Saturday, March 22, 2014

Illinois State Senators Want Say in Big Ten Teams?

Listen...we here at the Illinois Truth Team really like State Senator Matt Murphy and State Senator Mike Connelly.  They might be our two favorite State Senators.  Seriously.

But the news that they're sponsoring a bill that would 'study the feasibility' of adding another Illinois state university to the Big Ten is nuts.

From CCB:
Two state lawmakers propose adding another public Illinois college to the Big Ten. 
The legislation, sponsored by Republican Sens. Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly, would study the feasibility of having another of the state's nine public universities join the conference, which includes Penn State, the University of Michigan and Purdue University. 
The measure passed a Senate Higher Education committee this week and now heads to the chamber floor.
So...let's first set aside the fact that the Big Ten is an athletic organization (the CIC is the academic counterpart but has U of C in it) and there isn't another State School that is up to par in terms of competition, facilities or alumni base.  (Oh, be quiet you NIU Huskie fans.  3 years of success does not make a B1G team.  Please.  Go back to the kids table in the MAC.  We don't want to hear about it.  Your stadium holds like 10K people.  And you don't even field teams in many NCAA sports.)

Then...let's also forget that the B1G Conference is now a non-Midwest-centric conference that cares about their 'footprint' due to their cable network.   The expansion to include Maryland and Rutgers had little to do with those schools, we suspect, and everything to do with adding the Washington DC and NYC media markets.  Charleston, Carbondale and Dekalb gain the B1G Conference exactly NOTHING.  No new expanded footprint.  No more cable boxes.

But beyond that, is this what our legislature should be thinking about?

We've got everything else regarding higher education figured out, we guess.

Murphy is a B1G guy - he went to Iowa, but Connelly is a Loyola guy.  If we're saying that Illinois is too competitive and therefore kids who don't get in there head to Iowa or Indiana because they don't want to go to Eastern or Northern or Southern, is the real reason Big Ten athletics?

We're suspect.
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