After losing his grandmother and girlfriend within hours of each other last week, Irish linebacker Manti Te’o could have left Notre Dame and his teammates to be with his family in Hawaii. Instead, he stayed in South Bend and led his team to a decisive victory at Michigan State on Saturday. This Saturday, under the Notre Dame Stadium lights, tens of thousands of Fighting Irish fans will return the favor and display their support for Te’o during his time of loss by donning leis at the football team’s night game against Michigan. The “Wear a Lei for Manti” campaign was conceived at a Monday night meeting of the Leprechaun Legion when the student spirit group discussed the possibility of giving out leis to students at the pep rally before the Michigan game, senior and Legion football leader Rosemary Kelly said. “The idea was suggested at the Legion meeting in recognition of Manti’s allegiance to Notre Dame, his sacrifice to stay an extra year and his decision to play in the Michigan State game under personally difficult circumstances,” she said. “As students, we want to do our part and let him know that we value his contributions and support him as a man of Notre Dame, on and off the field.” Coincidentally, a similar idea was posted by someone unrelated to the Legion on the social media pages of The New ND Nation (TNNDN), a Notre Dame fan group committed to positive attitudes toward the school, within hours of the Legion’s meeting, Kelly said. Lynne Gilbert, a TNNDN volunteer who manages the group’s Twitter account, said the group helped publicize the idea via Twitter and Facebook on Monday. By Tuesday morning, a local South Bend radio station contacted Gilbert to discuss the lei campaign. “[The idea for the campaign] just blew up on Monday after we asked our Twitter followers what they thought of it,” she said. “We started a Facebook event page, ‘Wear a Lei for Manti,’ that now has 4,000 members, so it’s just been growing and growing.” The social media-driven publicity helped the Legion find a way to distribute leis to students without violating NCAA compliance rules about paying for promotional items in Te’o’s name, Kelly said. “We had to figure out how to pull it off without spending any money,” Kelly said. “Fortunately, a flurry of social media in the last few days has garnered support for the movement, and less than 24 hours after the idea surfaced, we had a donation for the pep rally, and we now have an opportunity to make the idea a reality.” Kelly said United Beverage Company of South Bend volunteered to donate 7,500 leis to the Legion to be distributed at Friday’s pep rally. At least 25,000 leis will be distributed Saturday from various sources, Gilbert said. Budweiser and WSBT have partnered to donate 10,000 leis for students on gameday, Brothers Bar and Grill will contribute 1,000 leis to the campaign and TNNDN purchased 500 leis with out-of-pocket money and donations received through its website. Gilbert said TNNDN’s goal in supporting the lei campaign was rooted in the group’s love for Notre Dame. “We really just want to give back to Manti and the whole team. Look what he’s done through adversity … just going out there and playing with his heart and putting it all on the field,” she said. “It’s a different atmosphere and the team is so unified, so anything we can do to give back to them, we want to do.” As a member of Notre Dame’s student community, Kelly said the movement holds even greater meaning. “Hopefully students will take a moment to think about what the lei means as they put it on. It is a sign of affection for Manti and a symbol of our support for him,” she said. “It is a nod toward what we, as a community, hold to be important in our representative student-athletes, and after this week, I think each student on campus will have a new awareness of just how tight-knit the Notre Dame community is and will realize that community does not end at campus boundaries.” For more information, visit TNNDN’s website, www.thenewndnation.com, and the Facebook pages of TNNDN and the Leprechaun Legion.
Arsenal plotting £60m move for Manchester United target Issa Diop Advertisement Arteta wants defensive reinforcements (Picture: Getty)The Red Devils have since tracked Diop’s progress and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an admirer of the towering defender, who has grown in stature during his 18 months in England.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBut United were quoted a price of around £60m for Diop last summer and that figure could rise with Arsenal interested. Arteta has improved Arsenal’s defence since his appointment in December but he wants defenders that are comfortably at defending one-on-one, which will crucially allow his side to push further up the field.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityDiop’s pace and towering strength makes him a suitable candidate and the Frenchman would be keen on a move to the Emirates.West Ham would be reluctant to sell Diop but they’re currently joint-18th and are likely to need to stay up to keep the defender.Hammers co-owner Karen Brady has confirmed that the club are one of only two clubs to request that the current season is voided due to the coronavirus outbreak.MORE: Kevin Durant’s brother slams ‘dumb a**’ Rudy Gobert after kid who received autograph from Utah Jazz star tests positive for COVID-19 Metro Sport ReporterSunday 15 Mar 2020 7:14 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link6.3kShares Comment Issa Diop is valued at £60m (Picture: Getty)Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is keen to begin his overhaul of the Gunners with a move for £60m-rated West Ham star Issa Diop.The Frenchman has been a shining light in an otherwise difficult season for the Hammers and the club know they need to stay up to stand any chance of keeping the defender. Diop signed for the Hammers in a £22.5m deal from Toulouse in 2018 and he drew praise from former United manager Jose Mourinho shortly after his arrival. Advertisement
PM mum on new Haitian armyPrime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant has shied away from confirming whether or not Haiti’s new army will be officially commissioned on November 18, but promising it will not be one aimed at tormenting the population.“It will be an army at the service of the population and not a tormenting army,” he told reporters, adding that the army in Haiti L had never been disbanded.Never a dissolution of the Haitian ArmyLafontant said the 1987 Constitution stipulates that “the country has two security forces: the Armed Forces of Haiti and the National Police,” adding “there has never been a dissolution of the Armed Forces of Haiti (FAD’H) but only an administrative measure of demobilization of this military force.” He did not provide other details, claiming national security concerns.There is mounting speculation here that the former armed forces of Haiti could be officially re-mobilized on November 18, coinciding with the 214th anniversary of the battle of Vertières.Prime Minister Lafontant, who did not want to confirm this date, told reporters only that the time is coming and the remobilization of the FAD’H “is an act of justice for our ancestors and our heroes of independence and will allow us to repatriate our national sovereignty.”Hundreds of youth have joined armyHe said that after the launch of the recruitment process initiated by Defence Minister Hervé Denis, last July, 2,350 young people including 350 girls, had been registered in the army. The final steps in remobilizing the army will be undertaken in a transparent manner.He reiterated that the new army will have another mission and another direction than that of the past.Haiti’s army was disbanded in 1995 by former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide following a military coup. However, in recent months, there have been calls for the establishment of an army following the decision of the United Nations to end its operations here this month.The UN mission in Haiti has been in place following a second coup against Aristide that took place in 2004.For more recent news on Haiti, click the link: UN envoy announced: Haiti’s stability greater