OK, that’s not exactly what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz had to say about the amazing chain of events that might signal the end of the Big 12, the genesis of a Pac 16 and an unmistakable shift of power in college athletics. “When Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman (above) said that Nebraska was more ‘aligned’ with the Big Ten™s academics, culture and athletics, it wasn™t even a half-truth,” argues Schultz. “It was a one-third truth.”

This isn™t about culture. It™s certainly not about academics. (Was Nebraska also pondering jumping to the Ivy?) Football and economics are driving all of this. This is about television contracts and conference championship games, not students in Lincoln being exposed to the theater in Iowa City.

Why can™t somebody in a suit just admit that?

We spend so much time banging on athletes for grabbing the money in free agency but claiming the contract offer had little to do with the decision. (Pitcher Mike Hampton captains this squad. He signed a $121 million free agent contract with Colorado in 2001 and then declared he wanted to be a Rockie because of Denver™s œschool system.) We jump on players and coaches for lacking loyalty to anything other than direct deposit.

This is a good time to call out the school administrators.

If the traditions and ideals of college athletics have been deteriorating for the past 20 years, they™re not deteriorating any more. They™ve done been blown up.