Balotelli deleted the offending post as criticism began to mount but FA guidelines state that ”deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken”. The minimum ban for a race-related on-pitch offence is five matches, but that would not apply in a case such as Balotelli’s, for which no specific punishments are outlined. Vivian Wineman, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said of the posting: ”Balotelli’s sharing of images which use unacceptable language and appeal to classic antisemitic tropes is troubling. ”We were pleased to see his immediate retraction and apology but such language has no place in public discourse. ”We welcome the decision by the FA to investigate this matter.” Liverpool were embroiled in a race row in 2011 when Reds striker Luis Suarez received an eight-match ban from the FA for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. The unsavoury incident was the first in a handful of controversies involving Suarez, who was sold to Barcelona last summer. “It is alleged the Liverpool player breached FA rule E3 in that his posting was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper. “It is further alleged that this is an ‘aggravated breach’ as defined by FA rule E3 as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.” Balotelli has until 6pm on Monday, December 15 to respond to the charge. A Liverpool club spokesperson commented: “We acknowledge the FA’s decision and the player will work through the process to answer the charge. “While that process is on-going the club will not be making any further comment.” The striker apologised on Monday, writing on Twitter: “I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour. I now understand that out of context (it) may have the opposite effect.” Balotelli had until 6pm on Friday to submit an explanation for his comments to the FA and he reportedly provided evidence of the discrimination he has faced during in his career. The 24-year-old, who will miss Liverpool’s match against Sunderland on Saturday with a groin injury, has scored only two goals in his 14 appearances for the club this season following a transfer from AC Milan. Press Association Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been charged by the Football Association following allegedly racist and anti-semitic comments on social media. Italy international Balotelli reposted an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram earlier this week, which was accompanied by the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”. The FA announced in a statement on Friday: “Mario Balotelli has been charged by the FA in relation to a recent posting on social media.
“One-Two Punch” runs Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email James at [email protected] The sophomore slump is as much a part of sports as hot dogs and cheerleaders.The term means exactly what it says — a player, in his second year, fails to come close to living up to the enormous expectations placed on him after the success of his rookie season.Sophomore slumps are fairly common, partly because opposing teams now know exactly what to expect and how to prepare for it, and partly because the players themselves cannot seem to maintain the levels of confidence they had the year before.But after a breakout freshman season in which he posted 792 yards receiving and six touchdowns on 65 receptions, sophomore receiver Robert Woods seems to ignore this phenomenon altogether.The wideout has taken his game to new levels, and hasn’t hesitated a moment to prove it. In the first game of the season alone, Woods had a record-setting 17 catches, torching Minnesota for 177 yards and three touchdowns.In that one game, Woods matched almost a quarter of his receptions and yards, and half of his touchdowns from the entire 2010 season.Since then, the sophomore has had two straight games of eight receptions each, totaling 184 yards and a touchdown.Woods is on pace to reel in 132 passes for 1,444 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2011, which is enough to shatter the single-season records in receptions and yards.He’s just the latest in a long line of star wideouts to start their legacies at USC, but Woods seems to have a step up on even those pass-catchers immortalized in Heritage Hall.A simple glance at the sophomore isn’t enough to reveal why exactly this is — as a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, Woods isn’t exactly Dwayne Jarret-esque. In fact, he’s one of the smaller guys on the team.So what makes Woods so good?You could point to his rapport with junior quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley has already spoken of the “telepathic” connection the two share when on the field, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an instance of miscommunication so far this year.It is no coincidence Barkley targets Woods more often than any of his other receivers and has completed more than 80 percent of his passes when doing so.One could argue that his fundamentals — crisp route running, the fact that he uses his hands and not his body to catch passes — can also be credited for his blossoming success.Woods is able to exploit even the smallest advantages he has over a defense and turn them into major gains for the Trojans.Though these attributes have bolstered his skyrocketing numbers, they take a backseat to the true reason for Woods’ meteoric rise: his focus.Woods is 19 years old, and yet he has put himself in a position to be successful from the start of his career.In a season where the Trojans have seen their share of off-field incidents and academic ineligibilities, the kid who is still getting used to seeing R-rated movies in theaters has managed to become the role model most veterans hope to become.Woods has made it look easy to fill the shoes of the great receivers before him, but it wouldn’t be possible without his ability to stay on track and ensure his continued development as a football player. With the common story in sports today centering on the wasted potential of athletes for one reason or another, he makes for a refreshing case study.Though there is a lot more football to be played and a lot left to prove, Woods has made it clear he doesn’t intend on letting up anytime this season. The sophomore’s talent and fundamentals are unparalleled, and his work ethic will ensure he stays at the top of his game.But more than anything, Woods is simply just too focused to be bothered, especially with something as ridiculous as a sophomore slump.