Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
CHICAGO -- It was a fairly eventful day at the Big Ten meetings despite no major announcements from the league about votes, policy changes or proposals.
This is truly a great setting to interact with the league's coaches and athletic directors, who are removed from the grind of the season and seem much more relaxed. Wednesday could produce some more news as the coaches and athletic directors meet as a group.
My highlight was a discussion with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, who is as sharp and as entertaining as ever.
Sure, he backed off his push for Big Ten expansion and addressed the status of linebacker Navorro Bowman, but it was more interesting to hear him talk about working at Ebbets Field as a kid and attending one of Jackie Robinson's first games. He also thumbed his nose at technology, wondering what "goggle" (Google) and "twister" (Twitter) exactly were and proclaiming somewhat proudly that he didn't own a cell phone or an e-mail account so that no one bothered him.
Other lighter moments included Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez carrying a small shopping bag into the hotel. Rodriguez said he left his running shoes at home and needed to buy some new ones, presumably on Michigan Avenue. Purdue head coach Danny Hope also seemed to be in good spirits, perhaps sensing the decision of quarterback Robert Marve to transfer to the school.
Recapping the day:
Big Ten coaches discussed expansion with league commissioner Jim Delany, but Paterno backed off his crusade and the item seems to have returned to the back burner.
I'll get to this more in Wednesday's blog, but several recruiting issues were discussed, including an early signing date, whether head coaches should return to the road in May and if prospects should be allowed to take official visits much earlier, in May or June rather than during their senior years. There's also talk about reducing the number of official visits so schools can save money during tough economic times.
Delany said the Big Ten has pushed back its bowl negotiations to a later date because of the economic situation. Agreements with five bowl games, including the Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl, expire after the 2009 season. The Citrus Bowl Stadium renovation remains an issue, but Delany hasn't given the organizers of the Capital One Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl an ultimatum and understands the economic difficulties there.
Tom Crean just told me I was working too hard, so I'm heading home. Much more to come Wednesday from the league meetings, including my chat with new coordinator of football officials Bill Carollo.