SEC commissioner Greg Sankey shades geography of expanded Big Ten
Greg Sankey could not help but shade the Big Ten when talking about conference expansion. Sankey, the SEC commissioner, is making the media rounds now that Oklahoma and Texas are officially joining the SEC in 2024.
Adding the Sooners and Longhorns expands the SEC footprint. During a Friday radio appearance, Sankey boasted that the SEC’s longest trip is still shorter than the distance between any current Big Ten school and future members USC and UCLA.
“Our longest trip will be from Columbia, SC to Austin, Texas….
That’s actually shorter than what will be the shortest trip for the LA schools when they move to the Big Ten”
– @GregSankey on @macandcube
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) February 10, 2023
With the B1G footprint expanding to Los Angeles, there has been plenty of interest in how midweek games in basketball and other sports will be handled to make sure players are not negatively impacted as student-athletes. During October’s Big Ten Basketball Media Days, former B1G commissioner Kevin Warren expressed confidence that scheduling would not present an issue.
“One of our key focus points this year is to make sure that we flawlessly integrate both UCLA and USC into the Big Ten Conference, that our student-athletes have been our No. 1 priority and during this integration period, they will continue to be our No. 1 priority,” Warren said last fall.
“You’ll be able to see it in how we schedule, how we handle multi-team events, the experiences that they’ll be able to have by now being able to travel to play different institutions across the country. We’ll ask ourselves, ‘What can we do on a daily basis to strengthen this academic opportunity? To strengthen these athletic opportunities? How will this relationship and expansion create new opportunities for our student-athletes to broaden their platform both on and off the court?’”
With 2024 being the year of expansion, fans everywhere are interested to see how the new-look conferences handle scheduling.