July 18, 2010
[ONE // a distinguished honor]
The Big Ten announced Thursday that 484 student-athletes were selected as recipients of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list features student-athletes from every institution and 32 different sports who have earned a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year. In February of 2008, Big Ten Faculty Representatives established a conference academic recognition to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Similar to the Academic All-Big Ten honor, Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution. However, the Distinguished Scholar Award encompasses only student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student-athlete’s academic career. The 2009-10 class of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients includes 68 student-athletes who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term, including honorees from all 11 institutions.
[TWO // a lifetime honor]
Congratulations to three Big Ten football representatives, who were inducted this past Saturday to the College Football Hall of Fame. Iowa’s Larry Station, Ohio State’s Chris Spielman and Penn State’s Curt Warner were in South Bend, Ind., this weekend, taking in several festivities surround the actual enshrinement ceremony. Warner set 42 school records as a running back for the Nittany Lions from 1979-82, including the career rushing mark of 3,398 yards which still stands. He helped lead Penn State to its first national championship in 1982 and was a two-time All-American. Station played linebacker for the Hawkeyes from 1982-85 and was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and two-time All-American, including earning unanimous honors in 1985. Spielman also manned the linebacker spot for the Buckeyes from 1984-87. He was a three-time All-Big Ten choice and two-time All-American, including unanimous selection in 1987.
[THREE // performing across the pond]
Two former Big Ten Players of the Year wrapped up the 2010 British Open on Sunday with sub-par rounds of 69 to tie them both for 11th place overall. Former Indiana star Jeff Overton (73-69-72-69) and Northwestern standout Luke Donald (73-72-69-69) each shot 3-under-par in Sunday’s final round to finish the 72-hole major championship at 5-under 283. Illinois grad Steve Stricker (71-74-71-74) finished tied for 55th at 290, while current Northwestern junior Eric Chun missed the cut by one stroke after rounds of 71 and 76.
[FOUR // a “masterful” win for michigan’s kim]
Speaking of impressive performances on the golf course, congratulations to Michigan junior Lion Kim, who captured the 85th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Bryan Park's Champions Course on Saturday. Kim defeated David McDaniel 6-and-5 to win the championship, which comes with an invitation to compete next April in The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Kim will also receive a gold medal, custody of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship Trophy for one year, a three-year exemption through local qualifying for the U.S. Open and a two-year full exemption into the U.S. Amateur (2010 and 2011). The U.S. Amateur Public Links, established in 1922 for bona fide public-course players, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
[FIVE // taking the field for america]
While one Big Ten standout was representing the United States on the golf course, another conference representative was named this past week to take the field for the red, white and blue. USA Baseball recently announced Indiana's Alex Dickerson was named to the 2010 Collegiate National Team, after batting .308 (4-for-13) with four walks and a double over the six-day national team trials.
[SIX // quarterbacks to watch]
Three Big Ten quarterbacks were among 30 of the nation's top collegiate signal callers named Wednesday to the 2010 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award watch list. Ohio State junior Terrelle Pryor, Iowa senior Ricky Stanzi and Wisconsin senior Scott Tolzien were all selected to the list after being considered for their performance during last year. Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to be awarded The O'Brien. Quarterbacks from all 120 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists Monday, Oct. 25. The Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce three finalists Monday, Nov. 22. The 2010 winner will be announced on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show Thursday, Dec. 9.
[SEVEN // “the big house” just got bigger]
As the summer continues, news and notes regarding the upcoming football season seems to be released daily. You have the preseason watch lists, publication rankings, and the annual Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon to focus on. For the University of Michigan, its big football news this week was very big! In fact, the Wolverines’ “Big House” officially became bigger as recent renovation to Michigan Stadium has vaulted the seating capacity to 109,901. The total number of seats means the Wolverines will once again reclaim the title of the largest stadium in the United States for college and/or professional football when they open the 2010 season at home against Connecticut on Sept. 4.
[EIGHT // a model michigan man]
This past week we learned that “Michigan Man” Lloyd Carr will once again say goodbye to the university at which he has spent the last 30 years. Carr retired as the head football coach following a win at the 2008 Capital One Bowl, but remained in Ann Arbor to serve as an associate athletic director. On Tuesday, Carr announced his retirement from his current post, effective Sept. 1. Off the field, Carr has long made an impact in the Ann Arbor community. He has been active in support of cancer research and women's athletics, endowing a women's athletics scholarship that is presented annually to a U-M female student-athlete.
[NINE // a new man on the mat]
Congratulations and welcome to Jeff Thompson, who was named the new head coach of Penn State women’s gymnastics on Thursday. Thompson, a two-time SEC Coach of the Year while spending 11 years at Auburn, replaces Steve Shephard, who resigned after 18 years with the Nittany Lion program.
[TEN // ohio state’s smith honored with national award]
Gene Smith, Ohio State University Vice President and Director of Athletics, was named 2010 Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year Thursday at the New York Marquis in New York City. A finalist for the 2008 SBJ AD of the Year award, Smith has helped guide the Ohio State department of athletics to successes unseen before at the university both in the arena of competition and beyond the athletics boundaries. The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports for the period from January 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010. Athletic directors from colleges and universities in the United States were eligible.
[ELEVEN // big ten expansion]
Finally this week, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany announced on Wednesday promotions for seven staff members as well as the hiring of one staff position. Mark Rudner was promoted to Senior Associate Commissioner of Television Administration, while Wendy Fallen and Chad Hawley were named Associate Commissioners of Championships and Compliance, respectively. Stephanie Kirby was elevated to Associate Director of Championships, while Valerie Todryk Krebs was named Associate Director of Communications. Jessica Palermo was promoted to Assistant Director of Championships, while Dan Mihalik was tabbed as Assistant Director of Communications. Additionally, Bill Siitari was hired as Director of Accounting.