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Volume 26 No. 183
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Big Ten ADs Prefer Next Commish To Have Strong Conference Roots

Northwestern AD Jim Phillips is considered by many to be a strong candidate to replace Delany
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Northwestern AD Jim Phillips is considered by many to be a strong candidate to replace Delany
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Northwestern AD Jim Phillips is considered by many to be a strong candidate to replace Delany
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

With Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany set to retire in '20, some conference ADs have said that they "hope the next commissioner has a strong understanding of the conference’s philosophies and values, ideally from the inside," according to Shannon Ryan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said, "Certainly you need someone who understands this league and appreciates what this league represents. Someone that is strong enough they can deal with the coaches and athletic directors and chancellors at great universities. Someone who can build a consensus." Northwestern President Morton Schapiro is "heading the search committee" for the next commissioner that is being "assisted by search firm Korn Ferry." Northwestern AD Jim Phillips is "considered a strong candidate." Alvarez said, "He’s well-respected. I don’t see why not." Alvarez, Ohio State AD Gene Smith and Michigan State AD Bill Beekman all said that "experience negotiating media rights should not be a priority." Smith: "A lot of people put emphasis on television, but that’s not a big issue for us." Beekman added, "From my personal perspective, the most important criterion is somebody that ‘gets’ the Big Ten" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/15).

COMING TO A CONSENSUS? In Detroit, Matt Charboneau notes Delany when speaking on the CFP has indicated that there "should be open discussions about looking at how the field is determined and possible expansion," which is an "opinion that is shared by at least some" of the Big Ten ADs. Michigan AD Warde Manuel said, "I’m open to the consideration and looking at it and thinking about it." Alvarez: "It concerns me that everyone has not been included" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/15).