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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:49 am 
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From the Providence Journal
Feb, 24, 2005

http://www.projo.com/pc/content/projo_20050224_24beast.23704bb.html

Men's basketball: PC nearly lost its spot in Big East

Conference documents show discussions in 2003 led by the Division I-A (or football) schools to exercise a split with the basketball schools once Miami and Virginia Tech accepted invitations to join the ACC.

01:00 AM EST on Thursday, February 24, 2005

BY KEVIN McNAMARA
Journal Sports Writer

PROVIDENCE -- Fans at Providence College and the other basketball-only Big East schools may never know just how close their schools came to being booted out of the conference in the fall of 2003.

Internal Big East documents that appeared on the Internet this week disclosed some of the discussions led by the Division I-A (or football) schools to exercise a split with the basketball schools once Miami and Virginia Tech accepted invitations to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The documents, which Big East officials confirmed yesterday were authentic, are the minutes of meetings held in July and October of 2003. The documents are included in two ongoing legal battles, one between the conference and Boston College and another pitting four Big East football schools against Miami and the ACC.

While the conference ultimately agreed to expand to a 16-school hybrid league by adding Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida as full members and DePaul and Marquette for all sports except football, the meeting minutes show just how chaotic, and fluid, the Big East's membership problems were at that time.

A July 9, 2003 meeting came two weeks after Miami and Virginia Tech had accepted offers to leave for the ACC. BC and Syracuse were surprisingly bypassed by the ACC in favor of the Hokies and left to rebuild a badly damaged Big East football conference.

Presidents and athletic directors of the six remaining football schools (BC, UConn, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia) came to a quick consensus to split from basketball partners Providence, Georgetown, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova. Among the bombshells dropped at the meeting:

Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel, one of the founders of the conference, stated that if the group decided to expand to a 16-school, football-basketball conglomerate, he'd resign his position at SU. BC athletics boss Gene DeFilippo "echoes those sentiments," according to the meeting's minutes.

Syracuse chancellor Kenneth "Buzz" Shaw asked the ADs whether there was any support for a 16-team conference. There was none, so the group voted, 6-0, to pursue expansion to form an eight- or nine-school all-sports conference.

The group drafted language for any breakup discussions that read: "We as a group genuinely believe that the breakup of the Big East Conference is inevitable -- and probably the best overall scenario for all parties concerned. Toward that end, we would suggest that a small group of football representatives meet with a small group of basketball representatives in order to discuss the possible fallout issues associated with this. We are prepared to do what we can to minimize the negative impact that this breakup will have on your group."

Commissioner Mike Tranghese explained that if the conference were dissolved and the basketball side was left with just five schools, they would lose their automatic bids to NCAA tournaments in all sports. Tranghese then said he "cannot continue effectively as commissioner" with either side because he'd be compromised by both groups. He added that he'd work for two more years as the parties executed their split.

The football schools hoped to resolve negotiations with their basketball partners by Sept. 15 and quickly look to add new schools.

However, there clearly was a major change of heart during the negotiations. When the Big East's presidents met to discuss the future, it became clear that a split would adversely affect the basketball schools.

NCAA rules say that in order to be a viable conference, six schools must be together for at least five years. With Notre Dame uncommitted to either side, there were only five basketball schools, and they stood to lose millions of dollars in NCAA basketball tournament units if no longer aligned with the Big East.

Notre Dame's role was vitally important. Since the football schools outnumbered the basketball schools (6-5), Notre Dame served as the critical swing vote in deciding the majority. The Irish clearly preferred to maintain their football independence and remain in an all-sports conference with extensive East Coast roots, and essentially voted to block any split.

On Nov. 5, the Big East announced its expansion plans at a press conference in New York. Syracuse's Crouthamel, who will retire in June, said then that the football schools weren't ready to harm the basketball schools like they had been hurt by the ACC's actions.

"If we had just up and left, it would've been disruptive to the point of destructive," he said. "In order to give them the opportunity to exist, if you will, and to grow, we had to expand on both sides. Our presidents were not prepared to stab them in the back the way some of the rest of us had been stabbed in the back."

The 16-school Big East begins play next fall. The group has amended the conference's constitution and agreed to withdrawal and dissolution clauses that allow the group to break up with no penalty after five years. Anyone that leaves before five years is subject to a $5-million withdrawal penalty and must wait 27 months before departing.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:59 am 
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This certainly seems to make it open season on our favorite sport - speculating on new expansion
members. ;D

It seems that 5 years is the magic number & that the clock is ticking. This memo certainly moves Temple back into the spotlight as the most likely candidate for expansion from 8 to 9, especially given the fact that a split would mean that the conference would now be abandoning Philly for hooops as well as for football. Like, Cincy, basketball becomes the reason to tak Temple & football makes them the all-sports member that Villanova is not. Temple would also give the conference a solid Northeastern profile, something which I believe that they will estbalish before considering any other candidates.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:34 pm 
Gunner, Friar,
The messages from the BE paper/Minutes follow much of the thought and speculation that has occured among this forum and other message boards. Two things, in particular, did interest me:
1. BC had a firm stance from the get-go. They were obviously outspoken, and conveyed their dissatisfaction. They were not near as deceptive as some had portrayed them to be.
2. The disenfranchising of Temple had more to do with the bb schools shutting them out of the BE rather than the fb schools, who appeared to be willing to offer Temple accommodation. Interesting in that Temple did not play BE bb. Well, if Temple can survive a few years as a fb independent, and keep their bb prowness, maybe their future is not so bleak for them; a real tough task.

What is evident is that the new 16 league is viewed by the members themselves as a tentative arrangement. If results end up showing new BCS and bb playoff championships and the money flows in, maybe the confederation will hang together longer than expected. But the structure suggests some preparedness for an ultimate split.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:00 pm 
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It looks like ND screwed the fb schools by siding with the bb schools and preventing a split.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:07 pm 
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It sounds like your intrepretation on Temple is right FF.

This should be good news for Temple fb. They know they have a real shot at rejoining the BE fb schools.

It also supports my theory that the choice of schools to add to the 16 teams was a balance of power play, Something dooming the 16 team league to a split.

And that makes UMass or Temple essential. They need either Boston or Philadelphia. Both is better, but fb can't be ignored.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:55 am 
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Quote:
And that makes UMass or Temple essential. They need either Boston or Philadelphia. Both is better, but fb can't be ignored.


I agree, Bullet - especially since Rutgers is a weak sister in the conference. This combined with their location really gives them a low profile in New York. If Rutgers were a national power, they have the potential to command attention in the New York market, but otherwise they are really on the periphery of that market.

I'm really surprised that The Big East didn't more fully explore the original Gavit proposal, which was 2 separate 8 team mini-conferences under one umbrella with a challenge series before the conference season & a common tournament poat-season. This would allow the football schools to nuture their own identity. This crazy basketball arrangement of play 8 teams once, 4 teams twice, & 3 teams not at all makes absolutely no sense to me. Since the football schools were united in their desire for a split, I can't see why they didn't explore some kind of a compromise like the Gavitt Plan that brought them closer to their goal. I can'tt see how anybody wins under the current schedule.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:17 pm 
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Don't worry Rutgers will not be a national power.The have a 400k AD Boob who got himself re-appointed by the interim governor ,whose specialty is totally incorrect decision making.They have a football coach who cannot keep a staff member for more than 2 years ,who loses 75% of his games.Then they have a men's bb coach who cannot recruit in the paint players.But they spend 35 million per year on 30 sports and a lot of athletic administration.They also spend10's of millions on new facilities, but the records do not get better.Also they have overly stringent admission policies and no athletically friendly majors.Yes the gang that who could not win.


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:04 pm 
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TS2, good point about the need for "athletic friendly majors." I always wondered how Georgetown managed to keep its players eligible - well, except for Michael Graham - during its glory years. Large universities with a wide range of majors have a big advantage in this area.

BTW, what are your sources that enabled you to get a leg up on all of the ND - BE schedule stuff?

Cheers . . .


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 Post subject: BE memos authentic!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:01 pm 
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Quote:


I'm really surprised that The Big East didn't more fully explore the original Gavit proposal, which was 2 separate 8 team mini-conferences under one umbrella with a challenge series before the conference season & a common tournament poat-season. This would allow the football schools to nuture their own identity. This crazy basketball arrangement of play 8 teams once, 4 teams twice, & 3 teams not at all makes absolutely no sense to me. Since the football schools were united in their desire for a split, I can't see why they didn't explore some kind of a compromise like the Gavitt Plan that brought them closer to their goal. I can'tt see how anybody wins under the current schedule.


Just a guess but I would think it would have to do with teh BB contract. This is for TV purposes only......

For example, BC is having a great year. Unfortunately, they only played (or will play) Pitt, SU, ND, and UConn only once each while playing PU, RU, and SJU twice. They did play Villanova twice though. This was partly based on last years finish and geography (I think).

I wonder if the situation will get worse next year with 16 teams instead of 14. I wonder if any of the bottom feaders will get a sniff of TV. The same thing happens in the ACC with Clemson and FSU. They might be on 2 to 3 times per year. That will only get worse now that the ACC will go from 9-12.

Although, some conference(s) will have to pick up the TV dates for CUSA in 2005 and beyond......


Last edited by panthersc97 on Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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