This Week in the Big Ten

Purdue's Matt Painter learned this week his team's one-plays for the 2011-12 men's basketball season and that he was a nominee for the Big Ten Network's Male Coach of the Year.

June 19, 2011

[ONE // ..and the nominees are]
This past week, the Big Ten highlighted each of the 22 student-athletes nominated for the conference's Jesse Owens Male and Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year Awards. The 22 student-athletes represent the best of the best from each of the 11 campuses throughout the conference.  Congratulations to Illinois’ Melissa Fernandez (Gymnastics) and Andrew Riley (Track & Field), Indiana’s Ashley Benson (Volleyball) and Derek Drouin (Track & Field), Iowa’s Kachine Alexander (Basketball) and Vince India (Golf), Michigan’s Kylee Botterman (Gymnastics) and Kellen Russell (Wrestling), Michigan State’s Emily MacLeod (Cross Country/Track and Field) and Greg Jones (Football), Minnesota’s Kelci Bryant (Swimming and Diving) and Michael Richards (Swimming and Diving), Northwestern’s Shannon Smith (Lacrosse) and Brandon Precin (Wrestling), Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender (Basketball) and Steven Kehoe (Volleyball), Penn State’s Blair Brown (Volleyball) and Talor Battle (Basketball), Purdue’s Numa Gulyanamitta (Golf) and David Boudia (Swimming and Diving), and Wisconsin’s Meghan Duggan (Ice Hockey) and Jordan Taylor (Basketball).  Award winners were voted on by a pre-selected media panel and will be announced live on the Big Ten Network's season-ending awards show on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

[TWO // …and the winner is]
Speaking of the Big Ten Network’s Awards Show, the BTN will recognize the best of Big Ten sports in 2010-11 with the fourth annual BTN Awards Show live at 7:30 PM ET on Monday, June 20. Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo will host the one-hour show.  In addition to the Jesse Owens and Suzy Favor award winners, Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year awards will also be presented.  Nominees for Men’s Coach of the Year are Ohio State basketball’s Thad Matta, Purdue basketball’s Matt Painter and Penn State wrestling’s Cael Sanderson. Nominees for Women’s Coach of the Year are Michigan softball’s Carol Hutchins, Wisconsin ice hockey’s Mark Johnson and Penn State basketball’s Coquese Washington.  The other award categories include: Breakout Performer of the Year, Most Dominating Performance, Most Courageous Performance, Best Finish, Men’s Team of the Year, Women’s Team of the Year, and Game of the Year.  Click here to see the nominees for those awards.

[THREE // giving and receiving]
And while the Big Ten Network readies to hand out the awards, the BTN received a milestone award of its own this past week.  The Radio Television Digital News Association recognized the BTN on Tuesday with an Edward R. Murrow Award in the category of video sports reporting for the network’s feature story on Brock Mealer, the brother of Michigan football player Elliott Mealer.  The feature recalls a 2007 car accident that took the lives of Brock and Elliott’s father, David, as well as Elliott’s girlfriend and left Brock partially paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors gave him a one percent chance to walk again.  Click here to view this wonderful and now award-winning feature.  In less than four years on the air, BTN has now garnered two national Emmy nominations and a national Murrow Award.

[FOUR // the eye is on the big ten, and vice versa]
CBS Sports agreed this past week to a multi-year agreement with the Big Ten extending its broadcast rights to the conference's basketball games through the 2016-17 season. The agreement, beginning with the 2011-12 season, calls for a minimum of 24 appearances by teams from the Big Ten, including three Big Ten wildcard weekends. CBS Sports will continue to broadcast the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinal and championship games. Additional appearances by various women’s teams from the conference also will be featured.

[FIVE // singled out]
During the 2011-12 Big Ten men's basketball season, each team will play seven teams twice and four teams once.  Each team's "single-plays" for the upcoming season, as well as home-away designations for those games, were announced this past week.  Here are the one-plays for each school this year:  Illinois (Home: IOWA/MSU, Away: IND/PSU), Indiana (Home: ILL/NU, Away: NEB/WIS), Iowa (Home: MICH/OSU, Away: ILL/MSU), Michigan (Home: MINN/WIS, Away: IOWA/NEB), Michigan State (Home: IOWA/PSU, Away: ILL/NU), Minnesota (Home: OSU/PUR, Away: MICH/PSU), Nebraska (Home: IND/MICH, Away: NU/PUR), Northwestern (Home: MSU/NEB, Away: IND/WIS), Ohio State (Home: PSU/PUR, Away: IOWA/MINN), Penn State (Home: ILL/MINN, Away: MSU/OSU), Purdue (Home: NEB/WIS, Away: MINN/OSU), and Wisconsin (Home: IND/NU, Away: MICH/PUR).

[SIX // all the single ladies…and single games]
As the 2011-12 women's basketball schedule comes together, the Big Ten identified this past week each team's single-play opponents. Teams will play a 16-game conference schedule, facing five squads twice and six opponents once.  The following is a list of each team's single-plays:  Illinois (Home: MICH/NEB/PSU, Away: IND/IOWA/MSU), Indiana (Home: ILL/IOWA/WIS, Away: MINN/NEB/PSU), Iowa (Home: ILL/MSU/MINN, Away: IND/OSU/PSU), Michigan (Home: MINN/OSU/PUR, Away: ILL/NEB/WIS), Michigan State (Home: ILL/NEB/OSU, Away: IOWA/MINN/WIS), Minnesota (Home: IND/MSU/WIS, Away: IOWA/MICH/NU), Nebraska (Home: IND/MICH/NU, Away: ILL/MSU/PUR), Northwestern (Home: MINN/PSU/PUR, Away: NEB/OSU/WIS), Ohio State (Home: IOWA/NU/PUR, Away: MICH/MSU/PSU), Penn State (Home: IND/IOWA/OSU, Away: ILL/NU/PUR), Purdue (Home: NEB/PSU/WIS, Away: MICH/NU/OSU), and Wisconsin (Home: MICH/MSU/NU, Away: IND/MINN/PUR).

[SEVEN // all-american girls]
Thirty-four Big Ten women's outdoor track and field athletes were named USTFCCCA All-Americans on Monday. Fifteen Big Ten athletes earned first-team honors after placing in the top eight in their respective events at the NCAA Championships, while 19 picked up second-team honors. The complete list of Big Ten All-Americans can be found by clicking here.

[EIGHT // honorable men]
On the men’s side, 43 conference outdoor track and field athletes were named All-Americans by the USTFCCCA on Monday, based on their finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships. The conference boasts 16 first-team honorees and 27 second-team athletes. The entire list of Big Ten All-Americans can be found by clicking here.

[NINE // tennis earns all-america accolades too]
A total of 10 Big Ten tennis standouts were named as All-Americans this past week by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.  Six women and four males earned spots on the All-America squads, which required a singles player to either be a top-16 seed at the NCAA Singles Championships, reach the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championships, or finish in the top 20 of the final ITA Rankings.  In doubles, All-Americans qualified as a top-eight seed at the NCAA Doubles Championships, by reaching the quarterfinals of NCAA Doubles Championship, or by finishing in top 10 of final ITA Rankings.  Congratulations to Illinois’ Dennis Nevolo (singles), Indiana’s Leslie Hureau (singles), Michigan’s Evan King (singles), Brooke Bolender (doubles) and Denise Muresan (singles/doubles), Ohio State’s Blaz Rola (singles) and Chase Buchanan (singles), and Northwestern’s Maria Mosolova (singles), Nida Hamilton (doubles), and Linda Mushrefova (doubles).

[TEN // we say goodbye, we say hello]
This past week we said goodbye to a Big Ten coach while welcoming another. Joe Baum, who spent parts of six decades as a vital member and mentor of the Michigan State soccer program, announced he will retire effective June 30, 2011. Baum has served the last two seasons as the program's assistant coach after a 32-year run as the head coach.  He has been a tremendous ambassador for both Michigan State and Big Ten soccer.  We extend our congratulations to Mike Turk, who was promoted to head coach of Illinois men's track and field on Wednesday. Turk spent the last six years on the Fighting Illini coaching staff, joining the squad as an assistant coach in 2006. After four years as an assistant, he was named the interim head coach and worked under that title for the 2010-11 seasons.

[ELEVEN // curley inks the toner award]

Finally this week, the Big Ten extends its congrats to Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, who was named Wednesday as the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s 2011 recipient of the John L. Toner Award.  One of the top honors that a college athletics administrator can receive, the Toner Award is presented annually by the NFF to an athletics director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football. Curley has presided over Penn State athletics since Dec. 30, 1993, and his leadership has resulted in 21 NCAA and 64 Big Ten championships and numerous individual national and conference crowns for the Nittany Lions during his tenure. His passion for winning has also extended to the classroom with the NCAA reporting in Oct. 2010 that Penn State student-athletes compiled a school-record 90 percent Graduation Success Rate, 11 points higher than the national average for schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.