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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

Welcome to The Score, your place for hard-hitting sports business news, fast-breaking updates and fuel-injected debate.  Buckle up.  I'm your host, Anthony Schoettle, IBJ sports reporter.

Sports Business

Big Ten blows call on division names

December 14, 2010
KEYWORDS Sports Business

I’m not sure who was in the room when the Big Ten honchos decided on calling the two divisions of the soon-to-be 12-school conference, Leaders and Legends. I’m sure that after those names were widely panned after Monday’s announcement, that few are standing up to have their attendance in that meeting or participation in that decision counted.

Thank goodness, the conference didn’t decide to change its name in the wake of luring Nebraska from the Big 12. Who knows what kind of moniker they would have landed on?

“All I can tell you is that we thought long and hard about what not to do,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told reporters during a conference call Monday.

Then apparently after the Big Ten brain trust thought long and hard about what not to do, they went ahead and did it anyway.

I’m no sports marketing expert, but it seems some type of directional reference might have made more sense (though I understand the divisions were not chosen along directional lines), or at least some type of regional reference (i.e., Great Lakes Division).

Surely, naming the divisions after iconic coaches (or even players) would have been embraced to a larger degree, though picking which coaches might have caused a furor among Big Ten athletics directors.

How about a choice of colors? Black and Blue. OK, maybe Blue and White to refect the new conference logo. Heck, Lemon Lime Green and Tangerine Orange would make almost as much sense as Leaders and Legends.

But then again, I didn't finish at the top of my journalism school class. In fact, I don't even have a journalism degree. So maybe I'm missing something. Let's go to the tape.

“What we’ve tried to do here is not get stuck in the past but build off the past, to pivot off the past and recognize the past but also to think in new ways, in innovative ways and to move forward,” Delany said.

Translation please.

“We've tried to blend a recognition of where we’ve come from with the possibilities of continuing to aspire to build great lives for future leaders,” Delany added.

OK. Got it. Clear as mud.

 

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