Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 14, 2015

Wisconsin?s Sam Dekker declared for the NBA draft last week. Is Michigan?s Caris LeVert next? For now, he?s still in fact-finding mode. He?s also in a walking boot until May.

Is he REALLY ready for the NBA? I guess I don?t think so. The underclassman entry deadline is April 26. LeVert said after the season that he'll weigh his decision right up until that date. The NBA Draft Combine will be held until May 12-17 and is followed by draft entrants being invited for individual workouts with NBA teams.


On this same subject ? this just in: Yogi Ferrell will announce his decision April 25.

Really? Look, Ferrell is good, but is he jump-to-the-NBA-early good? I guess I have my doubts. He seems like a fringe NBA player. If Ferrell stays, IU will be a Top 10-15 team next season. If he goes ?


So, Urban Meyer isn?t going anywhere anytime soon after this contract extension. Meyer is the new highest-paid football coach in the Big Ten after a raise and contract extension announced Monday by the school.

Doug Lesmerises of says Meyer will now make $5.8 million for the 2015 season instead of the $4.9 he had been scheduled to make. The raise is part of a revision and extension starting this season that will run six years, through the 2020 season. That also extends Meyer's previous deal by two seasons. (He previously had been signed through the 2017 season, but a year was added to his contract for each Big Ten championship, and the Buckeyes did win the Big Ten last year.)


This is a pretty cool tale from the Tampa Tribune about former MSU DE William Gholston, who repaid a good deed from years ago.

The newspaper reports that Mohamed Gabasha was working at the BP gas station at Greenfield and Eight Mile Road last Friday night when Gholston showed up and gave him $100 to pay him back — with interest — for supplying him with gas when he was stranded on the John C. Lodge Freeway as a senior at Southeastern High School.


One of the bigger revelations from Nebraska?s spring game was the performance of QB Zack Darlington. Maybe he is a viable option if the staff every needs to turn to him. Hmmm. I like the redshirt freshman?s spunk and moxie.

?I?m not saying that I did everything that I need to do, but my goal going into the spring was to work my way up, and I think I was able to work my way up,? Darlington said. ?With going into fall camp, I think that now I?m going to be able to put my name in the conversation a little bit.?


Sad news from Nebraska, as beloved former Husker radio color commentator Adrian Fiala has passed.

We all can only hope to impact those around as he did.


Is Penn State?s Donovan Smith a first-round pick? One mock draft thinks so.


Lots going at Rutgers during spring practice. All eyes are on the quarterback spot. And the offensive line is being monitored. But have you noticed JC MLB Isaiah Johnson? The guy has been pretty good, according to Keith Sargeant of

"I feel like with every practice I'm becoming more comfortable," said Johnson, who is bidding for the starting spot held by graduated middle linebacker Kevin Snyder. "It's been a little bit tough. But I've been getting a little bit better. I'm understanding the plays more, the terminology, so I can be a little bit more vocal and lead the guys."

For now, Johnson is competing for first-team reps with redshirt freshman Brandon Russell but the competition will heat up this summer when Kaiwan Lewis, a graduated transfer from South Carolina, joins the fold.


The Big Ten Network released its prime-time football schedule on Tuesday. And the fact Iowa will play two games under the lights is noteworthy.

This will be Iowa's 11th and 12th games under the lights at Kinnick Stadium, but the first ones since 2012. This will be the first time the Hawkeyes have played two home night games in the same season. Iowa has a 6-4 record in night games at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa athletic director Gary Barta told the Des Moines Register on Saturday that he had been campaigning the networks for a night game in 2015.

"We're excited about the night game selections," Barta said in a press release Monday. "We know our fans enjoy the special electricity that fills Kinnick Stadium when we're playing under the lights. We're also appreciative of BTN's interest in our football program and the support we received from our partners on the University of Iowa campus and in the community when agreeing to two opportunities for our student-athletes to compete in what is a special environment."


Sporting News? Mike DeCourcy is irate that some in the media have misrepresented Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan?s stated detest of ?rent-a-player,? as some hacks have made it seem Ryan was taking a shot at one-and-done freshmen. But Ryan was talking about fifth-year graduate transfers.

Good for Ryan. But as a coach, why not explore all avenues to make your team better? Tom Izzo has taken fifth-year guys. Thad Matta has, too.

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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