Unless you've been under a rock the past few days, you've probably heard something about the Big Ten inviting teams to join its league.
Truth is, there are no invitations to be part of this league, only invitations to apply for membership.
Thom from Lancaster, Pa., writes: Hello, Adam.....Isn't it a fact that a school does not need an invitation to apply for membership in the B10? Come Friday, Nebraska can just tell the B12 that they mailed in their application to join the B10, right? Also, is there an application fee? How much is it?
Here's the way it works, according to the Big Ten's Dec. 15 statement about its expansion study.
Step 1: Commissioner Jim Delany, in conjunction with Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, would decide that formal discussions need to be initiated. Obviously, Delany and Simon wouldn't make this decision without consulting the other presidents and chancellors.
Step 2: Delany would inform commissioners from any affected conferences. In the case of Nebraska, he'd call Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe.
Step 3: Formal discussions would begin with a candidate, who then would apply for admission. Again, no invitations, only applications.
Step 4: The Big Ten's Council of Presidents/Chancellors, chaired by Simon, would vote on the applicant school. The school would need at least eight "yes" votes to be admitted to the Big Ten.
This is the formal process for expansion. And while it likely will be just a formality -- the Big Ten doesn't want to embarrass any institutions -- it's important to note that there aren't invitations. Just like Penn State did in 1990, Nebraska would have to apply for admission.
I'm not sure of the application fee, Thom, but I'll check on it.