Rand: Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany stops by for a quick chat

  • Updated: August 23, 2013 - 12:07 AM
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Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said he sees Jerry Kill as a “program builder” and the Big Ten as settled in at 14 teams.

Photo: M. SPENCER GREEN • Associated Press,

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Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany was on the U of M campus Thursday as part of a whirlwind tour of all 12 Big Ten schools. In a session with local media, he touched on a variety of subjects, including the following:

• On Gophers football coach Jerry Kill: “Good football coach. I saw him at Southern Illinois and Northern [Illinois]. He’s a program-builder. You look at his résumé, places he’s been, and you don’t really get a chance to build a program unless you’re there 4-5 years, but obviously a lot of progress has been made. Better recruiting, better players. I think the program is in very good hands.”

• On being in this business while college sports are changing: “If you don’t like change, you wouldn’t like this job. Change is a constant, and it’s always been a constant. There’s even more movement today. … We’re all in a wholly different environment from what we were even 10 years ago. … We have an incredibly popular game. That’s the good news. The bad news is we’re under scrutiny and a lot of regulatory systems that are in effect today were in effect in 1975. Some of us have more resources and would like to do more. We still think we’re in the college sports and education business. We’re not in the professional business. But a lot of us think we could do more for the athletes than we do.”

• On the league’s TV revenue and the Big Ten Network: “It’s been very good for each of the schools. The financial information that we release is cumulative. … I think this year we distributed about $24 million per school. It’s not broken out by ABC, bowl games, ESPN. But BTN has made a substantial contribution.”

• On whether the league will expand beyond 14 teams after Maryland and Rutgers join next year: “It’s done for now. We’re 100 percent working with Rutgers and Maryland to build schedules. I thought we were done at 11. We were there for 20 years, so we weren’t triggering change. We sat comfortably at 11 — not that 11 is a great number to schedule with — but we did, and then the world changed a bit. Most people went to 12. That led to Nebraska, and we settled in again. Expansion continued … and so we thought it was important for us to be in two regions.”

Michael Rand

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