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Commissioner Delany Speaks On Expanding Big Ten

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany says the conference is not looking to expand the number of teams in the conference any time soon.

At a private luncheon for IU’s Varsity Club members, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany says he’s not against expanding the Big Ten, but it has to be for the right reasons.

“I think we are just in a good place, you know. It doesn’t mean that change couldn’t happen, someday, but it has to be the right kind of change. It has to be the right kind of enthusiasm and it has to be a kind of expansion that makes not only new members better, but existing members better,” he says.

The Big Ten was the first conference to expand adding Penn State in the early 1990’s. Then last year, the conference revisited the idea of adding a new team. After considering a number of schools, officials unanimously selected Nebraska.

“Nebraska is a contiguous state, and the opportunity to bring Nebraska in, was seen by us as not a trial, but a really long term play on our part and they’re happy, we’re happy,” Delany says.

As the team’s numbers increased to 12, Delany says the Big Ten is about leaders and tradition, and having 12 teams on the conference doesn’t mean they are looking to change the conference’s name.

“I think the ten represents in some ways a number of institutions, but I think it also represents a brand, a set of brand characteristics that have been developed over along many many decades.”

Delany says the support from schools has remained strong after this year’s changes. And he maintains the Big Ten will continue to represent innovation in college sports.

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