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HN Podcast: Miller & Deace Talk B1G Problems

September 29, 2013

Written by Jon Miller

I’ve been having a few discussions on twitter with Gerry Dinardo and the fellas from ESPN’s Big Ten twitter account over the future and direction of the Big Ten conference as it relates to ‘competing’ against the SEC and other leagues for national ‘relevance’, if you will.  It’s an interesting debate or at least I find it to be.

In my opinion, the Big Ten is wasting money and other resources worrying about trying to compete with a league that it’s never going to be on the same playing field with related to academic standards, recruiting standards, etc.  Nobody wants to admit that little to nothing can be done, including Dinardo:

These were just a few of the tweets that were taking place with Dinardo last week.  We talk about these things in this podcast, as well as a quote Deace remembered Dinardo giving at the 2002 Big Ten media days related to a big difference between the Big Ten and SEC.  After we recorded the podcast, I searched for those quotes, just to fact check Deace.  Turns out he was right:

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It didn’t take long for DiNardo to learn the fundamental difference between his former league, the Southeastern Conference, and the Big Ten.

When the Big Ten held its annual summer meetings in Marco Island, several policy decisions were up for debate. The league’s faculty athletics representatives made their voices heard. So did athletic directors and coaches. Presidents, DiNardo said, deferred to the faculty athletic reps.

“It was very clear to me, at least from that meeting, that the faculty reps had a voice and a very strong voice,” DiNardo said.

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“In the SEC, the faculty reps didn’t have a voice. Or if they did, nobody listened.

“What did I learn from that? Basically, the conference office in the SEC wants to be able to say they have great football and the conference office in the Big Ten wants to be able to say they graduate their athletes.”

My thought, which I elaborate on in this podcast; build a wall in B1G country.  Play 10 conference games and two out of conference games against teams from say the MAC…those would have to be home games.   Just play one another and forget about keeping up with the SEC.  Deace offers some real interesting angles on why things are the way they are, which also reinforces my ‘Build a Wall’ isolationist thoughts.  Remember, just because you want to wish a problem away doesn’t mean it will go away and there aren’t always workable answers that will overcome every problem.  Here’s the podcast:

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