The Gazette (a fine Iowa news institution) got a hold of emails circulating around the Big Ten in advance of the proposed rule changes to recruiting practices earlier this year. The email chain confirms much of what you may have suspected about the Big Ten as a football conference: they are cheap, bad at communication, and horrified at what other conferences would do if allowed to spend money on scouting departments.
Even Mark Emmert was taken aback by the sudden change of heart by the Big Ten. (Mark Emmert was more aware of what was going on here than the Big Ten. Consider where that puts the Big Ten on the awareness curve.) Big Ten institutions previously vetted the rule changes deregulating recruiting through "campus officials," and then changed their mind when the football coaches of the Big Ten suddenly understood that a.) those rules changes existed, and b.) this would open up spending on scouting staffs.
Please note that the Big Ten saw this and started panicking about spending money, and Alabama and other SEC schools probably started rounding up office chairs, whiteboards, and scouting office space.
Urban Meyer led the charge on this, and in terms of protecting his advantage in recruiting he would know as well as anyone in the Big Ten just how fast deregulation would happen in, say, an SEC territory. But something Kirk Ferentz actually said in the long discussion about recruiting regulations is what sticks in the eye like so many stray eyelashes:
Several Big Ten coaches voiced their concerns publicly to the changes, including Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, who said college athletics could become like Major League Baseball where the New York Yankees "start in the inside lane every year. They’ve got the biggest payroll."
Kirk Ferentz, who is 19-19 in his last three years as coach, makes $3.8 million dollars a year, has a titanic buyout, a nasty habit of trying to get family members on the payroll, and gave the assistant of the year award to his strength coach just after he'd sent 13 players to the hospital with rhabdomyolysis. That Kirk Ferentz and his ungodly buyout are pleading poverty in the face of spending more on recruiting.
In the weight room. In the community. In the email chain helping preserve the NCAA's insane superstructure of compliance investigators and specialists in the arcana of a morally bankrupt code of amateurism.
P.S. The alternative: endorsing the free-reign swamp con-artist millionaire tactics of the SEC! No one said you could win in life, and if they did they were lying.