Big Ten not pursuing further expansion, for now

The Big Ten is apparently happy with having a 12-team league for the time being.

The conference released a statement on Sunday saying that although it is still within the 12-18 month time frame it set to look at expansion, it will not be looking to go beyond 12 teams any time in the near future. The league said it will continue to monitor the landscape, but for now will focus on “conference issues.”

The statement follows.

BIG TEN STATEMENT ON EXPANSION


Park Ridge, Ill.— The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) held its winter meetings today in Park Ridge, Illinois. The following statement is issued by the Big Ten office on behalf of the COP/C.

This time last year, the COP/C believed that the time was right for the conference to explore the possibility of conference expansion and Commissioner James E. Delany was asked to provide recommendations for consideration over the next 12 to 18 months. The Big Ten began a thorough, deliberate evaluation and on June 11, 2010, the COP/C unanimously approved an application for membership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Since that announcement, the conference has been actively engaged in incorporating Nebraska, both academically and athletically, into the fabric of the conference and all parties eagerly await the completed integration which will take effect in July, 2011.

During today’s meeting it was decided that it was appropriate to focus completely on conference affairs at this time. “We have been thoroughly engaged in the process since last December,” said COP/C Chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. “Following detailed discussions at today’s meeting, my colleagues and I can report that we believe that this process has reached its natural conclusion. We are pleased with the addition of Nebraska and look forward to working with our colleagues there in the years ahead.”

Although the conference will continue to monitor the intercollegiate landscape, it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion for the foreseeable future and does not expect to be proactively seeking new members.

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