Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Truth Is Out There -- The Latest Scoop On Big Ten Expansion
Do you want to know what’s REALLY going on with Big Ten expansion? Sure you do. Are you going to get it from Commissioner Jim Delany?
Not a chance.
The guy with the North Carolina basketball pedigree and lawyer training is releasing information on a need-to-know basis and basically nobody needs to know.
This, of course, is unacceptable.
The truth is out there, to borrow a phrase from the X-Files, and we will find it. So we turn to Indiana football coach Bill Lynch. He was at last month’s Big Ten meetings in Chicago. He listened to Delany discus expansion.
Does he have inside information?
Can he reveal it?
You be the judge.
“It’s interesting that at the Big Ten meetings there was media from all over the country,” Lynch said. “I’ve never seen that many for a spring meeting of any kind. The Commissioner shared with us where they are in the process. He told us all we needed to know.”
Could that have been information on the likelihood of high-profile schools such as Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas and Rutgers joining the Big Ten to form a super-conference the likes of which college sports has never seen?
Lynch wouldn’t go that far.
“A lot of things are going on behind the scenes,” he said. “It’s a process. They are following the process the commissioner first introduced in December. There is a lot of exploring going on to make sure it is the right thing for all of our institutions. Who are those schools? Are they compatible with Big Ten schools? Do they want to do it? What are the ramifications?
“This is not something you do by sitting in smoke filled rooms. This will affect a lot of people. How far reaching it is I don’t think they even know yet. When we’ll hear something I don’t know. As a coach you control what you can control. This is not a situation that we do.”
Will coaches have an input in the final decision?
“I don’t think so,” Lynch said. “This is a decision for the commissioner, the presidents, the athletic directors, the faculty reps. It affects so many people and we as coaches have tunnel vision. All we see is how it affects football. It needs to be people who are responsible for the big picture. As coaches we need to be positive and move in whichever direction they go.”
To discover that direction we turn to IU athletic director Fred Glass. He’s a no-bull kind of guy. He KNOWS something. We just have to ask the right –- Did you order the Code Red -– kind of question.
So Fred, what do you know and when did you know it?
“I have plenty of thoughts,” he said, “but I’ll keep them to myself. Commissioner Delany has asked us to go from a quiet stage to a silent stage.”
Are you SERIOUS?
“They do their thing and evaluate what they should do,” Glass said. “I certainly won’t comment on schools or what they should do. The good news from the Big Ten perspective is the conference is so strong financially that we don’t have to expand. It’s always good to go into a business relationship and not have to do a deal. We don’t have to. If it’s not a great deal, we won’t do it.
“My thoughts are momentum is building toward expansion and we’ll end up doing something.”
Will you have input?
“This is a decision for the presidents, but it’s fair to say athletic directors are a working group that will be kept apprised of the situation. I would expect most if not all the presidents would ask input from athletic directors.”
What will that input be?
That, it seems, remains a mystery.