Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 30, 2015

Interesting take from Bleacher Report that says the Big Ten needs to fight back on recruiting rules that favor the SEC. The author of this piece, Greg Couch, says unofficial visits hurt Big Ten schools, who can?t get as many from top players as SEC schools on those ?unofficials? because of proximity.

Unofficial visits aren't paid for by the school, so it's cheaper for a recruit in the south to drive to many SEC schools than it is for them to fly to a Big Ten one.


The story quotes BTN's very own Gerry DiNardo, too. "The Big Ten can advocate for a rule change," DiNardo tells Bleacher Report. "In the Big Ten, they can come together as coaches and say, 'We're under an old recruiting calendar, an old model. And it favors the SEC.'"

So, how about banning unofficial visits entirely and allowing juniors to go on official visits? That's when non-athletes are considering which schools to go to.

Interesting stuff. Read it all here.

Related: Next Wednesday is National Signing Day. BTN's airing our  live, two-hour "BTN Football & Beyond: Signing Day Special" at 3:30 p.m. PM ET. Our crew will review each school?s recruiting class and break it down for all 14 teams.


Former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was one of my favorites. So I like to keep track of him at his new gig as head of Pitt. I think Narduzzi will do just fine, as he has a heck of a blueprint to use having worked for Mark Dantonio.

"Why would you change the blueprint of what Coach Dantonio has done there?" he said.?There will be tiny little things here and there, but the blueprint has been set. I've been in the program for 11 years with Coach Dantonio, and I know how we've done it and built it, and I think that's the way it's going to be."


Still yearning for more on Ohio State stud defensive end Joey Bosa, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year? Here you go. He may be the Big Ten?s next J.J. Watt.

And here is a link to a neat slideshow of Bosa?s 2014 highlights.


Rutgers will be well-represented in the Super Bowl. And that doesn?t shock Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood. Four former RU players are on the Patriots? roster.

"Super-high intangible people," Flood said, referring to (Duron) Harmon, (Devin) McCourty and (Logan) Ryan.?You are talking about three guys who excelled in the classroom and three guys that excelled in every way. On the football field, in the weight room, in the community. They really are what a student-athlete in college should be.


This is a full-service website. So, with that, I offer this: Michigan fans looking for a ride to East Lansing for the Wolverine-Spartan hoops game on Sunday can get there via Uber.

Uber is offering ?road trip rates? for fans starting on Thursday. It?s $99 for a four-passenger vehicle to go back and forth between the two cities and $149 for a six-passenger vehicle. The math works out to about $25 per person, which Uber says it up to 60 percent cheaper than a taxi.


Indiana has seen a 5-1 start in Big Ten play morph into 5-3. Yogi Ferrell says the Hoosiers have to stop being so soft. And by ?soft? he?s referring to IU?s defense.

"We've just got to stop being so soft," guard Ferrell said. "We think it's gonna be easier than it is, especially guys who haven't been here and played in the Big Ten. They think it's easier than it is.

"Now we're just learning the hard way."

After a visit from Rutgers, the Hoosiers go to Wisconsin, welcome Michigan and go to Maryland. Time to buckle down.


Look who is in the movie-making business: Chris Webber. Yes, THAT Chris Webber.

According to a story from BuzzFeed, Webber served as an executive producer for the unreleased film "Unexpected" and is currently at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, working to get the movie picked up for distribution.


You probably didn?t think Ohio State stud freshman D?Angelo Russell had any problems. Well, you?re wrong-but let?s call this a ?luxury? problem, as outlined by Russell is too good and will be gone soon.

One NBA draft site has Russell going No. 2 in the 2015 draft. Let?s just enjoy the kid while we can, OK?


I know I said I was done linking to stories about Dan Dakich coming to Iowa to help call the Wisconsin-Iowa game on Saturday. But I had to pass this along: The ESPN color commentator will have extra security for his visit.

To recap: During Iowa?s 82-50 loss at Wisconsin last week, Dakich called Hawkeyes center Adam Woodbury ?cowardly? and ?gutless? after the junior twice poked eyes of Wisconsin players. Woodbury said his actions were accidental and apologized. Dakich, who also called for Woodbury?s suspension, did not back down from his comments last week.

Too bad this is going to overshadow what is a HUGE game for the Hawkeyes, who have lost two in a row.


How about this: Minnesota RB Berkley Edwards is gonna run track. In high school, Edwards was the Michigan state champion in the 100-meter dash (10.58 seconds) and 200 dash (21.37).


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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