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Big Ten commissioner: No talk of realignment

[ 2 ] July 23, 2012 |

Football fans believing the Legends Division of the Big Ten Conference to be more competitive than the Leaders Division haven’t seen anything.

Yet.

Iowa is one of six teams battling to represent the Legends in the conference championship game, while just four teams will compete for the same prize in the Leaders after Penn State Monday joined Ohio State on the postseason ineligible list.

However, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany had a simple response:

Deal with it.

“That clearly will have a competitive impact, only four teams competing for the title,” Delany said on a teleconference Monday. “At the same time, we have divisions. We have schedules. We have reality.

“We will deal with it. I don’t see us making structural changes.”

Delany said divisional realignment hadn’t even been discussed as the conference’s council of presidents and chancellors talked about Penn State’s punishment during recent weeks.

“Never say never,” Delany said. “Our structure is set for decades and not years. The sanctions will undermine competitiveness in the short term, but I don’t think they will lead to a serious realignment of divisions.”

Free to go: Penn State players are free to transfer and have immediate eligibility, according to terms of the NCAA punishment. Normally, transfers must sit out a year before becoming eligible.

“The first step is the (transfer) making contact with the institution,” said Iowa associate athletic director Fred Mims, whose job includes athlete eligibility. “The first contact is usually when a kid calls an assistant coach.”

The NCAA said Monday that Penn State football players can transfer to schools even if they have reached scholarship limitations.

“To the best of my knowledge, we haven’t had anyone call,” Mims said Monday. “It might be a little early on that.”

Long time: Iowa hosts Penn State Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. By the time they play again, in 2015, the Nittany Lions will be a year away from a return to postseason eligibility.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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