Big Ten’s Proposed “Year of Readiness”: Another Terrible Idea in Jim Delany’s “Years of Idiocy”

Posted: February 20, 2015 in Sports
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The Big Ten is really, really dumb.

I know.  That’s not exactly an earth-shattering sentiment at this stage in the game.  But it’s one that I feel bears repeating.  Bolding.  Italicizing.  Hell, maybe even underlining.

The Big Ten is really, really dumb.

I would type it a hundred times if it wouldn’t immediately cause all of you to close out of this post faster than normal (*Author’s note: which is approximately the amount of time it takes Rick Pitino to have himself some black-mailable fun).

The latest in a long slew of ill-advised, half-coherent ideas that threatens the league’s credibility and once again puts a once-proud conference at the end of a whole hell of a lot of punchlines.

In a statement yesterday, the Big Ten announced that they were reaching out to their member institutions about a “year of readiness” that would be designed to hold out student athletes from their freshman year of athletics in order to better acclimate them to college life and to allow them to focus on academics.  (*Author’s note: immediately after typing that, I had to step away from my computer and projectile vomit like a malfunctioning android in Alien.)

This “year of readiness” is just another moment in a “career of idiocy” by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany.  Delany, seemingly hell-bent on self-destructing the entire league and imploding any hopes the Big Ten has to capitalize off a recent national championship and a splashy off-season that brought in new blood and big names to the league, continues to bumble and botch the big stage with gusto.

Freshman were made eligible to compete in NCAA sports in the 1972-73 seasons.  I didn’t have a “year of readiness” but, if my math serves me, that was 43 years ago.  There’s a lot of stuff from 1972-73 that we really don’t want to have come back.

Delany just drank a fifth of Vodka, got dared to drive, and hopped into his DeLorean so he could swervingly speed off to 88 MPH in the hopes of recapturing “the good old days.”


Who dared him?  Probably a snooty, pinky and nose in the air while sniffing a brandy, whack job that thinks players like DeMornay Pierson-El and Melo Trimble would be left holding their Econ 101 textbooks on the sidelines while their teammates were out on the field needing their help.

Here’s the only way I could imagine a swine like Jim Delany reaching such an absurd conclusion:


Interior, a lavishly decorated office that looks like it was taken straight out of Scarface:

Jim Delany sits at his desk.  It’s surrounded by paintings of himself.  Directly behind his desk is an elaborate collage showing lemmings jumping to their doom.  In big letters it proclaims: Follow.  At least you won’t be the first one to jump off the cliff!

Delany has a credit card in one hand and he’s making lines out of a pile of a white powder that is placed on a mirror at the center of his desk.  It’s likely just powdered sugar, as it’s a well known fact that Delany’s a culinary expert.  Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen is playing on repeat at maximum volume.

The gold-plated, ivory crusted phone rings on Delany’s desk.

Greatest commissioner in the world, Jim Delany speaking.  Why, yes,
Angela.  Be sure to send them right in.  And how many times have I
told you?  Either call me “All Powerful and All-knowing Commissioner
Mr. Delany” or I’ll send you back to the kitchen where you belong.”

Delany hangs up the phone.  Into the room walk 4 older white dudes that look straight out of an SNL skit poking fun at Congress.  Delany hastily wipes off the mirror and turns down the music.

Gentleman!  Come on in.  Can I interest you in some scotch?
Some segregation, perhaps?

All the old men laugh heartily.

Quickly the mood shifts.  The old white dudes sit down and stare at Delany grumpily.

Old White Dude #1
Jim, we need to talk. . .

Anything for my friends at the Angry Honkies Of Large Entitlement

Old White Dude #2
We know we can count on you, Jim, to always have time for
AHOLES.  We need to talk about the Big Ten.

I’ve told you guys before.  I’m not changing the name.
We’ve got, what?, like. . .
(He snorts loudly, dips a finger in the white powder residue
and rubs some on his gums while he attempts to count)
10 schools?  So we’re sticking with it.  It’s math.

Old White Dude #3 stands up and places his hands on Jim’s Desk.  He takes off his toupee and fans himself with it in frustration.

Old White Dude #3
I’ll stop you right there, Jim.  That’s exactly the problem.  Math.
The students don’t know it.

Old White Dudes 1, 2, and 4

Old White Dude #3
And they’re not learning it.

Old White Dudes 1, 2, and 4
(Again, in unison)

Old White Dude #3
And, as card-carrying AHOLES, it’s our duty to harken back
to a time when things were simpler.  Purer.  A time when
a man’s word was his bond, our politicians were only looking
out for the American people, and all wars were justifiable.
A time when racial politics weren’t so fraught, and student
athletes were students first and then athletes.

Delany is swept up in the rampant old-man-rage-current and staggers to his feet!

By God, you’re right!  The ’70s were the best!  Watergate?
So what!  Vietnam?  Big deal.  And people of all races got along
so much better.  You know what?  The ’70s got me.  They always
have.  What we need is to go back. . .


I’m talking way back.  I can see clearly now, the rain has gone.
What we need is to stop our student athletes from playing
their first years on campus and get them back to focusing on
important things.  Like paying $18,000 a semester to take Intro
to Psychology.

(Slapping his hands on the desk)
Gentleman: I know what I have to do.

Old White Dude #4
We’re glad you listened to reason, Jim.  Do the right thing.  And
I’m not talking about that horrid movie by that Spike Lee guy.
Atrocious thing, that.  Trying to make us think about things we
don’t like.

Exactly.  No more thinking.  Just acting.  Or better yet, re-acting.
Preferably reacting immediately, blindly, and with little regard
for human decency.  Good day, gentlemen.

The AHOLES all walk out laughing.  Delany closes the door and heads back to his desk.

In the lobby, the old men pull off their masks, Mission Impossible style.

It’s Bob Bowlsby, Mike Slive, Larry Scott, and John Swofford!

Did he just. . .?

Do exactly what we wanted him to do?  Yes.  Yes he did.

So what you’re saying is that the ACC has a chance?  With Jameis
leaving I was getting kind of worried. . .

All the other conference commissioner’s look at one another and laugh hysterically.


That’s legitimately the only way I could see this scenario playing out.  An elaborate, Illuminati-style conspiracy at the hands of the other, smarter commissioners to trick Delany’s broke-ass into flushing any remaining chance at talented young players in the Big Ten down the B1G Crapper.



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