NIU’S JORDAN LYNCH INVITED TO NEW YORK: Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch, a Mount Carmel grad and Times 2008 Illinois offensive player of the year, will travel to New York City and be honored as a finalist for the 2013 Heisman Memorial Trophy, the Heisman Trophy Trust announced Monday during ESPN’s Sportscenter broadcast. Lynch is the first Huskie player to be selected as a finalist for the trophy, which annually recognizes the most outstanding college football player in the country.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded at 7 p.m. Saturday (Central time)during an ESPN national television broadcast. Lynch is one of six finalists for the award in 2013.
"It’s a great honor and a great accomplishment, but I couldn’t do it without my coaches, teammates, family and the support staff," Lynch said in an NIU news release. "It’s hard [to get selected from a non-AQ school]. One of the biggest things is you have to win games, have a winning team and your stats have to separate you from the bigger schools. I knew if I had a chance to get there it would be a good individual season, and I knew it would take a great year as a team for us. I’m really happy and like I said, I wouldn’t be here without my coaches and teammates."
Lynch, who won the MAC’s Vern Smith Leadership Award as league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, is also a finalist for the Manning Quarterback Award, the Senior CLASS Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award.
The only FBS player in the country who is his team’s first option both as a passer and as a runner, Lynch had 4,557 yards of total offense on 1,881 rushing and 2,676 passing yards. He gained over 300 yards of total offense in 11 of the Huskies’ 13 games in 2013 (all except blowout wins over Purdue and UMass when he did not play fourth quarter).
HORIZON LEAGUE HONORS KARUNGI: Valparaiso's Sharon Karungi has been named the Horizon League Player of the Week after leading the Crusaders to a pair of wins, its first two of the season, at the Toledo Invite.
In Valpo's 74-50 victory over Chicago State on Friday, the junior center scored 16 points while grabbing 14 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. Six of her boards came on the offensive end. in Saturday's 63-61 win over the host Rockets, Karungi scored the game-winner on a putback with three seconds to play. She finished with 14 rebounds and 15 points. Karungi shot 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) from the floor in the tournament.
NHL SALARY CAP EXPECTED TO RISE: The NHL salary cap is expected to rise to about $71 million next season, an increase of more than 10 percent.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the optimistic announcement Monday at the league's board of governors meeting. The ceiling of the salary cap is determined by hockey-related revenue generated this season, so the new figure is merely an estimate, Bettman said.
The minimum amount for teams to spend is expected to be about $52 million. The NHL has had a major recovery one season after the lockout-shortened campaign.
The upper cap for this season is $64.3 million.
Teams were allowed to spend up to $70.2 million during the lockout-shortened 2013 season as part of a transition year before the cap went down in accordance with the 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue that was agreed to as part of the new collective bargaining agreement.
VALPO'S SCHMIDT EARNS A SILVER: Valparaiso grad Casey Schmidt heads up a list of 18 men who have been named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2014 Silver Anniversary Team, based on outstanding accomplishments as a senior player 25 years ago.
The team includes 13 members of the 1989 Indiana All-Star squad. Five other all-state players are included to recognize the top of Indiana’s high school class of 1989. They are: Mr. Basketball Pat Graham of Floyd Central, as well as Schmidt, Calbert Cheaney, Greg Graham, Rodney Holmes, Chris Lawson, Jamie Matthews, Tony McGee, Rich Mount, Matt Petty, Matt Painter, Kenny Rowan and Nate Tubbs.
The remaining five, named to various all-state teams are: David Anderson, Tony Barbee, David Hinton, Scott Matthews and Mickey McPherson.
Members of the Silver Anniversary Team will be honored during the Hall of Fame induction dinner March 26 in Indianapolis.