Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 20, 2012

It?s Friday ? it?s late July ? but the Big Ten football news never sleeps.

DELANY TALK: If the Chronicle of Higher Learning has its way, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany could be given the power to fire coaches.


The report had the nation stirring.

Of course, this is all in response to the revelations in the Freeh Report on the Penn State scandal, which exposed a cover up by the university leaders-including Joe Paterno–of horrific sex crimes of former coach Jerry Sandusky.

Empowering Delany may sound good in theory, but how would a conference commissioner know what?s going on day-to-day at a university in order to make that judgment?

In the end, the people who should lose their job or be punished at Penn State are being dealt with or have been dealt with properly. And the university is doing this on its own. Delany wouldn?t have known about the cover-up any sooner than key decision makers at Penn State, law enforcement or the judicial system. Delany found out when we all did. And that would very likely be the case at any other school that ran amok.

Bottom line: Let the schools hire and fire their own coaches. University presidents and board of trustee members aren?t in the business of telling commissioners which schools should join their leagues, which television contracts to sign or which bowls to align with.

So, why should a league commissioner get in the business of firing coaches?

Think about it. Such a rule would be akin to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell being given the power to fire coaches who violated some agreed-upon rule or rules.

You think an NFL owner would go for that?

Absurd, isn?t it?

I?ll be shocked if this notion gets much traction.

SABAN ON MICHIGAN: Alabama coach Nick Saban has an opinion on many things. Who knew?

Here?s what he thinks about the 2012 Michigan team that his Crimson Tide squad will open against in Arlington, Texas.

Here?s how he thinks Penn State athletics should be penalized.

Jeez, maybe Saban should get his own afternoon talk show.

GRAMBLING RAMBLINGS: The city of Grambling, La., wants JoePa?s win record adjusted to restore Eddie Robinson as Division I?s all-time win king.

Yes, it would be nice to see a man of true honor like Robinson according the honor again over Paterno, who it turns out was a despicable person. But, I doubt the record keepers will do this. Still, it makes for good debate.

On a bigger and more important note, I am still amazed at how so many continue to focus on Paterno, his legacy and football in this horrific story and not the abused children. Do football wins REALLY matter in the grand scheme of life? Especially put in the context of this Penn State tragedy?

EX-HAWKEYE AS BATMAN: The new Batman movie has the nation abuzz. With that, you have to check out former Iowa and current Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde as ? BATMAN.

PLEASANT ADDITION: Nice to see Wisconsin add BYU to its 2013 schedule.

The 2013 non-league slate will be interesting for the Badgers, as they also are slated to play at Arizona State. UMass is also on the menu. Love it when teams challenge themselves. Not talking about UMass-but BYU and ASU.


My take: There can?t be many-if any-leagues that have a better collection of running backs than the Big Ten.

My take: Yes, Big Ten media days next week will be interesting for many reasons, with all eyes and ears on Delany. I have a feeling that Delany will be prepared. senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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