This Week in the Big Ten

July 9, 2017

[ONE // big ten announces distinguished scholars]
The Big Ten announced on Wednesday that 1,019 students competing in intercollegiate athletics have earned the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list includes students from all 14 institutions and 38 different sports who have recorded a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year. The 2016-17 class of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients includes at least 157 students who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term. This group of honorees is pursuing diverse fields of study with a list of majors that include mathematics, accountancy, kinesiology, architecture, biological sciences, law and public policy, mechanical engineering, nursing, biotechnology, elementary education, business, journalism, marketing, psychology and many others.

[TWO // big ten trio among 20 athletics administrators to attend ncaa leadership institute]
Three individuals at Big Ten institutions are among 20 minority and female administrators committed to advancing their careers in college athletics and selected this past week to participate in the 2017 NCAA Leadership Institute. A committee composed of members from the Association — a group that includes current administrators and past seminar participants across all NCAA divisions — selected the participants, which includes Indiana assistant director of compliance monitoring John Stephenson, Minnesota director of event management John Tweedy, and Ohio State senior athletics academic counselor Stephon Fuqua. Through the institute, the NCAA leadership development staff provides professional development programming over the course of a calendar year, including one-week programs at the beginning and conclusion of that year.  For the administrators who participate, the program offers an opportunity to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics administrator needs.

[THREE // several big ten standouts named wgca all-american scholars]
Thirty-two Big Ten women’s golf standouts were named Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars on July 5. 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. The Women’s Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women’s collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 600 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent. The complete list of Big Ten honorees can be found by clicking here.

[FOUR // purdue’s kapur qualifies for open championship]
Former Purdue standout Shiv Kapur has qualified to play in his third British Open Championship, advancing out of qualifying held at the Woburn Golf Club in England. This year’s Open Championship will be played July 20 to 23 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Kapur, a 2004 Purdue graduate, shot a 36-hole total of 8-under par 136 (71-65) to earn one of three spots from the qualifier. Ian Poulter and Toby Tree earned the other two spots.  The appearance will mark Kapur’s fifth appearance in a major and his third showing in The Open Championship, having advanced in 2006 and 2013. Kapur earned first team All-Big Ten honors as a senior, finishing 10th at the 2004 NCAA Championships. He ranks seventh on Purdue’s career stroke average list (73.66). 

[FIVE // big ten standouts up for espy’s]
Four Big Ten students or moments are up for ESPY awards at ESPN’s annual award show, which will be held July 12 in Los Angeles and broadcast by ABC at 8 p.m. ET. Northwestern's buzzer-beating men's basketball win over Michigan March 1 is one of four finalists for “Best Play" next week. The Wildcats' dramatic game-winning play was one of 16 nominees for the award and has advanced through two rounds of voting to reach the finals. Ohio State's Kyle Snyder has been nominated for an ESPY in the category of “Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete.” Penn State wrestler Zain Retherford and Maryland lacrosse player Matt Rambo are among three other finalists for the “Best Male College Athlete” award. Fans can vote for their favorite Big Ten student or moment by clicking here.

[SIX // joel klatt to emcee kickoff luncheon]
The Big Ten announced Thursday that Joel Klatt, FOX Sports’ lead college football game analyst, will serve as host of the 2017 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, which will be held Tuesday, July 25, in the Skyline Ballroom at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Klatt will be joined at the Kickoff Luncheon by each of the Big Ten’s 14 head coaches, 42 of the conference's top returning students and College Football Hall of Fame inductees Tom Cousineau of Ohio State and Tim Krumrie of Wisconsin. Klatt will sit down with the coaches in small groups to discuss the upcoming season and also interview Cousineau and Krumrie. Klatt joined FOX Sports as an analyst in 2013 for FS1’s launch. He spent his first two seasons with FS1 and the FOX broadcast network as a full-time studio analyst for the network’s college football coverage, host of FOX NFL KICKOFF, a part-time game analyst, primarily working Thursday night contests on FS1. Prior to the 2015 season, Klatt was elevated to FOX Sports’ lead college football game analyst, where he teams with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, including calling the 2015 and 2016 Big Ten Football Championship Games on FOX.

[SEVEN // big ten announces staff additions and promotions]
The Big Ten is pleased to announce several staff additions and promotions in the conference’s communications, operations and video services departments in advance of the 2017-18 academic year. Megan Rowley has been promoted to assistant director in the Big Ten communications department after spending last year as the Bob Hammel Communications Intern.  Matt Braunscheidel heads up three staff changes in the Big Ten video services department, having been promoted to associate director following two years as assistant director. Joseph Hamata has been promoted to assistant director in the Big Ten video services department, where he supervises video services for Big Ten hockey and aides with the conference’s football and basketball video services. Sam Arvaneh is the newest addition to the Big Ten video services staff, filling the role of the department’s new intern in which he will assist on video services coverage for Big Ten football, basketball and hockey. Therno Diallo will join the Big Ten staff on July 17 as the C.D. Henry Intern and will assist with the conference’s football and basketball operations.

[EIGHT // rowe ready to rep spartan gymnastics as head coach]
Michigan State recently announced the hiring of Mike Rowe as the new head gymnastics coach. A Spartan graduate that has spent the last three seasons as assistant coach, Rowe was named interim head coach in February. He has spent the last three seasons as assistant coach at his alma mater, joining the coaching staff in 2014. He was an integral part in returning Spartan gymnastics team to NCAA postseason competition in 2015, placing fourth at the Iowa State Regional and ending the season with a No. 26 national ranking.

[NINE // bowing our heads for the boilers]
Our thoughts are with Purdue and the Boilermakers football program after the tragic loss of former quarterback Erick Hunter, who passed away in an incident this past Wednesday in Hampton, Virginia. Hunter earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades in 1989 and concluded his career in West Lafayette in 1992 as one of the 10 best Boiler quarterbacks in passing yards and touchdowns.

[TEN // hawkeye, husker journeyman elliott passes away]
Finally this week, Bobby Elliott, a University of Iowa three-year football letterman (1972, 1974-75), and former Hawkeye assistant football coach, passed away Saturday, following a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was 64.  He is the son of former Iowa Director of Athletics Bump Elliott.  Funeral arrangements are pending. Elliott played defensive back at Iowa from 1972 to 1975, leading the team in interceptions and pass break-ups as a senior.  Elliott earned Academic All-America honors in both 1974 and 1975 and received the Big Ten Medal of Honor. He earned his degree in 1976 with high distinction, was a 1976 Rhodes Scholar candidate, and the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Elliott went on to coach for 38 years, including 11 seasons under Hayden Fry at Iowa. He was in his first year on the football staff at Nebraska, after spending five seasons on the Notre Dame staff.