Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany appeared on WSCR radio in Chicago on Friday afternoon, and not surprisingly, he was asked mostly about the possibility of league expansion.
His major point: despite the reports and rumors out there about Texas, Pitt or any other potential expansion candidate, the Big Ten isn't talking to anyone right now.
"There were reports a few weeks ago about one institution [Pitt]," Delany told WSCR. "This week, there were reports about another institution [Texas]. I can report to you guys we haven't had any informal or formal interface with any institutions. We're in the process of an internal study, and we'll take those studies and those options and talk to our athletic directors, who then will pass on their thoughts to our presidents. I hope, by the spring or the summer, we'll have an idea of what it is we'd like to try to do, if anything."
So there you have it. Delany has made it a point of emphasis, since the Big Ten publicly announced its expansion study, that the league wouldn't tamper and create a messy situation like the ACC/Big East mess a few years ago.
Although the process is inherently a bit messy and the Big Ten would need to gauge interest from potential candidates before pushing forward, the league intends to go through the proper channels.
He said he called his colleagues in both the Big East and the Big 12 -- and other leagues, presumably -- before the Big Ten made its public announcement in December.
A few quotes from his WSCR interview:
"One of the great things about the Big Ten is we play each other a lot. If you play 30 basketball games or 12 football games and your conference gets too large, you don’t play each other a lot. So it becomes more of a scheduling relationship than it does as a conference with double round-robin basketball or near double round-robin basketball. … The larger you get, the less frequently you play each other."
"Obviously, we'd have to know whether or not somebody was interested in talking to us, but if we were interested in them and they were interested in us, we would give a head's up to the involved conference commissioner. We haven't had to do that because we're not in that stage. I don't know if it's just the social media or the Internet or talk radio or newspapers, maybe it's a slow week or month, but there's so much speculation, and to be honest with you, the reporting on it is not going to win a Pulitzer because the facts aren't there."
"The classic conference will continue to have a pretty significant geographic connectivity to it."
"When the story happened two or three weeks ago about a Big East member and when it happened about a Big 12 member, I know it lights up the lines, I know it's good content, I know it builds ratings, I know it puts the Big Ten out there in a public light. But that's not even a subset of what we're trying to achieve."