Urban Meyer will not appear on ESPN

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Urban Meyer will not be in ESPN's studio this weekend, further fueling rumors that he will take over as Ohio State's head coach.

The former Florida coach and current ESPN analyst issued a statement on Wednesday disputing reports that he had accepted the OSU job. Earlier this week, the network decided to move Meyer from the game broadcast of Ohio State at Michigan to its Bristol, Conn., studio.

"Urban Meyer won't be appearing on ESPN this weekend," ESPN publicist Mike Humes posted on Twitter. "He requested off his studio assignment and we obliged."

Separate reports Wednesday from The New York Times and The Columbus Dispatch said that the process of hiring Meyer is moving forward and an announcement is expected next week.

"I have not been offered any job nor is there a deal in place," Meyer said in a statement on Wednesday. "I plan on spending Thanksgiving with my family and will not comment on this any further."

The Times reported that Meyer is moving closer to becoming the Buckeyes' coach and that he needed to discuss the decision with his family during Thanksgiving and get more information about possible sanctions for OSU's NCAA violations.

Citing two anonymous university officials, The Dispatch reported early Wednesday afternoon that Meyer will be announced as Ohio State's new coach next week.

WKMG-TV reported late Tuesday that Meyer had agreed "in principle" to a seven-year, $40 million contract to coach the Buckeyes. The report also indicated that current Florida linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and strength coach Mickey Marotti would join Meyer's staff.

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