for the 2nd most in a single season in school history and he has the third most career pass breakups. Following his senior season, he was named first-team all-state and was inducted into the Liberty Hall of Fame in 2017.

After competing at the NFL Combine, Shelton became the third player in program history to be selected in the NFL Draft when he was taken by the Denver Broncos in the 10th round in 1989. He had a five-year playing career with the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers. Following his playing career, he has been a long-time NFL scout for the Tennessee Titans.

The beginning of Hagens career was overshadowed by the electric play of Kevin Fogg and Walt Aikens, but once they were out of the program and Hagen had matured, everyone began to notice how good of a player he actually was.

His senior campaign, in 2014, is arguably the most impressive single season any defensive back has ever had in a Liberty uniform. As a safety, he led the team with 108 tackles and 8 interceptions that year as he was named a first-team all-american and the defensive player of the year in Virginia.

As a junior, Hagen began to make a name for himself, as he was named third-team all-american and first-team all-state. He would go on to a brief NFL career as he was on the preseason rosters for the Rams and Steelers from 2015-2017.

Haddix came out of nowhere in the early 80s to become one of the best defensive players in school history. In addition to his ability as a cornerback, Haddix was also a standout returner. He led the Flames in punt returns in three of his four seasons in Lynchburg and still holds the programs single game punt return record.

Haddix was the first Liberty player to receive an invitation to the Senior Bowl and just the second to participate in the Blue-Gray game. He was named first-team all-state during his senior season and elected to the Liberty Hall of Fame in 2014.

His career extended to the NFL where he is the first alumnus in program history to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl after he led the NFL with interceptions when playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Liberty's Top 5 DBs of all-time - A Sea of Red

Dryville Hotel being converted to Liberty at Dryville | Berks Regional News – 69News WFMZ-TV

ROCKLAND TWP., Pa. - Nestled in a quiet area of northeastern Berks County sits an old watering hole slated to become a new watering hole.

The old Dryville Hotel in Rockland Township is an old hotel and bar that served everyone, from weary travelers to neighbors down the street.

Now, it's in the hands of Tony Reber, who already owns the Liberty Taproom in Exeter Township, the Liberty Ale House in Reading, and the Tavern on Liberty in Allentown. His latest venue, Liberty at Dryville, will be the oldest one yet.

"The building dates back to the mid-1800s," said Reber.

It's an area where there aren't many restaurants and bars to choose from. Reber said he was drawn to that and the hotel's aesthetics and history.

"Things like that kind of spoke to us," said Reber.

He bought the hotel in January, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic set in. He said now, he has no choice but to be all in and plan for opening in October.

"We're excited to get open and see how it's received in the community and are just happy to be part of the community," said Reber.

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Dryville Hotel being converted to Liberty at Dryville | Berks Regional News - 69News WFMZ-TV

Liberty recruit Merritt ‘going to come in and work hard’ – Lynchburg News and Advance

Rod Smith noticed a trend with interior defensive lineman Brian Merritt during practices and in his brief playing time in games: The freshman always seemed to find himself around the football.

It took half the season before the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive line coach decided to finally let Merritt loose by inserting him into the starting lineup for a Week 6 bout with Southwest Mississippi.

The Bulldogs handily won the Homecoming contest 55-24, but it was Merritt who won over the crowd with his dominating performance in the trenches with an eye-popping stat line: 11 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. It was at that point things clicked for the 6-foot-1, 290-pound lineman.

Once he was confident to where hes like, I get it. I get it now. I couldnt hold him back, Jones said. He was making plays. Were all about production here it doesnt matter whether freshman or sophomore Im all about whos making plays, whos doing their job, and he kept showing up, kept showing up.

Merritt announced Tuesday he will transfer to Liberty following the conclusion of the 2020 season, his sophomore year at Mississippi Gulf Coast. He became the second verbal commitment in the recruiting class of 2021 when he picked the Flames over reported offers from Houston, Troy, South Alabama and UTSA, according to the recruiting websites 247 Sports and Rivals.

The interior of the defensive line is a need the Liberty coaching staff is addressing in the upcoming recruiting cycle. Ralfs Rusins and Elijah James, both projected starters for the upcoming season, are seniors. Elisha Mitchell is another senior, but he will have another season of eligibility remaining after redshirting in 2018.

William Green and Devonte Lloyd, both expected to receive ample playing time in 2020, are redshirt juniors.

Merritt should compete immediately for playing time, and his college experience will allow the defensive coaching staff to bring along the younger linemen at a much more deliberate pace.

With Brian, theyre going to get a kid thats going to come in and work hard, Smith said of what Liberty is getting. Definitely has a skill set, a unique skill set that, as a freshman when he came in, he worked hard to beat out some guys at his position.

He does some things that you as a coach, some of those things you cant coach, and thats the ability that he has with using his hands. Hes a strong kid; hes great at football knowledge, and he understands the game. Hes going to play hard and work hard.

Merritt saw playing time in all 12 games and started the final six games in MGCCCs National Junior College Athletic Association national championship season.

He posted 39 tackles (23 solo), 11 tackles for a loss, five sacks and one fumble recovery.

The Bulldogs primarily play in a 4-2-5 defensive alignment, but use multiple fronts based on down and distance, similar to the type of look Liberty defensive coordinator Scott Symons runs.

Smith said Merritt has lined up at both 3- technique defensive tackle and 4-technique nose guard in MGCCCs defensive front, and has been asked to line up inside the center and guard, align over the tackle, or line up opposite of the center in a 0-technique.

The biggest thing for Brian is what I talk about with him all the time. I know hes going to be able to stop the run and be able to get off blocks, but I tell him I want to see him progressing to where he gets more sacks and being able to make those plays on the quarterback, Smith said. Just getting that sack number up because I know he can, and thats the part Ive been challenging him on is just working him on those fine techniques of finishing that aspect of his game and improving it in the pass rush.

Merritt was a three-star prospect coming out of Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia, and held offers from programs such as Liberty, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, FAU, Georgia State, West Virginia, South Alabama, Tulane and UAB.

Merritt was named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association Class 7A all-state second team as a senior when he had 60 tackles, 36 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks and 19 quarterback hurries.

He narrowed the list down to Liberty and FAU before choosing FAU on national signing day.

However, he never enrolled at FAU because of grades, according to Smith, and that opened the door for one of the top junior college programs to recruit him.

One of the things when we were recruiting Brian, that was the most important thing that we stressed as a coaching staff, as a program is getting him out in a year and a half, and academics have been the No. 1 thing since hes stepped foot on campus, knowing thats the thing thats going to get him to where he wants to go and obviously where hes going to end up, Smith said.

Hes made huge strides. We have some things set up academically with the advisors and things like that to help if any of our student-athletes are struggling. We just made sure we stayed on top of addressing those issues when they come, if any, and pressing to find a way to get it done academically.

Liberty remained in contact with Merritt during his freshman season at MGCCC, and that relationship led him to choose the Flames over the other offers he recently received.

That was one of the things when coming here; [Liberty] stayed close to obviously his production on the field but also grades, understanding thats the key to getting him out and for him playing Division I, Smith said.

This year is going to be special for him. He knows whats at stake. I know Libertys got a good kid and a good athlete in Brian.

Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.

Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.

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Liberty recruit Merritt 'going to come in and work hard' - Lynchburg News and Advance

PHS’ Kyle Moore headed to West Liberty | News, Sports, Jobs – Parkersburg News

Parkersburgs Kyle Moore prepares to deliver a pitch during a 2019 regular-season game. Moores days on the diamond are just beginning as he signed with West Liberty. Photo provided

PARKERSBURG Kyle Moore would rather be playing baseball.

The Parkersburg High School senior, who is set to attend West Liberty University and continue his career on the diamond for skipper Eric Burkle, has been through plenty the past two months.

With four years of football in the books and one spring left of baseball, Moore was looking ahead to college, but was ready for whatever his final prep season was about to thrust upon him.

Aside from finishing with a 4.25 GPA as a senior, the pitcher/outfielder said hes basically heading to WLU as a sophomore thanks to earning college credits at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Im going into athletic training as my major, said Moore, who was looking forward to playing summer ball with American Legion Post 15. After that go to PA school. What they have is this three and two.

Ill get my undergraduate in exercise physiology and then Ill get my masters in athletic training. Then go another two and a half years to PA school and become a physician assistant. Its all a matter of getting into the PA program.

Even though the Big Reds werent expected to challenge for a Class AAA state championship, Moore wishes he had his final spring with his teammates and coach Alan Burns.

We were pretty excited, he said. We had a really young team this year. It was going to be interesting to see how all the pieces were going to piece together. We were putting up good numbers in the weight room all winter and we were excited to see how that translated on the field.

We had about 10 practices when everything hit. The following week we were supposed to have three games, including a game against South.

We were excited and then all of this hit. I mean I hate losing your senior year. Couple of the guys Ive played with since 7 years old. You dont get that last final game to play with them.

Moore was the Big Reds top returning pitcher after working 22-plus frames as a junior. He recorded three decisions, which included a pair of victories, to go along with a 2.51 earned run average and one save.

Ive kind of accepted it, Moore expressed of the whole COVID-19 situation. It is very hard not being able to have that senior season. I was going to be one of our main pitchers and play a lot in left field.

Last year I pitched a lot of games out of the bullpen. I was mainly a relief pitcher. Going into my senior year, I was making the transition to a starting pitcher and I played a lot in the outfield last year.

Things are kind of looking up it appears for the Big Red, depending on how things unfold with the ongoing pandemic.

Its been pushed back to June 26, Moore said of his delayed graduation. Right now I think its supposed to be regular, but they havent told us much detail. I think they are waiting to get closer and see how open the state is.

I mean the main thing (with COVID-19) is just losing the senior baseball season, not getting to play your final season. Youve played with them the last four years and probably more and just not getting that experience.

It took just a single trip for Moore to realize where his home for the next few years was going to be.

I got into contact with graduate assistant coach Joel Jarrett, he explained. I went up on a couple visits and I really liked the campus and the coaching staff. I went on another visit and worked out with some of the guys and they were awesome up there.

I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere of the school. There were a couple of schools who talked to coach Burns about me, but I just love West Liberty and the program, but I didnt go on any other visits anywhere.

If Moore can catch a break this spring, it will come from playing baseball this summer in some way, shape or form.

Hes thankful for the opportunities and experiences he had while a member of the red and white.

You look back at all the people who have played through the program at PHS of baseball, Moore added. You got Nick Swisher and those guys. Its fun to make your own memories with the same program he went through.

When asked whether he felt prepared for the rigors of being a Division II student-athlete, Moore didnt hesitate.

Youre always a little bit worried, he said. Division II, going to the next level, its going to be a different pace of play and people as good or better than you.

You have to work hard for it, but I think Ill do OK. I think Ill have to do a little more studying when I go to college, but I think Ill be OK.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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PHS' Kyle Moore headed to West Liberty | News, Sports, Jobs - Parkersburg News

Liberty Arena targeted for early October completion – Lynchburg News and Advance

The $65 million Liberty Arena, being built in between the Vines Center and DeMoss Hall, is targeted for an Oct. 1 completion date, in time to host the entirety of the 2020-21 home schedules for Liberty University volleyball and mens and womens basketball.

The 125,000-square-foot facility will seat 4,000 spectators and serve as the primary facility for all three sports.

The Vines Center, the home for those programs for the past 30 seasons, will continue to be used for concerts and events, including convocation, which generally takes place three times a week for all students.

Its on schedule to be ready for the fall. We expect to play the volleyball season in the arena and look forward to hosting the opening basketball games during the second week of November, Flames athletic director Ian McCaw said in a phone interview late last week. Its going to be a spectacular facility, very intimate feel, and I think that will create a terrific homecourt advantage for our teams and an exciting atmosphere for our fans.

McCaw, speaking to reporters in early April, said he wasnt 100% certain construction would be completed for Liberty Arena in time for the start of the volleyball season. He added contingency plans were being developed in case the volleyball team needed to find other venues to host games.

However, volleyball coach Trevor Johnson loaded the nonconference schedule with road games to open the season, giving the construction team added time to complete the project prior to an early October home opener.

They bought us a little bit more time, McCaw said. Were looking forward to the facility being done right around Oct. 1, and I believe their first match at home is Oct. 6.

McCaw in April said contracts are being finalized for the mens and womens basketball teams to open their seasons at Liberty Arena on Nov. 10 and 12, respectively.

Construction hasnt been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with crews working daily onsite to complete the project, in addition to the new parking garage across U.S. 460 on East Campus. McCaw said plans were for the parking garage to be completed by August.

Construction was halted temporarily at an undisclosed site from April 25 to 29. Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., on The Todd Starnes Show in late April, said three construction crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

The construction team has just really made good progress. Theyre feeling really good about the timeline right now, McCaw said. They feel like theyve made really good progress.

Liberty Arena will become the permanent operations center for the volleyball program, with expanded locker rooms and office space.

The mens and womens basketball programs will continue to use the locker rooms, practice facilities and offices that were part of a $20 million, 47,000-square-foot expansion of the Vines Center completed in 2013.

Shortly after I arrived at Liberty [in late 2016], I know we had some discussion about what was best for mens basketball. President Falwell had a vision to build a smaller arena, McCaw said. In the Vines Center right now, we have so much usage of the facility; were constantly setting up and tearing down. By building a new arena thats dedicated for basketball programs and volleyball, we will avoid that issue. We think having a 4,000-seat facility will be intimate and create great energy and atmosphere. Were looking forward to moving in next November.

Liberty Arena is one of three athletic construction projects on campus.

The tower on the west side of Williams Stadium is undergoing improvements that will be ready for the 2020 home opener scheduled for Sept. 12 against North Carolina A&T.

New exterior glass is being added on the fourth and fifth floors, which will give spectators seated on those floors the ability to open or close the windows.

New luxury indoor seats are being added on the third floor McCaw said those have sold out for the 2020 season and other improvements are being made to the club area.

The indoor tennis facility is scheduled to be completed in January 2021, which will allow the Flames to host indoor meets on campus instead of at Crosswhite Athletic Club. The new facility will have six indoor courts, locker rooms and meeting space for teams. Liberty is scheduled to host the ASUN Conference mens and womens tennis championships in the spring of 2021.

Were obviously very grateful for President Falwells leadership and support to be able to move forward with these projects, because theyll all make a huge impact on our program, McCaw said. Again, I think in all three instances, the projects are on schedule.

Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.

Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.

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Liberty Arena targeted for early October completion - Lynchburg News and Advance

UConn’s Kelly (Schumacher) Raimon took a winding path to a WNBA coaching job with the Liberty – Minneapolis Star Tribune

HARTFORD, Conn. Kelly Raimon doesn't consider herself a tech-savvy person, but when her first job in the WNBA required her to master scouting software, there she was, teaching herself through YouTube videos, editing and splicing together scouting reports, even filling in once for the team's video coordinator.

Learning on the fly as she did in that position development coach and advanced scout with the Chicago Sky became crucial for Raimon (nee Schumacher), a national champion at UConn who played eight seasons in the WNBA, as she made her way back into basketball following a stint as a professional beach volleyball player. And though it seems her career took a winding path, it all pointed toward her most recent gig: assistant coach for one of the WNBA's most exciting franchises, the New York Liberty.

It's also what makes her future in the league so bright.

"Everybody raves about her," said Geno Auriemma, Raimon's coach at UConn from 1997-2001. "Everyone is really impressed with her basketball savvy and her work ethic, and she's so excited about this opportunity in New York."

Back during her college years, it wasn't obvious to either Auriemma or Raimon that she'd end up coaching. A communications major at UConn, Raimon knew she loved to analyze the game but saw that potentially leading to broadcasting more than anything else.

The player UConn fans might remember as "Schuey" or "Schu" wound up as the Indiana Fever's first-round pick in the 2001 WNBA draft, a year after she famously blocked nine shots against Tennessee in the national championship game to propel the Huskies to their second title. She may not have been a superstar in Storrs but nonetheless had been groomed by the 'Husky Way,' which emphasizes attention to detail and hard work.

With that foundation in tow, Raimon had a lengthy professional basketball career as the sort of player who, as she describes it, "thought the game" and took "X's and O's seriously." That culminated in being part of back-to-back WNBA titles, one with the Phoenix Mercury and the next with the Detroit Shock, in 2007-2008.

For a few years afterwards, basketball took a backseat to beach volleyball, a sport she'd always loved. Raimon managed to make her way onto the AVP Tour and represented Team USA in multiple competitions, while on the side trying out commentating volleyball and basketball games at the University of Miami.

"As I was playing beach volleyball, it's a two-person sport, and a lot of times I was the older player who thought more strategically, so I was the one coming up with the game plans because you basically coach yourself," Raimon said. "And so that's kind of when I started realizing, 'Wow, I'm kind of good at this and it's something that I enjoy.'"

She added, "I loved a lot of aspects of broadcasting, as far as analyzing the game and seeing what's happening and just really the overall strategy behind it. But what I didn't like is that you're not really a part of the team itself, and so I think that's when I started realizing that coaching might be something more fit for me."

While many of her professional connections may have been in basketball, Raimon still had to grind her way back into the sport, first as a volunteer on Kevin McGuff's staff at Ohio State and then in player development and scouting with the Sky for the 2017 season.

"It was really just a lot of learning and problem-solving and confidence-building because, whatever it was, I knew that I could just tackle it, figure it out, and go from there," Raimon said.

After a year in Chicago, Raimon was looking to make the jump to an assistant coaching position and called up her old coach Bill Laimbeer. The former Shock coach was heading west to Vegas, where the San Antonio Stars franchise was moving and rebranding as the Las Vegas Aces.

Laimbeer brought Raimon onboard, and the duo turned an Aces team that missed the playoffs in 2018 into an instant contender with a roster full of compelling stars. The Aces fell to the Washington Mystics, the eventual WNBA champions, in last season's semifinals.

"Learning how Bill built that organization and culture and seeing the behind-the-scenes was really awesome," Raimon said. "It was a great opportunity to see how to start from scratch as far as teaching plays and just the culture that you want as coaches and bringing in the type of players that you want."

What Raimon absorbed from those two seasons with Laimbeer should only help in her next chapter in Brooklyn. In April, she was introduced as an assistant coach for the Liberty as the franchise ushers in a new era. Over the past five months, Minnesota's Walt Hopkins was hired as head coach, former Husky Tina Charles was traded away and Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu was drafted No. 1 overall in the league's virtual draft. The Liberty's home arena is now Barclays Center, an upgrade over Westchester County Center.

Hopkins appreciates Raimon's attention to detail and recognizes the unique perspective she brings to the staff as a former player who's worked in various roles for multiple teams.

"She's a really eager learner," Hopkins said. "She brings such a good energy to the group, in terms of not just her excitement about what we're doing and where we're going, but also her level of preparedness, and her ability to catch onto things really quickly has been really fun to watch. She is just like a sponge. I mean, it's been really impressive."

Hopkins hopes that those won't be the only things that'll carry over from her previous experiences.

"Obviously, her experience with winning cultures is huge," Hopkins said. "She knows what it takes, and that gives her an additional layer of credibility with the players, on top of having played at a high level at every level she's played."

With the postponement of the 2020 WNBA season, Raimon hasn't been able to get on the court with her new players yet, but she's eager to join Hopkins' staff and start feeding off his positive energy and new-age approach to the game. She'll be reunited with her former Fever coach, Shelley Patterson, and is looking forward to experiencing all Brooklyn has to offer.

There's no telling where her unusual journey into coaching might lead.

"Sometimes a kid is preparing to be a coach their whole lives and sometimes it just kind of happens to you," Auriemma said. "Ever since she got in it, I keep thinking it's going to wear off, but you know what? I'm proud of her. It hasn't. As a matter of fact, it's just gotten better and better."

2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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UConn's Kelly (Schumacher) Raimon took a winding path to a WNBA coaching job with the Liberty - Minneapolis Star Tribune

17-year-old charged with burglary in Liberty – Bluebonnet News

Liberty Police are conducting an investigation of a burglary of a residence that occurred shortly before 2 a.m. in the 1400 block of Edgewood in the City of Liberty. The investigation has resulted in an arrest of a suspect.

Police responded to an alarm call located at the 1400 block of Edgewood shortly before 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Upon officers arrival, Officer Randy Johnson approached the front of the residence as Officers Greg Rodriguez and Randal Walter approached the rear.

Officer Johnson advised he heard movement coming from inside the residence while Officer Walter observed a white male running toward the rear of the residence through a window.

The white male exited the residence from a back door where Officer Rodriguez and other responding officers detained the subject. The white male was identified as Tylor Jones, 17 year old male of Liberty.

Through an investigation, it was found that Tylor Jones allegedly entered the residence without the owners permission to commit theft.

Jones was arrested for Burglary of a Habitation and transported to the Liberty County Jail without incident.

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17-year-old charged with burglary in Liberty - Bluebonnet News

Liberty in the Time of Corona – publicseminar.org

Roman head. Photo credit: Juan Aunion / Shutterstock.com

The coronaviruspandemic has led to the severe curtailment of civil liberties and the lockdownof billions of people worldwide. Some states reaction to the pandemic has beenseen as more effective than others. In particular, authoritarian governments,such as China, now boast about their efficient management of the crisis and areproviding support and advice to European and other nations.

Consequently, manycitizens are questioning the purported advantages of democratic governance. Asboth democratic and authoritarian states have imposed exceptional measuresrestricting political and civil liberties, there is a nagging suspicion thatdemocracies might not turn out to be inherently superior regimes. Some radical thinkers,such as the influential Italian philosopherGiorgio Agamben, have recently claimed that states of emergency are thepermanent condition of modern political life, regardless of regimes.

This, however,ignores the difference in the quality of freedom between democratic andauthoritarian states.

Some political philosophersdistinguish two notions of liberty: liberty as non-interference and liberty asnon-domination. The first notion assumes that someone is free insofar as no oneinterferes with the choices one can make; understanding liberty asnon-domination instead stresses that one is free to the extent that others donot exercise arbitrary power over one.

We live in a timewhere our liberty as non-interference is drastically reduced, with basicfreedoms to work, to travel, to associate in public taken away. Anyinfringement of these new restrictions can result in interference by publicauthorities.

Under such regrettablebut necessary conditions, we should be vigilant not to relinquish a no lessimportant liberty: liberty asnon-domination.

In the classicalRoman tradition of republican liberty, to be free meant not to be subjected toarbitrary rule: to the uncontrolled power of the slaveholder or the tyrant, thetwo classical figures of oppression. Self-governing republics enjoyed libertyas non-domination because the power exercised over citizens was a power that citizensultimately controlled. It was power exercised on the peoples terms, toborrow the title of an important bookby the civic republican philosopher Philip Pettit. It was also powerexercised for the public good: In extraordinary times, this can requireextensive restrictions of ordinary liberties. On the civic republican view, stateinterference is not always a form of domination (a lesson perhaps forgotten bytodays anti-state libertarians).

How can we bestpreserve liberty as non-domination in todays increasingly restrictive state ofemergency?

There are threemain considerations. First, in todays liberal democracies the state ofemergency should be the exception, not the norm. In classical republics, therule of dictators unlike that of tyrants was justified as a temporaryconcentration of all powers in wartime conditions with the explicit aim ofeventually restoring the full regime of civil liberties. It is cruciallyimportant that emergency powers be periodically reviewed and renewed (only ifnecessary) through parliamentary and judicial oversight. They should not bepresumed to be indefinite. Normal democratic mechanisms of accountability includingelections must be maintained as much as possible during the crisis.

Second, in liberaldemocracies, non-domination is secured through the quality and transparency ofpublic information. Democratic accountability depends on a delicate balancebetween trust and distrust. The public needs to be able to trust crucialsources of information, such as scientific experts and professionaljournalists. A well-informed public can then robustly scrutinize governmentalinitiatives. All government actions in a crisis should be subjected to publicdiscussion and contestation even to the threat of enquiries in the case ofgrave mismanagement. Freedom of expression and public criticism often slowsdown and even disrupts political action, but it is crucial to guarantee thatthe exorbitant powers of the state do not go unchecked.

Third, in a liberal democracy, power should be exercised for the benefit of all the people, not a restricted faction. This truism becomes salient once we take the measure of the hugely unequal effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has revealed how our social fabric is maintained by low-paid, working-class members of the labor force, such as nurses, social care workers, supermarket cashiers, delivery workers, and bus drivers. They now face the risk of sickness and even death on a daily basis.

The socially regressiveimpact of lockdown is also clear in the way that it disproportionately hitsfamilies living in confined spaces and in precarious financial, bodily, orpsychological health. Further, the pandemics effects are intensified forstruggling young generations like gig-economy workers, indebted universitystudents, and urban renters. Only a renewed democratic social contract canensure that the long-term costs of the pandemic will not (as was the case afterthe financial crisis of 2008) be paid for by the most vulnerable.

The Indian economist Amartya Sen onceobserved that democratic governance is the best antidote to the destructiveeffects of famine in developing countries. In a similar vein, democraticgovernance should ideally immunize us against the devastatingly unequaleffects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With thisknowledge, should we be hopeful about the future prospects of non-domination inactual democracies? Some scepticism though not Agamben-style pessimism iswarranted.

One problem isthat the conditions of democratic resilience have slowly been eroded over thelast couple of decades in existing democratic states. The post-9/11 era hasseen the uncontrolled development of anti-terrorist legislation, of whichcurrent emergency powers are often derived from. The populist assault onscientific experts, traditional media, and other countervailing institutions,such as courts, has weakened the public sphere and its ability to oppose theexercise of arbitrary power. And many democratic governments worldwide haveundermined public services, while scapegoating immigrants, Jews, Muslims, orthe European Union for the economic and social despair of their coreconstituencies.

States such as theUnited States, Brazil, India, Hungary, Poland, and Israel have gone furthestinto this dangerous democratic backsliding. Many liberal democratic states,including France and the United Kingdom, have seen the weakening of the verymechanisms that have helped protect their citizens from authoritarian orarbitrary rule.

It is one thingfor our liberty as non-interference to be suspended under the exceptionalcircumstance of a public health emergency. It is quite another thing for ourliberty as non-domination to be eroded, for this loss is not so easilyreversed. This is all the more dangerous because, as the Roman republicanwriters knew well, liberty as non-domination is the best guarantee of the secure,resilient protection of our ordinary liberty as non-interference.

Ccile Laborde is the Nuffield Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

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West Liberty to conduct its own ball season – Bellefontaine Examiner

Citing the desire to ensure the safety of its participants, the West Liberty Ball Association has decided to have its own independent season this summer.

The decision comes after the state released an extensive list of protocols for certain sports to begin. Some communities have decided to cancel their seasons altogether.

West Libertys teams normally compete within the Logan County organization.

Currently, there are a handful of county associations that plan to stay together and participate this summer.

Its been a trying and stressful experience this year with all of the uncertainty, said WLBA president Matt Hull. We had lost about 15 to 20 percent of our registrants for the season. When we received the guidelines from the governors office we received a lot of feedback from our ball families. The WLBA took that stance that if we want to have a chance to play ball, then we need to follow the guidelines, with no exceptions.

Hull said there was concern that not all participating teams in the county league would adhere to the state restrictions.

One of the reoccurring concerns we received from multiple families was how they could be assured that these guidelines are being followed wherever we traveled, said Hull. The simple answer is we cannot. And we know we have no right to ask people outside of our organization to change their stances to cater to ours. Our board and many of our families know that our kids were already exposed to each other in early March when school was still in session. It made sense to us to keep our circle tighter to give peace of mind to some of our parents who are rightfully and genuinely concerned, but want their children to play ball.

It certainly wasnt an easy decision, but it is our boards responsibility to do what we feel is in the best interest of our organization. Unlike many of the other county organizations, we have the luxury of being able to pull it off since we serve about 280 to 300 players. We have offered our support and help as a board to the county and will remain members of the Logan County Baseball Association once things return back to normal.

The baseball and softball requirements issued by the governors office last Thursday include umpires and coaches wearing face coverings at all times, players wearing face coverings when not involved in the game and no contact (hand shakes, high fives, sharing of equipment or water bottles) among players and coaches.

Taking it a step further, WLBA also plans to add its own protocols. Players will not use the dugouts. Rather, they will be asked to sit in the bleachers or with their parents.

Spectators will not be allowed to sit in the bleachers. They will need to take their own chairs or blankets to sit on. Also, all spectators must remain six feet away from the fence.

There will also be hand wash stations at each field and a centralized toilet location that will be sanitized daily.

The WLBA plans to start practice on May 26 in accordance with the governors order and games will begin June 8 and continue through the end of July.

Hull said it was important to provide some sort of competition for the communitys young people.

All across Logan County a lot of our youth hasnt seen their peers in three months, said Hull. Theyve been unfairly deprived of a social life for circumstances outside of their control. We just want to give our West Liberty youth a chance to hang out, laugh and play the sport they love with their friends and classmates, and do so following the new guidelines and in the safest and healthiest way we possibly can. Having complete oversight over coaches, players and spectators allows us the best chance at assuring our parents of that.

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Liberty London | Designer Department Store | Luxury Brands …

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Mill Creek, Liberty rated as CLAS School of Distinction – The Madison Record – themadisonrecord.com

MADISON Two campuses of Madison City Schools recently received the coveted School of Distinction Award for excellence from the Council for Leaders in Alabama (or CLAS).

Mill Creek Elementary School is the CLAS Banner School for District 8 in Alabama. This is a huge accomplishment and honor. We are recognized for our outstanding accomplishments with our EL (English Learners) program, Mill Creek Principal Carmen Buchanan said.

The success of this program is due to partnerships of teachers, faculty, students, parents, staff, administration and district leaders all working together to ensure our students succeed, Buchanan said. We are thankful for our entire Mill Creek family and the hard work of so many to achieve this honor. Thank you, Michelle Phillips and Kiley Rikard, for helping guide us as we reach our English Language Learners.

Liberty Principal Shannon Brown said CLAS recognized 30 Schools of Distinction across the eight state school board districts and announced the 2019 CLAS Banner Schools on May 4 during a virtual awards ceremony.

The CLAS Banner School program was created in 2001 to recognize schools in Alabama that showcase outstanding programs and service to students. Each school was nominated for this award by their superintendent with 189 school programs nominated statewide, Brown said.

Liberty was awarded the recognition as one of the 30 Schools of Distinction across the state for our middle school World Language Program. We are very honored to be in this category of recognition, and we are so excited for Mill Creek Elementary who was awarded the 2019 District 8 CLAS Banner School, Brown said.

Liberty faculty and staff are always going above and beyond to create experiences for our middle school students, so I am excited that our World Language teachers are receiving recognition for their hard work, dedication and creativity across the languages. There arent many middle schools out there where you get to pick from five different languages, Brown said.

Brown gives all the praise to Libertys faculty and staff. They are the ones in the trenches, constantly seeking new ideas and always giving it everything theyve got, Brown said. We have the best of the best teaching in our district. This award is just one recognition of many that proves that.

During the Banner School process, superintendents nominate schools with unique, student-centered programs that have succeeded during the preceding school year. Nominated principals then document details about their schools programs in an application. Within each state board district, a district selection team reviews the applications.

For more information, visit clasleaders.org.

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Mill Creek, Liberty rated as CLAS School of Distinction - The Madison Record - themadisonrecord.com

Liberty and Liberty North celebrate class of 2020 with two graduation parades through town – fox4kc.com

LIBERTY, Mo. The Liberty community celebrated its high schools seniors with two graduation parades on Sunday.

Liberty Norths parade was in the morning and Libertys in the afternoon.

Cars were decked out with balloons and decorations as seniors drove a roughly six mile parade route.

Parade organizer Corrin Parsons has a son whos a graduating senior at North and says she put this together to help honor him and the other seniors. With the help of the community, Parsons is glad this event was pulled off.

I can tell it meant a lot. These kids have all told me thank you. You can just tell theyre glad to be out, Parson said.

Just getting able to experience people that are happy for us and proud for us. Its nice to be able to have that experience, Liberty senior Keaton Evans said.

Before the coronavirus hit, both high schools were supposed to have their graduations this weekend.

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Liberty and Liberty North celebrate class of 2020 with two graduation parades through town - fox4kc.com

State Supreme Courts Stand Up for Economic Liberty While SCOTUS Falls Down on the Job – Reason

The U.S. Supreme Court has an unfortunate habit of shortchanging certain constitutional rights.

When the justices hear a case involving a possible infringement on the right to free speech, they generally presume that the regulation at issue is unconstitutional and force the government to justify its actions. That is as it should be.

But when the Court considers a possible infringement on the right to economic liberty, it grants the government a broad degree of deference, not only presuming the regulation to be constitutional but also forcing the regulated party "to negative every conceivable basis which might support it." In other words, the Supreme Court tips the scales heavily in favor of the government in economic liberty cases.

Fortunately, several state supreme courts have stood up where SCOTUS has fallen down on the job. In Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (2015), the Texas Supreme Court voided an occupational licensing scheme for eyebrow threaders, on the grounds that the regulation served no legitimate health or safety purpose and violated the economic liberty secured by the Texas Constitution. As Justice Don Willett observed in concurrence, "this case is fundamentally about the American Dream and the unalienable human right to pursue happiness without curtsying to government on bended knee." (Disclosure: Willett favorably cited my book Overruled in his Patel opinion.)

The Georgia Supreme Court gave economic liberty its due in a case decided today. Jackson v. Raffensperger arose from a 2018 law that required lactation consultants to obtain an occupational license from Georgia's secretary of state before they are permitted to offer professional advice about breastfeeding. Mary Jackson, a veteran lactation consultant with decades of experience, challenged the requirement in state court, arguing that it lacked a genuine public health or safety purpose and violated her right to earn a living under the state constitution. The Fulton County Superior Court dismissed her case, arguing that the Georgia Constitution protects no such rights.

The Georgia Supreme Court disagreed. "The trial court erred," the state high court said today. "We have long interpreted the Georgia Constitution as protecting a right to work in one's chosen profession free from unreasonable government interference." Thanks to that ruling, Jackson's case against the occupational licensing law has been revived and will now move forward.

It's a shame that SCOTUS doesn't show the same fidelity to the economic liberty that's secured by the federal Constitution.

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State Supreme Courts Stand Up for Economic Liberty While SCOTUS Falls Down on the Job - Reason

Department of Labor Strengthens Religious Liberty Protections for Faith-Based Organizations Partnering with Government – GlobeNewswire

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Liberty Institute today commended United States Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Eugene Scalia for issuing a directive and newguidance thatprotects religious liberty for faith-based organizations that partner with the federal government. The Secretarys actions reflect principles implemented by President TrumpsExecutive Order 13798, Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.

Without these protections, religious organizations risk facing discrimination for making employment decisions that are consistent with their beliefs, said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute. Religious organizations should never be forced to abandon their religious character and mission in order to be eligible to contract with the federal government. We applaud Secretary Scalia for working to ensure that religious organizations are treated on equal terms as other organizations.

In September of 2019, First Liberty submitted a public comment supporting a DOL proposed rule that also protected religious liberty. First Libertys comment was signed by a number of national religious leaders such as Paula White, Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center; Jack Graham, Senior Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church; Tim Clinton, President of the American Association of Christian Counselors; and Jentezen Franklin, Senior Pastor of Free Chapel.

The comment states in part: Many religious ministries, charities, and other organizations stand ready to partner with the government to help individuals in need. This proposed rule not only protects their right to be free from anti-religious discrimination in the contracting process, but it also ensures that the government is free to contract with the entities that are best able to provide services to the public regardless of religious affiliation.

Religious organizations, like their secular counterparts, provide essential services desirable to federal agencies through government contracts. Among several religious liberty protections, the new guidance ensures that religious organizations seeking to contract with the federal government are free to do so on equal terms as other organizations.

About First Liberty Institute First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.

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Department of Labor Strengthens Religious Liberty Protections for Faith-Based Organizations Partnering with Government - GlobeNewswire

Remember When: Liberty and Palace theaters compete with Tarzan films – Lancaster Eagle Gazette

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Mark Kinsler, Correspondent Published 7:41 a.m. ET May 18, 2020

It's not often that one sees a solemn consumer-protection notice in a movie theater ad, but Tarzan was immensely popular when the Palace Theater included this one in the May 11, 1934 Lancaster Daily Eagle. The competing ape-man, advertised on the same page by the Liberty, was Tarzan the Fearless, starring Buster Crabbe, The Mightiest Tarzan in the History of Showmanship, and cobbled together from an old serial. The learned critics at imdb.com report that both films were enjoyable and lots more

You've read about the dust storms that tore up Nebraska and Oklahoma during the Depression.But they couldn't have reached green, moist, peaceful, self-satisfied Lancaster, Ohio, could they? Yup, they could indeed, reported the May 11, 1934 Lancaster Daily Eagle.The storms blew the topsoil from poorly-managed, dried-out farms 2,000 miles to the west right through Fairfield County and ultimately out over the Atlantic to confuse ships approaching New York. https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/dust-bowl (and its short video) are worth a look. President Roosevelt's administration responded quickly and effectively, and Federal agencies look after our soil and water to this day.

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May 18, 2020, 7:37 a.m.

May 17, 2020, 12:20 p.m.

May 17, 2020, 11:09 a.m.

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May 16, 2020, 9:20 a.m.

May 16, 2020, 9 a.m.

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Remember When: Liberty and Palace theaters compete with Tarzan films - Lancaster Eagle Gazette

Sabrina Ionescu should have been dazzling loyal Liberty fans at Barclays this weekend – Yahoo Sports

Sabrina Ionescu would have made her New York Liberty debut Saturday in primetime against the 2019 runner-up and dangerously reloaded Connecticut Sun. Then late on Sunday afternoon, the superstar would open a new era for the Liberty at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Theres little doubt fans would have filled the lower bowl, glistening in fresh seafoam-green jerseys as part of the brand refresh. Most of those would have No. 20 on the back for Ionescu, who would surely make the back page for a second time in as many months a rare feat.

Those milestones are now on hold as the 2020 season is postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 crisis. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert avoided any premature decision and waited as long as she could to delay training camps, which should have started the last week of April. There is no word on a potential start date, just as there have not been concrete plans for the NBAs return or MLBs postponed opening day.

The entire league and all of womens sports were projected to have a big year trending off of increased viewership and attention with the Liberty, one of the eight original WNBA franchises, particularly well positioned for a renaissance of sorts. It starts with Ionescu, one of the most popular and celebrated draft picks in the past two decades. And theres no doubt it starts with a bang.

I dont know that Ive seen a player recently that recognizes and meets moments like Sabrina, Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb told YES Networks Chris Shearn.

Now, were left to anticipate when the league will back and what we can expect from the triple-double queen.

There was one month between the draft and the scheduled season opener. Every day past that is extra time Ionescu has to study first-year head coach Walt Hopkins system and the tendencies of her new teammates. The first thing she did after getting drafted, Hopkins told YES Network, is ask for the password to the online interactive playbook.

She was already familiar with it.

She was like, Coach, is there some kind of a mistake? This is a lot of stuff we ran in college, said Hopkins, who served as a Minnesota Lynx assistant coach under Cheryl Reeve from 2017-19. And Im like, no Sabrina, thats not a mistake. Thats intentional.

The Liberty loaded up on guards in the draft and plan to spread out the offense, making everyone a potential shooter and developing a pick-and-roll system for Ionescu. Its what she starred in at Oregon with Ruthy Hebard, who now has Chicago Sky assist magician Courtney Vandersloot.

You cant take anything away from Sabrina without giving her something, Hopkins said. Because shes capable of capitalizing on whatever you give her.

Thats apparent in her Oregon career. She had collegiate career highs in rebounds (8.6) and assists (9.1) per game her senior year while her scoring output declined (17.5 versus 19.9 as a junior).

In that sense, we can expect Ionescu to dazzle as if she were still in Duck green. And the early schedule, which featured seven of 10 games at home, would provide a measuring stick. Two against the Sun would establish how far there is to go and two against the Atlanta Dream would not only provide a fun Ionescu versus Chennedy Carter comparison, but also an analysis of where each bottom-of-the-standings franchise stood. Plus Ionescu and Hebard would meet for the first time on May 26 when the Sky came to Brooklyn.

This weekend would have marked Sabrina Ionescu's WNBA debut. Whenever that day comes, she's sure to transform the league. (Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

But it isnt going to be easy. Fans shouldnt expect the same out of the Liberty version of Ionescu at first. Its a leap from the collegiate ranks to the 140 best players in the world. There will be adjustments.

Though Ionescu nearly put up a 50/40/90 senior campaign (51.8% FG, 39.2% 3PG, 92.1% FT), dont expect her to join Elena Delle Donne in the esteemed club anytime soon. Her record 26 triple-doubles are nearly three times the nine through all of WNBA history.

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Not one No. 1 draft pick in the past decade has averaged more in their rookie year than their senior campaign. All but three experienced a scoring decline of at least 38 percent and that drop off can be sharper for point guards.

When youre the No. 1 pick, theres pressure to go out there and score, Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird said on the NBC Sports Runnin Plays podcast with Kerith Burke and Logan Murdock. No matter what position you are [if] youre the No. 1 pick, you should be out there dropping 20 every night ... But whats unique from a point guard standpoint is thats probably not going to be your career.

Bird, drafted in 2002 out of Connecticut, averaged 14.4 points as a senior and as a rookie. That was a third of a point off her WNBA career high over the next 18 years, yet she still won three championships.

Las Vegas Aces point guard Kelsey Plum experienced a 73.2 percent decline in production in 2017 albeit, her 31.7 points per game at Washington is off the charts.







Jackie Young

14.7 (Notre Dame)

6.6 (Aces)



Aja Wilson

22.6 (South Carolina)

20.7 (Aces)



Kelsey Plum

31.7 (Washington)

8.5 (Aces)



Breanna Stewart

19.4 (Connecticut)

18.3 (Storm)



Jewell Lloyd

18.6 (Notre Dame)

10.7 (Storm)



Diana Taurasi

16.2 (Connecticut)

17.0 (Mercury)



Sue Bird

14.4 (Connecticut)

14.4 (Storm)


As for dropping 20 a game, its difficult even as an established veteran. Retired Houston Comets star Cynthia Cooper averaged 20.98 in her career. Delle Donne is the only active player to average at least 20 (20.28) with Breanna Stewart (19.99) and Diana Taurasi (19.62) close. And last season, only Phoenix Mercurys Brittney Griner eclipsed the mark (20.7).

The point is, its not easy to average 20 points in this league. But thats the expectation of the No. 1 pick, Bird said. So its hard and shell be judged early on something like that. Which isnt fair to a point guard. Shes going to impact the game in all these other ways that people wont even understand. So I think early on there will be some judgment.

Griners experience is a good expectation model for Liberty fans. She experienced a 47 percent drop in production from Baylor to Phoenix but has now had three consecutive seasons averaging 20 points. Whats exciting about Ionescu is shes not about to fold and a particularly bad game will fuel a stellar one next time out.

Shes going to go through some lumps, as every rookie does, Kolb said. But theres zero doubt in my mind that shell do everything possible to overcome.

Ionescu is already compared to Taurasi who it should be noted actually scored 4.9 percent more her rookie year in Phoenix than her senior year with Connecticut and the late Kobe Bryant. Now with The Last Dance in everyones heads, Hopkins called her edge Michael [Jordan]-like.

Shes got a real focus on the things that she needs to do and on the things her teammates need to do and she doesnt really care how it happens, it just needs to happen, Hopkins told YES Network. And to see that drive behind somebody, you can see it in her eyes, you can see it in her actions, you can see it in the way that she approaches every game. ... She really is thinking and adjusting on the fly as well as anybody Ive seen and everything is informed by her desire to win. And she just does whatevers necessary to win.

Hence why this weekend was going to be so exciting. Theres a renewed vigor in New York as if its on the precipice of an historic era with the games premier talent ready to build a legacy.

Ionescus debut will happen eventually. Just as well get to see Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics celebrate their title with a parade and go for another one. The Mercury trio will take the league by storm, Stewart will be back in Seattle after an Achilles injury and the Sun will push for an elusive title. Thats not to mention the dozens of other rookies who could make rosters when training camps do come around.

As with every other party, its simply on pause.

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Benjamin Constant’s Writing Reaffirms the Value of Ancient Liberty – City Journal

Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the French-Swiss political writer Benjamin Constants essay, The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns. Though nineteenth- and twentieth-century liberals, from John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville to Isaiah Berlin, held Constant in high esteem, his work has lost prominence today. It deserves to better known. A witness to the best aspirations of the French Revolution and its worst crimes, Constant (1767-1830) emerged from the revolutionary era with a disgust for despotism. During the Hundred Days and the Bourbon Restoration, he became an advocate for liberal, constitutional monarchy. Delivered as a lecture to Frances Royal Athenaeum, The Liberty of the Ancients synthesized his reflections on the nature of libertyreflections that would exert an historic influence on liberalism and that remain relevant for the United States today.

To attain liberty and minimize its misuse, Constant argued, leaders and citizens must first see what makes us moderns different from the ancients. The ancient Greeks and Romans developed their understanding of liberty in socially unified communities small in territory and population. The fear of potentially hostile neighbors was ubiquitous, obliging even peaceful communities to transform themselves to be ready for unprovoked warfare. This social situation produced a fundamentally different idea of liberty than the modern conception.

For the ancients, liberty referred to the deliberations and actions of the politically enfranchised class, whose members were expected to maintain active and constant participation in politics, as a soldier on the battlefield, citizen in the assembly, or magistrate ruling over others. But this constant service to the community in war and peace entailed a dramatic subjection of the individual to the community. As Constant writes of the ancient city, there was hardly anything that the laws did not regulate. In Sparta, for example, the law determined when a newly married man could visit his wife because the city regarded him as a soldier first.

The modern state organizes itself differently. With larger populations and territories, states became less anxious about survival, and the resulting stability made possible mutually beneficial commercial ties among states. Commercial activity, in turn, allows people to satisfy needs and desires through trade, not conquest. Finding fulfillment through commerce drew many moderns away from politics and promoted a spirit of independence. State interventions became frustrating, Constant wrote, because every time governments attempt to do our own business, they do it more incompetently and expensively than we would.

For Constant, the expansion of commerce leads to a wholly different society. It promotes a conception of individual liberty that expects government to refrain from intervention in the private affairs of citizens. The overarching aim of modern liberty is the enjoyment of security in private pleasures. The goal is to sustain independence, overseen by the rule of law. And yet, the individual rarely exercises political power himself. Others govern on his behalf, through another modern discoverya system of representative government.

Constant praised the French Revolution for introducing representative government to France. On behalf of the people, the legislative body passed laws that protected the individual from the arbitrary rules of the Old Regime. Yet the Jacobins savaged this success by trying to force the concept of ancient liberty onto modern society. The Jacobins made the legislative assembly into an instrument of tyranny, passing laws not just against actions but against fleeting thoughts and impressions, while regulating all manner of virtue and vice. The law pursued relentlessly those who mis-stepped or misspoke. The Terror showed that applying ancient liberty wholesale in modern times results in tyranny.

Constant did not renounce or repudiate the ancients notion of liberty, however, and his lecture should not be read as a categorical argument for modern liberty and against ancient liberty. He warned moderns about their own defects. By focusing unduly on private pleasures, moderns become complacent about the quality of their political representatives, which, in turn, makes them vulnerable to despotism. Resisting such indifference, Constant challenges us to keep a close watch on our representatives, recasting the participatory aspirations of ancient liberty to modern circumstances.

Liberals such as Tocqueville and Mill accepted Constants challenge to combine the two notions of liberty. Tocqueville promoted participatory associations in civil society that encouraged self-development and discouraged reliance on the state. Mill connected individual rights, such as freedom of speech, to the pursuit of individual self-development and excellence. Both favored a vibrant, participatory political community that would serve as an antidote to social mediocrity and conformity.

Roughly a century later, during the Cold War, Isaiah Berlin updated Constants argument in Two Concepts of Liberty. He contrasted modern liberty, or what he called negative freedom, with Communism, which failed to acknowledge limits on government. Berlin also affirmed the value of representative institutions and political participation, recognizing them as essential to the preservation of modern liberty.

Contemporary American liberalism, however, has largely ignored the good counsel of Constant and his followers. It has elevated the liberty of moderns while forcefully denouncing the liberty of the ancients. For decades, American liberalism has regarded local communities and state governments not as places to train an active citizenry but as sites of oppression. American liberals sound the alarm about how local-citizen participation could threaten various rightsthus the modern liberals preference for transferring power from legislatures to administrative bureaucracies or the judiciary.

This view implies a different approach to politics, one that enfeebles the citizenry and privileges a legal elite. If you want to change the law, dont try to elect new representatives, because they have little real power. Instead, litigate, and hope that an appellate court strikes down laws that you dislike. This approach favors the amicus brief over the canvassing candidate and leaves most citizens out of the political process. Consider the massive role that judges and administrative agencies have played since 1965 in setting policy on birth control, abortion, affirmative action, capital and noncapital punishment, higher-education admissions, same-sex marriage, and transgender rightsoften with weak constitutional justification.

Defenders of this system argue that we cant trust an active citizenry to elect the right legislators. Yet after World War II, Commonwealth and European democracies saw unprecedented levels of political engagement, with a resulting expansion of individual rights. These successes were driven by legislatures, not courts.

It is this kind of liberalism, one that broadly trusts the people and encourages an active citizenry, to which Constant aspired. In 2020, the question for American liberalism is whether it still broadly trusts the people and still believes in the liberty of the ancients.

Constant saw that political participation is a school for moral and civic development. Americans have needed little prodding to get involved in politics, but today, many citizens see their political participation threatened by unelected officials. As a result, some Americans have become indifferent to political institutions, while others flirt with radicalism. Were Constant with us today, he would lament this developmentand encourage Americans and their leaders to reaffirm the value of ancient liberty.

David L. Tubbs teaches politics at The Kings College in New York City. Nathan Pinkoski is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.


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Benjamin Constant's Writing Reaffirms the Value of Ancient Liberty - City Journal