When you have two very well-known colleges, Syracuse and Pittsburgh who have made it official that they are looking at joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in college athletics,(ACC); it marks the death knell of the Big East in college football and most likely, in its other sports, including basketball.
What took me by surprised is that it was Syracuse and Pittsburgh, both basketball powerhouses in regards to men’s college basketball and for Syracuse, its men’s college basketball program headed by the legendary head coach Jim Boeheim who lead his team to the NCAA’s men’s college basketball championship in 2003.
What DOES NOT SURPRISE ME is that the Big East, which was founded by Dave Gavitt, who sadly this past weekend had passed on from congestive heart failure,also with the decision by both Syracuse and Pittsburgh call it quits from the Big East and to join up with the ACC. As a favorite local sports news reports radio voice, Scott Gray from WTICAM, 1080, in Hartford/Farmington, CT, USA has rightfully has said, the Big East “died” this past weekend, but unlike Mr. Gavitt, it committed “suicide” by as I have added by the departure of two major conference colleges.
Frankly,where the BLAME should be made should be directed at the source; to the Big East,were it should have gotten much more “aggressive” the last few years when Boston College, Virgina Tech, and the University of Miami were making their moves to leave the Big East to the greener pastures of the ACC. Also not helping were the colleges that wanted nothing to do with college football. Georgetown,Providence,Seton Hall, and Villanova, all which focus on both men’s and women’s college basketball, could very well get their wish is it (Big East) ends up being just a dedicated basketball conference. Even the University of Connecticut is studying the ACC option as is Rutgers University. From a source from the University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst and reported on ESPN website:”UConn president Susan Herbst is aggressively pursuing membership in the ACC to become the 15th or 16th member institution in the conference, according to a source with direct knowledge of UConn’s situation.
According to the source, Herbst was having conversations recently but in light of Pittsburgh’s and Syracuse’s defections from the Big East, the talks have accelerated in the last 48 hours.
In a statement earlier Sunday, Herbst said that although UConn was “a proud charter member of the Big East” the school was staying “actively involved in discussions with our counterparts from around the country to ensure the successful long-term future of our university’s athletic program.”
What it all comes down to is that UConn is studying its options for the future of being in a college sports conference that is NOT CALLED the “Big East” anymore.
IMHO, I look at what has happened as a reminder that colleges NEED to focus first and foremost on the EDUCATION part of the colleges and universities, then the sports factor. Also there is the NEED to come to terms with the reality that college sports, and in a special way, college football, not only is a BIG MONEY MAKER for the higher education institutions,which comes from the dedicated sports tv companies such as ESPN, a Bristol, Connecticut, USA located company but also from donations or endowments to the institutions of higher learning as well.
Also this decision by both Syracuse and Pittsburgh to go to the ACC will I do predict make it possible for not only UConn and Rutgers to join up, but for the ACC to take control of Madison Square Garden for the yearly conference basketball tournament. In the end, the Big East will either end up becoming a dedicated basketball conference or it will die out as a college conference, opening up to other conferences the opportunity to join up with other conferences. IMHO, the one college that got left with an empty bag is TCU which late last year signed up with the Big East to start-up come the fall of 2012. The question I have is, what will TCU do NOW that Syracuse and Pittsburgh have jumped ship for the ACC?
In the end the reality is that college football runs the show for college sports during any given college term. This weekend was just such a reminder.
With MANY THANKS To Both ESPN.COM, Andy Katz, And Joe Schad. Read More Here:\”Source: UConn Eyes ACC Move\”
With MANY THANKS To Both WTIC AM Talk 1080 And Scott Gray. Read More And Also Listen Here:\”The Big East As We Know Of It Is Over! Sadly\”
With MANY THANKS To Both ESPN And YouTube. Watch Video Here:
“ACC accepts Big East schools Syracuse and Pittsburgh to join conference.”
With MANY THANKS To Both PS3Kid21 And YouTube. Watch Video Here: