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.