Big Ten Links: IU football staff, Richard Pitino & more

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Links: IU football staff, Richard Pitino & more

Sad to hear of the passing of super-agent Eugene Parker, who was 60. He represented some big names, like Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson, and was an African-American pioneer in the sports representation field. Parker also was a very good guard at Purdue in the 1970s under Fred Schaus.

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This is a nice addition to an already good Indiana football staff, as Shawn Watson is on board as an offensive quality control coach. The Hoosiers have one of the best staffs in the Big Ten, in my estimation.

“I’ve known Shawn for a long time and am very pleased he is joining us,” Kevin Wilson said. “Shawn brings a strong pedigree as a former head coach and a coordinator at the highest level. The timing is perfect for him, and we are happy to add a big time coach.”

Watson served as an offensive coordinator at Colorado (2000-05), Nebraska (2007-10), Louisville (2012-13) and Texas (2014-15), where he was also the assistant head coach. He has coached in 15 bowl games.

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Speaking of the Hoosiers, it looks like they have found their top two quarterbacks … at least for now. During the first six spring practice days, every quarterback basically got equal reps. On Tuesday, it changed – Richard Lagow and Danny Cameron got most of the work.

“I like Donovan (Hale) and Austin (King),” IU coach Kevin Wilson says, “but as young guys, I don’t know if they’re putting in the time they need to. There are certain things we can’t make them do, but that library is open and some guys go there and study, some guys go home. As a quarterback, you got to get up to speed.

“If we keep watering down the reps a lot, it waters down our development. So based on what we’ve seen — command presence and what’s going on, right now (Lagow and Cameron) got the bulk of the work. That’s the first day that’s happened. It was my decision.”

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It’s good to be new Wisconsin defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who will be paid $1.45 million. Not bad.

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How are those Penn State kickers and punters looking?
Daniel Pasquariello and Chris Gulla, the two returning punters from a year ago, are fighting for the top spot coming out of spring camp at that position, while Tyler Davis and Nick Boumerhi have fought for the kicking job. Lower Dauphin product and kicker Joey Julius has been absent from the two practices open to the media this spring, and Franklin has only said that he is dealing with a medical issue.

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Could a true freshman start on the offensive line for Ohio State?

No offense to Ohio State freshman Michael Jordan, who has pushed his way into the competition for the open guard spot. But if he’s winning a starting job in August, he would be less of a solution than an indication of a problem, according to Cleveland.com. This week, Urban Meyer said his area of concern had moved from the defensive line to the offensive line. For now, the talk of Jordan, who was working with the first-team offensive line at a guard spot in practice, is intriguing.

“That speaks volumes,” new o-line coach Greg Studrawa said. “I don’t know how to put that in words, because I wouldn’t have expected that. We knew he was a talented young man, but until you get out here and the speed of the game, and how he adjusts to the speed of the game, he’s adjusted really quickly.

“For a freshman who should still be in high school, who graduated early to be here at this level of football, doing the things he’s doing? I’m surprised and impressed at that.”

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Looks like some at the U are frustrated with the big buyout of Minnesota’s Richard Pitino.

Minnesota president and athletic director would need Board of Regents approval on contracts for the highest-paid Gophers coaches under a new regent proposal. Regent Michael Hsu told the Star Tribune he will introduce a resolution at Thursday’s meeting to return contract-approval power to the board, which has not had that authority since 1996.

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Look who stopped by Rutgers football practice: school president Robert Barchi. What did he say?

“Just welcoming them to a new season and wishing them best of luck and pointing out to them how important what they’re doing here is important to the university both in the public exposure of what the public sees across the country and how important it is for them to be thinking about that in their own personal behavior,” Barchi told NJ.com. ”We talked a little bit about training and preparation on the field, and we talked a little bit about the academic side of things and how I would consider it a personal failure if each and every one of them don’t leave here with a college degree, ready to take on a career outside of sports if that’s what happens for them and that we’re going to do everything we can to provide them with that opportunity. That’s basically what it was.”

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From the “knock me over with a feather department,” Purdue will allow Kendall Stephens to explore transfer options.

Stephens, a key contributor for Purdue his freshman and sophomore years, fell out of the Boilermakers’ playing rotation following his return from a three-game leave of absence taken from the team mid-season, taken for personal reasons related to the death of a close friend.

Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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