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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Ten's Statement on 12th Team

The Big Ten has released a statement about the possibility of adding a 12th team to the conference. Jim Delany didn't speak on the topic at 4pm as originally thought, which is sort of disappointing. All the statement really says is that the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors will basically look at the situation, and a recommendation will be given in 12 to 18 months. This is really a joke, considering the news coming out all day was that the Big Ten was all over a 12th member, and it seemed like it was somewhat imminent. An interesting note here is that MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon is actually the head of the council, something I had no idea about.

The Detroit Free Press has an interesting picture collage of suggestions as to a 12th team, all of whom I've heard mentioned before. Here's the official word from the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors on the addition of a 12th team:

Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in June of 1990 and its addition has been an unqualified success. In 1993, 1998 and 2003, the COP/C, in coordination with the commissioner’s office, reviewed the issue of conference structure and expansion. The COP/C believes that the timing is right for the conference to once again conduct a thorough evaluation of options for conference structure and expansion. As a result, the commissioner was asked to provide recommendations for consideration by the COP/C over the next 12 to 18 months.

The COP/C understands that speculation about the conference is ongoing. The COP/C has asked the conference office to obtain, to the extent possible, information necessary to construct preliminary options and recommendations without engaging in formal discussions with leadership of other institutions. If and when such discussions become necessary the COP/C has instructed Commissioner James E. Delany to inform the Chair of the COP/C, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, and then to notify the commissioner of the affected conference(s). Only after these notices have occurred will the Big Ten engage in formal expansion discussions with other institutions. This process will allow the Big Ten to evaluate options, while respecting peer conferences and their member institutions. No action by the COP/C is expected in the near term. No interim statements will be made by the Big Ten or the COP/C until after the COP/C receives the commissioner’s recommendations and the COP/C determines next steps, if any, in this area.

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