December is here, which means the college football season is coming to a close and basketball is in full swing. [ MORE: Track all of our 2015 Big Ten Championship coverage ] The Big Ten is set to crown a conference champion in football this weekend as Iowa takes on Michigan State in the fifth annual Big Ten title game. The winner of that game will likely punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff. In basketball, three Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 11 in the country, as two of them (Michigan State and Purdue) remain unbeaten.
Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo has seen more than his share of clutch performances and high-pressure situations. But even in his biggest games, there have been breaks in the action. In real emergencies, there are no timeouts, no commercials. That lesson — along with several others — was driven home for Izzo and other MSU coaches during a rather unusual team-building exercise at an annual Athletics Department retreat in early June. The coaches went through a simulation at MSU’s College of Human Medicine involving an emergency procedure with a critically ill “patient.” Izzo, Mark Dantonio (football), Tom Minkel
Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon has negotiated a new contract with Athletics Director Mark Hollis. Find a summary of the key changes that have been made to his contract. [Read Tom Dienhart’s Q&A with Mark Hollis] The term of the contract has been converted from a fixed term contract expiring Dec. 31, 2016, to a rolling five-year contract that will renew every July 1. Increase in base salary to $600,000 effective Oct. 1, 2012. (This is an increase from his current base salary of $395,000.) Annual longevity payment of $100,000 (paid each July) contingent on Hollis’ continuous
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is on a roll. Since assuming command in 2008, Hollis has developed some of the most unique events in college sports in recent years, including staging a basketball game on an aircraft carrier last November. And on the field, Hollis’ teams have enjoyed great success. In 2011-12, MSU won Big Ten crowns in women’s cross country, men’s basketball and women’s golf. And the football team won 11 games for a second season in a row, capping the year by playing in the inaugural Big Ten championship game. Want more? The hockey team also played