I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Just to be clear- this is NOT a rumor.
But, with Jim Delany's comments at the Big Ten Media days and carnival, doesn't it seem like he's making a subtle move to become NCAA commish when Mark Emmert's reckoning finally comes (albeit in the form of a contract buy out or something).
The man does have a pretty good resume, what with the Big Ten Network's success, instant replay, and being the major force behind conference expansion. Of course, that latter point might be his biggest mark against him, too. I am not sure there is anyone more qualified-- which
Delany's four-point plan came in advance of any comments he made about NCAA president Mark Emmert, who has been criticized by his colleagues in other conferences over the past two weeks...
"There's been a lot said about Mark Emmert," Delany said. "My view is Mark has done some good things and Mark has made some mistakes. Let me tell you this: Running the NCAA is real challenging.
"Most of the problems we see today preceded Mark Emmert, so the fundamental challenges to institutions and conferences and the NCAA were here before Mark Emmert walked in the door."
Delany also touched on the NCAA's scrutinized enforcement group, telling ESPN.com that the group has been "a lightning rod within a lightning rod." As a former NCAA investigator, he plans to study the situation further and provide some suggestions going forward.
"I would like to see the people who make the mistakes pay the price and see the institution pay a lesser price," Delany said. "I would like to see it clearer when an institution is in jeopardy on institutional control that that's reserved for the worst of the worst. And I want to make sure if you make a mistake, there's a process. ... We should be able to communicate better which are the major [infractions] and which are the not so major ones."
A coworker sent this article to me just now. Apparently due to the ongoing situation at Penn State, the conference has been mulling a proposal that would give the commissioner, along with the presidents and chancellors, the ability to "penalize individual members of an institution, should their actions significantly harm the league’s reputation."
I'm not sure how I personally feel about this without seeing the proposal itself, but it would obviously be unprecedented.
An excellent primer from Black Shoe Diaries on the impetus behind all of the conference realignments that occurred from the early 1990s to today. That impetus is, of course, cash money.
...why are universities so eager to realign today? As best I can tell, there are five top reasons, as follows:
- Money, to fill gaps caused by bankrupt state budget cuts.
- Money, to fuel the fleet of university jets that universities can't afford not to have.
- Money, as future media rights payouts go through the roof. And,
- "Stability", defined as membership in a conference that will maintain its place at the (money) feeding trough.
More to the point, it's football driven TV money.
...the TV networks say that basketball sucks. ABC/ESPN told the ACC that they can have all the alley-oops they want; they can have a big alley-oop party in the middle of Tiananmen Square and it won't make a lick of difference, because basketball ads don't bring 30% of what football ads bring. Only football maters. Or, at least, that's how Clemson's Athletic Director explained it.
So what does this mean for the B1G?
...the payout to that 2-win Minnesota team (thanks, Hawkeyes!) is in the $20+ million range, and climbing. That's right, Tomahawk Nation. Minnesota and Indiana raked in north of $60 million over the last 3 years, winning an FCS-assisted average of a grand total of 3.57 football games, while you were making $11 - $12 million slogging it out against Oklahoma and Florida in your non-con. Doesn't that thought make you want to vomit? And that number is only going to increase, by the way.
The Big Ten Network is a cash cow that's only getting fatter; and, the Big Ten is the one power conference that has NOT renegotiated its first-tier (ABC/ESPN) football rights in the last couple of years, as far as I'm aware of. Yep - the Big Ten makes the most money today, with the oldest set of contracts, in a fast growth market. The ABC/ESPN deal expires in 2016/17. When that contract comes up for renegotiation, just watch out.
The post goes on to speculate about the desirability of several ACC schools and comes to the standard conclusion that Notre Dame is the only school that is worth the B1G's pursuit. My only comment to that is that perhaps it is, but if a next round of realignment occurs, the B1G will be looking for ND+1 or ND+3 or if ND stays steadfast in its desire to be an independent OR they go to the Big XII, the B1G will have to look for 2-4 candidates who may not be all that and a bag of doughnuts, at least from the straight cash, homie perspective. Candidate schools will have to:
- Help the B1G capture or solidify key TV markets (NYC, Washington, DC, Atlanta)
- Be good to semi-good in football
- Be good fits for the CIC
- Have intangibles that make up for something lacking in 1-3 (MBB, other sports) * +
Lots of ACC schools fit that profile to some degree or another, but especially Syracuse, Maryland, UVA, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech (geographically speaking (not only are these schools aligned north to south, but also east to west!)).
As a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and a parent of UVA and VT students, my biases are plain. Get the B1G into the Old Dominion, Jim Corleone.
In a phone interview with the New York Post, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney discussed the significance that the East Coast holds for the conference.
The Big Ten commissioner, a South Orange native and North Carolina graduate, knows full well the value of the D.C.-to-Boston corridor, whose epicenter is New York.
"Anyone who forgets that forgets at their peril. It's the center, it has been the center of media activity for a hundred years. It's the center of financial activity and it has been that way for 150 years. To me it's sort of where a lot of things start in the county."
And in terms of college football, the East Coast is where the sports expansion could find its end game. Delaney would not talk specifically about expansion, but he reiterated the league's initial stance in December 2009 of studying the issue over a 12-to-18 month period. A college football presence in the metropolitan area remains very high.
"For us it's important. We haven't been there except through Penn State. Our teams play in the Garden. They play in the Meadowlands. They play teams out East. They play in the NIT. They play in the ACC. I consider the East Coast to be as important to us as the West Coast is even though the West Coast has got the Rose Bowl and the Big Ten-Pac-10 relationship. And it's so because of the recruitment of students, the recruitment of athletes, the size and scope of the markets. I hope it becomes more important."
As the Big Ten conference meetings approach, the subject of conference expansion will be back on the front burner soon. So after a several month reprieve, stand by for an avalanche of conference expansion coverage.