Evening State Sports Briefs: Big Ten grid champ game to be in IndyWisconsin Sports
-- The University of Wisconsin’s top football brass will get its wish, as the Big Ten Conference championship game will be played indoors for at least the next five years. Yesterday, the league’s presidents-and-chancellors agreed to hold the title game under the dome at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at least through 2015. Soldier Field in Chicago was the other choice.
CHICAGO - The University of Wisconsin’s top football brass will get its wish, as the Big Ten Conference championship game will be played indoors for at least the next five years. Yesterday, the league’s presidents-and-chancellors agreed to hold the title game under the dome at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at least through 2015. Soldier Field in Chicago was the other choice.
UW athletic director Barry Alvarez and coach Bret Bielema recently said they want the league title contest to be out of December’s snow-and-cold weather. The initial game between the two division champs had already been set for the Indianapolis dome on December third. Alvarez said the elements won’t be a factor in a holiday bowl game – and they shouldn’t be a factor in the Big Ten title contest, either. Bielema said Wisconsin’s style of offense is better-suited for the late-season snow-and-cold. But he also said the fans should be able to enjoy an indoor game if the Badgers make it that far.
Marquette University men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams received a bonus of almost two-million-dollars in 2009 so he wouldn’t bolt to another school. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the amount was reported in a required IRS tax document that was due this month. Marquette spokeswoman Mary Pat Pfeil confirmed the bonus, saying it was a one-time payment given for quote, “retention purposes.” The tax document said Williams was paid a total of two-point-eight million dollars in 2009, including $397,000 for things like basketball camps and speaking engagements which are paid through a limited partnership that Williams has. USA Today said Williams was paid $876,000 this past season, when Marquette made the NCAA’s Sweet-16. He’s expected to get over two-million-dollars a year in a new contract extension he was given this past spring.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will have four players, and the Beloit Snappers will have three in the Midwest League All-Star Game. Beloit has two starters for the Western Division – first baseman Michael Gonzalez and outfielder Matt Szczur. There will be one starter for Wisconsin, designated hitter Chris Dennis. The Midwest League All-Star Game will be played June 21st in Davenport Iowa. The Timber Rattlers have one reserve position player, infielder Mike Walker. Wisconsin’s Austin Ross and Tyler Thornburg are among the West Division’s pitchers, along with Adrian Salcedo of Beloit. Thornburg is off to a hot start for Wisconsin. He’s 5-and-0 in 10 starts with a one-point-four-eight ERA. Thornburg had a scoreless streak of 23-and-a-third innings before he gave up a run to Dayton on Saturday. Wisconsin is the Brewers’ low Class-“A” affiliate. Milwaukee also has three All-Stars from the high-Class-“A” Brevard County Manatees in the Florida State League – right-hander Nick Bucci, outfielder Khris Davis, and second baseman Scooter Gennett.
The Northwoods League will begin its first full week of play tonight with new series. The La Crosse Loggers are at Eau Claire, after both teams won yesterday. The Loggers topped Madison 8-4, while Eau Claire edged Waterloo 3-1. Madison is scheduled to play the Wisconsin Woodchucks in Wausau, after the ‘Chucks fell to Green Bay 5-2 last night. Green Bay will host Battle Creek, which is coming off a 10-6 win over Wisconsin Rapids. Rapids plays at Waterloo tonight. Also, Duluth is at home against Mankato. Rochester is at Thunder Bay. Saint Cloud travels to Brainerd. And Willmar is at Alexandria. There are three leaders in the South Division after the opening weekend. Madison, Green Bay, and Battle Creek are all at 4-1. Eau Claire is fourth at 3-2. Mankato is the only unbeaten team at 5-0. The Moon-Dogs lead the North Division by a game over Brainerd.
The Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading rusher has been cut by Montreal of the Canadian Football League. Ahman Green signed with the Alouettes, and he was expected to compete for a starting job. But Green showed up at training camp with an injured hamstring, and was let go. Green played seven of his 12 NFL seasons with the Packers, where he became the Pack’s career rushing leader with 8,208 yards. Last season, Green played in eight games with Omaha of the UFL. He ran 68 times for 253 yards, and caught eight passes for another 50 yards.
Adam Ankrum of Crivitz won a mini-Olympic triathlon in Green Bay yesterday. He completed an 800-yard swim, 29-mile bike ride, and six-point-two mile run in two-hours, six-minutes and 33-and-a-half seconds. Jennifer Yee of Milwaukee won the women’s competition in 2:24.56-point-two. Jacob Rhyner of Sheboygan took the men’s title in the sprint triathlon. That covers a 400-yard swim, 16-and-a-half-mike bike ride, and three-point-one mile run. Rhyner did it in one-hour and 25-point-nine seconds. Erin Verkerke of Wausau took the women’s sprint title in 1:14:21-point-two.