Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) in action in an NCAA football game between Pittsburgh and North Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the national leader in tackles for loss, has been selected the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association (ACSMA).This is the latest honor for Donald, who earlier this week was named first team All-ACC by ACSMA. The Pittsburgh native is also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.Donald led the ACC Defensive Player of the Year balloting with 44 votes. Wake Forest nose guard Nikita Whitlock followed with 10, and Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner placed third with eight votes. Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis received two votes, while Florida State safety Terrence Brooks had one.“There are some great defensive players in the ACC, so to be selected for this award is a tremendous honor,” Donald said. “I would like to thank my Pitt coaches and teammates because they share in this award. I’d also like to thank ACSMA for recognizing not only me but also Pitt with this honor.”The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald is the Panthers’ first conference player of the year since 2010 when end Jabaal Sheard, now of the Cleveland Browns, was named the Big East’s top defensive player.One of the most disruptive players in the country, Donald leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.2 per game), while ranking 12th in forced fumbles (tied, 0.33 per game) and 16th in sacks (tied, 0.83 per game). Perhaps his most impressive statistic this season: of his 54 total tackles, nearly half have been behind the line of scrimmage (26.5).A graduate of Penn Hills High School, Donald has 28.5 sacks for his collegiate career, the second most among active players and the highest total by an interior lineman.Donald’s senior year production compares remarkably with former Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who swept the Lombardi, Outland, Bronko Nagurski and Bednarik awards in 2009 and was also a Heisman Trophy finalist.Through 12 games, Donald has 26.5 TFLs and 10 sacks. Suh had 20.5 TFLs and 12 sacks in 14 games.Aaron Donald (Courier Photo/William McBride/File)Donald will be attending three national awards functions next week.On Monday, Dec. 9, he will be in Charlotte, N.C., for the presentation of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player. Donald is one of five finalists for the honor, joining Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.On Wednesday, Dec. 11, Donald will be in Houston, Texas, for the Rotary Lombardi Award banquet, which honors college football’s top lineman or linebacker. The other finalists are Mosley, Sam and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.On Thursday, Dec. 12, Donald will attend ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards telecast from the Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Donald is a finalist for two awards that will be presented on the show (which airs from 7 to 9 p.m.): the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the college defensive player of the year, and Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best offensive or defensive interior lineman.Donald is one of three finalists for each award. The other Bednarik finalists are Barr and Mosley. Donald’s competition for the Outland Trophy includes Texas A&M senior offensive tackle Jake Matthews and Baylor senior offensive guard Cyril Richardson.
…as NDIA takes away contractsTrench cleaners in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) complained bitterly to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) at the monthly statutory meeting held on Tuesday after losing their contracts with the Region.The RDC facilitated a meeting with the affected trench cleaners to hear their plightSome of the contractors meeting with the RDC on Tuesdayafter their contracts were not renewed. According to some of the cleaners, they had been maintaining the trenches in the Region for as long as 10 years without many problems and suddenly they got instructions from the Drainage and Irrigation Department of the Region to ceased work.Some of the trench cleaners complained that when they first received the contract some of the trenches were in very bad condition and they worked for as low as $6, $7, and $8 dollars per rod. However, one cleaner has told the RDC that now the hard work has been done, the contract has been taken away from them and given to close friends of high officials within the Drainage and Irrigation Department for a lucrative amount of $200 per rod. Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt immediately called on Councillors to vote for an immediate investigation and to put a hold on all new trench cleaning contracts within the Region. As such, with the support of both sides of the RDC, a vote was moved for the investigation to be launched.