Posted July 19, 2012

Report: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany could get power to fire coaches; league could kick out Penn State

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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany could get the power to fire coaches. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Big Ten is considering a plan that would allow conference commissioner Jim Delany to fire coaches, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Brad Wolverton.

As the fallout of the scandal at Penn State continues, the league could also consider kicking the school out of the conference, “one Big Ten leader” told The Chronicle.

Neither of those two plans appears imminent, and neither may ever be voted into action. The Chronicle‘s report notes that conference officials are still in the preliminary stages of deciding how to handle the situation at Penn State.

But the nature of the two reported possibilities makes clear how the events at Penn State have forced officials to consider broad changes.

Under one proposal, Delany and a committee of presidents would have the power to punish individual athletic officials with sanctions that include “financial penalties, suspension, or termination of employment,” Wolverton reports.

The removal of Penn State from the league would create a number of scheduling issues, among numerous other concerns. Those issues would also be present if the school receives the “death penalty” from the NCAA, though.

Any decisions on expelling Penn State from the league would be determined by the conference’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Wolverton reports. To remove a school, 70 percent of the 12-member council would have to vote that way, Wolverton writes.

“This whole situation is unprecedented,” Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa and chair of the Council of Presidents and Chancellors, told The Chronicle. “It’s sports-related, but there were very significant moral, legal, and institutional failures.”

…“Until all of our presidents and chancellors sit down and talk in depth,” she said, “I have no idea of what the outcome is likely to be, and I wouldn’t want to predict.”