Reaction to Big Ten expansion moves

November, 20, 2012
11/20/12
11:00
AM ET
There are plenty of opinions on the Big Ten's latest expansion moves, both within the league and outside. Check out what folks are saying about Maryland, Rutgers and the new Big Ten ...

Big Ten athletic directors

Michigan State's Mark Hollis: "I think there's going to be good competition, but who do I want to play? I want to play Michigan and Ohio State and Northwestern and Wisconsin and all the way through the Big Ten Conference. And the more you dilute that, you get concerned."

Ohio State's Gene Smith: "When we talked about Maryland, we looked at the big picture, we didn't isolate ourselves to our own locale. What's good for this conference? How can we move this conference forward? ... We can't skirt the fact that financially it assists us as we move to the television agreement that expires in 2017."

Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez: "We're sitting in the Rust Belt. We lose population every year. That Eastern corridor keeps growing. With all the population [in Maryland, District of Columbia and New Jersey] you don't want one of those other leagues to come in there … and close us out of there and we're land-locked."
Michigan's Dave Brandon: "When you look at all the population growth and all the market that we’ve traditionally been in versus the way population has been growing and shifting in all these other regions and looking at the number of households and sports fans in these other areas, these are target-rich opportunities for us to connect with alums, to connect with fans to bring our university to showcase what we are and what we’re about."

Penn State's Dave Joyner: "It means the reinstatement of a great series and rivalry in many sports. It’s a terrific situation. I think it brings somebody right to our back door and extends the footprint of the Big Ten."


Media members

Colleague Mark Schlabach: "I don't believe Delany will settle on 14 teams. He just added two more lucrative TV markets in Baltimore/Washington, D.C., and New Jersey/New York. Might he now decide to expand the Big Ten's footprint even more into the Southeast or farther West?"

The Sporting News' Steve Greenberg: "Not to go all negative on the Terrapins’ move to the Big Ten, but at best it’s a win-lose scenario from the football point of view. Win a lot of money, lose a ton of games."

Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde: "Two largely underachieving, financially irresponsible athletic programs are parlaying their geographic proximity to major metropolitan areas into membership in the Big Ten. They've done very little on the field of competition to deserve it. But that's not what drives conference affiliation these days. College Sports, Inc., is no meritocracy."

SI.com's Andy Staples: "Maryland's athletic department is in a financial crisis now because it doesn't take a subsidy from the university. With more money flowing in, it should never have to ask for one. ... So, unless you can think of a better way for Maryland to bring in an additional $15-20 million per year, quit being so sentimental about it."

The (Harrisburg) Patriot News' David Jones: "Delany is one smart cookie. And he believes exposure to brand-name college football and all the synergistic promotional and big-media tools the Big Ten can bring to bear can change the status quo."

ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski: "I don't think expansion was ever Delany's first choice. That's why the Pac-12 alliance had so much appeal to him and the Big Ten presidents. But when it fell apart, and the ACC formed its own alliance with Notre Dame, and geography began to work against the Big Ten, Delany decided he couldn't sit on his hands. In essence, it had become a zero-sum game."

The New York Post's Lenn Robbins: "It’s a no-brainer for the Big Ten. It’s a no-brainer for Rutgers, which is expected to announce this afternoon that it is leaving the Big East to join the Big Ten. And it’s a no-brainer for Maryland, which yesterday announced it was leaving the ACC."

The Washington Post's Mike Wise: "There was no impact study, no open discussion. At the state’s largest public institution of higher learning, there was no genuine process of deliberation. Three educational careerists — University President Wallace Loh, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson and Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan — went into a star chamber, played God and mocked self-governance."

The New York Times' Nate Silver: "The Big Ten may have expanded the size of its revenue pie, but it will be dividing it 14 ways rather than 12, and among family members that have less history of sitting down at the table with one another. In seeking to expand its footprint eastward, the conference may have taken a step in the wrong direction."

CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd: "The Big Ten can swing for the fences because everyone else's main TV rights are tied up until the mid-2020s. That Maryland source said the Big Ten might split their rights between networks, which would push the bidding even higher. The Big Ten will be starting from scratch in 2016 as the last major conference to go out to bid."

The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Cowherd: "We learned tradition doesn't matter anymore. Loyalty doesn't matter anymore. A nearly 60-year affiliation with the ACC as a founding member doesn't matter anymore. Natural geographic boundaries that make sense from a travel perspective don't matter anymore."

The Star-Ledger's Steve Politi: "They don’t give out a trophy for this, but there will be a celebration in Piscataway on Tuesday that Rutgers fans will savor for a very long time. Because, at long last, the Scarlet Knights have won a title. They are the National Champions of Realignment. Think about it: Who out there did better?"

The Wisconsin State Journal's Tom Oates: "This expansion isn't about athletes. It isn't about academics. It isn't about tradition. And it certainly isn't about competition. It's about TV sets."

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