The Big Ten won't take any chances as one of its new additions chooses its new athletic director: NJ.com reports that Jim Delany will be involved in some way in choosing the next athletic director at Rutgers after the scandal that led to the firing of basketball coach Mike Rice and AD Tim Pernetti.
Delany has pretty firmly established his role as one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes people in college sports, launching the Big Ten Network while negotiating big TV contracts that turned his conference into a money-printer. He also was one of the catalysts in the most recent wave of conference realignment, as he and Pernetti alongside worked with each other to bring Rutgers into the Big Ten.
So it's not completely surprising that he'll reportedly be in part responsible for helping to pick the school's next head athletic administrator, although it hasn't historically been part of a conference commissioner's responsibilities to do so. And it's not surprising that Rutgers is letting the head of a conference it feels will boost its finances take part.
There was some talk of whether the questionable behavior of Rutgers' administration in the Rice fiasco -- not firing the coach when there was video evidence of him abusing players, opting to go through human resources channels -- could change the school's status as it transitions into the new league, but Delany has insisted it won't.
While Rutgers searches for a new AD, Carl Kirschner will be the school's interim athletic director, as he was when the school hired Pernetti in 2009, a search that took seven weeks to complete.
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