Dienhart: Purdue spring football wrap

Hope springs eternal at Purdue, as it searched for myriad answers coming off a 1-11 season that arguably was the worst in school history. Offense? Defense? You name it, it needs to be addressed in West Lafayette.

Second-year coach Darrell Hazell was pleased with many things he saw, as he continues to infuse talent into the roster while making over the attitudes.

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Thursday's links: Catch up on these B1G stories

Can’t get enough college player union talk? Good. Here’s more: David Jones of Pennlive.com talked to a law professor about Northwestern’s fight to unionize. Long story short: expect a long battle. Jones writes that “many hoops remain through which the process must jump before we see college athletic unions at even the private institutional level, let alone for public universities such as Penn State. Even if NU players vote to unionize, there certainly will be appeals.”

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BTN LiveBIG: Innovation, opportunity at AutonomyWorks

What do you get when you match major marketing power to social cause efforts to increase employment opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum? You get AutonomyWorks, winner of the 2013 Chicago Innovation Awards.

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Photos: Illinois unveils new Nike uniforms

Illinois unveiled its new uniforms, as part of the school’s long-awaited Nike rebrand, Wednesday night. The designs, which were leaked Tuesday night, should please Illini fans. For starters, the rebrand brought consistency across all of the school’s sports, to the point that every team will have the same shades of orange and blue, logos and fonts. Also, the designs are clean and unobtrusive and have nods to the past and campus landmarks. See the uniforms in this post.

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Video: J.J. Watt proves he's friends with young fan

We all have professional athletes who we have looked up to at one point or another. Well, former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt took that to a whole new level by posting the following video to his Instagram account.

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Dienhart: Maryland spring football wrap

Maryland is prepping, it’s getting ready for its maiden Big Ten voyage. The ride begins this fall. Randy Edsall is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with the new venture. And Edsall will bring what looks like his best Maryland team yet, as he enters his fourth season in College Park, Md.

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