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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:16 am 
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Should the Big East stay together? Should the Big East split? Maybe neither.

I'd like to revisit a proposal offered by Dave Gavitt 2 years ago. It was Gavitt in the aftermath of the ACC defections who suggested a 16 team conference. The Big East ultimately adopted his number, but not his proposal.

What Gavitt suggested, as I recall, was 2 leagues under one umbrella - one football & one non-football. More of an association between 2 semi-autonomous dvisions rather than a single, tightly integrated conference. What would hold this association together would be two separate competitions: first, a challenge series in the pre-season in which each team would play 2 teams from the other division & second, the post-season tournament in MSG. The schedule would be 16 games - 14 games from a double round robin within your own division plus the 2 challenge games. All games would count in the league standings. Each division would qualify 6 teams for the post-season tournament.

I would suggest that Gavitt's proposal be altered slightly: play the challenge games during the conference season in January & February. This is when the focus is on college basketball. The conference could pick attractive inter-divisional match-ups for TV ratings & exposure.

I see several benefits from this kind of structure:

1. The conference would stay together under the Big East umbrella so no one would lose the Big East name ot the NCAA basketball credits.

2. Rivalries developed in Big East Football would also be fostered through basketball competition.

3. The new basketball-only schools would be integrated more quickly with meaningful rivalries & intense competition with a smaller number of opponents.

4. Big East Football could expand with full all-sports members without the constraints of creating an unwieldy 17 or 18 team basketball conference. And it could avoid the alternative of football-only members, which I think that no one in the conference really wants any more. And for that matter the basketball-only division could also expand if it so desired. The basic struture of 2 semi-autonomous "leagues" or divisions would remain regardless of the number of schools in each division. Each division would still send 6 teams to the post-season tournament in MSG.

5. The conference could create by-laws which would allow the 2 separate divisions to be as autonomous or as interdependent as they would like - both in terms of governance & in revenue sharing.

6. The 2 divisions could form a single grouping for specific sports that are not offered by all members & whichtherefore have a smaller number of schools competing.

7. The conference could also create divisions along geographic lines rather than football/non-football lines for specific non-revenue sports where they see no benefit to the football/non-football groupings but where they do see cost-savings & academic benefits for student athletes to be of greater importance by reducing travel.

Dave Gavitt knew what was best for the Big East when he initiated conversations with fellow ADs back in 1978 that started the league. It may well be that he also knew what was best for the conference 25 years later when he offered this modest proposal in 2003.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:13 am 
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Just had a thought about this.

What if...

Both leagues have an automatic bid and DON'T have a season-ending conference tournament to decide it...

...BUT...

You have the challenge TOURNAMENT as a single-elimination tournament sprinkled out along the schedule. Very much like the FA Cup in England. You could also have consolation games to make sure everyone plays an equal number of games.

Not likely, but perhaps both more fair for March Madness AND more entertaining for the audience.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:56 am 
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Pounder, I'm not sure if you are suggesting a split or remaining together without a post-season tournament.
Without a post-season tournament, there is no sense of a conference, so I'll assume that your are suggesting a split.

The football schools initially wanted a split in the aftermath of the ACC defections 2 years ago. The deal breaker then was that it was too expensive. They've removed one of the obstacles by agreeing to allow for a split after 5 years without having to pay exit penalties. However, the fact is that the only way that a split can occur by NCAA by-laws would be for the football teams to exit & start a new league. This would leave the Big East name, the automatic basketball bid, & the NCAA basketball credits to the basketball-only schools - still an expensive solution. The beauty of the Gavitt solution is that it finds a way around this & creates a win-win for all parties.


Last edited by friarfan on Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:25 pm 
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Actually, wasn't this proposed well before the ACC defections? I believe Gavitt had this as his ultimate incarnation years ago.

There are conferences that have this or similar setups outside of D1. ie, the Middle Atlantic Conference is a DIII conference with 16 schools operating as 2 divisons/conferences

Personally, I would want to keep the 16 schools together by whatever way is necessary. There is an awlful lot of history to leave behind. And the new members fit in well in my view.



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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:28 pm 
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Modest proposals don't seem to be in vogue.The objective of the game is to keep the football teams happy because the effects of a complete break apart would not be good for the non1A football schools.There are several constraints including keeping ND actively supporting the football up to point where their independence (scheduling and tv package are maintained) and tv money is enlarged,bowl money enlarged.There are 3 groups the football 8 ,ND and the basketball 7.Each has different issues.Its like putting the various factions in Iraq together under a new constitution.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:57 am 
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Think outside the box on this one.

Getting rid of the conference tournament makes the regular season games that much more important, instead of the important games being wedged in with everyone other major conference's important tournament games. Let's face one fact... the ACC has developed a consistent basketball viewership that NOBODY else has. Try something different.

Meanwhile, if anyone can make a different cup / tournament competition work, it's this bunch.

That does require some retraining of the fan base, and I expect flames for that. I think there are rewards to be had for it, however.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:26 am 
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Pounder, I've re-read your post & realize that I didn't get it at first. As I read it now, a single elimination challenge tournament throughout the season would add a mximum of 4 games to anyone's schedule in addition to the 14 games from double round robin play within the 2 "leagues" or divisions for a total of 18 games. Although the coaches say that they only want a league schedule of 16 games, this should be so unique that I can see them be open to it. It would definitely be interesting.

I think that it would be a problem to get the NCAA to agree to 2 automatic bids unless they break into 2 separate conferences. I don't mean this as a bad thing. In fact, I think this is likely to happen anyway. Your idea could keep important affiliations & make it an amicable divorce.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:08 pm 
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Since the BE had to stay together, I think most BE fans wanted a 'separate but equal' with the FB guys in one group and the BBs in the other - called the crazy 8s scenerio.

However, for the purposes of TV and trying to apease everyone, I don't think it'll ever happen


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:11 pm 
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Friarfan, this thread has a very valid point on purpose of Big East having 16 teams under Gavitt plan proposal two years back and some points on possible reasons the Gavitt plan is not fully implemented yet.

The problem with the Big East or for that matter college sports today is too much influence by TV which tranlate into dollars.

In the old mix of having two seperate conferences, Syracuse and BC were going to the ACC and Temple was in as full member in Gavitts plan. The football conference was going to have UConn, Temple, Rutgers, WVU, Pitt, Va Tech, Louisivlle or Cincinnatti, Central Fla or South Florida.

With Syracuse and BC back in the mix, Temple was no longer needed or wanted and there was no
room for a Florida team because the Big East could take both Louisville and Cincinnati to keep a regional type conference.

This was the start of the break down of the the Gavitt plan because old rivals want to continue to play Syracuse, BC and UConn for TV benefits.

Frairfan, I sure hope the Big East is paying attention to your suggestion of going back to the original roots of the Gavitt plan. It would certainly be more interesting from a rival standpoint, more stable behond 5 years, more potential for NCAA bids and just better organized to use the true Gavitt plan.

What we have right now is a rediculous setup of schedules with two teams not playing each other at all in the season primary to appease TV appeal. MT stated this is public. Factor in Notre Dame which does not want to be included in the basketball side and you have this current unstable situation or at least the apperance of an unstable situation.

If your idea were put back into place and closely follow the Gavitt plan, the Big East could gain much needed long term stability and not the quick fix for TV dollars. This is why so many think the 5 year plan of a split is inevitable.

Maybe the current format is being used as a trial period because none of the schools can leave without stiff penalties and the Big East can make up some much needed TV revenue.

So when MT says the 16 teams will not break up, he does not necessarily have to say the Big East will not revert back to the original Gavitt play when the time is ready.

The Gavitt plan would keep both sides with the Big East name and maintian both BCS and market name reconition for all sports.

If the original Gavitt plan were put back in place within five years, there would be no need for a breakup unless a 9th or 10 football member were necessary or mandatory.

I tend to think the Big East is using the current time period to make as much money as possible to make up for loss revenue in football TV contracts and will in fact go back to the Gavitt play when the time is necessary to avoid a split.

Very interesting thread and something to keep in mind over the next few years.

The Big East would certainly be more interesting if the Gavitt plan were in place. Maybe this is the plan in five years to avoid or prevent a complete split.

This would be a split without a breakup.







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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:37 pm 
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Why no Gavitt?

Because ND wants its non-football sports to play versus 1A BCS level competition.

Because ND does not want divisionsThis was true in the old BE 14 team league and is true in the 16 member grouping.They have divisions in the 14 member conference and it went back to one large division.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:31 pm 
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Quote:
In the old mix of having two seperate conferences, Syracuse and BC were going to the ACC and Temple was in as full member in Gavitts plan. The football conference was going to have UConn, Temple, Rutgers, WVU, Pitt, Va Tech, Louisivlle or Cincinnatti, Central Fla or South Florida.


Lash,

Better not suggest that Temple would have been in the Break away Big East or you will get TS2s wrath!!


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:38 pm 
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Tigersharktwo, please come back to earth. Notre Dame has one vote in the Big East. No more or no less.

The conference remained in one big division because all 16 of the school presidents wanted it that way. Again this is probably more to do with potential TV revenue.

If the 8 football schools decide to leave in five years, how do you think Notre Dame will stop them. Praying is certainly not going to help. To another point, dont you think the basketball schools would prefer the Gavitt plan over a complete split into two conferences.

Again this is not Notre Dame decision. Notre Dame is no more important in the Big East than any of the other 15 members.

Lousiville, Cincinnati, and South Florida are the schools that are important to the Big East football to maintain a required 8. Notre Dame only benefit is preserving some bowls. Once the school is not needed for bowls, Notre Dame will not be needed by the football schools.



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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:53 pm 
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Lash,

I know you made several refereces to it but have you seen the lawsuit papers (not the June and October 2003 BE papers) but the court paper filed by UConn, RU, Pitt, and Va Tech against Miami?

Im sure as you know, but Miami has been looking at the ACC since 1999.


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:52 pm 
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Panther, what's your point?


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 Post subject: A Modest Proposal
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:03 am 
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ND is its own faction.While its voting strength is one its power to influence decisions is MUCH GREATER than that.The political reality of the BE and the 3 factions is carefully avoided or tossed aside.What ever decisions are made these political realities must be considered.If a breakup happens it certainly will not be 8/8 it will likely be 10/6 or 12/4.Why breakup if a solution can be found that helps football but does involve the non-1A football schools.The type of solutions involve Army and Navy or the addition of football at the 1A level at Villanova.Bringing in a football only member who really wants all-sports membership delays a problem.


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