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University of Iowa News Release


June 11, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Chipman, Big Ten Conference


Note: This release from the Big Ten Conference is followed by comments from University of Iowa officials on the Big Ten Conference expansion.

Nebraska to begin Big Ten conference competition with 2011-12 academic year

Park Ridge, Ill.— The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval today for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2011, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2011-12 academic year. UNL will also seek admission into the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which can occur on or before July 1, 2011.

The addition of the University of Nebraska marks the Big Ten’s first expansion since Penn State University joined the conference in June of 1990 and will increase Big Ten membership to 12 institutions for the first time in conference annals. Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany will join University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Tom Osborne on campus in Lincoln, Neb., for press conference at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, June 11.

“By unanimous vote, the Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the Big Ten Conference,” said COP/C Chair and Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We believe Nebraska is an extraordinary fit, reflecting the criteria we established at the beginning of the process – high academic quality, competitiveness, cultural compatibility and fiscal responsibility. The extensive and in-depth discussions my colleagues and I have had about Big Ten expansion permitted us to act expeditiously and prudently on the application submitted by Nebraska. We look forward to working with our colleagues at UNL in the years ahead.”

“We are pleased that the Presidents/Chancellors of the Big Ten universities agree that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a proper partner from both an academics standpoint and athletics perspective,” Perlman said. “This makes sense for the future of our University.  We are honored to be included in the Big Ten.”

“The Big Ten Conference has much to offer,” Osborne said. “This is a tribute to our athletic program, our academic programs and our fans.  This is the right move at the right time.  This is a rare opportunity that may not have been an option for us in the future.”

In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference Friday afternoon. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and approved Nebraska’s application.

“While Big Ten expansion is exciting and important both academically and athletically, what we are really excited about is building solid, long-lasting relationships with the University, its administrators and staff, its fans and the people of Nebraska,” Delany said. “We look forward to reaching out to these groups in the months and years ahead.”

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $100 million in athletic scholarship aid to more than 8,500 men and women student-athletes who compete for 25 championships, 12 for men and 13 for women. Conference institutions sponsor broad-based athletic programs with more than 270 teams. For more information, visit


Comments from UI Officials on Big Ten Conference Expansion

“The University of Iowa is delighted to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the Big Ten Conference. We believe that Nebraska shares many strong values and attributes with Iowa – including a longstanding commitment to academic excellence and tradition-rich athletic programs with national appeal. They are a perfect fit, and I’m certain that our fans will quickly embrace having a new rival in all sports.
“Nebraska will dramatically strengthen the Big Ten in a variety of ways. The university is an outstanding public research institution with academic values that mirror current Big Ten member schools. It also has a phenomenal athletic tradition that brings another storied program with a national following into our ranks. I expect the overall benefits of Nebraska’s addition to the Big Ten will be mutually shared and will bring considerable added value and prestige to our conference academically, athletically, and culturally — all of which are essential outcomes when considering adding any university to the conference.”

Sally Mason


“The addition of Nebraska is an extremely exciting development for the Big Ten, and especially for Hawkeye student-athletes, coaches, and supporters. I expect Iowa and Nebraska to quickly develop a healthy athletic rivalry that will stir the passions of our respective fans and captivate the region and the nation. Much of what makes college athletics great involves the rivalries that develop over the years, and the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers are a natural to grow into one of the nation’s next marquee rivalries.”

Gary Barta
Director of Athletics


“The addition of the University of Nebraska to the Big Ten appears to be a very positive and an exciting development – much like when Penn State joined the conference years ago. I would anticipate the reaction to this development by players and fans to be extremely enthusiastic. From my vantage point, Nebraska is a natural and positive fit in all regards and this announcement is a real credit to all of those involved in providing leadership in the Big Ten.”

Kirk Ferentz
Head Football Coach


“I’m the new kid on the block, so all I would add to this discussion would be an appreciation for all that the University of Nebraska brings to our conference athletically and academically. I wholeheartedly agree that Nebraska appears to be a perfect fit.”

Fran McCaffery
Men’s Basketball Coach


“The Big Ten is one of the nation’s toughest conferences in women’s basketball. The addition of Nebraska makes our conference stronger, tougher and deeper. That’s a great thing for our fans, student-athletes and alumni.  It’s an exciting change and we are up to the challenge.”

Lisa Bluder
Women’s Basketball Coach

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Steven Roe, Intercollegiate Athletics, 319-335-9411, 319-430-6346, (cell),