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Good thing the Big Ten didn't go Division III to avoid paying players, like its commish threatened, because then it wouldn't have a TV deal worth billions!

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The Big Ten is close to selling "essentially half" of its broadcast rights to Fox for $1.5 billion over six years in its next TV deal, Sports Business Daily reports. That would make the Big Ten's business of selling games worth $3 billion over that period, if someone else agrees the other half is worth the same, or about $36 million per school per year just off games aired by non-Big Ten Network companies.

Boy, the Big Ten has got to be really glad right now that it didn't panic and follow through on what Jim Delany wrote in 2013, back when it looked like the O'Bannon trial might force everybody to pay players more:

It has been my longstanding belief that The Big Ten's schools would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth and activity of their athletic programs.

Several alternatives to a 'pay for play' model exist, such as the Division III model, which does not offer any athletics-based grants-in-aid, and, among others, a need-based financial model.

These alternatives would, in my view, be more consistent with The Big Ten's philosophy that the educational and lifetime economic benefits associated with a university education are the appropriate quid pro quo for its student athletes.

(He later admitted the rest of the conference wouldn't agree with such a drastic maneuver, meaning this was bullshit dressed up to sound like a firm moral stance against giving players a bigger piece of a growing and massive pie. Delany does like to talk a lot, and at the O'Bannon trial, he basically ended up as an O'Bannon witness.)

In my opinion, if the Big Ten had dropped all the way down to D3 in order to play against various schools with "UW" at the fronts of their names or "(IL)" after their names, it would not have this mountain of TV money to stack on top of its current mountain of TV money. The eventual results of the trial NCAA's various legal challenges could mean players getting slightly more money, but apparently that amount won't be inconsistent with this academic collective's educational mission.

(Previously, Dabo Swinney entered the $5 million club a few years after saying players getting more money would drive him away from amateurism.)

Now for an excellent business decision! Today's most important sports news is the contract Ludacris got Georgia to sign in return for his spring game performance. In addition to $65,000, the rider includes two bottles of a cognac brand that Luda does business with, a specific box of condoms, candles that Holly Anderson says are excellent choices, and so many other things.

Oh right, Brady Hoke's at Oregon now! Here's the plan for the Ducks defense, which was pretty good until last year, when it fell off the cliff.

A timeline of Florida QBs going pro as something other than Florida QBs. There are about to be even more Florida transfer QBs in the NFL, next year's Pro Bowl could have a former Florida QB throwing to a former Florida QB, and that's not even the whole story. Sheeesh!

Von Miller hit Texas with a horns down on Dancing with the Stars. That's just good dancing.

Crootin'!

Bill C team of the day: Bowling Green, which has to follow up on its best year ever and might still be the division favorite.

The mighty Georgia Southern and the adolescent Georgia State often get confused for each other, so Southern's yielding "GSU" to the Panthers, ending what was a hot local dispute for five years or so, believe it or not.

What's the retired Gary Pinkel up to? Getting down at Paul McCartney shows, and so forth.

Hey, this thing about Dan Mullen running a Boston Marathon against the entire SEC West is really funny.

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