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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:32 am 
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We have had some literary & musical allusions on some other threads. Being a big Hamurabi fan, I particularly liked the reference to his ancient code. :D For the purpose of this thread, I will quote Ringo Starr: "You know it don't come easy."

It seems evident by now that the anticipated affiliation of Notre Dame with the Big East football schools, originally reported by the New York Post back in early July has not materialized. If it had, the football & basketball schools would already have split.

I believe that all of the recent talk about the Big East exploring formats which involve football & basketball staying together (see today's Hartford Courant www.ctnow.com/sports/college/ for the most recent such report) is precisely because Notre Dame is siding with the basketball schools for the present. This essentially blocks the football schools from splitting because it's just too d**n expensive to do so as long as the basketball schools maintain 6 members.

This is where it gets interesting. . . .

The football schools need 8 members by 2005 in order to remain a conference. They really need them before that (Tranghese says by this winter.) because football scheduling is done so foar in advance & because of the upcoming BCS & TV contract negotiations. This places tremendous pressure on the football schools.

However, the football schools can't simply say "Oh, well, we can't split so let's stay together & just add 2 more schools to replace Miami & Virginia Tech." In order for any new members to be added to the conference, they must receive approval by 75% of the entire membership. This means that the 6 football schools must find 3 other members to vote with them to get the 9 votes needed in the present 12 member set-up.

I believe that everyone in the Big East is currently negotiating from their own self-interest - as one would expect. Apparently Notre Dame sees it as being in their self-interest to preserve the current stalemate & to delay things until more information is available in a variety of areas. So, the question becomes: what interests of any the basketball schools will be served by voting to add football members? Answer: None!

This means that negotiations take place where the two camps can find ways to meet both of their respective interests. This is where the Gavitt Plan resurfaces. I believe that the basketball schools will be willing to trade off the votes needed to add 2 more football schools if they get in return the 4 votes needed from the football schools to add 2 more basketball schools, thereby creating an equal balance of power.

This is probably the most salable plan as long as Notre Dame refuses to affiliate with the football schools. However, it will be a disaster for the football schools. The bigger the conference gets, the more unwieldy it becomes. The commissioner has already made comments to this effect. It therefore becomes increasingly unlikely that they would be able to add any additional football schools to get to a 10 team playoff if that is approved - forget about a 12 team format. They would be restricted to adding part-time football members - like the current arrangement with Temple. Perhaps the service academies would be interested.

Furthermore, the Gavitt Plan locks the football schools into an even worse stalemate than they have now by guaranteeing the basketball schools the 6 members necessary for continuity as a conference. So any future exit attempt by the football schools would also be incredibly costly. At least now with only 5 basketball members, they have some hope of convincing Notre Dame to join them in leaving, which would effectively disband the conference & allow the football schools to take their NCAA tournament credits with them.

I expect these negotiations to drag out for as long as the football schools can possibly prolong them in an effort to get Notre Dame to come along with them or until someone thinks of a more creative solution. The internal politics of this conference have been dysfunctional for some time & will continue to be. It is inherent within their structure. However, they have produced too much revenue for members to just walk away. The ACC invitation was the best hope any of the members had.


Last edited by friarfan on Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:34 am 
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Excellent analysis, FriarFan, I reread it several times and your take makes good sense, other than perhaps the delay is only Notre Dame waiting for more and more concessions from the football schools, not feeling enough guarantees, money, scheduling advantages, etc. have been put on the table, and so extracting the very maximum...

I won't even say anything about the medieval frustrations and follies of trying to court "our lady"...

Someday it might catch up with her...
::)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 12:15 pm 
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Javaman, I don't think that Notre Dame is waiting for the football schools to put more on the table - although I expect they are probably feverishly doing whatever they can to get a commitment from the Domers.

I think that Notre Dame is waiting to see how the BCS & TV negotiations go before deciding what is in their best interests. I think that they will go wherever they can get the deal that will best meet their needs.

In baseball, you wait as long as possible before you swing so you can get the best possible look at the pitch - especially if you're Hank Aaron & have those incredibly quick, strong wrists. Well, Notre Dame is the Hank Aaron of college football & I think they'd like to hit one out of the park - especially if they join a conference & the administration has to face all of the heat that will bring from the alumni. Notre Dame will wait as long as possible before they commit to anything.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:07 pm 
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FriarFan - Awarded the CollegeSportsInfo.com Boa award for longest original post! Was that longer than Hammurabi's actual code?!! (I jest ;)) Very thoughtful analysis. An interesting situation for the football schools, to say the least.

http://www1.ncaa.org/finance/revenue_distribution_plan#5

The above link is to the NCAA's page regarding finances and payment of basketball funds for tournament appearances. Based on my interpretation, it won't exactly be $50 million that the BE football schools could lose by leaving the conference, but it would be a lot. (By my calculations, the Big East would receive about $1.95 million for Syracuse's 15 credited tournament appearances over the past 6 years.) I'm still unsure of the cycling of the payments, and cannot recall exactly how the BE handles distribution of funds, but from everything here and through the recent posts, two things are clear:

1) The BE basketball schools, especially the underperformers, have been getting one helluva free ride, and
2) The potential exists for ND and the basketball schools to hold the football schools over a barrel.

If the latter is indeed taking shape, then two more things are pefectly clear, IMO:

1) ND is pure evil and must be distroyed, and
2) The football schools should cut bait.

Now, I do not know the exact revenue distribution policiy for the BE, but if the basketball schools would go so far as to hold these funds over the head of their football brethren, I doubt they'd surrender any advantages they're receiving to the football revenue either.

Now, near as I can tell the negotiations hinge on this notion - The basketball schools do not want to end their association with Syracuse, UConn, BC, Rutgers and Pitt. (They could manage without WVU, I imagine) These schools are not only big markets but also represent a lot of that basketball income and, for now, all the football income! The basketball schools know their conference would garner a larger TV contract for basketball if at least some of the schools also had national football exposure, otherwise they become a slightly better A-10. And hopes for a "Catholic League," while certainly respectable, rely on the CUSA allowing the same transfer of schools and funds that the basketball schools would be conceding the football schools in a split.

(breath, breath)

If I'm a football school, this means (again!) one of two options:
1) Be part of a Gavitt-Plan BE. ("Second verse, same as the first..."), or
2) Cut your losses and find an all-sport home.

When you think about it, any action towards the second option would suggest the schools should act now while the options are best. Otherwise, another school, or two, may begin shopping themselves around for the ACC. (Certainly appears Pitt, WVU and BC have the least to lose/most to gain in this department.) Again, it may not be the path to riches right away, but for them it would allow better control of their own destiny and would incur the least costs. At which point, all the plotting in the world by the basketball schools doesn't amount to much.


Last edited by gunnerfan on Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:51 pm 
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Gunnerfan, thanks for the link. Early on, I read a quote from Mike Tranghese, citing the need to determine how the Big East's $30+ million dollars in assets would be distributed. I disagreeumption that this meant NCAA tournament credits. Some time later I read another article directly stating that the tournament credits represented over $40 million in tournament credits, which I assumed was a revised figure. I will take your link & crunch the numbers for myself, then report back. Of, course, you must add the $1million dollar exit fee per school to any estimate of the costs for the football schools to leave the conference.

In regard to the basketball schools getting a free ride in this conference, there is another way to look at it - the way the basketball schools would look at it. BC, UConn, & Pitt were the only Big East members not to go to a Final Four in the '80s. They got a free ride during those years when the basketball schools carried the league, built its reputation, acquired lucrative TV & MSG contracts, & gave the name/league identity its cache. West Virginia has done nothing for the league in basketball & little for football since its admission & has been carried by others as well. Rutgers? 'Nuf said. The Big East has rehabilitated Notre Dame's basketball program, carrying them in the early years after they joined. Notre Dame still has not brought a Final Four berth to the conference. The basketball schools have had their moments of success in recent years as well . . . Within the past 7 years, Providence & St. John's have both been to the Elite 8 & Georgetown to the sweet sixteen a couple of times - I think Seton Hall & Villanova as well. Point is that these things run in cycles. UConn has been up since 1990, but when Calhoun retires, who knows? Others will return to the top. Syracuse is the only school that has been a consistent national championship contender in basketball, having been to the Final Four each of the past 4 decades under 2 different coaches.

To be honest, I doubt that the basketball schools care much about whether they retain their association with the football schools at this point. I think that it's all about the money. Just as in any divorce, people fight about how you divide up the assets.

In regard to Notre Dame being pure evil, I think that they are doing what everyone else is doing in this situation . . . doing what Miami & Virginia Tech did, doing what BC & Syracue did, doing what the ACC did . . . looking out for their own interests. Why do they demand & get special considerations? For the same reason that the BCS conferences demand & get their special treatment. Because they can. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:04 pm 
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One division for 16 teams not 2 groups of 8.Cincinnati and Louisville for football allsports.Marquette and Depaul for bb allsports but football,Big midwest footprint.Improved bb .Army and Navy for football onlyif 10.If 12 ND and Villanova linked in..


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:26 pm 
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Of, course, you must add the $1million dollar exit fee per school to any estimate of the costs for the football schools to leave the conference.

Duly noted. $50 million just seems awfully high, and if it is the total coming to the conference, it must be considered what the football schools would be getting as their shares over the next few years. Maybe they'd only be walkjing away from $17 million. (Not that that's pocket change...)


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In regard to the basketball schools getting a free ride in this conference... these things run in cycles.

Also noted. Simply, from my perspective the trend is that the football schools, which have more built-in national appeal because of the other big sport, seem to be growing stronger, while the Providence's of the world strike the bell only once every 7 years.


Quote:
To be honest, I doubt that the basketball schools care much about whether they retain their association with the football schools at this point. I think that it's all about the money. Just as in any divorce, people fight about how you divide up the assets.

If so, shouldn't they be able to resolve this much more easily? I hope so. Can we say, mediation?!


Quote:
In regard to Notre Dame being pure evil...

Obviously being light-hearted here. I understand their position and don't blame them, I just despise the fact that they were able to get into that position!


Last edited by gunnerfan on Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:09 pm 
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Gunnerfan, thanks for your reply. I enjoyed it. I understood your jab at Notre Dame. In fact, when I made my reply, I thought of the old off-color joke: "Why does a dog lick his . . . ? Because he can." ;D Maybe the analogy between the dog & Notre Dame is appropos. (Hope I didn't offend anyone.)

I crunched the numbers & they are what they are. In order to crunch the numbers you must do a few things:

1. Figure the total number of tournament "points" that the conference has accumulated over a six year period. Of course, since we are talking about this affecting the 2006 tournament, we don't know how many points that the Big East will have by that time, so I used the past six years for illustrative purposes.

2. You then must project the impact over a six year period since conference earnings are based on the past six years' points. In doing this, you reduce the impact each year, meaning that the first year you feel the full impact, but the second year you feel the impact of only the past 5 years. the third year, it's the past 4 years, etc. as you get further away from the year in which the teams actually left.

3. For the purposes of this exercise - since it is only an illustration, given that 2 of the years which will affect the calculations haven't even been played yet - I totalled the amount of earnings & then reduced it by a constant 1/6 each year to simplify my calculations.

Over the past 6 years, the Big East has accumulated 75 tournament points by 12 different members (none by Rutgers or Virginia Tech). An interesting side note is that you don't get any additional points for making it to the championship game - or for winning that game. I don't know if there is a direct payment to these two teams. The pay-out amount is $130, 657 per point.

We can therefore project that the Big East will be awarded $9.8 million dollars next year. Over the total 6 year period involved, the football schools will miss out on $34.3 million dollars that will be awarded just on the previous 6 years of play & not including any new points that come to the conference after they leave.

When combined with the $6 million exit fees for the football schools, the total loss is $40.3 million dollars. Two factors will affect this number - first, the actual performance of the conference over the next 2 years as opposed to 1998 & '99 which were used in this illustration & second, tournament revenues during that six year period which are unknown at the present time. I think that the TV contract already in place & increases each year, so the actual number would be higher - although I'm not sure of this.

Finally, the football schools will not lose $34.3 million. This number represents the assets which would be divided up among conference members. I do not know what the Big East formula is. If we simply divide it in half because the football schools represent 1/2 of the 12 members, then the loss to the football members is $17 million + $6 million for a total of $23 million - or an average of almost $4million per school. If the Big East distribution formula is proportional, then the breakdown will be $20.2 miilion + $6 million = $26.2 million total, or $4.3 million per school. (The 6 football schools earned 44 of the 75 tournament points.)


Last edited by friarfan on Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:08 pm 
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An addendum to the post immediately above . . .

Of the approximately $4 million dollars that each Big East football schools stands to lose if Notre Dame & the 5 basketball schools stay together, almost 1/2 of that amount - a little less than $2 million dollars would be lost in the first year. The remaining $2 million or so would be lost in gradually decreasing amounts over the next 5 years, starting at about $700,000 the first of those 5 years.


Last edited by friarfan on Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:40 pm 
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Wow, it seems that the next few months will see the words "Big East" and "court" in the same sentence, and I'm certainly sure the court word isn't the kind that Jim Boeheim roams on during bball games. Tranghese and Football schools are now in some serious heat, and over the next few years, we might see the football schools split from each other, think about it! If the Big Ten were to expand and add ND, ND would ask them to add BC and 'Cuse because they want to have their Eastern exposure intact, and if the ACC expanded to 14 they would add Pitt, WVU, and UConn (don't ask me about Rutgers, they're horrible in both football AND hoops). I would now see the "Catholic League" be formed, with Xavier, Marquette, NC-Charlotte, DePaul, St. Louis, the 5 BE bball schools and Rutgers, and perhaps another East Catholic school, such as St. Joseph's.

Do call me crazy for what I just posted, it is a longshot from happening, but if the BE continues messing up, consider the conference as "dead" to go along with the Southwest Conference.

Again, I know it is a longshot from happening, but I am posting what, in my view, could happen. There. Done. :)


Last edited by befounder on Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 5:33 am 
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ND is not going any where fast.They rule the league.At worst they will play a few extra football games per year.The new 16 bb league will make a pile of money.The football league will remain in the BCS.There will be a playoff game added to football as well as the Army / Navy game.this is now a league with Chicago,New York,Boston ,DC,Philadelphiaand over 80 people in its footprint.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:29 pm 
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there are lots of reasons why the big east split is going slowly.with their futures on the line , the schools could be talking of lots of scenarios .
maybe they are:
1. the football schools think there is a good chance of getting ND for football fulltime and that if that happened there may be no need to split because the bcs would never leave a conference with notre dame in it out of the fold. they then could go to 8 members for football and leave it at that.
2. the ACC is thinking of going to 14 and is still secrectly talking to SU, BC, AND UCONN. remember they said that they might not stop at 12. in this case the three schools just mentioned would not want a breakup until after they were invited to the ACC.
3.maybe VILLANOVA, AND POSSIBLY GEORGETOWN are thinking of moving their football up to 1a . they see the future of their programs remaining on the highest level tied to joining 1a football and decide to go for it. once again this would give them enough members for a conference and leave only 3 basketball only schools which they then to keep their rivalries decide to keep.
4. both sides are so worried about losing their bball tournament at MSG that they are afraid to split. it would not surprise that the football schools want to split but they want to keep ST. JOHNS AND VILLANOVA so they can keep the philly market and MSG. that would not sit well with the 3 left out and they maybe asking for alot of money to agree to that.
5. the football schools have already contacted the schools they wanted and were rebuffed because another conference had already contacted them .so unfortunately they are stuck for now.
6. all the schools have presidents and ADs that still think basketball rules the world and football is not as important.

my bet is on #6 .


Last edited by arpmany on Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:59 pm 
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FriarFan, great work. I was so pleased to see the first number come up $17 million, though I suspect there's a proportionate value involved. One additional thing to consider; TV contract renegotiation. The ACC is already pursuing renegotiations with it's broadcast partners, and ABC/ESPN have approached the Big East about the football contract there. Should the football schools leave the BE, they may have the chance to be part of a better TV package within the first two years of their new affiliation, another means for recouping some of the potential losses.

The individual cases for the schools is interesting, as well, because this really only becomes a true move-killer (in my eyes) when we're talking about the whole group. UConn hasn't been privvy to a full slate of 1-A football money yet, so they'd not miss that aspect. Plus, if they or Syracuse left, they'd surely help their new conference recover some of the basketball credits right away through TV money and more NCAA appearances. WVU and Pitt would add through potential bowl revenue, while not missing a huge portion of bball money. So, basically, if any of the teams were to leave for another conference, they'd be okay, but if they try to leave as a group and form a new conference, they begin with severely curtailed revenue projections for the next few years. Wonder if those schools might reject raising the exit fee under the notion they might be paying one soon?!

Arpmany and all, while I agree the revelations above make things more interesting, theres another option that looks more attractive but seems rarely discussed anymore; a BCS play-in game between the BE and another conference. Assuming the BE football schools are better off staying put but that such a decision may cost them BCS status, perhaps they could approach the BCS and say, "take the pool of funds you'd give us, split it between us and the MWC and we'll have a championship/play-in game." Perhaps the money from that championship game could offset the difference between a full BCS share and a half share. Loser of that game plays in the Liberty or some other back-up bowl, plus there'd be one less conference whining to the BCS. This doesn't resolve all my wishes concerning the BCS, but it's a plausible solution to the BE's problems. Is it?


Last edited by gunnerfan on Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:36 pm 
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4. both sides are so worried about losing their bball tournament at MSG that they are afraid to split. it would not surprise that the football schools want to split but they want to keep ST. JOHNS AND VILLANOVA so they can keep the philly market and MSG. that would not sit well with the 3 left out and they maybe asking for alot of money to agree to that.

6. all the schools have presidents and ADs that still think basketball rules the world and football is not as important.

my bet is on #6 .


Arpmany, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You make some great points!

#4 is really intriguing. I think that the Big East knows that without Notre Dame, its BCS spot is gone after the current contract - at least in the form that has existed up until now. If you don't have a BCS spot, then maybe the basketball side becomes the way that you rebuild since your basketball program is clearly at a "big 6" level. Basketball keeps you as a major player in college sports while you grow your football programs. If you keep some basketball only programs around to help with this, that might be an acceptable compromise. Under this scenario, I think that Georgetown with the DC market & its traditional Big East rivalries is also a player.

In regard to #6, I disagree that all the schools fit this description. For 5 of the schools, basketball does rule their world - & they are enough to create major obstacles to restructuring. If they are joined by even one other program (Notre Dame), that is enough to create the current stalemate. I think that ACC expansion has scared the crap out of the football schools & there is no way that any of them think that basketball rules the world.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:47 pm 
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theres another option that looks more attractive but seems rarely discussed anymore; a BCS play-in game between the BE and another conference. Assuming the BE football schools are better off staying put but that such a decision may cost them BCS status, perhaps they could approach the BCS and say, "take the pool of funds you'd give us, split it between us and the MWC and we'll have a championship/play-in game." Perhaps the money from that championship game could offset the difference between a full BCS share and a half share. Loser of that game plays in the Liberty or some other back-up bowl, plus there'd be one less conference whining to the BCS. This doesn't resolve all my wishes concerning the BCS, but it's a plausible solution to the BE's problems. Is it?


Gunnerfan, my calculations are of course only estimates & I think that the numbers could go as high as $5 million per school, but considering that the impact is spread out over 6 years, it may not be a deal killer but it is certainly something that will slow down the process. If conferences are willing to go through all that we've seen to get a play-off game that will be worth less than a million per school annually, losses that will average about that same amount over 6 years would have an equal but opposite impact unless there are some awfully big incentives to swallow the losses.

In regard to the play-in game you mentioned, I think you have your finger on a very viable compromise. The bowls & the networks are less concerned about the legitimacy of a school's place in the BCS than they are with a school's ability to draw & boost ratings. Certainly an East-West play-in game will boost interest. I think the idea makes a lot of sense.


Last edited by friarfan on Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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