This is not a good day for the Big Ten.

I like to believe that the Big Ten represents, all things considered, what bigtime universities ought to be in this country.

Great education. Critical molding of young people to be good citizens and keepers of the American flame. And of course, athletic teams that excel at the highest levels while adhering to principles of character.

I know that’s often a bunch of baloney. But I rationalize it by saying: “Well, every major conference has its flaws.’’ And by saying: “The money makes the stakes too high.’’ And by saying, “At least the Big Ten—’’

Oh, never mind.

This Urban Meyer situation is a huge reminder that the Big Ten—for all of commissioner Jim Delany’s lofty assertions, for all of the pronouncements about education and values, for all the fine people who fill all the historic stadiums on Saturdays—is a prisoner of success—both on the field and financially—just like everyone else. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.