Commissioner Jim Delany wrote that the Big Ten could revert to a Division III non-scholarship model if former UCLA player Ed O'Bannon and others win a lawsuit seeking a share of television revenues, according to SI.com.
"It has been my longstanding belief that The Big Ten's schools would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth and activity of their athletic programs," Delany wrote in the declaration obtained by SI.com. "Several alternatives to a 'pay for play' model exist, such as the Division III model ... These alternatives would, in my view, be more consistent with The Big Ten's philosophy that the educational and lifetime economic benefits associated with a university education are the appropriate quid pro quo for its student athletes."
O'Bannon and other college football and basketball players have filed an antitrust lawsuit seeking a percentage of television revenues. If the NCAA loses the suit and is forced to pay some of the hundreds of millions in revenues, conferences like the Big Ten could be in a tough spot.
"It's not that we want to go Division III or go to need-based aid," Delany later told SI.com. "It's simply that in the plaintiff's hypothetical -- and if a court decided that Title IX is out and players must be paid -- I don't think we'd participate in that. I think we'd choose another option ... If that's the law of the land, if you have to do that, I don't think we would."