COLUMBUS: With point guards such as Yogi Ferrell of Indiana and Andre Hollins of Minnesota there, it’s logical to wonder why Aaron Craft of Ohio State is not in Colorado Springs, Colo., this week trying to make the U.S. team that will play in the World University Games next month.
Craft was invited but declined, as did teammate LaQuinton Ross. Both are enrolled in summer classes, which might have been a factor in their decisions because certain classes they need to progress toward graduation are not offered as often now that Ohio State is on the semester system.
Craft did manage to get away for three days this week to attend a Nike skills academy for point guards in Union, N.J., that was put on by NBA guards Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers. D’Angelo Russell of Louisville, Ky., a 2014 recruit who committed to Ohio State this month, also attended the camp.
Ross and teammate Sam Thompson are scheduled to be at a skills camp for wing forwards put on by NBA star Kevin Durant this weekend in Washington.
Michigan vs. OSU
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner said on WBBL-FM in Grand Rapids, Mich., that the Wolverines will defeat Ohio State this season.
“We always have room for improvement, but this is definitely a championship-caliber football team that will win in the Big House against Ohio State,” Gardner said, as reported by The Detroit News. “We don’t feel we’re inferior to anyone in the country, and we’re going to give it our all.”
To illustrate that statement, Gardner noted that while Monday was an off day during voluntary summer workouts, he already had worked out twice with two groups of receivers.
Illinois State has become the destination choice of two former Ohio State football players in the past 12 months.
Linebacker David Perkins, who surprised many by leaving the OSU program in May despite a strong spring, is expected to surface with the Redbirds this fall. Because Illinois State is a Football Championship Subdivision team, he will be able to play immediately, and has three seasons eligibility remaining.
He will join another former Buckeyes player, cornerback Dominic Clarke, who was kicked off the OSU team in winter 2012 soon after coach Urban Meyer took control. He ended up at Illinois State last season and had 40 tackles and an interception while playing in all 13 games, starting four.
Expansion in Cincy
The University of Cincinnati’s board of trustees gave the go-ahead on an $80 million to $85 million renovation of Nippert Stadium that will increase the seating from 35,000 to 40,000 and add a new press box, suites, club seats, patio suites and loge boxes. Concourses, bathrooms and concession stands will be renovated, with work to be completed by the 2015 season.
It’s possible that all 2014 home games will need to be moved because of the construction. The school has used Paul Brown Stadium as an alternate site for home games, but no decision has been made in this case.
Big Ten bowl talk
After Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany announced the league’s new tie-ins with the Holiday Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl this week, he also all but confirmed plans to hook up with a new bowl game in Detroit.
Ford Field and the Detroit Lions are attempting to create a bowl to partner with the Big Ten that will replace the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. ESPN reported that it will feature Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference teams. The Little Caesars matched a Big Ten team against one from the Mid-American Conference when a Big Ten team was available.
When asked about the possibility of a pact with a Detroit bowl, Delany said: “I would say we’re not ready to announce, but you’re in the right area.”