B1G cans Legends-Leaders for East-West, Mark Emmert on the coals The Enlightened Spartan: B1G cans Legends-Leaders for East-West, Mark Emmert on the coals

Saturday, February 23, 2013

B1G cans Legends-Leaders for East-West, Mark Emmert on the coals

So after watching the Big Ten network the other day and listening to the comments from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, it seems reasonable to expect that Ohio State and Michigan will be in the same division when the Big Ten reforms its lineups upon the arrival of Maryland (lovely football attendance example at right) and Rutgers. I really do believe that there will be an East and West division, and the Spartans will likely end up in the West division. Here is what it would look like:

East: Maryland, Rutgers, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Purdue, Indiana
West: Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota

ES made a brief shout out to the Huge Show the other day in response to his question of whether Michigan State should be in the same division as Michigan. Let's get real, as Spartan fans we really don't care because this will be a protected rivalry and the Spartans still will always play Michigan in the same year... always giving us a chance to kick their tail.

Stealing from the ACC to grow B1Gger

Talking is growing lowder about adding more schools to the Big Ten conference. Schools that are mentioned the most as potential additions include Virginia, North Carolina, and Syracuse. Yes, these are all Atlantic Coast conference ACC schools and while the ACC does have a media contract worth $13 million dollars per school, it does not rival the Big Tennetwork and the Big Ten's media contracts which at last estimate was worth $19.3 million per year per institution and with a renegotiation from the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, it is expected to be worth as much as $27 million per year beginning in 2014. Reaching South from the New York and DC markets to cherry pick Virginia and North Carolina two the Big Ten makes sense from an expansion standpoint with the alignment of two additional high-profile academic institutions, competitive football and basketball programs, competitive nonrevenue sports such as soccer, lacrosse, golf, tennis, and track and field. Adding these two schools also will further enhancing the value of the Big Ten Network. Charlottesville Virginia is a DC Richmond constituency, while North Carolina has the Raleigh, Durham, Winston-Salem research triangle, as well as potentially the Charlotte area. Adding an additional 10-15 million viewers to the network would further raise the value of the Big Ten network to maybe 32 or $35 million annually.

Emmert is walking wounded

The days are drawing shorter for Mark Emmert at the NCAA. The academic scandals and recruiting nightmares that have occurred under the watch of NCAA president Emmert seemed to continue at a torrid pace. Recent commentary by Jay Bilas and on ESPN Take Down or other ESPN-ites seemed to begin dispel doom for Emmert's presidency. Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State, Oregon, Miami, and who knows what other scandals lurk in the shadows and are waiting to be unveiled. While Emmert seems intent on using his academic pedigree as former presidents at the University of Washington and provost at LSU, he seems to be completely out of tune with his own staff.

The state of Pennsylvania's suit against the NCAA does seem to have merits as Penn State was not given an opportunity for due process. At Miami, the fact that Emmert fired his vice president for enforcement because of “improper investigation techniques”seems to fly in the face from what his own staff and other former investigators seem to believe are consistent with previous investigations. Either Emmert doesn't know what's going on, or he has extremely bad public relations and should learn to keep his mouth shut instead of grandstanding his academic virtues.

Indeed, when one considers these scandals and how the NCAA's own academic performance measurements are watered down in favor of eligibility, one has to wonder why he is even grandstanding. Furthermore, on the horizon lies that Eddie O'Bannon's lawsuit, which most experts agree has the potential to be a complete game changer for the future of college sports as we know it. If the NCAA loses the suit, potentially hundreds of millions or billions of dollars may have to be paid to former college athletes because the NCAA licensed their image for video games commercials and other purposes without asking the athletes specifically. Considering that the NCAA only makes $750 million a year, the institution could go bankrupt. If the NCAA wins the lawsuit, the argument has already been presented and the NCAA will need to respond to public and education demands of what the real role of major college football and basketball is for our nation's colleges.

In all honesty, the ES just don't see Emmert as being the right guy to answer that question nor lead an organization in response to the lawsuit and likely respond to public indictment regardless of who ends up on the victorious side of the suit.

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