Happy Monday to all, especially those in New England and Seattle. Two Big Ten quarterbacks matching up in Super Bowl XLIX. Good times.
1. Many Penn Staters celebrated Friday as Joe Paterno's wins total was restored to 409 -- most in college football history -- following a settlement in the lawsuit brought by two Pennsylvania state officials against the NCAA. Some current Lions athletes chose to join in, including the men's hockey team, which wore "409" decals on its helmets during Friday's game against Michigan State.
But athletic director Sandy Barbour didn't agree with the public display. When a Twitter follower criticized the "409" decals, Barbour replied that it was "inappropriate and insensitive" and had been corrected. Penn State's men's basketball team had planned to wear "409" T-shirts in warm-ups before Saturday's game against Purdue but did not in the end.
@gretchnielsen Agree with you. Inappropriate and insensitive. It's been corrected.
— Sandy Barbour (@SandyB_PSUAD) January 17, 2015
Barbour is in a tough spot, and I see both sides to this. Penn State athletes have the right to free expression. If they want to tweet #409 or celebrate Paterno's restored wins total, that's fine. But for university-sponsored teams to conduct unified displays could offend Jerry Sandusky's victims. There were too many sports metaphors tossed around Friday, by Pennsylvania Sen. Jake Corman and others. The settlement and the wins restoration made sense. The over-the-top celebration did not.
Barbour again took to Twitter again Saturday night, saying she was "thrilled" that the football wins are once again recognized and that Penn State must "continue to use our platform to raise awareness and support for child abuse victims."
2. As expected, Mark Dantonio's assistants received raises after Michigan State recorded its second consecutive top-5 finish. The departure of longtime defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who took the head-coaching job at Pitt, freed up funds to boost salaries for the remaining staff members. Narduzzi had been the Big Ten's highest-paid assistant with a salary of just over $900,000.
Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dave Warner is now MSU's highest-paid assistant at $387,230, and will continue to be the most second-guessed, according to Mike Griffith. Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel, promoted to co-defensive coordinators after Narduzzi left, will each earn $378,230. Those are nice pay bumps, but when you look at what coordinators at elite programs make, Michigan State's staff is a real bargain.
Ex-Oklahoma assistant Jay Norvell won't return home to Wisconsin, as he joined the staff at Texas.
A good look at the defense run by new Nebraska coordinator Mark Banker. The Huskers appear to have a bright future along their offensive line.
Northwestern adds a defensive back to its 2015 recruiting class.
Purdue is piling up junior college receivers.
A very early look at the West Division in 2015.
Michigan's offensive play calling will be a collaboration between Jim Harbaugh and Tim Drevno.
Maryland bolstered both lines during the weekend with recruiting additions.
Rutgers will soon add a prominent New Jersey high school coach to its recruiting staff.
Indiana does some team building at the pool.
And, finally, Flavor Flav rocked the clock at Penn State's basketball game and took a picture with James Franklin. Hype!