Penn State claims nine finalists for Wednesday's BTN Awards Show

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Nine Penn State athletes, coaches and teams have been nominated for the Sixth Annual BTN Awards Show, which airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26. Mike Hall will host the half-hour show.

The announcement of two prestigious Big Ten Conference awards for the best female student-athlete and the best male student-athlete will highlight the evening's festivities. The show also will feature interviews with selected award winners, both coaches and players.

The Nittany Lions are the only Big Ten member with a combined three candidates for both the Big Ten Men's and Women's Coach of the Year. Penn State is also the conference's only institution with nominations for both the Big Ten Men's and Women's Team of the Year.

Penn State's NCAA Wrestling National Champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) and the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) are nominees for the Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards, respectively. The two athletes were named Penn State's 2012-13 Athletes of the Year earlier in June.

Penn State's Allen Robinson (Southfield, Mich.), a 2012 first-team All-Big Ten selection and the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, is one of four candidates for the Breakout Performer of the Year. Robinson led the Big Ten in every major statistical category for wide receivers, including receptions (77), receiving yards (1,013), and receiving TDs (11). Other nominees for the honor are Michigan's Trey Burke (basketball), Northwestern's Venric Mark (football) and Indiana's Victor Oladipo (basketball).

In the Men's Coach of the Year category, two of the five finalists are from Penn State. Nittany Lion wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and football coach Bill O'Brien are joined by Michigan basketball's John Beilein, Indiana soccer's Todd Yeagley and Indiana baseball's Tracy Smith. Sanderson has received the honor in each of the past two years and O'Brien is nominated after just his first season on the sidelines in Happy Valley.

Women's head soccer coach Erica Walsh is one of four nominees for Women's Coach of the Year, along with Northwestern lacrosse's Kelly Amonte Hiller, Minnesota ice hockey's Brad Frost and Michigan's volleyball's Mark Rosen. Walsh led the Nittany Lions to the program's 15th-straight Big Ten Title and the team's first appearance in the NCAA National Championship game.

Penn State's Big Ten and NCAA Champion wrestling squad is one of four nominations for Men's Team of the Year. The Nittany Lions are joined by Indiana soccer, Michigan swimming, Ohio State football and Indiana baseball.

The Nittany Lions hold half of the nominations for Women's Team of the Year, as Penn State soccer and volleyball are each nominees. Other nominees for the award are Minnesota ice hockey and Northwestern lacrosse.

Winners will be chosen in a number of other award categories on the BTN Awards show, including best finish and game of the year.

BTN is available to more than 80 million homes through agreements with more than 300 cable, satellite and telco providers in all 50 states and Canada. Adams and Blue Ridge Cable in Pennsylvania, though, do not carry the Big Ten Network. The network also is not available to Armstrong Cable customers in western Pennsylvania and the Medina and Youngstown, Ohio areas. A combined total of more than 35,000 Penn State alumni live in communities served by the three cable providers, in addition to thousands more fans and current Penn State students.

Multiple Penn State football games will air on BTN this fall, including the Sept. 7 contests vs. Eastern Michigan (12 p.m.) and the Sept. 14 primetime contest with UCF (6 p.m.).  

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Last Updated July 11, 2014