Sports Sideshow Brings Unexpected Publicity for Usually Sedate AAU Meeting

April 19, 2010

The semi-annual gathering of the Association of American Universities is one of the least visible events you can imagine. The group of leading research universities, which tends to like to operate quietly, doesn't even promote the meeting on its own website. But the meeting that began Sunday in Washington is generating some unusual interest in unusual places -- like at ESPN. That's because the presidents of the Big Ten Conference are using the conference as a setting for their continuing discussions about adding new members, since all of the league's current 11 members belong to the AAU and its meeting is one of the relatively few times they all gather in one place, as the Chicago Tribune pointed out. ESPN confirmed that they will be joined there by the conference's commissioner, James E. Delany. The Big Ten's expansion plans could help to reshape the college sports landscape, especially if the league seeks to add Big East powers like Rutgers or Syracuse University or the University of Pittsburgh, Big 12 Conference institutions like the University of Missouri at Columbia -- or the University of Notre Dame.

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