Oct 19, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; A general view of the Pac-12 conference logo on the field prior to the game between the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 not considering expansion ‘at this time’

The Pac-12 is content being a family of 12.

The conference issued a statement Thursday indicating it isn’t looking to expand, dealing a blow to schools in the Big 12 seeking to follow Oklahoma and Texas out of the league and into another conference.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told The Athletic on Tuesday that conference officials had been considering expansion and would come to a quick decision.

That decision came Thursday.

“Following consultation with our presidents, chancellors and athletic directors, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to not pursue expansion of our membership at this time,” the statement read. “This decision was made following extensive internal discussion and analysis, and is based on the current competitive strength and cohesiveness of our 12 universities. It is also grounded in our confidence in our ability as a conference to best support our student-athletes and to grow and thrive both academically and athletically.”

The Pac-12 agreed Tuesday to form a strategic alliance with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten, with the 41 schools working together on things such as scheduling, legislative issues and concern for student-athletes.

With the pending departure of marquee programs Oklahoma and Texas to the Southeastern Conference, the Big 12 and the eight committed member institutions face an uncertain future.

–Field Level Media

Jul 21, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA; ACC commissioner Jim Phillips speaks to the media during the ACC Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 make conference alliance official

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 cemented their athletics alliance Tuesday, announcing their plan to have 41 universities work together on elements from scheduling to the well-being of student-athletes amid a time of upheaval in college sports.

This summer has seen laws take effect that allow student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, as well as the departure of Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference.

“There is turbulence right now in college athletics. There are things we need to address,” said Kevin Warren, the commissioner of the Big Ten, at a virtual news conference. “We need to have strong leadership. We need to work together.”

Under the deal, the three conferences will increase interconference scheduling among themselves for football and men’s and women’s basketball while honoring existing contracts.

There isn’t a legal contract between the conferences. In effect, it is a gentleman’s agreement between Warren, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and ACC commissioner Jim Phillips.

“There is no signed document, and there doesn’t need to be,” Kliavkoff said. “There is a commitment from three commissioners and 41 presidents and athletics directors.”

Phillips agreed.

“It’s about trust. We’ve looked each other in the eye and made an agreement,” he said. “Our board chairs have looked each other in the eye. … If that’s what it takes to get something considerable done, then we’ve lost our way.”

Combined, the three conferences have more than 27,000 student-athletes competing on 863 teams in 31 sports.

–Field Level Media

The logo of the Big Ten Conference is seen on a yard marker during Iowa Hawkeyes football Kids Day at Kinnick open practice, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

210814 Ia Fb Kids Day 109 Jpg

Big Ten follows Pac-12, ACC on COVID-19 forfeiture plan

The Big Ten announced Monday that any team unable to field a team this upcoming season due to a COVID-19 outbreak will forfeit the game.

The policy is in line with the other Power 5 conferences, with subtle differences.

In the ACC, if both teams are affected by an outbreak, both teams take a loss in the standings. In the Big Ten and Big 12, if both are stricken with an outbreak and can’t play, it goes in the standings as a “no contest.”

The particular game will not be rescheduled.

The SEC is the lone Power 5 conference that has yet to unveil a COVID-forfeit policy. The league said it would finalize a policy closer to Week 1 games.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions athletic director Sandy Barbour prior to the game against the Seton Hall Pirates at the Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State AD says conference alliance is not just about money

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour told the media Saturday the Big Ten considers more than money when making decisions, including its potential alliance with the ACC and Pac-12.

She said the conference “prides” itself on being about more than athletics.

The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 are discussing a potential alliance moving forward about many issues regarding college sports. The move is a reaction to Texas and Oklahoma’s announcement that they are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

“I’m not trying to downplay the importance of value as it relates to upsizing our revenues — that certainly is important — but that’s not the only reason,” Barbour said. “And I think that there are some reasons around like-mindedness that would be very valuable to the conference.”

The alliance could be announced as early as next week, according to reports on Friday, but the three conferences still have many things to discuss and agree on.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2021; Hollywood, CA, USA; PAC-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks to the media during the Pac-12 football Media Day at the W Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Report: ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 discussing potential alliance

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 are discussing an alliance that will include scheduling and legislation, according to The Athletic.

The report says ACC commissioner Jim Phillips, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff have been talking for multiple weeks.

“I’ve been in frequent and regular contact with all of the other A5 commissioners the last few weeks about the complex issues that are facing the industry,” Kliavkoff told The Athletic. He added, there is “nothing to report on this specific matter at this time.”

There is no timeline for when the alliance could be finalized and announced.

The main aspect of the alliance would be the three conferences voting together as a bloc on major issues.

The alliance is a reaction to Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC.

The Big 12 is not being considered for the alliance. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Kliavkoff met last week.

–Field Level Media

The University of Kansas new football coach Lance Leipold, left, shakes hands with athletic director Travis Goff, right, during a news conference Monday at the indoor football facility.

Reports: Kansas plots Big Ten move with OU, Texas exiting Big 12

Kansas could be on the move in an immediate response to the imminent exit of Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12 conference.

According to multiple reports, Kansas will hold a secondary call with Big Ten officials that could lead to the Jayhawks becoming the 15th team in the conference and the further weakening of the Big 12.

Iowa State is also rumored to be considering leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten.

Oklahoma and Texas are close to finalizing a move to the Southeastern Conference that would cost the universities at least $76 million apiece, paid to the Big 12 as an exit fee. Texas A&M and Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2011.

The Big 12 lost Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-12 in 2011.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said Thursday at conference media days that the league would consider how and when to get involved in potential realignment in response to the Sooners and Longhorns heading for the SEC.

Kansas has been a dominant force in college basketball and recently underwent changes at athletic director and named a new football coach, Lance Leipold, to replace Les Miles.

–Field Level Media

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren walks across the endzone prior to the Big Ten Championship football game between Ohio State and Northwestern at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

Big Ten Championship Ohio State Northwestern

Big Ten plans on rotating championship game location

The Big Ten is expecting to rotate the location of its football championship game when its current contract with Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium expires after this season, commissioner Kevin Warren told NJ Advance Media at Big Ten Media Days on Thursday.

The conference will do the same thing for its men’s basketball tournament.

“We’re going to sit down and figure out the best way to rotate it, probably take out a request for proposal for basketball and football,” Warren told NJ Advance Media. “I’m open to any location our fans will travel to and enjoy in our footprint, anywhere from Nebraska to New Jersey.”

The Big Ten Championship Game was first held in 2011 and has been held exclusively at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Big Ten men’s basketball tournament has been held in Indianapolis and Chicago for every year since starting in 1998 except for 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the tournament was held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. and at NYC’s Madison Square Garden in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Jul 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren speaks to the media during Big 10 media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten names Barry Alvarez adviser of football

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said his league is keeping a close eye on possible expansion developments involving the Southeastern Conference.

In his opening remarks at the conference media days on Thursday, Warren also announced the league was hiring former Wisconsin athletic director and head coach Barry Alvarez to oversee football operations.

Alvarez would play a key role in any counter move from the Big Ten if Oklahoma and Texas apply to join the SEC, as has been reported.

“That’s why I’m so thankful Barry Alvarez in joining us,” Warren said. “These are all the kind of things, just collectively, that we as a conference will be able to think through, talk through. We are constantly evaluating what’s best for the conference.”

The Big Ten is allowing individual institutions to oversee COVID-19 protocols with each school submitting a proposal in early August.

“We are right where we wanted to be in that it will be a decentralized process,” Warren said, adding that the league will attempt to pressure-test university proposals. “We will have that done prior to our first game 37 days away from today.”

As a byproduct of COVID-19 planning sessions, flexibility in scheduling has been discussed, Warren said, adding he is on recurring calls with commissioners from the Power Five conferences with development ideas on the table.

The Big Ten and Warren took sharp criticism for delaying the start of football season and implementing a shortened schedule.

“I don’t have any regrets. Quite naturally, we look back at our lives and we all have things we might have done differently,” Warren said. “But if I had it to do all over last year, I would make the same decisions that we made. You’ve heard me say it today: Making sure we keep our student-athletes at the center of all of our decisions. … If we put them at the epicenter of those decisions, we’re going to be OK.

“It was a very, very complicated time in our lives. When you add it all up, the biggest thing I learned is the importance of being grateful but also having a sense of grace, not only with ourselves but others.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Indianapolis, IN, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day fires up his team during warm-ups prior to the Big Ten Championship football game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY NETWORK

Report: Big Ten trimming quarantine to 17 days

The Big Ten is reducing its minimum COVID-19 quarantine time from 21 days to 17, ESPN reported Sunday.

The conference’s medical subcommittee approved the change Wednesday and it will go into effect Monday, according to a document obtained by ESPN.

Players who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 through PCR testing must still go through extensive cardiac testing, including a cardiac MRI, and receive clearance from team physicians before returning to competition. The protocol applies to all Big Ten sports, not just football.

Even with the reduction, the Big Ten policy remains more stringent than other conferences. The Big 12, ACC and SEC protocols require players to sit out 10 days after being diagnosed with the virus.

The policy change could directly impact Ohio State, which earned the No. 3 seed Sunday in the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes (6-0) will face No. 2 Clemson (10-1) in a national semifinal at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

Ohio State played without 22 players in Saturday’s 22-10 win against Northwestern in the Big Ten title game.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day was asked Sunday how many of those players would benefit from changing to a 17-day window.

“A good amount of them,” Day said. “There’s also some that are really close.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2019; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers players celebrate winning the Old Oaken Bucket by defeating the Purdue Boilermakers, 44-41 in 2 OT at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana-Purdue game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The annual rivalry game between Indiana and Purdue was called off for the second, and final, time on Tuesday.

The two programs, which play for the Old Oaken Bucket, issued a joint statement on Tuesday to announce the cancellation of the game because of COVID-19 issues on both campuses.

The teams initially were scheduled to play Dec. 12 in Bloomington, Ind., but virus cases and contact tracing left both programs short of players. The Big Ten rescheduled the game for Friday as part of its final-week schedule.

“Upon the advice of our medical professionals and in following the guidelines and protocols established for this season, we are not able to play Friday,” the joint statement said. “As we stated last week, we know the history and tradition of this great rivalry game and how much it means to our current students, alumni and fans. Both universities worked extremely hard in an effort to play, but at this time it just isn’t possible. We are certainly disappointed that we cannot play in 2020, but look forward to seeing each other on the field next season and competing once again for the Old Oaken Bucket.”

The in-state rivals have played every year since 1920. Indiana won the 2019 game, 44-41, in two overtimes.

The season now is over for Purdue (2-4), but No. 12 Indiana could wind up with an invitation to a showcase bowl game. The Hoosiers’ only loss came on Nov. 21 to No. 4 Ohio State.

Indiana coach Tom Allen was named the American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media