• Video Below: See Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany at the B'nai B'rith charity sports banquet
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Nebraska's removal from the Association of American Universities isn't causing Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany any loss of sleep.
Even if that action had happened a year ago, when the Big Ten began studying NU as a potential member, it wouldn't have affected the school's invitation.
“What was important to us was fit — geographic, ethical, academic,'' Delany said ahead of Wednesday's B'Nai B'rith charity banquet at Qwest Center Omaha.
Delany said the Big Ten is proud that all current members are part of the AAU, but the league has no control over membership. Nebraska, which joins the Big Ten on July 1, had been part of the AAU since 1909 before being voted out last week.
The academic consortium of the Big Ten — the Committee on Institutional Cooperation — fully supported Nebraska's entry into the league, “and that support continues,'' he said.
Also note, Delany said, that more than once in the past 15 years the Big Ten has talked with Notre Dame — not an AAU member — about possible membership.
Delany said Nebraska football fans will feel at home when traveling through the Big Ten. The game-day pageantry, high-class facilities and strong traditions will be familiar to what has been built at NU.
One of the big pluses to having Nebraska in the Big Ten is the Huskers' name recognition.
“The Nebraska football brand has developed in such a way like Notre Dame, like Oklahoma, like Texas, like Southern Cal,'' Delany said. “It's one of those programs that whenever you put them up against another quality opponent, it's a big game.''
One of the biggest games in the coming Big Ten season will be Oct. 8 when defending champion Ohio State comes to Nebraska.
Yet most of the offseason conversation about the Buckeyes has involved coach Jim Tressel being charged by the NCAA with lying about knowledge of players violating NCAA rules.
Delany said he can't comment on any specifics of the case, which will go to the NCAA Infractions Committee in August.
“But it matters,'' he said. “Anytime there is a problem with an individual, there is a problem for the school and there's a problem for the conference.''
Other comments from Delany:
• On how soon the Big Ten might have a nine-game conference football schedule: He said the athletic directors are open to the idea, but have concerns about getting seven home games in the seasons in which a school has five road league games. All schools set their athletic budgets to collect the gate from seven home games. The earliest it could happen is 2015.
• On playing future Big Ten championship events in Omaha: Unlikely for several years in basketball as the league tries to build the event in Indianapolis and Chicago. As for baseball, “there is some openness and willingness to experiment.''
• On Nebraska potentially playing night games against Wisconsin and Ohio State: Despite reports claiming those are set, Big Ten Associate Commissioner Mark Rudner has just begun arranging prime-time schedules with ABC and ESPN.
• On how long the Nebraska-Iowa game might be played on the day after Thanksgiving, as set for 2011 and 2012: It could “potentially continue.''
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