More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (May 13, 2015), we look at the fallout from the NFL’s investigation into the deflation of balls during last year’s AFC Championship game, which led to the suspension of Tom Brady and the loss of two draft picks for the New England Patriots. We’ll reveal the final results of our crowdsourcing project to fix the NBA lottery and stop tanking in the league. And we’ll discuss our significant digit of the week, which covers mental health and college athletes.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above.Below are some links to what we discuss in this week’s show:The FiveThirtyEight staff dissects the Deflategate report.Benjamin Morris looks at what would have happened if Tom Brady had missed four games every year.Why the loss of draft picks hurts the Patriots more than the loss of Brady.Our fix-the-NBA-draft crowdsource project: Original Form | First Update | Weird Ideas | Finalists.Significant Digit: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college athletes. Read Kate Fagan’s ESPN The Magazine article on Madison Holleran here. Hot Takedown Embed Code If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong.
In the history of NBA free agency, there have been worse moves — particularly when you consider the crazy money that teams have shelled out to big men over the years. And through a certain prism (one that used to be the norm not so long ago), it even seems perfectly reasonable. But the Oklahoma City Thunder’s decision to match Portland’s maximum-level ($70 million) offer sheet to center Enes Kanter received mostly scorn from the Internet after it was announced late Sunday. At a glance, Kanter is the kind of young post player whose services teams line up around the block to pay for. The list of big men who snagged at least 15 points and 8 rebounds a game as 22-year-olds, as Kanter did last year, is littered with Hall of Famers, to say nothing of players whose numbers Kanter matched (18.7 PPG, 11.0 RPG) after a midseason trade to the Thunder. Decades ago, Kanter would have been seen as one of the league’s rising stars.Today, though, players are judged on their advanced metrics in addition to per-game averages and the eye test. And few players benefit less from this development than Kanter.Granted, it doesn’t take supercharged data to suspect Kanter of playing poor defense. He has a reputation for ineptitude at that end of the floor, and his block totals are routinely anemic. But defense is also a complex area of the game that statistics have traditionally been ill-equipped to measure accurately. And without reliable data, defensive deficiencies were easy to deny or downplay as more opinion than fact.Modern advanced stats, though, help quantify the defensive inadequacies of players such as Kanter with far greater precision than was previously possible. Without Real Plus-Minus (RPM), for instance, you wouldn’t know that Kanter had the worst on-court defensive influence of any center last season. And without SportVU player tracking data, you wouldn’t know Kanter allowed the highest field goal percentage at the rim of any qualified1Minimum 500 minutes played. big man a year ago. The recent advent of deeper NBA data has made it tougher for poor defenders to hide their shortcomings.Surprisingly (at least to me), Kanter’s offense also suffers on the sabermetric front: He doesn’t appear to help his teams score as efficiently as would be expected from his basic statistics. Only a few players have scored as much, and with as much efficiency,2As respectively measured by usage rate and true shooting percentage. as Kanter has over the past three seasons, but it doesn’t seem to matter. During Kanter’s career, his teams have scored 1.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the floor than without, and — perhaps not coincidentally — he had the second-worst offensive Box Plus/Minus (BPM) of any player in the aforementioned group, and the fifth-worst offensive RPM.The single most important component of a player’s on-court offensive influence3As measured by offensive RPM. is scoring efficiency, and that’s not a trouble spot for Kanter. But even more important (when taken collectively) are a player’s assist rate and his ability to get to the line and to take 3-point shots, and Kanter sets the team back in both areas.That may not seem important because Kanter is still personally scoring points, but basketball is a tricky sport that way. The fascinating thing that happens when you search for links between component categories and overall offensive performance is that unexpected relationships fall out of the data. A player’s passing can amplify (or diminish) the potency of the threat his scoring talent represents; his ability to stretch the floor or collapse defenses into the paint can open up opportunities for teammates. Kanter’s own numbers might not be affected, but his weaknesses show up in his team’s rates of shooting efficiency, turnovers and, ultimately, offensive success.The idea of players being hollow stat-stuffers is hardly new, but the ability to quantify it with enough certainty to resist the lure of the potential “20 and 10” guy4Kanter averaged 19.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes last season. at the negotiating table is a novel development. Too novel, in fact, since OKC did eventually cave and match Portland’s offer to Kanter, putting the Thunder above the luxury-tax line they’d traded James Harden to avoid less than three years earlier. But if the rapid acceptance of advanced metrics is any indication, Kanter might be one of the last of his kind.In other words, don’t be surprised if the days of a player cashing in on hollow numbers are, well, numbered.
Given the storm of rule changes and public debate, we can’t offer a rigorously calculated probability that either player will ultimately make the Hall. It’s worth noting, however, that most eligible players who finish as high as this pair have in the voting eventually get enshrined. In 2016, Clemens and Bonds finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the balloting. More than 60 percent of all players who finish in those spots eventually get elected; those who didn’t tended to be near the end of their eligibility window; Bonds and Clemens have five years to go.6They would have had twice as much time left, but the Hall reduced the eligibility window from 15 years after a player leaves MLB to 10 in 2014. This year, extrapolating from the public ballots7We deducted 3 percentage points from Bonds’s and Clemens’s current totals to reflect the public/private split in voting tendencies and looked at what rank they would finish with. shows us that Bonds and Clemens ought to end up around fifth and sixth in the voting — rankings associated with a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of eventually making the Hall, based on the fortunes of previous players in those slots.It may not happen this year. Although both Bonds and Clemens have marshaled more than 60 percent of the vote in the public ballots so far, that number has decreased over the past few weeks, and it’s likely to drop even more as the anonymous ballots are counted (voting closed Dec. 31, and results will be announced Wednesday). But over the long run, the odds are in the duo’s favor.From a purely statistical perspective, Bonds and Clemens were always locks to make the Hall of Fame. Each ranks among the best players of all time by wins above replacement, so there is no performance-based reason to exclude them. Now, the baseball writers’ recent changes will only accelerate Bonds’s and Clemens’s ascents. Whether you view that as a triumph or a tragedy, Bonds, Clemens, and others who’ve been accused of using PEDs during the steroid era will probably join the Hall of Fame sooner or later. Baseball’s Hall of Fame voting has been especially contentious this year, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (which elects Hall of Famers) lurches toward greater transparency. More and more voters have been disclosing their votes publicly, and in December the association announced that all members must reveal their ballots starting in the 2018 election. That’s all good news for two of the best baseball players of all time: Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Bonds’s and Clemens’s on-field accomplishments have been overshadowed by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, but they’ve also tended to fare much better in the public voting results than the anonymous ones. With increasing voting transparency, Bonds and Clemens should be more likely to make the Hall of Fame — if not this year, then soon.For years, the writers group has been divided into two camps. Some writers have chosen to reveal their ballots — either in columns, on Twitter or via Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame tracker — while others have kept their votes to themselves. And these two groups differed in more than just the visibility of their ballots: The anonymous voters displayed significantly different voting preferences.Although we can’t directly observe the anonymous ballots, we know about the voting tendencies of the association as a whole. On top of that, an increasing fraction of the electorate releases their ballots, up from 53 percent in 2014 to 71 percent in 2016. So, using a statistical technique called latent class analysis on voting data from 2014 to 2016, we looked for patterns in the ballots that differentiated anonymous voters from public ones. Although we can’t say how any individual writer with an anonymous ballot voted, we can determine how the anonymous voters’ ballots leaned as a whole.By far the largest factor separating the anonymous and public ballots was support for three players: Bonds, Clemens and Mark McGwire. All three players are widely believed to have used PEDs, and although McGwire lacks the ironclad Hall of Fame case that Bonds and Clemens can boast, all three would have been leading contenders for the Hall if not for their alleged steroid use.1McGwire’s eligibility ran out last year. In 2016, for instance, an anonymous voter’s odds of voting for the Bonds/Clemens/McGwire trio2We looked at all three taken as a unit; differences in voting for those three as individuals were not statistically significant. were about 17 percentage points lower than those of a voter who disclosed his or her selection(s). The anonymous ballots made up a major source of their poor percentages in previous years — Bonds and Clemens lost 2 to 4 percentage points of support in private ballots, which adds up as both players try to make up the 11-point difference between their early public results and the 75 percent induction threshold.3All numbers are using ballot data as of Jan. 13.It’s impossible to know exactly how the coming loss of anonymity will affect voters’ attitudes toward Bonds and Clemens. But if the formerly anonymous ballots begin to look more like the public ones, Bonds and Clemens will be due for a bump in support. Social desirability bias may push voters toward a different conclusion than they’d make privately, for instance, even if some writers may react in the opposite way. It’s undeniable that voting support for Bonds and Clemens has already changed dramatically this year. Since both first hit the ballot in 2013, Bonds and Clemens had seen their Hall of Fame fortunes largely stagnate — until this year. So far in 2017, both names have climbed above 60 percent support in the public voting, tantalizingly close to the mark necessary for induction. Part of that is likely due to another rule change that prevents association members from voting if they aren’t actively covering baseball.4With a 10-year grace period after a reporter stops covering the game. That alteration went into effect in 2016, and it also greatly diminished the pool of anonymous voters — by extension, reducing the number of voters who excluded Bonds and Clemens from their ballots, since anonymous voters were much less likely to vote for players implicated in baseball’s PED scandals and older writers were more likely to keep their votes anonymous.There are other factors working in Bonds and Clemens’s favor. Many public-ballot voters are adding the two to their ballots; so far this year, more than 20 voters have switched from “no” votes for the pair last year to “yes.” Some writers even point to the recent election of Bud Selig, the commissioner under whose watch the steroids era of the late 1980s-2000s unfolded, as a precedent to vote in the two most visible superstars of that period.5Selig was elected by a separate Hall of Fame committee and not the writers’ association. Related: Hot Takedown We’re Still Talking About That Packers-Cowboys Game
For more than a month, Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau had a common refrain when asked about the Jimmy Butler saga: The team couldn’t allow itself to be distracted by the dysfunction and the rumors surrounding their star swingman, who requested a trade before camp.But after Friday’s loss in Sacramento — which left Minnesota winless on its five-game road trip — even Thibodeau came to the realization that things were unraveling too quickly this way, and that the club could no longer try and split the middle on this highly awkward situation.As such, the Timberwolves on Saturday finally dealt Butler to the highly talented Sixers, while Philadelphia sent over Robert Covington and Dario Saric, a couple of solid players who can be part of the Wolves’ future while potentially helping Minnesota win right now, too1The Sixers also tossed in Jerryd Bayless and a second-round pick, while Minnesota sent over Justin Patton, a 2017 first-rounder who’s struggled with injuries and logged just one career appearance so far..If there’s a significant takeaway here, though, it’s that the Sixers are truly going for it. In doing so, they’re sacrificing a considerable amount of depth, cohesion and patience, essentially cashing those in to land a third star. The Butler trade increases Philly’s probability of reaching the NBA finals from 11 percent to 16 percent in our projection system — a mark that puts them more in line with the Celtics (17 percent) and Bucks (18 percent), while still well behind the Warriors (67 percent) and Raptors (41 percent).Figuring out Butler’s exact fit will take time for Brett Brown and his team. Ben Simmons is already one of the NBA’s best passers and one of the most physically imposing guards. Yet it could be a challenge to ask Simmons — all but allergic to attempting jumpers so far — to play without the ball more than he already does, while sharing the floor with fellow non-shooter Markelle Fultz. Butler is far better than Simmons at making an impact away from the ball, but he, too, is most comfortable when he has the ball in his hands. He was usually Minnesota’s best passer and de-facto point guard, while also calling his own number several times a game; especially in clutch scenarios.Without Covington and Saric, the team loses two of its outside shooters, which figures to shrink the floor even more around Joel Embiid and Simmons. This could create problems for the turnover-prone club, especially in postseason, where the lack of spacing hurt the Sixers against the Celtics. (Also, while the addition of Butler could help take pressure off Embiid, there is a chance the shift could throw Embiid out of the incredible rhythm he’s been in lately.)There are some ways that Philadelphia could circumvent the problem. Finding more time for JJ Redick, one of the league’s most reliable marksmen, is likely one solution. Whenever the Sixers use him in on- and off-ball screens, defenses have to account for his presence as a shooter. But most offensive adjustments with this new core will likely threaten playing time for Fultz — not ideal for the No. 1 overall pick from a year ago, who needs more true lead ball-handling opportunities in order to develop his game.The bigger risks at play here for Philly are rooted in how they value Butler long-term, given that he’s a free agent after this season. He presumably wants a max contract worth $190 million over five years — a steep commitment for a player with so much mileage on his tires already.If things were to fail spectacularly for some reason, the Sixers could simply let Butler walk this summer (a step that would be jarring, since they just gave up two good players). But it will be worth watching how Butler functions with cornerstones like Embiid and Simmons, since he’s had run-ins with younger teammates at his last two stops. Assuming the trio jells just fine, Philadelphia will again be an interesting team to watch in free agency, as they could create up to $19 million in cap space after signing Butler to a max deal.As for the Timberwolves, our projection system feels they came out of this trade well, too. They went from a 35-percent probability of making the postseason before to 44 percent now. Just as losing Covington and Saric hurt Philly’s spacing, they should help Minnesota’s. The Timberwolves ranked just 22nd in 3-point attempt rate heading into Saturday’s game. (Our previous projections also accounted for the uncertainty around Butler’s situation, so having two solid players locked in for the rest of the season helps their rating as well.)While this deal won’t fix the Wolves’ god-forsaken defense2Yes, Covington is an All-League defender, but Butler is a good wing defender in his own right, and should be able to replicate enough of what Covington can do on that end., both players are under solid-value contracts, and leave Minnesota with far more flexibility than they would’ve had with Butler. The biggest challenge now rests with Thibodeau, who seemingly dragged his feet in pulling the trigger on a Butler trade in hopes of squeezing every win out of this situation he could, even as it became brutally clear that he needed to be dealt (Separately: While we know it likely wouldn’t have benefitted Thibodeau, can we definitively say that this offer is better than four future first-rounders from Houston?). Thibodeau could be on the hot seat, and the reality of relying mostly on youngsters Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins — each on max deals of their own — may not have given him the utmost confidence in returning to the playoffs.The best-case scenario for Thibodeau and his young duo is that they do find a way to reach the playoffs with Towns dominating in a new role, as the team’s No. 1 option on offense without Butler.But at the end of the day, we figure to be talking about this trade well into April and May — and possibly even June — because of what it could mean for the Sixers. If anything, this deal for Butler gives them at least a portion of the star power they sought this past summer.Neil Paine contributed to this article.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
The Big Ten conference announced Sunday that the inaugural Big Ten football championship game will be held in Indianapolis. After considering proposals from Indianapolis and Chicago, the conference’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors unanimously decided to play the first four editions of the Big Ten championship game, including the inaugural title game in December, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Lucas Oil Stadium, an indoor facility that can accommodate 63,000 spectators for football games, features an artificial playing surface. Chicago’s Soldier Field, the Windy City venue vying to host the title game, is an open-air stadium that holds 63,000 fans and features a natural grass field. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the Big Ten considered weather and the comfort of the venues when choosing Lucas Oil Stadium. “We know the weather changes (in the Midwest) in November,” Delany said. “The idea was that, you know, we could get consistency for planning for both teams if you knew the weather was gonna be pretty consistent. I would say it’s a fan aspect as well as a player’s aspect.” Five Buckeyes, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits. Former coach Jim Tressel resigned as OSU’s coach May 30. Delany would not comment on whether he thought Ohio State would be eligible for December’s title game, but he did say OSU’s situation was difficult. “It’s disappointing for (OSU) to be where it is,” Delany said. “Nobody can feel good about it. It’s not easy for Ohio State. It’s not easy for the Big Ten, but I have tremendous confidence in that program to be resilient, and to do the right thing and to re-establish themselves. For now, all we can do is wait for the facts to develop.” The conference also announced that men’s and women’s Big Ten basketball tournaments will be held jointly at Chicago’s United Center, Indianapolis’ Conseco Fieldhouse and the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for the next four years. Chicago will host the men’s tournament in 2012–13 and 2014–15, and Indianapolis will host the men’s event in 2013–14 and 2015–16. “Conseco (Fieldhouse) is not as big a stadium as the United Center, but it is one of the best stadiums in the country,” Delany said. “They do a heck of a job in Chicago, but, you know, Indianapolis, starting around 1980, has made this great commitment to not only amateur sports, but collegiate sports. They do a great job of hosting our fans.” The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held at the Sears Centre Arena in 2013 and 2015.
Ohio State women’s basketball senior guard Samantha Prahalis was one of four Buckeyes to receive Big Ten conference honors Monday when coaches and media named her the Big Ten Player of the Year Monday. The selection marks the eighth consecutive year a Buckeye has won the honor. “I’m just extremely thankful, appreciative that people recognize I had a good year so far,” Prahalis said in an interview with the Big Ten Network Monday. Prahalis was also unanimously selected to the first-team all-Big Ten team where she was joined by her teammate, junior guard Tayler Hill. Prahalis led the Big Ten in scoring and assists during the regular season averaging 22.5 points and 6.5 assists per game. On the Buckeyes’ senior night Thursday, Prahalis scored an OSU single-game record 42 points in the team’s 81-56 victory against Minnesota. She ranks fourth on OSU’s career scoring list with 1,967 points and is three assists away from tying the Big Ten’s career assist record. Prahalis is a finalist for the Wooden and Naismith awards, which recognize the top player in women’s college basketball. Some of Prahalis’s teammates received conference honors as well. Junior guard Amber Stokes was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year. Hill joined Stokes on the conference’s all-defensive team. Sophomore Ashley Adams was given an honorable mention by the media. The Buckeyes finished their regular season Sunday with a 71-57 loss to Nebraska and a 24-5 overall record. Their 11-5 conference record earned them the second seed in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. Their first game is Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Indianapolis where they will play the winner of a game between Michigan and Illinois.
Junior midfielder Turner Evans (5) works around a defender during a game against Notre Dame March 25 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 13-7.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorSenior defenseman Joe Meurer is looking for a spark.Looking to finish its three-game home stand on a high note, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (2-6, 1-0) is set to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins (1-6, 0-1) Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.After starting the home stand with a conference win against Bellarmine, located in Louisville, Ky., OSU fell Tuesday to No. 7 Notre Dame, 13-7.Despite keeping Notre Dame close for the majority of the game, the Fighting Irish used a five-goal run to finish the fourth quarter and preserve the victory.However, Meurer said the Buckeyes are putting the Notre Dame game behind them and focusing on getting a much-needed win against Jacksonville this weekend.“We need anything right now to give us some kind of a spark, some kind of momentum,” Meurer said. “We got two out-of-conference games and then we are hitting the ground running with the rest of our conference games. So we definitely need this win and just a confidence boost at this point.”Junior midfielder David Planning said the Buckeyes offense simply needs to generate some chances in order to be effective against Jacksonville.“It’s just getting back to the basics: catching, throwing, moving the ball fast and taking good shots,” Planning said. “We want to get over 35 shots, and the more shots we put up the better chance we have of scoring.”OSU has only hit the 35-shot plateau once this season, in the first game of the season Feb. 9 against then-No. 11 Johns Hopkins in a 10-9 triple overtime loss.Jacksonville and OSU played against each other for the first time ever last season, with the Buckeyes walking away with a 9-6 win Feb. 17, 2013, in Jacksonville, Fla., as part of the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic.OSU coach Nick Myers said with both teams trying to get back in the win column — Jacksonville has dropped two-straight — but it is important for the Buckeyes to play smart lacrosse and not make anything easy for the Dolphins.“They have a great goaltender, a senior, big kid who is capable of getting hot,” Myers said. “Defensively they are athletic. If you look at their ground ball stats, they are averaging close to 30 ground balls per game. And then on the offensive end, they are very athletic in the midfield and they have a couple big-time scorers down in the attack. They are a team that is certainly looking to break out as well and it’s going to be important that we are sound in all facets of the game in order to keep that from happening.”Offensively, junior midfielder Turner Evans has been on a tear lately. The Peterborough, Ontario, native has seven points in the first two games of the current home stand and is currently second on the team with 23 points.Defensively, the Buckeyes are only allowing 9.5 goals per game and have only given up more than nine goals once in their last four games, a stat Meurer is hoping can continue Saturday.“Our motto is ‘next,’” Meurer said. “That’s what the entire defense is going off of right now. We are definitely going to put the Notre Dame game past us, but we are also going to learn from the mistakes we made. Hopefully we can find some success against their (Jacksonville) offense.”Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team celebrates after freshman Morgan Lowe’s performance on balance beam on Sunday, March 11. The Buckeyes placed second in the meet. Credit: Megan Russell | Senior Lantern ReporterOn a night to honor its seniors, the No. 23 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (10-5, 3-2 Big Ten) finished its last regular season home meet in second place behind No. 24 North Carolina State (15-7) and ahead of Central Michigan (8-7), posting a 196.525 score for the second-highest score the team registered this season and ninth-best score in program history.North Carolina State finished first with a 196.800 score and Central Michigan finished third at 195.175.“It was kind of a tail of two halves,” head coach Meredith Paulicivic said. “I feel like we just didn’t have the fire and the spunk and the energy on the first two events, just kind of flat. We kind of rallied the troops and said, ‘Come on guys. We need to fight, and have the greatest comeback, and let’s get it done in the second half.’”The Buckeyes were off to a slow start in their first two rotations, but began to turn the meet around in the third rotation on balance beam. Ohio State earned a 49.350 total on the beam, its highest score at the event of the season. Junior Jamie Stone and freshman Jenna Swartzentruber shared first place, each earning a 9.925. It was a career-high score for both gymnasts. Senior Stefanie Merkle started the beam lineup for the Buckeyes to earn a 9.875, tying her career high. “A senior starts a rotation and hits a really good beam set, and I think they [the team] just started building off of that,” Paulicivic said. “They had good energy to support her when she went up, she did well and they just kind of kept that up and built off of that.”Freshman Morgan Lowe also matched a career high on balance beam with a 9.850 tally. Gaining momentum from the third rotation, the Buckeyes finished the meet on floor exercise with a 49.400. Stone earned first place with her second 9.925 score of the night.Though the Buckeyes struggled on vault and floor exercise, the first two events of the competition, the team did not walk away without garnering some titles from the two events. Ohio State earned a 48.975 total in its first rotation on vault, with Stone and sophomore Olivia Aepli each earning a 9.875 to share third place for the event.The team improved in its second rotation on uneven bars where two Ohio State seniors shined. Mattern tied her career high of 9.900 to share first place with senior Kaitlyn Hofland.“Tonight was really emotional for me,” Mattern said. “I’ve been fighting some injuries, and stuff like that, but my team has been so supportive and there for me this entire time, so to be able to just go out there and do it for them, and just kind of be in that spot, it’s magical.” North Carolina State snagged first place on vault with a 49.325 total, and placed second for all other events on uneven bars (49.075), balance beam (49.200) and floor exercise (49.200). Central Michigan earned first place for its first event on uneven bars with a 49.150, and placed third for the remaining events on vault (48.875), balance beam (48.550) and floor exercise (48.600).“Heading into the postseason, I feel like it was a great lesson to learn,” Paulicivic said. “Again, we’re still learning, we’re still growing, so hopefully, also, hitting that beam set will sort of let them know what they can do. And my God, if we all put it together, then just who knows.”Although Ohio State had is last regular season meet at home, and celebrated the accomplishments of the seniors, the Buckeyes still have postseason ahead of them. After its next meet at 2 p.m. Friday in East Lansing, Michigan, Ohio State will still have the Big Ten and NCAA championships. The Buckeyes will also host the NCAA regionals.
No. 1 Myles Martin defeats No. 3 Nick Reenan of North Carolina State University by decision in the 184-pound bout, 12-5. Credit: Sal Marandino | For The LanternThe No. 2 Ohio State wrestling team (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) defeated Michigan State (4-4, 1-1 Big Ten) 37-4 on Sunday.Ohio State senior Myles Martin (184) and redshirt junior Kollin Moore, No. 1 and No. 2 in their respective weight classes, remained undefeated after Sunday’s match against Michigan State, as Martin won by technical fall and Moore won via pin. Moore said his goal was to give his team extra points to help secure a victory against a Big Ten rival. “Obviously you want to open the score up just a little bit, just in case something crazy happens, so get a takedown or two,” Moore said. “Having some patience to stay on top of the guy and work for a tilt because even if I don’t get a pin, those four back points really blow up in a match especially against good guys, which would be huge.”Martin, earning his eighth win of the season, faced a ranked opponent in Michigan State redshirt freshman Cam Caffey, who, according to associate head coach J Jaggers, gave a good performance, but was no match for the senior. “That’s kind of the difference right there between a man, Myles, a senior kind of really knows himself and knows his wrestling and [Caffey] still figuring it out, but they should be happy they have that kid in their program,” Jaggers said.Junior Luke Pletcher (133), the No. 5 wrestler in his weight class, also earned an overtime victory against senior Anthony Tutolo. Ohio State No. 2 senior Joey McKenna (141) remained undefeated, winning by technical fall 24-9 over redshirt sophomore Matt Santos, giving Ohio State an early 8-4 lead, which they extended, eventually winning nine out of 10 bouts.True freshman Malik Heinselman (125) was defeated by Michigan State No. 8- ranked sophomore Rayvon Foley.Despite Heinselman’s loss, Ohio State earned wins from its ranked wrestlers on the team in redshirt senior Micah Jordan (149), redshirt junior Ke-Shawn Hayes (157) and redshirt freshman Chase Singletary (285). Each wrestler won by major decision. Redshirt freshman Kaleb Romero (165) bounced back from his loss Friday by beating redshirt sophomore Austin Hiles 7-4, something he said he feels positive about, but still wants to continue to work on.“ I know I’m not even close to where I want to be right now,” Romero said. “I just got to keep on working, keep on improving, and keep battling myself mentally to just believe in myself. I feel like that is when things will start coming along.” No. 2 Ohio State will take on Michigan at the Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.
Ohio State redshirt freshman pitcher Seth Lonsway (11) throws a pitch in the Buckeyes’ game against Hawaii on March 23. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorSeth Lonsway had begun a trend through his first five starts of the season. In each of his odd-numbered outings, the redshirt freshman had allowed one run, striking out 25 in 16.1 innings of work. However, in his second and fourth start of the year, control became the issue, walking eight and allowing 10 earned runs in six innings pitched. But coming out for his sixth start of the year, the odd-numbered mentality continued, as Lonsway helped Ohio State (13-10) to its fifth straight win, a 7-5 victory against Hawaii (9-14) on Saturday. Lonsway recorded his second straight start of at least six innings of work, allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks. The redshirt freshman struck out nine, his most in a game since March 1. “His breaking ball’s nasty, when he is able to utilize it, he’s going to be tough because the fastball has a little life,” Beals said.For Lonsway, he said his approach is to not overthink things on the mound, using his three-pitch arsenal to get hitters out in a consistent fashion. “I try and be as consistent as possible,” Lonsway said. “We are figuring some things out and trying to be better than the previous start, not trying to do too much on the mound, but trying to command all three pitches and establishing first-pitch strikes.” Despite facing Hawaii redshirt junior pitcher Dylan Thomas, the former first-team All-Big West member as a closer, Ohio State’s offense, which has scored 12 runs and 19 hits in the previous two games against the Rainbow Warriors, continued its hot streak. Senior left fielder Brady Cherry gave the Buckeyes their first run of the game in the fourth, hitting a first-pitch fastball well over the center field wall for his sixth home run of the season. Cherry recorded two hits in three at bats for the Buckeyes, recording his 20th and 21st RBIs of the season. However, his first at bat did not go as planned. Watching four or five sliders, he struck out. But he knew what Thomas would use in his second at bat, taking advantage on the home run to center. “Wasn’t really sitting on it, but it looked really good and put a good swing on it,” Cherry said. The Buckeyes continued their rally, with junior first baseman Conner Pohl and sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler each recording a single, advancing to second and third, respectively, after a throwing error by Hawaii redshirt sophomore left fielder Daylen Calicdan. Ohio State freshman center fielder Nolan Clegg drove both in, hitting a single to left field, extending the Buckeyes’ lead to 3-0. Despite allowing two runs in the top of the inning, the Ohio State offense was not done, recording four runs on five hits and an error before recording an out in the fifth, chasing Thomas from the game. Thomas allowed seven runs, five earned, in four-plus innings of work, giving up 11 hits and striking out six in his third loss of the season. “I thought it was big for us to beat [Thomas],” Beals said. “They feel like this is the way to use them and we were able to beat their best guy, bodes well for us heading into tomorrow’s game.” Hawaii began to chip away at its deficit in the sixth inning, adding one run on a single by junior second baseman Jack Kennelly. But Lonsway forced a flyout to shortstop, stranding runners on second and third. In the fifth inning, Rainbow Warriors shortstop Maaki Yamazaki reached after Lonsway overthrew Pohl at first base, advancing to third and scoring the first run of the game on a ground out by junior second baseman Jack Kennelly. After Hawaii freshman center fielder Scotty Scott hit a double and Calicidan added a single, the Rainbow Warriors cut its deficit to one after a wild pitch by Lonsway, scoring Scott from third. In relief of Lonsway, junior pitcher Joe Gahm allowed two runs in the seventh inning on a walk and two singles in the seventh inning. For Cherry, the offensive consistencies for Ohio State is more than just putting up as many runs on the board as the team can. It’s about making the Buckeyes’ pitching staff more comfortable on the mound, allowing them to pitch with the lead. “Pitching with a lead is a lot easier than pitching in a tie game or a close game,” Cherry said. “If we can put runs on the board and play good defense, it should give pitchers a lot more confidence to go out there and throw strikes, stay relaxed and enjoy themselves too.” Ohio State will end its four-game series against Hawaii at Bill Davis Stadium Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Illinois senior running back Reggie Corbin (2) runs to the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of the game against Minnesota on Nov. 3, 2018. Credit: Courtesy of TNSLocation: Champaign, Illinois2018 record: 4-8Head coach: Lovie Smith (Fourth year, 11-29)2019 record so far: 2-2Record against Ohio State since 2010: 0-7What’s happened so far in 2019:Illinois, coming off a 2018 losing season, entered 2019 with a strong start, winning its first two games against Akron and UConn, 42-3 and 31-23, respectively. The Fighting Illini suffered their first loss 34-31 in Week 3 against Eastern Michigan and added a second after Nebraska overcame a 35-21 deficit to beat them 42-38 at home in Week 4.Key offensive player:Redshirt senior running back Reggie Corbin was lightning in a bottle for Illinois a season ago, averaging 8.5 yards per carry to the tune of 1,085 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns. Corbin got off to a slow start this season, receiving just six carries in Illinois’ season opening blowout against Akron and none against UConn, but has followed up with back-to-back showings of 144 and 134 yards the past two weeks. Corbin is running for 7.1 yards a pop and scored a touchdown in every game he’s played.Key defensive player:On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Dele Harding currently leads the team in tackles with 42, and tied for the lead in interceptions with one. The Maryland native has made the most of his time at Illinois, as he was made special teams captain in 2018. The Fighting Illini return 17 starters, and Harding has served as a starter throughout his first three seasons. After finishing top 10 on the 2018 team with 37 total tackles in just nine games, Harding already has 42 this season. Harding’s continued production will be vital if Illinois hopes to turn things around on defense.Weaknesses:As a team that went 4-8 a season ago, Illinois has several areas upon which to improve. Being in the Big Ten West division, depth and consistent play are a must. Teams compete against the likes of defending division champion Northwestern, No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 14 Iowa, to name a few. Since the beginning of the 2016 football season, the Fighting Illini have played a total of 39 games with 13 different starters at safety. Two safeties have not started three consecutive games together since Taylor Barton and Clayton Fejedelem back in 2015. Illinois began 2-2 a season ago before dropping six of eight to end the year. It will try to avoid the same fate this season.
The sign stands outside Rev Marshall’s churchCredit:Daily Post Wales A pastor in north-east Wales could face action over his eyebrow-raising church signs because the council considers them advertising.The Reverend Bob Marshall is a minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckley, Flintshire. For years he has displayed messages outside his church, a brick chapel on a residential street. Sometimes they are serious. One slogan read: “Too many people have a strong will and a weak will not.”Sometimes they are jocular, such as the message which told drivers to “Honk if you love Jesus: text while driveing (sic) if you want to meet him.”And on occasion they suggest Rev Marshall, a 71-year-old American from Indiana who has lived in Buckley for 30 years, still has work to do on his grasp of the British vernacular.Urging folks to temper their anger, he wrote in September: “Forgiveness is swallowing when you want to spit,” before one parishioner pointed out the message’s sexual connotations.Now, though, Rev Marshall has been told by his local authority that he must obtain advertisement consent for the signs if he is not to face action. Rev Marshall, 71, is from IndianaCredit:Daily Post Wales The Daily Post reported that he has received a letter from the council ordering the signs to be removed unless he complies.According to the council, the board, which is placed on the pavement outside the church, is advertising. In his letter, a council official said that “it would appear no consent has been sought or granted”, and that “enforcement action” could follow.Rev Marshall claims that the signs, which he updates every week, are not advertising. “We are a church, not a business and these are not adverts and it is on our property,” he told the Post.“I don’t understand why the council has asked me to do this now, I have been doing it for a few years,” he said, calling the action “petty.”Andrew Farrow, the council’s chief planning and environment officer, said: “We would welcome further discussions with Reverend Marshal and we will be contacting him with a view to resolving the situation.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
It’s not easy buying a present for a little girl who has everything money can buy.But billionaire Tamara Ecclestone’s three-year-old daughter Fifi was overwhelmed with excitement when she opened the ninth day of her giant advent calendar.The calendar was a replica of Tamara’s £70 million West London mansion, and inside the December 9 door was… a dachshund puppy.Posting a photograph on Instagram announcing the puppy’s arrival, Tamara, 33, said: “Welcome to the family cutie.”The new pet was duly named Alan Ecclestone Rutland. Fans responded saying “Look at this advent calendar, I think a puppy just came out of it!” and “She got a puppy in her advent calendar, so jealous”.Alan is one of several puppies Fifi has been given this year by Tamara, eldest daughter of Formula 1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone, and husband Jay Rutland, an art gallery owner.The other dogs have a giant kennel of their own to live in – as well as a team of staff to look after them. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Tamara Ecclestone and her daughterCredit:Instagram
Greenpeace climbers on an oil rig – operated by BP – in Cromarty Firth, ScotlandCredit:PA “The perverse idea we must maximise our oil and gas reserves cannot continue.”That means the Government must seriously reform the Oil & Gas Authority and instead invest heavily in the crucial work of helping oil communities like those in Scotland move from fossil fuels to the industries that will power our low carbon future.”Responding to the protest, a spokeswoman for BP said: “In all operations safety is our top priority.”While we recognise the right for peaceful protest, the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk.”We are working with Transocean – the rig’s owner and operator – and the authorities to assess the situation and resolve it peacefully and safely.”We share the protesters’ concerns about the climate. We support the Paris agreement. And we are working every day to advance the world’s transition to a low carbon future.”We’re reducing emissions from our own operations – down 1.7 million tonnes last year – improving our products to help our customers reduce their emissions, and creating new low carbon businesses. We are committed to being part of the solution to the climate challenge facing all of us.” “We can’t let that happen – that’s why we’re here today.”The Government may be bent on draining the North Sea of every last drop of oil, but this clearly contradicts their climate commitments. Police Scotland said they were aware of an ongoing incident but that the situation was currently within the jurisdiction of the Cromarty Firth’s Port Authority.A spokesman for the Port Authority said he was unable to comment at this stage. Environmental campaigners have boarded an oil rig as it was being towed out to sea and are staging a protest onboard.Greenpeace activists say they scaled the 27,000-tonne rig – operated by BP – as it attempted to leave Cromarty Firth.The protesters are calling for BP to end drilling for new oil wells and say they are prepared to stay on board the rig “for days”.At approximately 6.30pm on Sunday, campaigners in a boat pulled up alongside the rig near Inverness, climbed aboard and unveiled a banner declaring a climate emergency.Currently occupying a gantry on a leg of the rig below the main deck, the activists want to stop the drilling rig reaching the Vorlich oil field where it is believed to be trying to extract up to 30 million barrels of oil.Jo, a Greenpeace activist from Scotland who is on board the rig, said: “Warm words flow from BP on their commitment to tackling climate change, yet this rig – and the 30 million barrels it seeks to drill – are a sure a sign that BP are committed to business as usual, fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A fiery exchange on Friday in the National Assembly heralded the debate on the Broadcast (Amendment) Bill, but when the smoke cleared the Government side nevertheless pushed through the controversial piece of legislation. The parliamentary Opposition asserted throughout the debate that the Bill was little more than a thinly veiled attempt to divest broadcasters who received their licenses in 2011 from the previous Administration, of their proprietary rights.But in her presentation, Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes maintained that the reasoning for the Bill was because “there is insufficient Public Service Announcements (PSA) in Guyana.”She posited that this was an opportunity for private broadcasters and should not be seen as a burden. Hughes stressed that the legislation only seeks to further define the powers and functions of the existing Broadcasting Bill, in addition to providing protection from inciting racism and airing hateful programmes.Addressing the concerns raised with regards to the Amendment Bill requiring every broadcaster air one hour of Government oriented programmes daily, the Minister posited that “nearly all countries provide (these) requirements for public service broadcasting.”Hughes referred to several incidents in the past that form her observations –including drowning situations – where citizens were unable to save their fellow humans due to them being uneducated with regards to performing CPR.Referencing Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo’s claims that the Bill would infringe upon freedom of press, Hughes also lambasted the former President. Hughes’ accusations that Jagdeo, who was absent from the House, stepped on freedom of the press while in office, were hotly contested by the Opposition, forcing her at one point to withdraw certain statements until she had evidence.In making his presentation in the debates, Opposition parliamentarian Clement Rohee asserted that “this Bill has strategic objectives.” He lambasted the Prime Minister for saying that the Bill would be revolutionary and progressive since according to him, “the Bill is counter revolutionary and anti-progressive.”He maintained that this Broadcasting Amendment Bill was nothing but a campaign promise that Government had made, recalling mentions at the time that those who were offered licences by Jagdeo, would have it revoked.Rohee warned that should the Amendment Bill be passed, “we are traversing a road that is full of a whole host of dangers.” He urged that the Constitution be followed and that Government hold consultations with the private broadcasters that would be affected by the clauses within the amendment.“There has been a loud outcry by the stakeholders for consultations… I refer to the Constitution which imposes on the Government to include and consult others who are of the view that their economic well being is going to be affected.”Responding to Minister Hughes’ claims of Jagdeo handing out broadcasting licences to his “friends and family”, Rohee said that the Government was “cherry-picking a few from a specific ethnicity just to make a political point.”In his contribution to the debate, Attorney General Basil Williams refuted claims that licensees are guaranteed proprietary rights under Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana.He stated that licensees are granted temporary licences and are not the outright owners of their frequencies.In his rebuttal, Nandlall read excerpts from a presentation made by current Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan when he was then the Leader of the Alliance For Change. In addition, Nandlall stressed that broadcasters who were granted licences by former President Jagdeo have paid over $100 million from when they were granted same in 2011.The former Attorney General also read a statement from the Guyana Press Association (GPA), in which reservations were expressed about the content of the amendments.Nandlall also debunked Williams’ assertion that outright ownership of a property was determined by holding an actual title. He reiterated that due process for dealing with the property of citizens acquired by the State was adequate compensation.“Any person vaguely familiar with the law knows that anything that has value fits the description of property,” Nandlall stated. “Anything that has economical value is property. The Constitution says that if you take away that property, in this case the licence, under a law then that law must provide prompt and adequate compensation.”In his closing presentation on the Bill, Nagamootoo asserted that the only consultations that are mandated are the consultations the Government had with the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU).However, he nevertheless asserted that the GNBA indeed had consultations with broadcasters in 2016. The Prime Minister declined to directly contest the arguments made by Nandlall, save to reiterate that Government is not empowered by the Act to infringe on the rights of broadcasters.As the matter was put to vote, opposition from the People’s Progressive Party resulted in a division being called. The Government side, already with a one seat majority, won the roll call vote. ( Jarryl Bryan). Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPI urges Govt to review amendments to broadcast billAugust 8, 2017In “Business”Broadcast Bill: Govt not dealing with substantive issues facing broadcasters – NandlallAugust 16, 2017In “Business”Broadcast Amendment Bill: Reporters Without Borders urges President not to assent until “meaningful” consultations heldAugust 8, 2017In “Business”
Members of the Nobel Committee announce the 2017 chemistry prizeJacques Dubochet of Switzerland, Joachim Frank of the US and Richard Henderson of the UK were awarded the prize for cryo-electron microsopy.The technique allows scientists to freeze biomolecules in action and “visualise processes they have never previously seen,” according to the Nobel statement.The method means that, for example, molecules in bacteria and viruses — such as the Zika virus — can be examined under a microscope in their native, undamaged state.This development is “decisive for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry” and the development of drugs, the Nobel committee said.The announcement was made Wednesday in Stockholm. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTiny machines win chemistry Nobel prizeOctober 5, 2016In “latest news”First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 yearsOctober 2, 2018In “latest news”Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to British trio for study of exotic matterOctober 4, 2016In “latest news” By Judith Vonberg, CNNThe Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 has been awarded to three scientists for their pioneering work developing new methods of visualising biomolecules, such as those in the Zika virus. ‘Immense’ practical useUntil now, scientists have been unable to produce detailed images of many biological molecules that are the building blocks of life.Previous techniques often required the use of dyes or fixatives to help see these molecules. In the past, electron microscopes were also assumed to be useful only in imaging dead material due to electron beams destroying biological matter.Now, with the development of cryo-electron microscopy, researchers can freeze biomolecules mid-movement and observe how they act — and interact.Speaking at the conference by telephone, Frank said that the development of cryo-electron microscopy “fills an important gap and extends the range of molecules that can be determined at atomic resolution.” “We are facing a revolution in biochemistry,” said Nobel Committee Chairman Sara Snogerup Linse during the announcement. “Now we can see the intricate details of the biomolecules in every corner of our cells, in every drop of our body fluids. We can understand how they are built and how they act and how they work together in large communities.”“Soon there are no more secrets,” she said. Initial reactions from the academic community of chemists have been positive.John Hardy, professor of neuroscience at University College London, described the development of cryo-electron microscopy as “transformative.”“To give one example, last year the 3D structure of the enzyme producing the amyloid (protein) of Alzheimer’s disease was published using this technology,” Hardy said. “Knowing this structure opens up the possibility of rational drug design in this area.”“A visual image is the essential component to understanding,” said Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz,professor of mammalian development and stem-cell biology at the University of Cambridge. Such an image is often the first thing to “open our eyes, and so our minds, to a scientific breakthrough.”The prize comes with an award of 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million), shared when there are multiple recipients.Previous winners include Marie Curie, known for her pioneering work on radioactivity, and Mario J. Molina, the first person to discover the damaging effect of CFC gases (found in refrigerators and spray cans) on the ozone layer.Chemistry was the second prize mentioned in Alfred Nobel’s 1895 will and was the most important of the sciences for his own work, according to the official website of the Nobel Prize.This year’s winners of the Physics and Physiology or Medicine Prizes were announced earlier this week. The prizes for Literature, Peace and Economics will be awarded in the coming days.Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that bacteria and viruses, including the Zika virus, are made up of molecules. He described the practical uses of the technique as “immense” but said that it would take several years before the implications would be fully understood.Frank was born in Germany in 1940 and is now a professor at Columbia University in New York.His Swiss colleague Dubochet was born in 1942 and is honorary professor of biophysics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.The third recipient, Richard Henderson, was born in Scotland in 1945 and works at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.
Two men were fortunate to be granted bail by the Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan after they were slapped with a charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.Thirty-nine-year-old, Alvin Richards of 1567 Cortha Street, Albouystown and 41-year-old David Lynch of 112 Craig Housing Scheme, Georgetown both denied the allegation put to them.The mechanic and mortician respectively were reportedly found to be in possession 245 grams of cannabis hidden in a washing machine on December 5 2018, at Richard’s address. The duo were arrested by the police who invaded the property and discovered the drugs in the washing machine which was under a staircase in the yard.However, their attorney; Keoma Griffith revealed that Richards was not even at the premises at the time of the discovery but received a call informing him of same.Bail was not objected to and same was granted in the sum of $100,000 each. The duo were ordered to make weekly reports to the CID narcotics branch until completion of the matter. They will reappear in Court on December 28. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBrother and sister found with cannabis out on bail for escaping police custody October 15, 2015In “Crime”High Court grants bail to duo accused of narco – traffickingJuly 24, 2013In “Crime”GDF rank, cosmetologist charged for narco traffickingNovember 23, 2018In “Court”
A new publication by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) – Good Practice Guidance on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria – provides mining and metals company managers with practical information for disease management. Aimed at managers and health practitioners, the Guidance seeks to increase their understanding of the individual diseases, and also their interactions, in a non-technical way. It stresses the need for an integrated approach to the three diseases, and highlights the new links between them emerging in recent research. A systematic management process is described, comprising nine generic steps to determine the type and level of intervention required for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria – culminating, where appropriate, in the implementation of a health program with associated monitoring and evaluation.ICMM Chief Operating Officer, John Groom, said, “The ICMM Guidance strongly recommends an integrated, community-based approach to health care and disease management, and it provides valuable insights into improving the effectiveness of implementation.”A full copy of the toolkit is available free of charge from our website (http://www.icmm.com/), or can be obtained in hard copy from firstname.lastname@example.org
Solid Energy’s has achieved a major milestone with high-quality humates from its New Vale mine in Southland – gaining organic certification with BioGro New Zealand, the country’s leading organic certification agency. Scientific testing recently confirmed that select lignite seams at New Vale are a source of high-quality humates, which could play a key role in greening New Zealand both literally and figuratively. “Humates are rich in humic and fulvic acids and these acids help retain nutrients for plants,” says Solid Energy Environmental Business Manager, Dr Paul Weber. Early results show that the humate product from New Vale could have more than 30% humic acid. “Our last load, which we shipped recently, had a humic acid content of 43%, which was fantastic.“Exploratory laboratory trials have indicated humates can slow the leaching of nitrogen fertilisers,” he says. “This may allow plants to use more of the nutrient before it leaches away. By helping soils retain nitrogen, humates could offer financial benefits to farmers and also reduce the negative effects of leaching on aquifers and rivers.” Weber says New Zealand farmers and gardeners apply about 2,000 t/y of humates but the market is predicted to jump to 10,000 t in the coming years due to its increasing reputation. “Most of the humates used in New Zealand are currently imported from Australia, involving considerable transport costs, so we hope that our New Vale discovery can provide a comparable high-quality local source,” he says.Solid Energy has an agreement with New Zealand Humates Ltd (NZH) to supply humates for the New Zealand market. Dave Whitteker, Managing Director of NZH and an eight-year advocate of humates, says the supply deal represents an opportunity to harness New Zealand’s own natural resources in a very green way and reduce the country’s reliance on international imports. “Now that we’ve gained organic certification of the New Vale mine humates with BioGro New Zealand – the local product is even more palatable for customers,” Whitteker says. A number of his clients now use 4 to 10% humate mixed with fertiliser and agricultural limestone applications to maximise pasture and crop response.“Further research is required on this product, under New Zealand conditions, to maximise the benefits, and trials are currently under way with Lincoln University,” Whitteker says. Weber, who also manages environmental research and development for Solid Energy, concludes that the humate market is young but has strong potential. “We are already investigating options for liquid humates that could be used for blended fertilisers, water treatment and clean-up of contaminated sites. Watch this space,” he says.