Nov. 10, 2010
Indiana's Mark Spitz has been named Big Ten Icon No. 11. The countdown of Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover, continues at 9 PM ET on Tuesday, Nov. 16, with a profile of the California native who won nine Olympic gold medals, eight individual NCAA championships and helped the Hoosiers to four straight NCAA team titles.
New episodes of the 20-episode series, hosted by legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, debut at 9 PM ET every Tuesday night through the end of football season and into the spring.
The summer after his senior year at Indiana, Spitz turned in one of the most memorable individual performances by any athlete in Olympic history. He competed in seven events in the 1972 Munich games and not only won gold medals in all seven, but also set world records in every race. Sadly, the Munich Games are best remembered for an attack by Palestinian terrorists that claimed the lives of 11 Israeli athletes.
Spitz competed at Indiana from 1968-72, and in those years, he won nine Olympic gold medals, five Pan-American Games gold medals, 31 AAU titles and eight NCAA titles. He set 33 world records. He was World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972. He won the Sullivan Award as the nation's outstanding amateur athlete and the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year award in 1972. He was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Indiana University Hall of Fame in 1982, and he became a charter member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.
In an essay for www.BigTenIcons.com, former Chicago Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath wrote, "He showed the world what a truly great, truly committed athlete can achieve." To read the essay on Spitz and learn more about his accomplishments, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at www.BigTenIcons.com.
Fans can visit www.BigTenIcons.com to see a complete roster of Big Ten Icons, which also features essays, video and other key facts about each Icon's career. Viewers can also participate in the "Talk of the Locker Room" contest with a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Weekly winners will take home a 55-inch Philips HD television.
The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed in March 2011. Big Ten Icons is the network's most ambitious multi-platform initiative to date. The program is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in Big Ten history, based solely on their collegiate playing careers. All student-athletes from current Big Ten schools are eligible for the network's list, even if they did not personally play in the Big Ten. Icons 50 through 21 were revealed at BigTenIcons.com.
Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said the series will engage and spark conversation among sports fans everywhere. "What will make Big Ten Icons stand out is the depth of the storytelling," he said. "The rankings themselves are sure to generate quite a bit of discussion."
BIG TEN ICONS COUNTDOWN:
No. 50 Tom Brands, Iowa wrestling (1989-92)
No. 49 Megan Hodge, Penn State volleyball (2006-09)
No. 48 Drew Brees, Purdue football (1997-2000)
No. 47 Chris Spielman, Ohio State football (1984-87)
No. 46 LaVar Arrington, Penn State football (1997-99)
No. 45 Rod Woodson, Purdue football (1983-86)
No. 44 George Halas, Illinois football (1916-18)
No. 43 Chuck Long, Iowa football (1981-85)
No. 42 Curt Warner, Penn State football (1979-82)
No. 41 Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern football (1993-96)
No. 40 Bobby Bell, Minnesota football (1960-62)
No. 39 Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, Ohio State football (1953-55)
No. 38 Calbert Cheaney, Indiana basketball (1989-93)
No. 37 Leroy Keyes, Purdue football (1966-68)
No. 36 Jim Abbott, Michigan baseball (1985-88)
No. 35 Glenn Robinson, Purdue basketball (1992-94)
No. 34 Desmond Howard, Michigan football (1989-91)
No. 33 Alex Karras, Iowa football (1955-57)
No. 32 Scott May, Indiana basketball (1973-76)
No. 31 Neal Broten, Minnesota hockey (1979-81)
No. 30 Alan Ameche, Wisconsin football (1951-54)
No. 29 Cazzie Russell, Michigan basketball (1964-66)
No. 28 Quinn Buckner, Indiana basketball (1972-76)
No. 27 Glen Rice, Michigan basketball (1986-89)
No. 26 Bubba Smith, Michigan State football (1964-66)
No. 25 Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, Michigan and Wisconsin football (1942-46)
No. 24 Anthony Carter, Michigan football (1979-82)
No. 23 Bob Griese, Purdue football (1964-66)
No. 22 Jack Ham, Penn State football (1968-70)
No. 21 Bronko Nagurski, Minnesota football (1927-29)
No. 20 Charles Woodson, Michigan football (1995-97)
No. 19 Suzy Favor Hamilton, Wisconsin track and field (1987-91)
No. 18 Jack Nicklaus, Ohio State golf (1959-61)
No. 17 Steve Alford, Indiana basketball (1983-87)
No. 16 John Cappelletti, Penn State football (1971-74)
No. 15 Dave Winfield, Minnesota baseball/basketball (1970-73)
No. 14 Otto Graham, Northwestern football/basketball/baseball (1940-44)
No. 13 Ron Dayne, Wisconsin football (1996-2000)
No. 12 John Wooden, Purdue basketball (1930-32)
No. 11 Mark Spitz, Indiana swimming (1968-72)
No. 10 Announced Tuesday at the conclusion of Big Ten Icons No. 11 episode
About the Big Ten Network: A joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks, the Big Ten Network is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With approximately 350 live sporting events, and nearly all of them in HD, the network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. The network operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, showcasing a wide array of classic-to-current sports and televising more Olympic sporting events and women's sports than has ever been aired on any other network. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation's finest universities. Each year, the network offers between 35 and 40 football games, 105 regular season men's basketball games; 55 women's basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Championship events; studio shows; coaches' shows; and classic games. The network is available to more than 75 million homes across the United States and Canada, and currently has agreements with more than 300 affiliates, including AT&T U-Verse, Atlantic Broadband, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox (Cleveland, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Omaha, Las Vegas and Northern Virginia), DirecTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Rogers Cable (Canada), Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct (Canada), Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS. For updated information on the Big Ten Network, go to www.BigTenNetwork.com.