Monday, February 8, 2010

RUMORS OF PITTSBURGH JOINING THE BIG TEN ARE JUST THAT — RUMORS

Photo by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There have been rumors circulating around the web that the Big Ten was going to announce that the University of Pittsburgh would become the 12th member of the conference, as early as last Friday.

In December, the Big Ten issued the following statement about possible expansion: "The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors believes that the timing is right for the conference to once again conduct a thorough evaluation of options for conference structure and expansion.

"As a result, the Commissioner (James Delany) was asked to provide recommendations for consideration by the Council of Presidents/Chancellors over the next 12 to 18 months.

"The Council of Presidents/Chancellors has asked the conference office to obtain, to the extent possible, information necessary to construct preliminary options and recommendations without engaging in formal discussions with leadership of other institutions."

Big Ten assistant commissioner of communications, Scott Chipman, told me on Sunday that nothing has changed from December, where the conference said it would take 12 to 18 months just to consider whom the candidates would be — let alone naming one just a month after sending out the statement.

"The Big Ten has no further comment at this time regarding expansion beyond the statement we sent out in December," Chipman said.

So, the rumors that Pittsburgh is about to join the Big Ten are just that — rumors.