Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 22, 2015

Congrats to Michigan State A.D. Mark Hollis, who was named chair of the NCAA basketball committee for 2016-17. He will ride shotgun to 2015-16 chair/Oklahoma A.D. Joe Castiglione, one of America?s good guys.

"I look forward to continuing the great work of those that preceded me as we look to make the future even brighter for student-athletes that have the desire and passion to earn a college degree while competing in sports," Hollis said in a statement released by the school.


Speaking of Michigan State, the Spartans have a revised deal with Nike. It doubles the money MSU will receive, but it still has the Spartans in the middle of the Big Ten pack.

The $2.8 million the Spartans are scheduled to receive in 2015-16 ranks No. 7 in the Big Ten, according to figures from the Portland Business Journal (figures that do not include Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State and Rutgers, which do not publicly report contract amounts.) That compensation ranks second in the Big Ten among Nike schools, trailing only Ohio State. Michigan recently signed a 15-year, $169 million contract with Nike that begins next year.


Doug Lesmerises of is giving Ohio State the benefit of the doubt in its three-man QB race.

Lesmerises has asked lately, to Urban Meyer and players, if there's any way this battle could be a bad thing. And they've answered-in predictable fashion.

"I don't believe so," Cardale Jones said. "Like I said before, the coaches will put the team in the best position to win. I think each individual player will understand that. I might have more friends than J.T. (Barrett) or people like me better than J.T. or Braxton (Miller), and then J.T. starts, you know, it's not like (players are going to say), 'I'm not going to play good for J.T.'

"Every guy on our team, and I can vouch for this, every guy has that team-first mentality."


While the QB situation at Ohio State drips with intrigue, there also will be an interesting battle under center at Michigan. Who will win the gig? Jake Rudock? Shane Morris? Someone else? Wilton Speight? Zach Gentry? Alex Malzone?

My money is on Rudock. Houston transfer John O?Korn is not eligible this season, but he may be the best of the bunch. He recently was tabbed as one of 10 best ?next? QBs by 247Sports.

"This could seem like cheating, but the Houston transfer will sit out this season, after which he'll have two years of eligibility," 247's Kevin Flaherty writes. "Expect coach Jim Harbaugh to help O'Korn (6-4 220) re-find his mojo: O'Korn had a great freshman year where he threw for 3,117 yards and 28 touchdowns before dipping as a sophomore and losing his job to Greg Ward, a more mobile option."


Yes, I had a Drew Ott link yesterday. But, I had to include another: Ott recently won the hay bale toss at Solon Beef Days.

It?s official: Ott is now my new favorite player.


Ben Goren of has picked an All-Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern team.

My fav Fitz Wildcat: LB Chi Chi Ariguzo. He was terrific-and had a fun name to say, too.


It was good to see the NCAA tweak how it will seed teams in the future to allow for more flexibility.

The NCAA announced this week that the Division I selection committee will now be allowed to slide every team up or down the seed list, including the last four at-large teams selected. Until now, the last four teams voted into the tournament field were locked into the First Four, the eight-team playoff that serves as the tournament's first round. Going forward, the last four at-large teams on the overall seed list — after the seeds have been tweaked by a process known as scrubbing — will play in the First Four. Makes you wonder why they didn?t think of this sooner.


When Bob Flounders writes, you should read. So, read this item on which young Penn State players to watch during training camp.

A few names to monitor: TE Mike Gesicki, CB Grant Haley, OT Paris Palmer and RB Saquon Barkley, among others ?


The great Dan Duggan of has been previewing Rutgers? foes. Here is his take on Penn State, which apparently does not consider the Scarlet Knights as a rival.


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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