Wisconsin AD: Big Ten expansion meant to keep Penn State
Milwaukee, WI, United States (4E Sports) – Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez disclosed that the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers to ensure that Penn State would remain in the conference.
Alvarez made the revelation when he spoke before the Wisconsin athletic board, adding that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wanted to add teams in the Northeast to keep the Nittany Lions in the conference.
The Big Ten added Maryland on Nov. 19 and Rutgers on Nov. 20.
“Jim felt that someday, if we didn’t have anyone else in that corridor, someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league,” Alvarez told the board, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“They would go into a league somewhere on the East Coast. By doing that, it keeps us in the Northeast corridor,” Alvarez added.
Earlier, Delany described the moves to ESPN.com as “an Eastern initiative with a Penn State bridge.”
In a text message, however, Delany said that he doesn’t want to comment on what others are saying about the expansion rationale.
Last month, Delany said that demographics was the driving force behind the recent expansion but added that it would be also good for Penn State as well.
“But I do think that you need to build, and this build really solidifies the expansion we’ve done in the past. We’ve done one in the East, we’ve done one in the West,” Delany said.