Latest Big Ten Features News

'Football Pioneers' show honors Black History Month

Darrell Hazell

Watch "BTN Presents: Black History Month - Football Pioneers" on Feb. 22nd

BTN will air a 30-minute special Black History Month presentation called “Football Pioneers” at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday Hosted by Howard Griffith, the show features interviews with former Northwestern head coach Dennis Green,who was just the second African-American head coach in Division I history. We also talk with Sidney Williams, a former Wisconsin quarterback who was Big Ten’s first African-American starting quarterback, and current Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell.

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Video: Tour Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena

Pegula Ice Arena

A Tour of Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena

You’ve heard of Happy Valley. Wait until you see Hockey Valley. Penn State’s new hockey home, Pegula Ice Arena, is a sight to behold. The new facility, which will open for the 2014 season, included an $80 million construction fee, and it’s pretty easy to see where all the money went. With a capacity of 6,000, Pegula will be the smallest arena in the Big Ten, however it was constructed to have the fans right on the ice. Watch Kara Lentz’s all-access tour of the new arena now.

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Title IX: Profiling Michigan's Marissa Pollick

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Marissa Pollick Feature

Attorney Marissa Pollick is one of Michigan’s first female varsity letter winners and scholarship athletes, and she now works as a legal consultant for Title IX compliance in collegiate sports. Pollick grew up playing tennis against boys before she started playing for Michigan from 1974, just one year after the team was elevated to varsity status.

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Ice time: Go inside MSU's Hockey Women's Clinic

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Lisa Byington and MSU Ice Hockey Clinic

On our most recent episode of “The Big Ten Women’s Sports Report,” BTN’s Lisa Byington (@LisaByington) took to the ice at Michigan State as part of a program to introduce women to college hockey and hockey in general. Modeled after a similar program at Michigan State for football, any female hockey fan could sign up. For Byington’s hockey session, she was joined by a few familiar Michigan State faces. Watch the entire feature story in this post, and get more details on this program at MSUSpartans.com.

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'Journey' tells Cosgrove, Hitchens' emotional stories

Connor Cosgrove

The Journey 2012: Big Ten Football (Episode 6, Segment 3)

On Wednesday night’s “The Journey 2012: Big Ten Football,” we featured Minnesota wide receiver Connor Cosgrove and Iowa linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Both players have emotional stories, as the former’s battling leukemia and the latter’s mentor recently needed a liver transplant. Watch a clip from Wednesday’s show that  tells the powerful story of each Big Ten personality now and catch a couple bonus clips in this post.

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Watch our Daydrion Taylor-Bob Stephenson feature

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The Big Hit: 15 Years Later

On Saturday’s pregame football TV show, BTN profiled two former Big Ten football players who will be forever linked after a collision in a 1997 football game between Michigan and Penn State. In the feature story, Michigan safety Daydrion Taylor and Penn State tight end Bob Stephenson discuss the hit and what life has been like for the past 15 years since then. Watch the full feature here and read their own words in this post.

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Beyond: Discussing the latest on player safety

Terry Hawthorne

Player Safety a Growing Concern

On Wednesday night’s “Big Ten Football & Beyond,” our crew discussed player safety, with an emphasis on Daydrion Taylor’s vicious hit on Bob Stephenson 15 years ago. The play ended both players’ careers, and BTN analyst and sideline reporter Jon Jansen, who played in the 1997 Michigan-Penn State game, joined the panel to give his thoughts on the hit and its aftermath. Watch the video here.

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Q&A: Exploring Big Ten research on concussions

Yard markers during the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Discussion on Player Safety in the NFL

The subject of concussions and head injuries has become a white-hot topic at every level of football, and the Big Ten is doing its part to better understand the issues and make things more safe. On this Saturday’s “Big Ten Football Pregame Show,” at 11 a.m. ET, our TV crew explores this topic by observing the 15th anniversary of the Daydrion Taylor-Bob Stephenson collision in a 1997 game between Penn State and Michigan.

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Fifteen years later: Taylor's hit on Stephenson

Daydrion Taylor & Bob Stephenson

Daydrion Taylor/Bob Stephenson Preview

The date was Nov. 8, 1997, otherwise known as the day Daydrion Taylor and Bob Stephenson’s lives forever changed. In the first quarter of a Michigan-Penn State game at Beaver Stadium, Taylor, a Michigan safety, delivered a bone-crushing hit on Stephenson, a Penn State tight end, near the sideline. The collision was so fierce it ended both players’ careers.

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Where were you for that Spartans-Badgers play?

Michigan State Keith Nichol

Where was I during the Michigan State Hail Mary?

When Michigan State beat Wisconsin on a long, last-second touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol last fall, the eyes of the rest of the conference were on that game. In a feature story that ran on our pregame TV show this morning, BTN talked to a number of Big Ten names who recall watching that incredible play on TV. We’ve posted the whole video here.

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IU coaches profiled on 'Women's Report'

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Mick & Elizabeth Lyon Battle MS

Dara McIntosh, Kara Lentz, and Michelle McMahon appear on Friday’s “The Big Ten Women’s Sports Report” at 2:30 p.m. ET and bring you a profile on current Indiana women’s soccer coach Mick Lyon and his wife Elizabeth. Both suffer from multiple sclerosis but continue to fight it and have a positive outlook on life. (Update: Watch the feature in this post.) Also Friday, Big Ten volleyball and field hockey highlights, analysis and breakdowns as well as a look at the latest “Midnight Madness” events for women’s basketball.

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Michigan's Holly Hein overcomes cancer

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Holly Hein Overcomes Cancer

Michigan’s Holly Hein tore her ACL in 2010, then in 2011 just as she was about to return to the soccer field, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and missed the season, but has undergone successful treatment and returned to the field this fall.

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BTN Profiles Ohio State Softball's Alicia Herron

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Alicia Herron Feature

In the latest Big Ten player profile from the Big Ten Network, we meet Ohio State Buckeyes softball shortstop Alicia Herron, who lost her mother Janet Herron a year ago to gastric cancer. Herron’s mother was Alicia’s biggest fan attending every game and practice during her high school career. “She was really proud of us having a focus on something,” Alicia Herron said.

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A star on Nebraska's bench: Erstad enjoying new gig

Darin Erstad

Darin Erstad Feature

First-year Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad is as polished and decorated as college coaches come. Let’s list a handful of the accolades: No. 1 pick in the 1995 MLB First-Year Player Draft; 2002 MLB champion; two-time MLB All-Star; three-time Gold Glove winner; .339 lifetime hitter in playoffs. And the list goes on. So, why did Erstad, a two-sport star during his time at Nebraska, decide to start coaching college baseball? “It’s in the blood,” Erstad told BTN.Watch our feature with the former Husker now.

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All-Access: Whitney Mercilus on NFL draft day

Whitney Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus Feature

Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.

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Meet Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell Feature

New Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell missed Saturday’s Green-White game due to a sprained right knee, but Mark Dantonio and company know what they have in their junior signal-caller. Maxwell, who spent the past two seasons as Kirk Cousins’ backup, is a sharp product who understands the game and his role — just like his predecessor. In nine game career games, Maxwell has completed 29 of 51 passes (57 percent) for 294 yards and one touchdown.

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Meet Purdue Baseball's "Dream Team"

Purdue's Dream Team

Purdue Baseball - The Dream Team Feature

When you hear “Dream Team,” you think Magic, Bird and Jordan, and rightfully so. But there’s a current Dream Team in the Big Ten. The seniors on the Purdue baseball team gave themselves the nickname, and they break their huddles with the phrase. All this from a team that is trying to win its first Big Ten title since 1909. Leading the Big Ten by two games (standings) and ranked for the first time since 2001, the Boilers and their 14 seniors are on the right path. Watch our feature on the Dream Team now and catch an entertaining YouTube video of theirs in this post. Also, watch all of our Big Ten features.

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