July 1, 2012
[ONE // a rosy picture ahead]
ESPN has reached a 12-year extension with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference to continue the company’s long-standing relationship with the Rose Bowl Game, one of college football’s most popular events. The agreement, which begins in January 2015, will include rights to the annual Rose Bowl Game across ESPN’s platforms through 2026. Each year, the game will be played January 1 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT (or on January 2 in years when January 1 is a Sunday) and will feature the champions from the Big Ten and Pac-12. The news was announced this past week by John Skipper, ESPN President, Libby Wright, Chair of the Rose Bowl Management Committee, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
[TWO // big ten plays big role in adoption of new college football playoff]
Earlier this past week, a significant change in determining college football’s national champion occurred as a four-team playoff was formally approved by a presidential oversight committee. The extended playoff will begin in 2014 and continue through the 2025 season. The four finalists will be chosen by a selection committee and will then play in semifinal action at current bowl sites. The winners will advance to the national championship game at a site that will likely include non-traditional bowl sites. Following the announcement of the new postseason format, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “The Big Ten Conference is pleased with the decision made by the presidential oversight committee to implement a four-team playoff for college football. We feel that this system will protect the regular season, preserve the tradition of bowl games and further enhance the Big Ten’s partnership with the Pac-12 and Rose Bowl while simultaneously allowing for great innovation. It was a great day for college football student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.”
[THREE // time to get the tickets]
Tickets for the 41st annual Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon, at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago on Friday, July 27, are now available. The day begins at 10 a.m. CT with an hour-long autograph session with the attending coaches and student-athletes. The luncheon portion of the program is slated to get underway at 11:30 a.m., with a special guest serving as emcee of the event. Fans will get an inside look at their favorite teams as each coach speaks to the crowd, while one student-athlete will speak on behalf of the players. For more information on the 2012 Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon, click here.
[FOUR // the big ten’s big four]
Four Big Ten players were selected in the NBA Draft this past Thursday, marking the second-straight year the conference has tallied four or more draftees. Illinois' Meyers Leonard was the first conference player taken in the draft, going 11th overall to the Portland Trailblazers, while Ohio State's Jared Sullinger was taken 21st by the Boston Celtics. Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green went 35th overall to the Golden State Warriors, and Purdue's Robbie Hummel was a second-round selection of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
[FIVE // illinois’ riley looking to reel in bowerman]
While several more current and former Big Ten standouts punched their tickets to the Olympics this past week (the Big Ten will release in a complete list of 2012 Olympians in the coming weeks), Illinois standout and NCAA Champion Andrew Riley continued to advance his name on the ballot for The Bowerman, given annually to the most outstanding male and female athletes in collegiate track and field. Riley, the USTFCCCA National Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, became the first male in Division I history to win both the 100 meters and 110 hurdles at the same outdoor national championships. At this year's Big Ten Outdoor Championships, the Kingston, Jamaica, native was named Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships after taking home three conference crowns. Riley becomes the first Big Ten student-athlete to be named a finalist for The Bowerman. For the complete release, click here.
[SIX // more accolades for purdue’s plawecki]
Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki was named this past week as a second-team All-American by Baseball America and a third-team All-American by the ABCA. Plawecki was the Big Ten's Player of the Year and the conference tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was taken in the Compensation A round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
[SEVEN // seven baseball stars recognized as all-mideast performers]
Seven Big Ten baseball players were named to the ABCA/Rawlings Mideast Region First and Second Teams, the American Baseball Coaches Association announced this past week. Purdue led all schools with three players on the first team in pitcher Joe Haase, catcher Kevin Plawecki and third baseman Cameron Perkins. Eric Charles was given second-team recognition, upping the Boilermakers' total to four. In addition, Michigan State second baseman Ryan Jones, Minnesota pitcher TJ Oakes and Penn State first baseman Jordan Steranka were first-team honorees. The complete list of Big Ten players on the All-Mideast Region teams can be found below. The complete release can be viewed by clicking here.
[EIGHT // national champion helps europe to victory]
Congratulations to Illinois’ Thomas Pieters on helping Team Europe to a 13.5-10.5 decision over the United States in the Palmer Cup this past week at The Royal County Down Golf Club. Pieters, the 2012 NCAA Champion, halved both of his singles matches during the competition, coming back on the final hole against James White on Friday and Corbin Mills on Saturday. Both opponents conceded No. 18 to Pieters to end the match all-square. The first-ever Belgian native to play in the Palmer Cup teamed with Daan Huizing on the opening day, as the duo was edged (1up) by Chris Williams and Andrew Yun during the day one matches.
[NINE // a wolverine welcome]
Erik Bakich was named this past Wednesday as Michigan's head baseball coach after having spent the past three seasons in the same position at Maryland. In the last 11 years as a collegiate coach, Bakich has recruited to campus and/or coached 81 players that have been selected in the MLB Draft, including 25 in the first five rounds and nine first-round picks.
[TEN // former big ten standout becomes a buckeye]
And speaking of Michigan and new hires, a former Wolverine has been hired to take over the softball program at rival Ohio State. Kelly Kovach Schoenly was introduced Friday as the eighth head coach in the 40-year history of the OSU program. Schoenly spent six seasons as head coach at Miami (Ohio) and was the program’s all-time winningest coach with 188 career victories, leading the RedHawks to their first MAC Tournament title in 2009 before winning again in 2012. Schoenly also led the team to two NCAA Tournament berths in both 2009 and 2012, respectively. Prior to her stint at Miami, Schoenly was an assistant coach at Penn State (1998-2006) for eight seasons and helped guide the Nittany Lions to seven Big Ten Tournament appearances and six NCAA Tournament berths. Before her time in State College, Schoenly was an assistant at her alma mater, Michigan, for three years (1995-98), helping the squad reach the NCAA Women’s College World Series three consecutive times. During her collegiate pitching career at Michigan (1991-95), Schoenly earned numerous conference and national awards, including 1995 NFCA First-Team All-America honors. A two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and three-time all-conference selection, Schoenly was a member of three Big Ten Championship teams and played on the 1995 squad, which finished seventh at the NCAA Women's College World Series.
[ELEVEN // watch this…. and vote]
The ESPY Awards are right around the corner and the 2012 edition will mark the 20th installment of ESPN’s annual awards show. Prior to the July 11th broadcast, fans can vote for all of their favorite athletes and teams as well as top performances and plays of the past year. The Big Ten is represented in several categories once again and our friends at BTN have taken the time to list those and post some of the memorable plays from the 2011-12 season. Among the nominees are former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees (Best Record-Breaking Performance and Best NFL Player) and former Northwestern standout Luke Donald (Best Male Golfer). Best Play nominees include Kirk Cousins’ last-second Hail Mary to Keith Nichol to give Michigan State a win over Wisconsin and Indiana’s Christian Watford hitting a buzzer-beating three-pointer to upset No. 1 Kentucky.
[TWELVE // leading the way]
Finally this week, we congratulate two current Big Ten administrators and salute another who heads off into retirement. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has named Northwestern's Jim Phillips the recipient of the 2011-12 Under Armour Central Region AD of the Year Award. Phillips, now in his fifth year as the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Northwestern, received the award in recognition of his commitment and positive contributions to the University and surrounding community. Also, the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) honored Indiana Senior Associate Athletic Director Julie Cromer this past week by presenting her with the Frank Kara Leadership Award. This honor is NAAC's premier award and it is the highest that is bestowed upon a compliance professional. We also salute the efforts of Michigan State administrator Karen Langeland, who announced her retirement, effective June 30, after serving 36 years on the Spartans’ athletics staff. . Langeland was MSU's women's basketball coach for 24 years and then served the athletic department for 12 years as an associate athletics director.