In Michigan
6:26 pm
Thu June 24, 2010

2 Iowa US senators question Big Ten expansion

WASHINGTON –

Iowa's two U.S. senators are asking Big Ten Conference officials to disclose their expansion plans and release financial information about the league's cable television network.

Republican Chuck Grassley and Democrat Tom Harkin made the request in a June 10 letter they sent to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. The letter was sent a day before university presidents voted to admit the University of Nebraska.

Associate Commissioner Scott Chipman confirmed that the conference received the letter.

In the letter, Grassley and Harkin questioned how the Big Ten's expansion efforts fit with its nonprofit status. Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees tax-exempt organizations.

The Big Ten Conference, which already has 11 members, has not said whether it plans additional expansion beyond adding Nebraska to the league as a 12th team for the 2011-12 school year.