Monday, June 3, 2013

The Closer: Big 10 Conference in the news

It seems like every day there is 3-4 fresh news stories regarding the Big 10 Conference. It doesn't hurt that their newest member, Rutgers University, is the easiest athletic department in America to write a story about. But, believe it or not, there are other things going on in the Big 10 that have strong implications for the conferences future, including:

  • The Big 10 and the Pinstripe bowl have announced an 8-year partnership.
  • After stating that "those damn Catholics" were "holy hell" at Notre Dame, Ohio State President Gordon Gee has apologized.
  • Big 10 has announced it will add Lacrosse as a varsity sport in 2014-2015.

The Big 10 Conference has begun to expand further north and east after adding Rutgers as it's 14th member. Although the south is the consistent host of the largest bowl games, the Pinstripe Bowl has grown in popularity since it's inception in 2010. The event, which is played in Yankees Stadium during the last week of every calender year, will give the Big 10 a presence in the financial and sports capital of America, New York City. The agreement will guarantee one Big 10 school in the Bowl every year from 2014-2021, and give the conference signage for every Yankees home game beginning in 2014. The 2014 Pinstripe Bowl will be a part of the new College Football Playoff system for both the Big 10 and their opponent, the ACC.

How many leaks will it take before politicians, celebrities, and administrators realize that a "closed" room or meeting does not guarantee that those comments will not be recorded or released? In December, in a meeting with his Athletic Council, Ohio State President Gordon Gee said that Roman Catholic priests were "holy hell" and that you can't trust "those damn catholics". Also during this meeting he made multiple comments degrading the academic integrity of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Gee has apologized to the Big 10 conference and those he spoke about for his "misguided attempt at humor".

In the 2014-2015 academic year, the Big 10 will add Men's and Women's lacrosse as their 27th and 28th varsity sport. That year will feature 6 schools for both Men and Women, with Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, and Rutgers having teams for both genders. John Hopkins will fill the last men's spot, with Northwestern filling the last women's spot. Big 10 rules require a sport to have 6 schools competing in order to have championship play. The addition of John Hopkins will continue to help the Big 10 expansion onto the East Coast. Out of the teams mentioned above, 3 competed in the NCAA Lacrosse Championships this past season for both men and women. With the addition of lacrosse, the Big 10 now sponsors 350 teams, comprising the largest list of student-athletes in the NCAA, totalling over 9,500.

Even with non-stop negative press coming out of Rutger's New Jersey campus, the Big 10 moves on and continues to grow into the most powerful conference in collegiate athletics.

Kevin Murray is a sophomore Sport Management Major at Drexel University. He is originally from Havertown, PA, a small suburb of Philadelphia. He worked in the Drexel Sport Management Department as a Research Assistant focusing on the Penn State scandal, equity in collegiate sports, and Title IX.  Currently, Kevin is the SMTSU Treasurer and Drexel Athletics Marketing Intern.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinj_murray.

Connect with Kevin Murray on LinkedIn.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be interested to see how Gordon Gee's resignation impacts both Ohio State and the Big Ten Conference going forward. He was universally beloved in Columbus, and had similar adoration during his time at Vanderbilt. Where OSU goes from here will be very interesting.