Big Ten commissioner plans departure

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Jim Delany, one of the most influential figures in college athletics for three decades, will step down as Big Ten commissioner when his contract expires in June 2020.

The 71-year-old has been commissioner since 1989 and established himself as one of the biggest movers and shakers in U.S. sports. He oversaw three expansions, starting with Penn State in 1993, to increase Big Ten membership from 10 to 14 schools and conference revenues increased dramatically under his watch.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity to serve and lead these preeminent institutions, presidents, administrators, coaches and students,” Delany said Monday in a statement. “It is incredibly fulfilling to support the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who have been afforded an opportunity to obtain best-in-class educations as a result of the invaluable, one-of-a-kind lessons learned through the unique combination of athletic and classroom competition.”

Delany became the Big Ten’s fifth commissioner when he succeeded Wayne Duke in 1989. He ambitiously built the conference profile, negotiating television deals that in 2018 produced an unprecedented distribution of $51 million for Michigan, one of the flagship members.

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