Delany on expansion: 'Dead is a strong word'

Delany on expansion: 'Dead is a strong word'

When Jim Delany speaks, people listen.

Such was the case today in Chicago, when the Big Ten commissioner addressed a variety of topics at a meeting of the conference’s athletic directors. Among them: future bowl sites and football scheduling. Expansion also was broached. When asked if expansion is dead, Delany responded thusly:

“Dead is a strong word.”

So there’s that. Speculation and conjecture can continue. Still, a recent ACC grant of rights deal—tying all 14 teams and Notre Dame into a 14-year revenue sharing contract—seems to have put the kibosh on expansion. Schools in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have similar agreements. Interestingly, the SEC has no such deal.

Delany hammered home to the gathered media that the Big Ten is focused on dealing with its current configuration, which will expand to 14 teams in 2014 with the additions of Rutgers and Maryland.

“I can’t speak for others, but we’ve been focused on making a home in a new region, making new members feel at home in this region,” Delany said Wednesday. “Everything we’ll do competitively and in television and in bowls is to bring, as quickly as we can, a level of comfort.

“The Eastern corridor is the richest corridor in the world from the standpoint of financial institutions, political institutions, media institutions, and we’re new to it. So if we can build relationships, make friends and be impactful and relevant over time, that’s the goal.”

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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