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Big Ten renames divisions to reflect values; Will realign divisions for all sports
By: Ivee West
Word came out of the Big Ten headquarters in Park Ride, Illinois late last night that the Big Ten will be reformatting the way in which its conference is set-up. There will remain two divisions, but they will be renamed and will make up different teams than they currently hold.
Commissioner Jim Delany stated that this move “more accurately reflects those values which we, as a conference, hold dear. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they reflect the values of all top level conferences at the moment.”
Though details are currently scarce regarding the timeline for implementation, the HcP learned that the new divisions will go from their current titles of “Legends” and “Leaders,” and will be dubbed “Dollars” and “Cents” for all sports.
“For the last few years every conference has been trumpeting things like ‘academic fit’ and ‘best interests of student athletes and tradition’ as if they mattered to anyone. Since the Big Ten helped in getting this ball rolling (by inviting Nebraska to the Big Ten) we want to be ahead of the curve in acknowledging the conference’s interests for what they are.”
In addition to changing their division naming conventions, the Big Ten also announced that it would be changing the way members are placed in the divisions. The top six football teams will be placed in the “Dollars” division, with the plebeians of the Big Ten football programs (oxy-moron?) playing in the “Cents” division. In addition to this, the conference championship in all sports will now simply consist of the top two teams from the Dollar division playing one another (since let’s face it, power conferences could care less about equity or sports other than football).
Technically there is a European soccer-like system where a team is relegated to the Cents division and promoted to the Dollars division by virtue of record. That said, the HcP has learned that there is a clause in the contract which allows a team to “buy its way out” of relegation through a one-time payment to the conference.
“We were just tired of lying to ourselves,” Mr. Delany said after the announcement was made. “This is the first time that conference officials are being honest with their constituencies, and it feels pretty good.”