Sure, thats all interesting info, but as far as the Big 10, they would be interested in an institution that adds great value to their ranks as similarly quoted by Commissioner Delaney about expansion about three years ago. An AAU membership would be something they would want to see in a member, among other academic characteristics, that is not Notre Dame.
The important thing is to put yourself in the shoes of the people that make decisions on expansion, the University Presidents and Chancelors and think of what they may be thinking when it comes to expansion. Not that the Big 10 is anywhere close to expanding right now.
I am not disagreeing with your message, Metropolitan.
The Big Ten, as we know, did offer an opening to Notre Dame around 1999. It was about harnessing their athletic attributes, mainly football, and encompassing their national fan base and impressive marketability. The Big 10 can exclaim AAU all it wants in talking about expansion, they did not invite Notre Dame because of their Sociology Department. Neither did Maurice Claret play for Ohio State because of his projected gpa and intellectual curiosity.
Agreed, Notre Dame is different from other B10s', excluding Northwestern, in that it is private, among other characteristics such as student body size. Northwestern has the independent governance and a greater research mission. While Notre Dame does have at least three graduate schools, their emphasis is undergraduate education.
As I alluded to in my prior post, there is also a reason that among the AAU membership, their is a notable absence of the multiple fine Roman Catholic Universities. In itself, Notre Dame not being a member of AAU would be an issue for the Big10, but should not, in itself, be a judgment of Notre Dame's academic quality within the confines of its mission (characteristic, yes; quality, not necessarily). Gezzz, I am defending why Notre Dame may not be B10 bound (I wouldn't want to excite TS2 too much! :)).
The Big 10's academic consortium is a lot about "show" (I know I will get missives about this ;D), minus the library exchanges, co-op conferences, funded faculty collaborations, etc. It does though, sell, and is something to flaunt internally and publicly. It is a convenient reference when faculty and certain other constituencies complain there is too much funding of, and emphasis on, college sports at the expense of other priorities. Athletics is core, and no football, it could disintegrate rather quickly. I am not sure what the University of Chicago would think.
If Notre Dame did join, and the Big 10 consortium was granted, by law, to conduct stem cell research, would Notre Dame be in a dilemma to participate? AAU?
"I think Notre Dame has an open invitation to join any conference at any time." Those a generally the words of Big Ten Commissioner Delaney back in 2003 regarding Notre Dame's invitation to join the Big Ten Conference:
Okay, found the exact quote from Delany:
'But what about Notre Dame? Delany again: “I would say that Notre Dame probably has a standing invitation to join any conference it chooses.”'
So its clear that Notre Dame is an exception. Its academics are top notch without being members of the AAU. In the recent Carnegie Classification, Notre Dame is classified in the highest Research/Doctorate category along with all the Big Ten schools, Research University/Very-High Research:
I don't think the Big Ten will require them to join the AAU. They are the exception to the rule.
Here are some other comments that are interesting regarding Big Ten expansion back in 2003.
Btw, Joe Pa wants Pittsburgh or Syracuse:
"I would like to add a 12th team," Paterno said in November. "Most of our coaches do, so we could have two divisions. I would hope it would go to Pitt or Syracuse, or somebody like that ..."
Bill Martin, AD of Michigan, stated the following about schools and academics:
"Frankly, we've heard a lot of discussion for as long as a year, a year and a half ago, that some of these moves could take place," Martin said Wednesday. "Obviously the (school) that's mentioned all the time is Notre Dame, but I think there's some other interest in looking at a school out East. I think one thing we'd want is a school with a strong academic reputation."
Also more quotes on Big Ten Expansion from that time:
The important bottom line from the Big Ten on expansion is this (from the above Purdue link, last series of paragraphs):
'The most important reason that the Big Ten should not expand is something that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has said every time that the expansion question has been asked. He says that a university that is being considered for addition has to bring something to the conference, not the other way around.
In other words, the newest addition should improve the conference not only athletically, but also academically.'