PSU's Joyner: Big Ten could reshuffle after expansion
STATE COLLEGE (AP) -- The Big Ten might put more emphasis on geography when shuffling divisions after eastern schools Maryland and Rutgers join the Midwest-centric league by 2014.
Penn State Athletic Director Dave Joyner said officials within the league have had several discussions over the phone about potential divisional alignments.
"I have a feeling it will be more geography-based," Joyner said. "There seems to be a lot of sentiment for that."
It would be especially helpful, Joyner said, to ease travel issues and funding for travel, especially for Olympic sports.
Joyner made the comments in a videotaped interview with an athletics assistant communications director posted Tuesday on the department's website.
Athletic directors have already met a couple times to discuss topics related to the additions of Maryland and Rutgers, and will probably meet four or five more times before finalizing recommendations to the Council of Presidents/Chancellors for review in June, Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said.
The current 12-team Big Ten split into two divisions for football after Nebraska joined the league in 2011.
The Legends Division is comprised of Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern. The Leaders Division is made up of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Commissioner Jim Delany had said in announcing the divisions in 2010 that the conference sought to keep competitive balance and promote new rivalries while keeping traditions and existing rivalries in mind.
Penn State last week removed "acting" from Joyner's athletic director status and reaffirmed that Joyner would serve in that capacity until Rodney Erickson's term as president expires next year. The school has started searching for Erickson's successor, and the AD job would be open to a national search under the new president. Joyner would be able to re-apply.