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Wants the Power to Fire Coaches
The Big Ten is mulling a proposal that would give its commissioner, already one of the most powerful men in college sports, the authority to fire coaches himself, The Chronicle reports today.
The proposal, part of a plan being circulated among Big Ten leaders, would give James E. Delany, who has overseen the league since 1989, and a powerful committee of conference presidents the ability to penalize individual members of an institution, should their actions significantly harm the league's reputation.The sanctions, spelled out in a document obtained by The Chronicle, could include financial penalties, suspension, or termination of employment.
The proposal, which has not been approved, is part of an 18-page plan prompted by problems at Penn State, where a former assistant football coach repeatedly molested children on campus property while university leaders turned a blind eye.
Imagine the reaction this would get if it were circulated among Southeastern Conference schools. The torch and pitchfork parades would stream from all corners of the conference geography and wouldn't stop until Mike Slive was hauled out, tarred & feathered, drawn & quartered, and then summarily executed just to make sure.
This may not even be legally possible. It would grant the commissioner the authority to intervene in a private contract negotiated by two willing parties. If both of those parties want that contract to remain in place and there are no overarching legal reasons for it not to be, it's hard to see courts allowing a third party with no interests at stake intervene to negate it.
The suggestion comes as part of a plan the conference is crafting in response to the Sandusky scandal at Penn State. It's a clear instance of overreach, likely brought on by high emotions and the urge to be seen as "doing something."