The Big Ten proudly announced that it was moving into a new conference headquarters in Rosemont, after 22 years of being located in a relatively nondescript, small two-story brick building in Park Ridge. The cost of the new facility: $20 million.
Additional millions are reportedly going to be spent on completion of a new museum in the same facility. The same day this front page news appeared in the Daily Herald, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander reported that 80 coaches and athletic department staffers, from the University of Nebraska, a Big Ten school, will get the use of free cars. The value of these free cars is estimated to be $2.25 million.
Additionally, 50 lucky staffers also get free country-club memberships paid for by the Husker Athletic Wheel Club. All of this largesse naturally comes on the backs of the Big Ten's football and basketball "athlete-students," juxtaposition of student-athletes intended, who in return are susceptible to losing their scholarships and eligibility if they so much as accept a meal from the wrong person.
Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny "Football," last year's Heisman Trophy winner, as a freshman, purportedly set off a "holier than thou" NCAA investigation into selling his signature to a memorabilia merchant for a monetary value of four figures. Yes, four figures, a few thousand dollars.
The NCAA, Big Ten, ACC, SEC and the rest of the major conferences are reaping tens of millions of dollars while some athlete-students are wondering at times if the hamburger and fries they are eating might cost them their college careers simply because someone else bought it for them.