Leicester have handed striker Jamie Vardy a “substantial fine” and said he will take diversity awareness training after the England international was filmed using racist language in a casino. “The relationship is okay. We go on and forward. The club has said it is okay. James has apologised and for me it is okay.” Leicester will be hoping it is business as usual at Upton Park, where it looks like Vardy will retain his place in the Foxes team. ”I think so he will start. Every match is different and the manager must choose the best solution for his players,” said Ranieri. Vardy, who opened the scoring for Leicester last weekend as they began the season with a 4-2 home victory over Sunderland, was a late bloomer at the highest level. He was still playing non-league football with Fleetwood as recently as 2012 but made his name following a £1million move to Leicester. That made him the most expensive non-league player in history but he soon began repaying the faith of then-manager Pearson. He scored 16 goals as the Foxes won promotion to the top flight, netting five times during the last campaign as the team fashioned an unlikely escape from relegation. Vardy was rewarded with a maiden England call-up by Roy Hodgson, making his debut as a second-half substitute in the goalless friendly draw against the Republic of Ireland in June. The Sun on Sunday published a video showing Vardy abusing a fellow gambler and calling him ”Jap” on three occasions. The incident is reported to have taken place in the early hours of July 26 and the 28-year-old has since apologised for a ”regrettable error in judgement”. The Barclays Premier League club have been conducting their own investigation into what happened and in a statement on Thursday evening announced they had dealt with the matter. Press Association The statement said: “Leicester City Football Club has concluded its investigation into claims made against Jamie Vardy in the national media last weekend. “Having established a full account of the incident in question and taken into consideration Jamie’s prompt apology, the club has issued the player with a substantial fine and prescribed a programme of diversity awareness training. “Jamie has been reminded of his responsibilities to the club, his profession and the Leicester community. The fine will be donated to local charities. “The club will make no further comment on the matter, which it now deems to be closed.” Earlier in the day Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri insisted Vardy would not be sacked as he fielded questions on the incident at his pre-match press conference, ahead of the trip to West Ham on Saturday. Leicester are owned by the Thai Srivaddhanaprabha family and it is only a matter of weeks since they terminated the contracts of Tom Hopper, Adam Smith and James Pearson, son of former manager Nigel, for their conduct on a close-season tour of Thailand. Ranieri was confident the same fate would not befall Vardy, which the later announcement confirmed. Italian boss Ranieri said: “No. It is not my matter, but he won’t be (sacked). The situation is everything is okay, Jamie apologised to everyone, it was a mistake.
Ollie Jung | Daily TrojanSince I finished my term as sports editor of the Daily Trojan in December, I’ve largely taken a break from watching the Trojans — following 20 programs over the course of the year can lead to some burnout. So even after getting an alert for USC’s 69-64 victory over Stanford on Wednesday night, I assumed that the men’s basketball program remained in a tailspin.Last I checked, USC had lost a class-headlining commitment from Taeshon Cherry and suspended sophomore guard De’Anthony Melton for the season in connection with the Tony Bland scandal. The FBI investigation cast a massive shadow over the start of the season, and head coach Andy Enfield’s squad plummeted from its No. 10 preseason ranking. A campaign that began with arguably the highest hopes in program history looked like it had gone down the tubes before the start of conference play.That’s why I did a double take on Thursday, when I saw the Trojans sat at second place the Pac-12 standings. I suppose it was easy to dismiss their chances during a 2-4 skid after Thanksgiving — including a 103-93 loss to Princeton at the Galen Center — especially when compared to USC’s perfect, 14-0 non-conference mark last season. But the Trojans have rebounded, racing out to a 7-2 start in Pac-12 play to put them at the conference summit alongside No. 11 Arizona (7-1). They earned consecutive wins at Oregon and Oregon State for the first time in the Enfield era last week. The team is riding a five-game winning streak, and after a month-long absence, it is back in the NCAA tournament in ESPN’s Bracketology projections. The usual suspects have spearheaded the Trojans’ resurgence. Junior forwards Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright lead the way in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.4 and 15.1 points per game, respectively, and around seven rebounds per game each.Meanwhile, senior guard Jordan McLaughlin remains USC’s heartbeat, accounting for close to half of the squad’s assists this season while also leading the roster in steals. His clutch free-throw shooting steered the Trojans to victory at Oregon last week. As the team has rounded into form, it has also displayed its depth. Senior guard Elijah Stewart and freshman guard Jordan Usher joined forces from beyond the arc to rally the team past Oregon State two days after the win in Eugene, and sophomore guard Jonah Mathews came off the bench to pour in 18 points against Stanford on Wednesday. Redshirt junior guard Shaqquan Aaron and sophomore forward Nick Rakocevic — last season’s breakout stars — are still key contributors off the bench, and redshirt sophomore guard Derryck Thornton has been logging important minutes in his first season of eligibility since transferring from Duke in 2016. If this strong play continues, USC can legitimately aim to improve on last year’s round-of-32 performance at March Madness this spring, despite all the nervous buzz that has swirled around the program since September. As the Trojans re-enter the national conversation, however, they must avoid complacency. The team deserves praise for its mental fortitude during a distraction-filled season, but it now prepares for the toughest stretch in its schedule.USC hosts Pac-12 cellar dweller Cal this weekend. After that, though, the Trojans have a date with UCLA in Westwood followed by a road trip to face No. 21 Arizona State and Arizona back-to-back. The two Oregon schools visit Los Angeles once USC gets back from Arizona, then the team wraps up the season at Colorado, at Utah and, finally, versus UCLA at the Galen Center. It would only take three wins from the remaining nine games for the Trojans to match last season’s 10-8 record in the Pac-12. But even that is no guarantee with 10 of 12 teams in the conference sitting above .500 and boasting strong records at home. Road games in the Pac-12 have been a sore spot for Enfield since the head coach arrived in 2013, and five of them wait to wrap up the regular season. Fortunately, only USC’s clashes against the Bears and Utes are scheduled for the Pac-12 Network — the rest will be on national television. This means Enfield’s team has the chance to turn heads around the country as they take on their strongest opponents of the season in the fight for first place.The Trojans’ season hangs on this final run of games. They certainly aren’t irrelevant by any stretch — but they also haven’t proved anything just yet.Ollie Jung is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. His column, “Jung Money,” runs