Following up on his recent story about an accelerated timetable, Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, who has been the single greatest source for information on the Big Ten's rumored expansion over the past year, lends further credence to the notion that the Big Ten is going to add multiple teams. Considering how Greenstein has previously indicated that Rutgers is the leading non-Notre Dame candidate, that would seem to portend well for RU's chances at landing a cut all of that gaudy Big Ten Network money. Yes, it looks like this could be really happening, and soon for that matter.
Here are some past relevant posts on the topic in lieu of rehashing:
This team that I know - Big Ten speculation starts in earnest with a little help from Joe Paterno's big mouth.
Burn Providence to the ground - The Big East elevates John Marinatto to commissioner following a sham of search, and the bowl bids pay the price. Football will always play second fiddle, and this event alienated any remaining Rutgers fans wishing to make the Big East work.
From a whisper - The Big Ten acknowledges expansion rumors.
What is Barry Alvarez trying to tell us? - Hmmm....
As the Big East turns - Rutgers is a far more likely candidate than external speculators are willing to admit.
The latest on undeserved riches - On the money at stake. It could hold the key to the athletic department's future fiscal viability.
As discussed within that post, Big East schools get far less conference revenue than other teams, and Big Ten programs get far more. According to USA Today figures of public universities (which have now been updated to 2008), Big East teams received $8,000,000 in yearly conference revenue and Big Ten teams received $20,000,000.
Want to know why this could really happen? Even though the 2008 ticket revenue, donations, etc... were better than when I looked at the 2007 numbers several weeks back, the athletic department deficit covered by the general fund actually increased by $2.7 million in that timeframe because of increased expenses. As a reminder, the USA Today's figures do not distinguish between sports and there is no known method of determining which sports were responsible. What is clear though is that this practice needs to end, and more revenue would go a long way towards doing just that.
This may very well be why Rutgers hired Tim Pernetti as athletic director, intentionally or not. He's extremely connected in the media industry, has spent the past year and a half upgrading school athletic programs and facilities, and is as persuasive and personable as it gets.