Tsali Recreation Area’s 42-mile trail system in Nantahala National Forest is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the country, and according to a lot of mountain bikers, recent trail work did more damage than good.The largest concern with the work involves the creation of a high number of rolling dips for drainage implemented throughout the entire trail system. Rolling dips are the preferred form of water control in modern trail building, but according to Woody Keen, the president of the Professional Trail Builders Association, the new dips don’t meet standards. “They’re too abrupt and most of them don’t drain water,” Keen says. “The work didn’t enhance the mountain bike experience. It made it worse.”The botched trail work has prodded local bikes to create a new SORBA chapter dedicated to maintaining it. It will also reach out to other land managers in the area, like Western North Carolina University and the Fontana Village, to help develop and maintain trail systems outside of Tsali.“Tsali is like the Grand Old Dame of mountain biking,” says Bryson City Bicycles owner Andy Zivinsky. “We’re gonna bring Tsali back to what it used to be.”The next Tsali trail work weekend is scheduled for April 15-17.
Baylor, at 23-and-1, held onto the top spot in the latest AP poll. The Jayhawks last night beat Iowa State, 91-to-71.Other highly-ranked teams in action tonight include number-five Dayton at VCU, seventh-ranked Maryland meeting Northwestern, and number-eight Florida State against Pittsburgh. Penn State, ranked ninth, meets Illinois, while number-ten Kentucky is at LSU.NHL-SCHEDULEPenguins host Maple LeafsPITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins, who are now within one point of first-place Washington in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division, look to stay on the winning track tonight as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Judge doesn’t take batting practiceTAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge did not hit or throw during the team’s first full squad workout because of what the team said was a minor right shoulder issue.Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the problem is not considered serious and that Judge could start to ramp up activities in a couple days. Judge is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. Judge had been taking part in early workouts at the Yankees’ minor league complex and experienced some soreness in the last couple weeks. He shut down from hitting about a week ago.NFL-SAINTS-BREES — The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed starting left tackle D.J. Humphries to a three-year contract that keeps him with the team through the 2022 season. The 26-year-old Humphries started all 16 games at left tackle last season, anchoring an offensive line that protects franchise quarterback Kyler Murray, who was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. The Cardinals finished 5-10-1 last season but the offense showed considerable improvement under Murray, first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury and a reliable offensive line.TRUMP-DEBARTOLOTrump pardons former 49ers ownerWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former San Francisco 49ers owner convicted in a gambling fraud scandal.DeBartolo Jr. built the San Francisco 49ers’ 1980s-1990s dynasty. He was involved in one of the biggest owners’ scandals in the sport’s history. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony when he paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license. The White House announced the surprise decision to reporters on Tuesday.NFL great Jerry Rice played on three of DeBartolo’s Super Bowl-winning teams and says DeBartolo “was like that 12th man” of the great 49ers teams.CHINA OUTBREAK-DAVIS CUPCoronavirus forces Davis Cup forfeitLONDON (AP) — China has forfeited a Davis Cup tie because its men’s tennis team cannot travel to Romania next month. The Nashville Predators, riding their first three-game winning streak since October, host Carolina as the Predators try to fight their way into the playoff picture.The Buffalo Sabres, winners of three straight, skate at Ottawa.The St. Louis Blues are trying to snap a four-game losing streak as they host the New Jersey Devils. The Blues still lead both the Central Division and the West.Other NHL action tonight finds Columbus at Philadelphia, the Canadiens in Detroit, and Los Angeles at Winnipeg.NHL-CAPITALS-SHARKS TRADE February 18, 2020 Capital acquire Dillon from SharksARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Brenden Dillon in a trade with the San Jose Sharks.Washington sent a 2020 second-round pick and conditional 201 third-round pick to San Jose for the pending unrestricted free agent. The second-round pick originally belonged to Colorado. The Sharks are keeping half of Dillon’s salary and cap hit to facilitate the move.Dillon gives the Capitals another veteran on the blue line as they try to make another Stanley Cup run. The 20-year-old is a left-handed shooter who has averaged just under 20 minutes of ice time per game this season.MLB-YANKEES-JUDGE Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditCOLLEGE BASKETBALL-SCHEDULEBaylor at OklahomaNORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Ahead of this weekend’s big matchup against number-three Kansas, top-ranked Baylor visits Oklahoma tonight. Brees plans to be back with Saints next seasonNEW ORLEANS (AP) — Quarterback Drew Brees says he intends to play for the New Orleans Saints again next season. The 41-year-old Brees announced his intention to “make another run at it” in what would be his 20th NFL season in a social media post on Tuesday.Brees is the NFL’s all-time leader in completions with 6,867 as well as yards passing with 77,416 and touchdowns with 547. Brees was productive and led the Saints to the playoffs last season despite missing five games with a throwing hand injury. He completed 74.3% of his passes with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions.In other NFL news:— Punter Ryan Allen and kicker Younghoe Koo are set to return to the Atlanta Falcons next season. Allen and Koo each joined the Falcons midway through the 2019 season and performed well enough to earn new deals. Each has signed one-year contract extensions for the 2020 season. Allen averaged 41.9 yards on 28 punts in the final eight games of the season. Allen has logged seven NFL seasons, including six with the New England Patriots. Koo was good on 23 of 26 field goals. He led the NFL with 84 points in the final eight games of the regular season. Update on the latest in sports: The International Tennis Federation cited “increased restrictions in response to the current coronavirus outbreak” for the decision.The death toll in mainland China due to the virus named COVID-19 had risen to almost 1,900 on Tuesday, with more than 72,000 confirmed cases.The outbreak has caused numerous sports events in China to be cancelled, postponed, or moved, and has affected the ability of Chinese teams to travel for competition. Associated Press
“Any Given Saturday” runs on Thursdays, ironically. To explain to Nick how this makes no sense, or comment on this column, email him at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.com.Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMBurton I thought I was going to be upset.When the clock hit triple zeros Saturday, and the student section emptied quicker than the 9-0 after undercover cops arrive, I have to admit I was a little surprised, and briefly a little miffed.“This is USC,” I thought. “USC doesn’t rush the field. USC should never rush the field. USC expects — or at least should expect — to beat everyone.”Think about how backwards this sentence is: “USC fans stormed the field after the unranked Trojans upset No. 5 Stanford.” What? USC fans stormed the field? USC was unranked and Stanford was fifth? Backwards — that’s the only way to describe it.The college football universe was simultaneously flipped right side up and further upside down on Saturday. For USC (11 national championships, six Heisman Trophy winners, .706 winning percentage) to be that thrilled after beating Stanford (one national title, one Heisman winner, .573 winning percentage) just seems wrong. And in many ways it is. But not on Saturday.The saying goes, “Act like you’ve been there before.” I certainly quote it a lot. USC has beaten Stanford roughly two out of every three times they’ve played. In that respect, USC had certainly “been there.” But this was about more than that. As has often been pointed out in the days since, USC hadn’t really been there. Not in this way.No current student or player knew what it was like to beat Stanford. USC hadn’t beaten them at home since 2005. The Trojans had never before lost four straight games to the Cardinal — no one knew what it was like to beat them after that.So no, I wasn’t upset. How could I — or anyone other than an old curmudgeon — be?The last time students stormed the Coliseum field, as best anyone can remember, was 1999, when USC knocked off UCLA for the first time in nine years. But that scene, to hear it described, didn’t compare to Saturday. For a scene like that, you have to go back to 1996, when the Trojans beat Notre Dame after 13 years of failure — and one tie — against the Irish.The Irish were ranked 10th on that November evening, a 27-20 overtime win for the Trojans. The Bruins were unranked in 1999. The Cardinal, of course, were ranked fifth. But as 1999 shows, the ranking isn’t what’s important. USC fans didn’t storm the field because the Trojans beat a good team. They stormed because the Trojans beat a team that had their number.As ABC’s Brent Musberger asked co-commentator Kirk Herbstreit after the game, while surveying the sea of cardinal and gold on the field below them, “Is there anything better than college football?”That’s a debate for another time. But that Saturday, on that field, the answer was exactly as Herbstreit gave it: “Nothing.” There is something about college sports that bonds players and fans in a way that professional sports simply cannot match.Coach Orgeron has his line: “One team, one heartbeat.” But there’s one more clause that should be added to that. “One team, one heartbeat, one Trojan family.” Corny as it might sound, that’s how I felt trying to pick my way through the mayhem that ensued on that field.And as vexed as I initially was when I saw the student section start to empty, the sheer jubilation that surrounded me made that feeling go away almost instantly. And it wasn’t about beating the No. 5 team in the country — I still believe that USC, being USC, should expect to do that. As I wrote last week, it was about something else. It was about restoring order in the college football world. It was about finally, finally, beating “Stanfurd.”