Big Ten links: Catch up with Friday's news digest

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten links: Catch up with Friday's news digest

Jim Delany recently talked about the Big Ten’s on-going TV negotiations. Would the league walk away from having any sort of a deal with ESPN? The most powerful man in college sports isn’t saying.

Reports surfaced last month that Fox — which already owns 51 percent of the Big Ten Network — was closing in on securing at least half of the Big Ten’s television rights in the new contract. Sports Business Daily reported that the network would pay the league around $250 million annually over six years — for half of the pie. So, who gets the other half? A number of Big Ten athletic directors were asked this week if there’s a chance ESPN/ABC could be left out of the new deal. No one said yes, no one said no.

“I wouldn’t comment on something like that in this stage of any negotiation, I wouldn’t talk about walking away from anybody or walking toward anybody,” Delany said. “We’re interested in having great partners with great platforms who are interested in marketing and promotion. The market will decide what happens. ESPN has been a great partner, as has CBS has, as BTN has, as Fox has.

“It’s a new day. We’ve approached it that way. We’ll see what we shall see. But I wouldn’t talk about walking away from anybody in any negotiation.”

Delany says he hopes to have something finalized and announced at some point this summer.

On the subject of Delany, what does he think of Jim Harbaugh pulling scholarship offers?

“The issues of verbal offers, verbal acceptances, movement away from those by students or coaches, I think it’s an issue that you have to grapple with,” he said. “It’s been more and more, earlier and earlier. Until an offer is made with a scholarship and a National Letter of Intent on National Signing Day, I think that you’re going to find student-athletes weaken their support and sometimes coaches weaken their support.

“I would say it’s not an unusual situation. (It’s) probably too usual.”

What did you expect him to say?

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Pennlive.com is taking a look at the most famous jersey numbers at Penn State in a slide show. Among others, a look at No. 60 is included, which was the number of Matt Millen.

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So, how does Rutgers fill the massive void left by the departure of WR Leonte Carroo, who I think was the best wideout in the Big Ten in 2015?

Dan Duggan of NJ.com points out that despite appearing in just 25 of 48 quarters (52.1 percent) due to suspensions and injuries, Carroo accounted for 29.8 percent of the receptions, 41.4 percent of the receiving yards and 77 percent of the receiving touchdowns by the team’s wide receivers last season. Guys like Andre Patton, Janarion Grant and Carlton Agudosi need to step up. Gonna be tough.

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Ohio State should be better on offense on the hardwood next season, so says assistant Greg Paulus. But who will run it?

It’s a question fans seem to want answered sooner rather than later. It could be new assistant Chris Jent … or Paulus again. Two of the last three seasons have been some of the leanest offensive performances under Thad Matta, notes Cleveland.com. The Buckeyes were 128th in the country in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom, in 2013-14; and 151st in the country in offensive efficiency in 2015-16. Those are the two worst marks during Matta’s tenure in Columbus. The year in between was when Ohio State had D’Angelo Russell and finished 28th in offensive efficiency.

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Will he stay or will he go? That’s the dilemma for Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, who has until May 25 to decide if he will remain in the NBA draft.

From all reports, it sounds like pundits feel Hayes should return to Madison. I would agree.

“Really I would say the decision would be definitely to be in the first round,” Hayes told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, later backtracking slightly by saying there are good situations in the second round too. “I think that’s the floor. The second round or anything after that is not as glorious or the path I’d like to take.”

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Congrats to Ohio State’s Gene Smith, the 2016 Sports Business Journal Athletics Director of the Year.

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Minnesota’s loss is Kansas State’s gain, as Jerry Kill is part of the athletic staff in Manhattan.

One report in the Wichita Eagle wondered if Kill, despite his intentions never to coach again, might have interest in succeeding Bill Snyder when he chooses to retire. If not, might he play a key role in helping K-State choose Snyder’s replacement? Hmmmm.

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Drew Brees on TMZ? Nothing scandalous. Just naming his favorite New Orleans restaurant. Mine is the Palace Café.

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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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all times ET
Tomorrow
2:00 PMCincinnati at Ohio St.Watch
2:00 PMColgate at PurdueWatch
2:00 PMChicago St. at NorthwesternWatch
2:00 PMMinnesota at WisconsinWatch
3:00 PMUSA National Under-18 Team at Michigan StateWatch
3:00 PMN. Iowa at IowaWatch
Monday Dec 5
7:00 PMJames Madison at RutgersWatch
Tuesday Dec 6
7:00 PMC. Michigan at PurdueWatch

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