Iowa’s Barta doubts Big Ten expands additional ‘in near future’

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Big Ten has no further growth plans though colleges serious about changing into members have reached out to the convention within the week because the additions of Southern California and UCLA had been introduced, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta mentioned Friday.

“I know the Big Ten has taken calls, and they inform us when they take calls just so we have a general idea,” Barta mentioned at a news convention. “But if I were predicting, I’m not predicting that we would be adding any more in the near future. We’ll see.”

The Big Ten voted to herald USC and UCLA in 2024, making it a 16-team convention and the primary to stretch coast-to-coast. The transfer has fueled hypothesis about extra realignment.

In query are the long-term viability of the Pac-12 and Atlantic Coast Conference, how the Big 12 will proceed and the place Notre Dame might land.

Barta mentioned Big Ten leaders mentioned Notre Dame and different colleges in a gathering final 12 months after Texas and Oklahoma introduced they might be part of the Southeastern Conference by 2025.

Expansion was placed on the again burner till USC and UCLA submitted functions for membership final month, Barta mentioned.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith mentioned final week he hoped Notre Dame would have an interest within the Big Ten.

Asked if he would assist Notre Dame becoming a member of the Big Ten, Barta mentioned he most likely would.

“I don’t anticipate that being a decision that I’ll be making this summer,” he mentioned. “But again, I don’t have a crystal ball. But it’s not before us right now.”

Barta mentioned he was “a little bit surprised” when he was knowledgeable USC and UCLA had been within the Big Ten. What adopted, Barta mentioned, was virtually every week of cellphone calls and video conferences earlier than the 2 universities’ functions had been authorised on June 30.

“We were breaking down — does it make sense, does it meet the criteria, should we say yes?” Barta mentioned. “And clearly after those four or five days of discussions, we decided that the time was right, the schools were right, and so I’m excited about it because I do know what they bring to the table.”

The Big Ten can have a presence within the three prime tv markets in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles — which is vital given the convention is negotiating a brand new tv rights bundle beginning in 2023.

“I do know they’re academic research-focused institutions,” Barta mentioned. “I know about their athletic history. I know they’re going to bring the TV market. So I’m very excited.”

Barta mentioned the primary concern from the top coaches at Iowa has been concerning the logistics of a much bigger convention, particularly journey and scheduling. Everything, he mentioned, is within the preliminary stage of debate, together with journey companions for some sports activities.

“Whatever the solution is, one of the first things the ADs and the presidents said to the conference is we’ve got to figure out how to mitigate the travel challenge,” Barta mentioned. “Because if you’re at Rutgers and you’re going to USC, or if you’re at UCLA and you’re going to Maryland, there’s going to have to be some sort of recognition of that when we get into travel.”


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