Big Ten's official rules on membership and expelling a university (with Penn State poll)

  • Photo

Below is an excerpt of the Big Ten Handbook regarding rules and requirements for membership. These rules and bylaws are relevant to the ongoing scandal involving Penn State officials allegedly covering up details of sexual abuse by longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky:



Only a university having full and complete faculty control of its intercollegiate athletic programs may hold membership in the Conference. Faculty control is achieved whenever authority over a university's intercollegiate athletic programs is vested in a university agency composed entirely of faculty members or in which faculty members are in a majority.

While the Conference recognizes that final authority over all units of the member universities, including the faculties, rests in their governing bodies — trustees or regents — a member university becomes ineligible for membership in the Conference if it fails to respect the control, which it has delegated the university agency, for the university's intercollegiate athletics programs.

The Council shall receive from the Compliance Committee any recommendation to consider suspension or termination of a member university's Conference membership because of violations of applicable NCAA and Conference legislation on recruiting. The Council shall review the record and decision in the case, and shall hear an oral presentation by the Commissioner and the member university's Faculty Representative or designated representative as to their views on the appropriateness of the proposed suspension or termination of Conference membership. The Council shall then issue a written decision, with a copy being sent to the Commissioner, the involved member university and each Faculty Representative and Director of Athletics.

[polldaddy poll=6402212]



4.1.1 Composition. The Council consists of the chancellor or president of each member university, constituted for the purposes set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation and the Bylaws. The Council meets from time to time as set forth in the Bylaws. The terms "Board of Directors" and "Council of Presidents/Chancellors" are synonymous and interchangeable.

4.1.3. Duties and Responsibilities: Matters Reserved to the Council. The following policy matters are reserved to the Council. These may take effect only upon the vote of not less than 70 percent of the entire Council: (2011-12 handbook said 60 percent but was changed to 70 percent, according to Big Ten associate commissioner for communications Scott Chipman)

  • M. Admitting into membership and suspending, expelling, or placing on probation any member of the Conference.
  • NOTE (1): Matters concerning admission to or expulsion from the Conference are controlled by the Council. As a matter of practice, the Council normally would expect to take such action upon the recommendations of the Commissioner, with the endorsement of the Joint Group (consists of the Faculty Representatives and the mandated members of the Administrators Council [Directors of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrators. Each institution shall have one vote.)


6.01.1 Institutional Responsibility for Compliance. It shall be the responsibility of each member university:

  • F.4. Any member university which employs or retains on its athletic staff anyone who, upon inquiry by the Commissioner, intentionally falsifies or deliberately fails to provide complete and accurate information to the best of the individual's knowledge, may be required to show cause why its membership in the Conference should not be suspended or terminated.

Like what you're reading?

We make it easy to stay connected:

to our email newsletters
Download our free apps

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.