Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, June 25, 2015

Yes, football ticket sales are down at Iowa. But A.D. Gary Barta stands by Kirk Ferentz, the Big Ten's longest-tenured coach.

"My response to you is, Kirk Ferentz is a proven and terrific leader, and he's won at Iowa," Barta said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. "I've made it clear that I'm 100 percent behind him and I'm 100 percent behind his staff."


Count Lloyd Carr among the growing legion of Jim Harbaugh fans. notes that schools like OSU, Michigan State and Notre Dame continue to establish strong recruiting roots in the Midwest, but Carr said he is confident Harbaugh and Michigan will make up ground in a hurry.

"If I'm a high school quarterback out there I'm interested in Michigan if Michigan is interested in me because Jim is a proven player at the highest level and a proven coach," he said.

"…I think one of the advantages for John Harbaugh and for Jim is that their dad was in coaching. They learned a lot of things growing up. Jim knows recruiting and I think he enjoys the competitive part of it and trying to put a team together than can get into the national playoff picture."


Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel of FOX Sports drafted a dream football team for 2015. And the Big Ten was represented. In fact, three Michigan State players made the cut.

But Ohio State led all schools with seven selections. No surprise, right?


This is interesting: Former NFL coach Jim Haslett will serve as a consultant to Penn State.

"We are very excited to have Jim with our program," coach James Franklin said. "Jim has an outstanding football mind and invaluable experience that will be a tremendous resource. He has great knowledge of the game at the next level and we plan to put that to good use. He will work with our offensive, special teams and defensive coaches and will be a fantastic sounding board for our staff."


A big concussion conference is taking place in Cleveland, according to Doug Lesmerises of

The gathering of more than 30 experts called "Concussion: A National Challenge" is open to the public, which usually isn't the case with these things. But the authorities on brain trauma who spoke to each other Tuesday and will again Wednesday at the Global Center for Health Innovation did so in front of about 500 members of the public.


Northwestern has set its non-conference hoops schedule.

Along with the potential to play two of North Carolina, Missouri and Kansas State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, says the two toughest opponents on Northwestern's non-conference schedule appear to be Virginia Tech and DePaul, who won a combined 23 games in 2014-15. Is this the year NU makes its first ever NCAA tourney? I hope so.


The NBA draft is today. Does Josh Gasser figure in? Probably not. But he may play pro somewhere.

?I don?t know what I?m going to be doing in a few months, or even a few weeks,? Gasser said. ?But I?m excited for that.? says a professional team overseas is the most likely landing spot for Gasser, (Traevon) Jackson and (Duje) Dukan, but all three players worked out for NBA teams leading up to the draft and each is hoping to land a spot on an NBA Summer League roster.


The great Dan Duggan of has ranked the 2015 Big Ten schedules.

Me? I think Rutgers has a rugged slate. So does Michigan.


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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