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  • Photos: Northern Illinois unveils Huskie Stadium stadium renovations

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 8.45.31 AM

    Northern Illinois has worked to position itself as the Boise State of the Midwest, and has lived up to that self-appointed billing by winning on the field with four straight MAC West titles and two conference crowns and by lining up a national non-conference schedule. Boise State built its brand by doing both of those.

    Next comes facilities, and the Huskies announced a new grand master plan on Thursday

    “This is a launching point for Huskie Athletics,” athletics director Sean T. Frazier said in the announcement. “Now that we have the plan, we will move forward with the evaluation of the projects to determine our priorities. I know that I’m excited for the next steps because we have the passion, the drive and the determination to make it happen, and it’s going to be outstanding.”

    The master plan will touch about every corner of the Northern Illinois athletics campus, with football’s Huskie Stadium at the top of the list. “Three areas of Huskie Stadium are addressed, with the East Side receiving a major makeover with premium suites and club seating, the creation of a new South Endzone, and phased improvements to the West Side,” reads the release.

    Capacity presently sits at 24,000. No official figures have been released, but the new project figures to boost that figure above 30,000.

    The East side:

    NIU east


    East side interior:

    NIU east 2

    West side:

    NIU west


    South side:

    NIU south


    As a point of reference, here is Huskie Stadium in its current form:

    Huskie Stadium

    A timetable for construction was not listed in Northern Illinois’ press release.




  • Chip Kelly: “I’m not Mr. Miyagi, just tell me if they can go or not”


    Chip Kelly is a lot of things; an innovative offensive mind, a very successful head coach, and bluntly honest with the media.

    One thing that Chip Kelly is not is Mr. Miyagi.

    “Just tell us who’s up, who’s down, and who can go…that’s all it is” Kelly told reporters on what he looks for from the Eagles’ training staff.

    When a reporter asked about all the detailed information, like sleep patterns, that he has access to, and why he doesn’t want specifics details from the training staff he responded by explaining, “I can affect their sleep habits. I can’t affect their injury though.”

    “If a guy tears a muscle, I’m not Dr. Miyagi, I can’t put my hands together, rub them together, and touch his leg and make it all better…so just tell me who can play and who can’t play.”

    “I’m really good at deciphering what we can control, and what we can’t control, and we can’t control that, so let’s go play.”

  • Dave Brandon has resigned as Michigan’s AD

    There was really only one conclusion to be reached when word out of the Michigan football beat circuit reported Friday morning that the Wolverines would hold a Friday afternoon press conference to discuss athletics director Dave Brandon.

    They weren’t gathering the press together to announce a contract extension.

    Moments later, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy dropped the hammer.

    Simply put, it’s been a disastrous fall for Brandon. On top of the football team’s 3-5 start, there was the Coke-for-free tickets fiasco, the Shane Morris fiasco, and the sarcastic email fiasco. For a guy whose approval rating has been on a steady decline for the past 18 months, it was too much to overcome – especially when maize and blue mega-donor Stephen Ross announced he wouldn’t interfere with Brandon’s employment status one way or the other.

    We wrote earlier this week that sources close to high-level football coaches – coaches Michigan would certainly want to talk to – would be interested in the job, as long as Brandon was gone. And now that shoe has dropped.

    New Michigan president Mark Schlissel is admittedly unfamiliar with managing a major athletics department, leading one to believe the Brandon’s replacement will be one that has total control over that side of the university. We said yesterday that Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione is the name to keep in mind here.

    For what it’s worth, the other name that coaches tell us has been actively working on the job is Warde Manuel (UConn’s AD).

    Listen below (Brandon audio begins around the 14-minute mark):

    Michigan’s press conference is set for 1:30 p.m. ET. We’ll have more updates as they become available.

  • Photos: Texas Tech’s Lone Star uniforms

    Texas Tech wore its first edition of Lone Star uniforms for the Longhorns’ visit in 2012, a sharp departure from their usual look.

    TT Lone Star 2012


    They wore a white get up for a trip to Austin on Thanksgiving last season. (And, unfortunately for the Red Raiders, both Lone Star games ended in losses.)

    NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas

    With Texas headed back to Lubbock Saturday night, Texas Tech will apparently again don Lone Star uniforms. Nothing from any official Texas Tech accounts, but we’ve been told they’re legit.

    TT Lone Star1

    TT LoneStar2

    TT LoneStar3

    TTU LoneStar4

  • Video: Minnesota is looking to upgrade their facilities for “more than just recruiting”

    Prior to Jerry Kill’s arrival, the facilities at Minnesota hadn’t changed much in the last 30 years, but since he’s arrived on campus a number of changes have taken place to make the facility more modern and appealing to the athletes of today.

    More upgrades are in the works, and athletic director Norwood Teague talks about the plans for a new athletic village in the latest episode of “Brick by Brick” outlining the upgrades that the university is aiming to make.

    “All the facilities that our football team uses now, whether it be the indoor facility, to where they have their training room, or where they have their sports medicine or their day to day locker room, or where they have their meeting rooms were all built 30 years ago and they are small, and they are outdated on a number of different fronts. So we need a new building for football.” Teague explains in the clip.

    “Most of our competition has built one, and has probably remodeled theirs by now since we built one 30 years ago.”

    “So we’ve got to get up to date, for a number of different reasons…not just for recruiting, but also just because of space issues, and keeping it modern and more efficient.”

    The renderings featured in the video are really, really nice.

    Hopefully they’re able to get this done because it could turn out to be huge for Jerry Kill and the Gopher program. Just look at the turnaround they’ve had just tweaking the facilities…