- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Big Ten says a proposal to give league commissioner Jim Delany emergency powers to fire coaches or other athletic department personnel during a crisis isn't being considered.
The Big Ten issued the following statement to ESPN.com, responding to the recent report in the Chronicle of Higher Education concerning the league's response to the Penn State fallout:
There have been several reports, stemming from an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, that reference certain emergency powers described in a draft document entitled Standards and Procedures For Safeguarding Institutional Control of Intercollegiate Athletics that has been under review by the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors. The draft obtained by the Chronicle was an early draft put together by the Big Ten staff in order to surface all of the options available. The option of giving emergency powers to the Commissioner to fire personnel is not under consideration by the Presidents and Chancellors.
While the league's presidents and chancellors discussed the idea of granting Delany emergency powers to participate in personnel decisions, they had made no decisions about it. The proposal continues to evolve and other ideas remain on the table. As I've reported before, the Big Ten's investigation into Penn State likely won't wrap up until after the summer.
The media exaggerated Thursday's report, which wasn't as dramatic as the headline suggested, and surmised that Delany was making a power play. While it makes sense to have Delany monitor the member schools and step in when necessary to prevent a mess like the one at Penn State, it seems extreme to grant him firing and hiring powers. Again, I don't see a situation where he would ever have to step in and make such a decision.