Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm / Updated at 9:51 pm
big ten athletics
Notes: Delany doesn't expect breakaway from NCAA

CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany isn't buying talk that the nation's largest football-playing schools are about to break away from the NCAA.

Or that they need to.

“I don't see some radical separation by five conferences from the rest,'' he said Wednesday at the conclusion of two days of league meetings. “I think that would be unhealthy.''

Speculation has flared off and on for 15 years that the power conferences need to break away from the NCAA or have the NCAA create a separate division for them. Alabama coach Nick Saban added to the chatter last week by opining that the 50 or 60 biggest football schools should play games only among themselves.

Delany isn't against NCAA reform of cumbersome administrative and governance rules.

“I do think we should be in smaller groups,'' he said. “I don't think 380 people trying to make rules make a lot of sense. Maybe we could be half as large as we are.

“But I'm not looking for a football-only, monolithic grouping.''

Delany said Ivy League schools and basketball-only conferences have ideas that football powers should listen to.

Get the latest Big Ten headlines from The World-Herald and from beat writers around the nation.

“I think you may see changes inside the NCAA in terms of governance,'' he said. “But I think the basketball tournament is going to stay just like it is with the revenue-sharing and access.

“And now we have a 12-year template set for college football with access and revenue-sharing. So those things are all behind us.''

Expansion again

Delany can't get through a meeting without facing an expansion question. Talk persists that the Big Ten wants to grow to 16 members. Nos. 13 and 14 — Rutgers and Maryland — come aboard July 1, 2014.

Asked if expansion is dead, Delany deadpanned: “Dead is a strong word. But I told you guys we are inactive, and that all our time is being spent on integration and consolidation (of Rutgers and Maryland).''

Many outlets write that expansion will stop because the Atlantic Coast Conference approved a broadcasting grant-of-rights deal that runs into the 2020s. As written, no team could leave the ACC and take its broadcast rights with it to a new league.

But multiple conference officials, university administrators and attorneys have said while grants of rights are another hurdle to expansion, they aren't an Iron Curtain.

Delany joked that he hears reporters say they are tired of writing about expansion, yet he gets asked about it regularly.

“I don't know which it is,'' he said. “From my perspective, we are inactive.''


Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith shivers at the thought of playing the Big Ten football championship game outdoors. The first two have been at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with the retractable roof closed.

“I love Indianapolis, and I love the facility,'' said Smith, who drew a laugh by adding, “I love St. Elmo's (a famous restaurant).''

But another dome — Ford Field in Detroit — and improvements in that city's downtown interest Smith.

“I'm one of those guys who believe we have an obligation when we can to have a social conscience and economic impact in a community that suffers,'' he said. “That's why when I was on the basketball committee I thought it was important to go back to New Orleans, and I feel that way about Detroit.''

Just don't go outdoors in the first week of December.

Join the conversation on the Big Red Today Facebook page.

“The total package we have to create that time of year around our championship game calls for it to be indoors,'' Smith said. “Some of my colleagues feel differently, and that's OK.''

Michigan State A.D. Mark Hollis thinks a title game at Chicago's open-air Soldier Field would be “hip and cool.''

“I think we should be looking in New York and Detroit and here in Chicago,'' he said. “The Super Bowl (suburban New York) is going to be in inclement weather potentially.

“I'm not pushing for it. But I'm also not against looking at that kind of environment.''

Bits and pieces

Big Ten officials said the 2014 and 2015 football schedules likely will be revealed by week's end. ... Hollis said he would never say never to a job as a conference commissioner or in the NCAA hierarchy, but said he is very happy at Michigan State. ... If Omaha wants to bid to host the Big Ten basketball tournament, Hollis said, it would get full consideration like any other city. ... Northwestern A.D. Jim Phillips said about $70 million to $80 million has been raised toward the school's new $220 million on-campus athletic center/recreation building. ... Delany said conference basketball play will remain at 18 games. He said he thought league teams got tired toward the end of last season, and that more games against each other would exacerbate the problem. ... Over two days of interviews, no A.D. or conference official expressed interest in divisional play for basketball.

— Lee Barfknecht



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >