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Comcast drops Big Ten Network from some out-of-market areas

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Finding something to replace the Michigan spring game on the schedule is suddenly the least of the Big Ten Network’s worries this week. The same could be fans of the conference who live outside the league’s footprint too.

Reports started surfacing Thursday afternoon and evening that cable giant Comcast (who, full disclosure, is the parent company of NBC Universal) had dropped BTN from its lineup in a rather unexpected move given there was no word about any potential carriage battle between the two. As it turns out, this isn’t some wild rumor spreading on social media, the company is indeed dropping BTN from certain packages outside states within the Big Ten footprint.

Straight from the Comcast corporate account:

Markets in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will continue to receive the BTN feed like normal.

While some might worry first about whether or not they’re able to watch a certain game, there is a financial aspect to this news that should not go unnoticed. Comcast pays to carry the Big Ten Network and has a different price they pony up each month for the channel depending on what market it is. The out-of-market price is significantly lower than the in-market price but, when you add it all up over 12 months a year and millions of subscribers, this is still a potentially huge hit worth millions of dollars to the bottom line of BTN and, in turn, the schools themselves.

Needless to say this does not impact other providers such as Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish, Verizon and others but this remains an issue for those who have Comcast and want to watch BTN outside Big Ten territory. Based on the states listed above, even those near Big Ten areas like Maryland fans who live in Northern Virginia or Rutgers alumni in Connecticut could also be facing some changes.

You can still likely get the channel in your area on Comcast but it may now require a change to a different package so if you’re a Buckeye in Oregon or a Wolverine in California, you might want to double-check your channel lineup after today’s news.

Indiana makes addition of Arizona transfer QB Brandon Dawkins official

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There’s officially a new member of Indiana’s quarterbacks room.

Overnight, reports surfaced that Brandon Dawkins had decided to transfer to Indiana.  Early this afternoon, IU confirmed that, after he graduates from Arizona in May, Dawkins will join the Hoosiers football team and be eligible to play immediately in 2018 as a grad transfer.

This will be Dawkins’ final season of eligibility.

“We are very excited to add Brandon Dawkins to our football family,” IU head coach Tom Allen said. “He brings leadership and experience to our team. Brandon is coming to Indiana to compete to be our starting quarterback.”

In February of this year, Dawkins announced his decision to transfer from Arizona.  In addition to Indiana, Dawkins had also visited Florida Atlantic as he looked to find a new program.  Nebraska and UCLA were in the mix for the quarterback’s services as well.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before the force of nature known as Khalil Tate took over. All told, he played in 23 games during his four seasons in the desert. The 13 starts previously mentioned were the only ones of his UA career.

For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.

“I’m fired up to get out to Bloomington, join my new family and get to work,” Dawkins said. “To not be taking part in spring ball right now and going to IU and seeing the guys competing, it got me excited. I see myself doing great with this team. I’m ready to be a Hoosier and to get to work with Coach Allen, Coach DeBord and Coach Sheridan.”

Report: Arizona transfer QB Brandon Dawkins chooses Indiana

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One of the biggest names on the graduate transfer market has seemingly been taken off of it.

Tuesday night, Brandon Dawkins confirmed to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Indiana.  As a graduate transfer, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 for the Hoosiers.

“I didn’t see a better fit for me,” Dawkins told Rittenberg. ” I could have committed there two weeks ago. There were other schools, but at the end of the day, Indiana definitely showed that they’re interested and they wanted me, they made that clear and apparent. I really respect that about them. They weren’t going to dance around. They genuinely wanted me.”

Dawkins also alluded to an impending move to Bloomington on his Twitter account.

In February of this year, Dawkins announced his decision to transfer from Arizona.  In addition to Indiana, Dawkins had also visited Florida Atlantic as he looked to find a new program.  Nebraska and UCLA were in the mix for the quarterback’s services as well.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before the force of nature known as Khalil Tate took over. All told, he played in 23 games during his four seasons in the desert. The 13 starts previously mentioned were the only ones of his UA career.

For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.

Indiana’s Juan Harris tweets transfer from Hoosiers

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In a stunning development, there’s yet another departure on which to report, and one that surfaced on social media no less.

Juan Harris took to his protected Twitter account Wednesday to announce that he has decided to transfer from Indiana.  The defensive tackle alluded to “health issues with the medical staff,” although no specific reason for the departure was given.

“First I want to thank Coach (Tom) Allen and Coach (Mark) Hagen for giving me the opportunity to receive a [top-tier] education and football experience at Indiana University,” Harris wrote. “Unfortunately, things didn’t work out because of health issues with the medical staff. I am gratefully (appreciative) for the belief this university had in me, but I must move on to a university where I could continue my football career, education and growth. Again, I thank you for all you done for me but I must go on.”

Harris was one of the highest-rated members of IU’s 2017 recruiting class.  In fact, only three signees were rated higher than the Wisconsin high school product.

Listed at 6-3, 360 pounds, Harris played in the first three games of his true freshman season before going down with an unspecified injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the year.

Nebraska, UCLA among teams interested in Arizona grad transfer QB Brandon Dawkins

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One thing’s for certain: Brandon Dawkins won’t be lacking suitors, including Power Five ones, in his quest to find a new college football home.

According to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Nebraska and UCLA have all expressed interest in the quarterback. Rittenberg adds that Dawkins has plans to visit the campuses of FAU and IU in the coming weeks.

On Twitter late last month, Dawkins announced that he would be transferring from Arizona.

Dawkins is set to graduate from UA this coming May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at wherever he lands. The upcoming season will serve as Dawkins’ final year of eligibility at the collegiate level.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before the force of nature known as Khalil Tate took over. All told, he played in 23 games during his four seasons in the desert. The 13 starts previously mentioned were the only ones of his UA career.

For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.