A Big Ten fracas, a bizarre Colorado scandal and an NCAA backpedal. It's time for Linkeration.
--College football's whiniest commissioner is at it again, and this time he's virtually going to war with Comcast, which is not really a smart thing to do when you're trying to get them to carry your network.
The conference and Comcast are at odds over the price of the new Big Ten Network and whether it should be offered on basic cable. And they're also feuding over the wording of a press release in which Comcast said the Big Ten network will show "second and third-tier sporting events," called it "a niche sports channel" and added: "Indiana basketball fans don't want to watch Iowa volleyball, but the Big Ten wants everyone to pay for their new network."
[Big Ten commish] Delany took exception during a conference call with reporters on Thursday -- the one-year anniversary of the day the Big Ten announced plans to form the network.
"In the Midwest, when you're talking about a women's sports team, you talk about them with respect," Delany said. "They're not second tier. Certainly, games at Michigan and Penn State and Ohio State -- I don't care who the opponent is, those are not second-tier games." ...
You have besmirched the honor of our women!
Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen then sent a letter to Delany in which he blasted the commissioner for insinuating the company is against women's sports.
"Commissioner, you are a representative of an athletic conference made up of some of the finest academic institutions in the country," Cohen wrote. "Those institutions -- and the students they seek to educate -- should expect all of their representatives to maintain basic standards of integrity. Your mischaracterizations and overstatements are not consistent with such standards. Our hope is that we can keep our differing opinions regarding this carriage issue from resulting in any further personal attacks."
Cohen reiterated that the top games would go to ABC and ESPN and the Big Ten Network would simply serve a niche market. He said the cable company would like to carry the network, but not if it means sticking customers with "a burdensome Big Ten tax."
Upon reading the news, President Bush immediately called for cutting the Big Ten tax.
Delany needs to learn not to snivel so much. It takes away the black-hearted, soulless image that commissioners are supposed to cultivate.
--Colorado has apparently become aware of a little discrepancy in how much it charges its football players for a meals. You know, a measly $61,700. Nothing major, really. Except that the NCAA sees that as an illegal benefit. Cost: $100,000 to charity, two years' probation and a football scholarship.
It's Divison I-A food, brother!
--And the NCAA has
Okay, you're right. I won't get ahead of myself.