Beyond the Scoreboard: Change atop the Big Ten and more on DeMarcus Cousins' recovery

Beyond the Scoreboard: Change atop the Big Ten and more on DeMarcus Cousins' recovery originally appeared on

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins




- Kevin Warren, a trailblazer in the pro football ranks, will soon leave his mark on college sports. The Minnesota Vikings' COO has been named the new Big Ten commissioner. He will replace Jim Delany, who is retiring in 2020 after 30 years at the helm. Warren has spent 21 years working in the NFL, the past 14 with the Vikings. In his new job, Warren becomes the Big Ten's sixth commissioner and the first African-American to head one of college sports' Power 5 conferences. Warren, 55, will succeed Jim Delany, who has been the Big Ten commissioner since 1989. Warren begins his new role on September 16. Delany will officially step down on January 1, 2020, following a 30-year career with the conference. A member of the Vikings for the past 20 years, the last four as COO, Warren has been the highest-ranking African-American executive working on the business side for an NFL team and the first African-American to hold that position in the pro football league. Warren, a Sport Business Handbook contributor, played a key role in the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium as well as the Vikings' TCO Performance Center. 

- While some major league teams balk, the MiLB Iowa Cubs proactively expand netting. According to the Des Moines Register, team President and General Manager Sam Bernabe said the Cubs plan to extend the nets all the way down to both fouls poles for the start of next season. The move has been in the works for quite some time now, but the precautionary measure has become a national subject after Chicago Cubs outfields Albert Almora Jr. laced a line drive into the stands that hit and injured a young girl. The incident has prompted plenty of debate about whether more protected netting needs to be added to ballparks. As far as Bernabe is concerned, it's not a debate. It will happen at Principal Park. Bernabe said his organization has been talking about making the move long before the scary situation occurred in Houston. Netting around parks reentered the forefront of the baseball safety conversation last week after Almora's line drive into the stands. It's great to see some clubs taking the matter into their own hands before the more cumbersome decision – often involving collective bargaining – is made at the major league level.

- Boogie-ing through injury, Cousins helps Warriors. By some estimates, DeMarcus Cousins' torn Achilles tendon last season cost him at least $100 million because it happened right as he was entering free agency. As he rehabbed, Cousins joined the Warriors for a mere $5.3 million – "pennies in the NBA economy," per the Los Angeles Times. While Cousins should be just fine, "In many orthopedic applications like Achilles or rotator cuff repair, with traditional materials like allograft or acellular dermis, you are limited to the void fractions, porosity, strength and bioactivity of the raw material," said Jeff Conroy, CEO of Embody, whose goal is to restore peak performance for orthopedic patients through advanced regenerative technologies. "However, we are able to tune the attributes to mimic the native tissue intended to enhance cell remodeling with greater cell adhesion (tenocytes) and more tendon-like tissue formation. This is particularly beneficial in high demand applications like rotator cuff, ACL and Achilles repair where the re-tear rates far exceed an acceptable norm for surgeons or patients." While Cousins is not an Embody patient, Conroy noted that Embody's implantable devices can significantly improve patient outcomes in soft tissue surgical applications and get pro athletes back in record time.