July 23, 2012
[ONE // get ready to watch]
The Big Ten announced this past Thursday that BTN and ESPNU will continue to air coverage of the opening session of the 2012 Big Ten Football Media Days on Thursday, July 26. The media days will be held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. BTN will present nearly five hours of live coverage of Big Ten Football Media Days on Thursday, airing the press conferences for all 12 coaches, Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials Bill Carollo and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Mike Hall and Chris Martin will host the network’s live coverage beginning at 10 a.m. CT on BTN and on BTN2Go. For the seventh consecutive year, the opening session of the Big Ten Football Media Days will appear on an ESPN network. Coverage by ESPNU will begin on Thursday at 10 a.m. CT, and will feature all 12 head coaches and Commissioner Delany either live or tape-delayed as they address the assembled media. In addition, select Big Ten coaches and players will appear live on ESPN’s SportsCenter, College Football Live or on ESPNU.
[TWO // the voice of gameday comes to kickoff luncheon]
The Big Ten announced this past Tuesday that Chris Fowler, anchor of ESPN's College GameDay, will serve as emcee for the 2012 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon presented by Allstate and BMW, scheduled for Friday, July 27, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. CT with the players and coaches autograph and photo session for fans attending the luncheon. The luncheon itself begins at 11:30 a.m. Fowler will be joined at the Kickoff Luncheon by each of the 12 Big Ten head football coaches and 36 of the conference's top returning players. Fowler will sit down with the coaches in groups of three to discuss the upcoming season. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson will speak on behalf of the players in attendance.
[THREE // ready for camp]
Five Big Ten players were named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year watch list, honoring the most outstanding player in college football, it was announced last Friday. Wisconsin's Montee Ball is one of 11 players on the watch list to have previously earned Walter Camp All-America honors. In addition to Ball, Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Michigan State’s William Gholston, Nebrask’a Rex Burkhead and Penn State’s Silas Redd represented the Big Ten on the list. Big Ten institutions have claimed 13 Walter Camp Awards since 1967, the most of any conference, most recently with 2006 honoree Troy Smith of Ohio State. Past winners include Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers (1972), Penn State's John Cappelletti (1973), Ohio State's Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975), Nebraska's Mike Rozier (1983), Indiana's Anthony Thompson (1989), Michigan's Desmond Howard (1991), Ohio State's Eddie George (1995), Michigan's Charles Woodson (1997), Wisconsin's Ron Dayne (1999), Nebraska's Eric Crouch (2001) and Penn State's Larry Johnson (2002).
[FOUR // in the running for the walker]
Seven Big Ten players were named as candidates for the Doak Walker Award, it was announced this past Thursday. Wisconsin's Montee Ball was tabbed a candidate after appearing as a finalist for the award last season, while Nebraska's Rex Burkhead was a 2011 semifinalist. In addition to Ball and Burkhead, Michigan’s Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan State’s Le'Veon Bell, Ohio State’s Jordan Hall, Penn State’s Silas Redd, and Wisconsin’s James White were named to the list. Since 1990, the Doak Walker Award has been presented annually to the nation's top running back. Big Ten players have claimed five Walker Awards, most recently with 2008 honoree Shonn Greene of Iowa. Past winners include Ohio State's Eddie George (1995), Wisconsin's Ron Dayne (1999), Penn State's Larry Johnson (2002) and Michigan's Chris Perry (2003).
[FIVE // lending a hand]
Six Big Ten players were named as nominees for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, it was announced this past Wednesday. A tip of the cap goes to Indiana’s Adam Replogle, Michigan’s Patrick Omameh, Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead, Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien, Ohio State’s Ben Buchanan and Wisconsin’s Shelton Johnson for their efforts both on and off the field. Since 1992, the award has recognized a select group of football players committed to making a difference in their communities. Nebraska's Jared Crick and Northwestern's Alexander Netter were selected to last year's Good Works Team.
[SIX // a standing “o”]
Five Big Ten players appear on the Davey O'Brien Award watch list, it was announced this past Wednesday. Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase, Iowa’s James Vandenberg, Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez, and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller all represented the Big Ten on the list. Since 1981, the Davey O'Brien Award has been presented annually to the nation's most outstanding quarterback. Six players from Big Ten institutions have received the O'Brien Award--Penn State's Todd Blackledge in 1982, Iowa's Chuck Long in 1985, Penn State's Kerry Collins in 1994, Nebraska's Eric Crouch in 2001, Iowa's Brad Banks in 2002 and Ohio State's Troy Smith in 2006.
[SEVEN // four named biletnikoff watch list]
Four Big Ten players were named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, it was announced last Tuesday. Iowa’s Keenan Davis, Michigan’s Roy Roundtree, Ohio State’s Corey Brown and Wisconsin’s Jared Abbredderis are all up for the award presented annually to the nation's most outstanding receiver. Big Ten players have claimed four Biletnikoff Awards, the most of any conference, including inaugural recipient Bobby Engram of Penn State in 1994. Past winners include Ohio State's Terry Glenn (1995), Michigan State's Charles Rogers (2002) and Michigan's Braylon Edwards (2004).
[EIGHT // these guys can hit]
Twenty-six Big Ten standouts were named to the Butkus and Lombardi watch lists, it was announced last Monday. The Butkus Award is given annually to the nation's top linebacker. Big Ten institutions have claimed nine Butkus Awards, most recently with 2007 honoree James Laurinaitis of Ohio State. Past winners include Michigan State's Percy Snow (1989), Michigan's Erick Anderson (1991), Nebraska's Trev Alberts (1993), Illinois' Dana Howard (1994) and Kevin Hardy (1995), Ohio State's Andy Katzenmoyer (1997) and Penn State's LaVar Arrington (1999) and Paul Posluszny (2005). Since 1970, the Lombardi Award has been awarded to the nation's most outstanding lineman. Big Ten institutions have earned 14 Lombardi Awards, most recently with 2009 recipient Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska. Past winners include Ohio State's Jim Stillwagon (1970), Nebraska's Rich Glover (1972), Ohio State's John Hicks (1973), Penn State's Bruce Clark (1978), Nebraska's Dave Rimington (1982 and 1983), Ohio State's Chris Spielman (1987), Michigan State's Percy Snow (1989), Ohio State's Orlando Pace (1995 and 1996), Nebraska's Grant Winstrom (1997), Ohio State's A.J. Hawk (2005) and MIchigan's LaMarr Woodley (2006). The list of Big Ten players named to the watch lists can be found by clicking here.
[NINE // fostering the hall of fame]
Congratulations to Ohio State coach Jim Foster, who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2013, it was announced this past week. The six member class will officially be enshrined into the Hall on June 8, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. Foster has posted a .722 winning percentage in his career, and is only the second collegiate coach - men's or women's at any level - to win at least 200 games at three different schools. Entering his 11th season on the Buckeye sidelines, Foster has guided Ohio State to 10 straight NCAA tournaments and six Big Ten Championships, while earning four conference Coach of the Year laurels.
[TEN // speaking of the hall…]
Speaking of the Hall of Fame, congratulations to Michigan baseball great Barry Larkin (1983-85), who was enshrined this past weekend in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Larkin, a 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger and 1995 National League Most Valuable Player with the Cincinnati Reds, excelled with the Wolverines, helping the Maize and Blue to two College World Series appearances and garnering two All-America honors. He is now the fourth man with Wolverine ties to have his name in the halls in Cooperstown.
[ELEVEN // pritzker sails into iowa]
Or is that rows into Iowa? This past Thursday, Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta announced the hiring of Steve Pritzker as just the second head coach in the history of the women’s rowing program. Pritzker has spent the last nine seasons on the staff at the University of Virginia. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2007 and was named director of recruiting in 2005. While at Virginia, Pritzker helped guide the Cavaliers to NCAA team championships in 2010 and 2012, along with runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2007. Virginia won eight ACC titles in his nine seasons.
[TWELVE // promoting within]
Finally this week, Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany announced this past Friday three staff promotions within the conference. Mike McComiskey was named Associate Commissioner of Technology, Kerry Kenny was promoted to Associate Director of Compliance and Jessica Palermo was elevated to Associate Director of Championships.