Jim Delany talks Ed O'Bannon case, suggests Johnny Manziel play Arena Football

Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Delany defended the NCAA by pointing out that if Johnny Manziel were an Arena Football player instead of a Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner, he wouldn't sell as many jerseys.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany met with reporters Wednesday at a yearly get-together for Big Ten media types, and was his typical rambunctious self. He offered his thoughts on the Ed O'Bannon vs. NCAA case debating college amateurism, discussing the upcoming bowl lineup, and suggesting America's favorite tweeting Heisman winner go pro in another sport and see how popular he is.

Other stuff:

- Delany downplayed earlier comments that if the NCAA loses the Ed O'Bannon case and goes to pay-for-play, he'd try to move the league to Division III in order to avoid paying players. He said that he wants to ensure needy college athletes get everything they require to get by, and that the NCAA increase scholarships to cover the full cost of education. But he added that he didn't want to "cross that line where you're negotiating with players in a few sports." He quipped that the NCAA likely won't force the Ivy League to pay players, and that he won't actually make his league a Division III conference.

- On the upcoming bowl setup, Delany said that the Big Ten could have "a lot" of new matchups, including some tie-ins that are shared with other leagues.

- Delany said that he expects the O'Bannon suit to take years, and that most of the power players in college sports won't be in their jobs when it's resolved. He did NOT clear his throat loudly and yell "EMMERT," but I just did.

- The Big Ten is also looking to open an office in New York, because Rutgers.

For a full rundown of Delany's ramblings, head over to ESPN's Big Ten blog.

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