Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 25, 2016

Big doings at Minnesota: The school and Jerry Kill have opted to part ways, as the former grid boss won?t have a role with the athletic department.

"I visited with the president, and it was very professional in manner," Kill said. "He would like me to speak on behalf of the university, raise money and teach a class or two. I really appreciate that offer, but I want to be involved with athletics. I've been involved with athletics my whole life, and I want to be around the kids more than anything."

"That wasn't part of the offer. I understand that, but that was the deal-breaker for me."

Interesting. There certainly are details we don?t know about. Bottom line: Not having Kill as part of the school in any way is a loss for all involved.

That said, Tracy Claeys continues to put his stamp on the Gophers.

A big focus this spring will be the offensive line, as Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune points out. The two returning starters are sophomore center Tyler Moore and senior right tackle Jonah Pirsig. Two junior college transfers, Garrison Wright and Vincent Calhoun, are expected to take over this spring as starting guards. As for left tackle battle ?

?We?ve got (redshirt freshman Nick Connelly) there, who I think is capable of doing it,? Claeys said. ?He?s got the strength and everything, but the wild card in all of that is Garrison.?

*** Mike Griffith has been doing some good spring preview stuff on Michigan State. Here is his look at the Spartan linebackers, an unsettled group that has depth and talent. Michigan State 2015 linebacker starters Riley Bullough and Jon Reschke return, and 2014 starter Ed Davis is expected to file a successful appeal for a sixth year of eligibility after missing last season with a knee injury.

But there is some mystery as to how the pieces will fit together for linebackers coach Mark Snyder this coming football season.


Ever wonder which Big Ten players ran the fastest 40-yard sprints at the NFL Combine? Here is a list going back to 1999.


Ohio State?s NCAA bubble status may be over after that home loss to Michigan State coupled with the season-ending shoulder injury to Jae?Sean Tate, the heart and soul of the team.

"We looked at the possibility of playing him (vs. Michigan State), but could he have injured it worse? Yeah," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "So we collectively said it's not worth his future, that sort of thing. It is what it is, and he'll have surgery on Friday to repair it and then we'll start the process of getting him back."

So, the Big Ten looks like it will be a seven-bid team.

Have a ook at some of the latest hoops highlights below.


Nebraska made two hires for its football program. Ex-Husker John Parrella will coach the defensive line. And former NFL G.M. Bill Devaney will be director of player personnel.

Devaney?s hiring is interesting. says he will work with Mike Riley to develop, implement and oversee a comprehensive football player personnel program. He will head up the process of identifying prospective student-athletes, allocation of scholarship offers and assist the head coach with roster management.

Devaney will directly oversee the Huskers? player personnel and recruiting staffs, a task that "excites me as much as anything I have been a part of in my football career.?

More and more schools have personnel directors.


Michigan has announced ticket prices for football in 2016.

Individual tickets for the Fighting Harbaugh?s eight-game home slate — which begins Sept. 3 vs. Hawaii — range from $55 to $130.

Speaking of tickets ? Rutgers has partnered with IMG Learfield in hopes to increase ticket sales. says outsourcing ticket sales is becoming common across the country, as schools look to increase attendance and revenues generated from athletic events. While details of the multiyear partnership are not immediately known, the outsourcing company typically takes a commission on every ticket sold.


Bill Cubit would like to see the recruiting process streamlined. Me, too.

?A lot of it is our fault. We put so much pressure on these kids to make a decision,? Cubit said. ?There?s one guy out there, he comes in and he says, ?The good news, you?ve got a scholarship. The bad news is you?ve got a minute to accept it or I?m moving on.? It?s just not the way to do things, I don?t think.?

Cubit thinks a player should be able to sign when he verbally commits. It makes sense to me. By having recruits sign when they commit, Cubit argues, it would help clean up the process.

?It would alleviate a lot of coaches offering guys knowing they?re back-burner guys,? Cubit said. ?I was down in South Florida, and there was a kid that had home visits until 2 in the morning. That just doesn?t make sense.?

Ah, the elite schools NEVER will go for signing on the spot or an early signing period. Why? Because they want to steal commitments late in the process from schools like Illinois.

It?s sad, really.


You didn?t think I was going to check out without doling out a Jim Harbaugh note, did you? Silly you. Seems Jimmy Ballgame didn?t like some recent cracks made by Georgia coach Kirby Smart. My advice to Harbaugh: Sometimes it?s best to let stuff slide and not address every perceived slight in a public manner. But, that?s just me. I don?t make $7 million a year.


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