Big Ten Sunday news roundup

Let's take a quick spin around the Big Ten as several news items surfaced on a sobering Sunday for the league.


The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday that Ohio State has found no violations involving the quarterback and his use of loaned cars. Pryor received three traffic violations while driving cars owned by Columbus car salesman Aaron Kniffin or the used-car lot where Kniffin worked.

Some tidbits from the story:

Ohio State knew about Pryor's use of the car while he had the engine in his own car replaced this past spring and was assured that every customer receives a loaner when extended repairs like that are necessary.

Test driving or borrowing a car is not in itself a violation of NCAA rules. However, use of a car because of an athlete's status could be considered an improper benefit.

Ohio State examined the relationship between its athletes and Auto Direct in July after receiving an anonymous letter saying that employees were trading use of cars for autographed memorabilia. [Ohio State compliance director Doug Archie] concluded that there were no NCAA violations.



The Penn State coach held his regular end-of-season news conference Sunday and weighed in on several topics. Paterno stumped a bit for longtime defensive coordinator Tom Bradley to land the now vacant head-coaching job at Pitt. Bradley had interest in the Pitt job before the school hired Mike Haywood but didn't get an interview.

"I think Tommy is a fine coach," Paterno said. "He has good, strong city of Pittsburgh contacts. He's got a brother [Jim] who is an orthopedic surgeon, head surgeon for the Steelers, and the whole bit. I think Tommy should be a very, very strong candidate. Tommy has done a good job. He is a good recruiter, a good coach, he's organized. And I think he certainly deserves some consideration."

Paterno also reiterated that he's committed to returning for the 2011 season. He's telling recruits the exact same thing.

"There's no guarantee on anything, but I intend to be here, and I intend to work hard at recruiting," Paterno said. "I'm telling them, 'Right now I'm planning to be here. And if not, hopefully, you'll take a look at the program.'"


Athletic director Dave Brandon will meet with coach Rich Rodriguez this week to discuss the program and the future and likely have a decision by the end of the week.

As rumored for some time, Michigan is losing heralded running back recruit Dee Hart to Alabama.

"Right now, I am still committed to Michigan, but I'm going to be changing it soon," Hart told TheWolverine.com. "It's just the question marks with coach Rodriguez and just not knowing his stability. I'm not too high on that."

Hart's switch isn't a shock at all, but it's more bad news for Michigan.

Colleague Adam Schefter reports that Jim Harbaugh is expected to make a decision soon on his coaching future. If Michigan pursues Harbaugh to replace Rodriguez, it likely needs to beat out the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh likely wouldn't have to move if he took the 49ers job.

A few final nuggets: