Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Morning Briefing: Wisconsin dismisses Smith
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- My Big Ten tour continues Tuesday at Michigan State, which begins its media day around 8 a.m. ET. Offensive players and coaches are up first, followed by defensive players and coaches. Head coach Mark Dantonio meets the media at 11:30 a.m. ET, and I'll head to watch the first portion of practice this afternoon.
For the e-mailers ragging me for flooding the blog with Michigan material Monday, this is how it's going to work. When I'm at a particular school, that school's team will be featured throughout the day. I'll try not to neglect what's going on around the league, but one team will take precedence. The good thing is I'm going to visit almost every Big Ten school before the season, so if you're wondering when Ohio State or Penn State get top billing, just be patient.
It was a busy Monday around the Big Ten as 10 teams opened practice. Here's a look at each one:
- Michigan's media rights belong to IMG, which paid $86 million in a 12-year deal, John Ourand writes in Sports Business Journal. IMG already owns Michigan's radio rights but will pick up corporate sponsorships and coaches' endorsements.
- Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones has bulked up during the summer, the Lansing State Journal's Joe Rexrode writes in his blog.
- The team on the field isn't the only thing looking glossy at Michigan State. The football team's new headquarters is getting rave reviews, Steve Grinczel writes.
- Former Kansas City Chiefs star center Jack Rudnay, a Northwestern alum, addressed the team on the first day of practice.
- Who will win Penn State's quarterback job? Who steps up at defensive tackle after the dismissals of Phil Taylor and Chris Baker? The Philadelphia Enquirer's Jeff McLane takes a look.
- Mark Wogenrich of The (Allentown) Morning Call weighs in on what to watch in Penn State's camp.
- Reserve running back Lance Smith has run out of chances at Wisconsin after his latest slip-up. He remains eligible and will look to play elsewhere, but his Badgers' career is over. Coach Bret Bielema really had little choice here after sticking his neck out for Smith last summer. The Badgers still have enough depth at running back, though an injury to P.J. Hill or Zach Brown could raise the anxiety level.
- The Capital Times' Jim Polzin breaks down the first day of practice. Junior cornerback Josh Nettles and two incoming freshmen aren't on the roster,