June 5, 2011
[ONE // championship central]
The Big Ten announced Sunday that the Council of Presidents/Chancellors approved a recommendation from university administrators for the cities of Chicago, Hoffman Estates and Indianapolis to rotate as the host sites for the Big Ten Football Championship Games and Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments for a four-year period beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in December, and that facility will also host the title game in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments have been held jointly in Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse for the last four years and will be back in the Circle City in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The 2013 and 2015 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournaments will return to Chicago and the United Center, which hosted the inaugural men's tournament in 1998 and on seven total occasions, most recently in 2007. The Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament will be held in suburban Chicago for the first time when the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., hosts the event in 2013 and 2015.
[TWO // being a good sport]
The Big Ten announced on Wednesday the 22 student-athletes named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2010-11 academic year. These individuals were chosen from a group of 276 student-athletes honored throughout the academic year who had displayed positive sportsmanship. One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by his or her institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree. From each university's list, two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected. Those 22 honorees include Illinois’ Bill Cole (Sr., Men's Basketball) and Nicole Kump (Sr., Volleyball); Indiana’s Andy Bayer (So., Men's Cross Country) and Sara Olson (Sr., Softball); Iowa’s Chris Brant (Jr., Men's Golf) and Kelsey Cermak (Sr., Women's Basketball); Michigan’s Frank Shotwell (Sr., Men's Track and Field) and Dorian Shaw (Sr., Softball); Michigan State’s Brandon Eckerle (Sr., Baseball) and Kathryn Mahoney (Sr., Women's Gymnastics); Minnesota’s Blake Hoffarber (Sr., Men's Basketball) and Dannie Skrove (Jr., Softball); Northwestern’s Matt Gailey (Sr., Baseball) and Rebecca Lederhausen (Sr., Women's Golf); Ohio State’s Paul Beery (Sr., Men's Lacrosse) and Deborah Shim (Sr., Synchronized Swimming); Penn State’s T.J. Howe (Sr., Men's Golf) and Maggie Dunbar (Sr., Women's Lacrosse); Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan (Sr., Football) and Jaclyn Hart (Sr., Volleyball); and Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien (Sr., Football) and Meghan Duggan (Sr., Women's Ice Hockey).
[THREE // write for reed]
University of Michigan graduate Nicole Auerbach was named Tuesday as this year’s recipient of the Big Ten Conference William R. Reed Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of former Big Ten Commissioner William R. Reed who served the conference for more than 20 years. The conference annually honors the former commissioner by presenting this award to a student journalist from one of the Big Ten campuses who, through his or her writing during the previous academic term, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and dedication to the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics, which marked the life of William R. Reed. A 2011 graduate majoring in public policy, Auerbach was a senior sports editor for the Michigan Daily, also serving as the publication’s football beat reporter. She held numerous newspaper internships during her collegiate career, including The Trentonian, Cape Cod Times, and USA Today, and also served as a freelance reporter for the Detroit Free Press.
[FOUR // illinois and ohio state close out men’s golf season at ncaa match play]
The Big Ten men’s golf season came to an end this past Friday as Illinois and Ohio State bowed out of the NCAA Men's Golf Championships Match Play tournament, falling in quarterfinal matches. The fourth-seeded Fighting Illini fell to fifth-seeded Georgia, 3.5-1.5, while the sixth-seeded Buckeyes lost to third-seeded Oklahoma State, 3.5-1.5. Thomas Pieters picked up the lone win for Illinois, while Dan Charen earned a victory for Ohio State. Illinois and Ohio State each finished in the top eight of the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Men's Golf Championships, earning spots in the match-play portion of the championships. The Fighting Illini tied for third place, while the Buckeyes took sixth. Iowa and Michigan joined the two teams in the top 10, tying for 10th place at 28-over. Northwestern placed 22nd to round out the Big Ten contingent. Individually, the Wolverines' Lion Kim tied for third place at 1-under for the tournament to lead all conference golfers. The Illini's Chris DeForest and Luke Guthrie tied for 13th at 2-over, while the Buckeyes' Brad Smith tied for 17th at 3-over and the Hawkeyes' Chris Brant, the Illini's Thomas Pieters and the Wolverines' Matt Thompson tied for 20th at 4-over.
[FIVE // illinois concludes big ten baseball season alive at ncaa championship]
Big Ten Tournament champion Illinois extended its season this weekend at the NCAA Baseball Championship with a 2-1 record. The Fighting Illini opened tournament play on Friday night with a 10-4 loss to top-seeded Cal State Fullerton. Josh Parr then went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI, and John Anderson allowed only one earned run in eight innings of work as Illinois defeated Kansas State, 5-3, on Saturday to advance in NCAA Regionals. It was there that the Illini took the field in a rematch with Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, where it eliminated the Titans with a 7-5 victory. The Illini were then eliminated by Stanford late Sunday night, 14-2, which ended the Orange and Blue's season. Illinois was last Big Ten baseball team remaining.
[SIX // all-american boy]
Congratulations to Michigan State's Jeff Holm, who was named to the Louisville Slugger All-America third team, the Collegiate Baseball newspaper announced on Thursday. Holm is the first Spartan since 2002 to collect All-America accolades. Additionally, Holm is only the second first baseman in program history to garner All-America accolades and the first since Jerry Sutton made the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) third team in 1963.
[SEVEN // seven softball standouts earn all-america status]
Seven Big Ten standouts were named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Americans, the organization announced Wednesday. Included on the list were two first-team members, two second teamers, and three third-team honorees. Big Ten Player of the Year Amanda Chidester of Michigan was named to first-team All-America at third base, while Northwestern first baseman Adrienne Monka was an at-large selection to the first team. Michigan teammates Ashley Lane (2B) and Jordan Taylor (P) were chosen as second-team members, while Illinois second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz, Michigan outfielder Bree Evans, and Michigan State shortstop Lindsey Hansen earned third-team status.
[EIGHT // ten track and field stars take home academic district honors]
A total of 10 Big Ten cross country and track and field standouts earned Capital One Academic All-District honors on Thursday. On the women’s side, Indiana's Chelsea Blanchard, Breanne Ehrman, Vera Neuenswander, Sarah Pease and Faith Sherrill were chosen to the District 5 First Team, while Michigan's Kaitlyn Peale was selected to the District 4 First Team. All six honorees are now eligible for Academic All-America consideration. For the men, Penn State’s Ryan Foster were named to the District 2 First Team, while Michigan State's Anthony Agrusa (District 4) and Indiana's Andy Bayer and Wisconsin's Elliot Krause were tabbed District 5 First-Team honorees. As is the case with the women, all four Big Ten honorees are eligible for Academic All-America consideration.
[NINE // knowing rowing]
Big Ten rowing was well-represented on the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association's All-Region teams as two coaches and 16 student-athletes were honored this past week. Earning All-Central Regional First-Team honorees were Indiana’s Asja Zero, Michigan’s Natalie Eisermann and Felice Mueller, Michigan State’s Stephanie Bochenek, Laura Cowal, Kellie Lapointe, and Amanda McGeachie (coxswain), Ohio State’s Ulrike Denker and Claudia Schiwy, and Wisconsin’s Vanessa Kleiss. Named to the second team were Michigan’s Julia Darnton and Jennifer Entin (coxswain), Michigan State’s Alex Maibusch, Ohio State’s Claire-Louise Bode and Carolin Helmholz, and Wisconsin’s Rachel Buchholtz. As for the coaches, Ohio State’s Andrew Teitelbaum was named Central Region Head Coach of the Year, while Michigan’s Kate Strum was the Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
[TEN // a new network look]
The Big Ten Network announced Wednesday a re-branding of the network as BTN, and accompanying new logo and web domain of BTN.com. Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said the changes reflect the network’s evolution and direction. The logo also offers greater flexibility for multiple applications, including creating school-specific BTN logos using school colors. The new logo also is part of a complete redesign of the network’s graphics, animation and music packages that viewers will see for the first time during the network’s coverage of the Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon in July. The new logo incorporates some of the design elements as the previous logo, particularly the star, and complements the Big Ten Conference’s new logo.
[ELEVEN // fresh faces]
Finally this week, we welcome two new head coaches to the conference, even if one is a bit premature! Congratulations to new Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers, who last season led Boston University to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002. Chambers was introduced by Penn State on Friday after leading the Terriers to the America East Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth during the 2010-11 season and posting a 42-28 record in two years as head coach at BU. He is the only BU coach to earn 20 wins in each of his first two seasons and the fastest to earn a conference championship in program history. And while Nebraska is weeks away from its official induction into the Big Ten Conference, we welcome new Huskers’ baseball coach Darin Erstad, who was a two-time Major League All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft and spent 14 years in the majors, before retiring following the 2009 season. A two-sport standout at Nebraska (he was also the Huskers’ punter), Erstad was a first-team All-American and Big Eight Co-Player of the Year in his final season as a Husker in 1995.