- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Big Ten might be getting bigger.

Commissioner Jim Delany said Tuesday the conference is going to explore options over the next 12 to 18 months for expanding the league. The league’s presidents and chancellors decided this month the timing is right to study adding a 12th school.

The Big Ten said it also looked at expansion in 1993, 1998 and 2003. Penn State was the last team to join in 1990, and Notre Dame rejected an offer in 1999.

The league, whose offices are in suburban Chicago, said no action on expansion is expected soon. It said it hopes to gather information before engaging in formal discussions with any schools.

The conference actually has 11 members despite its name.

About every five years the Big Ten Conference explores the possibility of expansion, Illinois athletic Ron Guenther said. Any expansion of the conference would obviously have to be a good fit academically, geographically and financially. If the Big Ten does make a change, I hope it will be as successful as the addition of Penn State.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez last week told the university’s board that he thinks the conference is serious about adding a 12th team, though Delany as recently as March called expansion a back-burner issue.

CONCUSSIONS: Hoping to beef up policies for handling concussions, an NCAA panel is recommending a new rule that would sideline an athlete for at least the rest of the day if he or she loses consciousness or shows other worrisome symptoms during competition.

The rule, which would affect all sports, comes from the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, which wrapped up a three-day meeting in Indianapolis.

The panel also recommended sidelining an athlete with less severe concussion-related symptoms until cleared by a doctor.

ARKANSAS: The basketball program reported an NCAA secondary violation concerning images of its athletes in a magazine.

The athletic department said it reported the violation to the SEC. The school said no player’s eligibility has been affected.

The school said its self-report was over tag lines used to accompany photos of student-athletes referencing local businesses and that nobody in the athletic department approved of or had prior knowledge of noneditorial use of the players’ images.

RICHMOND: The Spiders went with a tried and true method for replacing their football coach after a successful season: Hire a strong recruiter with ties to the program.

Latrell Scott, a former Richmond assistant head coach under Dave Clawson who spent the last two years at Tennessee and Virginia, was introduced as the 34th coach in Spiders history. Scott, 34, has never been a head coach or an offensive coordinator in his coaching travels since 2001. He becomes one of the youngest head coaches in the country.

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