We're fully into the Big Ten's offseason so that means we're making room for player movement, media rights and other off court, offseason chatter. The player movement in particular generates some unrest, but that may just be the current climate of college basketball. Either way, players coming and going, and some moving within the conference, which tends to create a level of uneasiness at times as teams lost valuable assets and other teams find strong replacements for their departing personnel.
So far (at least) 25 players have indicated their intention to transfer from a Big Ten school. Both Nebraska and Ohio State lead with four departing players. (Keep up to day with all outgoing and incoming transfers on our website.) Among the headliners, Spike Albrecht, who sat out last season with an injury, is moving on from Michigan, and looking to Indiana and Purdue as potential landing spots.
Tom Izzo recently spoke out against intra-conference transfers. It's not a new position, most coaches feel this way. According to Kyle Austin at Michigan Live, Izzo says having players transfer within the conference creates animosity.
It's somewhat difficult to draw any major conclusions from all the transfers activity. Each circumstance is so different, and many are either looking to continue their careers (using the graduate transfer rule), or hoping to find a program where they can make a larger impact.
You can follow all the outgoing and incoming transfers on our website. Mix all the transfers with some players leaving for the NBA, or at least testing the waters (and not hiring an agent), and the Big Ten could look very different next season. It'll be fun to see where it all settles.
Big Ten Media Rights
Jim Delany, the Big Ten's Commissioner, is leading the negotiation of the Big Ten's media rights, for both football and basketball. Delany's been quite successful, whether through media rights or the Big Ten Network, at generating revenue for the conference's schools, and he appears to be on the brink of another boon.
According to Teddy Greenstein at the Chicago Tribune, Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1 appear to be in the lead position to win the bid, which could be worth as much as $250 million. The package reportedly includes 25 football and 50 basketball games, beginning in the fall of 2017.
But the potential deal with Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1 is only half of the product. ESPN/ABC, which previously held the rights, could pick up the other half of the Big Ten's inventory, which Delany will begin selling once he closes the deal above. According to Teddy Greenstein, CBS, NBC and Turner Sports could also be interested.
So, what does the new rights deal mean for the Big Ten? Well, nothing for next season in football and basketball; the new deal wouldn't start until fall 2017. But, it simply means a different network will host most of the conferences inventory. With ESPN possibly out of the picture, it could mean less Dan Dakich, which would be a shame. (Although, even though ESPN is cutting costs, I doubt they'll be left out completely.)
Apparently, a new meme, My Boo, is sweeping the nation, and a few Big Ten basketball players have been getting involved, and challenging each other with dance routines on Instagram.
Now there is no doubt. We've definitely reached the off season.