Right off the top, a reminder that pre-registration for student season football tickets is under way. If you're a student, you better get moving on it. Here are your instructions.
All returning full-time Penn State students who wish to purchase a 2010 season football ticket are required to pre-register for the sale. Pre-registration begins at 8:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 27 and will end on at 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 2.
Pre-registration is mandatory for all returning undergraduate and graduate students, as well as first-year graduate and first-year law students. Pre-registration also is mandatory for all Penn State Commonwealth Campus students transferring to University Park for the 2010 summer or fall semesters.
All incoming freshmen or first-time transfer students from another university will not be required to pre-register in order to participate in the season ticket sale.
For more information on important dates and the purchasing process, please visit: Penn State Student Central. Students should note all deadlines and procedures that need to be followed.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, some news...
The Big XII's spring meetings should give new meaning to the word awk-waaaard this week:
The probability of some explosive news to come out of the meetings was amped-up two weeks ago by Delany's counterpart, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe.
In an interview on Kansas City radio station WHB, a frustrated Beebe strongly suggested he'll seek permission from the Big 12 board of directors to present Nebraska and Missouri with an ultimatum.
"We need to come to terms with and we need to have a frank conversation in Kansas City," Beebe said. "We need to talk about where
we're going and who's on the plane when it takes off. I will be very direct and talk about that with our membership."
Don't expect much though. As much as we like to focus on Missouri and Nebraska, you could reasonably link Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas, and Kansas State to Big Ten expansion, too, not to mention Colorado, oft-talked about in Pac-10 expansion rumors. It'd be hard to imagine half the league limiting its own options. Just don't tell Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
The athletic directors at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State said Saturday in telephone interviews they support the timing proposal Beebe will present to the Big 12 board. But they're not sure the tactic will work.
"I would hope we will come out of (the meetings) with a commitment from everyone that we all want to be a part of the Big 12 Conference and we're more concerned about the future of the Big 12 than we are about going to another league," said Cowboys' AD Mike Holder. "But I don't know if that's realistic, given the current climate and the (expansion) rumors that are flying."
You can't blame the schools sitting on the sidelines in all of this for wanting to build some unity, but really, even talking about pledges and promises at this stage of the game just makes them look desperate.
The rumors Holder is talking about are exactly that: rumors. We've watched them be dissected and picked apart one by one. Does the Big XII really want to be seen as Chicken Little in all of this? Even the Big East, possibly in far more peril than the Big XII, seems to be taking a proactive approach by hiring Paul Tagliabue and discussing its own possible expansion or realignment. This makes the Big XII look divided, indecisive and scared.
Moving along, Gene Collier of the PG thinks the Big Ten is greedy, and should put the breaks on the whole expansion thing for the sake of college kids everywhere.
I can tell you from shepherding two prospective students through the college selection process that Big Ten universities tend to be extremely pleased with themselves academically. Their missions are so lofty when it comes to educating, so advanced in disciplines that expand the minds of young people, so revered by the top professionals in fields throughout the spectrum of human experience, they have no choice but to be so selective it is a wonder they're even talking to you.
Well that's fine, but you teach with everything you do, and, when 11 of the nation's most wonderful universities conspire to expand their conspicuous wealth at the expense of more vulnerable institutions, and, by definitive extension, more vulnerable students (many of whom don't really care who wins the Rose Bowl), that's a lesson for which no one should be terribly proud.
The Big Ten should reconsider. Google those university mission statements boys and girls. You are drifting the other way. The conference is wealthy and perfectly-positioned to stay that way. Can't that ever be enough?