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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:56 pm 
BlackGold,I agree that the BE needs to answer some fundamental questions about itself before it can/should proceed with reconstruction.However,if this process drags on,the conference will be further damaged.comments?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:12 am 
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And so we three move on, eh?!

Dysfunctional sounds like the correct word, I'm sad to say. I can only think that the BE is hesitant to act right now for fear of looking hypocritical or damaging the credibility of their lawsuit. Frankly, that's what everyone wants and expects to see, save the likely next conference in line to lose out here, CUSA. As many columnists have pointed out, for all the popmp and circumstance now, it will all be forgotten years down the line.

The Gavitt plan has merit, but I feel it must evolve into two leagues that have an alliance strictly for basketball purposes. That is, after all, the one arena where everyone truly wishes to stay together.

The fb schools should break away, asking for the BCS berth in return for abandoning the BE name. Take your 6 schools and add Temple, Louisville, Cincinatti and Bowling Green. Army and Navy can join for fb only as their other sports have homes and this provides solid regionalism. The BE schools can then add just Xavier and Umass, one more if ND leaves.

Maybe they dissolve their alliance after X number of years. But its clear that the rift that began when the BE got into football still remains, and the league must divide or disperse among the other conferences.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:56 am 
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I agree with all of the above. You guys have hit the nail right on the head. As we take on the role of general managers, it is fun to move the pieces around on the game board. There is a lot more at stake for these schools.

I disagree with the premise that they must break into 2 separate conferences. They may need to do this, but I don't believe it is a given. It must be studied carefully.

What do they gain by doing this? Even with a separate conference for football, they may still lose out on a BCS bid.

What do they lose by splitting apart? They lose a confederation that has brought them incredible success in basketball. I'm not sure that either of these 2 new leagues can anticipate the same level of success in basketball as the joint one would. That is the problem & that's why this decision is so fundamental.

Everyone wants to improve & make progress in life - but not at the expense of losing what you've already got. That's a fool's gamble. You only bet the mortgage on a sure thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 11:18 am 
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FriarFan, while I can see scenarios where the BE can survive as a single entity after all this, my gut is telling me that in the long run the divided interest will continue to gnaw away at the league. Especially if the number required for a fb championship is lowered to 10, the football schools will always have one eye drifting towards the interests of those programs. The temptation will be there to add just two more schools for the perceived payday and increased BCS/playoff status. As such, the non-fb schools will always feel like they'll be asked for more concessions; 2 more members? Army and Navy for fb only? The last one is plausible, but the BE must evaluate the benefit of further arrangements.

Yet there is a downside for the non-fb schools to such a split, and that is the absence of your conference name during college football season. Even if UMass, Xavier and others join Georgetown and Co. for BE basketball at MSG, it will feel different (read: weaker) without the 1-A football schools to help tout the league, similar to the A-10 now. In fact, I'm assuming it would be the only league with national TV contracts that does not also feature 1-A football.

And while these decisions are being made, the selections for new members will keep the political issues afloat. Temple, when we already have Villanova? Marshall, when we already have WVU? UMass/ BC? Xavier/Cincinatti?

Can it work? Yes. Will it? That's to be determined by the will power of those who want it to.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:16 am 
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BlackGold & Gunnerfan, you both make excellent arguments for the Big East split. I don't disagree. I'm just saying that the decision is not a slam dunk. I'm saying that while everyone is assuming that a split is inevitable, there are points to be made in favor of staying together.

College sports traditions in the Northeast are different than in other parts of the country. This is due to the prominence that private universities have held over public ones. Even in athletics, for a long time the Ivy League was the leader. For the first couple of decades of national championship competition in basketball, it was St. John's, LaSalle, NYU, CCNY, Seton Hall, Temple, LIU, Holy Cross, Dartmouth, Duquesne - not one of them a state university. While no one alive today cares much about this, it means that traditions don't exist here the way they do in the Big Ten, for example.

Even today New York, the largest state in the region, does not compete seriously in college athletics. In addition, the New England state universities have been latecomers to serious national sports competition. UMass remaining I-AA in football creates another big hole in the sports landscape. Here in CT, we have seen what can happen when a state puts its resources behind it flagship university, so the potential is there - as UMass also showed when Calipari coached there.

The hybrid evolved here because it fit the sports landscape in the Northeast at the time - & in some ways, it still may. Big East Basketball has captured the imagination of the Northeastern sports fan, which is why they have the TV contract they do. They better be darn sure they can do the same in basketball with a collection of football schools. I know that Syracuse & UConn are hot right now, but these things run in cycles. The deepest basketball traditions in the Northeas are at the private schools & these will be more easily revived at these schools than it will be to create new ones at schools that have not had success in basketball

BlackGold, you make the point that big time college football makes more money than college football. True to a point. Big time college football also loses more money for more colleges than any other sport - which is why so many school have dropped it. Big time college basketball has been no dalmatian in the ACC. They have made an enormous amount of money off college basketball - as has the Big East. Where college football makes money, it makes a lot. But where it loses, it loses a fortune. Just look at Tulane's situation this year to see the whole thing brought into perspective. And this is not going to get any better as the BCS conferences increasingly hog all the money for themselves.

A pertinent question for the Big East schools to ask themselves is: Do we have more in common with the Big Ten or with CUSA. Unfortunately, without Miami & Virginia Tech, right now they have more in common with CUSA - which means limited opportunity to make money from football. Any future composition of Big EAst Football is not of BCS caliber in the next few years. So, they have to consider carefully what they want to do with the one vehicle that is a sure fire money maker for them right now - basketball.


Last edited by friarfan on Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:59 am 
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Agreed, FriarFan. My contention with the potential for a split has been the same investment that the schools are mentioning in the lawsuit with the ACC. The fb schools have a stake in the sport and wish to see those programs prosper. If that can happen under a BE umbrella, no question they stay. But the balance will feel awfully precarious. Especially if the fb schools are given all the fb money, the bball schools must hope that the profit margin for them does not increase significantly betond schools #9 or 10, or every conference meeting will feature lots of name tags for all the schools involved!

Just so long as the NE has a defined league of its own!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:36 am 
Friarfan,Gunnerfan,and BlackGold,as you all make valid points regarding the future of the BE it is obvious that this situation will not be an easy one to reconcile and may turn out to be as messy as the recent botched ACC expansion.
This is where we should find out if Mr.Tranghese has the leadership skills that frankly escaped him during the recent ACC unpleasantness.His position apparently consisted of; since Miami had already made up its mind there is nothing I can do,since Miami is only part of one of my three constituencies my hands are tied,and blasting Miami and the ACC for some allegedly almost criminal behavior.His words and lack of deeds marginalized Mr Tranghese during most of that process and I believe left him more on the side of the problem than on the side of the solution.
I suggest that now he has a chance to sort of redeem himself if he can get past the notion that he is only some type of "employee"of the conference presidents and helps to facilitate a longlasting and meaningful compromise between all of the competing factions in the BE.
Frankly,based on his performance in the recent "BE/ACC war" that kind of action by him may be very wishful thinking on my part. In any case I anticipate a very interesting situation unfolding this summer in the BE.Comments?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:51 am 
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Without knowing what really happened within all the meetings and during all the conference calls, I suspect Tranghese was stuck much like Mr. Swofford. It's easy to see the paralells between Tobacco Road and the BE bball schools, the rest of the ACC and the BE fb schools. That's why so many people earlier on suggested trades or mergers between the conferences. It could be said that the ACC didn't raid the BE, but instead came to consensus among its divisive schools before the BE did.

Mr. Swofford survived mediation between his two competing interests, and now Tranghese faces an escalation of the conflicts in his house. He'd be smart to get all the schools to recognize what their common interests are (northeastern bball) and learn to build on that. At the same time, the schools must recognize the value both sports play in the livelihood of the league; I can't get over the concept that a BE without a football contract would risk fading into A-10 status, their schools forgotten about when the football and basketball seasons overlap. That would be a shame, but a reality they'd face in TV negotiations. There are few (none?) bball independents that I can think of, and a BE tournament won't feel the same without UConn and Syracuse.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:19 pm 
Gunnerfan,one needn't have sat in on every BE meeting to know that Mr.Tranghese immediately and consistently went into a very negative public attack mode that frankly made him a part of the problem and not a part of the solution.After the BE meetings he sort of just "vanished" from public view.
As you point out,Mr Swofford had his own split constituency to handle.I submit that it helped him to accomplish his "raid" of the BE by acting in a cordial gentlemanly like manner.
I believe that your other points underscore my further contention that any fair and lasting resolution for the BE will require much work and much compromise by the parties.I further suggest that if there is no compromise there will "eventually" be a split between the BE FB and bb factions.Comments?


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