Thanks to my colleague Master Tesfatsion for collecting quotes for me from today's player/ coach access while I traveled to Madison...
Every season, new theories about how to improve collegiate sports crop up and make the rounds. Some -- like last season's call for more perks for players -- gain traction and start change. Others fade into the background.
Time will tell what we happen with the Big Ten's most recent idea (reported by ESPN) to make freshmen ineligible in football and basketball, but Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, for one, isn't a fan.
"Maybe there are going to be some guys that aren't ready," he said. "But I don't see it. I don't understand it."
Big Ten, which has sought feedback from its members on the idea but hasn't made an official proposal, came up with the idea in order for first year players to have a year to integrate to college life, studies and the new level of play before taking the court.
Teams, of course, have the option of redshirting any player they feel needs that time. The Big Ten's concept would effectively redshirt all freshman.
Pitino said the idea seems unrealistic, especially considering the bevy of freshmen stars in college basketball and the league right now. Some of the Big Ten's best players -- Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, Indiana's James Blackmon Jr. and Maryland's Melo Trimble -- are freshmen.
The NBA no longer can draft high school players -- one year of college basketball is necessary. An automatic redshirt could complicate the ascension of the very elite.
"If you told [Kentucky's] Karl Towns he's not ready to play college basketball this year, that's a ridiculous statement," Pitino said. "D'Angelo Russell is not ready to play college basketball? That's ludicrous. So maybe for us, the guys that we recruit, some of them may not be ready, it may be helpful for them. Like [Minnesota freshman] Bakary [Konate]. But again, I don't know how you do it. I don't know how you tell Trey Lyles from Kentucky or [Duke's] Jahlil Okafor that they're not ready to play. Jahlil Okafor is ready to start in the NBA."
The Big Ten released 2015-16 conference matchups for each team on Thursday and revealed that Minnesota will be traveling to Rutgers for the first time in school history.
The full slate:
Home: Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Away: Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State
Home/Away: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern, Rutgers