____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>It’s 8 p.m. March 26, in a crowded Ballantine Hall classroom, and Laura Bliss and her RideOn teammates are ready to choose their race-day jerseys — their identity — for the Little 500.They qualified 17th, so they get the 17th pick of jerseys. The solid-colored jerseys are long gone, and the second-year team with the black-and-blue shorts is running out of choices for jerseys. When the opportunity to stand out in the field comes around, they pounced on it.“Our strategy this year was more to clash, more to make us stand out more,” Bliss said. “It’s baby blue and hot pink, so it’s going to look like a baby shower exploded or something.”Sixty-six teams change their identities each year at this chaotic meeting, and everybody attends — or else they are docked a two-second penalty. The meeting has been happening for years, but the story of Little 500 race-day jerseys goes much further back.When the race began in the 1950s — more than three decades before the women’s race was created — the jerseys for participating fraternities were hand-stitched by members of sororities, known as Little Five sweethearts. The jersey creation was the only role women played in the race until the genesis of the women’s race 25 years ago.In the 1990s, a local oversupply of fabric provided a huge change in the way jerseys were supplied on race day.Two local women who owned a seamstress shop took whatever extra fabric they could find and threw it together to make race jerseys. Former Little 500 Race Director Pam Loebig said the jerseys would never cease to surprise once they arrived.“It could be any color combination,” Loebig said. “The Student Foundation would have no idea what colors were showing up, except they always made sure there was a white, yellow and green. Other than that, it was kind of a grab bag.”The white, yellow and green jerseys still remain as the top-tier jerseys come race day, and solid jerseys are almost always the first to go.These hodge-podge jerseys were much appreciated but didn’t make great race jerseys, Loebig said. They didn’t breathe as well as professionally made jerseys and resulted in a lot of hot, sweaty riders.Finally, in 2009, Loebig’s first year as race director, the ,IU Student Foundation enlisted the services of Canari Cyclewear to provide the riders with high-quality and professional jerseys to wear on race day.Some aspects of the jersey selection never change, though. Fiji still tries to choose purple because it’s the house color. Delta Gamma still tries to grab something black.And the teams and fans alike still plan part of their race-day experience on what happens the night of the jersey-selection meeting.“I know a bunch of teams make shirts for the fans that go along with the jerseys for the race, so that’s the day when your identity basically is born,” Bliss said.
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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>It’s easy to tell a serious cyclist from a casual one. Someone riding for leisure or a little exercise is drenched in sweat and trying in vain to ride smoothly as the wind catches his or her T-shirt.Serious riders, however, are clothed in sleek, tight cycling jerseys that do more than simply look good, said former Little 500 Race Director Pam Loebig.“That cotton T-shirt would get wet from your sweat and just sit on you,” Loebig said. “A cycling jersey will pull that sweat away from your skin, and then that fabric dries quickly. It will evaporate your sweat faster, which is more comfortable.”Cycling jerseys also fit more snugly, cutting down on wind resistance. Cycling shorts can also provide more comfort to riders, as opposed to regular shorts with constrictive elastic and slightly uncomfortable waistbands.On race day, Little 500 riders have used cycling jerseys for about two decades, but in recent years, teams have been using personalized practice jerseys a great deal.Acacia rider Greg Bortz said a large amount of thought goes into the design of these jerseys, whether they’re for a Greek team or an independent team. Acacia tweaks its jerseys every two or three years but always keeps the distinctive black-and-gold look, Bortz said.“I know with a fraternity, your house colors, it’s a big deal,” Bortz said. “It’s definitely a cool pride thing because our T-shirts for people coming to watch us are always the same colors, too.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In a year dominated by an individual in both the men’s and women’s races, the stars led their teams to victory. Seniors Caitlin Van Kooten (Teter) and Eric Young (Cutters) both won the Individual Time Trials and proved their prowess on race day.Van Kooten and her Teter squad avoided an early crash and ended up lapping the field with 50 laps remaining. They coasted to victory. It was the team’s second-straight victory and third overall.The Cutters couldn’t avoid a collision, as a crash in the 45th lap put them a full lap behind the leaders. One-hundred-thirty laps later, however, they were back in contention.In the final laps, Young waited as Phi Delta Theta made three exchanges, and on the third, which took place on lap 199, Young took advantage, kicking into high gear and crossing the line first. It was the Cutters’ fifth straight win and 12th overall.Before their teams succeeded on race day, Young and Van Kooten found success during the other Spring Series events.Neither team was the pole-sitter. Sigma Nu qualified first for the men, and Delta Gamma qualified first on the women’s side. Both the Cutters and Teter qualified second and donned yellow jerseys on race day.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Rising junior running back Stephen Houston checked his phone before Saturday’s Cream and Crimson Spring Game and saw stormy conditions approaching Bloomington. He wasn’t worried, though.“In the past season, we had a lot of (bad) weather, supposedly, so I always thought the meteorologist was wrong,” Houston said.In the final minutes of the first quarter, however, it was Houston’s assumption that was wrong.The sky darkened and drops of rain fell, forcing the game to move into John Mellencamp Pavilion at the close of the first quarter.Houston and teammates hurried inside, and once there, Houston said he saw lightning and counted himself lucky for being indoors.“The rain doesn’t bother me, but I’m terrified of lightning,” Houston said. “I was just like, ‘I’m just trying to hurry up and get inside so I won’t get struck.’”Everything continued as planned, and at the end of the game, it was the Cream squad that finished on top, 19-16.The most talked-about performance was from rising sophomore running back Isaiah Roundtree, who has yet to see the field in his IU career. Roundtree ran for a pair of touchdowns, one of which was almost 60 yards.“People sleep on him because he’s not a bigger back,” Houston said of Roundtree. “He has moves, and he has speed, and he’s not afraid to actually stick it up between the tackles. That gives him a lot of edge.”IU Coach Kevin Wilson, however, said he wants Roundtree to be more consistent.“It was good to see him show today because I believe he is capable, but he hasn’t had a consistent spring,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if he has the summer to have a foundation, have a great preseason and really start helping our football team in a more positive way.”While Roundtree provided sparks for the offense, the Hoosier defense made a handful of stops inside its own 10-yard line, forcing rising junior kicker Mitch Ewald to attempt seven field goals (five of which he made).Rising senior defensive tackle Larry Black, Jr. said the defense had been working on technique during the previous spring practices, as well as mental toughness in game situations.“It’s a mentality that you have to have, especially in the red zone,” Black said. “You want to stand up and defend your own. That’s also what we’ve been working on. Coach has put us in situations like that in practice, and that’s what we did.”With spring practice now concluded, the defensive players look forward to a roughly 100-day summer. Black said the defensive improvements have been ongoing through spring practice and will continue working until the Sept. 1 season opener against Indiana State.“A lot of people see this today, but it’s been happening all in practice,” Black said. “It’s just been coming over time, and heading into the summer, we’re going to work on it more, and then after that head into fall camp. After camp, it’s season time.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After a season in which the Hoosiers ran well against Big Ten opposition, rising junior tight end Ted Bolser and his teammates are preparing to improve in the passing game with the help of new Offensive Coordinator Seth Littrell.“Last year, we were running a lot of triple option with (freshman quarterback) Tre (Roberson),” Bolser said. “Coach (Littrell) said we need to be throwing the ball for at least 350 a game to win, so that’s what we’re going to be doing.”The Hoosiers only managed to surpass 350 passing yards in one game in 2011 — a loss to North Texas.In contrast, Littrell’s Arizona Wildcats averaged 370 passing yards per game and only failed to reach the 350-yard mark twice in 2011. Littrell said he and IU Coach Kevin Wilson have similar coaching backgrounds and that nothing dramatic is being added to the offensive scheme.“I’m not coming in here and bringing something that he hadn’t already done,” Littrell said. “Obviously, there’s a foundation already set here. Now we’ve just got to continue to get better there.”Rising junior wide receiver Kofi Hughes said the plays themselves are very similar to last year’s playbook but the differences are in the routes the receivers are running.“We’re finding the green grass,” Hughes said. “When you have a dig, it isn’t just going to be a regular dig. You’re going to have to come out of that dig, and you’re going to have to find where the open hole is, and that’s how we’re going to really play with teams.”Hughes said the quarterback then has to see the same hole the receiver sees. Hughes also said the communication has been steadily improving but will still take more time to perfect.Although a great deal of the offense depends on how the defense reacts to the offense, Littrell said it’s far too early to prepare for specific defenses.“When we’re talking about looking at other defenses and scouting for next year, we’ve got to worry about us right now,” Littrell said. “We can’t even begin to go there yet.”In terms of preparing for the future of the offense, however, a selection of pro-style, pass-heavy quarterbacks have been visiting Bloomington. Included in this group are Masillon, Ohio, native — and recent Cincinnati commit — Kyle Kempt and Arlington Heights, Ill., quarterback Mickey Macius.Both high-school juniors said they received the impression that the offense was becoming much more pass-oriented. Macius said the dual-threat, option offense could become less and less prominent for the Hoosiers in the coming years.“I think they’re actually moving away from that,” Macius said, “because the new offensive coordinator, Coach Littrell, he comes from those Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, pass-heavy offenses, and they don’t necessarily have those dual-threat quarterbacks where I think they’re trying to start recruiting a pass-oriented quarterback now.”Littrell has coached at Texas Tech and Arizona prior to heading to Bloomington in early January of this year.Though Roberson made a name for himself in 2011 with his legs more than his arm, Hughes said he has seen his quarterback change into a pass-first quarterback. Hughes said Roberson gladly accepted the role of changing from more of a running quarterback to a passer.“I think that’s what he took as a challenge,” Hughes said. “Whatever the blogs said or whatever people are saying, that he’s a run-first quarterback and this and that. I’d say he’s definitely a pass-first quarterback now.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Senior safety Alexander Webb is ready for a new spring season after a 2011 spring filled with introductions and adjustments.“It’s completely different,” Webb said. “We know what to expect. We know what effort we need to bring every day. Last year, going into spring ball, we didn’t know what to expect or what was expected of us from the coaches. This year, we know everything.”As Webb and other defenders become more accustomed to spring practices, the departure of linebackers Jeff Thomas and Leon Beckum and the addition of Defensive Ends Coach Jon Fabris are changing the makeup of the IU defense that surrendered 37.3 points per game in 2011.Rising sophomore linebacker Chase Hoobler said the absence of Thomas and Beckum left a number of players battling for the three starting linebacker jobs.“The positions are open,” Hoobler said. “We’ve got some new linebackers in, and it’s just straight competition, which I think is best for us because it pushes everybody to go harder and play their best, and you’ve got to be on your game everyday.”The new linebackers include junior college transfers sophomore David Cooper and junior Jacarri Alexander.Defensive Tackles Coach Mark Hagen said that after a down year, the Hoosiers need the intangibles brought by experienced junior college players.“When you’re a 1-11 football team, you’re just not getting it done,” Hagen said. “We brought those guys in for all those things — for swagger, for some confidence, for some physicality, for some instincts. They haven’t disappointed so far.”Webb’s raspy voice consistently rises above the din of practice, whether he’s quoting movies or hyping himself up before a snap.“You can hear Jacarri all day on the field,” Hoobler said. “That’s good for us. He’s kind of taken the role over of being the hype man on the team, so that’s good for us.”As Webb fills the role of verbal spark plug, Fabris is becoming another leader of the defense, more in the sage role. His extensive speeches include rhymes, anecdotes and pieces of wisdom from a career that has spanned 29 years and nine teams.Fabris said he has noticed during his career that many collegiate athletes overthink during drills and scrimmages, and that the Hoosiers are no different.“If they start thinking, it’s paralysis by analysis,” Fabris said. “They’re thinking too much as opposed to honing in on what they’re supposed to be doing.”His presence during the spring only lasts for the 15 spring practices, however. He said the majority of the responsibility falls on the players during their summer, which spans about 100 days during which the coaches cannot work with them.“I only get 15 days with them,” Fabris said. “They have 100 days. Yeah, they’re going to lift weights, they’re going to run, those things are important, but the great players will use those 100 days to make themselves better football players.”With last year’s seniors departed, these 15 practices are the first chances for rising seniors to embrace a leadership role, and Hagen said for the defense, it starts with the defensive tackles.Senior defensive tackle Larry Black Jr. said he needs to “light a fire” under his teammates and get the defense to start faster both in practice and in games.“We definitely have to have the upper leadership role, and it’s up to us to take control and stand out on the defense,” Black said. “We’re not doing our team any justice if we don’t go out there and make plays. This season is going to be upon us, and we have to take control.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>While the pads stayed off the field in Memorial Stadium on Saturday, the IU football team was on it for its first of 15 spring practices.The players have participated in a number of offseason workouts that include drills without football equipment, due to NCAA rules. The players still aren’t in full football uniforms, but rising senior defensive tackle Larry Black Jr. said that won’t stop him from enjoying the beginning of the spring football season.“We still don’t have pads on,” Black said. “We’re out there in underwear, but it’s great.”Rising junior receiver Kofi Hughes also said the outdoor practices are welcome.“It’s a long winter without coaches around and practice without the ball,” Hughes said.The coaching staff is also a little different emerging from the winter months, as Seth Littrell is now the offensive coordinator and Jon Fabris is the new defensive ends coach.Hughes said major offensive changes to the team won’t be made, but quarterback play now has a difference from this past season’s spring practice.He said the wide receivers and rising sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson, who developed into the starter in the fall, are communicating much better than they were last year.“A lot of the time, we’re thinking the same thing now, which back then we were all guessing,” Hughes said. “Now, we’re all on the same page now that we’ve had a winter to work together.”IU Coach Kevin Wilson said there is an emphasis on developing key players such as Roberson and Hughes into leaders inside and outside of Memorial Stadium.“I think we’re putting some men in place just to have a better leadership capacity off the field, in the locker room, in workouts, in the classroom and off-the-field settings,” Wilson said. “It sounds good. It seems good, but until you get some really good adversity, you don’t know if it’s really good, too.”Black, who said he is embracing his new role as one of the older, more experienced players, said there is a noticeable difference in the way some of the players are giving a full commitment to the team.“It’s good to see because I kind of didn’t see it last year,” Black said. “I wanted to see it, but I kind of didn’t see it, but when I look around now, I see guys loving it and just enjoying it, and that’s want we want.”Both Hughes and Black said the taste of IU’s most recent game, a 33-25 loss to Purdue on Nov. 26, 2011, is still fresh in the mouths of the players. Black said he is looks forward to taking back the Old Oaken Bucket on Purdue’s field.Hughes said the coaching staff’s system during the 2011 spring camp was new to all the players, but now, they have gotten the hang of the coaches.He said there is no reason why the team can’t not only take the Bucket back but advance to postseason play. “Everybody’s just a lot more hungry,” Hughes said. “No one’s really a freshman anymore, and there’s no more excuses, and everybody’s really hungry to get the Bucket back and go to a bowl game.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>It has been on display at the Olympics in Beijing. It has been seen in the 2011 NBA Finals. It was apparent during the interception return to seal the 2010 Super Bowl Championship.This factor is the training program of St. Vincent Sports Performance, located on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Program alumni include USA Olympic diver Thomas Finchum, Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers and New Orleans Saints defensive back Tracy Porter.Former IU left tackle Andrew McDonald and safety Chris Adkins, who both graduated in December, spent the time off at the facilities at St. Vincent, preparing for IU’s pro day Monday. The workouts McDonald and Adkins were unlike the practices they went through in the fall, as they no longer have a game to prepare for each week.“The main (difference) is a lot of it is technique when we do our running, just because it’s for the pro day or combine,” McDonald said. “Everything is tailored to being at our peak performance during our pro day, so you go there and blow them away.”The two players will undergo seven tests at the pro day, ranging from bench press to running a 40-yard dash. They aren’t the only two training with St. Vincent, as 16 NFL Draft hopefuls worked with trainers for eight weeks to improve their draft stocks.During the program, which is coming to a close, the players are housed in the Embassy Suites hotel, located right down the street from the facility.“It’s kind of like staying on a dorm floor how everything is all set up,” Adkins said. “You can play video games and hang out and relax until we have to go to sleep and wake up and grind all over again.”The routine Adkins spoke of included straight-ahead drills — sprints and other acceleration drills — for 90 minutes Monday and Wednesday mornings and lateral workouts for the same amount of time Tuesday and Thursday mornings.Each afternoon, the athletes spent time in the weight room, overseen by trainers, such as Greg Moore, who is the NFL combine pre-draft coordinator and NBA pre-draft coordinator.Moore said he was attracted to St. Vincent because the facility combines medical treatment with athletic training. Dr. Chris Carr, who was a sports psychologist with former IU fotball Coach Bill Lynch’s staff, is in the same position at St. Vincent.Moore said he found the healthcare at the facilities the most attractive and helpful aspect, and Adkins said the atmosphere has helped him greatly. The hotels might seem like a dorm, but Adkins said the atmosphere isn’t similar to that of IU.“It’s not so much of a college town, and it’s just allowed me to be as focused and give everything to this,” Adkins said. “This is life right now, so no distractions or school or things like that is pretty much the difference.”Moore echoed Adkins’ sentiments, saying these players are no longer student-athletes. This is now a full-time job, but not with pay — not yet, at least, he said.“They’re not really punching the clock,” Moore said. “They’re not paid by the hour. They’re going to be salaried employees when they get in the NFL.”If both Adkins and McDonald reach their goals of playing in the NFL, it will be the third level of football they would play together. They played high school football together at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis before playing together at IU.Adkins isn’t ready to get nostalgic quite yet, though.“I’m sure when we stop to smell the roses once everything is all said and done, we’ll really appreciate going through this experience together,” Adkins said. “As far as right now, he’s just Andrew, and I’m just Chris, good friends.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Watching first-year riders circle the track Thursday, junior Emily Loebig reminisced about her first week as a Little 500 rider.“I did my Rookie Week two years ago, and we got snowed out for a while,” Loebig said, “so it got pushed back.”Loebig, a member of the Little 500 Riders Council who races for Delta Gamma, then turned and adjusted her sunglasses in the nearly 60-degree heat.“It’s definitely been warmer, and I think that has helped and made it a lot more fun for everyone,” she said.Rookies took to the track Feb. 13 for Rookie Week, an annual 10-day tradition during which riders new to the Little 500 learn the basics of racing. Luckily for the riders, the weather has been warm — warmer than most can remember.“I know Riders Council said this is the best weather that they’ve had for Rookie Week in a long time, so I can’t really complain,” junior Drew Manix said. “We’ve got it good.”Wing It Cycling Coach Tom Schwoegler, who is coaching his 47th team this year and has coached both men’s and women’s races, said he can’t remember the weather being this warm to start the season since the 1970s.“If you’re cold and you happen to fall during exchanges or something like that, it hurts a little bit more when it’s cold out,” Schwoegler said. “It’s been good. It’s certainly been an atypical February.”Manix, a Delta Chi member in his first year of riding, isn’t the only person on his team to enjoy the spoils of the warmth. While leaning on the fence and waiting for practice, sophomore Brandon Leviton said the weather is actually contributing to the new riders’ learning.“It’s definitely nice not to have to bundle up for this Rookie Week, and definitely because you’re standing around a good amount,” Leviton said. “It makes it a lot easier to be able to concentrate on what the Riders Council’s saying.”Both rookie Delta Chi riders said there was quite a bit to learn during the 10 days of Rookie Week, and both look forward to beginning full team practices Friday.Loebig said typical lessons include making exchanges, riding in a pack and the basics of all the events, including a mock run of Miss-N-Out, which was won by Wing It junior rider Carley Dean.Schwoegler said Rookie Week is the beginning of a process of learning the ins and outs of the big race, which takes place for the women April 20.“You have to understand people aren’t going to go into kindergarten and do advanced calculus,” Schwoegler said. “They’ve got to build it from addition to multiplication and all the way up through it.”The male and female rookies began this education by alternating practice times during the past two weeks, with slots at 2:30 and 5 p.m. each day. Two days in the first week were affected by weather, but besides that, the track has stayed in good condition thus far into the season.Wally Hansford, one of the two men in charge of maintaining the track, said the physical track is in better condition this year because of the warm weather. Specifically, the track doesn’t freeze and thaw as much as it has in colder years, which causes constant change.Alpha Gamma Delta Coach Steve Gluff, who is coaching for his 11th year, said the talent level is similar to that of past years.Schwoegler said this year has also been typical in that the rookie women have been a bit less aggressive on the track to begin their Little 500 careers.He also said it won’t take long for that to change.“The vast majority of women I’ve coached out here are trying to get their bearings,” Schwoegler said. “Once they get those bearings, just get out of the way. They’re going to be really good.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The No. 9 Hoosiers trailed No. 17 Maryland by two goals entering the final quarter of the Triton Invitational on Sunday. Due to a five-goal performance in the final stanza, however, the Hoosiers defeated the Terrapins and claimed fifth place in the tournament in La Jolla, Calif., with an 11-10 victory.“We battled against a tough opponent and made some crucial plays late,” IU Coach Barry King said in a press release. “We executed in the fourth quarter when we needed to, both offensively and defensively. I’m very pleased with the weekend overall.”It was the second straight victory against a ranked opponent for IU after the team defeated No. 16 University of California, Santa Barbara earlier in the day.Sophomore Shae Fournier, who matched a career high in goals against UCSB, matched it again during the match against Maryland when she found the back of the net four times. Freshman Shelby Taylor joined in the scoring with her first career hat trick Sunday. Senior goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff stopped two Terrapin shots during the final possession to seal the win and total 11 saves for the match. IU led 2-1 at the close of the first quarter, but a five-goal second quarter from Maryland put IU in a 6-5 hole at the half. Taylor, Fournier and freshman Summer Creighton all scored a goal in the second quarter.Taylor scored her second goal of the match to pull the game to a 7-6 margin midway through the third quarter, but 20 seconds later, the Terrapins responded with a goal of their own. The lead increased to three goals early in the fourth quarter, but Fournier scored with seven minutes remaining to spark a 5-1 run during the rest of the match. Her next goal, which came with fewer than three minutes remaining, gave IU its first lead since the 2:34 mark in the second quarter.It was the final lead either team would possess, and IU finished with an 11-10 win. The team’s record improved to 8-3, and the Hoosiers will return to action Feb. 25 against Hartwick in Albany, N.Y.— Alex McCarthy
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Since being ranked in the top 10 in the preseason poll, the Hoosiers have continued to earn their ranking, entering the weekend as No. 9.Through the first three games of the Triton Invitational in Santa Barbara, Calif., the team had compiled a 2-1 record, improving to 6-3 for the season. The first of the wins came against Santa Clara on Saturday, when the Hoosiers had a 9-6 victory. Sophomore Amanda Redfern scored a trio of goals in the first half. Freshman Colleen McNaught helped her teammates’ offensive barrage, compiling a career-high five assists. Despite a three-goal comeback in the final period, the Broncos were kept in check for most of the contest by senior goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff, who notched 10 saves.No. 12 Loyola Marymount proved to be too much for IU, and the Hoosiers fell 7-5. The defenses kept the game scoreless until Loyola Marymount scored with 33 seconds remaining in the first period. Freshman Alexis Jones put IU on the board with a goal at the 1:03 mark in the second period, but the Lions quickly responded 22 seconds later with a goal of their own. A second-half momentum swing wasn’t enough, and the Lions completed the victory and sunk the Hoosiers to 6-3.IU played No. 16 UCSB for the second time in as many weeks Sunday with a similar result. The Hoosiers defeated the Gauchos 7-5 to advance to the fifth-place game against No. 17 Maryland. Fournier led the Hoosiers with four goals in the game. Wyckoff had 10 saves again, making it the eighth game this season for her with double-digit saves.IU advances to face Maryland at 3:10 p.m. PST Sunday.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Offensive Line Coach Greg Frey has been known to set 11 alarms for himself on National Signing Day. Now that it has come and gone, he can sleep in.IU had 25 players sign letters of intent Wednesday, and they faxed them to IU Coach Kevin Wilson and his staff in a span of three and a half hours, ranging from a 5-foot-10-inch, 170-pound wide receiver to a 6-foot-seven-inch, 300-pound offensive tackle. Quarterback Cameron Coffman was among the first to fax his letter of intent to the coaching staff around 7 a.m., and Wilson said he will help fill the void left by three departed quarterbacks from last year’s depth chart. Coffman transferred from Arizona Western Community College and will begin as the backup to freshman Tre Roberson.“He throws the ball well. He’s intelligent, and he’s a very, very bright kid,” Wilson said. “He comes from a football family and is a winner. We look forward, as we go through spring, to getting him in the mix for competition for Tre.”Another quarterback, Nathan Sudfeld, entered the recruiting picture when Offensive Coordinator Seth Littrell — who previously recruited Sudfeld to Arizona when he worked there — accepted the position at IU. Sudfeld committed Jan. 25 and was the final recruit to sign his letter of intent Wednesday.Thirteen of the 25 members of the recruiting class will line up on the defensive side of the ball. Wilson said players such as defensive back Antonio Marshall will help IU at cornerback and in special teams play.On the defensive line, Wilson said the size of players, such as defensive tackle Ralphael Green, will help IU’s line compete with physical Big Ten competition.“The first word in Big Ten is ‘big,’ and Ralph is a big man,” Wilson said. “He could be an offensive player, but we see him as a 320-pound d-tackle. He’s actually lost weight to be at 320. He’ll be a big force inside.”Wilson also said the coaching staff isn’t finished with recruiting the 2012 class quite yet, and they might seek out another cornerback, offensive lineman or linebacker. In 2011, running back Stephen Houston was a late commitment to the team. He committed July 7 and ended up leading the team in rushing with 802 yards and eight touchdowns in the 2011 season. Offensive players of note included running back Tevin Coleman, wide receiver Kevin Davis and offensive tackle Dimitric Camiel, who committed to IU on Monday night. Between the three of them, they turned down offers from Michigan State, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Cincinnati.Rivals.com rated Coleman and Davis at the top of IU’s recruiting class, and Wilson said he was impressed by Davis’ physical and mental traits.“He’s a very mature kid mentally, got a great look in his eye, great demeanor in the way he goes about his business, and he’s got some speed and it’s evident on tape,” Wilson said.Davis’ brother, linebacker Jordan Wallace, was the only high school linebacker the Hoosiers recruited. The other two, Jacarri Alexander and David Cooper, are transfers from junior colleges. Wilson praised Wallace’s ability to use social media to help in the recruiting, and Wallace said he is ecstatic for the chance to make IU football comparable to the basketball program in prominence. “I’m proud to be a Hoosier,” Wallace said via text message Tuesday. “We WILL get Memorial Stadium like Assembly Hall.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>On a day when a throng of high school football players from California to Florida will sign to play with IU in the fall, we can expect a constant stream of breaking news. With recruiting going on at every corner of the country, the sheer volume of updates can be daunting.Both IU media and national media will be present today to help college football fanatics with coverage lasting from before sunrise to long after the sun has set.8 a.m. — IU Athletics Signing Day centralWho Assistant Athletic Director for Broadcast Services Jeremy Gray, IU Coach Kevin Wilson and football staffWhat A webcast at IUHoosiers.comDuration All dayWho should watch Fans of IU football, specifically those who want to see the athletics department’s reaction to the signeesWhy people should watch Until Wilson and the rest of IU Athletics confirms, signees are not officially members of the 2012 recruiting class. This webcast will provide official confirmation, along with a bit of analysis from Gray, Wilson and the rest of the coaching staff. 9 a.m. — ESPNU National Signing Day SpecialWho Hosts Rece Davis and Lowell Galindo, with a number of other analystsWhat A show offering analysis and news for 10 hours throughout the day on both ESPNU and ESPN3.comDuration 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.Who should watch Fans of college football who are looking for more news and analysis on a national levelWhy people should watch Those who want a heaping portion of national recruiting news and analysis from both the ESPNU studios in Charlotte, N.C., and on campuses from Florida to Texas to Michigan will get it on the sixth-annual special from ESPNU.4:30 P.M. — Big Ten network’s Football Signing Day SpecialWho Host Mike Hall, with analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Chris MartinWhat A 90-minute show on Big Ten NetworkDuration 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.Who should watch Fans of Big Ten footballWhy people should watch To find out how IU’s competition fares on National Signing Day and what effect each recruitment will have in terms of the landscape of the Big Ten. While announcing where recruits end up, analysts give their views about how each commitment affects individual teams and the Big Ten as a whole.4:30 p.m. — Hoosier hype live chatWho Sports editor and football reporter Alex McCarthy and National Sports Columnist (and former football writer) Max McCombsWhat A live chat on the Hoosier Hype blog (idsnews.com/hoosierhype)Duration Forty-five minutes to an hourWho should watch IU fans, Big Ten football fans and college football fans who have questionsWhy people should join in Fans can ask questions and interact with the two fall 2011 IDS football reporters. McCarthy and McCombs will discuss recruiting from an IU perspective and a national perspective.They will give the outlook for the Hoosiers in 2012 and in the years to come as news breaks and recruits send in their Letters of Intent.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After vacillating between IU and Mississippi State since his Jan. 13 visit to Bloomington, offensive tackle Dimitric Camiel made his decision Monday.With a phone call to IU Coach Kevin Wilson and Offensive Line Coach Greg Frey at 9 p.m., Camiel verbally committed to play for the Hoosiers in the fall. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star lineman, which makes him the 18th three-star commitment to IU and the 25th overall commit. He is the fourth offensive lineman to commit to IU.For the full story, visit the Hoosier Hype blog here.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>When Jon Fabris arrived at his desk Friday as the new defensive ends coach, it was empty. By midday Sunday, he said he couldn’t even see his desk through all the paperwork covering it.It will have to wait, though. With just six days until National Signing Day, he said his top priority is recruiting. With six potential 2012 players visiting this past weekend, it was one of the last chances to impress recruits.Fabris’ meeting with the media was delayed because he was talking with recruits. One of those was defensive end Nick Mangieri, who committed to IU in June 2011.“He seems like a great guy, and he has a real impressive résumé, so I look forward to playing with him,” Mangieri said. “I pretty much talked to him all weekend, and then we sat down on Sunday and talked a little bit.”Fabris spent nine years at Georgia and was named the best position coach in the SEC by Sporting News. Fabris will visit Mangieri’s home in Dunlap, Ill., later in the week.Mangieri was one of four weekend visitors who already committed to IU, but two — defensive back Jeffrey Hall and wide receiver Ricky Jones — are still in the process of making a decision.Jones is listed as a wide receiver but talked to both Quarterbacks Coach Kevin Johns (former wide receivers coach) and Cornerbacks Coach Brandon Shelby.Jones began as a cornerback and then became a slot receiver. Last season, he played both sides of the ball, and said he feels comfortable on defense as well.The Florida resident said he and other recruits had issues with the layer of ice that covered town. Jones said he fell and thought it was funny.“I didn’t see him fall,” Mangieri said, “but I’m pretty sure everybody else saw me fall.”Jones said he plans to make his decision today, his 18th birthday. He said IU is at the top of his list, followed by Florida Atlantic University and Western Kentucky. He said IU attracts him because of the allure of having a hand in Big Ten football.“When I’m looking at it, it seems like it’s one of the greatest (conferences),” Jones said. “That’s what I like. It’s up there with the SEC. That’s the only conference that can battle with the SEC.”Fabris joked that he has coached in every major conference except the Big Ten. He said he has seen just about every situation.“I haven’t been at the Georgia or Notre Dames all my life,” Fabris said. “I know what it’s like to coach at Washington State, and yet I know what it’s like to beat your cross-state rival three out of four years or beat USC.”Fabris said the attitude of Wilson’s staff will help the team to improve upon its one-win 2011 season.“It can be done,” Fabris said. “Is it easy? No. But it can be done, and that attracted me to be with a personality that believes it can be done.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>As visions of fishnet-wearing, hard-hitting roller derby girls danced on television in front of a 7-year-old girl, she turned to her mother and promised her that one day, she would become a roller derby girl herself.Twenty-nine years later, that girl had grown up to become Molly McFracture, one of the founders of the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls.“By the ’80s and ’90s, I was like, ‘Yeah, that will never happen. It would be so cool,’” McFracture said. “I even told the story about how I thought I could be a roller derby girl when I grew up, but I never thought it would happen, until 2005.”McFracture and two of her friends, who would become known as Raven Furies and Truly F. Obvious, founded the roller derby club in 2006 after McFracture saw a live bout on a trip in 2005. They began with just six women and struggled to recruit the 14 required to field a team.On Sunday, they watched as the Bleeding Heartland club, now 45 members, scrimmaged in a large warehouse rented from D & F Warehouses.The roller girls have come a long way from the squad that practiced in an Ellettsville, Ind., elementary school gym. After members suffered a broken nose and a broken toe in the first meet in Kalamazoo, Mich., years ago, the Bleeding Heartland girls are currently ranked No. 13 in their region.The team was the 135th to be formed in the United States, and not very many girls had seen roller derby when the team was formed. Times have changed, McFracture said.“When there’s five or seven leagues in the country, there’s not a lot of people seeing it,” McFracture said. “But when there’s over 800 leagues in the country, it’s everywhere. You can’t help but see it.”Richard (or Dick, as his friends call him) Smack, the official voice of the team, was a friend of the three original founders for more than a decade before the team formed. His voice had been on radio and in poetry slams but is now the soundtrack to the furious bouts that end in scrapes, bruises and sometimes broken bones.“Radio is live, but this is live in front of an audience,” Smack said. “For me, it’s kind of a performance thing. I’m kind of playing a part, playing a role, but it is a sport, so I have to really call the game like I would a sport.”Unlike the team, Smack has changed very little in appearance since the opening days of the club. In the first ever meet against Kalamazoo, he wore a sport coat he said he pictured Ron Burgundy wearing. On one of the first road trips to Nashville, Tenn., he walked into a Goodwill and spotted a bright orange suit coat.“It’s been my uniform ever since. It was fate,” Smack said. “It’s volunteer orange. It’s fate because it’s team colors.”The girls primarily wear black and orange as they play their bouts at Twin Lakes Recreation Center, along with varieties of striped socks, fluorescent leggings, short shorts and roller skates. These images, along with the competitors’ names, often come to mind when discussing roller derby.Knock’R Down, a friend of the founders, played for a couple years and said names, from Motley Cruel to Harriet of Fire, carry different meanings for each participant.“Some people spend a long time trying to figure out what their name’s going to be,” Down said. “Some kind of get named in the ongoing events. Some people are very attached to their names, and some people are like, ‘Oh, it’s just a name, whatever.’”Even though McFracture, Down and a number of other former players aren’t playing this season, they all watched and spoke excitedly about the coming season. The girls begin the action Feb. 4 at Twin Lakes Recreation Center for the B-Cup Roller Derby Tournament Challenge.K-Shock, a Greencastle, Ind., resident who plays for the Race City Rebel men’s team in Indianapolis, said one doesn’t need to be a roller derby expert to have a good time at a bout.“It’s exciting to watch, whether you know the rules or not,” K-Shock said. “You can go to a bout the first time and enjoy the hell out of it without even knowing what’s going on.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Crimson all-female cheerleaders won the 2012 UCA College National Championship on Saturday in Orlando, Fla.The squad placed first in the All-Girls division, beating Morehead State, San Diego State, Minnesota, Florida State, South Florida, Western Kentucky, Rutgers and Temple in the final round. Morehead State won the previous two competitions, with IU finishing second in 2011 and fourth in 2010. The Crimson squad is made of 35 members, 25 of whom are from Indiana and four of whom are Bloomington natives.Five members of the Crimson Squad — Angela Stilwell, Caity Hinshaw, Natalie Skizas, Kirby Lynch and Courtney Bryne — were named to the 2012 Team USA All-Girl Squad, which will compete in April for its second-straight world championship medal. Stilwell and Hinshaw were members of the 2011 championship team.IU’s co-ed squad, comprised of members from both IU’s Cream (co-ed) and Crimson squads, finished fourth in the nation in the Small Co-Ed division.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Even though he missed a flight and spent unnecessary hours in the Atlanta airport, offensive tackle recruit Dimitric Camiel enjoyed his first visit to IU last weekend.Rivals.com rates Camiel as a three-star, six-foot-six-inch 290-pound offensive tackle from Westfield High School in Houston. During his visit, which began when he arrived in town Thursday night, he and his fellow recruits toured the facilities, including Memorial Stadium.“The stadium is beautiful,” Camiel said. “It’s one of the best college stadiums I’ve seen. I really liked it. I liked the whole setup of how you can basically just stay in one place the whole day except for your classes and your sleep time.”Camiel said he enjoyed the social parts of his visit, as well. He plans to visit Arizona State this weekend and Mississippi State next weekend and said he hopes to get a visit to local University of Houston. Camiel said the former coaches at Houston were very interested in him, but he hasn’t had much contact with the new coaches.“You just can’t beat the closeness to my home, having people come and watch me play, but I haven’t really met with the new coaching staff,” Camiel said. “The old coaching staff liked me a lot. They still weren’t No. 1 on my list — it was IU — but I’ll check out the new coaching staff and see how things go.”IU has occupied the top spot on his list since he met Offensive Line Coach Greg Frey and IU Coach Kevin Wilson last spring. Camiel said Mississippi State is his second choice, and Arizona State and Houston are competing for third. The coaches’ rèsumès have helped convince Camiel to place IU high on his list, but the University’s location works against it.“They’re going to do a lot of good things in this coming season, and I want to be a part of that,” Camiel said. “The only thing that really bothers me is the distance from my home, and my family won’t be able to come and watch me play.”Camiel spent his time with players such as freshman quarterback Tre Roberson, freshmen offensive linemen Bernard Taylor and Ralston Evans and junior center Will Matte, as well as other recruits. Camiel said he didn’t get to watch many IU football games during the fall because of his commitment to his own football season. By talking to players like Roberson or Matte, he learned about the team’s 1-11 season and how IU was close to winning some games but struggled in others.He said that, to have a turnaround season, you have to have a poor season before. “In every year, you’re not going to be undefeated,” Camiel said. “You’re not going to have a winning record. The good thing about it is there’s a possibility to turn things around.”Last weekend, a number of offensive linemen visited IU, including Wes Rogers, who already committed to IU, and Jake Meador, a former Ole Miss commit who has since started looking at other options.“He’s kind of in the same boat I’m in where it’s coming down to what you can do there personally and the goals you can set for yourself,” Camiel said of Meador.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>As 2011 came to an end, the IU football team lost one of its co-offensive coordinators when Rod Smith left to coach at Arizona. On Jan. 3, IU Coach Kevin Wilson named Seth Littrell, coincidentally the former co-offensive coordinator at Arizona, to the post of offensive coordinator.At the close of his first week as a Hoosier coach, Littrell spoke to the Indiana Daily Student about his new job and how everything will work during the upcoming football season.IDS What has this week been like for you? Just a couple of days ago, you got hired here. What exactly has gone on this week?SETH LITTRELL Anytime you take a new job, obviously, it’s getting down and dealing with paperwork and talking with a lot of coaches and meeting a lot of new people, trying to get your paperwork pushed through. It’s hectic, just like with anything, but I’ll tell you what: it’s a great opportunity. I’m thrilled to be here. Any opportunity to work with a guy like Kevin Wilson, who I’ve known a long time. He’s an unbelievable football coach. Unbelievable offensive mind and has got a great staff here. I’ve really enjoyed, throughout this process, getting to know some people on offense and defense. I’ve known some guys who have bounced back here. I’ve known some guys already, so it’s been an easy transition. It’s been great, man. I’m really excited about the opportunity to come into a place like Indiana.IDS What kind of similarities are there in offensive philosophies between you and Wilson?LITTRELL There are quite a few. Our pass concepts ... a lot of it’s the same. When he came to Oklahoma, it was actually that time when (former Texas Tech Coach) Mike Leach installed the system. After him, (former Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator and Kansas Coach Mark) Mangino kind of tweaked it a little bit, (former Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator) Chuck Long kind of tweaked it his way, and Kevin came in and did an unbelievable job. He had top offenses year in and year out. It kind of was built off that system that was already in place. He’s done a great job everywhere he’s been offensively. Obviously, he started at Northwestern with that run game he had and the spread stuff there was unbelievable. He’s done a great job of adjusting the scheme to his personnel. I think it will be an easy transition for both of us. We have a lot of the same concepts and the verbage is pretty similar, so I think it will be a pretty smooth transition.IDS You’re coming into a system where there were co-offensive coordinators, but you will be named the sole offensive coordinator. What kind of differences will there be with just one person having that title?LITTRELL Not any. (Former IU Co-Offensive Coordinator and current Quarterbacks Coach) Kevin Johns is a great coach. I’ve been around Kevin Johns, and he does an unbelievable job. He’s one of the top guys at what he does, and it’s been great getting to know him and sitting down and talking with him. Coach (Greg) Frey is an unbelievable offensive line coach. I have a lot of respect for him. (Running Backs Coach Deland) McCullough has done a great job.The biggest thing about anything is you work as a staff. You come in and talk as a staff and work as a staff and everybody has input on every game plan, so it’s not like I come in here and do everything on my own. We work as a staff and Kevin Wilson is an offensive guy, so we’ll have his input. We all have input. When it’s game day, obviously someone has to make calls, but, at the same time, everything that you do throughout the week is a teamwork deal and even on game day, everybody has ideas. You learn to trust each other and get a great feel for each other. We all pull the rope in the same direction. It’s not like I’m coming in here and those guys have no input. They’re going to have other input. Like I said, I’m a team guy and whatever helps us be successful and be competitive and win football games, I’m all for it.I know they’ve got, offensively, some guys in place who can do some great things. I’m excited about the youth getting a year of experience and I think I’m coming into a great opportunity being around some guys who have played and have experience. There’s great talent on the field. We’ve just got to put them in the best situation to be competitive and win.IDS What have you seen them do well, and what have you seen that you would like to maybe tweak a little bit that could use improvement?LITTRELL I don’t know if I can sit here and say what I need to tweak or not want to tweak right now. It’s still too early. I couldn’t give a fair assessment right now because I’ve only watched a minimal amount of what I need to watch.I know there are players in place that are guys that we can win with. That’s the first thing I’ve seen. But with some things that need to be changed, we have to sit down as a staff and cover those things as a staff.We’ll work on that stuff together and whatever needs to be done. We’ve got great coaches in place, and we’ve got great players in place. Whatever needs to be done, we’ll all pull the rope in the same direction and get this thing right.IDS You’ve been at Arizona and Texas Tech the past few years, but have you watched a lot of Big Ten football?LITTRELL I’ve watched a lot of Big Ten football. Obviously, being on the West Coast, a lot of the Big Ten football games are on early and we play a lot of the late games, so you get an opportunity to sit down and watch a lot of games. The past couple of years, we’ve played Iowa, so we’ve watched film on Iowa the past couple of years. It was an opportunity to see a lot of the Big Ten stuff. It’s a great league. Great players, great coaches, very prestigious programs, and it’s exciting to be in a top league like this.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>IU wasn’t one of the 10 Big Ten teams in a bowl game, but the past few weeks haven’t been boring for the football program.Five players committed to IU since Dec. 11, all of whom will line up on the defensive side of the ball when the 2012 season starts. Four are from junior colleges, and one, defensive tackle Ralphael Green, is from Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, Texas.As players committed to the Hoosiers, however, a pair of coaches left the program. Co-Offensive Coordinator Rod Smith accepted a job in Arizona’s coaching staff alongside Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez, with whom Smith coached at West Virginia and Michigan.On Monday, Defensive Ends Coach Brett Diersen resigned his position and accepted a job at Florida Atlantic University. Although defensive end recruit Nick Mangieri said Diersen was important to his commitment to IU, he is keeping his commitment and believes the team will recover well from the loss.“He was the guy that recruited me,” Mangieri said. “He’s a great guy, and I always enjoyed talking with him and everything, but he was not the sole reason I chose the school. I wish him the best at Florida Atlantic.”Just a day after Diersen left, IU Coach Kevin Wilson announced former Arizona Offensive Coordinator Seth Littrell would take Smith’s place.Wilson made Littrell the sole offensive coordinator after Littrell’s offense in Arizona averaged 30.8 points in 2011 and set school records in completions (398) and completion percentage (.690). This past season, IU completed 211 passes out of 378 for a completion percentage of .558.Though he will be the sole offensive coordinator, Littrell said the entire coaching staff will have a great effect on the offense.“The biggest thing about anything is you work as a staff,” Littrell said. “You come in and talk as a staff and work as a staff, and everybody has input on every game plan, so it’s not like I come in here and do everything on my own.”