the Big Ten Conference


The Big Ten Conference, formerly Western Conference and Big Nine Conference, is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States.

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The conference, consisting of 14 members as of 2016, competes in the NCAA Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A, the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a non-profit association which regulates athletes of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations, and individuals.

Division I is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States.

Division 1 and variants may refer to:

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The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land grant schools and a private university.

Private universities are not operated by governments, although many receive tax breaks, public student loans, and grants.


The Big Ten Conference was established in 1895 when Purdue University president James H. Smart and representatives from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and University of Wisconsin gathered at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel to set policies aimed at regulating intercollegiate athletics.

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois and one of the world's leading and influential institutions of higher learning, with top ten positions in numerous rankings and measures.

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, also known as U of I, University of Illinois, UIUC, or simply Illinois, is a public research-intensive university in the U.S. state of Illinois.

Northwestern University is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois, with campuses in Chicago, Illinois, San Francisco, California and Doha, Qatar.


In 1905, the conference was officially incorporated as the "Intercollegiate Conference Athletic Association".


Big Ten member institutions are predominantly major flagship research universities with large financial endowments and strong academic reputations.

A university is an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees in various academic disciplines.


Large student enrollment is also a hallmark of Big Ten universities, as 12 of the 14 members feature enrollments of 30,000 or more students.


Northwestern University, one of just two full members with a total enrollment of fewer than 30,000 students, is the lone private university among Big Ten membership.


Collectively, Big Ten universities educate more than 520,000 total students and have 5.7 million living alumni.


Big Ten universities engage in $9.3 billion in funded research each year.


Though the Big Ten existed for nearly a century as an assemblage of universities located primarily in the Midwest, the conference's geographic footprint now spans from the state of Nebraska in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east.


Big Ten universities are also members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, an academic consortium.

A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance, formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference.


In 2014–2015, members generated more than $10 billion in research expenditures.


Despite the conference's name, the Big Ten has grown to fourteen members, with the following universities accepting invitations to join: Pennsylvania State University in 1990, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2011, and both the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in 2014.

The University of Maryland, College Park is a public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, approximately 4 miles from the northeast border of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1856, the university is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, commonly referred to as Rutgers University, Rutgers, or RU, is an American public research university and the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, often referred to as Nebraska, UNL or NU, is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States.


Johns Hopkins University was invited in 2012 to join the Big Ten as an associate member participating in men's lacrosse only.

Lacrosse is a contact team sport played between two teams using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick.

Johns Hopkins was an American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland.


In 2015, it was also accepted as an associate member in women's lacrosse.

Women's lacrosse, sometimes shortened to wlax or lax, is a sport played with twelve players on each team.


Notre Dame is scheduled to join the Big Ten in 2017 as an associate member in men's ice hockey.

Ice Hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points.

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