Big Ten Rumblings: Paterno, OSU Violations, and the Big Ten Meetings
Paterno Backs Down From Expansion Talk
Penn State football coach Joe Paterno toned down his support for Big Ten expansion at league meetings this week, telling ESPN.com that he "had no intention of creating a stir" and gave his full support to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.
"He knows more about it... If it's good for the conference and he can figure out a way to make it happen, he'll probably do it," Paterno said. "If it's not good for the conference, that's a dead issue."
Did the Don of the Big Ten Conference get to the legendary coach?
Talk of conference expansion had again began gaining ground—with rumors swirling that the Big Ten had received official enquiries from universities in both the Big East and Big XII conferences, and with other Big Ten coaches lending their support to the idea. So, why the sudden change in intensity?
When Paterno first brought up expansion and the need for a conference title game, he said he was met with "snickering" at Big Ten gatherings.
At the recent Big Ten meetings, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel approached Paterno to make sure Paterno didn't think he was among those showing disrespect. Could this be a sign that the head Buckeye might be changing his tune?
Ohio State Reports 26 Violations to the NCAA
Ohio State University listed 26 NCAA violations in its annual report to the Board of Trustees this week, including 13 recruiting violations—the most in the Big Ten.
Should Ohio State fans be worried? Probably not. OSU associate athletic director Doug Archie called it "a very healthy number," and attributed the number of violations to the size of the athletic program (the largest in the country).
Another reason for the number violations is that the school has a "very robust compliance office," according to Archie, that encourages coaches to report any violations. The average number of violations each year under Archie has been 25 to 30, he said.
The violations were scattered among 14 sports, topped by football with four—two as a result of inadvertent contact with a recruit while a coach visited a high school coach, one for three family members of players receiving "preferential treatment" while attending a game, and one for an assistant coach being interviewed on television while attending a high school game.
Big Ten Meetings—The Future Bowl Landscape of Big Ten Football
The Big Ten’s future bowl lineup could receive a radical makeover this week when league officials, administrators, and football coaches conduct their annual meetings.
Five of the league’s seven contracted bowls are up for renewal after the 2009 season. League officials plan to discuss each bowl this week, and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said the league will “explore the (bowl) landscape.”
“We keep in touch with our incumbents,” Delany said. “We really can’t engage in negotiations with others normally under most of the agreements until we engage in good-faith negotiations with the incumbents.
"We can look around, chitchat, find out if there are others that might be interested, but we can’t engage in any sort of serious discussion on business issues until we go through the process with our own.”
The Big Ten has agreements with the Rose Bowl and the Insight Bowl (Phoenix area) until 2013. The bowls up for renewal after the 2009 season include the Capital One and Champs Sports (Orlando, Fla.), Outback (Tampa, Fla.), Alamo (San Antonio), and Motor City (Detroit).
Penn State's Navorro Bowman Gets Simple Lesson From JoePa
Joe Paterno announced that junior linebacker Navorro Bowman, who had his probation extended and who's future was in question when it came to his role with the team, would not face any further penalties from the head coach.
Bowman is expected to participate in practice and, barring any further incidents, will play his assumed role on the defense when the season starts.
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg asked Paterno what he said to Bowman regarding the matter. Paterno's response: "You mind your p's and q's and you're fine."
Another classic line from the football legend.
A TWITTER OOPSY FOR RON ZOOK
Illinois coach Ron Zook is still working through the finer points of Twitter, the micro-blogging service that allows him to connect instantly with his followers.
Black Heart Gold Pants, an Iowa fan site, noticed two odd messages from Zook early Sunday morning: "Please. Come here" and "Is that all U got."
Zook called the messages a glitch, the result of playing around with the new technology with Illinois staff members as they tried to figure out which long-distance carrier worked the best.
Zook was taken aback when he saw that his "test" messages had been posted as tweets.
"So it's not perfected yet."
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