July 6, 2014
[ONE // welcome home]
The University of Maryland and Rutgers University became official members of the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday, increasing the Big Ten’s membership to 14 institutions. In addition, Johns Hopkins University officially became a sport affiliate member for men’s lacrosse. The Big Ten now has more than 520,000 total students and 5.7 million living alumni. The conference’s broad-based athletic programs will feature almost 9,500 student-athletes for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports, including 28 official Big Ten sports. Maryland and Rutgers were already members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), an academic consortium of Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago that is a highly regarded model for effective and voluntary collaboration among top research universities. In 2012, CIC institutions produced over $10 billion in research expenditures.
[TWO // putting on our game face]
Big Ten mascots, including newbies Testudo and the Scarlet Knight, invaded Washington D.C. and New York City this past week in celebrating Maryland and Rutgers joining the conference. No site was off limits for the fan favorites as the mascots toured the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Yankees Stadium, the Empire State Building, and Madison Square Garden. The national media seemed to have a field day following the mascots, as seen on SI.com, Yahoo! Sports and the Washington Post to name a few. For a complete look at all the stops made on the mascots tour, check out BTN.com.
[THREE // a whole new flavor]
When the Big Ten was visiting Maryland for the official celebration party, the Terps had ice cream waiting. In fact, it was Big Ten ice cream, made especially for B1G fans by the Maryland Dairy. What is in it? Try this: “A rich and creamy bourbon vanilla bean ice cream swirled with a raspberry and cream de cassis Melba sauce, accented with pieces of three historic uniquely Maryland Cakes: Kossuth cake, Smith Island cake and Lord Baltimore cake, splashed with a hint of Triple Sec.”
[FOUR // hoosiers find new face of baseball program]
Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass announced the hiring of Louisville assistant coach Chris Lemonis as the 24th head coach of the Hoosier baseball program this past Wednesday. The 2013 ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year and Cardinals' recruiting coordinator aided Louisville to three College World Series appearances (2008, 2013, 2014) and a 359-159 (.693) record during the past eight seasons, including back-to-back 50-win seasons in 2013 and 2014. Working under Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, Lemonis has helped the Cardinals produce 15 All-Americans, 54 all-conference selections and a pair of conference Player of the Year winners.
[FIVE // woody named to direct hawkeyes]
Iowa City native, four-time All-American, and former world champion Joey Woody has been named director of track and field/cross country for the University of Iowa. Woody replaces Larry Wieczorek, who announced his retirement from the UI effective July 3. Woody has been the associate head track and field coach for the UI since 2013 and served as assistant coach and director of sprint and hurdle events for the Hawkeyes since 2006. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, he was responsible for managing all home track and field events and assisted with the program's budgeting and oversight of the academic achievement of its student-athletes.
[SIX // seven B1G names up for espy awards]
The annual ESPY Awards are right around the corner and BTN.com has featured the seven current or former Big Ten representatives up for awards. The nominees include former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson (Best NFL Player), Penn State wrestler David Taylor (Best Male College Athlete), Maryland lacrosse player Taylor Cummings and Penn State volleyball standout Micha Hancock (Best Female College Athlete), Michigan figure skater Charlie White (Best Male U.S. Olympian), Illinois wheelchair racer Raymond Martin (Best Male Athlete with a Disability), and Illinois wheelchair racer Tatyna McFadden (Best Female Athlete with a Disability).
[SEVEN // all-american scholars on the course]
Fourteen Big Ten women’s golfers were named this past week as All-American Scholars by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA). The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50. Congratulations to Illinois’ Erin Ahern and Samantha Postillion, Indiana’s Camille Chevalier and Elizabeth Tong, Michigan State’s Gabby Yurik, Minnesota’s Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Nebraska’s Steffi Neisen, Northwestern’s Suchaya Tangkamolprasert, Penn State’s Ellen Ceresko, Elyse Archambault and Grace Chung, Purdue’s August Kim and Johanna Tillstrom, and Wisconsin’s Kimberly Dinh.
[EIGHT // lady lions in the zone]
As the summer continues in Big Ten Country, several schools are taking a look back at some of their biggest highlights of the 2013-14 season. For Penn State, the Pink Zone women’s basketball games have always been successful and this year was no less. The Lady Lion basketball team continued their fight against breast cancer in record-breaking style as the 2014 Pink Zone at Penn State saw the Lady Lions donate $310,000 to six breast cancer charities, breaking the stated fundraising goal of $300,000. In addition to donating a record amount to breast cancer charities, the Lady Lions also surpassed the one million dollar mark for fundraising in the Pink Zone's eight-year history. In eight Pink Zone annual events, the Lady Lions have now donated $1,135,317.73 to various breast cancer charities.
[NINE // huskers stay loyal to football program]
Which college football team has the most loyal fan base? According to a recent businessinsider.com ranking, it’s Nebraska, the team with a sellout streak that dates to the Kennedy administration. BTN.com reported that three other Big Ten fan bases made the cut: Ohio State (No. 3), Michigan (No. 6) and Penn State (No. 9).
[TEN // time to track down your treasure]
Do you have any Big Ten collectables laying around the house? If yes, it’s time dig into your old antique boxes and get those Big Ten treasures noticed. Coming this fall, BTN is set to launch a new feature show, “Big Ten Treasure Hunter,” and they are looking for your submissions. Memorabilia expert John Arcand will embark on a new journey each week, traveling throughout Big Ten country to offer up his opinion on Big Ten memorabilia collections – and offer to buy items from collectors. The BTN introduced the show to our readers back in May, but now with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten conference, they want to make sure everyone is on board. If you have a special piece of Big Ten memorabilia sitting around the house, our “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” crew wants to learn about it.
[ELEVEN // growing as a staff]
Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany announced promotions on Wednesday for seven conference staff members as well as the hiring of one staff position. Diane Dietz was promoted to Deputy Commissioner, Public Affairs, Scott Chipman was promoted to Associate Commissioner, Communications, Robin Jentes was elevated to Assistant Commissioner, Branding, Jade Burroughs earned the title of Director, Branding, Kerry Kenny was promoted to Director, Compliance, Jessica Palermo became Director, Championships; while Alex Macht was moved to Assistant Director, Video Services. In addition, Kristina Minor was hired as Assistant Director, Compliance.
[TWELVE // more new additions for 2014]
Finally this week, the addition of Maryland and Rutgers was not the only change coming to the Big Ten in 2014-15. Don’t forget that the football divisions now change to East and West, replacing Legends and Leaders. In the East Division, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers will do battle, while Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin will compete in the West. Additionally, the inaugural seasons of Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse are set to begin this upcoming year. The Conference office released information a few weeks back regarding the dates and sites for the Big Ten Lacrosse Championships. More information can be found by clicking here.