PARK RIDGE, Ill. (Sports Network) - It didn't take long for the Big Ten to accept the University of Nebraska's application into the conference.
A short time after Nebraska's Board of Regents voted unanimously to file an
application to join the Big Ten Conference, the Big Ten Council of
Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced their unanimous approval.
The move comes into effect on July 1, 2011, as Nebraska will start competing
in all sports beginning with the 2011-12 academic year.
"We believe Nebraska is an extraordinary fit, reflecting the criteria we
established at the beginning of the process - high academic quality,
competitiveness, cultural compatibility and fiscal responsibility," said COP/C
chair and Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon.
Nebraska's board concluded a partially closed door meeting Friday afternoon
where the decision was made to leave the Big 12 -- the second such conference
member to do so in as many days following Colorado's departure for the
The decision by Nebraska will likely trigger a domino effect with the Pac-10
reportedly set to construct a mega-expansion to 16 teams. Several league
sources had indicated earlier in the week that retaining Nebraska was the key
to keeping the Big 12 afloat.
The Pac-10 is rumored to be mulling invitations to a handful of Big 12
schools, including marquee members Texas and Oklahoma.
Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman explained discussions were undertaken
within the Big 12 to gauge how to keep the conference intact. He revealed that
both Colorado and Missouri indicated their wishes to leave the league and that
the Pac-10 had made an offer to the six teams from the south division of
the Big 12.
Perlman went on to reveal that the six south division teams -- Texas,
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Baylor -- could make no
commitment to the conference if Missouri and Colorado both left. It was then
that the decision to seek out the Big Ten Conference was made.
"In geography, we sit here with not a lot of options. We were facing two
possible departures and we reached out to our friends in the Big Ten to see
what options we had," Perlman said.
"They (the Big 12) gave all the members of the conference an ultimatum. They
needed an unequivocal agreement (to remain intact) through at least 2016,
and I felt my obligation was to protect the university from the
vulnerability of not having a conference."
The Big Ten had also been rumored to be interested in adding teams from the
Big East, and initially Missouri, although that idea has seemed to lose
Nebraska is the 12th member of the conference and first new addition since
Penn State took up membership in 1990. The other schools include Ohio State,
Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Purdue, Iowa, Indiana,
Illinois and Minnesota.
"We look forward to joining an extraordinary group. I believe Nebraska will
be better for joining the Big Ten and the Big Ten will be a stronger
conference with the addition of Nebraska," Nebraska president James B.
"The Big Ten conference is a great fit. This is an exciting development. I
think very highly of the Big 12 and Nebraska has experienced great success.
However, change is inevitable."