Report: Oregon has had 'preliminary discussions' with Big Ten about joining league
Oregon has initiated preliminary discussions with the Big Ten in Chicago to determine if the Ducks are “compatible” in the conference, according to a new report from The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy.
The Big Ten — after just recently announcing a record media rights deal that includes escalators should it add more teams — is not done expanding just yet, and Oregon has long been a rumored connection. However, according to McMurphy’s report, none of Oregon president Michael H. Schill, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens, or Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren were involved in those discussions that reportedly took place.
Oregon initiated preliminary discussions in Chicago w/Big Ten to determine if Ducks are compatible in B1G, source told @ActionNetworkHQ. Outgoing UO president Michael Schill, AD Rob Mullens & B1G commish Kevin Warren not involved in any discussions in Chicago, another source said
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 22, 2022
John Canzano — a longtime Pac-12 insider based out of Oregon — wrote on Monday that if none of the official power players for the university were involved in any discussions, it could be Phil Knight and Tinker Hatfield serving as the contingent in Chicago.
Conference realignment is always a fickle thing to follow. Five people will tell you five different things. The timeline could be multiple years, and it could be multiple weeks. Warren recently said he could see the Big Ten expanding to 20 teams, but he also said at Big Ten Media Days expansion would happen for the right reasons “at the right time,” and recent reporting has suggested the league might not start making moves again for months.
SI’s Ross Dellenger also offered a bit of context on the reported exploratory conversations:
If your school is not in the SEC or Big Ten, your school has probably expressed interest/discussed Big Ten and/or SEC membership.
In fact, while talking to Dan Patrick recently, Greg Sankey revealed he often receives calls from non-SEC school presidents expressing interest.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 22, 2022