Jim Delany Also Thought He Should Play "Critical Role" in Hiring Big Ten Coaches

A Big Ten proposal may grant Jim Delany the power to fire coaches. He also, apparently, told someone he thought he should play “a really critical role” in the evaluation and hiring of coaches.

First caveat. This is not in the proposal under consideration. It was just an idea.

Second caveat. We know he raised this idea to another Big Ten official. We don’t know when he raised it. Was this a pronouncement in the editing room as the proposal was being drafted? Or, was this something thrown out in conversation extemporaneously at a cocktail party? Context is critical.

Delany’s idea is impractical (why it is not in the proposal). A league can enact rules to mitigate the damage of bad decisions. Making those decisions, however desirable business-wise, discredits the competitive nature of the sport.

The NBA would be better off with the New York Knicks being a powerhouse franchise. The league can enact rules to blunt the impact of James Dolan’s bad decisions. David Stern stepping in and becoming general manager of the Knicks would be a step too far.

What is important is not the idea itself, but the motivation behind it. Delany wants to change Big Ten culture. He does not want warped power structures where the coach (Paterno, Tressel) is more powerful than his superiors at the university. He wants to make sure schools can act in their own best interest rather than be subject to campus politics and well-healed boosters. The method may have been heavy-handed and impractical, but the intention is heartening.

[Photo via Getty]

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