This Week in the Big Ten

Indiana's Alex Dickerson was the first Big Ten baseball player selected in this past week's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.

June 12, 2011

[ONE // the top honor]
The Big Ten Conference office announced on Wednesday the 2011 Medal of Honor winners. The award was established in 1914 when the Big Ten endowed a Medal of Honor to be given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In 1982, the Medal of Honor was expanded to include a senior female athlete from each institution.  This year, 22 student-athletes, representing 14 sports, have been chosen for the Medal of Honor. Twenty-one of this year's honorees earned Academic All-Big Ten status, while 16 of the recipients were named All-Big Ten selections.  Congratulations to Illinois’ Scott Langley (Men's Golf) and Hillary Haen (Women's Volleyball), Indiana’s Ben Chappell (Football) and Vera Neuenswander (Women's Track & Field), Iowa’s Julian Vandervelde (Football) and Bethany Praska (Women's Track & Field), Michigan’s Carl Hagelin (Men's Ice Hockey) and Sarah Curtis (Women's Gymnastics), Michigan State’s Brandon Eckerle (Baseball) and Aimee Neff (Women's Golf), Minnesota’s Mike Thorn (Wrestling) and Kaylee Jamison (Women's Swimming & Diving), Northwestern’s Matt Eliason (Men's Soccer) and Maria Mosolova (Women's Tennis), Ohio State’s Steven Kehoe (Men's Volleyball) and Cassie Dickerson (Women's Soccer), Penn State’s Stefen Wisniewski, (Football) and Jessica Babcock (Women's Track & Field), Purdue’s Kyle Adams (Football) and Allie Smith (Women's Swimming & Diving), and Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi (Football) and Maggie Meyer (Women's Swimming & Diving).

[TWO // the head of the class]
As the 2010-11 academic year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognized this past week a total of 1,078 spring and at-large sports student-athletes as members of the Academic All-Conference team. The list of honored student-athletes features 95 baseball players, 80 softball players, 128 women’s rowers, 55 men’s and 48 women’s golfers, 50 men’s and 55 women’s tennis athletes, 141 men’s and 158 women’s track standouts and 124 men’s (representing ice hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, fencing, rowing and pistol and rifle) and 144 women’s (representing water polo, ice hockey, fencing, synchronized swimming, lightweight rowing, lacrosse and pistol and rifle) at-large athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.  At least 15 Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished GPAs.  For a complete look at the 1,078 honorees, click here.

[THREE // time for kickoff]
Big Ten institutions released game times and television plans this past Tuesday for home games to be played during the first three weeks of the 2011 football season. In addition to the prime time home games announced in May, Big Ten games will also be played at Noon and 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 3, 10 and 17. Game times and television plans for the remainder of the 2011 schedule will be announced six to 12 days in advance. The full schedule of Big Ten home games during the first three weeks of September can be found by clicking here.

[FOUR // illinois and indiana lead conference contingent at ncaa track and field championships]
The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships came to a close on Saturday, with 11 Big Ten student-athletes taking home first-team All-America honors on the final day of competition. In the team standings, Illinois finished 12th to lead the men's teams while the Indiana women's team earned the best finish among conference teams, tying for 23rd.  Among the top individual finishers, Illinois’ Andrew Riley took home second in the 110-meter hurdles and Ohio State's Christina Manning placed second in the 100-meter hurdles, while Indiana’s Andrew Poore took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Penn State’s Joe Kovacs earned the bronze in the shot put.

[FIVE // six men’s track and field representatives earn regional honors]
Three student-athletes and three coaches represent the Big Ten among the USTFCCCA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Regional Award winners, as announced on Monday.  In the Great Lakes Region, Indiana’s De’Sean Turner was named the Track Athlete of the Year, while Penn State’s Casimir Loxsom earned the same award in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Ohio State’s Michael Hartfield earned Field Athlete of the Year in the Great Lakes Region.  In the Midwest, Iowa’s Larry Wieczorek was named the Coach of the Year, while the Hawkeyes’ Joey Woody (Midwest) and Ohio State’s Ed Beathea (Great Lakes) were both named Assistant Coaches of the Year.   

[SIX // four others earn track honors]
On the women’s side, two Big Ten student-athletes and two conference coaches earned USTFCCCA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Regional awards on Monday. In the Great Lakes Region, Ohio State’s Christina Manning and Karen Dennis were named the Track Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively.  Michigan State’s Beth Rohl and John Newell were also tabbed the Field Athlete of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year as well.

[SEVEN // diamond draftees]
A total of 19 Big Ten baseball players were selected in the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft this past week.  Indiana's Alex Dickerson was the first conference player taken, selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the first pick in the third round and the 91st overall.  Michigan’s Tyler Mills was picked up in the ninth round by the St. Louis Cardinals, while Illinois’ Adam Davis and Minnesota’s Justin Gominsky were taken the in the 11th round by the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros, respectively.  Click here to see a compete breakdown of all Big Ten players selected in the draft.

[EIGHT // baseball boasting honors]
Five Big Ten baseball players were honored nationally this past week, including four star freshmen.  Indiana’s Dustin DeMuth and Joey DeNato, Michigan’s Michael O’Neill, and Ohio State’s Josh Dezse were named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans, Collegiate Baseball newspaper announced on Wednesday.  Additionally, Northwestern's Paul Snieder was named one of 10 semifinalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, the College Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Friday. The winner of the Olerud Award will be announced in Lubbock, Texas, on July 3, as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions.

[NINE // smart student-athletes]
Five Big Ten student-athletes have earned recognition on the Capital One Academic All-America Women's At-Large teams, it was announced on Thursday. Minnesota swimmer Kaylee Jamison earned first-team Academic All-America honors, while Michigan gymnast Sarah Curtis and Illinois gymnast Melissa Fernandez picked up second-team laurels. Northwestern golfer Kelsey Lindenschmidt and Wisconsin ice hockey's Becca Ruegsegger received third-team recognition.  On the men’s side, Penn State gymnast Miguel Pineda was named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America At-Large First Team, while Ohio State golfer Brad Smith was tabbed to the second team.

[TEN // all-american rowers]
Seven Big Ten rowers earned CRCA Pocock All-America honors as announced on Friday. Big Ten Rower of the Year and Michigan State senior Laura Cowal earned first-team honors and was joined by Michigan's Felice Mueller on the first team.  Five conference rowers received second-team recognition as Michigan's Natalie Eisermann, Michigan State's Kellie Lapointe, Ohio State's Ulrike Denker and Claudia Schiwy, and Wisconsin's Vanessa Kleiss took home honors.  Click here to see the complete list of CRCA Pocock All-Americans.

[ELEVEN // red, white and blue]
Finally this week, four Big Ten players are among 22 of the nation's top collegiate athletes that have accepted invitations from the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team training camp.  Michigan State's Draymond Green, Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe, Northwestern's John Shurna and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor will attend the training camp, which will be held July 29-Aug. 7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The training camp will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2011 World University Games men's basketball competition Aug. 13-23 in Shenzhen, China.  Purdue head coach Matt Painter was selected as head coach of the 2011 USA Men's World University Games Team.