News and links roundup for 5/7

Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist weighs in on the math behind Big Ten Expansion.

"Let's say in some of these areas you're getting a dollar a month (extra from cable subscribers for having the Big Ten Network)," Zimbalist said. "Each household is $12 a year. So if you add 3 million households, that's $36 million in revenue. On top of that, you'll get more revenue from advertising.

Hence, the impetus for going up to 14 or even 16 teams.

If you'd asked me 24 hours ago, I would have said the Big Ten would add three teams: Rutgers, Missouri and Nebraska. Then I spoke to someone involved in the expansion talks, and he told me: 16 is more likely than 14 and 14 is more likely than 12.

So this ISN'T all about killing the Big East and/or Big XII? That's from a long Q&A worth reading in its entirety. Can't wait to see Greenstein's piece on the TV angle next week.

  • According to Dallas HC Wade Phillips in a recent radio interview, Devin McCourty was the Cowboys' 2nd choice had they stayed at #27 behind Jared Odrick. In the end, Jerry Jones couldn't resist trading up for Dez Bryant, and all worked out well for McCourty who ended up going to New England with that very same #27 pick.
  • Gov. Christie is assigning Tom Kean to head a study group on Higher Ed, expected to tackle issues like partitioning UMDNJ. Kean is the last Governor who was truly a friend to Rutgers and other state schools. Unfortunately, blue ribbon panels and similar initiatives usually are a way to pass the buck and take an issue out of the public spotlight without getting very much accomplished. At least the UMDNJ issue is getting some publicity now; unlike when it was conspicuously absent from Christie's transition team reports.
  • Remember my note about NJSEA funding yesterday? That's starting to get ugly, with the Senate Majority Leader (from right down the road in Metuchen) blowing up in frustration.
  • "This is silly at this point — this is crazy, this is absurd," said Buono, the Senate Majority Leader. "I want the budget, and I want it now. What are you trying to keep from us?"

    That reaction is understandable, considering that the NJSEA is requesting a $32.9 million subsidy, on top of over double that in debt service. Where's the proportionality and outrage? You can thank Xanadu for croaking, and the sweetheart deal for the new Meadowlands Stadium.

  • The Nets may well be moving, but MSG renovations could mean that the New York Liberty land in Newark. While it'd be great to have Cappie, Essence, and Kia back in New Jersey, I can't in good conscience ever support a team owned by the Dolans.
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