Fresh off the Chicago Tribune‘s report this past weekend that the Big Ten could make a serious move toward expansion in short order — as in as early as this week — the Tribune has a report this afternoon on a new development on the process.
Or non-development, as it were.
Citing a top administrator from an unnamed Big East school, the Tribune reports that no expansion targets have been contacted by the Big Ten as of yet. However, as the conference has seemingly ramped-up its timetable for expansion, that’s expected to change, perhaps as early as this coming week as has been previously stated.
The Tribune has also tossed out another interesting nugget regarding any Big East school that may ultimately decide to bolt for another conference. Not only would a school have to pay a $5 million “penalty” for leaving the Big East, they would also have to give a 27-month notice prior to leaving.
That would mean that any Big East school that may bolt for the Big Ten would not technically be able to do so until the 2012 season at the absolute earliest, with 2013 looking more likely for football if the current Big East stipulations remain in place.
Rutgers, Syracuse and Pittsburgh seem to be the Big East schools that would hold the most interest for the Big Ten, with UConn being mentioned as well.
With the BcS meetings commencing Tuesday, expect even more news/rumor/innuendo/speculation to come out in the coming days.
The first month of the football season at Rutgers has had its share of off-field stories worth keeping an eye on, so the news on Tuesday that the university has hired Bond, Schoeneck & King, a law firm with a history of working on NCAA violation cases, is certainly a bit of an eye-opener. The NCAA is not, at this time, investigating Rutgers. Instead, this is a move to investigate a pair of concerns related to the football program so that they may be properly reported to the NCAA if and when needed.
“Rutgers has retained outside counsel with expertise in NCAA infractions to help identify any potential rules violations,” Rutgers senior vice president for external affairs Peter McDonough said in a report published by NJ.com. “This is an ongoing and rigorous process that helps us to identify any shortcomings, to self-report them as required by NCAA rules and to remedy them as best practices demand.”
According to the report from NJ.com, Rutgers is focusing on one allegation of an arrested player failing multiple drug tests while on the team and accusations related to the program’s ambassador program. The name of the former player was not identified in the report. The ambassador program has come into scrutiny following the evolving case related to wide receiver Leonte Carroo.
The hired firm tends to serve as a liaison with the NCAA, but Rutgers will be given a final copy of the firm’s investigation for review. If Rutgers determines any NCAA violations were commited as determined by the report, that information will be passed on to the NCAA. The information revealed or uncovered in the firm’s investigation will determine if the NCAA will have to do some of its own digging, or merely adopt the firm’s report at face value and decide on any appropriate punishment from there.
Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo could have a charge of simple assault dropped by a New Jersey court today. The woman he is accused of slamming to the concrete has agreed to drop the restraining order request and has asked the assault charge against the Rutgers receiver be dropped as well. NJ.com reports today the woman and Carroo each appeared in a family court on Tuesday, and the woman told the judge she is not scared of Carroo.
So, what does this mean for football? Simply put, it means Carroo may be eligible to play again as soon as this weekend. That would be good timing, as Rutgers is set to host Michigan State this Saturday night.
Carroo has been sitting out while serving an indefinite suspension while this legal process plays out. Carroo has missed each of the last two games for Rutgers, against Penn State and Kansas. Rutgers was off this past weekend. If this legal process does play out as it is expected at this point, Carroo could be reinstated quickly and promptly, making him eligible to return right away. Carroo is one fo the best players on the roster, so having him back and eligible to play is very good news for the Scarlet Knights offense.