EarthX, the winners write history. This isn't the first time that the truth became victim to the re-writing of history.
It was widely reported at the time The Big East was formed that Holy Cross was the preferred over Boston College & that Rutgers was preferred over Seton Hall.
There were several reasons for the preference of Holy Cross over BC. The Cross was a very successful program - "big time college basketball" in the late '70s - especially in the minds of Dave Gavitt & the other key ADs looking to form the new league. These men had grown up with NCAA & NIT championships at Holy Cross as well as a string of All Americans from Bob Cousy to Ronnie Perry. BC was known as a football school & Holy Cross as a basketball school, although both had good records/histories in the other sport as well. Just as important was the fact that like UConn & Providence, Holy Cross had a large, new Civic Center for home games. They commanded all the media & attention in Worcester, the second largest city in Massachusetts - a city larger than Providence or Hartford. BC, on the other hand, was/is in a pro sports town at a time when the Celtics were in their hay-day. They had only an on-campus facility in a suburban location, removed from the bustling downtown, Madison Square Garden-style location the big East was looking for.
The statement you posted from the Syracuse website is technically correct. BC was selected over the other possibles, but in the case of Holy Cross, it was only because The Cross rejected preliminary feelers first, not the other way around. Jake Crouthamel & other Big East officials would like to project the image that schools were begging to join them & that they could afford to pick & choose.
And for those who knew of JoPa's plan in the late 70's and early 80's, it's truely sad to see what could have been when you see who was available.
You figure that since JoPa wanted an ALL-SPORTS league, programs like Temple who have suffered mostly for the lack of rivalries would have had the chance to excel.
Rutgers falls into the same category as Rutgers and WVU were in the A10 for all sports except football until 1994. We'd be going on 25 years of the all-sports conference and rivalries would be strong.
Below are a list of independents from the time of the original plan:
Boston College, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Syracuse, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Rutgers, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Temple, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Penn State, 1978 - 92 (joined Big Ten 1993)
Pittsburgh, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
West Virginia, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Virginia Tech, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Georgia Tech, 1978 - 82 (joined ACC 1983)
Florida State, 1978 - 91 (joined ACC 1992)
Miami, 1978 - 90 (joined Big East 1991)
Army, 1978-97 (joined CUSA 1998)
Cincinnati, 1978-95 (joined CUSA 1996)
East Carolina, 1978-96 (joined CUSA 1997)
Louisville, 1978-95 (joined CUSA 1996)
Notre Dame, 1978-present
Arkansas State, 1990-92 and 1996-98 (joined Big West, left Big West, re-joined Big West)
UNLV, 1978-83 (joined Big West 1984)
New Mexico State, 1978 - 83 (joined Big West 1984)
Louisiana Tech, 1988-92 and 1996-present (joined Big West 1993, left Big West 1995)
Northern Illinois, 1986-92 and 1996 (left MAC 1985, played in BW 1993-95, rejoined MAC 1997)
Louisiana Lafayette, 1978-92 and 1996-2000 (joined Big West 1993, left BW 1995)
North Texas, 1995 (joined Big West 1996)
Central Florida, 1996-2001
Middle Tennessee State, 1999-2000
South Florida, 2000-present
Alabama-Birmingham, 1996-98 (joined CUSA 1999)
Memphis, 1978-95 (joined CUSA 1996)
Southern Mississippi, 1978-95 (joined CUSA 1996)
Tulane, 1978-95 (joined CUSA 1996)
Air Force, 1978-79 (joined WAC 1980)
Hawaii, 1978 (joined WAC 1979)
Tulsa, 1978-95 (joined WAC 1996)
South Carolina, 1978-91 (joined SEC 1992)
Troy State, 2001
Utah State, 2001