SBD/Issue 244/College Football Preview

Big Ten, Pac-10 Commissioners Discuss Conference Expansion

Delany, Scott Discuss Conference Expansion
On CBS College's "The Tony Barnhart Show"

CBS College Sports' "The Tony Barnhart Show" featured appearances by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott Tuesday night, and Barnhart noted this summer "came dangerously close to changing the entire face of college football as we know it and it came in one word: Realignment." The Big Ten added Nebraska, but Delany noted the conference "thought anything more than 12 would require a really in-depth analysis in terms of how schedules work, whether or not there is a great academic and athletic fit, and, basically, how you would be able to pay for it." Delany added one has to be "aware of the intended consequences" of expansion and how it affects the Big Ten and other conferences. Delany: "We were aware of those things … and we were transparent about what our intentions were. We were trying to protect ourselves as well as others as we did our due diligence." Meanwhile, the Pac-10 added Colorado and Utah, and Scott said, "We didn't set out looking to put together a superconference or thinking about 16 teams. We started on this journey getting ready for our upcoming media negotiations in 2011 looking at all the different things we needed to do to optimize our conference going forward." Scott added any decisions about expansion "ought to be made on a long-term basis." Scott said of adding Colorado and Utah, "I don't think you want to be changing conference affiliation for any sort of short term hit. Our view is that strategically, economically and otherwise this is a major uplift for the conference." Scott added, "There's big dollars involved, there's big value, and I think our university presidents want to see a professionalism and expertise in the way we're managing the brand, managing the media assets and other commercial assets that we have" ("The Tony Barnhart Show," CBS College Sports, 8/31).

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