Give Me the Loot — UNC & Duke Headline Top NBA Earners by College Alumni

Posted by EJacoby on February 9th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor to RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter. 

If you want to ask your friends a great trivia question, or perhaps settle a debate, check out the Wall Street Journal’s list of college basketball programs whose players have earned the most money in the NBA since 1985. The WSJ calls it the ‘Basketball Alumni Loot Index.’ This is the kind of intense research that pays off, as this article is now a great bookmark for fans’ reference.

UNC's Rasheed Wallace Made A Lot of Noise in the NBA; He Also Made A Lot of Money (AP Photo)

A look at the data shows plenty of interesting results. North Carolina and Duke are the first and second schools on the list, to nobody’s surprise. Our beliefs are confirmed that these two programs produce the most successful NBA players. Powerhouses like Arizona, UCLA, Georgetown, Connecticut, Kansas, and Kentucky all round out the top 10, again legitimizing the findings. Incredibly, Division II school Virginia Union cracks the top 50 of the list thanks to the $100 million-plus earnings of Ben Wallace and some of Charles Oakley’s deals from the 90s. DePaul has made the NCAA Tournament just once in the past 12 years, but they rank #31 on this list, thanks to recent pros like Wilson Chandler, Quentin Richardson, Bobby Simmons, and Steven Hunter. They also had Rod Strickland in the late 80s, who signed multiple lucrative contracts in a great 17-year career.

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Who’s Got Next? Noel Re-Classifies to 2012, Jefferson Close To Deciding And More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on February 2nd, 2012

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are at the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at

Lead Story: Nerlens Noel Re-classifies To Class of 2012

Nerlens Noel Is Now One Of the Top Seniors In the Country. (Daryl Paunil/NRS)

Elite Junior Will Graduate A Year Early. There’s been ongoing speculation for a long time that center Nerlens Noel might re-classify from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2012, but he didn’t gave much of an indication that he was going to. However, late Wednesday night the best shot-blocker in the prep ranks in the country confirmed that he was indeed going to graduate a year early and move to the Class of 2012. What does that mean? Well, other than getting to see him in college a year early, it means that he will have to decide which school he’s going to commit to in the next couple of months. Syracuse and Kentucky have long been the favorites for Noel and while a couple sources have told RTC that they think he will pick the Orange, it’s going to be a close race between the two. Other than John Calipari and Jim Boeheim‘s squads, Noel is considering multiple other schools and has already visited Providence and Connecticut while he plans on visiting Syracuse (February 11), Kentucky, Florida, Georgetown and North Carolina soon. He doesn’t have a timetable for committing but keep in mind that the regular signing period is April 13-May 18. We will be interviewing Noel some time in the next several days so if you’re interested in his recruitment, make sure you check back next week to see what he has to say about the schools on his list.

What They’re Saying

  • Senior star Rodney Purvis on why he’s happy he made the Jordan Brand Classic: “Being from the same city and with John [Wall] being like my big brother, I wanted to do all the things he did. I didn’t tell a lot of people, but I really, really wanted to play in the Jordan Brand Classic. Like a whole lot.”
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It’s A Love/Hate Relationship: Volume VII

Posted by jbaumgartner on January 9th, 2012

Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC columnist. His Love/Hate column will publish on Mondays throughout the season. In this weekly piece he’ll review the five things he loved and hated about the previous seven days of college basketball.

Five Things I Loved This Week

I LOVED….a coach getting into the action. Not that we like to see anyone getting hurt, but who doesn’t love a clipboard-toting coach taking his turn in the layup line like Xavier’s Chris Mack? Unfortunately for him, his second uncontested drive to the hoop somehow ended up in knee surgery. We love the spirit, coach, but you’ve gotta remember – two steps, jump, and come down soft.

I LOVED….that a sharp-shooting Kentucky freshman got his $10K prize after all. Count on a big-chain food store to consider not doling out the prize because the participant’s foot was not completely behind the half-court line (Really, Kroger? Really?). Luckily they came to their senses, and the swish just made that freshman a very popular man on campus.

Mike Krzyzewski And Duke Took One On The Chin Over The Weekend (AP)

I LOVED….Duke taking one on the chin against Temple. And no, not because I’m a Carolina grad (though yes, I took pleasure in that capacity as well). Anyone who follows Duke knows that Coach K doesn’t go out of his way to schedule true non-conference road games. He greatly prefers neutral sites (where his team might play during the NCAA tournament) or home games against top competition. Now, Duke didn’t actually play at Temple, but still, a game against the Owls in Philly qualifies in my book. Though Krzyzewski is the one with four titles, I just find it hard to believe that the Blue Devils can’t use 2-3 of these games during the non-conference schedule to toughen them up for the latter part of the season. It’s hard to imagine that this loss won’t be a helpful building block down the road for a young team.

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Morning Five: 11.18.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on November 18th, 2011

  1. Just when the circus around Penn State was starting to calm down a little bit the college sports world appears to have an eerily similar situation at Syracuse. The basics of the story are that Bobby Davis, a former ball boy at Syracuse who is now 39 years old, has accused Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine of molesting him for more than a dozen years. It should be noted that even the strongest report of sexual abuse that we have heard out of Syracuse pale in comparison to the extent to the accusations and crimes that are now widely accepted as having happened at Penn State. Fine, who has become a fixture at Syracuse as an assistant to Jim Boeheim since Boeheim took over as head coach in 1976, has been placed on administrative leave by the school and has not commented on the accusations yet. However, Boeheim has strongly denied the accusations over the phone and in a press release issued by school. While we disagree with the tone of Boeheim’s statement (particularly the one over the phone) it should be pointed out that the local Syracuse newspaper is reporting that it looked into these claims in 2005 and could not verify any of the claims that Davis made including ones that other boys had experienced something similar as all of the people they contacted reportedly denied those claims. However, given the emotional nature that these cases can take we would caution anyone who might jump to conclusions quickly.
  2. We don’t link to rankings very often because we realize that in general they are just educated guesses at best, but very few people do them like Luke Winn. Winn, who consistently puts out some of the best content you will find, came out with his latest power rankings yesterday. We won’t even bother getting into the rankings because they are irrelevant as we already mentioned, but there is a ton of interesting statistical information and even a few amusing photos that make it worth reading every week.
  3. By now you have undoubtedly heard about the story of Arizona‘s Kevin Parrom and like rankings we normally would not link to a human interest story on Parrom because many of the details have already been published, but like Luke Winn with ranking posts few people do human interest stories like Dana O’Neil and her piece on Parrom is a great example of that. O’Neil actually does not talk to Kevin much for the article (at least for what is used in the article) and instead goes to those who are very close to him to get a good look at what he has had to endure over the past few months and what keeps him playing despite all that he has been through.
  4. We cannot remember many top-tier teams that have had to deal with as many significant injuries as early in the season as Louisville has had to deal with this year. The latest to join the walking wounded is Peyton Siva, who sprained his ankle during a practice on Monday and is listed as “day-to-day”. In the long run, it looks like this should not be a significant setback for Louisville, but could be an issue on Saturday when they take on Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Louisville should have enough to beat a Bulldog team that is not very good right now, but Siva’s injury may make them susceptible to Butler’s guards, who have been solid so far this year.
  5. Tuesday night was a historic night in college basketball as Mike Krzyzewski became the all-time wins leader for men’s Division I basketball. After the press conference, Krzyzewski went into a small room close to the court where he addressed a large group of former Duke players who had come to the game to support him in addition to a group of players who played for him on the US Olympic team. One player who was not there, but played for Krzyzewski although not in a Duke uniform was Michael Jordan, who we had always assumed had been targeted by Krzyzewski early in his career at Duke. Recruiting information from the early 1980s is sparse, but a letter appeared online yesterday that appears to have been sent from Krzyzewski to Jordan (h/t Lost Letterman for the find) after Jordan told the new Duke coach that he was not interested in playing for Duke. The letter’s content is fairly generic, but it is amusing to read now and consider what might have been if Jordan had decided to play for the other team on Tobacco Road. While we were looking this up, we noticed that Jordan’s childhood home had been sold in 1998 for $37,500 (ignore the ridiculous Zillow estimate and we are assuming there was a shift in zip code boundaries because the 28405 and 28411 zip codes are next to each other) and found it humorous that you could own the house that Jordan grew up in and the backyard court that he waged his legendary battles with his brother Larry for less than half of what you would pay for for a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card. For that price, we are surprised that some loaded foreign businessman has not bought the house and transported the entire house and yard to his or her home country as a very unique collectible.
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ACC Morning Five: 11.08.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 8th, 2011

  1. Scout – Inside Carolina: This is a terrific article on Michael Jordan‘s recruitment to North Carolina from Al Featherston. Everyone has heard about how Jordan was cut from his high school team duing his sophomore year before later etching his place in basketball history in Chapel Hill and the NBA. Jordan wasn’t actually a national prospect until Roy Williams let the cat out of the bag (first to a media friend) against Dean Smith’s wishes. It also probably helped that fellow North Carolina powers, Duke and NC State, were between coaches at that point. The story also gives an interesting look at national recruiting three decades ago, long before the Internet, when coaches basically relied on two summer camps to see the top prospects.
  2. Washington Post: It’s easy to wonder if Seth Greenberg is on the hot seat based on Virginia Tech’s recent love of the NIT-side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. But don’t forget that the year before Greenberg arrived in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech was 3-9 in the Big East, good enough for last place. He’s made the Hokies into a perennial 20-win team on the brink of its first NCAA Tournament in years. Also with the construction of a new state-of-the-art practice facility, I think Greenberg will continue to see recruiting success in southwest Virginia.
  3. USA Today: The Carrier Classic is back in the news, but this time with more philosophical questions. The game is on Veteran’s Day (this Friday), and will be played on the deck of the aircraft carrier which carried Osama Bin Laden’s body to its burial. Speaking with Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed, Marlen Garcia cleared up any questions about insensitivity with regards to Islam. Luckily she doesn’t believe that there are any — which should allow fans to enjoy the game for what it is instead of worrying about its setting and any indirect political fallout. However, fans should worry about the weather… yes, even in San Diego.
  4. Orlando Sentinel: Florida State‘s record may be a perfect 2-0 after exhibition season, but Leonard Hamilton still has a lot of things he’d like to work on. Most notably, the turnover bug (nine in the second half of a dominating win over Georgia Southwestern) is still troubling the Seminoles, who finished ranked #311 out of 345 teams by Ken Pomeroy last season. The good news is that both Bernard James and Michael Snaer played very well, and the team’s smothering defense only allowed Georgia SW to make eleven shots from the field on four assists. There’s still definitely room for improvement, but I’m bullish (which is definitely the word of choice) on FSU coming into this year.
  5. Burlington Times News: If you can get past the terrible title pun, this article is actually informative. While initial reports had NC State’s lone senior CJ Williams out for a few weeks with a hairline fracture in his thumb, he was cleared by the doctors and suited up for the Wolfpack’s exhibition against Flagler. Williams went 2-3 from beyond the arc and dished out five dimes in an inconsistent NC State effort. The real offensive star of the game was sharp-shooter Scott Wood, who caught fire going 6-8 from downtown. NC State’s first game is at home against UNC Asheville.

And finally, in memory of one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever, check out Mark Kram’s 1975 piece on “The Thrilla in Manilla” between Muhammad Ali and the recently-departed Joe Frazier (you can also watch the fight below). Frazier was by all accounts one of the toughest fighters who ever lived. He was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, and spent his formative years working on a farm. His professional career was headlined by three fights against Muhammad Ali. Frazier died on Monday after battling liver cancer for the last few months of his life.

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ACC Morning Five: 11.07.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 7th, 2011

  1. Fox Sports Carolinas: Fox Sports‘ Andrew Jones offers a throwback list of the top ten players “capable of significantly enhancing their team’s fortunes.” I only call the list throwback because Jones ignores the two extreme geographic points of the ACC (Boston College and Miami) when constructing his list. In general I agree with all of his selections, though I possibly would’ve substituted Miles Plumlee for Ryan Kelly based on recent reports. For Boston College, I would’ve chosen Danny Rubin (the most productive of the Eagles’ only three returning players), and I would choose sophomore Rion Brown for Miami.
  2. Boston Globe: Speaking of Boston College, Patrick Heckmann is hoping to make an impact on the Eagles this year, coming by way of Germany. This Globe piece gives a little insight into the recruiting world for international prospects, and Heckmann is a frosh out of Germany with a pretty unique story. He’s also a 6’6″ slasher who will get plenty of playing time for a young team. The story offers an especially interesting look at Heckmann’s decision in choosing Boston College over playing for a club team in Germany.
  3. Fayetteville Observer: Looking for more lists? Bret Strelow and Sammy Batten compiled a pretty interesting list of superlatives for ACC basketball that will definitelybe good for starting debates. Sure, Milton Jennings is a great breakout candidate and Staats Battle definitely has the coolest name in the conference, but is Andre Dawkins really the most underrated dunker? He dunks almost rarely, which makes each time feel special, but we need to see more frequency in order to garner a superlative. Also, I wonder why they chose to ask a freshman (Wake Forest’s Travis McKie) about the toughest arena. For the record he chose Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum, though this coming year will be McKie’s first trip to the unfriendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  4. North Carolina and NBA legend James Worthy will be elected into the college hoops hall of fame alongside of Virginia’s Ralph Sampson. Worthy was the first overall pick of the 1982 NBA Draft, led the Tar Heels to Dean Smith’s first NCAA Championship that same year (scoring 28 points on 13-17 shooting in the championship game), and is already a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
  5. Searching For Billy Edelin and Fayetteville Observer: A couple of ACC previews and predictions with more “controversial” picks. For Nick Fasulo at Searching For Billy Edelin, the conference is down. Fasulo’s most interesting predictions come in his individual accolades, where he picked Jim Larranaga as Coach of the Year and Tyler Zeller as Player of the Year. Personally, I see Zeller as more of a complement (as he was at the end of last season), but “everything is in place for this guy. Assuming he stays healthy, there should be no […] unexpected things to limit his production,” Fasulo tweeted. The Fayetteville Observer‘s contrary nature shows up in its projected finish: Unlike the media, the newspaper projects Virginia to finish eighth in the conference (NIT-bound), while Miami takes the fourth place spot and earns an eight-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Around the greater world of college sports, one of the most sickening alleged scandals in the history of college athletics came to light over the weekend. In a story that will turn your stomach, former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been accused of 40 crimes (21 felonies and 19 misdemeanors) involving eight sexual abuse victims who were minors at the time. The worst part is that the PSU athletic department reportedly knew about some of the crimes and never reported them to the proper authorities despite extensive discussions internally. While the article is tough to read, Sara Ganim of The Patriot News does a great job breaking down the details of the case. As of today, Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave and Senior Vice President for business and finance Gary Schultz has stepped down (both have been accused of perjury), but I’d be surprised if the punishments end here based on the heinous nature of these allegations.

Picture of the Day:

Len Bias Posts Up Michael Jordan in 1984. (Manny Millan/SI) h/t SI Photo Blog

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20 Questions: Who is the Best Defensive Player in College Basketball?

Posted by dnspewak on November 1st, 2011

Danny Spewak is the RTC correspondent for the Sun Belt Conference and a Big 12 microsite staffer.  

Question: Who is the Best Defensive Player in College Basketball?

Measuring the top defender is a near-impossible task in almost every sport. Offensively, you’re golden once you take a few glances at the right statistics. The top quarterbacks in the NFL throw the most touchdowns and complete the most passes; the top players in college basketball score the most points and make the most shots; and the top hitters in baseball collect the most hits and drive in the most runs. It’s a a very simplistic way to look at the world, of course. But it’s true. Arguing who the best offensive players are in every sport, including college basketball, are easy, straightforward discussions.

But defense? That’s a whole other story. Do you measure the top defenders by blocks? Steals? Or is it deflections, opponent’s field goal percentage or some other hidden statistic only understood by sabermaticians?

The point is, selecting the nation’s top defender is a subjective task based on a variety of criteria. Most of all, it’s based on the individual impressions we form of players as we watch them compete, whether live or on television. For example, the statistics showed that Jimmer Fredette led the NCAA in scoring last season and shot 40 percent from behind the arc. But Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore won the Defensive Player of the Year award but did not even finish in the top 15 nationally in steals per game.

Taylor Draws the Toughest Assignment Each and Every Night

ODU’s Bazemore is certainly a candidate for this honor again, but we’re going to go in a different direction here. Our choice for the best defensive player in the country is Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor, a 6’7” forward with a multitude of assets on both ends of the floor. In his three years at Vandy, Taylor has gotten the opportunity to shut down players as varied as Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks, South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington, North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Missouri’s Kim English, and many others. He has proven that he won’t back down from any defensive challenge, and he’s got the strength and versatility to match up with any collegiate position Kevin Stallings needs covered.

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The “Secret” Scrimmage Schedule and The Best Games We Won’t See

Posted by KCarpenter on October 27th, 2011

College basketball teams play each other before the season starts. It’s not really a secret. Over the years it’s become increasingly public knowledge that teams will often travel to other schools to test their mettle in private, away from the prying eyes of the curious public and hungry media. It makes sense, and I think it’s kind of a great thing. Wouldn’t you want your team to play a game in private before you took to a big public stage? I know I would. Jeff Goodman has rounded up a list of these private scrimmages and there are more than a few ACC teams taking part.

Georgetown And North Carolina Played An Amazing Game in 2007 And An Even Better One In 1982. Who Wouldn't Want to See Them Play in 2011?

Friday, October 28
East Carolina at North Carolina State.

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ACC Morning Five: Columbus Day Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 10th, 2011

  1. Boston Globe – Conference realignment gets old really quickly, but the Globe’s piece on the politicking that went on related to the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse is a must-read. We’ll certainly have more analysis up on the piece later in the day, but suffice it to say Boston College’s Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo went out of his way to shoot Connecticut down, and even has a quote about ESPN being behind everything. Conspiracy theorists unite!
  2. Charlotte Observer – Unfortunately, the rumors are true and Michael Jordan will not be North Carolina’s honorary captain for the Carrier Classic. However, Jordan’s college teammate James Worthy will be joining fellow Laker great Magic Johnson to celebrate their respective alma maters in the first of what is to become an annual event. Jordan told Roy Williams he has a personal conflict he can’t escape, but Worthy is certainly a fine replacement. He played on the 1982 championship squad with Jordan before having his jersey retired to the rafters of the Dean Dome. The game is set for November 11 in San Diego.
  3. Raleigh News and Observer – Speaking of conference realignment, Scott Fowler got hold of ACC Commissioner John Swofford to talk about the recent alignment news. An interesting tidbit from the article is that while Swofford was playing football for North Carolina, South Carolina dropped out of the ACC, leaving the conference with only seven members. With the additions of Pitt and Syracuse, the conference is up to a whopping 14 members and still maintains the intentionally ambiguous assertion that the ACC “is not philosophically opposed to going to 16 [teams].” Let’s just hope that the conference may not be philosophically opposed but is opposed in practice, as 16 teams would make college basketball scheduling a lopsided disaster.
  4. Winston Salem JournalJeff Bzdelik is doing his best to restore enthusiasm for Wake Forest‘s program. This year for Black and Gold Madness he’s tapping into the rich resources of basketball alumni like Chris Paul, Randolph Childress, Tim Duncan and Josh Howard to play in an alumni game with Duncan and Howard coaching. “We invited everybody who ever wore a uniform,” Bzdelik said to emphasize the importance of all Wake Forest alumni. The Demon Deacons have already picked up one recruit this month. Hopefully events like this will help refill the talent over the next couple of years in Winston-Salem.
  5. The ChronicleDuke‘s student paper is the latest to do an in-depth look at the school’s compliance staff, leading me to believe college students are reading each other’s newspapers (relatively unlikely) or compliance staff members are easy interviews to get. All joking aside, this is another valuable look at the people behind one of the most critical parts of an athletic department that usually only brings bad news to fans.Author’s Note: the above link is for the fourth and final part of the series, but has links to the other three parts.
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Morning Five: 10.10.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 10th, 2011

  1. With the start of the college basketball season rapidly approaching one of the hot topics has been the upcoming Carrier Classic, which nearly every fan of college basketball would love to go to. Apparently, Michael Jordan is not among them as the UNC great has decided to back out of his position as honorary captain for the Tar Heels due to a prior commitment. He will be replaced by his former Tar Heel teammate James Worthy, who will be met on the opposing side by his former Los Angeles Laker teammate Magic Johnson, who will be serving as honorary captain of Michigan State. We are sure that Jordan has a valid excuse, but given his prior history of missing major ceremonies, we are surprised that someone hasn’t come out with some ridiculous conspiracy theory on what Jordan is doing instead.
  2. Suspended Florida forward Cody Larson got a bit of good news on Friday when a South Dakota court ruled that he will not have to serve jail time for the misdemeanor charges related to his arrest in April. Larson could have served jail time for violating probation from a prior arrest in high school where he was charged with illegal use and possession of Hydrocodone. Instead, the court ruled that Larson will have another 120-day suspended jail sentence, serve another 2 years of probation, and complete a community service requirement (tell local high school basketball teams about his experiences). So if you are scoring at home he violated his probation and was given the same sentence with the only addition being talking to local basketball teams. Let’s hear it for the American legal system…
  3. Speaking of the American legal system, a group of Memphis season ticket holders received a $100,000 out-of-court settlement from Derrick Rose, John Calipari, and the current athletic director after threatening the trio with a lawsuit for making their 2009-2010 season tickets worth less than they otherwise would have been. The claims are based on the assertion that the ruling against the program stemming from Rose’s reportedly invalid SAT score devalued the Memphis season tickets. The entire lawsuit seems ridiculous (our legal expert may chime in later), but I guess when you make the kind of money that Rose and Calipari make it might be worth it to pay the money to get the season ticket holders to stop bothering them.
  4. The ACC’s currently announced expansion plans have widely been portrayed as a move that was made to bolster the conference’s basketball, but Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo insists that isn’t the case and that football money was the driving force. While that is the lede the more interesting part of this article is that DeFilippo claims that BC blocked Connecticut‘s inclusion (free registration) and cites comments made in 2005 as part of the reasoning. This seems ridiculous particularly since the lawsuit brought in 2005 attempting to block BC from leaving the Big East to join the ACC was brought by UConn and Pittsburgh, whom BC apparently had no problem letting in the ACC. Basically what it appears to come down to is that BC felt more threatened by UConn encroaching on its Northeastern territory than they did with either Pittsburgh or Syracuse. If this is true, we are kind of surprised that BC has that much sway in the ACC.
  5. While the ACC and nearly every other conference appears to be fixated on conference expansion, the Big Ten is not one of those conferences. At least that is what current commissioner Jim Delany said on Friday. We are usually skeptical of these type of claims, but to their credit we are not aware of any rumors of the Big Ten going after any team and we have actually heard that they have turned down a few potentially interested schools. As we have said before we are getting to the point of exhaustion with these expansion rumors, but now that we are getting to the point where a conference announcing that it is not looking to expand becomes news we are hoping that we are nearing the conclusion although we doubt it.
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