Huskie Chi-Town Showdown gives NIU a 'neat experience'


Huskie Chi-Town Showdown gives NIU a 'neat experience'

There's never been a football game played at U.S. Cellular Field. That will change in 2016.

Northern Illinois and Toledo will square off in the "Huskie Chi-Town Showdown," a culmination of both the MAC wanting to showcase its premier teams, as well as a longstanding relationship between NIU and the Chicago White Sox.

"You're going to come (to U.S. Cellular Field) and see an unbelievable brand of football with a great opponent," NIU athletic director Sean Frazier said. "This is going to be a hell of a game."

When Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey was first approached about potentially playing a game in U.S. Cellular Field, only one opponent made sense.

"I said, 'Toledo's the only one you're ever going to want to do that with, because they're a class organization. Those games are down-to-the-last-possession games every year."

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The Rockets and Huskies have been models of success in the MAC. Toledo has put together six straight winning seasons, including last year's 10-win campaign that had them ranked as high as No. 19 in the AP poll. Northern Illinois has represented the West in the MAC championship game each of the last seven seasons.

But the game wouldn't have been possible without the cooperation and enthusiasm displayed by the hosts.

The White Sox and NIU have had a longstanding relationship, most notably when the White Sox wore NIU hats during spring training following an on-campus shooting that left five dead in DeKalb.

"They reached out to us back when the university was going through a tough time," Carey said. "They were the first organization, and that partnership has continued. Now this has taken it to a new level. It is historic. It's great to have football here and in this facility. I think it's going to be a great atmosphere."

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation


Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."

A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."

The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17. 

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard


Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.

But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.

“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.

"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”

Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.

Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.

Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?

Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.

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