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Report: Big Ten Network unknowingly hired agent as analyst


There’s a lot of emphasis placed on making sure college athletes don’t interact with agents while they’re still in school. For that reason, it’s definitely surprising that the Big Ten Network was actually employing an active agent as a college football analyst.

Yahoo! Sports reports that BTN analyst Chris Martin has been an NFLPA-certified agent since 2006 and has been working with the BTN since its inaugural year in 2007. According to the NFLPA, Martin has represented at least 12 NFL players, including four Big Ten players: Jordan Bernstine (Iowa) Jarred Fayson and Jason Ford (Illinois) and Will Patterson (Indiana). Martin is a former cornerback for Northwestern.

Today, Martin is also the President and CEO of OTG Sports Management.

The NCAA does not prohibit agents from working as analysts, but it is generally considered a conflict of interest and the Big Ten Network told Yahoo! it was unaware Martin was an agent when he was hired. An example of that conflict of interest came in last year’s game between Arkansas State and Illinois. Martin served as a color analyst for the game and OTG later went on to represent Ford and Arkansas State defensive end Brandon Joiner.

“BTN talent should not be in the business of representing Big Ten student athletes,” BTN spokesperson Elizabeth Conlisk told Yahoo!. “We are handling the matter internally.”

How, exactly, the matter will be handled and what role Martin will have with the BTN going forward is unknown.

So, too, is how the BTN could go through with hiring an analyst without knowing — at any time, according to them — he’s an agent.

Dalvin Cook returns to practice for FSU

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles runs the ball against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Florida State defeated South Florida 34-14 as Cook rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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With each passing day, it appears Miami won’t be able to avoid one of the most talented and productive running backs in the country.

Thursday, Dalvin Cook returned to practice for the first time this week.  Cook suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, and had spent the previous two days of practice riding a bicycle while the rest of his teammates prepped for the in-state and conference rivalry game against The U this Saturday.

The Palm Beach Post wrote that Cook showed “no signs” of the hamstring injury that had some worried about his availability in Week 6.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher, who said Wednesday he doesn’t “ever count Dalvin out” because of his healing ability, will meet with reporters later this evening and could address Cook’s status for the weekend then.  Or, he could play to keep the Hurricanes guessing, even as most assume the All-ACC back will be on the field.

Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th.

Gophers down eight starters for game vs. Boilermakers

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 03: at Ryan Field on October 3, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern defeated Minnesota 27-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It would be an understatement of significant proportions to say that the Minnesota football team is banged up.

How banged up?  On his radio show Thursday, head coach Jerry Kill, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, revealed his team will be down a whopping eight starters for Saturday’s game against Purdue.

Kill’s revelation comes one day after he confirmed a total of 20 players donned non-contact jerseys in practice earlier in the day.

The coach didn’t specifically identify which starters would be sidelined, with the Pioneer Press writing “[t]he known injuries to starters include safety Damarius Travis (hamstring), cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), tight end Lincoln Plsek (back) and tackle Ben Lauer (knee/hand).”

One injured starter who will play, Kill confirmed, is quarterback Mitch Leidner. While not detailing any specific injury, Kill said Wednesday that Leidner “hasn’t been healthy. He’s been beat up.”

Overall, though, the Gophers’ health, or lack thereof, is bordering on historic.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 32 years in coaching,” Kill said yesterday. “The toughest thing for me right now is all of these kids that work so hard, and when they get hurt, it kills me. … We are running out of people.”

Coming off an 8-5 season last year, the Gophers are struggling. While they stand at 3-2 after five games, the three wins came by a total of nine points over the likes of Colorado State, Kent State and Ohio. Their second loss — the first was by six to TCU in the opener — was a 27-0 shutout at the hands of Northwestern in the Big Ten opener last weekend.