Jay Simpson | The bigger, the better, even for student-athletes

Sep. 10—The Big Ten is expanding to the West Coast, and I think it's brilliant.

A lot of people believe it's unfair to student-athletes because of all the travel and the longer distances, but I think it's just preparation for the next level.

In the NBA or NFL, players travel across the country weekly — that's just what comes with it. How I look at it is, the longer the flight, the more time for schoolwork or bonding with teammates and staff. The closest teams tend to win more, so I would look at it as win-win situation.

With the expansion, not only will athletes get to travel to different parts of the country but they will get to experience different styles of play as well. It will be beneficial for them because it's going to be something new and will force them to adjust on the fly. You can prepare all week in practice, but things can change when it's game time.

A Purdue, I remember all of our road trips because they were so fun. At the time, we flew with Miami Air International, a very popular airline for professional and high-level college teams.

It was luxurious with big, comfortable reclining chairs with the most legroom I've ever seen on a plane. The flight attendants were amazing and the pilot was friendly, always greeting us as we got on the plane.

The experience was one of a kind, and if I could go back and do it over, I absolutely would.

I'm happy the Big Ten is expanding and giving these student-athletes new experiences.

I already believed the Big Ten was the best conference in the country; with these new additions, it puts the icing on the cake.