Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 19, 2014

Great story from Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, whose research revealed that unsold bowl tickets cost the Big Ten $4.5 million last year. That?s your cue to pick your jaw up off the floor.

My way-too-obvious conclusion: Something is wrong. And, it sounds like the Big Ten is gonna fix this. To wit: Dochterman says Big Ten officials opted for a different economic model with their new bowl arrangement, which kicks in this season. They agreed to accept lower payouts for lower ticket guarantees. Only a traditional Rose Bowl - which is operated jointly by the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Tournament of Roses Parade - is exempt from the changes.

That should fix that.


Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star has a nice story on former Nebraska offensive lineman Jason Licht, who is the G.M. of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

How good is this guy? Bill Belichick promoted him-twice-earlier in his career.


Glenn Robinson III and Gary Harris were rivals. Now, the former Wolverine and ex-Spartan are friends who both are preparing for the NBA.

Heck, these two have been battling since their days as Indiana prep stars.

?We grew up playing against each other on the AAU circuit, played against each other in high school, we were friends before he chose Michigan and I chose Michigan State, and we had that whole rivalry in college,? Harris told reporters this past week at the NBA combine. ?Now for us to have the same agent, go through the same process, training together, it?s good to have somebody going through it with you.?


Remember Derrick Nix? Sure you do! Well, the former Michigan State big man is adjusting to life and is still aiming for a NBA career as he plays in Europe.

?I miss college every day and (Tom Izzo) always told you that you don?t realize what you got until you see everything else that?s out there,? Nix told the Lansing State Journal. ?While in Riga (Latvia), I spent a lot of time texting Izzo, and he?s really been like a father to me and I didn?t realize it until late. But I say better late than never.?


According to this poll, Ohio voters oppose allowing college athletes to form a union to negotiate their rights and working condition, 55 percent to 38 percent, and oppose paying them salaries, 62-32 percent. So, there is that. I have to think this opinion is held by many across America.


Looks like the San Francisco 49ers are starting to find out about ex-Badgers linebacker Chris Borland. They are gonna love him.

The measurables keep saying the guy shouldn?t be a stud. But, Borland is a stud. I love it.


A big key to James Franklin?s success has been his relationship with offensive coordinator John Donovan. Listen to him explain in this video.

Speaking of Franklin, he wants to see Christian Hackenberg continue to make his teammates better. After all, that?s what all great players do, right?

"Having a great quarterback makes everybody on your roster better," Franklin said. "The defense plays better. They want to get the ball back to that guy, because they know he has a chance to do something with it. I'm excited about it, and I think our coaches and our players are."


Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartlieb had to handle a tough situation recently, as his father was in hospice care and subsequently passed away. Godspeed.


No real Big Ten connection here, but I want to leave you with this piece on the passing of long-time college hoops coach Don Meyer, a great man and tremendous coach who touched many lives.

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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