Football

Two-Minute Drill: Kevin Warren Speaks at Big Ten Media Days

INDIANAPOLIS — Big Ten conference commissioner Kevin Warren spoke with the media on Tuesday at Big Ten football media days.

Here is a summary of what was said.

Kevin Warren

+ The Big Ten is the only A5 conference that has all of its coaches back this year. “We have all 14 of our football coaches back this year, which shows the strength, the continuity of our coaches and our conference.”

+ On USC and UCLA, “these are two academic and athletic institutions and a strong location in Los Angeles with great rich history and tradition, who are innovative, who are forward thinking, who are bold, who will make us even stronger as a conference. And I look forward to welcoming these two fine institutions into the Big Ten Conference, to working with them, to making our conference even stronger than it already is.”

+ The Big Ten will continue to be creative, innovative, and bold.

+ Warren is a big proponent of name, image, and likeness. He is grateful that many student-athletes have had the ability to monetize NIL. However, he is frustrated with the “patchwork” state legislation and pushes for federal legislation to put in additional guardrails to make it cleaner and make sure that it is not used as a recruiting inducement.

+ On further expansion for the Big Ten, Warren said the future may include future expansion but it will be done for the right reasons at the right time.

+ “We are in a perpetual state of evaluating what’s next for college athletics, what’s next for the Big Ten Conference, what’s next for College Football Playoff, what’s next for the NCAA, what’s next for the Transformation Committee, and what’s next for the future of how we operate in this environment called college athletics. Our bowls, our partnerships.”

+ On the concerns of athletes flying over time zones and coast to coast to play games and matches with the addition of USC and UCLA, Warren said Northwestern and Nebraska are going to Dublin, Ireland to play in a game and he looks at that as a positive from an academic standpoint. “And what we’ll do is we’ll work through these next two years from a scheduling component to make sure that we create the environment that’s most healthy and holistic for our student-athletes, which is one of the reasons I’ve started the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to be able to listen to them to say what’s important.”

+ On conference revenue sharing, Warren said USC and UCLA will come in as full members. They bring a lot of value to the relationship.

+ “I’m 100 percent supportive of College Football Playoff expansion.” As far as the right number, Warren said “we’ll figure it out. I’m confident we’ll get College Football Playoff expansion resolved. I feel very strongly that we need to open it up to have multiple media partners, that we need to have from the college football standpoint. We need to take a holistic view. We need to make sure we protect some of the critical bowl relationships.”

+ On mental health, Warren said it is top of mind and he is very passionate about bringing visibility to mental health and wellness. “We’re working on it every single day to amplify and bring awareness to this issue. So I look forward to making sure that we continually be the change agent in college athletics to move the dial in the right direction.”

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