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The Philadelphia Inquirer

CHICAGO - Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says he isn't happy with the NCAA's enforcement process. He discussed the need for improvements Monday on the first day of the conference's media days.

Delany said he doesn't think the NCAA has been effective in meting out punishments to schools that are under investigation for violations. Over the last few years, several investigations have dragged on, demonstrating some of the inefficiencies of the process.

"It's fairly clear to me that the conferences have to get together and find a mechanism or a process that serves our needs," Delany said.

Last week, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby created a stir by saying "cheating pays" in the NCAA. Delany wasn't as extreme but agreed that reform is needed.

"My hope is over the next year to 18 months, the major conferences come together [and] we can find ways and processes and procedures that fit with what we're trying to achieve, which is a level of deterrence, a level of compliance and a level of punishment if it's earned," Delany said.

New divisions

The 2014 season will be the first for the conference with its revised divisional structure. With the additions of Rutgers and Maryland, the conference shifts to East and West Divisions from the previously used Leaders and Legends Divisions.

The East Division is widely considered stronger with Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State as members along with Indiana, Rutgers and Maryland, but Delany isn't concerned with any imbalance.

The West will include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.

"During my tenure, I think we've had seven or eight teams play in BCS-quality games, we've had nine different teams play in a Rose Bowl," Delany said. "I've seen the strength of teams ebb and flow over time."

Playoff preview

Michael Kelly, the chief operating officer of the new college football playoff, gave a presentation on the system before its inaugural season.

This season, the Sugar and Rose Bowls will represent the semifinals of the new playoff on Jan. 1. The winners will play for the national championship on Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The semifinals will rotate between six bowl games in a three-year cycle.

Delany emphasized that Big Ten teams would play only Football Bowl Championship teams to put them in the best position to qualify for the playoffs, in addition to playing nine conference games.

"What we've tried to do is structure our conference schedule and our scheduling to deliver an opportunity for our teams if they're successful," Delany said.

mcohen@phillynews.com

 

July 29, 2014
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