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Yeah but these are Presidents talking Presidents....not fans....$$$$$$ is king.
N has been down for a couple years but it is traditionally a very solid baseball school.
If any of you come to Lincoln, check out the baseball stadium. Absolutely impeccable. Nebraska might have the best overall facilities in the nation once the basketball faculties are complete. They are all top tier facilities.
Teein' Off on Links
Second best baseball facilities in the Big Ten? Oddly enough they are at Penn State. Somehow, we have a top 10 stadium in college baseball.
All BIG10 fans should lobby for FSU.
We need another football power.
UNC, UVA, GT doesn't cut it.
your a fool if you think a great southern school like unc would want to be in a damn yankee conference like the big 10. they would want to play in a conference like the sec. a conference that wins national championships and would get to play against their southern brothers.
I'll just save this for later...
Believe IU takes soccer seriously they are the current champions.
Gorgeous facility. We'd kill to have that at Alabama.
Ya I read PSU put like 35 mil into the new place. Good for them. Looks pretty awesome
This post was edited by beardown2489 17 months ago
Everything they did to the park was well thought out and fan friendly. From the massive leg room to the gorgeous view of Mt. Nittany (see below), you really can't ask for more.
so basically what you are saying is the most legendary baseball team of the SEC got beat by a lil school from the north called stony brook the dominance of the sec in baseball
read this article....best I have seen on expansion written by Charles Babb
Why read yet another article opining about a subject which has spilled tankers full of ink, laid waste to forests, and sucked up more Internet bandwidth than the death of Princess Diana? Why not purchase a copy of Rosetta Stone and learn a foreign language? Why not take up a new hobby and use legos to build a scale replica of your favorite stadium? Why not take up a new sport, perfecting the fine art of Caber Tossing or Maide Leisge?
Because I think there is something – a large something – being missed by the plethora of sportswriters who think they are experts on the subject.
Riddle me this – why would men and women generally considered smarter than the average Joe make head scratching decisions by adding two teams with less than spectacular athletic departments to a league in need of a national splash?
Maybe it is because they don’t understand college athletics. Maybe it is due to the egg head syndrome where terrible decisions look good from the bubble of academia but don’t do well in places where the rubber does actually meet the road.
Or, maybe it is because in the Big Ten, the tail is still not wagging the dog, and it is most decidedly not about the ball (to quote Jim Tressel paraphrasing Lance Armstrong).
In order to understand the expansion of the Big Ten we must first understand the size and nature of these institutions.
The universities comprising the Big Ten number 13 and will soon number 15 once Maryland and Rutgers are full members. You might perhaps only be coming up with 12 in your mind and soon to be 14, but you are forgetting the prestigious University of Chicago which still enjoys all privileges of membership but has chosen not to compete on the athletic field. The institutions are typically in the range of 140 years of age and older and many (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to name several) are Land Grant institutions formed via the Morrill Acts. The smallest of the Big Ten Universities are Northwestern and Chicago – both numbering about 15,000 students, while the largest are Minnesota and Ohio State which number roughly 65,000 with undergraduate and postgraduate student bodies.
These institutions have massive budgets – typically ranging from 2 Billion to nearly 5 Billion annually, and are not controlled by their athletic programs. I repeat, they are not controlled by their athletic programs.
Most important perhaps in this discussion but rarely mentioned is each of these institutions, with the exception of Nebraska (who lost membership after joining the conference), are members of the prestigious AAU, American Association of Universities. The AAU has only 62 in its select, invitation only club in both the United States and Canada, many of whom have no involvement with FBS football. In fact, when those who do not field a football team at the FBS level are removed, there are just 38 if my count is correct. Pare that number down by those which are already members of the Big Ten, and there are only 26 left in the entire United States and Canada. Subtract those members lacking sufficient geographic proximity and you have just a handful of names remaining. They are the names you might have seen floated over the past few years if you followed this subject closely:
Colorado, Duke, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Rutgers, Buffalo, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Virginia, Texas, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.
The Big Ten just added two of those on the list in Rutgers and Maryland. Others, such as Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, and Missouri seem to have made their choices in expansion. Vanderbilt likely would not leave the SEC, and the University of Toronto probably would have far too much work to do in order to compete on the athletic field. Iowa State and Pittsburgh probably are not candidates as they add no new markets to the Big Ten’s expansion, and neither Buffalo nor Kansas add any key markets.
This leaves us with Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, The University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Perhaps my friends, the Big Ten is serious about its academics. Perhaps the legion of sportswriters lack an understanding of not only the Big Ten as a conference but also how higher education works and where the real money lies.
Is the Big Ten Network a hugely profitable enterprise which has far exceeded the dreams of many (not mine but perhaps many others)? Yes. Is it big money for many smaller institutions and big money compared to other conference revenues? Without question. Is it the driving force in Big Ten expansion? No. Is it even the biggest revenue contributor in this equation? No.
I repeat, the Big Ten Network, even at $240,000,000 a year is not the largest financial incentive for conference expansion.
What is you ask?
The incentives are threefold:
• 1. State and Federal Grants.
With 11 current AAU members and soon to be 13 AAU members, the Big Ten collectively gobbles up billions of dollars in grants. There are likely more than a hundred people employed within the Big Ten whose sole job is to write grant proposals. In fact, it is a safe guess to say the number of professional grant writers within the conference might number several hundred. Why? Because it is big money. If you can hire someone for $40,000 a year, and they can land you 3 grants worth $15,000,000 then you have obviously come out ahead.
But grant writing is competitive. Each university and often multiple departments within a university are all vying for the same, increasingly limited, dollars. You have to be able to make your pitch better than anyone else, and to do this you want to show the government you are not only stretching those dollars to the fullest by involving the most experts with the best facilities, equipment, and investment in future students. In sum, you are doing the most good with the money entrusted to you.
How do you improve your grant proposal while simultaneously cutting costs? You collaborate. When you collaborate with another university by sharing your findings with one another, you can frequently double or even triple the work force, design better studies, and emerge with not only more creative results but more reliable results.
What could adding another 4 AAU members mean to the Big Ten?
It could mean billions – yes, billions with a ‘B’ in grants. Split 17 ways (including the University of Chicago), each university might take home another $100,000,000 every year. Even if it only resulted in another $40,000,000 a year for each university that’s more than the Big Ten Network athletic payout.
2. Cost Savings
If you haven’t noticed, state budgets haven’t exactly been experiencing largesse in the last 5 years. In fact, they have been looking more and more like the Hindenberg as it plunged to the ground in New Jersey following its transatlantic journey. Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania – these are states which were hit particularly hard by the recent recession. They are states in which job growth has not been impressive for perhaps decades, and this means while all the costs for states have skyrocketed…the incoming revenue has not.
The net result is during the last two decades the percentages of funding from state governments for flagship institutions has plummeted. We’re not talking a few million dollars here. We’re talking a drop in funding in the range of tens of millions – sometimes in a single year. A few years ago, one Midwestern state dropped its funding for state higher education by over $100,000,000.
When you have a large budget cut there are several ways to balance the books in higher education. First, you can raise tuition. This is normally one of the favorite methods (explaining skyrocketing tuition costs in the last 30 years), but it can only be done so much before students and families choose less expensive alternatives (see the growth of community colleges). Second, you can raise money. Higher education qualifies in most cases as a non-profit entity with the IRS. This means you can solicit donations right alongside the American Red Cross, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, etc. with the same ability to provide a boost to the individual in the form of a tax deduction for every donation. Third (and least attractive to most), you can cut costs. This might mean anything from the elimination of too many copies to the elimination of jobs or an entire academic department which has not been pulling its weight.
How does expansion save money/cut costs?
When you expand academically, you can share resources. Say one university has an international campus which is only used at 80% capacity. The 20% ‘vacancy’ is what separates the venture from being profitable instead of a money pit; solve the problem by inviting a sister school to join and fill out that extra 20% as an ‘academic exchange’ program. Or, perhaps you would like to offer additional degree programs or even have need for extra sessions of a particular class (like chemistry or sociology, etc.). You can hire additional professors for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, or you can share costs with a sister school which has faculty not being used to the extent of their contract at this present time. Even better, each school has a physical imprint. By this I mean, each university has its physical facilities (dorms, power plant, classrooms, administrative offices, etc.). Increasingly it is a problem to have massive physical imprints in an Internet age because classroom space is used perhaps 4 hours a day but forces building upkeep, electric, heating/cooling, etc. (not to mention construction costs themselves). Add to this problem the reality each professor is asked to teach only so many sessions and then expected to devote the rest of their time to research. How do you increase student enrollment (raising revenue), use a classroom facility to its fullest potential, and still allow the professors to research (raising revenue through grants or scientific discoveries which can be patented)? Easy. Partner with a sister institution – such as Maryland. Install cameras and viewing screens in the lectures of both your professors and her professors, and then double the class size by allowing the professor to teach one group in person and the other remotely. Bring in an additional graduate student at full tuition if necessary to grade papers and answer questions on whichever end is being taught remotely, and you just saved the university $100,000 a year while upping enrollment (which is a huge increase in revenue as we will see below.
Multiplied 1,000 times over across the Big Ten conference – how much have you suddenly saved in not only basic salary but also benefits? If you figure each additional top end professional might cost you $100,000 at a bare minimum, you just saved the conference $100,000,000 – a year.
3. Future Students (cost for out of state vs. in state tuition)
The Big Ten region has been struggling for a long time and that struggle will only accelerate if politicians do not start adding jobs. Jobs are the key to population growth and population growth is the key to enough students to fund large institutions like those in the Big Ten.
Let me throw out a few statistics for you as this has been coming a long time. In 1950, US population was roughly 150,000,000 and the Big Ten imprint at that time contained 47.9 of them, or 31% of the whole. Many of these were children and young adults with the future looking incredibly bright. Today, the United States population is better than 300,000,000 and the Big Ten region (without the new additions) holds only 67 million residents. That means only 22% of the population is in the Big Ten footprint. Worse, the country is trending demographically to the coasts and the Southeast which means this downward growth spiral will likely accelerate unless the politicians in the Midwest figure out how to attract more jobs to add millions of families.
Why does this matter and what does it have to do with Big Ten expansion? Without young families, your pool of prospective students shrink. If it continues to shrink then the institutions will find themselves struggling to survive with their current programs and resources intact.
All this talk of the Big Ten Network and football obscures where the real money lies. It lies in grants, gifts, and students…
Yes, students. Contrary to popular opinion tuition doesn’t really cover the costs of education for a university, but it certainly helps. Average yearly tuition, fees, and room and board for an Ohio State student is currently right around $20,000 for an Ohio resident and $35,000 for out of state residents. Let’s just say the average reimbursement per student for Ohio State (undergraduate) is $25,000 per year. With expansion into regions with a younger, growing population the Big Ten is not just trying to get network numbers; they are trying to solidify and grow a student base. Instead of trying to figure out how not to shrink in the future, Ohio State (and the rest of the Big Ten universities) are making plans for growth. Instead of trying to fill a $25,000,000 hole when they drop 1,000 students, the leaders of the Buckeye state are trying to determine how they will spend the windfall of 1,000 extra – and mostly out of state – students which represent $35,000,000 per year just as undergraduates and far more (perhaps as much as $50,0000,000) as graduate students.
In sum, all this hand wringing and head scratching about why the Big Ten would invite Maryland and Rutgers and be in discussion with other AAU institutions in growth areas is quite simple.
These institutions are public ivy schools which mesh philosophically while opening doors for collaboration and a true increase in stature and funds which dwarf the Big Ten Network and its value.
Yes, the Big Ten Network is important. No administrator is going to sneeze at $40,000,000 a year for their athletic department, but in reality neither athletics nor Jim Delaney are pulling the strings. Delaney might be negotiating the deals, but the strings are being pulled by the trustees, the presidents, the chancellors, and the money individuals in the Big Ten who see that expansion and collaboration might be worth $100,000,000 and more in profits and savings to each member institution even before athletics are considered.
Personally, I expect the Big Ten to continue this direction, and, as I have predicted for close to a decade now, we will ultimately see the emergence of superconferences which secede from the NCAA to form their own playoff in football – worth billions of dollars. At that point, the payoff in athletics, savings, tuition, and grants becomes even greater for the Big Ten.
Crazy for adding Rutgers and Maryland? Crazy for considering Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia?
Yeah, crazy like a fox.
Yes LSU lost to Stony Brook. Even with that, 3/8 teams in the CWS were from the SEC and for the first time since 2008 someone from outside the SEC won the CWS. Not to mention since 2008 there has been at least 1 SEC team in the CWS Finals every season.
2008 - UGA vs Fresno St
2009 - LSU vs Texas
2010 - South Carolina vs UCLA
2011 - South Carolina vs Florida
2012 - South Carolina vs Arizona
Man, what a terrible baseball league. Just as overrated as SEC football right?
This post was edited by Brian Henry 17 months ago
Did I ever say SEC football is overrated? Ummm NO....But LSU has 6 Nattys to South Carolinas to 2 and Michigan has 2, dont call yourself the baseball power conference when the PAC-12 owns college baseball. UNC and UVA have as many baseball national championships and appearances as Northern Colorado it wouldnt make a difference if they played in the big ten.
This post was edited by Cbrenn44 17 months ago
What he said.
He's also a dumbass. Every category he listed we have in spades but we still went to the SEC.
The presidents will listen to the fans and no doubt the fans dont want to associate with those guidos up north.
A&M is a good school academically, don't get me wrong, but it's no UNC.
You must not be familiar with the type of people that attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and those who represent the university.
What about Vandy? They're really suffering aren't they
The SEC isn't THE power baseball conference, it is ONE of THE power baseball conferences along with the Pac 12, Big XII and ACC.
The point is North Carolina a power baseball program and their baseball people will not be happy about joining a conference that is consistently worse than the Sun Belt and Conference USA. North Carolina has been the CWS multiple times the last 10 years and was in the CWS Final a few years ago. Regardless of what you think, Carolina and UVA care about baseball, and leaving a baseball league for a league in which 75% of the programs don't even try to compete and would rather leave the NCAA and form their own club sport league is a big deal to them.
If you don't think the B1G is more attractive from a research standpoint, I don't know what to tell you.
I love the SEC and think there are some state schools that have drastically improved the last 10-15 years and will even more in the next decade.................but there is no debate that the Big Ten is a more established, high profile, research oriented, respected group of academic institutions than the SEC. That isn't even close to a debate.
North Carolina would not fit in academically in the SEC. I'd love to have them to raise the profile of the league academically, but in that regard they are a much better fit with the Big Ten (as is UVA).
North Carolina does not need the big tens research money. Understand this.
Virginia baseball's success has been relatively recent and the school won't make the decision based on one sport alone. The Big Ten's CIC and tv deal fits the mold for these well respected state schools. As flagship universities of their respective states, they just lost one of their long time peers (Maryland) to greener pastures. Both have much more in common with the B1G schools rather than the ACC's private institutions or less than stellar Louisville/NC State.
I think you're really downplaying academia in this discussion.
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