When the NCAA coerced President Rodney Erikson into signing a consent decree agreement and NCAA President Mark Emmert said he would institute a four-year death sentence, do you really think he would have done it? Never.
Why? In the first place, that would have canceled 32 football games in the Big Ten alone (eight a year for four years) at $5 million a game, which equals $160 million.
That would have left the Big Ten with only 11 teams and, by NCAA rules, there must be 12 teams to create a conference championship game. Therefore, the Big Ten would have had to cancel its championship game for four years. After all, that is the only reason Nebraska was admitted to the Big Ten — for a 12th team and a championship game. Remember, the NCAA and the Big Ten are most concerned about the money.
Think about the economic illiteracy of the NCAA when it fined Penn State $60 million, which was determined to be the revenue of one year of its football program. But at the same time, Emmert said no nonrevenue sports were to have any cut in funds. Because the football program funds all nonrevenue sports. Without any state funding or tuition, how does that work?
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany should be penalized for unsportsman-like conduct for “piling on” by his enjoyment in imposing severe sanctions on top of the NCAA’s crushing sanctions. Delany should be attempting to help his conference members instead of trying to kill a member’s football program and encouraging a raid on Penn State’s scholarship football players.
This action verifies that we were always an unwanted child in the Big Ten. This was initially confirmed when the university presidents voted to admit Penn State and athletic directors of the universities caused a severe uproar because they said they knew nothing prior to the presidents’ action and were not necessarily in favor of the decision.
In our first couple of years of competition, when a Penn State athlete would lose a bout or a game, the other Big Ten fans would sarcastically yell “Welcome to the Big Ten.” I have never liked being where I was not wanted.
This leads to what I believe is an option for Penn State. First, drop out of the Big Ten and join the Atlantic Coast Conference, which would most likely accept and welcome us.
Then we could go back to playing football with Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt and Maryland, like the good old days.
I am sure the ACC would also enjoy having Penn State’s current two-time national wrestling champions, recent four-time national women’s volleyball champions, as good a women’s basketball team as any in the ACC, the competition of the men’s basketball team, recent national champion men’s and women’s gymnastic teams and four-time Big Ten women’s soccer team.
And the softball and baseball teams could open early-season schedules in the South, which is not possible in the Midwest.
Penn State is one of the largest national TV football draws. We would have the large part of the heavily populated media east of Columbus, Ohio. This would be an asset to the ACC
You might say that this wouldn’t generate as much conference money for Penn State. With the new aligned ACC and the pending ACC TV network, I don’t see a big difference four years down the road when we finally shake the noose of the unfair sanctions of the NCAA and the Big Ten.
Galen Dreibelbis is a lifelong area resident and supporter of Penn State.