Big Ten, Pinstripe Bowl agree to deal
NEW YORK (AP)
The Big Ten and the Pinstripe Bowl have agreed to an 8-year deal that the conference hopes will help claim New York as its territory.
The conference's affiliation with the three-year-old bowl game will begin in 2014.
''When we began planning we had an objective to end up in New York at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl,'' Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Monday during a news conference at Yankee Stadium. ''We're in the east now with Maryland and Rutgers. Not only is New York the financial capital, sports capital of the country, but it is the place you need to be if you truly want to present a national slate of bowl games.''
Delany appeared with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine, and other Yankees officials.
''No doubt having the Big Ten is going to take (the Pinstripe Bowl) to new heights,'' Steinbrenner said. ''My family can definitely be considered a Big Ten family. My mother went to Ohio State. Dad (the late George Steinbrenner) coached football at Northwestern and Purdue. So from a family standpoint we're very excited.''
The Big Ten will take the Big 12's place in the game. It was a natural addition to the Big Ten's bowl lineup after the league invited Rutgers, located in nearby Piscataway, N.J., and Maryland. Those schools will join the Big Ten in 2014.
The Pinstripe Bowl has been matching the Big East against the Big 12 since it started in 2010.
The Big East has won all three Pinstripe Bowls so far, with Syracuse winning two and Rutgers one. But the Big East is about to become the American Athletic Conference and neither Syracuse nor Rutgers will be in the league by 2014.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is the front-runner to land the other spot in the Pinstripe Bowl, though the American has been working to maintain a relationship with the postseason game its officials helped start.
Syracuse is joining the ACC with another former Big East member, Pittsburgh, this year. Louisville leaves for the ACC next year.
Pinstripe Bowl Executive Director Mark Holtzman declined to comment on which conference will be matched against the Big Ten, but said an announcement will likely come within the next couple weeks.
Yankees had hoped to land the Big Ten when the bowl first started, but the league was hesitant to align itself with a startup game.
''The bowl has got a track record now, it's built some momentum. I think the Big East and the Big 12 contributed to that,'' Delany said. ''I think if we hadn't expanded we would have had a great interest. I think having expanded it really drove home the decision for us.''
Delany said the Big Ten will not be locked into sending a team from a specific slot in the standings to the Pinstripe Bowl — or to any of its bowls outside the College Football Playoff system.
''All of us in college football are making an effort to sort of change from a system of pure selection to a system of working with the bowl and the conference to place a team that makes sense,'' he said. ''That means for us we're going to try to get over an 8-year period, a minimum of six and a maximum of eight different teams here.''