Monday, July 12, 2010
Catching up on Big Ten news ...
By ESPN.com staff
So, did you miss me?
From the looks of your e-mails, the answer is yes. How did some of you function before our little blog network kicked off? Anyway, I'm back from Mexico, revived and refreshed as we're less than a month away from the start of preseason camps in the Big Ten.
The league didn't follow my advice and expand again during my vacation, but there was some news during the last 10 days or so. Here's a quick recap:
- Heralded offensive line recruit Seantrel Henderson was released from his letter of intent from USC, but ended up signing with Miami instead of Ohio State, Minnesota or another school. It seems like these days, every drama king shirks the state of Ohio and ends up in Miami. Buckeyes fans certainly wanted Henderson, despite his father's less-than flattering comments about head coach Jim Tressel, and there are some disappointed folks out there. But remember that Ohio State has had its share of five-star offensive line recruits who didn't pan out. The 2011 recruiting class looks stellar, and the offensive line likely will return three starters next year. My take on Henderson heading to the U? No big deal.
- Iowa starting defensive end Broderick Binns faces some type of a suspension after his arrest early Friday on suspicion of drunken driving. Binns' arrest comes about a month after running back Jewel Hampton and cornerback Jordan Bernstine were charged with public intoxication. These incidents are common around college campuses, but Iowa should have a heightened sense of awareness and concern after enduring a swell of player arrests in 2007 and 2008. Iowa had minimal issues between the spring of 2009 and early this summer, but it can't afford another string of conduct problems. These things tend to happen in waves.
- Joe Paterno seems to be out of the woods after health issues sidelined the 83-year-old for much of May and June. Although Paterno's recent illness never posed a major threat to him coaching the team this fall, any health problems can't be taken lightly at his age. There also were some updates on Penn State's quarterback competition from the Lift for Life charity event, which raised more than $98,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association (congrats to Scott Shirley and his staff for another great event).
- Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick thinks the realignment issue isn't going anywhere, and while nothing is imminent, he'll continue to monitor what happens around the golden dome. Swarbrick told the South Bend Tribune: "I had a lot of people shouting across the street to me to stay independent and it was interesting, but correspondences ran both ways. I think there's an assumption that there's a universal view among our fans and alumni on this, and there isn't. It's always great to hear what people think, but there are so many of the pieces of information they didn't know, they couldn't know, that there's limited value to that input in this case." I like this perspective from Swarbrick. He recognizes the pressure to stay independent, but he also doesn't put too much stock in the opinions of the less informed. My take: Notre Dame won't make a move unless Texas does.
- A few coaching nuggets, as tight ends coach Greg Nord left Illinois for Kentucky before spending a single game on the Illini sideline. Also, Purdue head coach Danny Hope named a full-time recruiting coordinator in Don Coller, while promoting Casey Nuss to supervisor of football operations.