(REUTERS)-Former Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase will not be given accreditation for this year’s French Open tennis, organisers said on Saturday.The 70-year-old is provisionally banned from all International Tennis Federation (ITF) events after making allegedly racist and sexist comments during Romania’s Fed Cup tie against Britain last month.“Following the decision of his suspension by the @ITF_Tennis, Mr. Ilie Nastase won’t be accredited for #RG17,” French Open organisers said on Twitter.Nastase, who courted controversy throughout his career during which he won the U.S. and French Opens, is also not welcome at this year’s Wimbledon championships.Romania’s Fed Cup captain was booted out of the tie against Britain last month for “unsportsmanlike” behavior.The singles rubber between Britain’s Johanna Konta and Sorana Cirstea was briefly suspended after remarks made by Nastase to Konta and British team captain Anne Keothavong.Nastase had already run into trouble during the World Group playoff tie in Constanta after making a derogatory comment about the unborn child of American Serena Williams, the 23-times grand slam singles champion.
Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema gives an inspiring speech to his kick off coverage unit after a Badger touchdown Saturday.[/media-credit]Following a 26-carry day that produced 151 rushing yards and a touchdown against Michigan, Wisconsin football head coach Bret Bielema pointed out the finer points in the maturation of redshirt sophomore running back John Clay.“I really thought John Clay probably would be our premier back,” Bielema said. “I really like what he’s begun to do, preparation-wise. Everyone wants to pay attention to his statistics, (but) he had a couple really nice blitz pick-ups Saturday on some play-action passes.“Sunday … I went to my coaches about All-Big Ten nominees … you know, offensive player of the year — John Clay has just as good [of] a right to say that he has that as anybody.”Clay has 12 touchdowns on the season and 1,124 rushing yards. He’s averaging just over five yards per carry in a strong second-year campaign.Michigan looked vulnerable against the run Saturday, allowing two touchdowns on 229 net rushing yards.“At Wisconsin, we really believe we should be able to run the football,” Bielema said. “It’s one of the keys to our success.”Badgers Facing Former CoachSaturday marks the first time UW faces former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz. Hankwitz served on the Badger coaching staff during the 2006 and 2007 seasons before being let go. He signed with Northwestern in January 2008.“We knew this day was coming,” Bielema said. “It’s something I addressed to the players … it’s definitely something I know is being brought up down there and is up here as well.”Northwestern’s defense has improved since the addition of Hankwitz. They went from allowing 31 points per game in 2007 to just 20.15 last year, ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 27th in the nation.While at Wisconsin, Hankwitz led the Badgers in 2006 to remarkable numbers. Wisconsin ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just above 12 points a game, and fifth in total defensive yards, yielding 253.1.The following year, however, the Badgers saw marked increases in both numbers. Opponents scored 23.2 points and gained 356.6 yards per game.“Whenever you decide to make a change like that, it’s a very difficult situation,” Bielema said. “Business is business and personal is personal. I really felt at the time I needed to make a change … but I’m sure I’m not very popular in the Hankwitz household.”Bielema Praises Bscherer/Oglesby Will Need SurgeryRedshirt junior Jake Bscherer got the start against Michigan Saturday at right tackle, filling in for the still-ailing redshirt sophomore starter Josh Oglesby. Bscherer started the season at left guard but lost his spot when Big Ten play started. He returned to starting when Oglesby went down the week before at Indiana with a left knee injury.Bielema asserted that Bscherer was set to start Saturday because the team doctor advised against playing Oglesby.“If Josh looked really good, (we would have played him),” Bielema said. “But [Bscherer] did enough positive things in a tough match-up and, actually, did the week before when he was called into action. I wasn’t at that point ready to take [Bscherer] out of that role.”Bielema also said that Oglesby will need surgery following the season, on both the left knee he injured at Indiana, and the right that had been nagging him going into that game.“I give [Oglesby] credit,” Bielema said. “He’s a guy who’s going to need surgery at the end of the year … but he’s a guy who’s really sucked it up.”Bscherer and the rest of the offensive line held their own against Michigan, opening up the running game and keeping the opposing front to just two sacks.Chris Borland — Freshman of the Year?Bielema praised freshman starting linebacker Chris Borland for his play this year, naming him as his choice for Big Ten freshman of the year.“Chris Borland, if there is a freshman in the league that has had more of an effect on a team, I would be surprised,” Bielema said. “He’s been a defensive MVP of the league, special teams MVP of the league, he’s one of two or three players in the entire world of college football that has three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, in addition to a blocked punt and a kickoff return. Probably to seal the deal, I should probably let him kick a field goal.“If there’s a freshman in this league that has had more of an effect on a team that’s in the upper half of its division, then I’d be surprised.”Borland led the Badgers with 11 tackles Saturday, with seven solo tackles. He also had half a sack.
“We’ve got a head coach who we know for 10 years has been saying, ‘We’re focused on Tuesday. Today. That’s all we’re worried about is having the best practice today that we can possibly have,’” Aikman said. “And that’s been his messaging throughout, and the owner’s talking about getting on a run and winning the Super Bowl.”Added Aikman on that subject: “You’ve got a head coach who comes down and says we’re going to evaluate the kicker, and then the front office says right after that — probably in a press conference right outside the locker room — that they weren’t evaluating the kicker. All those things have an impact, and it slowly trickles down.”MORE: Mapping out Garrett’s future in DallasGarrett, 53, has taken the majority of the heat as Dallas has limped to a 6-6 record heading into its Week 14 “Thursday Night Football’ game in Chicago; enough that Sporting News is already wondering who might replace him should Jones decide not to extend the coach’s expiring contract after the season.Though Jones has said he does not plan to fire Garrett before the end of the year, the 77-year-old team owner hasn’t exactly been gushing in his support of the coach. Aikman on Wednesday allowed that “coaching hasn’t been great at times in certain situations” for the Cowboys in 2019, but he added, “the front office hasn’t been great in allowing the head coach to do his job, either.”Aikman has a unique perspective of Cowboys operations considering he was drafted by Dallas a few months after Jones purchased the team in 1989. He quarterbacked the Cowboys to consecutive Super Bowl titles in 1992 and ’93 under coach Jimmie Johnson and again in 1995 under Barry Switzer.It was clear, Aikman said Wednesday, that those coaches were the bosses in a way Garrett evidently is not.”It starts to take away some of the authority of the head coach,” Aikman said. “And it’s been going on for 20 years, and at some level there’s players that start feeling that, ‘Oh, okay. (Jones) is the guy who’s really calling all the shots.’”I think there’s some organizations that truly would do everything possible to win, they just don’t really know where to begin. And there’s different ways to do it. And I certainly understand that. But in Dallas, Dallas knows how it was done. I know how it was done. It was done with a really strong head coach who the players knew that that’s who they had to answer to.”And for some reason that model changed, and it hasn’t been very effective for a while.”MORE: Garrett’s seat among hottest in NFL One of the human beings most qualified to criticize Jerry Jones’ management of the Cowboys is doing just that.Fox NFL analyst Troy Aikman, who in 2006 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a result of his 12-year career as Dallas’ quarterback, naturally was asked Wednesday about the struggling Cowboys during his weekly radio spot on KTCK The Ticket in Dallas. When speaking his way through the myriad of issues plaguing the team that has lost three of its last for games, Aikman, 53, brought up the disconnect in Jones’ messaging at it relates to that of coach Jason Garrett. Aikman also mentioned Dallas’ playing talent is not the problem — an assertion with which Sporting News certainly agrees considering what we thought of the Cowboys entering the 2019 season. Jones, though, can no longer take the credit for the team’s astute roster-building. In Aikman’s estimation, vice president of player personnel Will McClay “is the one doing the general manager work” for the Cowboys.Dallas, 6-6, amazingly still leads the NFC East over 5-7 Philadelphia. If it wins the division, it will host a wild-card playoff game, likely against Seattle or San Francisco. Given that nonsensical seeding and the way the Cowboys have played of late, a deep playoff run is unlikely.Many believe the absence of such success will lead Jones to part ways with Garrett. Yet based on Aikman’s criticism, the franchise’s issues are unlikely to be fixed with a coaching change.