Emails: Big 10 on Fast Expansion Track?

June 4, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

The Columbus Dispatch obtained emails from the Ohio State University President that confirm earlier spring reports that the Big Ten was on an accelerated expansion track.

Contents of the emails can be read here.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney said in May that the Big Ten remains on its original 12 to 18 month expansion exploration plan. The emails are dated mid-April. So perhaps something happened in that month that caused the Big Ten to slow down, but if you read the emails, that would seem hard to believe.

Texas is clearly on the Big Ten’s radar, as OSU President E. Gordon Gee wrote the following to Delaney: “I did speak with Bill Powers at Texas, who would welcome a call to say they have a ‘Tech’ problem,”

Ohio State officials would not explain what the ‘Tech problem’ meant. Perhaps it’s because Texas is not a member of the AAU, or perhaps there is political pressure in Texas to keep A&M, Tech and the Longhorns together.

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One key fact here is that the Big Ten has said it would not contact schools from other leagues without talking to the head of the leagues first, or something along those lines. I guess Gee is not an official in the Big Ten, rather he is employed by Ohio State…so technically, no one ‘from the Big Ten’ contacted Texas.

But this is exactly the type of unofficial contact scenarios I have been writing about for months, and likely something along these lines went down with Missouri last month when the 810 WHB report out of Kansas City said that Missouri and Nebraska were close to getting an invitation into the Big Ten.

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I believe the term has been called ‘plausible deniability’ in political circles.

Gee also said in an email to Delaney on April 19th: “We control our destiny at the moment, but the window will soon close on us. Agility and swiftness of foot is our friend.”

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Soooo…either something changed between mid April when these emails were sent to mid May when Delaney spoke with media in Chicago, or we are in a bit of a gray area here…

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