Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Push in on for Big Ten Postseason Tourney

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Push in on for Big Ten Postseason Tourney

Article excerpt

The campaign to create a Big Ten Conference postseason basketball tournament is picking up steam, favored by players, athletic directors and most coaches.

It seems predictable that Indiana coach Bob Knight, a frequent fly in the Big Ten's ointment, would be one of the few voices in opposition.

"People are saying that kids want it," Knight said earlier this week at the Big Ten's basketball media day. "Well, kids don't want to go to classes, either. They don't want to go to practice, they just want to play." Knight said a tournament would probably require cutting the number of regular-season games to 16 from 18, costing each school the revenue from a home game. That amounts to about $300,000 for the Hoosiers, he said. "The loss of that revenue has to be made up before we can derive anything from the tournament," Knight said. There is ample evidence, however, that a tournament could bring a windfall to Big Ten coffers. Conference Commissioner James E. Delany said estimates showed that even after home-court losses such as those Knight described, each conference school would take from $250,000 to $450,000 away from a tournament. "It is important for us to look at ways to sharpen the image of Big Ten basketball, both promotionally and competitively," Delany said. Studies on the fiscal, academic and competitive effects of having a tournament will be presented to Big Ten college presidents in early December. Delany said he expected it would take a vote of eight of the 11 presidents to create a tournament, which could begin as early as 1998. Knight said he could not see the rationale for a tournament, and said it could pose an academic problem for athletes. "Our conference champion has been a No. 1-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament," said Knight, who was also an outspoken opponent when the conference added Penn State several years ago. …

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