The Week Ahead: Calm before the football

A week from today, Doug and I will jump in a car (it would be our company car, the Golden Buick, but it was involved in a devastating accident today in which no one, thankfully, was injured) and head north to Chicago. There, we will speak with Big Ten football coaches and players, thus initiating another season. Indiana is sending, besides coach Bill Lynch, wide receiver James Hardy, running back Marcus Thigpen and corner Tracy Porter. It should be interesting to see Lynch in this situation. He’s handled his head coaching duties of this sort well so far, but Big Ten media day is a beast. Dozens and dozens and dozens of reporters will swarm him with questions about this summer and what happened with Terry Hoeppner. Should be good to hear what Hardy has to say, too. According to many within the program he’s finally taking his role seriously and has worked diligently this summer, spending time in Orlando training with a few pros.

We’ve got plenty to do this week, though. Tomorrow morning, representatives from Indiana and the Big Ten — namely commissioner Jim Delany and Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman — will drop by our humble abode over here on South Walnut Street to discuss the new network, which, as of right now, will not be available to the majority of customers in Bloomington and Indianapolis. As much as I’d like to pretend that celebs of this profile stop by all the time — hold on while I go share some water cooler banter with David Beckham — that isn’t really the case. In fact, for Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan, who apparently will be in attendance, to make himself available for interviews is a major news story unto itself. Though he’s a polished, insightful and interesting guy, his moments with the media are rare and generally short.

I don’t think the Big Ten has been shy about admitting right now that it is waging a full-out PR war against Comcast, which is the leader of a pack of cable companies that is refusing to put the Big Ten Network on basic cable throughout the Big Ten states because they claim it is too expensive and not attractive enough to viewers. They’d rather place it on a sports tier, where they could pass along the price directly to the customers who choose to subscribe. The Big Ten Big Shots, of course, prefer to disagree. So, we’ll hear them out, and we’ll bring you some sort of update right here tomorrow.

I’m still monitoring the situation at Ball State as the Cardinals search for a new basketball coach. I’ve been able to confirm that there have been preliminary discussions between someone in the Ball State athletic department and Indiana assistant coach Ray McCallum, who played and coached at the school previously. However, I can’t gauge the level of interest on either side. According to Mike Pegram, Indiana’s other three coaches — head man Kelvin Sampson and assistants Jeff Meyer and Rob Senderoff — were in Vegas scouting the games there, meaning McCallum had to be elsewhere (only three coaches allowed out at a time.)

So, what’s on your minds? Are you ready for football, or are you clinging to summer? Anyone going to the Monroe County Fair? Is it worth it?

6 comments

  1. Chris, I’d still be interested (if there’s any way to do so) in obtaining any renderings/plans of the hypothetical new 18,000 seat basketball arena that presumably was distributed at the recent Trustees meeting. Is that possible?

  2. D.J.,

    Let me check into that. We had a reporter there and he would know if anything of the like was given out.

    Chris

  3. I am so ready for football. I attended the coaches meeting for the MCYFA last night. We do our skills assesment and draft on Monday the 30th. High School 2-a days start next week, and IU practices starting soon. (August 4th I think?). I am really excited for this year. B. South should have a very good year, IU is still on the rise, but have a great schedule to help make this year an exciting one. Last, I am back into coaching, it is youth league, but is some of the best days, molding and shaping young players for the future of the game. Should be a busy season!

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