Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 16, 2014

The Big Ten released its ABC/ESPN schedule of night games. And-big shock-Ohio State led the way with three prime-time slots. Nebraska and Penn State each have two. Michigan and Michigan State have one, while Iowa and Wisconsin have none. Weird how Iowa hasn?t had one since 2009.

Oh, as for November night games, there is one: Illinois vs. Ohio State on Nov. 1. BTN will announce its night games next Tuesday.


Big doings from the NCAA, as it announced unlimited meals and snacks for athletes. Even walk-ons. Prior to this, athletes received three meals a day or a food stipend. It?s all about ?meeting the nutritional needs of all student-athletes.?

Have their ?national needs? suddenly changed from, say, five or 10 years ago? My point: What took you so long? I?m guessing this was done to appease CAPA, right?


Interesting report here from NBC News that puts a dollar value on players.

A March survey from the National College Players Association and Drexel University said that the projected fair market value of the average college football player is $178,000 per year from 2011 to 2015, while the projected market value for the average college basketball player for the same time is $375,000. The report also said that football players with the top 10 highest estimated fair market values, like Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, might be worth as much as $547,000, during the year 2011 to 2012.

Not sure of the metrics used or validity of the survey, but it?s good for thought. Wonder what A.D.s think of this?


Richard Pitino a potential candidate at Tennessee? Oh, boy.

Pitino has a $1.5 million buyout.


Michigan officially is in re-tooling mode with the decisions by Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas to turn pro yesterday. The rise of Stauskas is remarkable, when you considered he wasn?t widely recruited from Canada. Now, after just two years in Ann Arbor and one Big Ten Player of the Year award, he is headed to the NBA. I?m not sure if he?ll be a star, but he?ll play a nice role as a shooter. If his defense improves and he gets quicker, Stauskas could take his game to another level


No one played more in the Ohio State spring game than guard Antonio Underwood.

The big fella played for the Scarlet and the Gray in his quest to earn a starting spot after missing last year with an ACL injury. The o-line is the one area of the team under the most scrutiny, as four starters must be replaced.


Even with Gary Harris off to the pros early and Adreian Payne and Keith Appling graduating, Mike Griffith of thinks Michigan State will remain a Sweet 16 fixture and extend its 17-season NCAA tourney run. Hard to argue against that notion. You gonna bet against Tom Izzo? I?m not.

Branden Dawson announcing he will be back is big.

And Gavin Schilling and Matt Costello look poised to improve in the pivot. Denzel Valentine, Alvin Ellis III and Travis Trice are building blocks in the backcourt. Yes, MSU will be just fine.


Coming off a 1-11 season, Purdue needs to improve in a lot of areas. One is the defense. To that end, it looks like tackle Ra?Zahn Howard is going to do his part. The sophomore-to-be enjoyed a killer spring and could be poised to breakout after slimming down.

How good could this guy be? Pretty good, considering how new he is to the game.

?I?m one of those guys that if I get a taste of something, it?s over from there,? Howard told the Lafayette Journal Courier. ?This is my fourth year of playing football. Every year I continue to get better. This is my second year here, and I feel like I have my swagger. I?m excited.?


My take: The fact a Nebraska hoop coach is even rumored is impressive.

My take: Yes and yes.

My take: The guy is something else.

My take: I find this difficult to believe. But, whatever.

My take: If you can?t dominate in college, how will you dominate in the NBA? Am I missing something?

My take: Well, it has been taken care of.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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