NFL stud runner inks big-money extension


NFL stud runner inks big-money extension

From Comcast SportsNet
HOUSTON (AP) -- The agent for Arian Foster says the running back has agreed to a five-year deal with the Houston Texans. Foster's agent Mike McCartney said Monday a deal was done, but financial terms were not immediately available. Foster was an undrafted free agent in 2009, and made 525,000 last season. He was the NFL's leading rusher in 2010 with 1,616 yards and ran for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Re-signing Foster was one of Houston's top priorities after the Texans earned their first division title and playoff victory last season. The Texans also must make a decision on outside linebacker Mario Williams, who's an unrestricted free agent.

Northwestern to pay $1.2 million for 2017 non-conference game vs. Nevada


Northwestern to pay $1.2 million for 2017 non-conference game vs. Nevada

Usually, people spend a lot of money to travel to Nevada and partake in its various entertainment options.

Northwestern is spending a lot of money to bring Nevada to Evanston.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reported Tuesday that Northwestern will pay Nevada a whopping $1.2 million to travel to play a non-conference football game in Evanston in 2017.

Big-conference schools paying out large sums of money to play host to small-conference schools is nothing new and downright commonplace. The school from the larger conference, the Big Ten in this case, gets a relatively easier opponent in hopes of securing a non-conference win. The school from the smaller conference, in this case the Mountain West, gets a big payday that is vital to keeping its program competitive and funding things throughout the athletics department.

It's generally a win-win, though this kind of situation also sets up the big-conference school for potential embarrassment. Should the small-conference school score an upset, well then the loss comes with a million-dollar price tag. Big Ten fans will surely remember Michigan's folly with Appalachian State, and that's not the only time such a thing has occurred.

So now it's Northwestern's turn to shell out the cash for a date with Nevada. The Wolf Pack have posted a 7-6 record in four of the last five seasons, with a 4-8 finish thrown in there, too. The two schools met twice previously in 2006 and 2007, splitting that home-and-home series.

Northwestern's non-conference schedule for the 2017 season is now complete, with this Nevada game accompanying a road game against Duke and a home game against Western Illinois.

Big Ten vs. Big East: Matchups announced for Gavitt Tipoff Games


Big Ten vs. Big East: Matchups announced for Gavitt Tipoff Games

Last season saw the inaugural edition of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, a non-conference event pitting Big Ten teams against Big East teams.

Well, Year 2 of the event is coming up this fall, and the matchups were announced Tuesday, featuring a total of eight teams from last season's NCAA tournament field.

The highlight is without a doubt Purdue clashing with Villanova, the reigning national champion following its unforgettable win in last month's national title game.

But there are plenty of other noteworthy games, including a rematch of last season's tremendous Maryland-Georgetown bout, Wisconsin visiting Creighton, Iowa playing host to Seton Hall and Ohio State welcoming Providence to Columbus.

Here's the full schedule.

— Villanova at Purdue (Monday, Nov. 14)
— Maryland at Georgetown (Tuesday, Nov. 15)
— Wisconsin at Creighton (Tuesday Nov. 15)
— Northwestern at Butler (Wednesday, Nov. 16)
— Seton Hall at Iowa (Thursday, Nov. 17)
— Providence at Ohio State (Thursday, Nov. 17)
— Rutgers at DePaul (Thursday, Nov. 17)
— St. John's at Minnesota (Friday, Nov. 18)

Michigan transfer Spike Albrecht stays in Big Ten, picks Purdue


Michigan transfer Spike Albrecht stays in Big Ten, picks Purdue

Spike Albrecht will stay in the Big Ten after all.

After much fuss was made over John Beilein's decree that Albrecht, for whom there was no room on the Michigan roster, wouldn't be allowed to transfer within the Big Ten, Beilein rescinded that restriction. And Albrecht has taken full advantage, opting to use his final year of NCAA eligibility at Purdue.

Albrecht played a pivotal role on numerous Michigan teams over the past few seasons. As a freshman, he scored 17 points in the 2013 national championship game loss to Louisville. He was a key reserve the following season as a sophomore and took on an emergency starting role as a junior, averaging 32 minutes a game with multiple Michigan stars sidelined with injuries.

Last season, Albrecht faced his own injury woes, playing sparingly in just nine games before shutting down his season to recover from a pair of hip surgeries.

A native of Crown Point, Ind., Albrecht understandably wanted to remain in the Midwest and both Purdue and Indiana were listed as options he was considering earlier this spring. As a student-athlete who has already earned his degree, Albrecht will be immediately eligible for the 2016-17 season.

There's one more hurdle to clear, as the Big Ten must OK Albrecht's in-conference transfer. But many assume it will be no problem, as fellow former Wolverine Max Bielfeldt went through the exact same situation last season, transferring from Michigan to Indiana, where he won Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year honors this past season.

Should all the formalities go through without a hitch, Purdue will add its third straight graduate transfer point guard after adding Jon Octeus and Johnny Hill in each of the past two seasons.

Albrecht would certainly help boost a Boilermaker team that is shaping up to look drastically different than the one that reached the Big Ten Tournament title game this past season. Seniors A.J. Hammons and Rapheal Davis will be gone, as will guard Kendall Stephens, who is transferring. Meanwhile, both Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards are testing out the NBA Draft process and could head to the pros.

Regardless of what the roster looks like, it sure seems Purdue is happy to have Spike.