Big Ten Conference Big Wigs: Notable Quotables

Big Ten Conference media day

While the coaches were guilty of a lot of your typical coach-speak -- interjected with humor and frivolity too, though
-- the heavy hitters at the first day of Media Day were certainly Bill
Carollo (the Big Ten Coordinator of Officials), Mark Silverman (The Big
Ten Network President) and Jim Delany (the Big Ten Conference commissioner).

Carollo and Silverman were two of the most interesting guests of the
entire two-day process, and when Delany wasn't busy talking about
expansion and the Big Ten Championship Game (coming to you live from
somewhere in December of 2011!), he had some other nuggets as well.

Some of the more interesting tidbits below the jump.


By Paul Schmidt

You'd think the three non-coaches speaking at the event would end up sounding like PR flacks; nothing could have been
further from the truth. 

In fact, all were candid with quite a bit to
say, and in the case of Delany, said quite a bit when saying nothing as
well.

Some of the best:

  • My favorite nugget of the entire day came from Silverman, when he
    spoke of how the Big Ten Network impacts recruiting, especially in
    non-revenue and Olympic sports. "The interest level from a national
    standpoint where women's volleyball programs, soccer programs, field
    hockey, can offer potential recruits on the West Coast, the South, the
    Northeast, the opportunity to see their son or daughter play sports,
    which they never really would be able to have elsewhere, has a much
    bigger impact than I personally would have personally realized,"
    Silverman said. "And by now utilizing new technology and being able to
    increase the amount of games we do show on the network, it's just a
    great degree even more so how we can add to the value of those sports."
  • Did you know that the Big Ten Network does not show non-conference
    road games? It's a media-rights issue, but for the first time, they will air
    a non-conference road game, with Indiana heading to Western Kentucky.
    "We were blown away that that game was not going to be televised and
    that we had an opportunity where the existing rights holders were going
    to be OK with us airing the game, and we were able to air it in a window
    where we weren't airing a game already," Silverman said. "So a lot of
    things fell into place to air that particular game."
  • Did you ALSO know that, in the officials' replay booth, their replays were NOT in
    high definition? You, in your home, have more and better technology
    than someone who could be deciding the football game. That has changed
    for this season, however, as Carollo says they have upgraded the
    stadiums around the Big Ten. "The men have all been trained on that and
    we have another training session coming up here in Chicago next week,"
    Carollo said."So not only is it the technology ?? I'm not making any
    excuses on the errors we made on replay last year on technology. But
    certainly it will improve the game. It will improve our accuracy as well
    as speed up the process in the replay booth."
  • What is one of the biggest things that they are trying to bring to
    the Big Ten officials? Consistency. "We are working closely with David
    Parry, the CFO, as well as Rogers Redding, the rules editor, trying to
    get consistency in the officiating program," Carollo said. "Consistency,
    I mean we call it the same way in the first quarter as well as the
    fourth quarter. If it's a holding in September, it should be a holding
    in January. That's the idea and that's what coaches are asking us to do,
    is be more consistent."
  • The NFL is experimenting with the position of the umpire, moving him
    from around where the linebackers are to the offensive backfield, and
    the move is designed to be safer for the umpires. Carollo said the Big
    Ten is not heading in that direction, at least not initially, but will
    be investigating just how much of an affect this positioning will have
    on the umpire's ability to do his job.
  • Delany has been the Big Ten Commissioner for TWENTY TWO YEARS! 
    That's really a remarkable run, and the things he has done to promote
    and increase awareness about the conference in his tenure is nothing
    short of amazing. He has been the driving force to turn the conference
    from a stodgy, old-school power to a forward thinking conference that
    people want to be a part of. He deserves a lot of credit for that.
  • I don't believe he gets that credit because of the expansion issue,
    and his "inability" -- like it is his fault or something -- to bring
    Notre Dame into the conference. They aren't coming, they will never
    come, and it doesn't matter what Delany or anyone else says. However,
    his constant stance that the conference is on a 12 to 18 month window
    looking at expansion -- a time frame they have been on since he became the Big Ten Commissioner -- is somewhat humorous and a little annoying.
  • Delany doesn't really care what the NCAA thinks about expansion. "To
    be honest with you, I think their dog in the fight or stake about
    whether an institution desires to be in another conference or that
    conference desires to have a member that wants to join it, I don't think
    it's an NCAA matter at all," Delany said. "I think it's a matter
    between an institution's desire to compete against certain institutions
    and to collaborate with other institutions."
  • Given that the question from above also asked about whether
    Delany looked at the well-being of other conferences as he looted them
    -- And that he completely dodged answering that question -- it would
    seem that Delany also doesn't care much what the other conferences think
    of him as he takes their schools. An interesting stance given just
    moments earlier he was talking about how he and Big XII commissioner Dan
    Beebe were close friends and great colleagues and someone he respected
    very much.
  • The Big Ten, her name ain't a changin'. "I think the Big Ten is the Big Ten regardless of the number," Delany said definitively.
  • No decision has been made on division alignment, at least not one
    that will be made publicly. It will be made public in 30-45 days.
    Speculate all you want, but it doesn't sound like they have any clue how
    to equitably divide this thing up yet.
  • One of the things on Delany's docket that he needs and wants to
    spend more time on soon, however, is the Big Ten Championship game and
    its location. "One of the things we've got going is we're trying to do
    these divisionals, trying to move forward with the transition, trying to
    identify a championship site and then dealing with the rights to the
    game," Delany said. "I have not given -- we haven't had a lot of
    discussion, and I haven't given a lot of thought. Obviously I've talked
    to people who represent different cities and different venues. Some
    indoor, some outdoor. To be honest with you, I'm not sure whether in the
    next 90 to 120 days we're going to have the time to do what I would
    describe as a fair due diligence process to visit a half dozen venues."

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Meet The Blogger

    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington Times.com, NBC Chicago.com and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

  • Categories

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement:
  • Fresh Chicago News