Report: Nebraska athletic director Alberts says next rounds of expansion ‘will be far more disruptive’ 

The future of conference realignment is fascinating. 

The Big Ten Conference is set to expand to 18 programs beginning in 2024 after Oregon and Washington announced plans to join the conference in early August. 

According to Amie Just of the Lincoln Star Journal, Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts foresees further conference expansion and the need to prepare for something that hasn’t halted in recent years. 

“It’s more likely than not that there will be continued periods of angst,” Alberts said. “I believe that the next go-around — that’s my basic conclusion — will be far more disruptive than anything we’re currently engaged in.” 

Just also reported that Alberts said “concerns are valid and they’re real” regarding the effects that student-athletes will deal with in a new college athletics environment under the latest rounds of expansion. Student-athletes in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences among others will travel cross-country more than before. 

Alberts focused much of his vision for college athletics based on the television deals conferences are agreeing to, according to Just. Alberts said the cable bundling model “is falling apart,” leading to more emphasis on streaming-based opportunities. 

The Pac-12 Conference, which has been left with four teams after five schools announced their departures, has been near the center of media deal news since the calendar turned to August. 

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff presented conference presidents and chancellors with an Apple TV-based media deal that would have required the sales of subscriptions. The proposed plan didn’t work out, and now the Pac-12 is faced with a number of crucial directions to go. 

Nebraska is familiar with expansion efforts; the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten in 2011. 

And in the current state of college athletics, it appears Alberts and Nebraska expect more dominoes to fall in the latest round of realignment.