News, Notes & Quotes - May 16

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday May 16, 2016

- Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens spoke to Congress on Friday about his strategy to prevent head injuries in practice.

Back in 2010, Teevens eliminated all tackling in practices— only using dummies. He has said head injuries were cut dramatically, and the team has seen more success on the field.

The advocacy group “Practice Like Pros” said 60-75 percent of high school football head injuries happen in practice, compared to 3 percent in the NFL. The group also wants youth football to use flag football until high school. President Obama has requested $5 million be used by the CDC to study concussions in youth sports. The AP has more on the story here.

- Is it possible the Big Ten could be off ESPN in a few years? Would the coaches let that happen?

FOX won the bid for the first half of the Big Ten TV package last month, starting in fall 2017. With ESPN cutting costs, could someone other than ESPN get the second half? Sports Illustrated media writer Richard Deitsch thinks coaches wouldn’t let it happen.

“I believe the Big Ten schools are, at a certain point, going to demand from their leadership, ‘We have to be on ESPN, for recruiting and for publicity. We can’t give that partnership up, it’s too valuable for us in in terms of our conference competing against other conferences for high school players,’” Deitsch said on his podcast. “I’m going to bet, in the end, there’s a deal there.”

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand also said on the podcast, “Years ago, the ACC was flirting with leaving ESPN and going to FOX. A whole bunch of really powerful ACC coaches like Coach K and Gary Williams almost revolted. They turned that deal. The difference with the Big Ten is that Jim Delaney, he runs the Big Ten."

- Could Kirk Ferentz get another extension?

The Iowa coach last signed a 10-year extension in 2010. The talk of Iowa unable to get out of a buyout has changed after a 12-0 regular season and Rose Bowl appearance. Athletic director Gary Barta told the Des Moines Register that talk of 2016 and beyond is ongoing. Ferentz is 60 years old.

“As long as your health allows you to do what you want to do, and your wife allows you to do what you want to do — those two things are probably critical — I don’t see stopping anytime in the near future,” Ferentz told the paper.

- How long does Will Muschamp think he has to turn around 3-9 South Carolina? Not much.

“I have a one-year time table,” Muschamp told fans. “My dad always told me a story about a man that went fishing with a 12-inch pan and he caught a fish that was too big so he couldn't put it in the 12-inch pan. We’re not thinking that way. Let’s think to go to Atlanta every year. If we fall short of that, we’re going to go back and reset ourselves and say, ‘OK what do we need to do to get there?’”

- What did Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor think about drafting a kicker in the second round?

“I will never apologize or be upset about getting a talented player,” he said.

But how much can a coach help a kicker? There are few special teams coaches with kicking experience. Kaczor said kickers work with trainers in the summer, and the teams work off that.

“I’ve never had the word ‘guru’ associated with my name, but we’ll be able to help Roberto (Aguayo) out,” Kaczor said. “In the summer, when we can’t work players out, they’ll have someone they get a tune-up with. Similar to golfing, it’s a finite motor skill that you have to execute under pressure."

- Russell Wilson gave a commencement speech at Wisconsin, recounting times he’d been told he couldn’t do something.

One of those situations came when Wilson says NC State coach Tom O’Brien told Wilson he wouldn’t play in the NFL, and he didn't have a spot if he returned to school from minor league baseball in the summer.

"He said, 'Listen son, you're never going to play in the National Football League. You're too small. There's no chance. You've got no shot. Give it up.'” Wilson recalled. “Of course, I'm on this side of the phone saying, 'So you're telling me I'm not coming back to NC State? I won't see the field?' He said, 'No son, you won't see the field.'

"Now, this was everything I had worked for and now it was completely gone. If I wanted to follow my dream, I had to leave NC State. I had no idea if I would get a second chance somewhere else."

Here is the whole speech, which includes lessons outside of football:

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to