NMU Notebook: First recruit for new men’s basketball coach Bill Sall hails from U.P.

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University announced the first recruit of the Bill Sall era on Thursday, and the future Wildcat hails from the Upper Peninsula.

Mid Peninsula senior Brett Branstrom has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for NMU and will join the ‘Cats for the 2013-14 season.

Branstrom, a 6-foot-5 forward from Rock, initially announced his decision to attend NMU on Monday via his Twitter account (twitter.com/21brettb).

“We want to make a focus of being able to bring in some quality players and student-athletes from the Upper Peninsula,” Sall said. “Brett is the first piece to hopefully a very good recruiting class for next season. He’s a quality player and student with a passion for the game of basketball.”

Also announcing his intention to play basketball for NMU, but not signing an NLI because he will be a preferred walk-on, is 6-foot Carney-Nadeau senior Wade Schetter. Like Branstrom, Schetter used Twitter (twitter.com/WSchetter3) to make the announcement.

Both Schetter and Branstrom were named to the All-U.P. dream team this winter by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association with Branstrom winning the All-U.P. Class D Player of the Year award.

Anderson heads to the CFL

NMU senior defensive lineman Zach Anderson has joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League and began working with the team Wednesday, which was the first day of rookie camp.

Anderson, a Sault Ste. Marie native, had two NFL agreements in place with the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills to sign as an undrafted free agent, but both deals fell through. Anderson was still able to attend the Browns’ rookie camp, but was not retained by the team.

Anderson, who graduated in December with a degree in criminal justice after a four-year career at Northern, played defensive tackle for the Wildcats as a senior and finished with 40 of his 71 tackles being solos, plus 10 resulting in negative yardage.

Karr named to committee

Northern Michigan University athletic director Forrest Karr has been named to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

The committee is made up of 20 people who serve four-year terms. Karr will be a part of the committee until Sept. 1, 2017.

The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports researches, educates and advises NCAA schools on the best practices and safeguards for student-athletes.

One topic now being researched by the committee specific to college hockey is the possible use of three-quarter face shields as opposed to the full cages currently in use. The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee brought forth a proposal to move to three-quarter face shields last year.

Karr was a member of the ice hockey rules committee from 2006-10 and the chair from 2008-10. During that time, he and the rules committee worked with the competitive safeguards committee to pass the current contact-to-the-head penalties which result in an automatic five-minute major and either a game misconduct or game disqualification.

Karr, who was nominated for the committee by GLIAC commissioner Dell Robinson, has also worked in the NCAA General Counsel’s office and is a member of the Sports Lawyers Association.