Someone just mentioned to me the other day that if Mike
Tranghese was still at the helm, this BIG EAST break up would never have
happened. Nonsense. Let’s remember that Mike was at the
helm when Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami (FL) departed.
Let’s get to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth. If my information is correct, the ACC, namely certain basketball coaches,
did not like the amount of exposure BIG EAST basketball was getting nationally
and the amount of tournament teams selected the past couple of seasons. Their feelings were made known at
conference meetings. Now true or untrue, you can’t tell me that Pitt and
Syracuse are making ACC football significantly better. In the last few years, they
have laid off more football staff coaches than Bank of America did with its
employees last week. Obviously
this is an exaggeration, but let’s
take a step back.
The leadership of Pittsburgh and the affiliation of head
coach Jamie Dixon are major reasons Texas Christian joined the BIG EAST. Distance questionable, but an extremely
good move football-wise. Before
their bodies were warm, they pulled a dixie to the ACC. So let’s not cast blame on any one
person. BIG EAST basketball became too strong and certain factions didn’t like
that fact. Remember, the ACC had that reputation and dominance in basketball
Let’s get to the bottom line of what needs to be done and
get back to somewhat of Dave Gavitt’s vision: to have strong athletic programs in major media markets. The Mission can still be accomplished.
There are obvious problems that still exist and solutions
We are not taking into strong consideration what women’s
sports and certain men’s sports will endure with all these conference
realignments. Unlike football and men’s basketball programs, these teams do not
fly private charters to their games. So including Texas and other states west of the Mississippi,
this poses a major travel problem with teams having 7 or 8 hours connecting
flights if not delayed. The same
is true for west schools traveling east. These athletes deserve better treatment athletically and academically. Before
everyone gets carried away with mega football conferences, they must realize
the incredible turmoil that non football and men’s basketball athletes will go
through in their athletic as well as academic lives. All of these sports will
be greatly affected by this difficult geographic alignment.
Presidents are the leaders of our Universities.
They are well schooled in budgets, fundraising, research, and in all specific
areas that make universities run as a successful machine. They should approve and have final say
on everything. However, when it
comes to athletics, they should defer strongly to their conference commissioner
and their athletic director.
Let the commissioner lead and support him. If some university thinks the grass is
greener, let them move on, pay their penance, and find out the truth. There is a laundry list of great universities
wanting to be a part of the BIG EAST and that's the attitude we need in our
Admit Temple immediately. They have a highly
competitive football program with outstanding basketball tradition. They are a past BIG EAST member and an excellent
school academically. And as all my friends say in Philadelphia, they are
located in BIG EAST territory.
Offer Air Force, Navy, and Army to join in
Location, Location, Location. We are far enough (Louisville) to be
part of the BIG EAST. Let’s think of all of our other sports from this point on
and make them a priority.
Sit down with Villanova and ask them to make a
major commitment to football.
Do not sit down at a conference table with
people already meeting with their divorce lawyer at the bargaining table - which
means trust the commissioner and let him do his job. If he does not get it done,
then it falls in his lap and he pays the consequence. I have known this
commissioner since he was 24 years of age. He is extremely bright and knows the
BIG EAST and their dealings better than anyone we can deal with at this point
Although we will miss Syracuse and Pitt, the
other powers in the BIG EAST will more than uphold our reputation to be one of
America’s best conferences.
Since Louisville joined the BIG EAST in the 2005-2006 season,
you may want to take a look at the most championships won by all of our
2. Louisville 40
3. Connecticut 34
4. Syracuse 17
5. Georgetown 12
8. Villanova 6
9. Cincinnati 5
12. Marquette 3
16. Seton Hall 1
It is time
for us to act and get back to upholding Dave Gavitt’s dreams and vision.