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 senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, 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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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (4 Comments)
shookwriter27 on 5/15/2013 @ 4:37pm EDT Said:

They should probably wait for anymore expansion until Rutgers and Maryland are settled in.

K. John on 5/15/2013 @ 4:55pm EDT Said:

If anyone thinks the ACC’s Grant of Rights is even the slightest bit legal, you are delusional. Under PA law, Pitt almost certainly doesn’t have the power to give away that right. Only the legislature has that right. My guess is it doesn’t apply to most, if not all public schools in the ACC.

tagzilla on 5/27/2013 @ 7:05pm EDT Said:

They can get Mizzou and Vandy easily. AAU to boot. Move Indiana to the East with Purdue and they are all set. No legal wrangling with the ACC’s GoR.

Kevin Floyd on 6/2/2013 @ 12:19pm EDT Said:

What would the SEC do if that were to happen? They would have to look at two conferences with GORs. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t the Big Ten just go after the ACC schools they really want since someone has to challenge the GOR anyway?