Yesterday, as Andy Katz broke the news delineating the Big Ten's new football divisions, one question remained unanswered: Would the Big Ten use its divisions for basketball, too?
Fortunately, after the dust settled, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney (sort of) cleared up that little point:
For now there are no plans for divisions in other sports. Delany said he sees no benefit to basketball divisions, but if conference leaders decide they want them, they would have to be drawn differently.
Delaney told reporters that basketball would "chart its own course" schedule-wise, which probably won't happen until the Big Ten meetings in May, according to Andy Katz's discussions with Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi. The Bloomington Herald-Times' Dustin Dopirak summarized Delaney's quotes as such:
Delany said the divisions do not apply to basketball, and that he does “not see any compelling reason,” to have divisions in basketball at all because the dynamic of the sport is so much different from football.
In other words, neither Delaney nor the Big Ten athletic directors are ruling out the possibility of using divisions for basketball if that's what the majority of member institutions want. So it could still happen. But for now, the hoops divisions are theoretical, and Delaney himself doesn't seem all that fond of the idea.
This is good news. The divisions revealed yesterday -- Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern in one; Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana in the other -- make sense for football purposes, but they're radically imbalanced where basketball is concerned. That's the case whether you look at recent history or traditional prestige. They're just not very equal.
Big Ten fans will be pleased to hear this news, and cautiously optimistic that the majority of coaches and athletic directors are happy with the basketball schedule as-is. There's nothing wrong with divisions in and of themselves, but these divisions? For college hoops? No thanks, guys.