College athletics: Big Ten expansion ‘ongoing,’ OSU’s Gee says
Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee told the school’s Athletic Council in December that discussions about further expansion for the Big Ten Conference are ongoing.
In November, the league announced the addition of Maryland from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers from the Big East. Nebraska joined the Big Ten for the 2011-12 school year after leaving the Big 12.
It doesn’t appear that the Big Ten is content to stay at 14 members. According to the minutes of the Dec. 5 Athletic Council meeting obtained by The Dispatch, Gee said “there has been ongoing discussion” about expansion and he “believes there is movement towards three or four super conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams.”
When a student member of the Athletic Council asked Gee what direction the Big Ten might take, Gee said, “There are opportunities to move further south in the East and possibly a couple of Midwest universities.”
He did not specify any potential targets but said they will make sure any new school has “like-minded academic integrity.”
The Athletic Council was expected yesterday to recommend formally an increase in Ohio State football ticket prices from $70 to $79, with the addition of “premier” games that would cost significantly more. The board of trustees is expected to vote on the proposal late next week.
— Bill Rabinowitz