On this date: Jim Delany becomes Big Ten commish

Bret Bielema

On July 1, 1989, Ohio Valley Conference commissioner Jim Delany took the helm as commissioner of the Big Ten Conference.

The then-41-year-old Delany became the fifth commissioner in Big Ten history, succeeding the retiring Wayne Duke, who held the position for 18 years. Duke, now a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, notably spearheaded the growth of men’s basketball through the expansion of the NCAA tournament. Duke was also at the forefront of affirmative action within the conference and the increased inclusion of women’s sports.

Since Delany took over, Penn State and Nebraska have joined the conference, and Maryland and Rutgers will follow suit in 2014.  The commissioner’s also overseen the creation of the Big Ten Network and the development of instant replay in college football.

And 24 years later, Delany is still going strong.

In honor of those 24 years, here’s a quick look back at what was happening in 1989.

  • January 20-George H.W. Bush inaugurated as 41st president of the United States
  • March 29- “Rain Man” wins best picture at the 61st Academy Awards
  • July 5-“The Seinfeld Chronicles,” later known as “Seinfeld,” premieres on NBC
  • July 31-Nintendo releases its “Game Boy” system in North America
  • August 24-Pete Rose agrees to a lifetime ban from baseball for illegal gambling
  • November 9-The Berlin Wall comes down in Germany
  • December 13-Taylor Swift is born in Reading, Pa.

Jeremy Woo is an editorial intern for BTN.com.

Basketball Scout, Writer

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