MORGANTOWN, WV – NOVEMBER 23: Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners warms up before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers on November 23, 2018 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)When the Oakland A’s drafted Kyler Murray No. 9 overall in June’s MLB Draft, they did so with the idea that Murray would eventually focus solely on baseball. Murray’s contract included a $4.6 million signing bonus and an agreement that he would only play one more season of college football.Well, Murray has been a revelation in that season, winning the Heisman Trophy and leading Oklahoma to the Big 12 title and College Football Playoff. In the meantime, he’s also rekindled talk of potentially sticking with football.Murray’s agent Scott Boras has been adamant that his client will play baseball next year. If Murray elects to continue his football career, he must forfeit his signing bonus.Boras on Kyler Murray: We negotiated a baseball contract provision allowing him to play COLLEGE football for 1 year…He is grateful & will honor agreement w/A’s & wants to be great MLB player. While every player would like to do both he understands why he’s focusing on baseball.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018However, the latest report from Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler gives more credence to the possibility that Murray is wavering on his baseball commitment. According to Kahler, Oklahoma has submitted Murray’s name to the College Advisory Council for evaluation.The CAC is a “panel of senior personnel evaluators from NFL teams and directors from the league’s two scouting organizations.” The group provided feedback for any underclassman who is considering entering the NFL Draft, and provides the player with one of three grades: potential first round pick, potential second round pick or a recommendation that the player returns to school.Most major college programs submit their top underclassmen to the College Advisory Council for evaluation at the request of the player. One scout familiar with Oklahoma’s program says that the school usually only submits the names of players they really think will come out for the draft. Through an Oklahoma spokesperson, Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley declined to comment on how OU compiles the list it submits to the CAC.According to NFL operations, programs can submit up to five players to be evaluated each year; requests to submit more than five are determined on a case-by-case basis. This year, Oklahoma submitted four players for evaluation.Murray has until January 14 to apply for entry into the 2019 NFL Draft, so he has about a month to make a formal decision. By having his name submitted to the CAC, Murray isn’t binding himself to any type of NFL commitment, but it does appear he is at least trying to cover all the bases for his future, no pun intended.Murray and Oklahoma will take on No. 1 Alabama in the Orange Bowl on January 1 for the right to play for the national championship.
Recognizing the role that forests play in everything from mitigating climate change to providing wood, medicines and livelihoods for people worldwide, the United Nations today kicked off a year-long celebration to raise awareness of the value of this important resource.“Forests for People” is the main theme of the International Year of Forests, which was launched at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York attended by world leaders, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and forest experts.The General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, on which at least 1.6 billion people depend for their daily livelihoods and subsistence needs. Forests are also home to over 60 million people, mainly members of indigenous and local communities, who reside in forests.“By declaring 2011 as the International Year of Forests, the United Nations General Assembly has created an important platform to educate the global community about the great value of forests – and the extreme social, economic and environmental costs of losing them,” noted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Today’s launch ceremony, presided over by General Assembly President Joseph Deiss, is part of the high-level segment of the UN Forum on Forests, an intergovernmental policy forum dealing with forest-related issues.Mr. Deiss noted that it is very meaningful that the International Year of Forests follows on the heels of the International Year of Biodiversity (2010), which concluded with the adoption of a new strategic plan containing targets on significantly reducing, by 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, and sustainably managing forestry to ensure biodiversity conservation.In his speech at the launch ceremony, Sha Zukang, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, noted that political interest in forests has been rising, and stressed that that interest should be translated into action.“We have to make sure that the billions of dollars pledged towards forests and climate change financing is actually released and applied to sustainable forest management,” Mr. Zukang said.Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Forum’s Secretariat said: “Every one of us, all seven billion people on earth, has our physical, economic and spiritual health tied to the health of our forest ecosystems. Throughout 2011, we will celebrate this intricate, interdependent relationship between forests and people,” she said.Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), also noted that forests represent many things to many people including spiritual, aesthetic and cultural dimensions that are, in many ways, priceless. “But they are also cornerstones of our economies, whose real value has all too often been invisible in national accounts of profit and loss,” he added.Forests cover about 31 per cent of total land area, amounting to just under 4 billion hectares, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which today released its “State of the World’s Forests” report.The report, which is published every two years, stresses that the forest industry forms an important part of a “greener” economy and wood products have environmental attributes that would appeal to people.The industry is responding to numerous environmental and social concerns by improving sustainability of resource use, using more waste materials to make products, increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions. For example, 37 per cent of total forest production in 2010 came from recovered paper, wood waste and non-wood fibres, a figure that is likely to grow to up to 45 per cent in 2030, with much of that growth from China and India.“What we need during the International Year of Forests is to emphasize the connection between people and forests, and the benefits that can accrue when forests are managed by local people in sustainable and innovative ways,” said Eduardo Rojas, FAO’s Forestry Director. Ms. Maathai noted in her address at the launch, as well as in a briefing to reporters, that the value of the International Year is the opportunity to “explore the value of the trees, the forests and the environment, as well as the value of the environmental services that these resources give us.”She added that too often forests and the services they provide are taken for granted and seen as resources that are unlimited. “But we all know now that we are facing situations where these forests are disappearing,” she told reporters. As part of the launch, international filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand will premiere his short film “FOREST.” The ceremony also featured clips from winning films from the International Forest Film Festival which was organised by the UN Forum on Forest Secretariat in collaboration with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. 2 February 2011Recognizing the role that forests play in everything from mitigating climate change to providing wood, medicines and livelihoods for people worldwide, the United Nations today kicked off a year-long celebration to raise awareness of the value of this important resource.