College athletics: Big Ten's Delany states opposition to players forming unions

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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is all for empowering college athletes and improving conditions for them.

When it comes to forming a union, he’s just as adamant — that’s not the way to go. And he thinks the public agrees with him.

“When I read the polls, whether it’s the Meet the Press poll or the ABC/Stephanopoulos poll, 70 percent of the people don’t want to see unions on college campuses for college athletes,” he said. “Seventy percent of the people don’t want to see pay for play. Seventy percent of the people don’t want to see these things operated as minor-league franchises.”

Delany spoke yesterday in Rosemont, Ill., after wrapping up two days of meetings with Big Ten athletic and academic administrators.

The discussions focused on the conference’s expansion east with Maryland and Rutgers, along with the reform and restructuring of the college landscape as a potential game-changing decision on unionizing looms in the background.

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