ESPN: A Sad Weekend For The Big East | The Boneyard

ESPN: A Sad Weekend For The Big East

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HuskyNan

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Well, I disagree. The Big East started as a basketball conference and eventually grew into a basketball powerhouse. As teams shuffled in and out, the financial focus of the league, if not its interest, skewed towards football. It's neither a right nor a wrong thing that this happened, it's simply a reflection of the way that college athletics has been evolving (or devolving, depending on your point of view).

The Big East added Cincy, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette with the intention of eventually splitting into two leagues - one for bball onlies and one for football. The real shame here isn't that the Big East is finally doing it, it's that the Big East has dragged its feet on reorganizing and let other leagues make decisions for it.
 

Icebear

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Well, I disagree. The Big East started as a basketball conference and eventually grew into a basketball powerhouse. As teams shuffled in and out, the financial focus of the league, if not its interest, skewed towards football. It's neither a right nor a wrong thing that this happened, it's simply a reflection of the way that college athletics has been evolving (or devolving, depending on your point of view).

The Big East added Cincy, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette with the intention of eventually splitting into two leagues - one for bball onlies and one for football. The real shame here isn't that the Big East is finally doing it, it's that the Big East has dragged its feet on reorganizing and let other leagues make decisions for it.

+1
 

Ozzie Nelson

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As in much of life, just follow the money to understand the trail.
 

EricLA

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Well, I disagree. The Big East started as a basketball conference and eventually grew into a basketball powerhouse. As teams shuffled in and out, the financial focus of the league, if not its interest, skewed towards football. It's neither a right nor a wrong thing that this happened, it's simply a reflection of the way that college athletics has been evolving (or devolving, depending on your point of view).

The Big East added Cincy, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette with the intention of eventually splitting into two leagues - one for bball onlies and one for football. The real shame here isn't that the Big East is finally doing it, it's that the Big East has dragged its feet on reorganizing and let other leagues make decisions for it.
i don't disagree with the first half of your post, but did the BE really drag it's feet? they did add TCU thinking it made it's football footprint stronger, but not strong enough as Syracuse and Pitt were aggressive in looking elsewhere.

the BE wasn't ever going to get any teams from the SEC, Pac 10, ACC or Big 10. their only hope was to poach the Big 12 and hope that made the conference strong enough. i'm not sure if even with Kansas, K-State, Iowa, and whoever else they would have been strong enough to fight off a raid. you may be right - but i'm not sure what they could have done.

maybe their outdated marriage in holding on so tightly to the football AND hoops concept is what did them in. the whole idea of growing to 10 or 12 football teams and 20 or 22 hoops teams was never going to work. perhaps if they had split sooner they might have been able to survive.
 

Icebear

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I think the Big East has been slow on the uptake with this whole thing from the start. They failed to understand the situation with Miami and BC and then lost VA Tech to boot with them. They failed to place any real deep pocket restricitions like the ACC did to really detain anyone deciding to continue to seek new relationships. 5 million is nothing in today's market and the ACC's 20 million may not be enough. Louisville was added and USF but clearly that was not enough or Pitt and Syracuse would have found more reason to stay. The football schools should have compeltely gone their own way 5 years ago and worked hard to strengthen their numbers. Instead we now stand where we are.
 

EricLA

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I think the Big East has been slow on the uptake with this whole thing from the start. They failed to understand the situation with Miami and BC and then lost VA Tech to boot with them. They failed to place any real deep pocket restricitions like the ACC did to really detain anyone deciding to continue to seek new relationships. 5 million is nothing in today's market and the ACC's 20 million may not be enough. Louisville was added and USF but clearly that was not enough or Pitt and Syracuse would have found more reason to stay. The football schools should have compeltely gone their own way 5 years ago and worked hard to strengthen their numbers. Instead we now stand where we are.
i don't disagree with that at all. however what schools do you add? even if we'd split 5 years ago, the BE was NEVER going to get any teams from the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, SEC or Pac 10. that leaves schools like TCU, Eastern Carolina, Central Florida, Houston, Temple, Boise State, Memphis, Army, Navy, and maybe a few others. what would you have had the BE do? who would you have had them go after to make the conference strong enough? if the Big 12 couldn't stay together, how did you expect the BE to?

I'd be very curious to read something from Pitt and Syracuse as to why now. if the BE wasn't so married to the hoops schools (ie. a culture that gave equal weight to hoops and football), if this would have been avoided. or if there was nothing the BE could have done to prevent this. we may never know...
 

HuskyNan

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i don't disagree with the first half of your post, but did the BE really drag it's feet? they did add TCU thinking it made it's football footprint stronger, but not strong enough as Syracuse and Pitt were aggressive in looking elsewhere.

It took 5 years for the Big East to secure another football school into the league. And now what was the Big East supposed to do with 9 teams? Where there any negotiations with other schools? If so, those discussions were better kept secrets than the D-Day planning sessions. There are schools that were begging to be let into the Big East - Memphis, ECU and Central Florida, for example. Even if the Big East didn't want those schools, couldn't they parlay that interest as a kind of lure to other schools, kind of what the ACC is doing now?

Meanwhile, a couple years ago, the league brings in a football guy, Paul Tagliabue, who apparently was working to keep the ungainly 16 team football/basketball mish-mash together. What a boondoggle! Of course the basketball onlies don't want to lose the football schools - the payout for one BCS bowl is huge and they get to share the rewards without investing in an expensive sport.

According to today's Boston Globe, Marinatto's performance as BEast commissioner is coming under scrutiny, and rightfully so. To say he has been inept is a pretty generous assessment of his "accomplishments" to date.
 

EricLA

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It took 5 years for the Big East to secure another football school into the league. And now what was the Big East supposed to do with 9 teams? Where there any negotiations with other schools? If so, those discussions were better kept secrets than the D-Day planning sessions. There are schools that were begging to be let into the Big East - Memphis, ECU and Central Florida, for example. Even if the Big East didn't want those schools, couldn't they parlay that interest as a kind of lure to other schools, kind of what the ACC is doing now?

Meanwhile, a couple years ago, the league brings in a football guy, Paul Tagliabue, who apparently was working to keep the ungainly 16 team football/basketball mish-mash together. What a boondoggle! Of course the basketball onlies don't want to lose the football schools - the payout for one BCS bowl is huge and they get to share the rewards without investing in an expensive sport.

According to today's Boston Globe, Marinatto's performance as BEast commissioner is coming under scrutiny, and rightfully so. To say he has been inept is a pretty generous assessment of his "accomplishments" to date.
I totally agree with you - adding TCU took too long, but even if they actively pursued any of the schools you and/or I mentioned, how does that make the conference strong enough? let's say 5 years ago the BE football program splits off completely and becomes the Eastern Conference. you have the 8 schools. TCU is looked at 5 years ago and is added 4 years ago. who else makes the conference strong enough to withstand a raid?

i think the BE was done years ago when they lost Miami, Va Tech and BC. if the football schools had been smarter (or perhaps psychic), they could have tried to keep those 3 and added L'ville, TCU, and whoever making the football conference of whatever we had plus those schools. still, once they left, i'm not sure there WAS a scenario out there where the BE could have survived. but you are right - if the football schools weren't so married to the hoops only schools, at least people could have said "well they did all they could have"...
 
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It took 5 years for the Big East to secure another football school into the league. And now what was the Big East supposed to do with 9 teams? Where there any negotiations with other schools? If so, those discussions were better kept secrets than the D-Day planning sessions. There are schools that were begging to be let into the Big East - Memphis, ECU and Central Florida, for example. Even if the Big East didn't want those schools, couldn't they parlay that interest as a kind of lure to other schools, kind of what the ACC is doing now?

Meanwhile, a couple years ago, the league brings in a football guy, Paul Tagliabue, who apparently was working to keep the ungainly 16 team football/basketball mish-mash together. What a boondoggle! Of course the basketball onlies don't want to lose the football schools - the payout for one BCS bowl is huge and they get to share the rewards without investing in an expensive sport.

According to today's Boston Globe, Marinatto's performance as BEast commissioner is coming under scrutiny, and rightfully so. To say he has been inept is a pretty generous assessment of his "accomplishments" to date.

I agree totally. The time for the BE to evolve has passed by with little to show. This change is sudden and uncomfortable with some nasty edges, but at the same time it is challenging and exciting. I grew up in the old Yankee Conference days but got the college BB bug living for ten years in Durham, N.C. where work stopped during the ACC Tournaments. I personally hope that UConn does join the ACC for the sport. My only concern is with the bureaucratic size of the new alignments.
 

Icebear

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i don't disagree with that at all. however what schools do you add? even if we'd split 5 years ago, the BE was NEVER going to get any teams from the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, SEC or Pac 10. that leaves schools like TCU, Eastern Carolina, Central Florida, Houston, Temple, Boise State, Memphis, Army, Navy, and maybe a few others. what would you have had the BE do? who would you have had them go after to make the conference strong enough? if the Big 12 couldn't stay together, how did you expect the BE to?

I'd be very curious to read something from Pitt and Syracuse as to why now. if the BE wasn't so married to the hoops schools (ie. a culture that gave equal weight to hoops and football), if this would have been avoided. or if there was nothing the BE could have done to prevent this. we may never know...

Eric, my feelings are that the BE should have been on top of the situation before they ever lost Miami, VA Tech and BC. If they had made the split with the hoops schools right then and there and brought in lville and USF right then and there the conference would have been stronger than the ACC. Miami, VA Tech, Pitt , WVU, BC, UConn, Louisville, Syracuse, Rutgers, USF. A nice ten teams to start with.
 

tigger

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It took 5 years for the Big East to secure another football school into the league. And now what was the Big East supposed to do with 9 teams? Where there any negotiations with other schools? If so, those discussions were better kept secrets than the D-Day planning sessions. There are schools that were begging to be let into the Big East - Memphis, ECU and Central Florida, for example. Even if the Big East didn't want those schools, couldn't they parlay that interest as a kind of lure to other schools, kind of what the ACC is doing now?

Meanwhile, a couple years ago, the league brings in a football guy, Paul Tagliabue, who apparently was working to keep the ungainly 16 team football/basketball mish-mash together. What a boondoggle! Of course the basketball onlies don't want to lose the football schools - the payout for one BCS bowl is huge and they get to share the rewards without investing in an expensive sport.

According to today's Boston Globe, Marinatto's performance as BEast commissioner is coming under scrutiny, and rightfully so. To say he has been inept is a pretty generous assessment of his "accomplishments" to date.

Nan, first I think I get your orignal point---if the BE had kept up with and kept happy, their members---it may not have come to this.
Also, couldn'tthey have looked at Tulsa, LATech, So. Miss., SMU, Miami, OH, etc.?

But I think we all realize that the beginning of the end started when the ACC took Miami and VTech. Those were traditional, reliable FB TV/Bowl guarantees that the BE had. At that point, the BE became like the step-sister to the other 5 in general---regardless of the men's and women's BB successes. AND they made NO known attempts to try to fill that revenue gap left solely due to FB. Instead, the BE chose to ignore the revenue loss and contributed to this attitude by having God only knows how many teams in any given season JUST for basketball. That, at the very least, gave the appearance of focus on BB--both to members and other schools and fans..

and the rest is history in the making...
 

HuskyNan

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But I think we all realize that the beginning of the end started when the ACC took Miami and VTech. Those were traditional, reliable FB TV/Bowl guarantees that the BE had. At that point, the BE became like the step-sister to the other 5 in general---regardless of the men's and women's BB successes. AND they made NO known attempts to try to fill that revenue gap left solely due to FB. Instead, the BE chose to ignore the revenue loss and contributed to this attitude by having God only knows how many teams in any given season JUST for basketball. That, at the very least, gave the appearance of focus on BB--both to members and other schools and fans..

Yes, you're right. Tranghese is the first guy to drop the ball. No, check that. He never had the ball in the first place. He was blindsided when Miami & VA Tech left. I have no idea what he was doing while the ACC dithered over selecting BC or Syracuse as it's final team.

He should have had an inkling something was in the air but even if he didn't, he should have been looking forward and planning how to handle the evolving football/basketball schism years before the ACC came calling. Instead he secured "promises" from the existing BEast members that they would stay. BC made that promise about a week before it bolted to the ACC. Yeesh.

But it seems to me since then that the BEast administration has been working feverishly - to keep the existing league together. Idiots. They needed to be proactive, not reactive and now look at the mess the league is in.
 

EricLA

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Eric, my feelings are that the BE should have been on top of the situation before they ever lost Miami, VA Tech and BC. If they had made the split with the hoops schools right then and there and brought in lville and USF right then and there the conference would have been stronger than the ACC. Miami, VA Tech, Pitt , WVU, BC, UConn, Louisville, Syracuse, Rutgers, USF. A nice ten teams to start with.
well yes that is 100% correct IMHO as well. shoulda, woulda, coulda right? at this point now, we are left scrambling as is RU, LVille and WVU. i have a feeling USF and Cinci will be completely left out... and i'm not sure about L'ville...
 

RadyLady

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Well, I disagree. The Big East started as a basketball conference and eventually grew into a basketball powerhouse. As teams shuffled in and out, the financial focus of the league, if not its interest, skewed towards football. It's neither a right nor a wrong thing that this happened, it's simply a reflection of the way that college athletics has been evolving (or devolving, depending on your point of view).

The Big East added Cincy, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette with the intention of eventually splitting into two leagues - one for bball onlies and one for football. The real shame here isn't that the Big East is finally doing it, it's that the Big East has dragged its feet on reorganizing and let other leagues make decisions for it.

I agree
 

Icebear

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well yes that is 100% correct IMHO as well. shoulda, woulda, coulda right? at this point now, we are left scrambling as is RU, LVille and WVU. i have a feeling USF and Cinci will be completely left out... and i'm not sure about L'ville...
But the issue being discussed was the BE dragging their feet and so woulda, coulda, shoulda is the topic. And they dropped the ball.
 

EricLA

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But the issue being discussed was the BE dragging their feet and so woulda, coulda, shoulda is the topic. And they dropped the ball.
i think everyone agrees the beginning of the end was 5 years ago when they let Miami, BC, and Va Tech go. that was when the ball was dropped. they replaced them with Cinci and L'ville for football. in light of being unable go to back and change history from 5 years ago, but learning from the past, what would you have had the BE do in the past few years? how would you have stopped Pitt and Syracuse from leaving? of course they dropped the ball. but would splitting off 2 years ago, adding TCU then, have kept Syracuse and Pitt?

it's super easy to point the finger. it seems to me the huge mistake occurred 5 years ago and i haven't seen one person come up with a plausible scenario that could have been done in the 5 years after the raid that could have saved the big east. so my question remains to anyone who has a suggestion - what would you have done in the past 5 years AFTER the raid that could have saved the big east and prevented PItt and Syracuse from jumping?

even if the football schools split 2-3 years ago, what programs could they have added that would have saved the Big East? i made a list earlier of possible candidates - TCU, Houston, ECU, UCF, Army, Navy, Tulsa, Temple, Boise STate (am i missing anyone?) the BE was at 8 schools after Cinci and L'ville came aboard. what 2 or 4 schools listed (or unlisted) could we have lured to the BE to prevent what's going on now?

because even tho we now believe Baylor, Kansas, K-State, and maybe a few others from the Big 12 won't have a home doesn't mean we could have lured them 2 years ago.

to that end, i haven't seen a single person offer up a solution. so the problem was 5 years ago, not the recent foot dragging...

and by the way, i'm not saying there even IS a scenario where the Big East could have been saved. MAYBE the best bet would have been for the football schools to have sat down months ago when the Big 12 started breaking up and see what schools they could poach from there. would adding TCU and several Big 12 schools have saved the BE? would any of them have even thought about leaving with Texas still there? i TOTALLY agree the powers that be in the BE were short sighted and sat on their collective hands... i'm just not sure there WAS any solution out there...
 

fleudslipcon

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The funny thing is if UConn and Rutgers end up in the ACC, all the original BE football schools, outside of WV who may be going to the SEC, will be reunited in the ACC. And they did have a great run with the BE conference while it lasted.

In spite of the best intentions to screw things up the situation didn't deviate that much from the original desires of the various BE football interests.
 

Kibitzer

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The Big East has been a basketball conference (the best!) that also had football teams. The other major conferences have been football conferences with other sports, including basketball. Would any other conference allow Notre Dame in to play bb but not football? I think not.
 
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