Cleveland's Latest Sucker Punch Delivered by the Big Ten

Downtown ClevelandThis upcoming season, the Big Ten Conference will expand from 11 to 12 schools, when the University of Nebraska officially relocates away from the Big 12 Conference.  As a result, the league will begin playing a football championship game. This year's inaugural contest will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on December 3. Indy is also in the final year of an arrangement to host the Big Ten's men's and women's basketball tournaments.

Due to the openings that exist after 2011, the city of Cleveland was hoping to join the mix of potential locations for these future events. After all, it is in the home state of the conference's largest school (Ohio State). Unfortunately for LeBron James' former place of employment, Big Ten officials did not share the same mindset as the folks from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Prior to the annual conference meetings in Chicago, commissioner Jim Delaney and the rest of the league brass made it clear that they were only interested in hearing bids from Indianapolis and Chicago. Cleveland was pretty much told to take a hike.

Greater Cleveland Sports Commission president David Gilbert was not pleased with the conference's stance.

"We were very disappointed. Obviously, it's their decision, but I think there were a number of other potentially very good cities, including Cleveland, that they dismissed without looking at it. I think that we could have been very good for them. But that's their call, and we'll stand ready when they're ready to look at other cities."