Confused why the Big Ten continues to expand? Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez says the decision was made with Penn State in mind.
Alvarez spoke on Friday to the Wisconsin athletic board and said that Big Ten said that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was concerned that Penn State would eventually leave the conference. Penn State began playing in the conference in 1993 after playing as an Independent for 100 years.
“Jim felt that someday, if we didn’t have anyone else in that corridor, someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league,” Alvarez told the board, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That they would go into a league somewhere on the East Coast. By doing that, it keeps us in the Northeast corridor.”
Maryland and Rutgers were both added to the Big Ten in late November.
The Big Ten added Maryland on Nov. 19 and Rutgers on Nov. 20.
When contacted by ESPN about Alvarez’s comments Delany declined to comment.
Alvarez announced on Thursday that he would coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. He will coach for departing coach Bret Bielema who leaves for Arkansas. Bielema was Alvarez’s hand picked successor at Wisconsin after Alvarez retired in 2005. He became the school’s athletic director in 2004.