Former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian hired by Alabama as offensive analyst

first_imgFormer USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian is joining Alabama’s coaching staff as an offensive analyst, Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed on Monday.Sarkisian was infamously fired at USC weeks into the 2015 season following a series of alcohol-related issues that began with a rant at the annual Salute to Troy event, where he appeared to be intoxicated. Then-Athletic Director Pat Haden gave him the axe in October after he showed up to a practice in poor condition.The 42-year-old was slated to join Fox Sports as a television analyst this season, but instead will take a job with the Crimson Tide.“We’re glad to have him as part of the organization,” Saban said to the media. “Hopefully he’ll be able to get back on his feet professionally and this will be beneficial to him.”Sarkisian will work with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who was also fired from USC in less-then-amicable fashion. Both Sarkisian and Kiffin also coached under Pete Carroll with the Trojans.Due to NCAA rules on staff size, Sarkisian will not be able to coach players on the field. He is the fifth former head coach to join Alabama’s coaching staff.Saban said that he and Sarkisian had discussed the role “quite a while ago.”“He’s going through some personal things himself to get himself in a very positive position and wants to continue to do those things in the future and professionally,” Saban said. “He loves coaching. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a very, very good coach.”Saban added that Sarkisian is aware of ramifications should concerns flare up again.“I think he understands the consequences that he deals with professionally if he has any issues or problems,” Saban said.Sarkisian is still in the midst of a legal battle with USC. He filed a wrongful terminal lawsuit against the University last December, claiming the school should have allowed him to seek treatment for alcoholism rather than dismissing him. The case is headed for arbitration; Sarkisian is seeking the $12.6 million remaining on his contract in addition to unspecified damages.last_img read more

Benin Agog as Edo State Hosts NWPL Super 4

first_imgThe interest in partnering with the Edo State government on the 2017 NWPL Super Four championship,According to sources conversant with developments around the league, the involvement of Edo State government in the 2017 NWPL Super Four championship, is as a result of the high premium the Godwin Obaseki-led administration places on sports, which has made the state the preferred destination for sporting events.For participants to have a hitch-free event, the Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia Stadium is wearing a new look, while hotel reservations for players and officials of the tournament have been finalised.Coaches of the participating teams; Bayelsa Queens, Delta Queens, Rivers Angels and Nasarawa Amazons who spoke with journalists on arrival in Benin City yesterday, expressed their excitements about playing in the Edo State capital.They pointed at the reception that was given to the national Under-20 female team, the Falconets and the excellent result they got against the Tanzanites.Chairperson of the Women’s League in Nigeria, Aisha Falode, said she is excited with the support of the Edo State governor and promised that in future, if given any challenge by the Edo State government, she will not relent but deliver.“All the teams for the Super 4 are at home here in Benin City because of the cosy environment provided for us to play the tournament here. We cannot wish for more than what Governor Obaseki has done for the growth of female football in the country,” concludes Falode with gratitude.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Adibe Emenyonu in Benin CityAs the much awaited female soccer fiesta, The Nigerian Women Professional Football League (NWPL) Super Four begins on Monday in Benin City, several partners and participants of the tournament have expressed enthusiasm with the coming of the competition to the ancient city.last_img read more

Drake Sweeps Weekly MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week Awards

first_imgDrake University sophomores Rai Ahmed-Green (Irvine, Calif.) and Reed Timmer (New Berlin, Wis.) have been selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday, Dec. 8. Both were honored for their performances during the period of Nov. 30 – Dec. 6.Timmer and Ahmed-Green are the eighth and ninth Drake student-athletes to earn MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors this season. Ahmed-Green, a member of the women’s track and field team, opened up the indoor track season by taking first place in the 300 meters and setting a facility record at the SDSU Holiday Invite. Her time of 39.98 was a personal best and is the 12th fastest time in the nation this season. Ahmed-Green also finished sixth in the 60 meters and contributed to the Bulldogs’ second place finish in the 4×400-meter relay. Ahmed-Green is an English and journalism major and holds a perfect 4.0 GPA. Timmer, a guard on the men’s basketball team, led Drake with 13 points in a loss against Bowling Green over the weekend. He was 4-of-5 from the free-throw line and contributed four rebounds and an assists. This season Timmer is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, averaging 17.9 points per game, and has scored 20 points or more in three games this season. Timmer is a pharmacy major and maintains a 3.6 GPA.To qualify for the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or better, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing.Redshirt freshmen and first-year junior college transfers are not eligible. In addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes will be evaluated on their athletic performance for a one-week period. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Body Scan: How Precision Engineering Aids Human Acumen

first_imgOften the most interesting science stories are the ones about us– how our bodies and minds function.  Actions we perform each day without much thought are made possible by precision engineering, sometimes at the molecular level.  Here is a selection of news briefs about human superpowers.Electrical engineering: We have untold myriads of electrical voltage sensors in our cells.  They are so small, scientists must use extremely delicate techniques of X-ray crystallography to try to determine their structure.  Science Now summarizes recent papers by Roderick MacKinnon et al. (see 05/01/2003, 3/12/2002 entries) about potassium channels in the membranes of neurons.  The structure of the pores and the adjacent voltage sensors is coming into focus.  There are four positively-charged arginine molecules (amino acids) that sit on top of the voltage sensors that surround the channel.  “These charged arginines,” the article says, “move in response to changes in the voltage across the cell membrane, pressing up and down on the lever that opens and closes the pore.”  Just how this movement takes place is still unknown, but it happens really fast.  That’s what makes you cry ouch almost instantly after stubbing your toe: an electrical current, set up by these voltage-dependent ion channels, travelled from neuron to neuron from toe to brain in a fraction of a second.Optical engineering:  What could be clearer than a cornea?  This outer surface of the eye looks simple, like a glass lens, but it is very complex.  EurekAlert summarized work by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  The scientists identified 141 distinct proteins in the cornea, 70% of which were previously unknown.  (For the structure of protein, see our online book).  These complex molecules perform many important roles, such as “antimicrobial defense, heme and iron transport, tissue protection against UV-radiation and oxidative stress,” it lists.  “Several other proteins were known antiangiogenic factors, which prevent the formation of blood vessels.”  The cornea is not a mere gateway for light, but a lively, active place, constantly undergoing maintenance, repair and cleaning.  The September issue of Sky and Telescope recommends that you think carefully before deciding on laser surgery on this delicate, dynamic, living surface.Software engineering: Perceiving perception:  Your brain uses database technology.  A press release from Howard Hughes Medical Institute states that “The brain may interpret the information it receives from sensory neurons using a code more complicated than scientists previously thought.”  This “perception code,” studied by experiments with monkeys (which presumably have similar neuronal equipment to humans) found that “most attention to the first 250 milliseconds of neural firing, and that their attention falls off exponentially from there.”  Maybe some form of attention deficit is built in to deal with TMUI (too much uninteresting information).    See also a related report on EurekAlert about work at Johns Hopkins, “How the brain understands pictures.”  Researchers found that “the system continuously organizes the whole scene, even though we usually are attending only to a small part of it.”  Three or four times per second, the brain organizes the chunks of a scene into something like a database, according to a “sophisticated program” to “select and process the information that is relevant at a given moment.”  As one researcher visualized it, imagine the challenge of pulling order out of a chaotic jumble of Lego blocks.  He said, “the visual system first has to arrange this bag of blocks into useful ‘chunks’ and provide threads by which one or the other chunk can be pulled out for further processing.”The Cellular 007:  When major threats arise, sometimes you have to give the cops their leash and turn them loose to do whatever is necessary to maintain security.  EurekAlert reported on work by Yokoyama et al. at Washington School of Medicine.  They found that natural killer cells act like the “James Bond” of the immune system.  Under certain circumstances, the body gives them a “license to kill” – “the arsenals of natural killer cells only become fully armed after a receptor on their surfaces interacts with a molecule on the surfaces of other cells.”  That’s the warrant to search and destroy.  The article says that these natural killer cells are produced in the bone marrow, and that the entire population is replaced in a week’s time.  “The molecular details of the process were so unusual,” says the report, “that Yokoyama and his colleagues found themselves struggling to develop terms to describe it to other immunologists.”Safe Stem Cells:  Scientists at Pittsburgh School of Medicine, reports EurekAlert, have found that discarded placentas apparently contain stem cells with the “same potential as the more controversial counterparts,” embryonic stem cells.  If so, then “placentas would no longer be relegated to the trashcan,” but become a lifesaving source of regenerative material.  See also the MSNBC News report.Navigational Guidance and Control:  Those orthogonal semicircular canals in our inner ears do more than just help balance.  Because they respond to acceleration and deceleration, reports EurekAlert on work by the Institute of Neurology in London, they provide the brain with inputs for an “on-line movement guidance system” that is crucial when visual cues are absent, such as finding your way in a dark room.  Additionally, the otolith organs (see 10/10/2003 entry), part of the vestibular system, are essential for determining which way is up.  The article states that “the inner-ear vestibular organs provide what is essentially an on-line movement guidance system for maintaining the accuracy of whole-body movements.”  This not only helps those of us lost in the dark, but highly-trained specialists undergoing “complex, high-precision whole-body movements, such as those of the gymnast or circus performer.”  Visualize an acrobat balancing and catching a jug on his head and making it spin around, or picture an Olympic gymnast on uneven bars nailing a double twisting dismount, or a skater executing a perfect triple Lutz.  You can bet those vestibular organs are working overtime.  The full article by Brian L. Day and Richard C. Fitzpatrick, loaded with praise for the vestibular system, can be found on Current Biology, Volume 15, Issue 15, 9 August 2005, pages R583-R586.  Here is the opening paragraph:Small, beautifully formed and locked in the skull, the vestibular organs continuously bombard the brain with messages.  The messages are quite unlike any others.  They tell of accelerations, how the head is rotating and translating and its orientation in space.  The messages never stop and cannot be turned off.  Even when we are completely motionless, they signal the relentless pull of gravity.  Perhaps because of their constant monologue, the vestibular sensation is different to the other senses.  There is no overt, readily recognizable, localisable, conscious sensation from these organs.  They provide a silent sense. A body is a terrible thing to waste (speaking of waist, there can be too much of a good thing).  Whether your body is fully functional or afflicted with a malady or two, you have a marvelous set of capabilities, and a dignity underscored by the complexity of the engineering that went into your making.  Even if you are completely disabled, there is more complex engineering working properly under the skin than you could possibly realize.  Fill in the box you were given.  Exercise, eat right, practice.  Maintain your machinery in optimum working order.  Aim your body at something noble and worthwhile.  You have a huge support infrastructure, with a staff of trillions behind the scenes, hoping you will make the right choices.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

IPL 2019: 2000 up! Steve Smith enters Indian Premier League list

first_imgSteve Smith reached 2000 runs in the Indian Premier League during Rajasthan Royals’ match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. Smith needed 2 runs to reach the milestone before the start of the game and got exactly 2 before being dismissed by Sunil Narine in RR’s chase of 176.Steve Smith first played the Indian Premier League back in 2012 and he made an impressive start with 362 runs from 15 matches. His breakthrough season came in 2017 after Rising Pune Supergiant sacked MS Dhoni as captain and appointed Smith skipper. He led from the front and scored 472 runs from 15 matches and led RPS to the final.Steve Smith did not play the 2018 IPL as Rajasthan Royals returned to the IPL after a 2-year suspension. He was banned for a year by Cricket Australia following the ball-tampering scandal and the BCCI did not allow Smith and David Warner to play the IPL.Steve Smith has so far made 297 runs from 10 matches including 3 fifties but he has been nowhere as successful as David Warner who is the leading scorer in the 2019 IPL and holds the Orange Cap with 574 runs. Like Smith, Warner has also played 10 matches this season.Rajasthan Royals sacked Ajinkya Rahane as captain and asked Smith to lead as the team sought to revive its campaign.The move seemed to have worked. Rahane returned to form while Smith thrived with the additional responsibility of the RR captaincy. He failed against KKR but he should be pretty proud of his IPL record overall.In 79 IPL matches so far, Steve Smith has 2000 runs at an average of 37.73. His only hundred came in 2016 for RPS.advertisementAlso Read | IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals finally drop Ashton Turner after 3 golden ducksAlso Read | IPL 2019: Virat Kohli mocks R Ashwin over Mankading in explosive send-offAlso Seelast_img read more