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Commentary: Jim Delany is a Cruel Man

BY TOM CLOS | NOVEMBER 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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This is not happening, it’s just a bad dream, right?

I mean, Maryland and Rutgers aren’t actually joining the Big Ten, are they?

Buckeyes, Wolverines, Cornhuskers, Scarlet Knights?

Kinnick, the Shoe, the Big House, Byrd Stadium?

Jim Delany can’t possibly be this cruel, can he?

Sadly, the truth is he can — and is.

The Big Ten dipped its paw outside its traditional footprint last week. And in doing so, it threw out the window common decency to the loyal fans that have packed the conference’s football stadiums for years.

The recent expansion, simply put, is a direct insult to the all of us in Big Ten Country.

It makes us look stupid for thinking, over the last 100-plus years of Big Ten football, that tradition, rivalries, and passion were more important than media contracts.

It makes us look like idiots for thinking Hawkeye Drive held more significance in the league offices than Wall Street.

But ol’ Jim and his cohorts in Indy don’t care.

No, he’ll continue to try to delude us into thinking that anyone in New York City cares about Rutgers football. He’s unaware that the Scarlet Knights’ victory two weeks ago over Cincinnati (improving them to 9-1 overall) was only the 19th-most read story on Nypost.com.

He thinks we’re dumb enough to believe that Maryland is relevant in any sport outside of lacrosse, which fewer than half of the schools in the conference don’t even sponsor.

In essence, Delany thinks we are fools. And I have to say, we may be.

But, you know, I’m glad we are. Because apparently in Delany’s eyes the strong, legendary football of the old Big Ten was foolish as well.

It was a golden institution in college sports. And on July 1, 2014, it will be lost forever.

I get that athletics, like everything else on the planet, is a business driven by money. I also realize that along with the Terrapins and the Scarlet Knights comes increased revenue upwards of $43 million per school (projected by Sports Illustrated) by 2017.

But just exactly how much of those added funds will an out-of-state undergrad at the University of Iowa such as me see?

(Hint: Likely more than -1 and less than 1).

I don’t think our tuition will get any lower, even with the added tens of millions the university is about to make for selling out all of our roots, our Midwestern hearts, and athletic values. Instead, we’ll probably see a couple-thousand-dollar increase in tuition rates each semester.

It’s all about getting rich and making money to add a new scoreboard or press box.

So don’t try to play the revenue card or, for that matter, the academics card when trying to justify the Big Ten’s recent moves, Jim.

Delany himself summed it up best at Maryland’s introductory press conference, coyly stating, “Obviously, this Big Ten is not your grandfather’s Big Ten.”

He’s right, it isn’t. And that’s the biggest indictment of all.

Because it’s only 581 days until the league enters its latest chapter: Dishonoring Legends and Ignoring Leaders.


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