The Big Ten had an idea that was not received particularly well, but in good old Big Ten fashion the conference is moving forward in stubborn fashion. An idea proposed by the Big Ten this offseason revolved around making freshmen ineligible in football and basketball. The world laughed. Jim Delany did not blink. In a 12-page document shared by the Big Ten, the conference argues freshman ineligibility would help to fix the balance between academics and athletics.
In the document sent by Delany and the Big Ten, which also addressed some formal responses to previously stated criticisms of the idea, the plan would also involve increasing the number of scholarships available in football and basketball, which seems like a nice incentive to try to lure some on board with the Big Ten’s motives. How would the Big Ten compensate for the added costs of additional scholarships? The same way the Big Ten and power conferences can solve many of their problems; revenue from TV and media rights deals from the College Football Playoff and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Of course.
There does not seem to be a whole lot of public support for this concept developed by the Big Ten, but at least Delany and his crew can say they tried doing something right with regard to academics. In theory it is not a bad idea, but it is not one that will be easy to sell to programs and presidents around the college football world enough to carry much weight. It may be a losing battle, but the concept is not entirely to blame. It is more the fact the Big Ten’s idea could just as easily turn into a negative recruiting pitch, and don’t think a school from another power conference would take advantage of that.
The Big Ten is still far from the point of forming this ideas as an actual proposal to place a vote on. It may never even get that far. For now, the Big Ten continues to spread the word about the idea and gather feedback. If they are getting any positive feedback, from where exactly is it coming?