Mary Sue Coleman on B10 Expansion, NCAA sanctions

Submitted by Michigantrumpet82 on May 13th, 2010 at 3:45 PM

At an alumni function in Boston, May 12, 2010, Mary Sue Coleman was asked to comment about B10 Commissioner Delaney's remarks about Big10 expansion.  Pres. Coleman stated that the Big10 was seriously looking at expansion up to 16 teams.  The name would remain the Big Ten, no matter what the number.  There are two major considerations going into the expansion decisions: 

1) B10 members currently share equally in revenues.  Unlikely to want any change in that arrangement.  

2)  All current members of B10 are also all part of AAU.  B10 will want their members to maintain that membership reflecting academic standing and stature. 

Asked about the NCAA Inquiry and possible sanctions, Pres. Coleman stated that UM will be announcing its self-imposed sanctions by the end of the month.  She indicated that there was cross comunication between the coaching staff and the compliance people.  The coachig staff thought they'd been given the green light, whereas the compliance people thought that a different question was being asked.  She said that unlike reported in some places, at best the overage amount would amount to roughly 2 hours a week.  She also predicted that many football programs across the US will be dropping compliance people to avoid danger of giving "coaching advice."

She was very accessible and, as another poster on MGoBlog has said in the past, she "gets it."  Met several other MGoBlog readers at the event.  There was some speculation as to how these comments related to the B10 Network, as well as to speculation as to schools like ND and Missouri. 


pee on freep

May 13th, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

can you elaborate any on your last paragraph.  what speculation in reference to what comments?  speculation on how the practice overages relates to ND and Missouri?  like what?  any continuation there would be great.  thank you again.  

interesting that the name would remain Big Ten...

(edit):  nevermind, i think i figured it out..... the AAU issue is how it relates to ND and Missouri.


May 13th, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^ I'm glad to hear that's the case.  It's all about branding our tradition. 

I'm interested in knowing what the process is for AAU admission and if a prospective school could achieve that status in the time between the expansion announcement and the school's admission to the CIC/Big Ten.  If yes, then schools not in the AAU but with AAU admittable credentials could be realistic expansion candidates.


May 13th, 2010 at 4:42 PM ^

The information can be found on their website:


According to their membership pamphlet there is a standing membership committee that regularly evaluates potential member universities. A 3/4 vote is required to gain membership. The following criteria is evaluated:


Phase I Indicators

  1. Competitively funded federal research support
  2. Membership in the National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM)
  3. National Research Council faculty quality ratings
  4. Faculty arts and humanities awards, fellowships, and memberships
  5. Citations

Phase II Indicators

  1. USDA, state, and industrial research funding
  2. Doctoral education
  3. Number of postdoctoral appointees
  4. Undergraduate education

Phase I indicators are used as the primary indicators of institutional breadth and quality in research and education. The Phase II indicators are used to provide additional important calibrations of institutional research and education programs.

Both the Phase I and Phase II indicators constitute the first stage of membership assessment. The second stage involves a more qualitative set of judgements about institutions and their trajectories.

There is information about each of the categories listed here:


Basically, a school cannot just join the AAU. I don't know how Notre Dame's research endeavours stack up against the other AAU schools, but it appears that their educational standards pass the eyeball test.

For whomever was questioning Missouri, it appears they are already in the AAU.


May 13th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

I find it amusing, impressive, and soul-crushingly annoying that we're gonna get to the sanctions phase before USC, despite the fact that (a) the USC thing started years earlier, and (b) REGGIE BUSH GOT A F*^&ING CONDO.

Kalamazoo Blue

May 13th, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

I have the same mix of emotions.

Our record may not be unblemished, but we admit our mistakes with a minimum of excuses and evasiveness, accept our punishment and get on with things.

This makes us pretty unique in big-time college athletics. A point of pride in a weird way.


May 13th, 2010 at 4:00 PM ^

Why are you taking up MGoBoard space with relevant, actual information that we all care about, when you could instead be posting about various sports journalists, the RR v. Trent / Carr situation, the length of Denard's dreads or what Les Miles ate for breakfast?


This was actually a great post with some pretty interesting info - thanks.

Raback Omaba

May 13th, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

Didn't really have an opinion on Mary Sue while I went to school (graduated in 2006), but came to definitely appreciate and admire her through this whole NCAA fiasco.


Also, I was very impressed with her speech at "Obama at the Big House" a few weeks ago. I think that she gave one of the best speeches of the day.


Also, she's pretty attractive in an older woman, university president sort of way.


May 13th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

In her remarks at the 5-12 Boston function, she also spoke about the year long process of bringing Pres. Obama to UM for Commencement.  While many people worked hard to make that happen, she credited the many UM grads in the West Wing, who spoke highly of the school and pushed for his attendance.  She said he was clearly happy at his reception.  She also remarked on how special it was for the various ROTC graduates to receive their commissions from their Commander in Chief. 

Mr. Robot

May 13th, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

I still can't believe we're getting in trouble for going over on time due to what amounts to a miscommunication about whether stretching counts or not and making sure players are at their summer classes.

The QC staff thing sounds like we were pushing our luck on, but I'm still upset that WE'RE getting the cheating label for it and everyone else bending that rule gets to hurry up and fire everyone to make sure they aren't next. All because of a rouge reporter and a paper that wasn't worth the paper it was printed on BEFORE August 30, 2009, much less after.


May 13th, 2010 at 4:26 PM ^

Criteria for AAU membership are here, on the 1/1/02 link.

It's largely based on evaluation of competitive grants won by faculty, awards and fellowships to arts and science faculty, membership in national learned societies (which are by invitation only), citations of faculty work, PhD's awarded, and some nebulous evaluation of the quality of graduate and professional programs.

Of particular interest is the low importance of undergraduate education. It's only mention of undergrad ed says:

The committee will assess the institution’s undergraduate programs to determine that the institution is meeting its commitment to undergraduate education. Recognizing that differing institutional missions among research universities dictate different ways of providing undergraduate education, the committee will be flexible in this assessment.

Long story short: the US News rankings are of almost no importance and shouldn't really be considered except as a very broad estimate of the university's standing.

Election requires support of 3/4 of current members. Given that potential new additions would presumably go in with 12 votes lobbying for them, I would think it would be relatively easy to gain admission. I'm pretty sure that was the assumption of getting ND admitted when they were proposed for Big 10 membership.


May 13th, 2010 at 7:05 PM ^

...for the piece on undergraduate academic reputation and its relative unimportance.  As I've said before, people have made waaaay too much about USN&WR Best Colleges rankings when trying to figure out which schools would meet the academic fit test. 

It's also good to remember that Michigan's academic reputation is based more on its truly elite graduate and professional schools than its undergraduate programs.  I say this as a recipient of a bachelors degree from U-M, not a grad/professional degree.


May 13th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

FWIW, I asked John Bacon on-air a few months ago about this, since ND ain't a member yet an offer was extended to them a while back. Apparently the assumption on the Big 10's part was that ND would apply for admission to the AAU with the understanding that there would be changes at ND affecting the role and importance of research there. Bacon said that there was a significant amount of opposition from ND faculty about the proposed change in emphasis, since ND is not really a graduate research institution per se like UM is; ND has always been an institution primarily oriented to undergraduate education.


May 13th, 2010 at 8:58 PM ^

From a friend on the ND faculty at the time, it caused a big split among the faculty. The majority of  faculty, especially the younger faculty, were in favor of it, as it would have vastly increased collaborative opportunities for research and scholarship as well as opening up some research fellowship opportunities available only to CIC members (I believe there's a year long fellowship at the Newberry Library for CIC humanities scholars, stuff like that). My friend felt that ND could get pretty insular for junior faculty (and has since left). IThose opposing the changes were generally older and more invested in undergraduate teaching. I don't want to impute that those opposing the changes were no longer active scholars and doubt it was fully a "scholars vs. teachers" thing, but that's the general sense I got.

One can imagine why ND undergrads and alums might object to the changes. It would have represented a significant change in their institution from a liberal arts college to a research university. That said, it, combined with being in South Bend, anecdotally makes it difficult for ND to hold onto ambitious younger scholars in many disciplines.


May 13th, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

I was at this same event.  reposting my comments that I originally posted at Rivals.


Attended a donor/alum function where MSC attended, spoke, and answered audience questions. Overall, MSC was extremely impressive, speaks well, high energy, and a sense of humor. Would've never guessed she is 68.

Here is summary of what she said

- on Obama's visit. A year in the making. M sent applications to white house every month. Every month, white house would say "got your application". Secret weapon was number of M grads in white house pushing Obama to come. Mentioned 3 in particular. Said even the President of College Republicans said that they didn't agree with Obama, but glad he came. Said this was the happiest she's seen students with their speaker ever.

- On B-school expansion. B school got a new building. Old building (Frieze?) was too old, torn down. Said "facilities matter" (!!). Said saw acceptance rate rise to 80% after new facilities, unprecedented.

- On Peace Corps - Said M will have a commemoration of JFK Peace Corps christening later this month.

- On Supercollider - some idiot asked what impact the supercollider will have on M. Without missing a beat, MSC mentioned the physics staff working at the supercollider and the grad students publishing papers based on its work.

- on Big10 expansion - Said she loves Jim Delaney is a forward thinker looking ahead to the future. Said 2 teams maybe, or a 16 team big10 is possible. Said Big10 channel (she said channel) has been big success. Said no offers out yet, all that is false. Said all big10 schools are part of AAU (??) where we are all top tier research schools. Said any additions would have to live up to that. Said one big hurdle is that no existing big10 school wants to lower their share of Big10 network money, so she thinks it'll have to be a buy-in plan or else some change in how money works.

- on state budget cuts - Said budget cuts were coming no question. Gave credit to past president Shapiro for diversifying M's money pool Said 7th biggest (or so) endowment in USA. Thanked alums again for donating. Said made a number of budget cuts to help with things. Asked for examples, she said 50k in fewer flowers by her house, 7M in consolidating two parallel IT departments, turning some department facilities into a central service organization, 50k in moving a ceremony from outdoor tent to indoor facility, other savings in custodial stuff with no loss in service. Said that M is tough on granting in-state tuition, because this will really lower revenue stream. Noted that M went to a 7-year payout rather than 3-year a few years back. Others thought M was nuts, but M saw no dip in endowment funds during this entire recession. Noted importance of improving student experience, since this is what keeps people returning.

- On sanctions - said numerous times that M was wrong. Said though that QA coaches want to be real coaches, players want advice, and this makes it hard. Said violations were ~2h a week, which was wrong but not ridiculous. Of nature of reporting strength+conditioning as practice or something like that. Said she felt coaches asked one questions, compliance answered a different question, and there was ships passing in night. Did not believe coaches intentionally cheated. Said self sanctions were coming, to be announced May 24 (I think), same day as NCAA will make some findings public or something like that. Said this situation is common in D1, predicted number of QA coaches at other schools will go down next season. Noted many times we were wrong, but again noted the difficulty of a player who wants advice and the QA coach who has to tell him no. Seem to indicate that RR would NOT be fired over this. Said need to give RR a chance, but in the end it comes down to winning (people clapped here). A few people heckled the person who asked the question and said he was a RR supporter; a few supported the question asker.



*edit* this was not in my original posting, but I remember the same thing about not changing the name of the Big10 if we go up to 16.


May 13th, 2010 at 5:26 PM ^

Interesting bit about QA staff answering players questions ...

Does anybody else think the NCAA rules sound like tax code in their convolutedness about what counts and what doesn't and what defines a coach and what doesn't?

Ty Butterfield

May 13th, 2010 at 8:35 PM ^

This is a great analogy. I am in the middle of a taxation class and I totally agree with this. The tax code has rules that depend on specific situations, yet can also change if other circumstances come into play. Basically you want to bang your head against the wall after reading it. I have only read a little bit of stuff on NCAA rules but I think in a way it does resemble the tax code. There are long drawn out explanations of rules and certain things that apply and certain things that don't. It seems like the goal of the NCAA was to make the rules as complicated as possible, yet they are surprised that schools have trouble figuring them out.


May 14th, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

I also attended the Pres. Coleman reception at the Liberty Hotel in Boston on Wednesday night, and as others have posted, she was very impressive.  It was also great to mingle with some other MGoBlog users who share such a passion for Michigan football!

The posting of Michigantrumpet82 was dead-on, but I wanted to add a few more impressions that I picked up from her.  On expansion and revenue sharing, my understanding of her comments was that not only do current Big Ten members insist on keeping equal revenue sharing, but they wouldn't accept any short term reduction in revenue from the Big Ten Channel, etc., when bringing in the five new members.

She said self-imposed sanctions would be announced on or by May 24th but did not elaborate more.



May 14th, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

...Bill King on Rivals Radio this morning (I know, I know) and he was bloviating about expansion.  WRT ND, he opined that there's no way they'd accept equal revenue sharing with Northwestern, for instance and so the only way that they'd agree to join would be if they got a sweetheart deal.  His speculation may have some merit, but if it's the case, it's another reason to not want ND in an expanded Big 10. 

Like the NFL, one of the reasons for the Big 10's success is exactly because every member entity gets an equal share of the jointly created revenue (i.e., those things other than ticket sales, school merchandising, licensing deals, etc.).  I've said it before, but if ND doesn't want to play by Big 10 rules (conference membership for all teams, equal revenue sharing, AAU membership), then good riddance.


May 14th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

Somebody also asked her about online learning.  She said that learning was also about meeting people, learning about diverse backgrounds, saw online learning as a niche thing.  So she didn't see M going that direction, and got a bunch of applause with that.


May 19th, 2010 at 12:35 AM ^


That's odd... U-M already has online classes... athletes and geographically separated students mostly take advantage of it.  

The problem with online learning gaining more traction is the explosion of degree mills (who are mostly regionally accredited instead of APA, AACSB, yada yada yada) like U of Phoenix, Regis, DeVry, ITT, etc.  

I'll never cease to be amazed at the amount of resumes I continuously receive with Masters degrees listed yet no peer reviewed research was done and/or they completed their whole degree program, while attending part time, in 14 months... it makes me almost want to hire someone from Moo U.  But not quite.

THAT is what giving online learning a bad name... but heck, Duke and ND offer online classes so it can't be all that bad.  Perhaps MSC could learn from those institutions and offer some flexibility at U-M.