Of course Rutgers and athletic director Pat Hobbs would like a larger taste of television money before full integration but Jim Delany's Tuesday morning comments are not a deterrence for the vision of the department.
Rutgers and Maryland cannot expect any additional television revenue until their full 2021 integration, Delany said. Instead of complain, Hobbs focused on the positives in a Tuesday reaction to Scarlet Report.
“If you can get 13 presidents to agree to change the deal then that will be fine,” Hobbs said. “Look, we're delighted to be a part of the Big Ten Conference. Obviously it means very healthy things financially for us when we move forward. It's not too far away, and we can look at ways to level that out as we move forward. Those are discussions that we think we'll have with Dr. [Robert] Barchi as we go into the year.”
Big-picture alignment between athletics and academics remains a focus for Hobbs as he heads into the later half of his first year with Rutgers.
“The university has been tremendously supportive and they know that there's a financial backing for that coming down the road,” Hobbs said. “The good news is it's a very healthy time for the conference in terms of the media revenues and we'll be the beneficiaries of that on the not-too-distant future.”
Although Rutgers does not get a full taste, the reported new Big Ten television deal worth more than $2.6 billion shows the powers-that-be what eventually awaits the university.
“It proves the soundness of the decision to become part of the Big Ten,” Hobbs said. “It's wonderful that we got the invitation. Some leadership was responsible for that in the past and we're going to be the beneficiaries of that. Everybody can feel good because obviously athletics is an expensive proposition. You want to make sure that all of the resources of the university are being used wisely. I think this can get people, as they look forward, to say athletics will be a net contributor to the university.”
This marked the first for Hobbs at Big Ten Media Days after he took the job in December. Athletic director meetings were a significant part of his trip to Chicago alongside deputy director Sarah Baumgartner.
“You're always impressed by the people you're in the room with,” Hobbs said before the Big Ten luncheon event. “It brings home that we're part of an amazing conference with amazing teams with some incredible people and some incredible leadership and important issues to talk about. Obviously with some of the things that have happened across the country for student athletes, a particular renewed interest in making sure that our student athletes are well protected, whether it's from any type of sexual harassment or any other harassment.
“Some discussion again about time management for our students, but also about the broader issues facing society. How do we protect our stadiums? How do we protect our fans? Important issues at a time where you're still celebrating the beginning of the new season is something to be really excited about.”