Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 15, 2015

I will admit: I am a fan of Penn State OC John Donovan. And, I am aware of criticism around him, as noted by But, I think the PSU offense will be better this fall-thanks largely to an improved line.

"You're your own worst critic, so when you're not successful it hurts," he said last week at a coaches caravan stop in Lancaster. "Every time you lose, it crushes you. That's just the way I've been since I've been a kid on up. … Every time you win, you're happy, but you're more relieved. And any time you lose it's never good. And just now being in this profession for a lot of years, you know what the deal is."


Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has been floating the idea of freshmen being ineligible. Penn State A.D. Sandy Barbour isn?t a fan of the idea. Neither am I.

"Freshman ineligibility is not the answer," Barbour said on a Penn State caravan stop in Harrisburg, Pa. "It doesn't address the issue so I can't be in favor of something I think doesn't addresses the issue and would disproportionately or unfairly impact whatever the percentage of those freshman are that are prepared to come in as freshmen and manage both the academic and athletic demands.

"So we're not supportive of freshmen ineligibility."


Big Ten hoops could be pretty loaded next season. Have you seen the rosters at Maryland, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Indiana and Iowa, among others? Just where does this leave an Ohio State program that lost many key players?

Bill Landis of notes that the Buckeyes don't have the established stars to build around an influx of promising young talent. That young talent has to make the ship go next season, which makes it difficult to project just where Ohio State stands in this Big Ten landscape.

Some early forecasts says OSU may finish ? seventh? A seventh-place finish in the Big Ten would be Ohio State's worst under Matta. Anything near the top of the league might go down as Matta's best coaching job yet.


?Sickening.? That?s how MSU quarterback Connor Cook described last year?s loss at Oregon. Well, MSU will get another shot at the Ducks this season in East Lansing. Can?t wait. The Ducks arrive Sept. 12. Save the date.


Will Michigan?s heralded Fab Five ever just learn how to get along? Then again, I am about sick of hearing about the Fab Five and the drama of the strained relationship between Chris Webber and the other four. Has more time and energy ever been devoted to group of players who never won anything?


Jim Harbaugh is at it again, putting together a quarterback camp that will have some boffo instructors like Jay Cutler and Jameis Winston. says he's calling it "Ann Arbor's Aerial Assault." The date of the camp has not been released, but it appears it's targeted at quarterbacks in the 2016-2019 classes. This won?t be anything but a smashing success, right?


The great Rick Brown of says Iowa?s ?toughest? hoops schedule is full of NCAA implications.

Fran McCaffery says it?s the toughest he ever has had. Iowa plays at Iowa State and meets Drake in the Big Four Classic in Des Moines. The Hawkeyes will host Florida State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and play at Marquette in the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games (Big Ten versus Big East). And there's the Orlando Classic in November; Alabama, Dayton, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Xavier, Southern California and Monmouth are in the field. Pairings haven't been released.

This should make the Hawkeyes battle-tested.


The saga of alleged player mistreatment burns on at Illinois. Now, a firm has been hired to conduct an independent review.

And Tim Beckman is now getting support from players.

Dennis Dodd of says the incident turns the focus to the accountability of coaches.

It?s all very fascinating.


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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