Friday, July 18, 2008
Morning Briefing: JoePa heading to Hall, more on Barwis
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Happy Friday to all. Big Ten media days are less than a week away and every team but Purdue opens preseason practice on Aug. 4, so gear up. The season's almost upon us. Here's the daily look around the league:
- College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement awaits Joe Paterno this weekend, and the coach spoke at a benefit dinner Thursday night in Johnstown, Pa. The 81-year-old is already in preseason mode: He's starting to ignore his grandkids, Sam Ross Jr. writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. As for his energy level? "I feel great," he said. "My health is fine. I can't throw the ball 40 yards any more, but I never could."
- Who ends up making those 40-yard throws this fall remains to be seen, but JoePa would prefer having one quarterback lead the offense, Cory Giger writes in The Altoona Mirror.
- Paterno also discussed the head-coaching potential of Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, the man most consider to be Paterno's choice as a successor, Mike Mastovich writes in The Tribune-Democrat.
- Former Minnesota running back Amir Pinnix sees brighter days ahead for the program, Sid Hartman writes in The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune. "You have to stay optimistic, always," Pinnix said. "That's why I love coach [Tim] Brewster, because he's so optimistic. He uses motivation, and he can inspire you to go out and make things happen."
- A quick hoops detour: Ohio State has gone Greek again, as center Zisis Sarikopoulos -- say that 10 times fast -- is transferring from UAB, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Perhaps Thad Matta knows he won't have B.J. Mullens for long, and a team can never have enough 7-footers, right?
- Mike Barwis mania continues, as CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd takes a look at Michigan's enterprising new strength coach. Wonder if Barwis' colleagues around the country are getting jealous yet.
- The Lansing State Journal's State of State series continues with a look at ticket prices. Michigan State hasn't raised them in football since 2005, and athletic director Mark Hollis wants to keep it that way, Joe Rexrode writes. But a hike seems inevitable, especially with football season-ticket sales projected to drop by 1,000 this season.
- Student season-ticket sales haven't suffered at MSU. They're at the highest level in 20 years, so the school is expanding the student section at Spartan Stadium by roughly 3,300 seats this season. Last fall, student season-ticket sales were the highest in 20 years. I mistakenly wrote last week that the section is in the southwest corner; it's in the southeast corner.
- Recent struggles aren't turning away Iowa fans. Games against Wisconsin and Iowa State are already sold out. Tickets went on sale Thursday.