WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: UW's Frazier named Northern Illinois new AD
MADISON - Wisconsin Deputy Athletic Director Sean Frazier was named today as the new AD at Northern Illinois. Frazier replaces Jeff Compher, who left to become the new AD at North Carolina.
Frazier has been at the UW since 2007, with an emphasis on football. He joins a Northern Illinois program that’s coming off its most successful campaign in school history. The Huskies went 12-2 a year ago, winning the Mid-American Conference title and becoming the first MAC team to make the BCS bowls. Northern Illinois lost the Orange Bowl to Florida State 31-10 last January. Frazier was a finalist for the Rutgers job a few weeks ago. He was hired by Wisconsin as an associate athletic director, after serving as the AD at Merrimack College in Massachusetts.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig denies that the Bio-Genesis performance-enhancing drug scandal has put a “cloud” over the game. On ESPN this morning, Selig disputed the notion from talk show hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic that the scandal has dragged the game down. Selig said he keeps hearing that there’s a cloud over the game – but he said the only clouds are the rain-outs. He said over 600,000 fans attended Major League games last weekend, the highest total of the year – and he says the game now has a drug program that’s quote, “the gold standard – the best program in America.” Media reports say about 20 players will be suspended, reportedly for obtaining P-E-D’s from Bio-Genesis clinic founder Tony Bosch. Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun is reportedly one of those facing suspensions of up to 100 games – but Braun repeatedly denies taking PED’s. Today, players’ union director Michael Weiner said suspensions from the probe might not be served until next season.
Former Brewers’ shortstop J.J. Hardy will bat ninth for the American League, as a starter for tonight’s All-Star Game in New York. The 30-year-old Hardy is one of three Baltimore players to start the Mid-Summer Classic – the most since 1997. Hardy, AL home run leader Chris Davis, and former Wisconsin Timber Rattler Adam Jones were all elected by the fans. Hardy was also a 2007 All-Star when he was with Milwaukee. He was a back-up at short for the National League that night, and he walked in his only plate appearance. Hardy says it will be nice to see so many familiar faces around the AL clubhouse. A total of five Orioles were named. Third baseman Manny Machado and pitcher Chris Tillman are reserves. Hardy played his first five big league seasons in Milwaukee before he was dealt to Minnesota for Carlos Gomez – who will represent the Brewers on the NL squad tonight along with Jean Segura. Hardy’s in his third season with Baltimore, where he won his first career Gold Glove a year ago. He’s batting .251 this season with 16 homers and 52 RBI’s
The Class-“A” Midwest League is off tonight. That’s traditional on the night of the Major League All-Star Game. The Beloit Snappers and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got a little extra time off, after playing afternoon games yesterday. The Rattlers topped Lake County 6-2, while Beloit fell to Fort Wayne 5-3. Beloit, the first champion, is still tied for the second half lead in the Western Division with Cedar Rapids. Both are 16-8. Wisconsin is sixth in the West, going 11-7 after an 0-6 start.
Morgan Burnett is the third starter on defense to win a new contract from the Green Bay Packers this off-season. NFL.com said the 24-year-old Burnett has signed a four-year extension worth $24.3 million dollars. At least eight-and-a-quarter million is guaranteed. Linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones are the team’s other defensive starters to get new deals since January. The Green Bay Press-Gazette said the Packers had around 16-million-dollars in salary cap space just before signing Burnett, a three-year pro who was entering the final season of his rookie contract. The Packers still have some big decisions to make in the coming months. Fifteen players will be unrestricted free agents after this season – including Jermichael Finley, Ryan Pickett, B-J Raji, James Jones, and Sam Shields. If the salary numbers are correct, Burnett would be the seventh-highest-paid Green Bay player at the moment.