Miller: BTN, Bernstine and Patience

As we get one week closer to the start of football season, we take a temperature of the water cooler talk around Hawkeye Nation. Folks can't seem to get away from talking about the Big Ten Network, and Jordan Bernstine (or Jordan Morris) is also a hot topic. And another top in state hoops star is moving out of state...

It seems an inescapable topic, the Big Ten Network.


No matter how much I would like to move on and focus completely on the upcoming football season, the battle between the Big Ten Network and cable companies throughout the Big Ten region is staring me right between the eyes.


As I have said on the message boards and on my 1460 KXNO radio program, I want the Big Ten Network, personally.  I am a fan of the league, and there will be some Iowa games this year, in football, basketball and wrestling, that will only be available on the network.  So there is no doubt about it, the BTN will be available in my household.


The only thing yet to be determined is how I get it; either through Mediacom, which I currently subscribe to, or through DirectTV, if the cable company cannot come to terms with the BTN.


As a review, in case you have been living under a rock, or you live out of state, the BTN is demanding that its network be carried on the basic cable tier and they want $1.10 per subscriber as a fee to carry their programming, if you are cable provider in the eight state Big Ten ‘footprint'.


Mediacom, along with cable giants Comcast and Time Warner, don't want the network on their basic cable tier.  Mediacom has said that it would gladly offer it on its digital cable service, which means those that want the channel would have to be digital cable subscribers, which means renting a digital cable box, which also means purchasing that tier of programming, in addition to having to pay for the sports package.


Where ever you fall on this issue, one thing is clear; both sides are in business to make as much money as they can, so I don't see anyone being at ‘fault' here.  It's up to you, the consumer, to do what you want/need to do with regards to what sort of television programming you want coming into your home.


If Mediacom and the BTN come to some agreement, I will keep my Mediacom subscription.  If they don't, and the only way I will be able to get the BTN is through DirectTV, I already have the phone number at the ready.


But I do not think there is a ‘bad guy' in any of this.  If you have had less than exemplary experiences with either party, I respect that.  But make no mistake, both sides want to turn a profit, and I see nothing wrong with that.  This is America, after all.


Turning to another direction….


The Jordan Bernstine or Jordan Morris story is not closed.  Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller announced on their Tuesday radio program on KXNO that they had spoken with a Des Moines Police Department representative and were informed that Jordan Morris was a part of an open and ongoing investigation related to an incident from two weeks ago where his brother and mother were hit by automobiles.  There were also other parties that were badly beaten and hospitalized.


Jordan Berstine and Jordan Morris are the same person.


As of right now, no charges have been filed against Jordan, and they might never come.  There are a lot of rumors circulating, and I call them rumors because there are no hard and solid facts in the public domain to verify them, so they are rumors.  Rumors can sometimes turn out to be valid at a later date, and they can sometime turn out to be invalid at a later date.


And being part of an open investigation does not make one guilty of anything.  If you are a witness to a hit and run accident, and you file a report related to what you saw and the investigation was ongoing, you would be considered part of an open and ongoing investigation, too.  That's just one example, and yes, it might be Pollyannaish in its nature.


My stance on this is that I am going to sit back and learn what I can, and I will comment on it once more facts are known.  Right now, there are no facts in the public domain that are worthy of discussion, so that's where I stand.


Moving on…


Cedar Rapids Linn-Mar standout Grant Gibbs is leaving the state of Iowa to play basketball.  He selected Gonzaga over Iowa State this week, after eliminating Iowa and Wisconsin last week.  He becomes the second Linn Mar player to leave his home state in as many years, as Jason Bohannon went to Wisconsin last year.


I have read several message board posts where some Iowa fans seem to be getting impatient with Todd Lickliter and his recruiting.  To be fair, the majority of posts have been understanding of the fact that the man is just three months on the job.  I was glad to see that, because that cannot be forgotten.


The fact of the matter is that Iowa's basketball program is in a rebuilding mode right now, and there is a lot of rebuilding to do, because they are going from a coaching regime that really had no basketball identity to one that is going to implement a system and work that system.  Steve Alford talked a lot about motion offense, but I don't know that we say any consistency there.


So patience is the word on the basketball front…and it might take a couple of years before we can even begin to think about evaluating the Lickliter era…


The Countdown is on:  July 31st is the start of the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon…August 6th is Iowa football media day….and opening kickoff is just 42 days away.

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