Mailbox: Readers say Big Ten should add entire Pac-12. And Notre Dame. And Boston College

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch

Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at bwhite1@dispatch.com.

USC and UCLA will join the Big Ten in 2024.

On Big Ten expansion

To Mr. White (possibly a Reservoir Dogs reference): Why not stop pussy footing around (with Big Ten expansion) with adding a mere two teams? Add the entire Pac-12. Great universities and sports. And to put it into terms the university administrators would clearly have an affinity – more television money. Just add Notre Dame and Boston College and you basically have the entire historical North covered. Plus I'll donate the new name of the new conference: The Union or The Big Union. Excitement abounds. The current Big Ten would boost up the conference in football but in many other collegiate sports the Pac-12 would be the standard. Go Bears, Go Bucks.

James Kellerman

To James: Your superconference sounds like it could have an Eastern champ play the Western champ in, say, the Rose Bowl. And it would be like nothing has changed! (And nice Dogs reference.)

To the editor: As soon as I saw we added USC and UCLA to the Big Ten (which I was 100% for) my next question was, OK, but you cannot expect those two schools to travel to the Midwest and East Coast to play 4-6 games. That is asking too much of them. So it's obvious that we need to also bring in Stanford, Oregon and Washington to offset that traveling issue. So, we are waiting on Notre Dame, but the Big Ten can’t wait forever. USC and UCLA starts in 2024. By that time they need to know what West Coast teams are coming with them. Schedules have to be made now.

More Big Ten news:What do Big Ten football coaches make of conference expansion?

Jesse James, Dublin

To Brian: Although Notre Dame football is playing hardball with NBC and still snubbing conference affiliation, looking at their attendance figures it seems like some of the luster might have left the Irish. The announced attendance at their home games used to always be their capacity. But this past year only two of seven home games sold out with their home opener having over 15,000 seats unsold. None of the other six games they played, including the Fiesta Bowl, came close to a full house with over 18,000 empty seats at Stanford's 50,000-seat stadium. There will probably be a pretty good crowd at their next game, however.  

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Dennis: One way to ensure sellouts at Notre Dame would be to join the Big Ten and have weekly waves of drive-in fans from around the conference.

Ohio State Buckeyes fans cheer during the first quarter of the NCAA football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

On Ohio State football's 'pro franchise'

Dear Mr. White: I just saw your piece on paying Ohio State players. Reminds me of something I wrote for the Huntington (West Virginia) Herald Dispatch.

Murray Sperber, in his book "Beer and Circus" noted that, "In America, since money measures the value of work, universities send clear signals with their pay scales." I think we're getting the unmistakenly "clear signal" that the "value" of "athlete-employees" far exceeds that of the most senior faculty at many of our higher education institutions. And this exposes the fraud of university "mission statements" touting the academic enterprise. 

More on the Big Ten:Ohio State is unanimous pick to win Big Ten in preseason football media poll

I am also reminded of Robert Atwell, of the Council on Higher Education, writing some 20 years ago that, "Some institutions are in the athletic entertainment business, not the education business." And this makes one wonder if those seeking educational services are going to ask why they must take on debt to pay athletics fees, cost of attendance fees and athletic tuition waivers, for "athlete-employees" in programs making tens of millions of dollars annually in broadcasting rights alone. 

James E. Joy, Ph.D., Huntington, W.Va.

To the editor: They already are a pro franchise! Arguably the best-run program outside of the SEC.

Bryant Burton

On the Blue Jackets

To Brian: I doubt I am the only reader who would like to see more articles about the Blue Jackets from Brian Hedger (he’s certainly not alone) that don’t dredge up ad nauseum the players who left Columbus, Columbus’ bad perception, why don’t people love Columbus like we do, etc.  I don’t understand why he and other great writers keep wallowing in this perceived civic inferiority complex. I count at least three such articles from him since Johnny Gaudreau signed. It’s not news, it’s not informative and it’s not fair to the fans, the team and the city. This team has an amazing future and the fans are stoked for the season to start. Can we drop the negativity and look forward?

Brent D. Rosenthal, Columbus

To Brent: Our fine writers merely reacted to what they're hearing around the league and the Blue Jackets' strong stance that the talk is not true. Hopefully this wave of signings puts an end to it.

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, right, addresses Deshaun Watson's off-the-field baggage during his introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on Friday.

Watsonpress 4

On the Browns

To the editor: The situation with Browns' acquisition of Deshaun Watson put a white-hot spotlight on the NFL commissioner, the league and the Browns. Frantic negotiations are underway to make the suspension short. Lawyers point out that there have been 30 sexual assault cases "settled out of court." But the NFL must acknowledge that 30 "settled cases" are not 30 acquittals. It's paying off 30 victims to not sue someone for sexual assault. And there are still four cases that haven't made it to court yet.

If he ever takes another snap in the NFL, then decades of talk about football building character, good sportsmanship, fairness, and respect for the rules was just a front to sell viewership. What would Lombardi think about all this?

Nicholas Russell, Columbus

To Nicholas: Lombardi would not have done a lot of things the Browns have done in recent decades. Signing Watson is only one of the things on that long list.

Jack Nicklaus takes pleasure in watching his putt drop for a birdie on the 17th hole at Augusta National in this April 13, 1986 file photo.

On great sports photos

Dear Mr. White: Kudos to Rob Oller for his story on best sports photos. Tough to argue with his six selections, and as long there are beer and bars folks will argue over the next half dozen on their lists. While we can agree a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s impossible for me not to hear Vern Lundquist’s beautifully succinct “Yes, SIR!” as Jack Nicklaus hoists his putter at the ’86 Masters. (For the record, Paul Azinger would have used 998 more words than Lundquist to capture the moment.) Conversely, one picture that will never make anyone’s list is the American League All-Stars’ battleship gray onesies from Tuesday night which can only be described as Chinese prison camp couture. How about we go back to pinstripes and other traditional garb?

Jon Armstrong, Columbus

More from The Mailbox

Ohio State is now a pro football team; school's NIL dealings don't feel right

PGA vs. LIV Golf dispute is maddening, confusing; Where's the Crew's defense?

Big Ten, SEC should break off on their own; Browns should trade Deshaun Watson

Ohio State coach Ryan Day should pay players himself, or give his cash to charity

Ryan Day just an average coach in SEC; and what car did Woody Hayes really drive?

An apology to Ohio State coach Ryan Day, and kudos to him for taking the cash

Why does Ryan Day need that much money? And what would Woody Hayes think?

Debate continues over Ryan Day's salary as Ohio State Buckeyes coach

Defending Jack Nicklaus, and wondering why Ryan Day makes so much money

Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher should know cheating in college football is not new

Get more Ohio State news by listening to our podcasts