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How the Big Ten spends its summer vacation: BTN LiveBIG

When it comes to the Big Ten, summer is less about kicking back on the beach and more about giving back. Athletes, coaches and alums from schools like Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Rutgers often spend the summer teaching youth campers how to replicate the skills they’ve learned over the years. In other cases, Big Ten schools let their work off the field make the difference as they teach kids to hone their conflict resolution skills or go to work in communities wracked by crime and income inequality. For these men and women, living BIG expands on the concept of teamwork and creates an

Watch Big Ten specialists entertain on social media

It’s the middle of the summer, and college football camps are still a few weeks away. That doesn’t mean there’s no excitement on the gridiron, though. Several Big Ten specialists are keeping us entertained with creative trick shot videos that, to the surprise of no one, have gone viral. Specialists are a special breed, aren’t they? One thing’s for sure: These guys will help carry on the tradition of delighting fans on Twitter that Michigan State punter Mike Sadler (@Sadler_3) and Minnesota punter Peter Mortell (@PMortell1) helped start. Watch some of the latest ones below. Rolling the leg over at

Dienhart: Big Ten West defensive backfield unit rankings

No Big Ten team will have a better DB than Iowa corner Desmond King, who won the Thorpe Award. But instead of turning pro coming off that season of glory, King opted to return to Iowa City. And that’s a big reason why the Hawkeyes top my ranking of Big Ten West defensive backfields. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West defensive lines | West linebackers | West predictions ] See my full ranking below. 1. Iowa. This could be the top secondary in the Big Ten. Senior corner Desmond King eschewed the NFL

Best of ... Northwestern: BTN LiveBIG

Were it not for a sportswriter in the Chicago Daily Tribune, Northwestern’s athletic teams might still be known as “The Purple.” Writing in 1924, Wallace Abbey said of Northwestern’s football team: “Football players had not come down from Evanston; wildcats would be a name better suited to [Coach Glenn] Thistletwaite’s boys.” Since then the Wildcats have taken that same expansive enthusiasm and applied it to endeavors both on and off the field. A founding member of the Big 10 conference, Northwestern’s reach extends as far away as Qatar, where it runs a journalism and communications school. It has put an emphasis

See who is scheduled to attend 2016 Big Ten Media Days in Chicago

The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday the 42 students scheduled to attend the 2016 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW, on Monday and Tuesday, July 25 and 26, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

Power Five leagues release plan to give athletes more time off

The commissioners of the five autonomy conferences announced Thursday an agreement in concept on changes they will propose that are intended to give students who play sports more time off. The purpose of the changes is to rebalance the student experience between athletics and campus life, providing students with more time to focus on other college interests, including academics, work experience, travel, and additional rest. The first area of change, Flex 21, will provide students, in many cases, with at least an additional 21 days in which they are free of required athletic activities during the academic year. These 21

Dienhart: Big Ten East defensive backs unit rankings

There is a lot to like about Michigan in 2016, as Jim Harbaugh begins his second season in Ann Arbor in pursuit of the program’s first Big Ten title since 2004. Among the many areas of strength is the secondary, led by Jourdan Lewis—one of the best corners in America. [ MORE: East offensive lines | East receiving corps | East backfields | East defensive lines | East linebackers | East predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten East defensive backfields. 1. Michigan. Senior Jourdan Lewis lacks size but is one of the nation’s best corners and