Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
On Monday afternoon, I made the short drive to downtown Chicago for the first day of Big Ten Volleyball Media Days.
If you didn't know that was a thing, you're not alone! This is the first year the Big Ten has held the event, and to the best of our knowledge, the first time any major conference has held a major media day event for Volleyball.
Big Ten officials told me they issued over fifty credentials for the event, and while I don't think I saw fifty reporters yesterday, the conference room up on the 8th floor of BTN HQ was completely full. It wasn't just national folks like me who were more interested in off-the-field stories, but the national volleyball press, and beat writers from Nebraska, Michigan and Wisconsin, among others, were all in attendance.
I've attended several of these events for football and men's basketball, and certainly some of the coaches, and even players, treat Media Days as an unwanted distraction, an obligation to be endured before getting back to the important work of recruiting and tape grinding. That could not have been less of the feeling yesterday, as coaches, and especially players, nearly universally beamed with excitement and gratitude.
That's refreshing, especially for a guy like me who spends so much of his time talking to jaded or exhausted administrators, consultants, lawyers, etc.
There were a few actual news nuggets that dropped. Here were some of my big takeaways from the first day of the event.