clearn.png
Wednesday August 10th, 2022 12:41AM

Bold, aggressive Big Ten leaves door open for more expansion

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren talked Tuesday about the conference being bold and aggressive as college sports goes through a period of sweeping change, and he left the door open for more expansion after adding Southern California and UCLA in the offseason's biggest move.

Warren's opening remarks to begin Big Ten football media days went nearly 15 minutes before he directly mentioned the two Los Angeles schools that they will be joining the conference in 2024.

“Regarding expansion, I get asked every single day what's next? It may include future expansion," Warren said. “We will not expand just to expand. It will be strategic. It will add additional value to our conference.”

He added: “We are in a perpetual state of evaluating what's next for college athletics.”

Warren also said the Big Ten is finalizing a new media rights deal that will go into effect next year, with an announcement expected “sooner rather than later."

He dodged questions about what it could be worth to the conference but some projections have the Big Ten in position to pay out about $100 million in revenue annually to its schools in the coming years.

He did say USC and UCLA will enter the conference as full members with regards to revenue sharing. In previous expansions with Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland, the incoming members received partial shares at first.

The West Coast additions will make the Big Ten a 16-member, coast-to-coast conference stretching from Maryland to Southern California.

“You're going to wake up watching Big Ten football and go to bed watching Big Ten football,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.

For coaches, the prospect of making long road trips was not much of a concern compared to the benefits USC and UCLA bring.

“We recruit worldwide," said Fitzgerald, whose team opens the season in Dublin, Ireland, on Aug. 27 against Nebraska. “We have a huge alumni base in Southern California.”

Just a year ago at the first in-person Big Ten media days hosted by Warren as commissioner, the SEC dominated headlines with news that Texas and Oklahoma would be leaving the Big 12 for the Southern superconference.

The Big Ten's counterpunch came 11 months later.

“A lot of work we’ve done on any potential expansion, we’ve done multiple years ago,” Warren said. “We’re always in a perpetual state of analyzing the goodness of fit for any institutions that were coming to the Big Ten Conference.”

Warren said Los Angeles had the largest section of Big Ten alumni outside the Midwest.

“I thought it was a very smart move for our league to get out in front of any changes that might be happening around the country,” Nebraska coach Scott Frost said.

Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck summed it up succinctly: “L.A.! Are you kidding me? That's perfect.”

Those road trips will be a lot more complicated for the athletes in other sports that compete more frequently and not exclusively on the weekends. Especially for the West Coast schools that will have to hop at least two time zones to face any other conference member.

“We have built a Big Ten kind of readiness committee that we’ll activate here to start working with USC and UCLA to get ideas as far as what we can do,” Warren said.

“And what we’ll do is we’ll work through these next two years from a scheduling component to make sure that we create the environment that’s most healthy and holistic for our student-athletes, which is one of the reasons I’ve started the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to be able to listen to them to say what’s important,” Warren said.

Warren reminisced about the days when his family would shop from a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog and about the company's long history in and around Chicago. The third-year commissioner, who received plenty of criticism of the Big Ten's handling of the 2020 pandemic season, said he would not let the conference become an outdated business like Sears.

“Where expansion goes, I don’t know,” he said. “It is important for all of us in business to recognize that were in a time of change. I’m embracing change. I’m going to be very aggressive.”

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Record rainfall causes widespread flooding in St. Louis area
Record rainfall has caused widespread flash flooding across the St. Louis area, closing multiple roadways and prompting rescues from vehicles and homes
12:41PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Russia to drop out of International Space Station after 2024
Russia's space chief says the country will opt out of the International Space Station after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting outpost
12:36PM ( 17 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Can Europe live without Russian natural gas?
Europe is in an energy crisis, and it means countries will struggle to keep homes warm and industry humming this winter
12:36PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Russian expert at Griner's trial discusses medical cannabis
The latest Russian court hearing in the drug trial of American basketball star Brittney Griner has focused on testimony about countries that regard cannabis as having legitimate medicinal uses
11:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP source: Packers' LaFleur, Gutekunst, Ball get extensions
A person familiar with the deals says the Green Bay Packers have agreed to contract extensions with coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball
10:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
Hope Solo pleads guilty to DWI, gets 30-day sentence, fine
Former U.S. women’s national team star goalkeeper Hope Solo has pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, almost four months after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in North Carolina with her 2-year-old twins inside
9:18AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Green Bay police review video in which officer grabs Dillon
Green Bay police say their internal affairs department is conducting a review after a video on social media showed an officer grabbing Packers running back A
3:31PM ( 21 hours ago )
Muhammad Ali's 'Rumble in the Jungle' belt sells for $6.1M
Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight title fight has sold at auction for $6.18 million
4:17PM ( 1 day ago )
Chiefs' Mahomes fine with other QBs earning big(ger) bucks
Patrick Mahomes walked onto the practice field at Missouri Western on Sunday flanked by a flotilla of rookies and longshots, many of whom have long dreamed of making in a year what the Chiefs quarterback will make by the end of the day
2:13PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Media predict Alabama will beat Georgia in SEC championship
Two-time defending conference champion Alabama was predicted to win a third consecutive Southeastern Conference title in voting at this week’s SEC Media Days
1:23PM ( 3 days ago )
Narduzzi raises bar for defending ACC champion Pitt
Pittsburgh Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi is raising the bar for the defending ACC champions
5:35PM ( 4 days ago )
ACC's quartet of new coaches adds wrinkle to wild division
The Atlantic Coast Conference has four new coaches for this season, all in the same division
5:21PM ( 4 days ago )
College Sports
Hartman: 'I owed it to Wake Forest' to return after ACC loss
Quarterback Sam Hartman says he owes it to Wake Forest to return for another season rather than turning pro after a disappointing performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game loss to Pittsburgh
4:22PM ( 5 days ago )
Texas A&M's Smith arrested on DWI, weapons, pot charges
Texas A&M receiver Ainias Smith has been arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana
4:12PM ( 5 days ago )
Florida QB Richardson seeks 'rebrand, sheds AR-15 nickname
Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, who wears No. 15, has shed the nickname AR-15 because he doesn’t want to be linked to the semiautomatic rifle used in mass shootings
4:09PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Record rainfall causes widespread flooding in St. Louis area
Record rainfall has caused widespread flash flooding across the St. Louis area, closing multiple roadways and prompting rescues from vehicles and homes
12:41PM ( 12 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Can Europe live without Russian natural gas?
Europe is in an energy crisis, and it means countries will struggle to keep homes warm and industry humming this winter
12:36PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Crews make progress against destructive fire near Yosemite
Firefighters have made more progress against a huge California forest fire that forced evacuations for thousands of people and destroyed 41 homes and other buildings near Yosemite National Park
12:25PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Bill to boost semiconductor industry passes key Senate test
The Senate has advanced a $280 billion bill designed to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and to accelerate high tech research that backers say will be critical to the economy in future decades
12:23PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Pope in Canada honors grandparents after Indigenous apology
Pope Francis has arrived for his first big Mass in Canada to honor grandparents
12:22PM ( 32 minutes ago )