Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
- B1G Commissioner Jim Delany spoke to the media at the B1G Spring Meetings about a variety of topics.
1. After coming to an agreement with FOX on the first part of the B1G media rights package, Delany was asked about the ongoing negotiations. He offered few details but said a series of announcements would be made “sometime this summer”. For his part, ESPN president John Skipper spoke about the Worldwide Leader’s interest in keeping the B1G on ESPN: “We have been partners with the Big Ten for a long time. Our interest is high. We would like to remain partners.” (writer’s note: I believe it is critical that the B1G remain on ESPN, even if they take a small pay-cut on what they could get with other networks. I believe the exposure the Big Ten receives from being featured on the ESPN/ABC networks is monumental for recruiting in both football and basketball and losing that would be detrimental for all programs.) We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.
2. The SEC is testing a new centralized replay system for football during this coming season. Delany said the conference will be watching that experiment closely but, at this time, he doesn’t feel there is a need for a centralized system in the Big Ten. However, he remains open to a national college football replay center if this centralized system proves worthwhile.
3. The Big 12 (and the Hoosier Huddle podcast) are focused on possible expansion and realignment. Moves made by, or not made by, that conference could have a gigantic impact on the remainder of the power conferences. However, Jim Delany insisted the Big Ten wasn’t thinking about adding any more schools to the league: “We’re pretty much laser-focused on reform issues.”
- Athlon Sports released their preseason watch list for the 2016 NCAA football campaign and IU’s Dan Feeney has been named a preseason first-team All-American. We’ll have more on this and other preseason projections once more become available but congratulations to IU’s senior o-line leader on this honor.
- Maryland’s new head coach, DJ Durkin, has gotten off to a very strong start in recruiting and he’s beginning to establish the foundation on which he will build the Terrapins program. He hired a number of strong recruiters to his staff, including former D.C. high school coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, and has already secured a five-star defensive end (Joshua Kaindoh) and three four-star commits (DT Cam Spence, OT Jordan McNair and QB Kasim Hill) and Maryland currently has the 16th-ranked recruiting class for 2017. The 2016 season may not be a particularly strong one in College Park but it appears things are trending in the right direction under Durkin’s direction.