Four-down territory: Big Ten notes
…Purdue’s offense received a boost when former starting quarterback Justin Siller was reinstated to the university and the team — more than a year after he was dismissed for violating the school’s academic policy. Siller will now have two years of eligibility left at Purdue, where he likely will receive plenty of playing time at a variety of positions within coordinator Gary Nord’s offense. In 2008, he started three games at quarterback and threw for 496 yards and added 167 yards on the ground. He began that year at running back before moving under center. After a win against Michigan in which he threw three scores and ran for another, he was named Big Ten co-offensive player of the week. In addition to seeing action at running back, where the Boilers are dealing with the loss of starter Ralph Bolden to a torn ACL, he likely will also line up at wide receiver for head coach Danny Hope.
…Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany put the kibosh on a report that the conference had extended invitations to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Rutgers to join the league, according to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. In his email to conference officials Tuesday, Delany refuted one of the strongest rumors we’ve heard regarding expansion, that those four schools were already offered spots in a future expanded league. Smith, however, said that there is “no truth to it whatsoever.” The league would love to increase from its current set-up of 11 members so that a league championship game could take place. Conference athletic directors will meet May 17-19 in Chicago, but Smith noted that the meetings aren’t out of the ordinary and that an announcement on expansion will not take place at the gathering.
…Wisconsin playing a tough non-conference schedule? Strange, but true, and the Badgers’ game against visiting Arizona State on Sept. 18 will kick off at 3:30 p.m. EST and will be televised regionally by ABC while being available out of region on ESPN2. It will be the first time the Badgers will be on ABC against a non-Big Ten team in the regular season since they played Washington State in 2007. The Badgers and Sun Devils have met twice in their history, with ASU winning 42-16 in 1967 and 55-7 in 1968.
…There won’t be another Norwood playing in Happy Valley. Wide receiver recruit Levi Norwood, who didn’t make a visit to any other school during the recruiting process, was released from his scholarship and won't play for Penn State this fall. The 6-2, 170-pounder is the younger brother of former Nittany Lions wideout Jordan Norwood. His release opens up another scholarship for Penn State’s 2011 class.
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