News and notes from availability/Wilson’s radio show

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson had his radio show Monday night and co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Mike Ekeler was among those available after practice. Some news and notes from today.

— Wilson said sophomore quarterback Dusty Kiel did not practice on Monday after injuring his ankle during Saturday’s game against Illinois. Kiel was 6-for-19 for just 71 yards in the game, and Wilson said the ankle was a significant reason why. He injured the ankle as he was being brought down by an Illinois defender while flipping the ball to tailback Stephen Houston for what turned out to be a 48-yard gain.

“I didn’t know anything about it until the end of the third quarter,” Wilson said. “He missed a couple of balls. I said, ‘What’s wrong? What’s up with those throws? They were just way off.’ He said, ‘I can’t push off.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘I hurt my ankle.’ I said, ‘When?’ He said back in the first half. Being a competitor he tried to battle through it.”

Wilson said redshirt sophomore Ed Wright-Baker has been practicing after suffering an ankle injury against North Texas and sitting out the last two games. With Kiel still recovering, that likely means Wright-Baker will get the start.

“I’d assume we’ll have Ed and Tre,” Wilson said. “We’ll evaluate Dusty as the week goes along.”

— Ekeler said senior weakside linebacker Leon Beckum returned to practice on Monday. He said he isn’t certain if Beckum will be available for Saturday’s game at Wisconsin, but he should be back in the lineup soon.

“I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to play,” Ekeler said. “But he’s out there practicing today and flying around. It’s pretty encouraging. Before he got hurt, he was one of our best defensive players by far. Great leader, great senior, his teammates voted him a captain. So just from experience from a leadership standpoint, and the guy’s a very good football player. Our objective is to put the best 11 on the field, and he’s definitely one of them.”

21 comments

  1. Well, that explains Dusty’s inaccuracy and why TR got some playing time. With this young o-line, IU needs three QBs.

    Don’t recall QB’s being particularly vulnerable to ankle injuries. Kind of a freak thing that two of our three went down with that injury, but I guess when you’re running for your life, it can happen.

  2. When DK was tackled on that play I wondered about the twist and pressure his leg received. Now we know the story. Tough enough throwing against good D let alone on a bad wheel.

  3. I saw the play and Dusty get hurt. He was doing everything he could to shake if off and play through it!!!! Gusty man!! And shows a toughness and leadership that I hope is contagious. Saw the same thing from Mick Minzer the prior week. Refused help getting off the field. He was on the sideline not dressed ILL game and is not on the two deep for the Wisc. game. These players are showing a toughness I have not seen in a while. It will pay dividends in the future!! Go IU

  4. Vegas line against Wisky is 39 points and with some books 391/2. There is a lot of cushion for the bookies.

  5. If IU holds the spread to less than 40 points, it will be an accomplishment or because BB does not want to deal with any more talk about running up the score this year. Wisconsin is loaded and may contend for the national championship. I just hope IU’s players survive without too significant injuries and their dignity in tact.

    In pains me to remember, while in college, we used to make road trips to Champaign, Madison and Evanston so that we could watch IU win Big Ten football games. I remember one year, IU was blowing Wisconsin out in the first half; just dominating Wisconsin. Most of the fans were drunk by half time and could care less about the terrible Wisconsin team. Then Corso put in all the subs at the start of the second half, allowing Wisconsin to roar back, making it much closer than it should have been. Looking back over the last 30 + years, seeing how far Wisconsin has come relative to IU, I’m still disgusted by how previous IU administrations have mismanaged IU’s athletic department during that period. Football is just the most obvious sign of the neglect.

    Let’s hope Saturday is a sign that things are beginning to change for the better. Go Hoosiers.

  6. Podunker, your comment about the mismanagement of the IU sports programs is so upsetting. I think about that often these days as I try to get an idea as to how the hole was dug so deeply. You have to wonder how a university that takes pride in the leadership role of its Business School, an alumni association that is continually asking for its support and a Varsity Club that defines its mission as promoting success in the various interscholastic athletic programs could have IU at a point where ridicule was easier to get than respect.

    Even the success of our basketball program was mishandled. Leadership failed us in every way. I am much more hopeful in the signs and commitment that I’ve seen from Mr. Glass (I’ve never met nor had contact nor do business with him). But his focus and actions thus far do renew hope. Certainly, there is a ‘feeling’ that comes from Wilson’s laser focus and directness that are encouraging.

  7. Tsao; forgive me if any of the following sounds self-serving or grandiose, but as much as I love IU, and I’ll match my affection for and devotion to IU to anyone’s, it is painful and infuriating to look back at the mismanagement, neglect and incompetence that has been inflicted on our great University’s Athletic Department. I hold the past top administrators’ responsible. In fact, if it was not so tragic for those of us who love IU, it would be comical.

    While I have great memories of those days when my friends and I could drive to Madison, Champaign or Evanston knowing IU football had a chance to win those games, they serve to remind me just how far IU football has fallen. While I am grateful for the memories of IU basketball’s great success while I was on campus, witnessing the devastation of our once great BB program is enormously painful.

    This forum does not provide the space to chronicle the mismanagement that has humbled IU athletics over the last 30+ years and it would be a waste of time. Suffice it say I am optimistic that IU’s current President and Mr. Glass seem to be competant professionals that are determined to return IU athletics to success and respectability. Furthermore, I am determined to be far more informed, involved and vocal in holding IU’s top administrators accountable. Indiana University is a great school. It’s students, fans and alumni deserve to have successful athletic programs.

    Think of it this way; I believe Iu hit bottom over the last three years. It’s got no where to go but up from there. Better days are ahead.

  8. I think the pieces are in place. I really haven’t had as positive a feeling about an AD at IU in…forever. I like our coaches, and not just in the revenue sports. This could truly be a Renaissance in IU sports…or I could just be delusional. It happens.
    Wisconsin is the perfect model for IU football. While not the train wreck IU has historically been, when I was in school there wasn’t a blink of an eye’s difference between the programs. Now, Wisky is spoken in the same breath as OSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma. I’m not convinced they are not the best program in the country right now, though Alabama’s defense is something to behold. Wisconsin is better on offense.
    Nothing is written in stone as far as athletics. If Wisconsin can become the equal of Southern Cal because of the efforts of a single coach there is no reason why IU can’t do the same.

  9. Podunker,vg/BMG/Chet…We agree completely and Podunker, I was just as pained as you were. Not much we can do about all those responsible now other than kae sure they’re not hiding in some dark corner as something else. But, this time, with some resolve as Podunker says; we get involved, keep the transparency light shining and stay involved…till it is a success.

    Wisconsin, if I recall correctly, began its change when they hired Barry Alvarez as football coach, a guy who seemed cut from like wood as KW’s; not necessarily the sweetest guy on the block but a good, honest, direct and to the point. And the point was a winning program. When he retired as coach, Wisconsin was smart enough to keep the family and the philosophy. Alvarez became the AD and Bielema the coach. They were equally brilliant in hiring a very similar individual as their basketball coach, a guy who stressed defense, fundamentals and hard work.

    We’re just now at the laying the tracks for this train after the wreck. McRobbie, Glass and Wilson are key hires with a solid vision. The mess with Sampson actually helped us by marginalizing ‘trustee’ politics to the side, where it belongs. We’ll need to be support it making sure they have the action room and resources to do their job.

  10. Barry Alvarez was the DC at Notre Dame, though only for a couple years, before coming to Wisconsin and building a perennial powerhouse. The right man in the right situation at the right time.

  11. When I attended IU, and for years afterward, Wisconsin not only had bad FB and BB teams, they had the worst facilities in the Big Ten. Their old BB stadium was horrific. But now look at their facilities! They are right up there with the best in the country. Playing at Camp Randal, with 90,000 + fans gives them a huge advantage in recruiting. But it was not always that way.

    It takes more than good coaches. It takes vision and leadership and some guts. I think IU has the leadership, now the fans and alumni need to contribute by donating some money, buying tickets, going to the games and making noise while they’re there.

    For those people that believe the Colts’ success detracts from interest in IU football (I’ve always thought that was ridiculous) I present the Packers and Wisconsin football.

    No reason why IU can’t emulate the success Wisconsin FB has enjoyed over the last decade or more.

  12. I agree that Wisconsin’s athletic turnaround is instructive as a model for IU. But knowing that program as I do, I would also point out that in addition to facilities and coaching, Wisconsin has done an outstanding job of marketing and enhancing the overall game day experience. For example, the Wisconsin band twenty years ago was a little pathetic but look at it today! They have done a fantastic job of institutionalizing traditions that fans look forward to week after week. IU needs to do the same. Marching Hundred is great but needs to expand and update the entrance etc. School colors and our seeming inability to be consistant in adoption and replication is not good and we need to work on that. So, if our colors are crimson and cream which I think they are, we need our teams and band and cheer squads and flags to be crimson and cream, not red and white or black or whatever. While admittedly trivial in comparison to coaching, talent and facilities; I am tired of visiting team fans commenting on how High schooish we look compare to other B10 programs.

  13. iufan23; Madison has always been a highly entertaining (some would say wild) place to watch a college football game, even when the Badgers were terrible. Part of that is the culture in Madison, where the alcohol (and other substances) flows in great quantities and a large numbers of fans are well lubricated before they get into their seats. Madison is a much larger town than Bloomington with a far greater number of people with more disposable income. Football games and the parties surrounding them are major events, and the money flows in.

    You are correct about the marketing and game day festivities, and I agree with you. But in order for IU administration to address your complaint, IU FB is going to have to start winning games, drawing larger crowds, and generating far greater cash-flow. It’s that cash flow that pays for the marketing and enhanced game experience like you see in Madison. You could argue that IU needs to do the marketing and enhanced game experience things first, in order to draw larger crowds, but I believe IU administration feels those tactics have been tried before and they failed, due to a a bad product on the field. IU fans, having been down this road before, are going to remain skeptical and stay at home until they see the number of wins increase and the quality of the product improve. I believe IU administrators feel that to invest in more marketing and game-day entertainment, at this stage in the FB program’s transformation process, would be throwing good money after bad or trying to polish a turd.

    The hard truth is, Bloomington is, relative to other cities where Big Ten schools are located, a small and economically-challenged town. Bloomington has fewer people with fewer disposable dollars to spend. Until IU FB can put a product on the field that motivates residents of Indianapolis and other surrounding communities to make the drive to Bloomington for a FB game, the atmosphere in Memorial Stadium is not going to change much. And honestly, at this time, IU FB is not a “product” that warrants a significant investment in marketing. I think Glass prioritized properly, choosing to spend the budget on coaches that could turn the program around and generate some wins. When Wilson does that, I think you’ll see attendance rise and the marketing and game day festivities improve dramatically.

    “If you build it, they will come.”

  14. I’m not sure that IU football is much disadvantaged by its small town location. UW, OSU, aand MSU certainly benefit from being in bigger towns, but Iowa City is about the same as Bloomington and the Hawkeyes have no problem packin’ ’em in at Nile Kinnick Stadium. And Iowa City is nowhere close to a city the size of Naptown.

    Consider N’western. Five million people live in Cook County, but it’s no problem to get ‘Cats tickets on game day. The NU athletic dept. is really working (and spending) to change that: since last year billboards by all the major expressways have been touting “NU: Chicago’s Big Ten Team” and this year “Dan Persa: Chicago’s Heisman Candidate,” and attendance is up somewhat- but the smallest stadium in the Big Ten still has empty seats 5/6 of its games (I think the Michigan game last week sold out). N’western is no powerhouse, dat true, but they’ve won/shared a couple of Big Ten titles in the last 15 years and play respectable ball; they should draw a lot more than they do. Personally I’m glad they don’t, my boy and I love our spur-of-the-moment half-hour jaunts to Evanston a couple of Satrudays every fall!

    Does anyone know the price of a student ticket at Memorial Stadium? Whatever it is, it should be a lot cheaper! Heck, why not two bucks? It’s not like papering the hall with el-cheapo student butts in the seats is going to cannibalize sales of the $50.00 ducats; the place is only half-full anyway.

  15. I think that major state universities being in small to moderate sized cities is more the rule than the exception. Tuscaloosa, Auburn/Opalika, Oxford, State College, College Station, Pullman, Eugene, Norman, Boulder, and on and on. It’s part of the charm of being a “college town”.

  16. Davis: good point, but obviously there is a huge difference in the performance of Iowa and Indiana when it comes to football, and it would appear that explains the difference in game attendance.

    Iowa City, as of 2010, had an estimated population of about 68,000. Johnson County has a population of about 111,000. University of Iowa has enrollment of about 30,300 student (undergrad and grad) on the main campus.

    Blooming had about 80,400 people in 2008 and Monroe County has about 138,000 people. IU’s enrollment totals 41,400 between undergrad and graduate students.

    More people in the town and county and a larger student body, but a lot fewer people in the seats for football. I’d say the problem has been IU’s legacy of losing.

  17. Not sure Bloomington is a disadvantage. I was going to make the Northwestern argument as well but Davis was pretty thorough with his. The only thing I’d add is that Evanston is much more accessible transportation wise.

    Today, especially, a ‘Big Ten weekend campus’ experience may be a very marketable attraction. I agree that marketing IU, especially in Indy southern Indiana>Ohio River cities is key,

    As I understood it, the point in bringing AD Glass to Bloomington centered his experience in Indy’s development as a ‘college town’s Mecca. Nevertheless, at some point he’s got to have a marketable product, though he seems to understand this. The Mallory hire appears to have been part of his vision.

    Are the access to Bloomington (Ind 37; Ind67/Ind39/Ind 37 still the same as when I enrolled in 1960? Are there concrete plans to reduce the road time to under 40 min? It was said (in the days) that Dillinger never held up a Bloomington bank because there are only two ways out of town.

    Podunker’s right…now we’ve got to get behind this in whatever way we can contribute.

  18. Podunker- you are right on; the issue is performance. “Win some freaking games, and they will come.” B-town has 80,000 souls? Don’t mean to demean your research, but does that include students? I’d have never guessed 80k. Although, come to think of it, the last time I was there (2006 for the wonderful victory over then #13 Iowa) I did marvel at the several construction booms that I saw near “downtown” Bloomington. What kind of buildings could they possibly have been building that would actually require a boom?

    The low attendance at NU is an utter mystery to me, but as I said/implied, I hope it doesn’t change!

    Tsao- my understanding of the Glass hire is the same as yours. I read that he was a bit-shot lawyer in Indy associated with the “sports-mecca” civic promotion and thought it was potentially really good idea to hire him. I am woefully unqualified to opine about what makes a good AD (except the obvious of turning out scandal-free winning programs), so I won’t. My only other thought at the time was that Glass probably took a pay cut to accept the IU AD job, but he’s probably having a lot more fun! Finally, if you are back in town, I can meet for lunch at Ronnie’s (Clark and Lake) at noon on Tues. 10/18/11 or Thurs. 10/20/11.

Comments are closed.