The B1G Football Media Days are finally here! It's almost like the first sign of fall has appeared. We still have a long way to go until kickoff, but at least the summer dead period in college sports is close to an end.
This is a football heavy Nugz. I don't know about you, but that makes me very happy! Not much to report on the Tubby front however. I was hoping to keep it PSU free, but a bunch of news broke late on Wed afternoon and it deserves some links. On to the links!
- Phil Miller uses his STrib blog to offer additional details that didn't make it into his profile of Andre McDonald. I highly recommend you take the time to read this blog post. He highlights Andre's recruitment at both Vandy (young coaches who play video games with you, hot cheerleaders) and UCLA (NFL style coaches who seemed to struggle to relate to Andre). There is also a nugget about Kill's recruiting philosophy that I think is especially relevant given the Brookins news:
"I learned this from Coach Kill very early -- you absolutely don't want kids who don't want to be there," Limegrover said. "If we had bullied Andre into coming here, that relationship wasn't going to continue to grow. and it needs to. If they don't want to be where they're at, if they don't trust us, then that relationship is fractured before it really begins."
- Speaking of Keelon Brookins...In case you missed it, the first verbal of the Gophers' 2013 recruiting class has switched his verbal to Wisconsin. I'd love to suggest that he'll switch back, but if this tweet from Doogie is to be believed he plans on enrolling in Jan. That doesn't sound like someone who will flip again, but who knows.
- Sticking with Fuller, we get a profile of Marqeuis Gray and the strides he's made in the offseason. One interesting note is that he says he's built a good relationship with both Harbison and McDonald.
- ESPN 1500 continues their positional previews by focusing on the Linebackers. Nothing too new, with questions continuing to surround Beal. Coach Kill has some nice things to say about Rallis moving to MLB.
- Fox Sports North's positional preview moves to the Gopher Tight Ends.
- FBT continues the 15 for 2012 series. At #14 is Michael Carter.
- Here's a great behind the scenes gallery from the Gopher Football Intro Video Shoot. I absolutely LOVE the new uniforms!
The Rest of Gopher Sports
- The Minnesota Daily had a really interesting article last week on the month long wrestling camp put on by Gophers coach J Robinson. It's the only month long summer wrestling camp in the country and it sounds really tough. The goal of every camper? Do well enough to earn "The Shirt" at the end of the camp.
"The shirt" is a reward from the camp — but finishing the 28 days doesn’t guarantee it.
Robinson designed and runs a points system that gives the campers approximately 1,000 points each at the beginning of the four weeks. If a camper can tough it out and hold onto two-thirds of his points, he’ll earn a T-shirt that denotes his successful completion of the camp.
Eustice said campers can gain or lose points for a variety of things, but it’s based on tangible efforts not skill level. Forgetting one of any number of items — water bottles, wrestling shoes, backpacks — will lose a camper points. If a camper shows up anywhere late, he loses points.
Campers can also earn points by completing difficult challenges like a 15 mile run at the end of the camp. This doesn't do anything to change my opinion that wrestlers are nuts, but you can't help but respect Coach Robinson and the program he's put together.
- The Daily also takes a look at Gophers pitchers in the big leagues.
- And last but not least, Amelia Rayno has her article on Tubby's deal. Nothing really new here.
Big Ten Football
A lot of links for the B1G in advance of media days.
- Fox Sports North has 12 questions coming into the season. Their Q for the Gophers? How much improvement will the team see in Year 2 under Jerry Kill? They also offer their take on the 10 Most Intriguing B1G Games of 2012.
- Wisconsin and Purdue have moved their game in 2013 to the 4th week of the season. They did so to accommodate Wisconsin's new non-con game with BYU, but I hope this starts a trend. I hate that conference season doesn't start until week 5. I'd much prefer to see the B1G do things like the SEC and get some league games slotted in weeks 2, 3, and 4. It would make things more exciting (especially for the full TV slate) and would allow teams to mix in a weaker non-con at the back end of the season to offer a breather in the midst of the B1G schedule.
- CBS Sports offers their top storylines for the B1G Media Days.
- Tom Dienhart has 101 Questions for Media Days.
- Illinois is changing their field to include an outline of the state at midfield.
Go below the jump if you want to enter the continuing mess that is the news from Penn State...
Penn State Sage Continues
- PSU President Rodney Erickson says that the NCAA threatened PSU with a 4 year death penalty. When told this, PSU negotiated the sanctions down. However, Erickson never consulted the Board of Trustees. And if you want a look at how out of touch the BoT still is, take a look at this from the ESPN story:
Some trustees said they hoped the dismantling of Paterno's statue would send a positive message to the NCAA when it considered sanctions. Little did those trustees know, Erickson already had agreed in principle by last Saturday on the "punitive and corrective" sanctions.
Just a mess.
- This doesn't look too good for the NCAA either. They punished PSU in part for the actions of a president who acted unilaterally. However, in communicating and negotiating the punishment they created a scenario where the PSU president to act unilaterally and exclude the BoT. It's also looking like chair of the NCAA executive committee, Ed Reed of Oregon State, may have lied when he claimed that the NCAA did not threaten PSU with the death penalty. There is always a chance that he didn't know Emmert had done so, but this still looks bad.
- This also creates more questions about why the NCAA rushed the penalties and skipped right by any due process. As a result, the NCAA will now be studying the limits of the NCAA president's power and how it applies to future situations.
- The New York Times suggests that vacating wins is simply a messed up attempt to whitewash history.
- Bill O'Brien's agent is a savvy dude. BOB's contract includes a clause that automatically increases the length of the deal to match any sanctions year for year. In other words, O'Brien just got a 4 year extension the moment the penalties were handed down.
- Illinois sent 6 coaches to stake out the PSU football parking lot to go after players. That's just messed up.