Big Ten title game to Indy?

The word going around Assembly Hall is that Indianapolis is about to be announced as the host of the Big Ten football championship game for 2011. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said at Big Ten Media Days this week that he was leaning toward naming a host for this year only and waiting until the spring to reassess the host for the long term. That appears to be the case here. An official announcement is expected within the hour.

UPDATE, 5:53 p.m.

The Big Ten just put out a release. According to the conference, Indianapolis has been selected as “the proposed site,” for the title game. That means Indy now has 30 days to work out a deal to host the game for 2011. The release follows.

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis has been chosen as the proposed site for the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game to be played in December of 2011. The conference office will begin a 30-day period to negotiate a one-year agreement with Indiana Sports Corp and Lucas Oil Stadium to host the game. Once the 2011 agreement is in place, the conference office will conduct a thorough process over the next year to determine the location of the Big Ten Football Championship Game in 2012 and beyond.

“We are excited to work with Indiana Sports Corp and Lucas Oil Stadium to finalize an agreement to hold the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game in the city of Indianapolis,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We felt at this time it was important to identify a site for the first championship game and then spend more time with other cities and venues with respect to both our basketball tournaments and the football championship games in the future. The city of Indianapolis has been an outstanding host for our basketball tournaments, and we look forward to holding our first Big Ten Football Championship Game in Lucas Oil Stadium.”

The 115th season of Big Ten football kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 2, as Indiana hosts Towson, Minnesota plays at Middle Tennessee State, and Ohio State welcomes Marshall. The conference’s other eight teams open action on Saturday, Sept. 4.

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Hoosier Morning


Cody Zeller trimmed his list of schools to Indiana, Butler and North Carolina. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times


Zeller’s father: IU, UNC and Butler “felt the best”

Cody Zeller told every reporter who asked that he would be taking all five of his official visits, so up until last week, that was still his plan.

But when the 6-foot-11 blue-chip recruit from Washington sat down to think about it, he realized he didn’t need to make more than three. On Wednesday, Zeller announced that he had narrowed his list to Indiana, Butler and North Carolina, first releasing the information in an interview with the Washington Times-Herald.

“It actually got down to the point where they were the three that felt the best,” Zeller’s father Steve said Wednesday. “He really struggled with the fact that he told everybody he was doing five. We told him, you don’t have to have five if you’re not comfortable with five. A lot of time and effort goes into these official visits, and he didn’t want to waste anybody’s time. These were the three that were pretty much above everybody else. Nothing against those other schools, but he was most comfortable with these three.” (more…)

Glass: IU, Purdue, Notre Dame, Butler close to double header

To Fred Glass, it wasn’t an idea that seemed to require a lot of imagination.

The basketball-mad state of Indiana has three traditionally strong college programs in major conferences and a fourth that wins like one despite smaller stature. Why wouldn’t all four of them get together in one location to play each other?

“As a pretty big basketball fan, I always wondered why we didn’t have that sort of thing,” the Indiana athletic director said Wednesday.

It did at sporadic years in the 1940s and ‘50s in an event called the Hoosier Classic, and the state’s programs have had various meetings since but never since have Indiana, Purdue, Butler and Notre Dame played in the same venue on the same night. (more…)

Goff’s advisor: Visit went well

Robert Goff has been to Bloomington before, but there was a lot more for the former Broad Ripple star to see this time around.

Goff, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward now going into his sophomore year at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, made an unofficial visit to IU on Monday.

“We were down there for a few hours,” said Jason Knight, Goff’s former AAU coach and recruiting advisor. “He got a chance to meet the coaching staff and become more familiar with them, See the campus. He’s seen all that before,, but he got to see the new facilities, the new practice facilities. Cook Hall is very nice. And he got an opportunity to sit down with some of the academic advisors. He was impressed. Obviously, again, it’s not like he’s totally unfamiliar with IU, but he was impressed with a lot of different aspects.”

Goff was supposed to visit Xavier the next day, but that wasn’t possible because of a family emergency in the Xavier program.

Knight said Goff will try to narrow down his college choices within the week, though he said interest is increasing daily. Knight said Goff now does have a formal offer from Indiana as well as offers from Xavier, Oklahoma Houston, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Cincinnati, Auburn, and Iowa State among others. In recent days, he’s picked up interest from Kansas, Oregon, Washington State, and Texas.

“More teams are coming to the table,” Knight said. “We’re really going to sit down and try to get it to a manageable number. I don’t know what that number will be. It might be 5-7 teams, but if he’s interested and wants to learn more about some of these teams that are jumping on board, it might be a longer list than that.”

Tharpe said he has not heard from IU

Naadir Tharpe has new scholarship offers from Minnesota, St. John’s and George Mason, plus interest from North Carolina State.

But the 5-foot-11 senior point guard said there has been little communication with Indiana lately.

“I haven’t spoken to them,” Tharpe said. “I really have no idea.”

Tharpe does not have a scholarship offer from Indiana. He was told heading into July by assistant coach Tim Buckley that Tom Crean would be evaluating his play.

Crean watched Tharpe’s first game for the New England Playaz during the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.

“I feel like I played well,” Tharpe said. “I had a lot of games where I showed more scoring than I usually do. Coaches are used to seeing me be what I am, a point guard.”

Tharpe also offers from Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Boston College, UNC-Charlotte, UNLV and Providence.

Tharpe said he will decide when he gets back to Brewster Academy what official visits to take.

“I am still just open to everybody,” Tharpe said.

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