Affiliated Press -- May 11, 2010 Chicago, IL
Big Ten Expansion Completed!!
AP: In a late breaking story, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany just announced the addition of a twelfth school to the Big Ten Conference.
The new addition will not exactly be new. Former Big Ten school, University of Chicago, has agreed to be reinstated in the conference.
The University of Chicago, which is a member of the University Athletic Association in NCAA Division III, will begin immediately to elevate its varsity sports to Division I caliber programs according to Tom Weingartner, Director of Athletics.
"The University of Chicago is pleased to rejoin the Big Ten," commented university president Robert Zimmer, "and it has been too long in the coming. This reunion makes a tremendous amount of sense given Chicago was a founding member of the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, which is what the Big Ten was called when we created it in 1896. Also, since Chicago is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and most importantly a founding member of the Committee on Intercollegiate Cooperation, an exclusive research cooperative that includes Chicago and the 11 excellent universities of the Big Ten, we all agree that the University of Chicago is the perfect fit. We are very excited to return to the fold."
In an off the record comment, Delany said that splitting the pie 13 ways was not very agreeable to the current arrangement, referring to the 5.6 billion dollars in research funding shared CIC members.
Conference realignments for all of the varsity sports will be worked out over the next several months. Chicago's varsity sports will be transitioned over the next 3 years due to scheduling issues, with basketball to begin in 2011 and football in 2012.
In a separate interview, University of Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez is quoted as saying that he was pleased to be able to schedule Chicago as it would allow him to pad his schedule with something other than a cupcake Division I-AA school, such as Appalachian State or a doormat MAC team like Toledo..
-- byline Jack Piooma