This Week in the Big Ten

July 23, 2018

[ONE // are you ready for some football???]
Big Ten Football Media Days are finally here! Catch all the action on a number of different platforms, Monday and Tuesday, July 23 and 24, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago. Bookmark this link and keep up to date with team information, head coach press conferences, and coach and student quotes throughout the event.

[TWO // btn to provide live coverage of big ten football media days]
BTN will air more than 14 hours of live coverage from the 2018 Big Ten Football Media Days. Coverage will include the press conferences of all 14 Big Ten head football coaches, as well as remarks from Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and FOX Sports National Networks and BTN President Mark Silverman. The 47th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon will debut on Wednesday, July 25 at 8 p.m. ET, hosted by BTN Lead Studio Host Dave Revsine with Lisa Byington reporting. For more information regarding BTN’s coverage, click here.

[THREE // big ten to be represented by 42 students at media days]
The Big Ten announced this past Monday the 42 students scheduled to attend the 2018 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon. The list of students scheduled to attend features 31 returning All-Big Ten selections from last season, including four first-team honorees in Michigan’s Chase Winovich and Wisconsin’s Michael Deiter, D’Cota Dixon and T.J. Edwards.

[FOUR // football standouts receive national preseason recognition for major awards]
A number of Big Ten football standouts are being recognized by the NCFAA on preseason watch lists for 16 major national awards. Seven of those 16 awards watch lists were released this past week, which included 12 Big Ten students on the Maxwell Trophy preseason watch list, 13 on the Bednarik Award preseason watch list, three on this year's Davey O'Brien Award preseason watch list, seven up for the Doak Walker Award, a trio of that earned mention on this year’s preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, 12 chosen for this year's Mackey Award preseason watch list, and five on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy.

[FIVE // eleven nominated to allstate afca good works team]
Eleven Big Ten football players were among 169 standouts named this past week by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has been one of the most esteemed honors in college football for more than 25 years. The student-athletes who are nominated for this award not only demonstrate a unique dedication to community service and desire to make a positive impact on the lives around them, but they also show tremendous perseverance as well as the ability to overcome personal struggles and come out victorious against all odds. Congratulations to Illinois’ Nick Allegretti, Indiana’s Ricky Brookins, Iowa’s Parker Heese, Michigan’s Chase Winovich, Michigan State’s Khari Willis, Minnesota’s Emmit Carpenter, Nebraska’s Freedom Akinmoladun, Penn State’s Nick Scott, Purdue’s David Blough, Rutgers’ Zack Heeman, and Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon.

[SIX // time to talk tickets for the big game]
Tickets for the 2018 Big Ten Football Championship Game presented by Discover will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, July 28 at Noon ET. The eighth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played on Saturday, December 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The contest will be broadcast nationally on FOX with kickoff set for 8 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at or by calling (800) 745-3000. Tickets will range from $50 to $95 depending on the seat location and each order will be limited to eight tickets. In addition, every Big Ten Football Championship Game ticket includes complimentary admission to the Big Ten Fan Fest presented by Dr. Pepper, to be held at the Indiana Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 – Dec. 1.

[SEVEN // eight men’s golf teams recognized for academics]
Congratulations to the Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin men’s golf programs on being recognized as All-Academic Teams by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). To be eligible for GCAA All-Academic Team honors a college or university must submit the GPAs for each player on its official squad list for the academic year and achieve a 3.00 or higher team GPA.

[EIGHT // five volleyball squads earn avca team academic award]
The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced this past week that five Big Ten programs were among the 164 NCAA Division I teams that earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2017-2018 season. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that display excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Congratulations to Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Rutgers for your success in the classroom.

[NINE // bill beekman chosen to lead michigan state athletics]
Bill Beekman, who has served as Michigan State’s interim athletic director since February, was promoted to the head job this past week by interim president John Engler. Beekman will be responsible for oversight of MSU's 25 varsity sports teams as well as the care of more than 800 Spartan student athletes. The position provides leadership in the areas of sports management, game operations, financial administration, personnel, fundraising, corporate interaction, facility management, marketing and communication. An MSU alumnus, Beekman has served his alma mater since 1995, assuming his most recent role as vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees in 2008. Previously, he served as executive director of the MSU Alumni Association, senior adviser to the provost and assistant dean for finance in the College of Human Medicine.

[TEN // former big ten administrator joins college football playoff staff]
Finally this week, a special congratulations to former Big Ten administrator Andrea Williams, who was named this past Tuesday as the Chief Operating Officer of the College Football Playoff (CFP). In her role, Williams primarily will be responsible for managing the national championship game and all affiliated events.  She will also be the primary liaison with six bowl games that participate in the CFP arrangement, and will also manage the process for selecting sites for the championship games. Williams comes to the CFP from the Big Sky Conference, where she has been commissioner for two years.  She has been a member of the CFP's advisory committee and stadium operations team. Williams was a member of the Big Ten staff for 16 years, including 10 as associate commissioner and director of the football championship game, as well as the men's and women's basketball tournaments. Best of luck to Andrea!