New NU AD Moos looks to “honor past” and “create a future” as Nebraska’s new athletic director

By Brent Martin and Tommy Rezac

Bill Moos, selected as Nebraska’s next athletic director, takes questions from the media on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Moos, the A.D. at Washington State, will take over fully at Nebraska on Oct. 23.

Bill Moos started as an athletic director at the Division I level in 1990.

In his 25 years of experience, he’s always carried with him one motto.

“Honor the past, live the present, create the future,” Moos told reporters at Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon during his introductory press conference.

Moos has been Washington State’s athletic director since 2010. He begins as Nebraska’s A.D. on Oct. 23.

In his time with Cougar athletics, he secured a 10-year, $35 million marketing rights agreement with IMG College and led a $130 million addition and remodel of WSU’s Martin Stadium.

He was also dean of Pac-12 athletic directors, where he helped secure the conference’s 12-year, $3 billion TV contract with FOX and ESPN.

He previously worked as Oregon’s athletic director from 1995-2007, where he oversaw 13 Pac-10 championships in six different sports and rose annual fundraising by roughly $21.5 million.

He started as Montana’s A.D. from 1990-95.

He took time off in 2007 to start up a cattle ranch with his wife, Kendra, near Valleyford, WA. They moved to Pullman in 2010 when Bill was asked to lead Washington State’s athletic program.

He just couldn’t stay away from the profession.

“I missed the competition,” Moos said. “Any of us who actually played the game, especially in the collegiate level, your pilot light never goes out and it’s begging for fuel and getting that adrenaline up. On game day, there’s no greater thrill.”

“I tried that retirement stuff, and Kendra, after two years said, ‘You need a job.’ Yeah, better get back at it. We did, and we plan to be in this for a long, long time still.”

Green emphasized how important finding the right fit for the position was Sunday, noting it was “so apparent” that Moos was Nebraska’s man.

Moos grew up in rural east Washington on a wheat and cattle ranch, listening to Nebraska vs. Oklahoma on the radio every season as a young boy. He believes that background could make him a solid fit culturally.

“I’m a rural boy,” Moos said. “I feel like eastern Washington is so much like the state of Nebraska. Good, wholesome people with a great work ethic. Down to Earth, love athletics, and really love football.”

Green said it’s like Kendra and Bill Moos are like “Nebraskans who have lived somewhere else for all of their life.”

“And now it’s like they’re coming home.”

From a competitive standpoint, Moos is determined to once again make Nebraska “the hunted” in all sports, but especially football.

“We need to get back into that position where everybody’s putting Nebraska (on the schedule) and circling it,” Moos said, “and that’s going to be one tough game, whether (the opponent) is going to Lincoln, or whether they’re coming to our place.”

“We need to compete in all of our sports. I’m a fierce competitor. We should be in a position in every sport to compete for championships, and certainly that’s going to be our goal, and that will be a big part of the blue print that I referred to.”

Moos has made a blue print at every previous school he’s been to that illustrates where he and his staff envision the goals of the athletic department, and how those goals will be carried out.

“Everybody internally will have ownership in that,” Moos said.

That includes, for the time being, Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley, whose job status remains shaky after Nebraska’s 56-14 meltdown against Ohio State in Lincoln on Saturday night.

One thing is for certain: if Riley is let go, it won’t be until the end of the 2017 season.

“I don’t think anything is really accomplished, and I never have, of dismissing a coach during the season,” Moos said to media following his press conference. “Because of distractions, a lack of focus. It can be done soon afterwards, but you better have a plan in place as to where you’re going.”

Moos and Riley, only meeting briefly Sunday, are not strangers to one another. They were in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) at the same time for a combined 12 years.

The two haven’t talked much, Moos said, since Riley took the job in Lincoln in December 2014, but the familiarity with one another should make for productive and fair discussions.

“I did respect (Riley) and the job he did (at Oregon State),” Moos said. “I was surprised when he left to come to (Nebraska), but I thought that he should do very, very well. As we speak right now, he’s my football coach, and I’m going to support him.”

Riley released a brief statement on Moos’ hire Sunday afternoon. He was not available for comment at Memorial Stadium.

Another meeting Moos is looking forward to in the coming days is one with former head football coach Tom Osborne, who was one of 20 people on a search committee made up of current former student-athletes and coaches that helped with the three-week-long search.

Osborne, 2001 Heisman winner Eric Crouch, Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook, Nebraska softball coach Rhonda Revelle and former Nebraska wrestling star and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs were among those involved in the search committee, according to Green.

Senior middle blocker Briana Holman from the Nebraska volleyball team was one of the current student-athletes involved in the committee.

Nebraska hired highly-regarded, New Jersey-based search firm Turnkey Sports and Entertainment to lead the A.D. search.

Green called Moos in a written statement “a program-builder who forges enduring relationships with coaches, student-athletes, staff, supporters and fans.”

“I was pleased that (Moos) was interested,” NU President Hank Bounds said Sunday. “I just can’t express how excited I am that Bill Moos is our athletic director. He is really good.”

Moos, 66, agreed to a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $1 million. The contract includes annual incentives up to $500,000.

Moos and his wife Kendra have three daughters, Christa, Brittany and Kaiti; and two sons, Bo and Benjamin.

Moos succeeds Shawn Eichorst, who was fired Sept. 21.

Big Ten baseball tournament returning to Omaha in 2016 and 2018

Big Ten baseball is coming back to Omaha (photo/FoxNews)

Big Ten baseball is coming back to Omaha (photo/Fox News)

The Big Ten Conference announced that TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., will once again serve as the host venue for the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in 2016 and 2018 after setting record attendance numbers last season. The annual event will return to the site of the NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series from May 18-22, 2016, and May 23-27, 2018.

“We are very excited to return to TD Ameritrade Park for the 2016 and 2018 Big Ten Baseball Tournaments,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. “It was amazing to see so many passionate fans at the Big Ten Baseball Tournament this past May, and we look forward to coming back to Omaha.”

“The 2014 Big Ten Baseball Tournament far exceeded expectations,” Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority President and CEO Roger Dixon said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host the tournament again in 2016 and 2018 and look forward to working with the Big Ten and Nebraska to build on the success.”

The Big Ten Baseball Tournament was held in Omaha for the first time in 2014 and established multiple attendance records. The attendance of 19,965 for the championship game on Sunday, May 25, ranked as the largest single-game conference tournament attendance in NCAA history. The five-day total tournament attendance of 62,020 marked the largest in the history of the event. Four days of the tournament featured attendance of more than 10,000, including Wednesday (10,400), Thursday (11,756), Saturday (12,319) and Sunday.

The Big Ten Baseball Tournament has been played annually since 1981, with a four-team field through 1999 and a six-team event from 2000-2013 before moving to its current eight-team format in 2014. Six different schools have won the Big Ten Baseball Tournament, with Minnesota leading all conference programs with nine titles. Michigan and Ohio State have each won eight conference tournaments, followed by Illinois and Indiana with four tournament crowns and Purdue with one.

The 2015 Big Ten baseball season begins in February and culminates with the Big Ten Baseball Tournament returning to Target Field in Minneapolis, the home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins. The site of the 2017 Big Ten Baseball Tournament will be announced at a later date.

Penn State eligible for Big Ten football championships again

The Big Ten Conference, through its Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COPC), has agreed today to restore Penn State’s eligibility for the Big Ten Football Championship Game. The agreement follows the announcement today, by the NCAA, to further modify sanctions set forth in the Consent Decree entered into with Penn State on July 23, 2012, including the elimination of Penn State’s postseason football ban, effective immediately, and the restoration of its full complement of football scholarships beginning with the 2015-16 academic year. As a result of the announcement, based strongly on recommendations by Independent Athletics Integrity Monitor Senator George Mitchell, Penn State will be eligible to compete in both the Big Ten Football Championship Game and a bowl game, beginning with the current season.

The $60 million fine, vacation of wins from 1998-2011, Athletics Integrity Agreement (AIA), and five-year probation initially imposed by the NCAA will remain in effect, as will the official censure, five-year probation and monetary fine equal to Penn State’s Big Ten bowl revenue share during the probationary period initially imposed by the Big Ten COPC.

The NCAA’s decision to modify the Consent Decree was based on recommendations by Senator Mitchell, who has been serving since August 2012 as the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor responsible for overseeing Penn State’s implementation of the reforms set forth in the AIA. The AIA was entered into on August 29, 2012, by the NCAA, the Big Ten and Penn State as one of the requirements of the Consent Decree.

As a party to the AIA, the Big Ten COPC met with Senator Mitchell on Monday, September 8, and received his report on Penn State’s progress. Senator Mitchell’s briefing included a recommendation that the NCAA reduce the postseason ban effective immediately and restore full scholarship availability beginning with the 2015-16 academic year. Mitchell’s recommendation was based on the significant progress Penn State has continually made in its compliance and reform efforts over the last two years and focused exclusively on NCAA penalties that directly impacted student-athletes.

“Following our briefing with Senator Mitchell, the COPC reached consensus agreement to support his latest recommendation and also agreed to restore the school’s eligibility for the Big Ten Football Championship Game, which ran concurrently with the NCAA postseason bowl ban” said COPC Chair and Iowa President Sally Mason. “We support the NCAA announcement acting on that recommendation, thank Senator Mitchell for his dedicated service and appreciate Penn State’s ongoing commitment to improvement.”

Big Ten moving 2017 basketball tournament to D.C.

The Big Ten Conference announced today that the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will make its first appearance on the East Coast when the 2017 event is held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The 2017 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will mark the conference’s 20th annual event and will feature all 14 conference team in action from Wednesday, March 8, through Sunday, March 12, with the winner earning the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re thrilled to announce plans to host the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Washington, D.C.,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We have a great amount of respect for basketball in this region of the country and are pleased that we were able to place this tournament at the Verizon Center at this first possible opportunity in March 2017.”

“We’re very excited the Big Ten Conference has selected our nation’s capital as the site for the 2017 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament,” said University of Maryland Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson. “This is yet another example of the Big Ten’s commitment to our region and provides fans of Maryland and all conference teams on the East Coast easier access to enjoy this outstanding event.”

“We are looking forward to and are honored to host the Big Ten Tournament here in Washington, D.C. for the very first time,” said senior vice president and general manager of Verizon Center, David Touhey. “The excitement that surrounds this conference event is unparalleled and with Maryland becoming a part of the fold officially next season, the tournament is sure to have some added local flair here in the nation’s capital.”

The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament has been held in either Chicago or Indianapolis through the first 17 years of its existence, and returns to Chicago’s United Center for the ninth time in 2015. Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse will host the tournament for the 10th time in 2016. Each of the last two tournaments have been sold out, including a conference record of more than 124,000 fans at the United Center in 2013 and over 111,000 fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse earlier this year, the largest attendance in Indianapolis. More than 1.6 million fans have enjoyed the tournament since the inaugural event in 1998.

Verizon Center is a 20,000-seat  venue, owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), in downtown Washington, D.C. The arena is home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

The Big Ten has made a series of announcements highlighting the conference’s increased presence on the East Coast, beginning with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers as future conference members in November 2012. Last June, the Big Ten announced the acceptance of Johns Hopkins University as the conference’s first sport affiliate member for men’s lacrosse and also announced an agreement to take part in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, sending conference football teams to play at Yankee Stadium on an annual basis. In April, the Big Ten announced that it would open a second office in New York City while securing access to satellite office space in Washington, D.C. And yesterday in Madison Square Garden, the conference unveiled plans to take part in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual early-season men’s basketball series with the Big East named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary.

Maryland and Rutgers are set to officially join the Big Ten on July 1, 2014, giving the conference more than 520,000 total students and 5.7 million living alumni. The broad-based athletic programs of the 14 institutions will feature almost 9,500 student-athletes on 350 teams in 43 different sports. With the debut of men’s and women’s lacrosse during the 2014-15 academic year, the Big Ten will sponsor 28 official sports. Maryland and Rutgers are already members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, an academic consortium of Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago that is a model for effective and voluntary collaboration among top research universities. In 2012, Big Ten institutions produced over $9.5 billion in research expenditures.

 

Detroit Lions announce plans for Big Ten Bowl Game

The Detroit Lions announced that they have entered into a six-year partnership with the Big Ten Conference for a bowl game that will be played at Ford Field beginning in 2014. The game will be officially named once sponsorship agreements are in place. The inaugural game is tentatively scheduled for December 30, 2014 (pending TV broadcast schedule).

At the end of each college football season, the Big Ten and a conference to be named will determine their team representatives after discussion between bowl and conference officials to create the best possible matchup.

The Detroit Lions become only the second NFL team (Houston Texans, 2006) to officially host and operate a college football bowl game.

Big Ten releases 2016 and 2017 conference schedules

The Big Ten announced the conference schedules for the 2016 and 2017 football seasons today, featuring nine-game slates for every Big Ten program for the first time since 1984. The 2016 season gets underway on Oct. 1 in advance of the Big Ten Football Championship Game, slated for Dec. 3. The 2017 season will open on Sept. 2 and conclude with the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Dec. 2. The full 2016 and 2017 conference schedules are linked below.

2016 Big Ten Football Schedule

2017 Big Ten Football Schedule

The 2016 season marks the return of a nine-game conference schedule, as teams from the East Division will host five conference home games during even-numbered years, while teams from the West Division will host five conference home games during odd-numbered years. As a result of the nine-game conference schedule and the Big Ten’s schedule rotation, every student-athlete will have the opportunity to play against every other team in the conference at least once during a four-year period. The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.

 

Big Ten scores big in NBA draft

Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Hoosiers went #2 overall in the NBA draft to Orlando. His teammate, Cody Zeller, went fourth overall to Charlotte. Trey Burke of Michigan was selected ninth to Minnesota, then was traded to Utah. Three players from the Big Ten in the top ten of the NBA draft…more than any other conference. Tim Hardaway Jr. of Michigan went to the Knicks later in the first round.

According to NBA.com, here is what they are saying about each of the Big Ten’s first round selections.

Oladipo:

Strengths

– NBA athleticism
– Great first step
– 3-point threat
– Tenacious
– Competes
– Takes pride in defense
– Good rebounder for his position

Weaknesses
– Negative assist-to-turnover ratio
– Doesn’t have prototypical NBA two-guard height

Zeller:

Strengths
– Mobile and active
– Efficient low-post scoring skills
– Good free-throw shooter
– Competes
– High character
– Great understanding of the game

Weaknesses
– Has to get stronger
– Needs to prove he can muscle with bigger players

Burke:

Strengths
– Great passer
– High basketball IQ
– Intense competitor
– Clutch performer
– Great assist-to-turnover ratio
– Makes free throws
– Good athlete
– Good handle

Weaknesses
– Doesn’t have ideal size
– Finishing in traffic
– Can he defend taller point guards?

Hardaway Jr.

Strengths
– Good size for NBA two guard
– Can shoot the 3
– Competes
– Good passer

Weaknesses
– Not an overpowering athlete
– Needs to get bigger and stronger

Bielema leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas

A shocker out of Madison, WI., as head coach Bret Bielema, who just led the Badgers to the Big Ten title with a 70-31 win over the Huskers, has accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas. Bielema replaces interim coach John L. Smith, who was let go at the end of the season. The Razorbacks went 4-8. The deal is worth six years and $3.2 million annually.

Bielema was 68-24 with the Badgers, including a 17-14 win over Arkansas in the 2007 Capital One Bowl. Click here for more on the story from Wisconsin Radio Network.