The conference’s 100-plus years of history, strong tradition of competitive intercollegiate athletic programs, vast and passionate alumni base, and consistent leadership in innovations position the Big Ten and its entire community firmly on the Big Stage. The Big Ten leads all conferences with more than 4.4 million living alumni and over 300,000 undergraduate students attending Big Ten universities.
Big Ten universities provide more than $112 million in direct financial aid to more than 8,700 men and women student-athletes who compete for 25 championships, 12 for men and 13 for women. Conference institutions sponsor broad-based athletic programs with 275 teams. Other than the Ivy League, the Big Ten has the most broad-based athletic programs in the United States.
TOP ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
Big Ten universities are members of the nation’s only conference whose constituency is entirely composed of institutions that are members of the AAU, a prestigious association of major academic and research institutions in the United States and Canada. Big Ten student-athletes graduated at 70.6 percent, compared with the average for all Division I student-athletes of 64 percent, based on the most recent federal graduation rate average for 1999-2002 freshman classes. In addition, the Big Ten’s latest Graduation Success rate is 82 percent, compared to the Division I average of 79 percent.
MORE TELEVISION EXPOSURE
The Big Ten’s media agreements with CBS Sports, ABC/ESPN, the Big Ten Network and CBS College Sports Network provide the conference with its greatest television exposure ever. In 2006, the Big Ten created the first national conference-owned television network devoted to the athletic and academic programs of a single conference. The Big Ten Network is now available to an estimated 75 million households through agreements with more than 300 cable, satellite and telco affiliates in all 50 states and Canada.
NATION’S BEST FANS
Big Ten fans are some of the nation’s most supportive, with more than 8.9 million patrons attending conference home contests during the 2009-10 seasons for football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball alone. Over the last three decades, the conference has ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 nationally in football, men’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling attendance and among the top three in women’s basketball.
The Big Ten leads all conferences with national titles in 13 different NCAA-sponsored championships since 2000-01. Over that time period, the Big Ten has produced championships in cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.