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Big Ten slated for nine conference games starting in 2017


The Big Ten will enter its first year as a 12-team league with eight conference games, and when Nebraska joined the conference last year, Big Ten officials decided that — for the immediate future, anyway — that was going to be the case.

Starting in 2017, though, that will change.

Thanks to a conference press release, the Big Ten has announced that it will move to a nine-game conference slate beginning that year. This, of course, means that Big Ten schools will no longer have the luxury of a guaranteed even split in conference home games. According to the release, three teams from each division will have either five or four home games on odd or even years.

Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska from the Legends Division and Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State from the Leaders Division will have five home games in 2017. Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern of the Legends Division and Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin of the Leaders Division will have five home games in 2018.

That means securing that all-important, revenue-rich seventh home game could be harder during certain years if a team is already locked in a long-term home-and-home series with another program. Really, it makes scheduling, which is already like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, a little bit more difficult for athletic directors.

Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing; one more conference game means there’s another matchup that has Big Ten title implications. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Pair of Boilermakers arrested on weed, alcohol charges

SAFED, ISRAEL - MARCH 07: (ISRAEL OUT) A worker touches plants at a cannabis greenhouse at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company on March 7, 2011 near the northern city of Safed, Israel. In conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, Tikon Olam are currently distributing cannabis for medicinal purposes to over 1800 people in Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
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For the second time in less than a month, two members of the Purdue football program have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

This time around it’s a pair of freshmen, linebacker Wyatt Cook and defensive end Chazmyn Turner, who are in a bit of a predicament, with the Indianapolis Star reporting that both players were arrested over the weekend. Cook was charged with minor consumption of alcohol while Turner was charged with possession of marijuana.

No details of what led to the arrests and charges were made public. The program is aware of the incident, but have not stated what if any punishment either could be facing.

Cook was a three-star member of this year’s recruiting class, Turner a two-star. Neither has played in a game this season.

In the middle of last month, two freshmen cornerbacks, Evyn Cooper and David Rose, were arrested and charged in connection to stolen bicycles. Those two were members of this year’s recruiting class as well.

Report: Texas likely to keep Hooking ‘Em with Nike, not Under Armour

Jerrod Heard

It is no secret that Under Armour is making a nice serious push in acquiring university apparel deals, but the Texas Longhorns is not one it will be likely to whisk away from The Swoosh. According to one report from the Austin American-Statesman, University of Texas officials broke off a meeting with Under Armour and are now expected to stay with Nike moving forward.

The University of Texas has been a partner with Nike since 2000. The contract between the two gives Nike an exclusive window in which it can match or improve on any offers made to the school from rival companies such as Under Armour or Adidas. It is unknown if Under Armour made a formal offer to Texas or how much such an offer could have been valued. What is pretty much commonly known is the Texas brand is still a nice asset in the athletics apparel business, even if the Longhorns are struggling on the football field. Having Texas wear your gear is still a quality investment, which makes Texas a highly sought-after commodity.

Per the American-Statesman report, Texas is expected to sign what would be the biggest deal currently going in collegiate athletics. Considering the handsome deal recently signed between Nike and Michigan, that would mean Texas would be looking forward to more than $169 million from Nike. Michigan signed a 15-year contract valued at $169 million, which will bring an end to its current relationship with Adidas in 2016. As part of the deal, Michigan will become the first football program to wear the Jordan brand logo on its football uniforms. Could Texas be the next? For now that is just something to ponder.

Nike recently lost partners at Arizona State and Miami. Last year Notre Dame began a new partnership with Under Armour, signing a $90 million contract.