Way back in December, when the Big Ten announced publicly that they would be exploring the possibility of adding new members, the conference stated that it would take 12-18 months to decide whether or not to expand, and what schools to add if expansion was given a two big thumbs up.
Despite the best efforts of some in the media to speed up the process by about six months or so, commissioner Jim Delany has been steadfast in stating in a very public manner that the conference fully intends to adhere to the original timeline.
At the Big Ten’s spring meetings in Chicago Tuesday afternoon, Delany once again reiterated that time-frame tack.
According to a tweet from Yahoo! Sports.com‘s Dan Wetzel, Delany told the assembled media that the league’s report on expansion would not be completed until November at the earliest. Obviously, if the report is not complete, Delany will not be in a position to make recommendations to the conference’s presidents/chancellors.
Therefore, if the report remains on track to be completed by November, that is the absolute earliest that this expansion issue could realistically kick into high gear, the ever-churning rumor mill notwithstanding.
So, for now at least, it appears that we can all stand down on the Big Ten expansion issue.
Five or so months from now? That’s a whole other issue entirely.