There was some greatness on the sidelines of Indiana basketball practice Wednesday. Former star Calbert Cheaney, now Indiana’s Director of Operations, was there, per usual, but so too was ex-Duke standout Jay Williams. Williams, now an analyst for ESPN, was in Bloomington to observe the Hoosiers, who many experts think will be a top 5 team in 2012-13. And Indiana coach Tom Crean (@TomCrean) tweeted a picture of the two at practice.
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Perhaps you heard the story of the 5-year-old Oklahoma boy whose school forced him to turn his Michigan shirt inside out last week? If not, evidently, the shirt was against the school district’s dress code, which states only Oklahoma college apparel is allowed. Clothes from all other schools are against the current policy. The reasoning? Gangs.
The Penn State Preview Show debuts at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday on BTN/BTN2Go. The guys over at GoPSUTV’s YouTube page posted a solid behind-the-scenes video of the making and filming of the one-hour special this afternoon.
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When sports fans see something new and odd on the shelves of their local grocery store, it’s almost become tradition to take a picture of it and tweet it to ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell). Rovell tweeted a couple of the latest Big Ten-related items he’s had sent his way Monday. One was a bottle of Ohio State ketchup, which happened to be on sale, and the other was Michigan branded Pop-Tarts.
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Brock Mealer, the brother of Michigan fifth-year senior Elliot Mealer, almost lost his life in the fatal car crash that took the lives of his father and his brother’s girlfriend on Christmas Eve 2007. Nearly five years to the day, on Dec. 22, 2012, Mealer, who was left paralyzed from the waist down in the accident, will get married. Here’s the best part: Mealer will walk down the aisle ahead his bride, Haley Frank, and he’ll do it walking unassisted, according to @stephenjnesbitt. Not bad for a guy who was given a one percent chance to walk again.
What happened when three Navy Seals crashed Camp Kenosha? It provided one of the most memorable experiences in the Northwestern football program’s history, according to head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s Twitter account (@coachfitz51). Memorable indeed, it also resulted in the Wildcats being put through one of the more difficult workouts of their careers. See the complete YouTube.com/NUAthletics video in this post.
If you subscribe to Sports Illustrated and reside in the Big Ten footprint, chances are, you’ll see Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in you mailbox this week. The popular magazine is releasing five regional covers to preview the season, and Robinson is one of five quarterbacks featured. He joins Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, USC’s Matt Barkley and West Virginia’s Geno Smith as cover boys. @SInow tweeted a picture of the covers, and you can see it in this post.
Big Ten football players probably think the autograph requests can get a little out of hand at times. Should they feel this way, they need to take a look at a photo taken Tuesday at the 10th annual “Meet the Spartans.” The Michigan State Athletics Facebook page posted a photo gallery from Tuesday’s event, and one of the pictures features a young Michigan State fan looking on in awe as his football is signed. See the picture in this post and view the entire gallery.
Coaches go to great measures trying to build team camaraderie. Second-year Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill recently approved a fun and enjoyable team building activity that could only make the team grow closer. The Gophers went paintballing Sunday. And goldengophergridiron’s YouTube page has a video from the event. See the full feature in this post.
Suffering from a case of the Mondays? You’re in luck, because former Penn State defensive linemen and current NFL free agent Anthony Adams is here to entertain. In a recently uploaded YouTube video, Adams takes his mammoth figure to the basketball court, where he delights with his self-deprecating humor. The video is part of a series called “Stuff NFL Free Agents Say,” and it’s pretty memorable. Watch the entire video in this post.
It was a hard days work for Illinois football coach Tim Beckman on Friday. Or perhaps, he really felt like bonding with standout linebacker Jonathan Brown. Either way, the first-year head coach capped Friday’s practice with a plunge in the ice bath. No joke. And from the picture @IllinoisFootball tweeted, it sure seemed as though Beckman enjoyed the cold temperatures. See the photo in this post.
We can only hope the Minnesota freshmen were paying attention when a couple of young Gopher fans recently led the team in the school’s fight song, Minnesota Rouser. Watch GoldenGopherGridiron‘s video of it in this post. The little guys nailed it. Nothing scared them – not the camera, not the circle of Gophers around them, not head coach Jerry Kill, on a knee, right next to them. Good stuff.
A few days ago, the shorts (short-pants?) Auburn wore at practice, forced me to look at some of the new fashion trends across Big Ten football practices. At the time, I didn’t see anything as old-school as Auburn’s look. Then, on Thursday, MGoVideo posted a YouTube video that featured Michigan linebacker in a pair of shorts that would make John Stockton very proud. See a picture of the shorts and watch the entertaining feature, as well, in this post.
In town playing Detroit, injured New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez toured Michigan’s new basketball Player Development Center on Wednesday. Not exactly sure of the connection, but here’s something we’re pretty confident about: Yankee teammate and Ohio State product Nick Swisher was nowhere near Ann Arbor and will have some choice words for the three-time AL MVP. See Michigan Basketball’s Facebook page’s picture of Rodriguez with the basketball staff in this post.
Kirk Ferentz is a happy man. Yes, he has a revamped staff around him entering the 2012 season, but he also has all three of his sons in the same city for the first time since 2005. Another first: every Ferentz boy is an official member of the Iowa program. The oldest son, Brian, returned to Iowa City this past offseason as the offensive line coach; the middle son, James, is back for his senior season; and the youngest, Steven, is a freshman tight end. See a picture of the Ferentz family in this post.
College football is coming to FOX on Saturday, Sept. 1, and you know what that means: Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Erin Andrews are ready to bring you all the action. The network debuted a new commercial Saturday night that plays on Johnson’s knack for calling great games and for making games better. The promo features two friends on a couch flipping the channel back and forth between a boring football game and an exciting Johnson-called game, and when it goes to Johnson’s, one of the friends explains: “It’s the Gus Effect, it makes everything more exciting.” Watch the full ad here.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve asked an athlete to autograph? Maybe one of his or her game-worn sweatbands. Or your forehead. Well, an Illinois fan recently asked Illini offensive lineman Graham Pocic to sign his baby. OK, not the actual baby, but the baby’s miniature Illinois jersey. It made for a terrific photo op. See the picture, courtesy of the Fighting Illini Football Facebook page, in this post.
Camp Randall Stadium is undergoing its share of renovations this offseason. One of the projects included a nod to the program’s rich history on the front of the luxury boxes on the east side of the stadium. The three-level tribute features the program’s retired numbers, on top, the team’s Big Ten titles, in the middle, and its Rose Bowl appearances, on bottom. See a picture, courtesy of uwcoachstrick, in this post.
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(AP) After sweating through an early-morning workout outdoors, Penn State fullback Michael Zordich and his teammates gestured to excited fans to join their end-of-session huddle.
We’d seen Michigan’s 2012 Sugar Bowl rings online well before Big Ten Media Days last week in Chicago. And now we’ve seen them in-person. Take it from us, they are impressive – not to mention rather big. Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs proudly wore the ring on his right ring finger throughout the two-day event. See a close-up picture of the hardware Michigan earned with its victory over Virginia Tech in this post.
It was Illinois Day on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, and as part of the festivities, first-year Illinois football coach Tim Beckman sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch. See photos, courtesy of @IlliniFootball, of Beckman taking part in the Wrigley Field staple in this post.
Athletes are notorious for being superstitious. Thanks to a YouTube video from GopherAthletics, we learned Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray is quite fond of his jersey number: No. 5. Like to the point that he considers the perfect glass of water to be one with five ice cubes. But truly, who knows if Gray is that particular, because the senior quarterback could have been trying to entertain while he was mic’d up for the fun Big Ten Media Days feature. Watch the full video in this post.
Penn State seniors Michael Zordich and Michael Mauti led a group of about 25 players who met the media Wednesday to announce their commitment to the football team. Noticeably missing from the players was junior running back Silas Redd, the most sought after Nittany Lion. Southern Cal has shown interest in the star back, but his absence could have been the result of his role at Big Ten media days, starting Thursday morning. Penn State has since announced it will not send players to Chicago, after all.
The Illini basketball team has the state of Illinois outlined at midcourt at Assembly Hall. Many other college arenas do the same with the outlines of their states. The practice, for whatever reason, isn’t as popular in football stadiums across the nation – Indiana does it. Make it two Big Ten teams now. @IlliniAthletics tweeted a picture of the team’s new field design, and it includes the outline of the state of Illinois at midfield. Just like the basketball team. See the photo in this post.
From this day forward, Joe Paterno’s final win is Penn State’s 35-10 victory over Wisconsin on Nov. 22, 1997. That’s the case because Mark Emmert and the NCAA vacated all of Penn State’s victories from 1998-2011 as part of their sanctions against the school in the wake of the Freeh Report findings. @Ben_Jones88 tweeted a photo of the game program from that now historical1997 game, and, interestingly enough, its headline reads: “End of the Line.” See the photo in this post.