Delany’s Failure To Monitor Exposes OSU Coverup

It has taken nothing short of on-the-record, documented evidence of NCAA violations perpetrated by the Ohio State football program to produce what is rapidly becoming one of the biggest scandals in college sports history.

If not for a certified United States Department of Justice communique to Ohio State officials documenting the sale and transfer of memorabilia to Edward Rife for cash and tattoos by Ohio State football players and archived email correspondence involving a coverup of the same matter by former OSU football coach Jim Tressel, the school’s football program would not be facing what may soon be crippling NCAA penalties.

And now, thanks to on-the-record, documented evidence involving public statements made by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany on two different occasions the past week that directly contradicted a formal and crucial claim in the March 8 self-report by Ohio State to the NCAA - and public statements on March 8 to the same effect by OSU Director of Athletics Gene Smith - along with an email message from an Ohio State administration official to reporter Bryan Fischer on June 8, it appears we have significant reason to believe that an already ugly situation is about to get worse.

In the past 48 hours, through the discovery of the aforementioned evidence, I’ve detected what appears to be a concerted effort by Ohio State officials to conceal how the school first discovered the emails between Tressel and Columbus attorney Christopher Cicero. That would include the deliberate misrepresentation by Ohio State officials of the facts of the case  contained in the official March 8 Ohio State self-report to the NCAA.

On March 8, this was Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith’s exact description of the school’s discovery of the incriminating Tressel emails.

We discovered, through another process, through gathering information on another matter, that there were some emails that Coach Tressel had that revealed that he had some prior knowledge regarding the matter with our student athletes.”

Ohio State’s March 8 self-report to the NCAA contained this official account of how the Tressel emails were found by the school:

Ohio State self-report to NCAA official version of how Tressel emails were discovered

“However, on Jan. 13, 2011, while reviewing information on an unrelated legal issue, the institution’s Office of Legal Affairs discovered an e-mail from Coach Tressel that was the subject matter of some of the activities pertaining to the University’s December 2010 self-report.”

How Ohio State first found out about the Tressel emails is crucial to the school’s avoidance of the dreaded ‘Failure to Monitor‘ major NCAA violation. A major violation that Ohio State was not charged with in the NCAA’s April 25 Notice of Allegations to the school regarding the Tressel matter.

Of that distinction, veteran attorney Michael L. Buckner, who has represented several schools during the NCAA enforcement process, noted to reporter Fischer on June 9:

“The NCAA will definitely want to find out how the institution found out about the allegation. There could be a possible failure to monitor allegation. If they found out about it because someone else sent in an open records request, then that means [Ohio State] found out about violations from somebody else external to the institution triggering that process.”

In a piece written by’s Adam Rittenberg on June 9, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany directly contradicted Ohio State’s official version to the NCAA of how the school first discovered the Tressel emails in question:

Jim Delany on how Ohio State discovered Jim Tressel emails

“I know the sequence was they found out about it after the [Sugar Bowl], I think it was mid-January. They found out about it through a [Freedom of Information Act] request.”

After talking to Jim Delany about the same subject, Bill Rabinowitz of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reported on June 6:

Jim Delany to Columbus Dispatch on how Ohio State discovered Jim Tressel's emails

Delany said he was surprised and disappointed by the revelation, which he learned of at the same time as Ohio State and the NCAA through a Freedom of Information Act query.

In addition to the contention by Ohio State in its self-report to the NCAA on March 8 that it - not the media - first discovered the Tressel emails and OSU AD Gene Smith’s public comments confirming that as fact the same day, in its “Conclusion” to the NCAA in its March 8 self-report to the same governing body regarding the Tressel emails, Ohio State reiterated that it had “self-detected” the former coach’s email-based coverup:

Ohio State claimed in its report that it self-detected Tressel emails

“This issue was self-detected by the institution and the University’s ‘Investigating Possible Violations’ policy was adhered to in the conduct of a thorough and expeditious investigation.” reporter Bryan Fischer was first to spot the repeated, stark discrepancy between the multiple statements made by Big Ten Commissioner Delany and Ohio State officials. Fischer contacted Ohio State Director of Media Relations Jim Lynch on June 8 to ask him to confirm the school’s official version of how it discovered Tressel’s emails. In a post published to on June 9, Lynch did just that:

Jim Lynch of Ohio State confirmed school's official version of Tressel email discovery on June 9

Ohio State spokesperson Jim Lynch, when asked how the school discovered the emails, said that the university discovered the emails during an unrelated legal matter.

Lynch’s confirmation further contradicts Delany’s multiple statements about how Ohio State found out about Tressel’s emails.

In that same June 9 post, Fischer reported: obtained all Freedom of Information Act inquiries directed to the university. In documents released by a school spokesman, the earliest request in 2011 came from Bloomberg News requesting a copy of the school’s NCAA Revenue and Expenses Report on Jan. 24, a full 11 days after the school reported they became aware of the emails. Yahoo! Sports, which broke the news that Tressel had prior knowledge of NCAA violations involving Buckeyes players, submitted its first open records request to the school on Feb. 28.

If Ohio State’s version of events is correct, why did Delany tell the Columbus Dispatch on June 6 that,he learned of [Tressel emails] at the same time as Ohio State [Jan. 13] and the NCAA through a Freedom of Information Act query?

More specifically, if there were no open records requests to Ohio State before January 24, why did Delany twice claim that the school only found out after an external open records request that would have had to have come at least 11 days earlier - since Ohio State reported on March 8 to the NCAA that it first discovered the Tressel emails on January 13.

With a radical difference between versions of the same event by Big Ten commissioner Delany and Ohio State officials, what’s the odds that this is all one big misunderstanding?

Thanks to a followup email from Ohio State Spokesman Jim Lynch to Fischer on June 8, it turns out that there is indeed a distinct possibility that Delany, a former NCAA enforcement investigator himself, is actually accurate in his assessment of how OSU first found out about the Tressel emails.

On June 11 I contacted Fischer to ask him if he would forward me the email exchange he had with Lynch in which the OSU spokesman confirmed he had released all of the January open records requests sent to Ohio State.

When Fischer forwarded me that exchange I learned, much to my amazement, that Lynch never did confirm that the school had actually released all of the January open records requests received by Ohio State.

It was a fateful June 8 email message from Lynch to Fischer that explained why Delany continues to claim that Ohio State was tipped off by the media and did not, as OSU AD Smith and the school’s self-report to the NCAA claimed on March 8, “self-detect” the Tressel emails.

When asked by Fischer via email to confirm that Ohio State had released all of its open record requests for the month of January, 2011, Lynch replied:

Ohio State admits it may have not released all FOIA requests in the month of January

I can’t guarantee that this catches all of them, as a few head directly to individuals within the Athletics Department and I am unable to log them.

All of the emails sent to employees of Ohio State are subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) open record requests. Including those of OSU AD Smith, OSU Compliance Director Doug Archie and President E. Gordon Gee.

Lynch’s statement to Fischer on why he couldn’t “guarantee that this catches all of them” is nothing short of, well, stunning.

If Lynch, who has been charged with handling the public dissemination of Ohio State’s open records requests since the Tressel scandal broke in early March, doesn’t know if all of the open records requests to OSU for the month of January are accounted for, how can Ohio State possibly announce publicly that it “self-detected” the Tressel emails?

Let alone stake the future of the football program on the same claim in its formal defense to the NCAA?

So now we know why Delany said what he said. Twice.

Just the day before Lynch sent that explosive note to Fischer claiming ignorance, the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reported that Lynch had released logs of thousands of phone calls and text messages made by “athletic director Gene Smith between April 2010 and March 2011.” But of those communications, the Dispatch also noted, “The university redacted nearly 20 percent of Smith’s 11,628 phone calls and texts between April 2010 and March 2011.

Who informed the media on June 7 why 2,326 calls by Smith were hidden from the media?

The same Jim Lynch who a day later told Fischer in an email that he wasn’t sure if he had been able to provide the reporter all of the open records requests to Ohio State University from January, 2011.

The June 7 Columbus Dispatch report also included Lynch’s argument for not releasing literally thousands of Smith’s phone and text records:

The requested records (e.g., personal landline and cell phone numbers) do not constitute records … as they do not serve to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the university,” spokesman Jim Lynch wrote in a statement.

Lynch admitting the possibility to Fischer that not all of the January open records requests to Ohio State were indeed released to the media follows up his admission on April 25, 2011, to the COLUMBUS DISPATCH that he “inadvertently omitted” the emails between Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor “mentor” Ted Sarniak in Ohio State’s March 8 press release documenting the school’s self-report to the NCAA.

Of that “inadvertent” omission, Lynch told the Dispatch on April 25:

These emails do not raise any new matters. These emails were inadvertently omitted in the copying process for inclusion in the information that was provided on March 8.

But Tressel’s earlier-confirmed handling of the emails contradicts Lynch’s statement. And it isn’t even close.

In Ohio State’s March 8 self-report of the Tressel email-borne NCAA violations, it did not report to the NCAA that Tressel had forwarded any of the Cicero emails to Pryor mentor Sarniak.

Instead, in detailing Tressel’s defense, Ohio State noted in its official self-report to the NCAA:

Jim Tressel Email Complete String

“In particular, he (Tressel) was protecting the confidentiality of the attorney (which the attorney requested) and of the federal criminal investigation.”

The obvious problem with Tressel’s confidentiality defense to the NCAA and the public was, of course, the fact that he forwarded Cicero’s very first email to Sarniak.

Not to mention that in the first email from attorney Cicero to Tressel, on April 2, 2010, the lawyer did not request confidentiality. (He did not do so until an April 16 email to Tressel.)

So the material fact that Tressel forwarded the very first email he received to Terrelle Pryor’s mentor wasn’t known by the media during the March 8 press conference because Lynch “inadvertently omitted” them from the media release because, as Lynch claimed to the Dispatch on April 25, “these emails do not raise any new matters.”

The same press conference was highlighted by the now-infamous moment in which OSU AD Gene Smith cut off a question to Tressel by’s Dan Wetzel after the reporter asked the coach if he had “forwarded any of the emails” that he had received from the then-unnamed attorney.

But if Lynch’s omission of the forwarded Tressel emails to Sarniak was, as Lynch claimed to the Dispatch on April 25, “inadvertent” and did “not raise any new mattersand should have been included in Lynch’s Ohio State media release at the March 8 press conference, why did Smith prevent the coach from answering Wetzel’s question about a forwarded email from Tressel?

Might Smith’s actions have had something to do with Tressel’s earlier confidentiality defense at the press conference? A confidentiality defense also utilized in Ohio State’s self-report to the NCAA the same day?

Is it unreasonable to think that Tressel would not have attempted such a defense in front of reporters had it been known to the public and media at that time that he had forwarded Cicero’s first, confidentiality-free email to Terrelle Pryor mentor Ted Sarniak?

OSU Spokesman Lynch also, somehow, claimed to the Dispatch on April 25 that the NCAA, unlike the media, did receive Tressel’s complete email correspondence as part of its March 8 self-report. Though that same report from OSU noted to the same NCAA, “he (Tressel) was protecting the confidentiality of the attorney (which the attorney requested) and of the federal criminal investigation.”

Why would Ohio State allow Tressel to make such a defense in its self-report if it knew the NCAA had clear evidence that Tressel had not kept his email exchange with Cicero confidential from the very first email?!

Lynch’s “inadvertent” omission of the complete email correspendence between Tressel, Cicero and Sarniak followed by Ohio State’s confidentiality defense to the NCAA in its self-report and OSU AD Smith not allowing Tressel to answer Wetzel’s question about forwarding emails he received from Cicero - and Lynch’s clearly bogus claim that the emails he left out of the March 8 press release to the media did “not raise any new matters” make it almost impossible to believe that Ohio State officials did not deliberately misrepresent the facts of the case contained in the official March 8 Ohio State self-report to the NCAA and to the media the same day.

Then there’s last week, which saw Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany twice confirm with public statements that Ohio State discovered Tressel’s emails only because of an open records request from the media, which contradicted the school’s version of how it found the emails. A contradiction affirmed by Lynch in an email message to reporter Bryan Fischer on June 8.

And this subsequent admission by Lynch to Fischer about the January open records requests referenced by Delany in relation to the discovery of Tressel’s emails:

 I can’t guarantee that this catches all of them, as a few head directly to individuals within the Athletics Department and I am unable to log them.

That last piece of previously-unknown, on-the-record, documented evidence leads me to now believe that we’re officially past the point of coincidence and/or any manner of misunderstanding.  (See Delany’s possible future retraction.)

The only question that now remains is if those involved in Ohio State’s shameful coverup of the facts and deceptive presentation of its case to the NCAA and public will be held to the same accountability afforded the recently-ousted Tressel.

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Video: Delany Big Ten Expansion Plan Academic?

This week while visiting Omaha, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany responded to the academic misfortune recently visited upon newly-admitted Big Ten member Nebraska.

On April 29, Nebraska Chancellor and former Chair of the NCAA Board of Directors Harvey Perlman noted in a letter to the public that the Association of American Universities (AAU) had voted to discontinue Nebraska’s membership in that organization.

Last June, Nebraska was admitted to the Big Ten by unanimous vote of Big Ten Presidents and Delany, with the vote being taken while Big Ten school Presidents attended an AAU conference in Washington, DC. Less than 24 hours after that vote from the AAU’s bi-annual meetings, NU Chancellor Perlman was asked by CHICAGO TRIBUNE reporter Chris Hines what role AAU membership played in Nebraska being invited to join the conference: Read more…

Meet The Woman Calling BCS on College Football

Earlier this week United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Christine Varney sent a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert (see below) asking why the NCAA has not implemented a college football playoff.

Christine Varney Photo

(At Varney’s confirmation hearing, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch brought up BCS)

Though BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock was also sent a copy of the inquiry, ironic that the person most responsible for keeping the BCS alive and well, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, was not publicly copied.

On Dec. 7, 2005, at a U.S. Congressional hearing titled, “Determing a Champion on the field, A comprehensive review of the BCS”, Delany - flanked by a then-unknown Hancock - said the following:

“I am absolutely sure that an NFL-style football playoff would provide maybe three or four times as many dollars to the Big Ten than the present system does. In fact, a number of corporations have come forward and tried to lure us into a playoff with those kinds of dollars. There is no doubt in my mind that we are leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table.”

That was 2005. Current market conditions suggest that an NCAA football playoff could now net as much as $1 billion per year for NCAA member institutions.

But why is the government once again sticking its nose in the BCS and NCAA’s business?

Might have something to do with Delany acknowledging in 2005 that with the continued implementation of the BCS - which by its own admission restricts trade and limits competition - the NCAA is losing out on hundreds of millions in annual revenue. Revenue which could go to settling massive shortfalls suffered by hundreds of intercollegiate athletic departments across the country.

By, as Delany put it in 2005, “leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table”, those school athletic program deficits are now mostly made up with taxpayer funds. In fact, Delany’s own Big Ten schools (most recently Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin) have accessed millions in taxpayer funds to balance athletic department budgets over the years.

DOJ Christine Varney Letter To Mark Emmert About BCS

Despite the direct rhetoric in the DOJ letter, United States Assistant Attorney General and designated illegal trust-buster Christine Varney and NCAA President Emmert are essentially allies in the quest to eliminate the BCS.

Varney’s May 3 letter is more a warning shot in the direction of the BCS - and a move to empower the NCAA - than it is an interrogation of Emmert. Varney knows full well that Emmert has little-to-no control over the BCS, so the letter is more an announcement of the Department of Justice’s intentions than a fact-finding missive to be taken literally.

No, the man left to answer Varney’s questions will eventually be Delany. But with the Department of Justice now officially on the case, I’d honestly be surprised if the Big Ten Commissioner continues to prop up a system which only exists by his design.

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Why Isn’t Big Ten’s Delany “Standing Up” Now?

After the NCAA elected to allow Cam Newton to play in Auburn’s bowl game this season despite the governing body determining that Newton’s father had broken NCAA rules, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany criticized the NCAA at the time for not forcing Newton to face “consequences.

Big 10 President Jim Delany As Pontius Pilate

(Same guy is singlehandedly keeping the BCS alive)

Delany’s criticism was noted by Pete Thamel of the NEW YORK TIMES:

Delany, a former N.C.A.A. investigator who is familiar with its nuances, said in a telephone interview that the N.C.A.A. “missed an opportunity to stand up.”

“There ought to be consequences. … We’ve gone to the board of directors to create bright lines, to encourage the N.C.A.A. to take creative risks to get everyone on a more level playing field,” he said. “This was an opportunity to apply a very reasonable concept. They chose to go with a very high standard instead of what’s more of a reasonable application given the facts and reality that we’re dealing with.”

Ken Gordon of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reported yesterday that the same Delany who had been highly critical of the the NCAA for not “standing up” in the Cam Newton case “lobbied the NCAA to reinstate Ohio State players for the Sugar Bowl” after it was determined in early December that five Buckeye players had broken NCAA rules. Those players were later suspended for five games - but not the Sugar Bowl.

From Wednesday’s Dispatch:

On a day when five Ohio State players said they were sorry for violating NCAA rules, Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan was unapologetic for pressuring OSU to try to keep the players eligible for the game.

On Dec. 22, Ohio State announced that six players would be suspended for selling memorabilia and/or accepting discounts on tattoos sometime early in 2009.

But those suspensions will not take effect until the start of the 2011 season. OSU officials, along with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, successfully lobbied the NCAA to reinstate the players for the Sugar Bowl. Read more…

Sugar Bowl CEO: ‘Integrity of game’ Trumps NCAA

Ken Gordon of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports today that after Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan found out on Dec. 7, 2010, that five Ohio State players might be ruled ineligible for his New Orleans bowl game because of NCAA rule violations, he “pressured” Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith lobby the NCAA to keep the players eligible.

Terrelle Pryor: Athlete-Student

Hoolahan to Gordon:

“I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year’s game, we would greatly appreciate it. That appeal did not fall on deaf ears, and I’m extremely excited about it, that the Buckeyes are coming in at full strength and with no dilution.”

Despite knowing that Ohio State players had broken NCAA rules repeatedly, Sugar Bowl CEO Hoolahan injected himself into the NCAA investigation process and may have been influential in the NCAA accepting the same ignorance-of-the-rules defense that NCAA athletes have been using ineffectively for over a century.

All in the name of “preserving the integrity of this year’s game.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the NCAA subsequently ruled that Ohio State players could play in the Sugar Bowl because they were unaware that selling OSU football related items and receiving extra benefits from a tattoo parlor owner - because of their status as Buckeye football players - was against NCAA rules. AD Smith also later confirmed that his NCAA compliance department at the school, the largest in the nation, did not adequately inform the guilty OSU players of the extra benefits rule.

As reported here last Saturday
, a prominent Buckeye football player who was on the team when the NCAA violations occurred, Thaddeus Gibson, later disputed Smith’s claim that players didn’t know the rules by saying that Smith and OSU coaches made players aware of the rules in question “all the time.” Gibson himself also received tattoos from the same establishment that the guilty Buckeye football players were associated with.

Thaddeus Gibson: Players Knew The Rules

So if the NCAA’s interpretation of its own rules was the key in whether or not the five Ohio State players were able to play in the Sugar Bowl, why didn’t Hoolahan instead direct his plea to the NCAA office in Indianapolis? Read more…

UConn Begs Fans To Buy Tix, Facing Huge Loss

If fans of any school was due to show up in droves for a BCS bowl this season, it’d be the UConn faithful.

UConn Not Buying Fiesta Bowl Tickets

(UConn demands fans pay full price - despite cheapo tix online)

Right, keeper of the BCS flame Jim Delany?

Apparently not, as Chip Malafronte of the NEW HAVEN REGISTER reports on the financial armageddon UConn is facing after backing into a BCS Bowl thanks to its Big East Conference affiliation.

Appearing in the Fiesta Bowl means UConn is on the hook financially for a whopping 17,000 game tickets. Among other things.

The Fiesta Bowl distributed 17,500 tickets to UConn, and the school is responsible to sell them all. The cheapest of those tickets cost $111 (in the lower end zone) and can cost as much as $268 for club level.

UConn also has a hotel obligation — a total of 550 rooms at three different hotels ranging in price from $125-225 a night, not including tax, with blocks reserved for either three or seven nights.

Additional expenses include a chartered flight and meals for the team, staff and 300-member band, as well as a $100,000 bonus to coach Randy Edsall, and smaller bonuses for assistants, per their contracts, for getting the team to a BCS bowl.

Cost of any tickets or hotel rooms that go unfilled are absorbed by the university.

It gets worse: Read more…

Auburn Now On Break: 1st Day Back Is BCS Date

Here’s a statement Nebraska University President Harvey Perlman read at a Congressional hearing on the BCS last year:

Auburn out of class until BCS title game date

In short, a multi-game, NFL-style playoff solves nothing for college football. This is why the BCS arrangement is a sensible and limited response. It provides the opportunity for a national championship game without producing all of the negative consequences listed above and without interfering with the academic calendar or impinging on the academic missions of our universities.

At the time he made that statement, Perlman was the Chairman of the BCS Presidential Board of Governance. The NU President has since moved up to Chairman of the NCAA Board of Directors, meaning he’s now arguably the most powerful man in college athletics.

Apparently those lofty offices have rendered Perlman unable to acquaint himself with the reality of the academic calendars of the schools involved in the BCS Championship game. Read more…

Could Just 1 Person Be Responsible For BCS? Yes

Question: Why does the BCS exist and who runs it?

(They BCS is not a “they” or an “it”; It’s a “him”)

Answer: For the benefit of one person and his small constituency.One person is pulling the strings, along with a collection of mostly unwitting accomplices.To find that person, we have to identify who we indisputably know is not responsible for the BCS.1) NCAA President Mark Emmert: On Nov. 7, 2008, 16 months before he took office as new NCAA President, then-Univ. of Washington President Mark Emmert told the SEATTLE TIMES, “I happen to be one that thinks it’s inevitable we’ll have a [college football] playoff.”One week after watching his own organization, led by NCAA office colleague Greg Shaheen, reportedly internally initiate the expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament to 68 - and possibly 96 - teams in the future, new NCAA President Emmert said of the NCAA’s role in a future college football playoff system:

It’s not particularly relevant what I want as an individual in this one (NCAA football playoff). The NCAA knows how to run championships, if they (BCS) want us to be involved being helpful then I stand ready to do it.

So though the NCAA initiated the expansion of March Madness, NCAA President Emmert said his organization would have no role in initiating any changes in major college football’s postseason.2) ESPN (Disney): ESPN prints money not because of original programming, but because it has a death grip on broadcast rights to so many premium play-by-play properties - like major college football. (And the BCS.)The ability to exclusively broadcast the best and biggest games allows ESPN to charge cable operators - and viewers - by far the largest fees of any cable channel to carry its programming.  Take away the games, and you take away ESPN’s leverage to charge cable operators those exorbitant fees, which are nearly the sole source of ESPN’s hefty profit margins.To lose the ability to air college football games would strike at the core of ESPN’s business model. So in order to hold onto plum college football broadcast rights, ESPN does as it’s told.The next comment an official representative of ESPN’s business side makes in public about the validity of the BCS will be the first - and last.3) SEC Commissioner Mike Slive: The strongest public proponent of a playoff, and ditching the BCS, is also the man who presides over the BCS conference with the best collection of college football teams - by far.During the decade of the ’00s, SEC teams went 48-31 in bowl games while Big Ten teams went 28-41. In BCS bowl games during that 10-year span, the Big Ten went 6-11 while the SEC went 12-3. (SEC teams were 6-0 in BCS Championship Game.)Despite the SEC’s lopsided on-field advantage over the Big Ten, from 2000-2009 the conference actually received less at-large BCS bowl invitations than the Big Ten - which is why in 2008 SEC Commissioner Slive pushed harder than any other BCS conference commissioner for a limited playoff option but was reportedly blocked by the Big Ten.And why in 2006 Slive said of his term serving as “BCS Coordinator”: “These are my two years in the penalty box.”That same year, final entry to the BCS Championship game came down to the SEC’s 12-1 Florida Gators and the Big Ten’s 11-1 Michigan Wolverines. SEC Commissioner and BCS Coordinator Slive said at the time:

“I think any team that wins our league with one loss should have the chance to play for the national championship.”

When asked what his reaction would be if Michigan won out because of BCS computers and polling, the acknowledged leading public proponent of the BCS, Slive, said at the time, “I’d be disappointed.”So the man most responsible for representing the BCS to the public in 2006 said that had Michigan been awarded the BCS title game spot over Florida, he would’ve disagreed with the conclusion of the very system he was charged to support.To recap where we are so far:The NCAA President, the world’s largest and most influential sports television network and the man who oversees the top football conference in college football, the SEC Commissioner, have no power to remove or modify the BCS. 4) Chairman of NCAA Board of Directors and former Chair of the BCS Governance Oversight Committee Harvey Perlman: As current Chairman of the NCAA’s Board of Directors, many would argue that Perlman is the most powerful man in college athletics. But the NCAA Board of Directors is the final deciding mechanism on all things NCAA except the BCS.While Chairman of the BCS Governance Oversight Committee in 2009, Perlman appeared before the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights:

During his appearance, Senator Orrin Hatch asked Perlman: “Is it fair to pick teams when you do not even go and see–when the criteria does not require you to even go and see a game? And let us use the Mountain West Conference as a perfect illustration.”Perlman: “I appreciate that it may seem unfair and it may, in fact, be unfair.”When Perlman said that, “in fact,” the BCS “may be unfair,” he occupied the highest position that the BCS could provide.5) NCAA championships and business strategies guru Greg Shaheen: Shaheen is the man I first exposed early this year as the NCAA’s architect of the expansion of March Madness to 96 teams.An expansion that happened for one reason and one reason only: Increased revenue to cover the brutal shortfalls that result from staging nearly 100 NCAA championship events every year. (But not including the BCS.)Shaheen, who recently got a promotion from new NCAA President Emmert, said of the reported hundreds of millions of dollars a college football playoff could add to the NCAA and its member school coffers, “If I had the authority, I’d address that.”6) Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee: As president of the school with the largest athletic budget in the country, overlord of one of the highest-profile college football programs in the nation and probably the most vocal supporter of the BCS in the past decade, one would assume Gee exerts considerable influence in BCS matters.Remember Gee recently telling the ASSOCIATED PRESS that TCU and Boise State - despite BCS-enabled spots in the national championship race - did not face a difficult enough schedule to play in the national championship game?

“Well, I don’t know enough about the X’s and O’s of college football. I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. “So I think until a university runs through that gantlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to [be] in the big ballgame.”

Since Gee made his comments, have you heard any representative of the BCS come out in support of the Ohio State President?The only people who supported Gee’s contradictory stance on the BCS are the attorneys trying to use the BCS to get the NCAA’s anti-trust exemption removed.For someone long known as a leading proponent of the BCS, Gee’s criticism is rather ironic considering he sold the same BCS in 2007 to the CINCINNATI POST as inclusive to all schools:

“The rich would get richer and all the others would be excluded. Now, I happen to be at a school that’s at the top of the heap, but I recognize that this would be wrong. It would be against the university values system.“You would have to pry a national championship (tournament) from my cold, dead fingers. My view is a simple one. Any notion of a college football playoff system is absolute nonsense.”

Someone needs to get his story straight.OSU President Gee’s opinion of the college football postseason is also in direct conflict with his own coach, Jim Tressel.Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show on Nov. 12, 2010, Tressel said of his sport’s future:

“I’m sure we’re headed for change, playoffs one day I’m certain will be part of the package. Within five years we will be positioned for a playoff of sorts.”

With the nonexistent public support Gee received from colleagues after his statements about Boise State and TCU, who now has the more relevant opinion about the future of the BCS, Gee or Tressel?To recap, here are the people who are not responsible for the BCS:1) The NCAA President2) The Chairman of the NCAA Board of Directors3) The 2009-10 former Chairman of the BCS Governance Oversight Commitee (Top BCS Position)4) The NCAA employee most responsible for initiating and carrying out the recent expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament  - and the accompanying television rights negotiation5) BCS game broadcaster ESPN: the world’s most powerful sports television network6) The man who oversees the top BCS college football conference in America, the SEC Commissioner7) The University President presiding over the largest school athletic budget in the country and prominent BCS college football programs in the nation 8) You and me.My god. Who then does that leave?Who is still out there who benefits enough to want to do everything in his power to keep the BCS alive?THIS: Read more…

Big 10 Commissioner On Expansion: ‘Still Looking’

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Nebraska officials made the media rounds today in the aftermath of the league poaching the school from the Big 12.

Jim Delany holds press conference at Nebraska

During the media sessions, Delany said the league will continue to look for expansion candidates over the next year but that, “we’re back to the slow tempo game.

Michigan State President Anna K. Simon said of the continuing Big Ten expansion process, “We have two-thirds of the study period left to go and we’re real anxious to work with Jim and others around the next step.

Delany would not comment on specific schools as targets, which I’m sure has the Big East absolutely delighted. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said today that, “it was his understanding” that the Big Ten was not interested in the remaining Big 12 schools.

Also notable today was Delany confirming that a Big Ten football championship game is now likely to happen in 2011 and that Nebraska sports will begin play in the league in the fall of 2011.

Delany would not speculate on how divisions for the Big Ten would play out though he gave the criteria for dividing up the league in order: Competitive fairness, rivalries, geography. (How you determine “fairness” I have no idea.)

More comments from Delany:

On scheduling: “This is not going to the moon, this is creating some football and basketball schedules. We’re going into this with the idea that rivalries really matter. But not all rivalries are equal. Our coaches have wanted to play deeper in December. That’s arrangeable.”

What Big Ten was looking for in possible expansion candidate schools: “We wanted to get to a point in time where everybody was equal. We didn’t want anybody that didn’t want equality.” (See veiled shot at Notre Dame, Texas.)

On a Big Ten football championship game: “I presume that we will.Read more…

Commissioner: Big Ten Now Done Raiding Big 12

Matt Tait of the LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD has details from Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe’s teleconference today. Beebe talked about the departures of Nebraska and Colorado and the current state of the league. Highlights.

On the possibilities of losing more teams to the Big Ten:

“At this point I think as far as we’re concerned my understanding is that there aren’t any other Big 12 members being considered by the Big Ten.”

On Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten:

I would’ve thought formal discussions in advance would’ve happened before we got to the point we’ve come to.

On if the Big 12 could remain intact by adding schools:

We could look at adding teams if the 10 remain together and that’s something we need to consider. However, in terms of value and conducting high-level conference, we don’t have to do that. The info we have is pretty strong that the 10 members we have would continue to provide tremendous amount of revenue in the future.

If he felt deceived by Colorado and Nebraska: Read more…