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Big Ten's Jim Delany Takes Measured Tone In Power Five's Push For Autonomy
Published July 29, 2014
HITTING THE BULLET POINTS: Delany addressed several other topics, including the unionization efforts sparked by Northwestern football players. He said, "I don’t think there’s anything that’s inevitable. I think that the first thing I would say is that it happened at Northwestern -- I think it was surprising but probably not shocking. And it will get resolved there pursuant to the law and pursuant to the desires of the players. Whether or not it’s got legs in other places around the country, it’s hard to predict or project. I would say even at the outset that, for the most part, these matters of labor are really a state-by-state issue, especially for public institutions. ... We’ll work with whatever outcomes are there, and as it goes through, we’ll present our position in a vigorous way" (DETROIT NEWS, 7/29). Delany also reiterated that the Big Ten scheduling model "going forward will include nine conference games, one nonconference game against a power league opponent, and no games against FCS teams." He acknowledged that some high-level FCS teams "are more competitive than low-level FBS squads and that it often costs less to schedule games against the FCS." But Delany said that he is "worried less about the budget and more about making sure his conference has the strength-of-schedule ratings needed to catch the eye of the College Football Playoff selection committee" (ESPN.com, 7/28).
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES? In North Carolina, Adam Smith noted Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner Tom Yeager "doesn't hesitate to defend his turf." In delivering a "different perspective on the major conferences' move for autonomy -- and at times scoffing at it -- Yeager used this past week’s CAA kickoff event at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to fire bow-crossing shots from his league’s position." Yeager: "My attitude is, have at it guys. ... For the first time in decades, Texas can’t blame Towson for their problems. Alabama can’t cite Albany. Michigan can’t blame (James) Madison. USC can’t blame UNH. We’re no longer the villains in whatever happens" (BURLINGTON TIMES NEWS, 7/27).