Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 3, 2015

That concussion incident involving Michigan QB Shane Morris last season vs. Minnesota has resulted in the Big Ten implementing a new protocol in handling injuries.

"This has been a work in progress for a couple years," Big Ten coordinator of football officials Bill Carollo said Friday at the conference's football media day. "Maybe the situation at Michigan accelerated it, but player safety is paramount as far as we're concerned. I think this is a step in the right direction."

The step will allow a certified athletic trainer — positioned in the replay booth with personal replay equipment — to have direct contact with officials. According to Carollo, if the trainer spots an injured player not being tended to, he or she will tell the replay official to call down to the field and stop the game.


If you are looking for a ?winner? from Big Ten media days, look no further than Nebraska coach Mike Riley. His guy-next-door persona won over the masses.

Tom Shatel of points out that nice-guy image won?t win Riley games, but it will change the image of a Huskers program that was-ahem-rough around the edges under the former regime.


Remember when Michigan jammed a tent spike into the turf at Michigan State?s field last year? Wolverine LB Joe Bolden says it was blown out of proportion. Ah, but it lives on in infamy.

"Regret it? No," Bolden said. "There's a story behind it that you guys will probably never understand … but I'm not going to tell you, you're not going to know. It's in the past. I'm done with it."

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and quarterback Connor Cook made it clear following their 35-11 win over the Wolverines that they took offense to Bolden's spike-in-the-ground moment. It?s another layer to an already delicious rivalry.


Who are Penn State?s most underrated players? Nittany Lions defensive end Anthony Zettel makes his picks.

I would add Zettel to the list.


The great John Bacon has a new book coming out called ?Fourth and Long.?


This is good to see: Rutgers players will receive financial advice on how to manage cost-of-attendance stipends.

Keith Sargeant of says RU is providing in-state, full-scholarship athletes just under $4,200 and out-of-state, full-scholarship players approximately $4,800 for the 2015-16 school year. Rutgers has conducted educational seminars with approximately 125 student-athletes in recent months, according to associate AD Kate Hickey. The senior administrator in charge of Rutgers' women's sports, Hickey told NJ Advance Media that the seminars "covered the specifics of cost of attendance as well as financial literacy including budgeting, saving and investing."

I hope all schools are doing this.


Count Jim Harbaugh among the admirers of Woody Hayes. Watch this video of Harbaugh fawning over Woody.

"Deep abiding respect and admiration," Michigan's first-year coach said when I asked him for his impression of Hayes at media days. "He was one of the greatest coaches that ever coached the game. I was well-read on Coach Hayes, but also I had the advantage of hearing a lot of stories growing up about Woody Hayes. From my dad, from other coaches that were friends of my dad's … If they were associated with Woody Hayes, I asked them, 'Tell me about Woody Hayes,' and what their relationship was like with him. I view him as one of the all-time greats."


Does any Big Ten team have a more challenging opener than Wisconsin, which takes on Alabama in Arlington, Texas? Nope. New coach Paul Chryst discusses taking on the Tide in this video.

Don?t count out the Badgers, who almost beat LSU in this game last year. Wisconsin may be the best team in the West.


Good Q&A with Pat Fitzgerald from Henry Bushnell of

Fitzgerald addresses concussions in football, the prospect of offering money to recruits under the O'Bannon ruling, his lack of comment on stories about LGBT athletes, and the allegations against Illinois coach Tim Beckman. Lots of juicy stuff.


Why am I bullish on Indiana this year? It?s because of the play up front. The o-line should be boffo.

Talking to Nate Sudfeld and Adarius Rayner at media day, he raved about guard Dan Feeney.


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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