Penn State Nittany Lions

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  Commissioner of The Big Ten Conference Jim Delany speaks at The Big Ten Network Kick Off Party at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 26, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Wink Public Relations)
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Report: Jim Delany to retire as B1G commish in 2020

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One of the most powerful men in collegiate athletics is nearing the end of his reign.

During his time at the podium during Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, commissioner Jim Delany hinted very strongly that he would not be around when the conference’s new media rights deal expires in 2022.  In fact, the 68-year-old commish sounded fairly positive that he’ll be somewhere other than the league’s headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., when that deal comes up for negotiations.

“I have a lot of energy and a lot of interest in what’s going on in the college space today,” Delany said. “I will be around for a bit. Whether I’m around here for six years is probably a little bit beyond how I see it.”

A short time later, Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation, reported that Delany will step down in 2020.  Jut when in 2020 Delany would ceded control after more than three decades on the job isn’t clear.

Delany took over as commissioner of the conference in 1989.  Arguably his greatest accomplishment in that role was helping the league to develop the Big Ten Network, an in-house ATM that has helped the conference stay in step with the SEC financially.

During his tenure, he also helped shepherd the Big ten through the maze of expansion, first with Penn State in the early nineties and then with Nebraska in 2011 and Maryland and Rutgers three years later.

Jim Mora ‘comfortable’ with, ‘stands by’ Tom Bradley in wake of unsealed Penn State documents

Joe Paterno, Tom Bradley
Associated Press
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Earlier this week, Urban Meyer claimed he had “no issue” with his current Ohio State defensive coordinator as the Penn State scandal flared up yet again.  Thursday, it was another head coach’s turn to stand by his man.

In court documents unsealed earlier this week, it was alleged that Joe Paterno, along with some members of his Penn State coaching staff, had knowledge of convicted serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing boys as far back as 1976.  According to testimony from former PSU assistant Mike McQueary, then-defensive coordinator and current UCLA DC Tom Bradley told him of an incident in the nineties in which then-defensive backs coach and current OSU DC Greg Schiano witnessed something untoward involving Sandusky.

Specifically, it was alleged that “Greg had come into his office white as a ghost and said he just saw Jerry doing something to a boy in the shower,” McQueary testified, regarding what he claims Bradley had told him. “And that’s it. That’s all he ever told me.”

“At no time did Tom Bradley ever witness any inappropriate behavior,” a statement from his representatives released shortly thereafter began. “Nor did he have any knowledge of alleged incidents in the 80’s and 90’s.  He has consistently testified as such.  Any assertions to the contrary are false.”

Like Meyer did with a member of his coaching staff, Jim Mora defended Bradley in his first public comments on the development.

“I know this about Tom: He is a man of integrity,” the Bruins head coach told ESPN.com. “He’s been vetted by a number of different people as well as UCLA — very, very thoroughly. It took us a long time to hire him because our university takes these things very seriously. So we went through the process of vetting his background and his stories and he made a statement and he stands by that statement and I stand by him. I feel comfortable with that.”

Bradley spent 33 seasons as an assistant under Paterno, taking over as interim head coach after the Paterno was fired in the wake of the Sandusky sex scandal.  Bradley was not retained by Bill O’Brien the following season, and was out of football for three years before being hired by West Virginia as defensive line coach in 2014.

In February of last year, he was hired by UCLA.

2015 finalists Leonard Fournette, Christian McAffrey part of Walker Award watch list

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers runs the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With 2015 winner Derrick Henry of Alabama off to the NFL, there will be a new winner of the Doak Walker Award in 2016.  Based on the projected performances of a couple of other finalists from a year ago, this year’s winner could very well come from the group below.

Thursday, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced a watch list that contains a whopping 76 players.  The Walker Award has ben handed out annually since 1990 to the nation’s top running back and is named in honor of former SMU great Doak Walker.

Two finalists for last year’s award have made the cut this preseason — LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

The SEC led all conferences with 13 watch listers, followed by the Big 12 (9), Big 12 (9), Pac-12 (9), ACC (8), Mountain West (6), Sun Belt (6), MAC (5), Conference USA (4) and AAC (3).  There were also four from independents (BYU, Notre Dame).

Those two independents were two of the 13 schools with two running backs listed, the others being Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.

Below is the complete 2016 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list:

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Urban Meyer: ‘no issue’ with Greg Schiano over claims in unsealed Penn State documents

Urban Meyer
Associated Press
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Not surprisingly, Urban Meyer is publicly standing behind his defensive man.

In court documents unsealed earlier this week, it was alleged that Joe Paterno, along with some members of his Penn State coaching staff, had knowledge of convicted serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing boys as far back as 1976.  According to testimony from former PSU assistant Mike McQueary, then-defensive coordinator Tom Bradley told him of an incident in the nineties in which then-defensive backs coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano witnessed something untoward involving Sandusky.

Specifically, it was alleged that “Greg had come into his office white as a ghost and said he just saw Jerry doing something to a boy in the shower,” McQueary testified, regarding what he claims Bradley had told him. “And that’s it. That’s all he ever told me.”

In response to the claims made by McQueary in the unsealed documents, Schiano said in a statement he “never saw any abuse, nor had reason to suspect any abuse, during my time at Penn State.”

That’s good enough for Schiano’s current boss.

“I first heard about it several months ago and we had a long talk,” the OSU head coach told the Toledo Blade‘s Dave Briggs. “I’ve known Greg for 20-some years. I have as much respect for Greg Schiano as I do any person — not just any coach, any person. We had the chat and he told me everything that happened. He stands by his statement and we stand by his statement.

“There’s no issue as far as I am concerned.”

Schiano will be entering his first season with the Buckeyes in 2016.

Three 2015 semifinalists highlight Biletnikoff Award watch list

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster #9 of the USC Trojans catches the ball before carrying it into the zone on a 50 yard touchdown pass play in tthe first quarter against the Idaho Vandals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Another day, another watch list.

The latest to throw its hat into the preseason ring is the Biletnikoff Award, with the Tallahassee Quarterback Club announcing a watch list consisting of 53 receivers.  The Biletnikoff is named in honor of former Florida State All-American Fred Biletnikoff and has been handed out annually since 1994 to honor the outstanding receiver in college football.  It should be noted that the award states that “[a]ny player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back, and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award,” even as all 22 winners have been listed as wide receivers.

Three semifinalists for last year’s award, won by Baylor’s Corey Coleman, are on this year’s watch list — Washington State’s Gabe Marks, USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster and Western Kentucky’s Taywan Taylor.

The MAC leads all conferences with eight watch listers, followed by the ACC, Conference USA and SEC with seven each and the Big Ten with six.  The Pac-12, with two, has the least of any FBS conference, tied with the Sun Belt.

Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia State, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Western Kentucky all have two receivers each on the list.

Below is the complete 2016 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list:

Rodney Adams, University of South Florida, SR.
Chance Allen, University of Houston, SR.
Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State University, SR.
Josh Atkinson, University of Tulsa, RSR.
Devonte Boyd, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, JR.
KD Cannon, Baylor University, JR.
Jehu Chesson, University of Michigan, SR.
Simmie Cobbs Jr., Indiana University, JR.
Corey Davis, Western Michigan University, SR.
Robert Davis, Georgia State University, SR.
Gehrig Dieter, University of Alabama, RSR.
Malachi Dupre, Louisiana State University, JR.
Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech, JR.
Shelton Gibson, West Virginia University, RJR.
Chris Godwin, Pennsylvania State University, JR.
Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois University, RSR.
Penny Hart, Georgia State University, SO.
Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech University, RSO.
Hasaan Henderson, University of Nevada, SR.
Mack Hollins, University of North Carolina, SR.
Richie James, Middle Tennessee State University, RSO.
Isaiah Jones, East Carolina University, SR.
Ricky Jones, Indiana University, RSR.
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M University, SO.
Jesse Kroll, Central Michigan University, SR
Jerome Lane, University of Akron, JR.
Allen Lazard, Iowa State University, JR.
KeVonn Mabon, Ball State University, SR.
Gabe Marks, Washington State University, RSR.
Taquan Mizzell, University of Virginia, SR.
Ronnie Moore, Bowling Green State University, SR.
Drew Morgan, University of Arkansas, SR.
Nicholas Norris, Western Kentucky University, SR.
Zach Pascal, Old Dominion University, SR.
Brandon Reilly, University of Nebraska, SR.
Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M University, SR.
Jerico Richardson, University of Nevada, SR.
Calvin Ridley, University of Alabama, SO.
Fred Ross, Mississippi State University, SR.
Travis Rudolph, Florida State University, JR.
Artavis Scott, Clemson University, SO.
Sebastian Smith, Ohio University, SR.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, University of Southern California, JR.
Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State University, SR.
Courtland Sutton, Southern Methodist University, SO.
Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky University, SR.
Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech University, JR.
Cody Thompson, University of Toledo, JR.
DJ Thompson, University of Southern Mississippi, RSR.
James Washington, Oklahoma State University, JR.
Jordan Westerkamp, University of Nebraska, SR.
Kermit Whitfield, Florida State University, SR.
Mike Williams, Clemson University, RJR.