Northwestern was primed for a big 2013. It didn’t happen, as the Wildcats missed the postseason for the first time since 2007, ending a five-year run. Pat Fitzgerald’s crew welcomes back lots of veteran talent from a team that started 4-0 but finished 5-7, enduring a seven-game losing skid before ending the season with a victory over rival Illinois. The offense has nine starters back; the defense has eight. And motivation shouldn’t be an issue after the disappointing finish. Get our latest football tour coverage: Here are the questions I have as I head to Northwestern practice. 1. How will
Senior running back Venric Mark has announced that he is leaving Northwestern University for personal reasons, with a desire to play football this season closer to family. [ MORE: AP: Mark transferring from Northwestern ] Mark, a Tomball, Texas, native, released the following statement: “Northwestern has been an indescribable experience for me,” said Mark, who missed most of last season with a broken ankle and was awarded another year of eligibility. “It has been my home for four years, and has molded me into the man I am. I’m one class shy of the Northwestern degree I’ve worked so hard
Northwestern senior wide receiver Christian Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice and will miss the entire 2014 campaign, according to an early evening release from Northwestern Athletics. Jones led the Wildcats with 668 receiving yards and four touchdown catches in 2013. His 54 receptions ranked second on the team behind senior Tony Jones. In three seasons at Northwestern, Jones totaled 105 catches for 1,275 yards and six touchdowns. According to the release, Jones is eligible for a redshirt and will return to the Wildcats in 2015 for his final season.
Are you ready for college football to start already? The Big Ten season officially kicks off in 15 days with a doubleheader of action as Minnesota takes on Eastern Illinois, while Rutgers will battle Washington State. We have seen plenty of preseason rankings thus far, so I wanted to take it one step further. How about some bold predictions? Here is one bold prediction for every position group heading into the 2014 Big Ten football season. [ MORE: Countdown to kickoff: East best uniform | West best uniform ] QB: Indiana QB Nate Sudfeld will pass for more than 3,000
Lefties, today is your big day! Aug. 13, 2014 marks the 22nd annual International Left-Handers Day. In honor of the special day, I created a list of some of my favorite left-handed Big Ten athletes. Did I miss one? Let me know in the comment box below, or tweet it to me @BTNSean. Here goes: Morten Andersen, K, Michigan State Jim Abbott, P, Michigan Baseball Calbert Cheaney, G, Indiana Basketball Mike Conley Jr., G, Ohio State Basketball Kirk Gibson, Michigan State Baseball/Football Mark Mulder, P, Michigan State Baseball Glen Perkins, P, Minnesota Baseball Morris Peterson, F, Michigan State Basketball Zach
Kickoff is fast approaching. To help count down the days to Aug. 28, the BTN.com team is discussing one topic every day. Think of it as our countdown to kickoff. Today’s topic: West best uniform? See Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s picks in this post. See our other countdown features: Tom Dienhart: Nebraska. I just like the classic simplicity of the “N” helmet, which is iconic. Too conservative for you? Well, the school has introduced some alternate looks to spice things up. Still, the iconic basic red jersey and white pants are difficult to top. *** Sean Merriman:
There are plenty of outstanding storylines heading into this year’s Big Ten football season. But none of them top the one of an active Navy SEAL trying to walk on to a team. That is the case with 32-year-old Tom Hruby, a junior at Northwestern who is hoping to walk-on as a defensive end. If he does make the roster, Hruby would become one of the oldest players to ever play Division I college football. Hruby has a wife and three children, and currently lives in a dorm room on campus, while spending the weekend with his family. “I know
The NCAA’s model for amateurism took another hit with Friday’s ruling that the NCAA violated anti-trust law in the Ed O’Bannon suit. This, ladies and gentlemen, is maybe the most important ruling in the history of the NCAA. But things may not be as bad you think for the NCAA. In essence, this ruling says the NCAA no longer can prevent schools from giving student-athletes money based on their names, images and likenesses (NIL). It also isn’t allowed to impose a salary cap below $5,000. That money can be put in a trust. The NCAA scored a win, however, in
(AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that the NCAA can’t stop college football and basketball players from selling the rights to their names and likenesses, opening the way to athletes getting payouts once their college careers are over. In a landmark decision, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and 19 others in a lawsuit that challenged the NCAA’s regulation of college athletics on antitrust grounds. She issued an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing its rules on money given to athletes when it comes to their names, images and likenesses.
Northwestern senior running back Venric Mark has been suspended for the first two games of the 2014 college football season for a violation of team policy. Mark will sit out the Aug. 30 opener against California at Ryan Field and the matchup with Northern Illinois on Sept. 6 in Evanston. Here is a quote from Mark from the release: “I made a mistake and am prepared to deal with the consequences of that,” said Mark. “There’s no one that holds me to a higher standard than the one I hold myself to, so nobody is more disappointed than I am.