Although he did not slam the door shut on the idea, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says there are no plans to add Friday night games to the Big Ten calendar any time soon. The only Friday games that will remain on the Big Ten schedule for now will be those planned around Thanksgiving and Labor Day weekends. But in the future? Do not rule it out.
“Beyond that, I don’t think while I’m around here you’re going to see Friday night games,” Delany said Thursday, according to the Associated Press. “Down the road? Who knows?”
The Big Ten currently has television deals in place with FOX (expires in 2016) and ESPN (2017), so changes to the typical scheduling methods is unlikely to change. Once the conference opens up negotiations for future media packages, who knows what could happen?
Delany is in Chicago for regularly scheduled conference meetings. Always one of the most pivotal voices to be heard when it comes to collegiate athletics issues, Delany also shared his thoughts on some other topics of interest. One is brewing right under his nose with Northwestern football players attempting to unionize.
“Everybody’s sensitive to the points that are being made,” Delany said, referring to the recent discussions in a labor hearing process over the last week in Chicago. The hearings are to determine if Northwestern football players should be considered employees of the university. If the players get the ruling in their favor, the next step in the players union movement can commence. Delany has always been against the idea of pay-for-play, but he does admit to feeling players should have more of a voice represented in the sport.
“I think we need more seats at the table, for sure,” Delany said said. “And I think that we’ll get that. I think that we’ll get that as we restructure the NCAA. I feel certain that at institutes and conference and NCAA level, there will be more opportunity for points of view, and I hope to give them not only a voice but maybe a way to weigh in.”