Classy move by Central Michigan's Dan Enos and his staff
Every once in a while something happens in the realm of college football that makes us all realize that football is just a game in the big picture of life.
One of those moments came recently when Carrollton HS (MI) running back, and Central Michigan commit, Derrick Nash went to the doctor thinking he had the flu, or worst case scenario maybe a bout of mono.
Turns out the fatigue and nausea were effects from something far worse. Nash was ultimately diagnosed with leukemia. The diagnosis means that he won't be able to attend his senior prom, or walk across the stage for graduation, but one thing that will still be there for him is his scholarship offer to play for Dan Enos and his staff at Central Michigan.
"Sometimes when you think you have everything planned, God throws in a detour," Enos told MLive.com. “He’s going to come out of this stronger. He’s going to come out of this tougher.”
“One of the first things we told him was that he was going to play football again and that he was going to play for CMU. Keeping him on scholarship was a no-brainer. It’s the right thing to do. That’s the philosophy from the president through the athletic director to the coaches. You do the right thing.”
Chemotherapy treatments will keep Nash out of football for this season, but he expects to receive a medical redshirt and prepare working for the 2014 season as soon as he's able.
"There is a reason you go through tough things," Enos added. “I can’t wait until he can run onto our field before a game wearing a CMU uniform. That’ll be a great moment for a lot of people.”
Props to coach Enos and the Central Michigan staff for doing the right thing and keeping the player's best interest in mind.
Wisconsin offensive line coach TJ Woods mic'd up
When you think of Wisconsin football, one of the first things that likely comes to mind is the towering, massive offensive lineman that pave the way for the dominant running game.
TJ Woods is the new man in charge of those guys up in Madison, and last year his offensive line at Utah State helped pave the way for new school records for total offense (6,108 yards), and total points (454), easily eclipsing the mark that they had set in 2011. Also, two of his offensive lineman were named first team all conference, something that hadn't happened since 1996. Behind that unit, the Aggies were one of the most balanced teams in the country, and were one of only 19 teams in the country to average 200 yards rushing and passing last season.
It's clear to see why Gary Andersen wanted Woods to join him at Wisconsin. Woods approaches practice with a passion and is extremely knowledgeable, and those traits demand the attention and respect of his players.
Mark Dantonio has four goals in mind for each Michigan State player
Mike Griffith of MLive.com provided a great look Monday on how Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio builds his program through recruiting as the latest in a four-part series taking stock of the Spartans' program.
To say Dantonio takes a business-like approach to recruiting wouldn't be an analogy. It's literally how he does it; Dantonio looks at each Spartan as an investment.
"I talk to our players every day, whether a recruit or already in the program, inevitably, I'll say `you are an investment, and we're going to help our investment grow,''' Dantonio said.
Dantonio asks each recruit to give him a personal mission statement, and if his goals match that of his program's (shown below), then that player becomes a serious candidate to play for Michigan State.
I Lifelong relationship with players, coaches staff and team
II Graduate all players with a meaningful degree from MSU and launch their career, become self sufficient men
III Win…success! Bowl games/Big Ten championship, BCS game, Rose Bowl, or national championships
IV Positive impact on our university, alumni, community, state, NCAA football world, the entire world and prepare to be self-sufficient men and responsible citizens
Read the full article here.
Video: 'Everything we do today has got to be fast'
You'll have to excuse Mike Bellamy if he's a little dizzy. You would be too if you'd partaken in Bellamy's rapid ride up the career ladder.
After a playing career that took him through the NFL and NFL Europe ended in 1996, Bellamy left the game of football to, as his Illinois bio puts it, help his wife, Tanya, build a successful beauty-industry business in Atlanta. He jumped back into coaching at Sprayberry High School in the Atlanta area, where he coached wide receivers and specialists while serving as the passing game coordinator from 2008-10. A year later, he was the wide receivers and specialists coach at Clark - Atlanta University. A year after that, Tim Beckman called Bellamy back to his alma mater to serve as the Fighting Illini's assistant director of player personnel and relations.
When Billy Gonzales left Champaign for Mississippi State, Beckman tabbed Bellamy, a former All-Big Ten wideout and All-American returner at Illinois, to lead the current flock of Fighting Illini wide receivers.
Illinois' cameras tracked Bellamy during his first spring on an FBS campus with whistle in hand.
Ferentz: 'Coaching is like golf...'
Iowa's Kirk Ferentz recently opened up to the Des Moines Register's Bryce Miller in a very well done interview covering much more than football. Interestingly enough, Feretnz was asked if there was ever a moment where he had things figured out in the coaching profession.
Keep in mind, this is a coach that has had the opportunity to learn under legends like Hayden Fry and Bill Belichick, and is also the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten by a long shot. Ferentz made his point by saying that the coaching profession is a lot like golf.
"It's like golf. You learn that you never have it figured out. It just doesn't allow you to ever feel content, or feel like, 'Boy, we've got this thing wired.' Because you never do."
That is an excellent analogy.
Take a look at the full interview here, including the one moment where Ferentz doubted that they'd ever get things turned around, as well as how he celebrates after a win (spoiler alert: Ben and Jerry's ice cream plays a major role) and the state of the coaching profession in today's world of college football.
This All Access video from Rutgers has it all
Rutgers condensed their 15 days of spring ball into a very well produced 50 minute All Access video that hits on every possible part of the program.
This one covers it all; an excellent look at their approach in the weigh room (20:10 mark), Kyle Flood talks about what each member of the staff brings to the table (beginning at the 25:15 mark), go inside the offensive and defensive meeting rooms, follow the players and coaches on the practice field, and hear former players weigh in on how Rutgers prepared them for life in the NFL.
At about the 18:15 mark, Dave Cohen (one of the newest additions to the coaching staff) commemorates his first practice as the defensive coordinator by getting the entire defensive staff to do up downs in front of their players.
Take some time to flip through this one (or we recommend just taking a lunch break to watch the entire thing). They did a great job chronicling and editing 15 days of spring ball, and Kyle Flood and his staff are working to build something special in New Jersey.
Larry Scott and the Pac-12: Why it pays to have a good commissioner
If, 20 years from now, Pac-12 football has jumped into a higher stratosphere than it presently exists in, we'll look back at the league's first few years under commissioner Larry Scott as the time when the leap happened. Beginning with his hiring in 2009, the Pac-12 has added Colorado and Utah, updated its name, changed its logo, brought all of its' schools multimedia rights under one umbrella to re-sell as one entity, started a national TV network to go with six regional networks and opened a communciation bridge to Asia.
Along with all that change, Scott brought a truck full of cash to the conference as well.
According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, the latest Pac-12 tax filings show a total revenue of $175.9 million for the conference, up more than 57 percent from its previous haul of $112 million. While those figures still lag behind the Big Ten and SEC, this jump comes before the Pac-12's 12-year, $3 billion deal with ESPN and Fox kicks in, and well before Pac-12 Networks money becomes fully realized.
If nothing else, the conference's revenues will rise next year just because of one-time costs that the Pac-12 absorbed in 2011-12. In order to start the Pac-12 Networks and package the league as one whole entity to ESPN and Fox, the league had to buy back each school's individual media rights and pay the costs associated with starting seven television networks. With those debts out of the way, Pac-12 dollar figures will soar in the coming years.
In all, the league netted $85.63 million in TV revenue, just north of $40 million in bowl payouts, nearly $28 million in championship payouts from other sports and just over $22 million from other sources. Among the schools, Stanford and Oregon led the way with more than $15 million, followed by Washington ($13.5 million), USC ($13.4 million) and UCLA ($12.7 million). Utah and Colorado earned $4.1 million and $3.4 million, respectively, as new members.
While Scott has been hard at work lining the pockets of his member schools, the commissioner has managed to save more than a little scratch for himself. Scott earned nearly $3.1 million in salary and bonuses in 2011, well ahead of his fellow conference leaders and almost double that of everyone's favorite commissioner, Mike Slive. Pac-12 deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg took in more than $560,000 that same year, more than Big East commissioner John Marinatto (who has since retired) and Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky. Weiberg served as Big 12 commissioner from 1998-2007 before leaving to oversee the launch of the Big Ten Network and subsequently the Pac-12 Networks.
Read USA Today's full report here.
Examining the highest and lowest-paid Big Ten assistants
Thanks to the work of the Detroit Free-Press, we now have a database of salaries for every assistant coach in the Big Ten (except for Northwestern and Penn State, who aren't subject to open-records laws). Some of this information has been covered previously through the USA Today coaching salary database, but it's a worth another look due to raises earned and staff turnover from the conclusion of the 2012 season to now.
Before we examine the paychecks of individual coaches, let's first take a look at collective pay of entire staffs. The Big Ten's richest coaching staff resides at Ohio State, where the Buckeyes' nine assistants together command $3.416 million. Ohio State is followed by Michigan ($2.805 million), Nebraska ($2.6485 million) and Wisconsin ($2.495 million). Indiana checked in at the bottom of the list at a shade above $1.956 million. As a point of reference, Alabama's nine assistants will pull a collective $4.38 million in 2013.
Next, let's look at the 10 highest and 10 lowest-paid assistant coaches in the Big Ten.
Top 10 Big Ten Assistant Salaries
1. Greg Mattison, Michigan defensive coordinator - $750,000
2. Tim Beck, Nebraska offensive coordinator/QBs - $700,000
3. Al Borges, Michigan offensive coordinator - $600,000
Luke Fickell, Ohio State defensive coordinator/LBs - $600,000
5. Everett Withers, Ohio State assistant HC/co-DC/safeties - $580,000
6. Tom Herman, Ohio State offensive coordinator/QBs - $550,000
7. Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State assistant HC/defensive coordinator - $512,500
8. Dave Aranda, Wisconsin defensive coordinator/LBs - $480,000
Andy Ludwig, Wisconsin offensive coordinator/QBs - $480,000
10. Tim Banks, Illinois defensive coordinator/DBs - $400,000
Bill Cubit, Illinois offensive coordinator/QBs - $400,000
John Shoop, Purdue offensive coordinator/QBs - $400,000
Bottom 10 Big Ten Assistant Salaries
1. Marcus Freeman, Purdue linebackers - $120,000
Jafar Williams, Purdue running backs - $120,000
3. Mike Bellamy, Illinois wide receivers - $125,000
4. Gerad Parker, Purdue tight ends/recruiting coordinator - $130,000
5. Ben Strickland, Wisconsin cornerbacks - $140,000
6. Deland McCullough, Indiana running backs - $153,300
Brandon Shelby, Indiana cornerbacks - $153,300
8. Zach Smith, Ohio State wide receivers - $155,000
9. Greg Colby, Illinois defensive line - $180,000
A.J. Ricker, Illinois offensive line - $180,000
Al Seamonson, Illinois outside linebackers - $180,000
For what it's worth, Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska have the league's highest minimum salaries; no Michigan assistant makes less than $205,000 and none of the 18 Michigan State and Nebraska assistants earn less than $200,000.
All told, the average Big Ten assistant coach makes $267,640.30 per year. Check out the full database here.