In one of the most amusing bluffs in the history of anything, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says his league will go to Division III before it pays one of its athletes a dime.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Delany claimed that is the route the conference will take if the NCAA loses its court case against former UCLA standout Ed O’Bannon. The O’Bannon case would force the NCAA to share a portion of its television revenues with the athletes who are actually being televised.
Instead of sharing a pot that will grow even larger with the nonsensical (in a geographic sense) additions of Maryland and Rutgers to his league, Delany postulated that the entire league will go the route of Big Ten founding member University of Chicago:
“It has been my longstanding belief that The Big Ten’s schools would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth and activity of their athletic programs. Several alternatives to a ‘pay for play’ model exist, such as the Division III model, which does not offer any athletics-based grants-in-aid, and, among others, a need-based financial model. These alternatives would, in my view, be more consistent with The Big Ten’s philosophy that the educational and lifetime economic benefits associated with a university education are the appropriate quid pro quo for its student athletes.”