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Volume 24 No. 114


The Big Ten yesterday announced that Indianapolis "will be the site of the first five Big Ten football title games, beating out Chicago for the events," according to Jeff Rabjohns of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Indianapolis "already had been awarded the inaugural game, to be played Dec. 3," so the four-year deal announced yesterday means the game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium through '15. All five Big Ten football title games "will be played in prime time and broadcast on Fox," and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said that Fox "preferred an indoor venue for football." Delany added that weather "was a concern for a December game." Meanwhile, the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments "will rotate between Indianapolis and Chicago" beginning in '13. The tournaments "will be in Chicago in 2013 and 2015 and at Conseco Fieldhouse in 2014 and 2016." Rabjohns notes Indianapolis has "had practice hosting high-profile games." The city "already is in a regular rotation to host both men's and women's Final Fours," and the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments "will be played at Conseco Fieldhouse in 2012, the end of a five-year contract between the league and the city" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 6/6). In Cleveland, Doug Lesmerises writes, "Consider it no small matter that Fox told the Big Ten it preferred an indoor venue" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/6). Delany: "In order to establish ourselves and build a foundation, it's [a] good idea to be indoors and see what we have. ... Indianapolis has a unique ability to deliver turn-key events in a quality way" (, 6/5).

SHORT OF THE MARK: In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein reports a "lack of a united effort ... worked against Chicago in football." Big Ten presidents and chancellors "examined bids from three groups (Chicago Park District, United Center, Sears Centre) compared with the synergistic Indiana Sports Corporation proposal." Delany said, "For anyone who has been around the Final Four or the Super Bowl, you can't help but look at the integrated nature of the Indianapolis bid process." Greenstein notes the United Center will host the men's basketball tournaments, while the 11,800-seat Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., will host the women (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/6). Delany said that there is a "chance both men's and women's tournaments will be played at the same time in Chicago and Hoffman Estates in mid-March" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 6/6).

The Big 12 BOD "closed spring meetings Friday by adjusting its distribution formula for college football TV revenue" in a "major move toward more equal revenue sharing," according to Chuck Carlton of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said that the amount "to be evenly shared will increase" to 76% from 57%. As much as "80 percent of the total conference revenue -- including bowl payouts and NCAA basketball money -- could be divided uniformly next year." Teams "will still receive an extra share of the football revenue pie for playing quality competition, or shifting games to accommodate TV," and the "third-tier TV rights remain the property of each school." But Texas A&M Univ. President R. Bowen Loftin said, "What’s happening clearly is we’re moving in a steady pace toward a more equal sharing revenue model, which is a good thing for the long-term stability in the conference." Carlton wrote the move "indicates that all the talk of a more solidified Big 12 since its near-death experience is not just lip service." Every Big 12 school "will be making lots more money" thanks to the "new $1.17 billion contract from Fox Sports for its second-tier (cable) rights." The increase "should average about $5.2 million per school" during the '12-13 academic year, and the Big 12 "also received the equivalent of a 'signing bonus' from Fox for next year." Beebe said that "most Big 12 schools could approach the $20 million mark in annual distributions as the Fox contract continues" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/4). The AP's Doug Tucker noted the Big 12 is "spending part of its new money on polishing its image and brand." The conference partnered with Austin-based GSD&M Idea City, and will "launch a media blitz at the start of the football season" (AP, 6/3). Beebe said "experts" told him that the conference's logo is "unique, with the use of the Roman numerals, and also one that has a lot of power to it" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/4).

FILLING THE COFFERS: In Orlando, Rachel George reports each SEC school "will receive another $18.3 million in distribution from the conference" this year, marking "another record year." The SEC reported $234M in revenue in the '10-11 FY, "with the schools retaining $14.2 million from bowl participation." That "leaves the conference to divvy up $200 million, its highest total ever" and a 5.3% increase from $209M last year. George noted the total "doesn't include amounts schools receive from their local media deals" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/4).