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Big Ten media days notebook: Commissioner discusses hot-button issues

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Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:27 p.m.

• Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany took tactful positions on some hot-button national college-sports issues during his Big Ten media days address Monday. “I've used the word ‘overmatched,' ” Delany said on the NCAA's violation enforcement officers. “I haven't really gone much beyond that. I don't intend to today. … We need a system that works.”

• In regards to a court ruling that allowed Northwestern football players to vote on unionizing, Delany said: “I don't think there's anything that's inevitable. … (If) it goes through, we'll present our (anti-union) position in a vigorous way.”

• Delany also said he would be “very surprised” if the NCAA Division I board next week votes to deny the so-called Power Five conferences the further autonomy they seek.

Dave Wannstedt, a Baldwin native, Pitt alum and former coach of Pitt and two NFL teams, is working for Fox and the Big Ten Network this season. Wannstedt said new coach James Franklin has “created quite a buzz” at Penn State and predicted Franklin will continue to recruit well. In turn, he projects that will lead to success on the field. “They're getting players,” Wannstedt said. “And in college football, recruiting is the name of the game.”

• Longtime assistant Larry Johnson left Penn State when he didn't get the head-coaching job this offseason and landed at rival Ohio State as assistant head coach and defensive line coach. “He's brought a lot of trust,” Buckeyes defensive tackle Michael Bennettsaid. “He's brought a lot of energy and a lot of positive energy, and he's making the D-line a lot closer.”

— Chris Adamski

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