July 3, 2011
[ONE // welcome home]
This week we are dedicating the “This Week in the Big Ten” column to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – the Big Ten’s 12th and newest member! Nebraska became an official member of the Big Ten on Friday, increasing the conference’s membership to 12 institutions for the first time in league history. The addition of Nebraska marks the Big Ten’s first expansion since Penn State University joined the conference in June of 1990. On June 11, 2010, the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors announced unanimous approval of the University of Nebraska’s application to join the conference effective July 1, 2011, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2011-12 academic year. UNL has already been granted admission into the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of the Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago. These world-class research institutions have advanced their academic missions, generated unique opportunities for students and faculty and served the common good by sharing their expertise, leveraging campus resources and collaborating on innovative programs. Nebraska’s first Big Ten event as an official member of the conference will take place at the 2011 Football Media Days and 40th annual Kickoff Luncheon.
[TWO // big ten network covers huskers on nebraska day]
This past weekend, the Big Ten Network celebrated Nebraska joining the Big Ten by highlighting the Huskers in a variety of different ways. The BTN covered Tom Osborne’s success in the mid-1990s and detailed the number of Heismans and Titles it recorded, while talking with the former Husker coach and current athletic director on the meaning of Nebraska football. BTN lead anchor Dave Revsine also recalled just how Nebraska got to the Big Ten. In addition, the Big Ten Network talked about the impact the expansion will have on both the Nebraska men’s basketball and women’s volleyball programs.
[THREE // a letter to the masses]
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took time on Friday to pen an op-ed piece in the Omaha World Herald, welcoming Nebraska fans to the historic conference. “Today marks the beginning of a significant chapter in the history of the Big Ten Conference as we celebrate the full integration of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” said Delany. “We are thrilled to officially welcome Nebraska, an institution whose values seamlessly mirror those that the conference has held for more than 115 years. Nebraska’s strong academic reputation and history of athletic success make the school exceptionally well-suited for membership. Since its formation in 1896, the Big Ten’s mission has always been to excel in athletics without compromising the priority that its member institutions assign to their academic standards and their commitment to student academic success.” Read more of this op-ed piece by clicking here.
[FOUR // a letter to big red nation]
Nebraska athletic director and Husker legend Tom Osborne sent a letter this past Friday to all of Big Red Nation regarding the school’s admittance to the Big Ten. The man affectionately known as “Coach” wrote: “The Big Ten Conference has done such a thorough job of recognizing our culture and helping us assimilate into theirs that today's milestone almost seems like a non-event as we become the league's 12th official member. We appreciate the constant communication that has occurred between Nebraska and the Big Ten, and we are ready to take this important step.” Read more of his letter by clicking here.
[FIVE // big red in the big ten day]
In honor of Nebraska’s inclusion in the Big Ten Conference, the Huskers and state representatives celebrated its first day in the new conference with “Big Red in the Big Ten Day.” To mark the occasion, Gov. Dave Heineman read a proclamation making July 1, 2011, Big Red in the Big Ten Day and complimented Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman on his leadership steering the conference move.
[SIX // the perfect match]
Eric Olson of the Associated Press had his Big Ten-Nebraska marriage announcement run in USA Today on Saturday, which detailed how the Big Ten and Nebraska believe they are the “perfect match.” As Olson writes, “Nebraska, which became an active Big Ten member on Friday, gets the stability of a 105-year-old conference that includes some of the biggest names in college athletics and an association with some of the most prestigious public institutions in the land. The Big Ten gets a valuable national brand in the Cornhuskers, one that gives the conference leverage in future television rights negotiations.”
[SEVEN // stewart’s take]
On of several national writers sitting down with Husker athletic director Tom Osborne this past week was Stewart Madel of SI.com. In this article, Osborne draws comparisons between Nebraska and Wisconsin, Husker representatives talk about how tough it has been to find hotel rooms for the team, and how football coach Bo Pelini feels the transition from the Big 12 to the Big Ten will be a seamless one.
[EIGHT // a husker hello]
Speaking of Bo Pelini, ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg sat down with the Husker football mentor who has guided Nebraska to the last two Big 12 championships. Now he is ready to reach the next level in a new league. Nebraska has recorded back-to-back 10-win seasons and returns a squad Pelini thinks can compete for a championship in Year 1. Read more in the lengthy Q&A by clicking here. In part two of the “Husker Hello,” ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett sat down for a Q&A with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. The Commish talks about the path to adding Nebraska through expansion, trips to Lincoln, and fight songs among all things.
[NINE // dodds’ dabbles with the coach]
CBSSports.com’s Dennis Doods also had a chance to sit down with Tom Osborne, Nebraska’s athletic director. The two talked about the transition from the Big 12, the different defenses the Huskers might have to play, and how Osborne feels the Big Ten puts an emphasis on history and tradition. Click here to read the Q&A.
[TEN // big changes for big red]
Ed Littler of News 5 KHAS-TV in Hastings, Neb, was on hand Friday for the formal introduction of Nebraska’s inclusion into the Big Ten Conference. In his lengthy report, Littler spoke with Nebraska's Director of Alumni Affairs Dianne Mendenhall about the Huskers’ impact as a member of the Big Ten, Governor Dave Heineman’s goal to win a Big Ten football championship, and how schools such as Nebraska’s neighbor Iowa has extended its congratulations to a potential rival. Watch the video of his report by clicking here.
[ELEVEN // building the base]
This past Friday, Kevin Abourezk of the Lincoln Journal Star penned a piece on how the inclusion to the Big Ten Conference is helping Nebraska’s alumni base throughout the Midwest. According to Abourezik, “UNL's move to the Big Ten from the Big 12 Conference has energized the Nebraska Alumni Association's efforts to attract new UNL alumni. The association has increased its membership by nearly 1,000 since the move was announced in June 2010 and now has more than 25,000 members.”
[TWELVE // in the big ten boardroom]
Finally this week, the Big Ten Conference announced that Indiana University President Michael McRobbie will begin his second year as the chair of the Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C). McRobbie will be joined on the COP/C Executive Committee for the 2011-12 academic year by University of Iowa President Sally Mason as vice chair, along with two past chairs in Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Penn State University President Graham Spanier. These four individuals will also serve as the Executive/Compensation Committee for the Big Ten Conference. In addition, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany is an officer of the COP/C along with Deputy Commissioner and COP/C Treasurer Brad Traviolia and Associate Commissioner and COP/C Secretary Jennifer Heppel.