The Big Ten has undergone much change of the years, but the league’s football media days remain a late-summer mainstay.
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Here are five things to know about the 48th annual event that unofficially kicks off the 124th season of football for the conference.
1. Chicago will host the event Thursday and Friday.
The Hilton Chicago will be the backdrop both days with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany speaking first at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time.
Delany, who will retire at the end of the year and be replaced by Kevin Warren, typically uses his remarks to share his views on the state of the league and the NCAA.
Last year, he floated the idea of a national injury report for players, suggested the NBA end its “one and done” rule and defended the league’s decision to play games on Friday nights but declined to comment on allowing players to profit off their name, image and likeness.
He also said he did not foresee the league changing its divisional format, but since then there have been reports that could be considered.
2. Ohio State players and coaches will speak on day one.
The first coach to speak on the first day will be Nebraska’s Scott Frost, whose team is considered a front-runner in the wide open Big Ten West. He will speak for 15 minutes beginning at 1 p.m. followed by Lovie Smith of Illinois, Mark Dantonio of Michigan State, Tom Allen of Indiana, P.J. Fleck of Minnesota, MIke Locksley of Maryland and Ryan Day of Ohio State.
Day is scheduled to speak at the podium at 2:30 p.m. and later be available for group interviews at 3:15.
Ohio State players Jonathon Cooper, Jordan Fuller and K.J. Hill will be available for group interviews at 5:30 p.m.
All three are seniors with Cooper (a defensive end) and Fuller (a safety) representing the revamped defense and Hill (a receiver) among the few veterans on an offense that willl have a lot of new faces this fall.
3. Jim Harbaugh headlines the second day.
Michigan is a popular pick to end Ohio State’s two-year reign as Big Ten champion, and the coach of the Wolverines will be the last of seven coaches speaking on day two. He goes at 10:30 a.m.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz will begin the day at 9 a.m. followed by Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Penn State’s James Franklin, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst and Chris Ash of Rutgers.
Big Ten coordinator of officials Bill Carollo will also speak on day two.
4. Day two will also feature the annual Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon.
Beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, the luncheon will be hosted by Rece Davis of ESPN and include speeches by Delany as well as Tournament of Roses president Laura Faber.
One of the highlights of the event is often the speech by the student-athlete representative. That will be Casey O’Brien, a sophomore at Minnesota who has overcome multiple occurrences of cancer to become the holder for the Golden Gophers.
5. The Big Ten Network will broadcast much of it.
All 14 coach press conferences and the remarks of Delany and Carollo will be shown live on the conference’s television network.
Following the press conferences, the coaches and students will visit the BTN studio set for BTN Live: Football Media Day Special from approximately 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
The luncheon will air at 8 p.m. Saturday.
All coverage will also be streamed on the Fox Sports mobile app.
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