Touch and taste? It’s all in the suckers Ultra-soft underwater grippers use fettuccini-like fingers to catch and release jellyfish without harm Related Harvard researchers uncover how the sensors in octopus suction cups work To sting or not to sting? For jellyfish, that is the question whenever their tentacles brush up against anything, including millions of human swimmers around the world.Stingers are fired out at about the speed of a discharged bullet. And each single specialized cell responsible for a response can only be deployed once, as they rupture when used and have to be grown back after a jellyfish ejects its venom-coated barb into an unsuspecting prey or an unlucky swimmer. Given the limitations on its arsenal, it would seem some prudence is in order.“To prevent unnecessary stinging [including of itself], there must be some kind of signal that allows the cell to shoot at the right time,” said Nicholas Bellono, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. How that stinging trigger and safeguard system works on a molecular level in jellyfish and sea anemones has long been a mystery to scientists. At least, it was until a team of researchers from Bellono’s lab solved it.They identified how the stinging cells, called nematocytes, which are found along the tentacles of sea anemones and jellyfish — both types of cnidaria — detect and filter diverse cues from the environment to control when (and when not) to sting.The researchers found that nematocyte cells from the starlet sea anemone, a relation of the jellyfish, have an unusual calcium electrical current that is critical for initiating the stinging response, but that the ion channel controlling this current only opens under very specific conditions: a combination of mechanical stimuli from a tentacle making contact with a prey or predator, like a poke, and the presence of certain chemical cues, like those from prey or predators.During all other times, these calcium channels are inactive and render the cell dormant until the right signal approaches.,“We hypothesize that first, the sea anemone detects chemicals from its prey using chemosensory cells,” said Keiko Weir, a graduate research fellow who led the project. “These chemosensory cells then relay this information to nematocytes using acetylcholine [an organic chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter]. The acetylcholine relieves inactivation of these calcium channels. This functions to prime the nematocyte to say, ‘There’s food nearby.’ Then, once the nematocyte receives a mechanical cue, such as the tentacle contacting prey, that leads to the opening of the calcium channels, resulting in a huge calcium influx and the discharge of the nematocyte.”Previous studies had already demonstrated that only the right combination of cues trigger nematocytes to fire, but the molecular process was unknown. The findings put it all together and highlight how nature has continuously developed elegant but simple systems for dealing with complex problems that call for ultrafast decision-making.“The underlying principles of any biological system is you have cells that have to take cues from their surroundings — either from other cells or directly from the environment — and translate that information into an appropriate response,” Weir said.What makes this system stand out in particular is that the final say of whether to sting comes down to the nematocyte.“It’s a great example of when a single cell has to properly integrate the right signals in order to make a correct (and very extreme) decision,” Bellono said. “We’re often thinking about systems-level questions in which the brain makes complex computations using several components of a circuit, but this study helps demonstrate that each protein and each cell is critical to such processing because it comes down to one molecule having just the right properties to fit its cellular and organismal context.” A gentle grip on gelatinous creatures Along with Weir and Bellono, other co-authors included Christophe Dupre, a postdoctoral fellow from the Engert and Lichtman Lab; Lena van Giesen, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bellono lab; and Amy Lee, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The study published in eLife in May.The team used a variety of techniques, including physiology, behavior, and electron microscopy, that allowed them to meticulously follow the electrical and chemical processes leading to the stinging response.As to why jellyfish sting an estimated 150 million people each year when humans are not its prey, the best answer is still likely a defense response. It could also lie in our chemical makeup, however.“This comes back to which chemicals are sensed,” Bellono said. “Is the animal adapted to very broadly sense some generalized chemical that’s present in many animals such as us, even though we’re not prey? There are examples of sea anemones which use specific nematocytes for predation and others for defense. There are other animals which may use chemicals to avoid stinging, such as the clownfish. Maybe those nematocytes are tuned to specific chemical inputs.”This research was supported by the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the Searle Scholars Program, the Sloan Foundation, the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, the National Institutes of Health, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Loading… Promoted ContentNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The WorldEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid ArmageddonBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?8 Most Beautiful Chinese WomenTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The World7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe This resolved Osimhen’s hesitation at accepting Napoli, so intensive negotiations with Lille found a breakthrough earlier this week, with medicals expected on Thursday or Friday. However, the change of agent created a whole new set of problems, as it’s reported in CalcioNapoli24, Sky Sport Italia, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tuttosport and others that D’Avila has promised a massive improvement on the salary negotiated by the previous representative, pledging to get him €5m net plus add-ons. Napoli, on the other hand, have already signed off on the contract worth €3.5-4m net plus circa €2m in performance-related bonuses and do not intend to change it now. CalcioNapoli24 even claim that Osimhen’s agent has asked around various Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, to see if they would be interested in entering a bidding war. Il Mattino newspaper points specifically to Manchester United as trying to ‘tempt’ Osimhen’s new agent. read also:Osimhen’s agent asks for more time as Spurs re-activate bid with Man Utd, Liverpool Napoli are increasingly irritated, but still trying to get the deal completed at the figures they had already agreed with the player. Considering this €80m deal would make him the most expensive player in Napoli’s history, they are looking elsewhere, with Real Madrid prepared to let Luka Jovic go out on loan. However, if he were to leave Madrid, then Milan would be his preferred destination. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Following the sudden break-up in the transfer negotiations between Napoli and Victor Osimhen’s new agent, Manchester United have stepped in to make contact for wantaway Nigeria and Lille striker. Serie A giants Napoli were believed to be on the verge of signing him after agreeing a £46million fee with Lille. Yet journalist Ciro Venerato claims that United have not given up the race to land Osimhen just yet. He told CalcioNapoli24: “A few hours ago Manchester United phoned Osimhen’s new agent to find out if he had signed with Napoli. “If an offer from United comes, there would not be many possibilities because they have an economic power superior to that of Napoli.” Osimhen has quickly emerged as one of Europe’s top prospects following a breakout season in France. Napoli had refused to increase the salary already agreed with Osimhen’s previous agent, as the €80m transfer from Lille is back in doubt again. This is one of those sagas that could go on for most of the summer, as it has already dragged on for weeks. First Osimhen was unconvinced by the move and felt under pressure from his agent, who had negotiated an excellent commission package for himself. The Nigerian striker then sacked his representative and brought in a new intermediary, named in the Italian media as William D’Avila.
NEW YORK — Eight former employees at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store have filed a race and age discrimination lawsuit against the high-end store and its corporate parent.The suit was filed Tuesday in New York.Attorney Derek Sells says the black, white and Hispanic men were subjected to a hostile work environment and then fired.He says managers made it difficult for them to get customers from store foot traffic, berated them, didn’t promote them and allowed younger, white colleagues to harass them.Some of the plaintiffs say that even when they made sales targets, managers would find other metrics to evaluate them poorly.Saks’ parent organization, Hudson’s Bay Co., says it is committed to diversity and inclusion and takes the allegations seriously. It is declining to comment on the litigation.Deepti Hajela, The Associated Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A tentative agreement has been reached with K-12 support workers in School District 60 on June 19 following a two-day session.CUPE 4653 President, Maureen Hummel, says it was a productive bargaining session.She also says she is proud of the Union’s bargaining team to ensure that no one was left behind when reaching any agreements. “It was a productive bargaining session with professionalism and respect shown on both sides. I am extremely proud of our bargaining team for their dedication and passion as they worked to make sure that ‘no one was left behind’.”The current K-12 agreement expires on June 30, 2019 and once the new agreement is ratified, the provincial agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.Further details of the tentative agreement will not be available until after ratification by all parties. Ratification is expected to be completed by the end of June.CUPE 4653 represents more than 500 members who provide services in Fort St. John and the surrounding communities within the North Peace.For more information about CUPE members working in K-12, you can visit bcschools.cupe.ca.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Ethics Committee Chair, Local MP Bob Zimmer, has called an emergency meeting of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee for this Wednesday on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin affair.According to Zimmer, the meeting has been called under two motions, by Conservative and NDP MPs, to hear from the Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion, about his report on Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin affair.The Ethics Commissioner appearing before the Committee is pending on the Committee’s decision; a committee which is heavily weighted by the Liberals. Zimmer says he believes Canadians are interested in hearing more details about the affair and that there are a number of details that he feels Canadians are not aware of within the report.“I think what most Canadians are curious to hear is a bit more of the details about the SNC affair and there are quite a few details in the Commissioner’s report that I don’t think have heard. We’ve heard about some big topical areas, about the corruption or the alleged pressure that was put on Jody Wilson-Raybould and those kinds of things but there’s a lot more there that will be talked about on Wednesday.”Zimmer says he will see where it goes and hopes that they will hear from the Commissioner at the meeting on Wednesday.
Los Angeles: Despite the makers and actors’ efforts to save Marvel’s much-anticipated film Avengers: Endgame from piracy, the movie has been leaked on several websites. The film’s leaked copy came from a Chinese theatrical screening which happened a day ago, variety.com reported recently. According to the piracy news site TorrentFreak, users in China began sharing a 1.2-gigabyte file of Avengers: Endgame on peer-to-peer piracy networks sometime between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. China time on April 24. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaHowever, the TorrentFreak’s report stated that the quality of the video-cammed pirated copy is particularly bad. Later, the film reportedly circulated on other platforms such as ThePirateBay and India’s TamilRockers. Directed by Russo brothers, Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of over 20 Marvel movies. It stars actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. “Keep those spoilers to yourself,” Downey tweeted after the film’s copy got leaked online. The film will release in India on April 26.
Casablanca – The Casablanca police arrested, three out of five suspects on Sunday who had robbed the passengers of a bus in Casablanca’s Enouassar neighborhood last Saturday.Armed with knives and swords, the five suspects allegedly stopped a bus in Casablanca’s Enouassar neighborhood and robbed all the passengers.Out of the five suspects, three were arrested on Sunday, whereas the two others are still on the run.Using the same weapons, a gang of masked hooligans broke into Benjelloun Stadium in Casablanca, where the Wydad soccer team was having a training session last week.The suspects assaulted and robbed Wydad’s members and players and vandalized their cars before leaving the stadium.Some of the players, suffering different degrees of injury, were taken to a hospital to receive treatment.Armed robbery, especially with the use of knives and swords, has become a recurrent phenomenon in Casablanca. Many residents of the economic capital have complained against insecurity and lack of police presence in the city.Edited by Liz Yaslik© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
In last week’s column, I pointed out the importance of teams’ early records when trying to predict their playoff fates. This prompted a few skeptical tweets, like so:This tweeter is obviously right. The first few games of the season are predictive in part because losing games makes it harder to make the playoffs, and in part because they tell us something about the strength of the teams that lost them.That said, “Correlation is not causation” is what I like to call The Hammer to end arguments against all kinds of statistical findings. People use it to bash anything, but it’s blunt and dangerous.1Every time someone uses The Hammer on me, a puppy loses its wings.The artist and writer Randall Munroe took on The Hammer in xkcd:In the alt text of that comic, he hits the nail on the head: “Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing ‘look over there.’”Let’s break down an example2Rookie Quarterback Watch has pretty much devolved into “How Bad Will the QBs Ahead of Rookie QBs Get Before the Rookie QBs Get to Start?” Watch.: Last week I observed that quarterbacks who (A) start more games in their rookie seasons (B) tend to have better careers. What does this observation imply?There are several possibilities:Starting rookies causes them to have better careers (A causes B).The types of rookies who are likely to have better careers are more likely to earn a rookie starting spot (B causes A).Rookies who are drafted higher are more likely to get starts, and are also more likely to have better careers (something else — call it C — causes both A and B).This is all just a coincidence and we should go home.Some combination of the above.That covers a lot of bases, but by making the observation, Nos. 1 through 3 become more likely than they were before. In this case, it’s fairly easy to establish that the relationship between A and B (rookie starts and non-rookie career AV) exists even when controlling for C (draft position).Following the observation that A and B are correlated, basically any possible state of the universe in which A and B are causally related has become more likely. For a Bayesian, determining which possibilities have seen their likelihood change the most involves consulting his prior beliefs, establishing which possibilities were the most likely before his new observation, and how likely the observation would be if each possibility were true. This leads to an updated set of beliefs about the likelihood of each scenario, which becomes the baseline for evaluating new observations, and so on.Charitably, “correlation ≠ causation” itself is a kind of limited Bayesian analysis. When people use it, they often mean simply that the “A causes B” scenario still doesn’t seem very likely to them, and thus they think other explanations are more likely. This is the case for most popular statistics examples, like the fact that lemon imports correlate negatively with highway fatality. That lemons are somehow preventing accidents is obviously ridiculous, so it doesn’t matter how strong the correlation is: It’s either a coincidence or we’re going to need other explanations.3I should note that for a true Bayesian, the odds that lemon imports actually do reduce highway fatality has still increased on the margins.But the idea that rookies playing could help them develop is not ridiculous — it’s highly debatable. After observing the relationship between rookie QB starts and career success (plus controlling for draft position), I must conclude that playing rookies is more likely to be good for their careers than I thought before, barring any other evidence. But that doesn’t mean it’s true. The alternative (or concurrent) explanation is also plausible: If coaches are good at determining which rookie QBs are actually good, and then tend to start the better ones, it’s still possible that starting them has a neutral (or even negative) effect on their careers individually. Regardless of which explanation is true, the observation remains the same: a rookie QB getting the start is good news for his prospects.Charts of the weekAaron Rodgers had his ups and downs against the Jets last week:I jest, of course. Rodgers brilliantly brought the Packers back from a 21-3 hole, but the comeback was complete by the end of the third quarter.This was Rodgers’s first-ever win after being down 15 points or more4I picked this number because it’s the smallest margin which Rodgers has never overcome, but as a separate and interesting point, I’ve found that 15-16 point margins, while technically “two scores” because they can be reached with two touchdowns plus two point conversions, actually act more like three score margins (17) than two score margins (14). against an opponent — though it was only his 12th opportunity. Here’s how he stacks up against other QBs since 2001 in comparable situations:Whoa, Peyton Manning! Forget Rodgers, Manning is the story here. But, it’s only 10 wins. Crazy things happen right? Let’s widen the scope, taking a look at all games in which a player’s team trailed by eight or more points, rather than just 15 or more:Peyton Manning is a practically Messi-esque outlier, complete with his own Cristiano Ronaldo to keep him company.Goatslinger of the weekThis was a tough week for gunslingers, as QBs who threw interceptions went 1-14, most of those games weren’t that close, and many of the interceptions were terrible. (Our nominal winner: Matt Ryan, whose three interceptions were at least all thrown downfield while his team was trailing.)So I’ve invented a new (hopefully temporary) award of ignominy: the Goatslinger.Andrew Luck, last week’s Gunslinger, is a contender for Goatslinger this week. With just 5:15 left, up seven against the Philadelphia Eagles, and already in field goal range, he threw an interception to Malcolm Jenkins. Plays like that give gamblers a bad name!But the top Goatslinger was Colin Kaepernick for his amazing effort to throw away San Francisco’s win against Chicago. He managed four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble), three of them with his team up, including the interception up 20-14 in the fourth quarter that led to Chicago’s game-deciding touchdown.Twitter question of the week, Part 1I had two interesting questions on Twitter this week related to the timing and length of drives. First up:The answer is essentially “none,” or that there ends up being even less scoring in these scenarios. But the question is deceptively interesting. It’s also a fun vehicle for exploring the relationship between turnover rates and scoring/touchdown rates.In general, teams score more per drive when they are behind, but are also more likely to turn the ball over. I’ve broken down drives by quarter and point margin (tied, up or down 1-3 points, 4-7 points, 8-14 points, and 15 points or more) and compared how often the drives resulted in touchdowns to how often they resulted in turnovers.5To pre-empt a question I will almost certainly get despite this attempt to pre-empt it: Yes, obviously a lot more can happen on drives than just touchdowns or turnovers. For example, drives that end in field goal attempts count as neither, even though they may lead to points. This matters in situations where there’s no time for a touchdown, or where a team only cares about the three points. But we’ve excluded a lot of those situations by filtering out the last two minutes of each half. It’s also possible to do the same analysis on a points-per-drive, or even “expected points added” basis, but the results are similar. Considering the implications are the same, I prefer the symmetry and ease of interpreting touchdowns vs. turnovers. This gives us a sense of the trade-off between the two.Think of a drive when the game is tied in the first quarter as a kind of baseline: If a team starts at least 70 yards out, 15.5 percent of such drives will end in TDs, and 12.5 percent will end in turnovers. Compare that to the situation where teams are most aggressive: when they’re down 8-14 points in the fourth quarter. In those scenarios they score touchdowns 21.2 percent of the time and turn it over at a 27.5 percent clip.As teams play more aggressively, their chances of scoring go up, but so do their chances of turning the ball over. You can think of the ratio between these chances as the “price” of marginal scoring. For example, increasing your chances of scoring a touchdown by 1 percent requires increasing your chances of turning the ball over by up to 2 percent.6I should note that this exchange rate is likely skewed a little by the fact that worse teams tend to be behind more. I’m working on deskewing this to get a more exact comparison for a future project. In some situations, that’s a price you’re willing to pay (such as when you’re behind and stalled drives are pretty much just as bad), and in some it’s not.Understanding this trade-off is useful in analyzing a whole range of things in football, and my study of it is ongoing. But in the meantime, we can use our immediate findings to look at the situations our tweeter asked about and see what’s going on there.Before the half, it’s apparent that teams are extremely willing to settle for the points they have. With between one and two minutes on the clock in the second quarter, teams score touchdowns on 7 percent of their drives and turn the ball over on 12.9 percent. These are both lower than our baseline, so they’re definitely being conservative. It’s unclear what effect more aggression would have.With between one and two minutes on the clock at the end of the fourth quarter in games separated by between four and eight points, teams score touchdowns on 15.3 percent of drives, and turn the ball over on 42.1 percent of them. This is interesting because they spend a large number of turnovers on a completely average number of touchdowns. I think this reflects time pressure, but it could also suggest that true last-ditch “prevent” defenses may be pretty effective.Twitter question of the week, Part 2The simple answer is: Absolutely, a drive that eats up clock is valuable — when a team is ahead and wants to shorten the game. But shortening the game can also be useful when one team is a lot worse than the other.Imagine trading 100 drives with a team led by Peyton Manning, the Chiefs’ opponent in Week 2. Manning scores more per drive than anyone, and his accumulated points scored over 100 of them would be impossible for all but the best teams to overcome. Say the difference between your team and Manning’s was that Manning’s was one point per drive better — in a 100-drive game, your team would have to run 100 points above expectation to have a fighting chance. Statistically, that’s virtually impossible.7A team’s standard deviation on points scored over 100 drives is only 10 times the standard deviation of points scored for a single drive, so it can’t be more than 35, which would make a 100-point swing a three-standard-deviation event.But if each team got only one drive, yours would win every time it scored and Manning’s didn’t. That’s orders of magnitude more likely.This was pretty much exactly what happened with the Chiefs against the Broncos. The Chiefs had two extremely long drives in the second half: The first came at the start of the third quarter, lasted 10 minutes, and ended with a missed 37-yard field goal. The second came at the start of the fourth quarter, lasted 7:42, and ended with a Chiefs TD that drew them within four and set up a potential game-winning drive after Manning failed to score. As a result, Manning had only two meaningful possessions in the entire second half. Down 11 points, the Chiefs needed to score twice in their three possessions and have Denver score none in their two to win. Given the circumstances, those aren’t terrible odds.But let’s focus on their second drive at the very beginning of the fourth. It’s extremely risky to draw up a drive that lasts that long when down 11, as the end of the game quickly approaches. But leaving that aside, they did score a TD in a supposedly back-breaking fashion. Are such TDs any more valuable than regular TDs in similar situations?Using play-by-play data from ESPN, I looked back at all touchdown-scoring drives starting in the third quarter8I excluded the fourth quarter to minimize end-of-game effect. since 2001 in which a team was down 11-13 points at the start. I was kind of surprised by the results:The sample sizes on these aren’t very big (it’s only 107 cases total, and the most likely drive is right around the middle), but teams have won nine of 19 cases (47 percent) in which their scoring drives lasted longer than three minutes. That’s a pretty big number for being down, and it’s way higher than the 20 percent teams won after scoring on more normal drives. Why and if that’s significant, I don’t know, but it certainly leaves open the possibility that long drives like that may indicate/affect something larger.The Hacker Gods read FiveThirtyEightAs we all know, the Hacker Gods — who probably created this universe, by accident, while simulating a fourth-dimensional supernova — obviously read FiveThirtyEight. Last week they appeared to enjoy bolstering my analysis of Philip Rivers, but this week they are trying to undo me.Aaron Rodgers, whom I previously criticized for playing too conservatively (especially when behind), somehow brought the Packers back from 18 down against the Jets, earning the first 15+ point comeback victory of his career.Last week I talked up the majesty of gambling even if it risks an interception, but in Week 2 quarterbacks who threw one or more interceptions went 1-14.The only INT-throwing QB to win was Nick Foles against the Colts, but he won in part because inaugural Gunslinger of the Week Andrew Luck basically gave the game away by throwing his own INT with his team up seven and in field goal range in the fourth (suffice to say, that is a terrible spot to gamble).Experimental chart of the weekInspired by the Aaron Rodgers comeback, I asked on Twitter who people would want leading their team if it was down 15 or more points. Andrew Luck won the straw poll by a landslide with 47 percent of the votes, versus 20 percent for Peyton Manning. (Turnout was poor.9Only 15 votes total.)From the Charts of the Week above, this might seem pretty silly. For the most part, it is: Manning has won a higher percentage of games in which he has been down by 15 points than Luck, over a lot more games, even though it seems Luck has been on a tear for a couple of years. Impressive, but Manning has been down 15 much less often than Luck.This chart plots the percentage of 15-point comeback opportunities won vs. how often those opportunities have come up. I’ve also represented the total number of games, the number of comeback opportunities, and the number of successful comebacks as concentric circles, and plotted like so:Manning is even more impressive relative to Brady/Rodgers, but Luck managing to win in 3 of just 13 tries despite being on a team that ends up in that spot 36 percent of the time isn’t too shabby (the other data point near Luck at 20 percent is Matthew Stafford). If he can keep that up for another decade or so, he might just be a worthy successor to Manning.Most empirically significant game of Week 3If I could only watch one game, obviously it would be the Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl rematch. But there is probably nothing that could happen in that game that would surprise me.Minnesota at New Orleans, on the other hand, holds some mystery. It may have even more empirical effect on Peyton Manning’s legacy than Manning’s own game: Every game that Matt Cassel bombs is more evidence that Bill Belichick has more to do with Tom Brady’s success than Tom Brady (because then it’s more likely that Cassel’s/Brady’s success in New England was because of Belichick), that Randy Moss is likely responsible for much of Brady’s (and Cassel’s) statistical accomplishment, and thus that Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of this generation.Charts by Reuben Fischer-BaumCORRECTION (Sept. 18, 1:50 p.m.): This article originally misstated the time and recipient of Andrew Luck’s interception in the Colts’ game against the Eagles. Luck threw the interception with 5:15, not 5:32, left in the fourth quarter and Malcolm Jenkins, not Rahim Moore, intercepted it.
Watch the Lantern TV sports team’s highlights from the Ohio State shutout against Rutgers.
Former Florida coach and current ESPN analyst Urban Meyer has agreed in principle to become Ohio State’s next head football coach, according to a report from WKMG-TV in Orlando. An OSU spokesman on Wednesday did not deny that Meyer will be the Buckeyes next coach. According to the WKMG-TV report, the deal is worth $40 million over seven years, which would make Meyer the highest paid coach in OSU history. “We have not been commenting on rumors and speculation,” university spokesman Jim Lynch said in an email to The Lantern. Meyer released a statement through ESPN denying a deal is in place. “I have not been offered any job nor is there a deal in place,” Meyer said in the statement. “I plan on spending Thanksgiving with my family and will not comment on this any further.” If the report is true, Meyer will be replacing interim coach Luke Fickell, who has led the Buckeyes to an 6-5 regular season record. Meyer began his coaching career at OSU when he accepted a graduate-assistant position for the Buckeyes in 1986 as the tight end coach. He became a wide receiver coach the following year. For the next 13 years, Meyer served as an assistant coach, which included stints at Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame. In 2001, Meyer accepted his first head coaching position at Bowling Green where he led the Falcons to a 17-6 record in his two years there. He left to accept another head coaching job at the University of Utah in 2003. Meyer led the Utes to a 10-2 record and was named Coach of the Year in the Mountain West Conference. The following season, Meyer coached Utah to an undefeated season and beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, 35-7. It was the first time since the creation of the BCS that a school from a non-automatically qualifying BCS conference was able to run the table and finish the year without a loss. After the 2004 season, both Florida and Notre Dame pursued Meyer to become their next head coach. Meyer chose Florida and signed a $14 million contract. Meyer went 9-3 during his first year as the Gators coach, including a 31-24 victory of Iowa in the Outback Bowl. During his second year as Florida coach, Meyer led the Gators to a National Championship and 13-1 record by defeating the OSU 41-14 in the BCS Championship Game. Two years later, Florida won another National Championship after defeating the University of Oklahoma in the BCS Championship Game, 24-14. On Dec. 26, 2009, Meyer announced he would be resigning as coach of Florida following the team’s scheduled appearance in the BCS Sugar Bowl due to chest pains and severe headaches. The following day, Meyer announced an indefinite leave of absence instead of resigning. On Jan. 1, 2010, Meyer coached the Gators to a 51–24 Sugar Bowl victory against Cincinnati. After the win, Meyer took time off, but returned to his role as Gators head coach in time for the start of spring practice. Florida went 7-5 during the 2010 regular season, but on Dec. 8 Meyer announced his retirement from coaching. In his final game as Gator head coach, Florida beat Penn State in The Outback Bowl, 37-24. In 2011, Meyer accepted a position at ESPN working as a college football analyst.