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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 West linebacker unit rankings

Talented, quick, deep … those are just three words that aptly describe the linebacking corps at Wisconsin, which tops my ranking of Big Ten West linebackers. But the LBs will have to adjust to a new coordinator. What impact will that have? [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West defensive lines | West predictions ] Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten West linebacker units. 1. Wisconsin. Senior Vince Biegel and sophomore T.J. Edwards are the bellwethers of this strong unit. Biegel tallied 14 TFLs in 2015 and is the leader of the defense

Illinois professor shows heart in attempt to climb Kilimanjaro: BTN LiveBIG

Paul Magelli is a man of many titles. Currently the visiting professor of economics, emeritus, at the University of Illinois, he’s also been in several other roles: senior director of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the university’s College of Business, founder of the student-run Illinois Business Consulting organization, and goat farmer. This August, the octogenarian is hoping to add another title to the list: oldest person to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Still, as he’s told his students, “Titles aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.” Even if he doesn’t make it to the very

The top Big Ten football players by jersey number

When talking about the best football players in Big Ten history, it is near impossible to choose just one player worthy of the title, “the best.” [ MORE: Can a Big Ten West team win the conference title in 2016? ] So, what’s the right way to break down this argument? You could do it by position, but even that could be extremely difficult. Making a list of the top Big Ten players to wear every number would be great, but is that even possible? The answer is yes. I went through every jersey number, 1-99, and created a list

Dienhart: Big Ten West defensive line unit rankings

Ask any coach, and he’ll tell you the most difficult spot to recruit is defensive line. It is very difficult to find players who are big AND quick. Teams that can build good lines typically have a shot to win league titles. Iowa is one of those teams. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten West defensive lines. 1. Iowa. It hurts not having ends Drew Ott and Nate Meier, who made for a formidable tandem. Still, there is lots to build on. Sophomore

Big Ten hoops family reacts to legend Pat Summitt's death

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who lifted the women’s game to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee, died Tuesday. She was 64. With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012. Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most. “Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest

Dienhart: Big Ten West offensive backfield unit rankings

This time last year, few could have envisioned the historic season Iowa was about to enjoy. The Hawkeyes started the season 12-0, a first, and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1990 season after playing in their first Big Ten title game. This season shapes up well, too, beginning with a loaded backfield. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | 2016 Big Ten West predictions ] Here’s my ranking of the offensive backfields in the Big Ten West. 1. Iowa. Things are looking good with QB C.J. Beathard back. The senior is coming

BTN LiveBIG: Best of … Illinois

At the intersection of academics and innovation lie Champaign and Urbana. When it comes to success in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, few colleges can claim to be on the same level as the University of Illinois. The list of Illini alumni in these areas is long and distinguished, and includes names like Fazlur Rahman Khan (structural engineer for groundbreaking skyscrapers like the John Hancock Center in Chicago) and Martin Eberhard (co-founder of Tesla Motors). In information technology and computer science in particular, Illinois excels. From famous figures like Larry Ellison and Marc Andreessen to lesser-known —

The best Big Ten draft pick at every NBA Draft position

The Big Ten saw six players get drafted in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Two of the former standouts (Denzel Valentine – No. 14 to Chicago & Caris LeVert – No. 20 to Indiana; traded to Brooklyn) were selected in the first round. With the draft in the books, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the best Big Ten player taken in every spot of the first round, 1-30. Did I miss one? Tweet me your opinions (@BTNSean). 1. Magic Johnson, Michigan State NBA team: Los Angeles Lakers Year: 1979 College stats:

Dienhart: Big Ten West receiving corps unit rankings

When you think of Nebraska, you think of ground-pounding offenses. Mike Riley wants to commit to the rush game in 2016. But, he’ll surely also want to take advantage of what looks like the top set of pass catchers in the West Division. [ MORE: Ranking Big Ten West offensive lines | 2016 Big Ten West predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten West pass-catchers. 1. Nebraska. No shortage of options for QB Tommy Armstrong with seniors Brandon Reilly, Jordan Westerkamp and Alonzo Moore leading the way. And speedy junior De’Mornay Pierson-El is back from injury. He