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May 21, 2010

Political Ponderings

Filed under: Big 11,Conference,Money,Tactics — Chas @ 10:20 am

Here’s something to think about heading into the weekend.

When the ACC expanded, it was not a unified decision by the members. To the point that Virginia and the state politics became the swing vote to get expansion done.

As you may recall, the original plan by the ACC was for Miami, BC and Syracuse. This was because Miami wanted to have connections to Boston and NYC where they had strong alumni bases. The problem was that there was significant disagreement within the ACC over this. Miami was problematic enough, but those two schools to the north seemed too far out. There didn’t seem to be the votes for all three.

There was a lot of scrambling and the Virginia legislature was in turmoil and lots of VT pressure was brought on them and the Virginia Governor. The VA Gov. Warner in turn leaned on UVa to back VT or not support any ACC expansion.

The ACC commish found he needed Virginia’s support to get the plan through. So, VT became the school to come with Miami. There still was not enough support at that moment for BC or Syracuse, they waited another year before bringing in BC — after the NCAA rejected their request to change conference championship rules to allow the minimum be lowered to 11 teams.

Pitt is the only candidate (aside from ND) that is within a state that already has a Big 11 member.

Now obviously the Pennsylvania political structure is nowhere near the same and political influence over the major schools seems much more limited — as witnessed by the failure of several attempts to mandate Pitt-PSU play each other annually as states like Florida and Alabama have done.

Now we don’t know how Big Something expansion will work out. It is known that the Big 11 needs 8 of the 11 present members to back an applying school for membership.

(I’m sure everyone can see where this is going.)

So here’s the question: Do you think Pitt and its supporters in the legislature  should bring pressure to bear on PSU to back Pitt into the Big Something? Whether this is done publicly or privately is not relevant.

To the point of demanding they not support any other school unless Pitt is included? Would it make a difference? Is it already taking place quietly?

Or do you think that the Big 11 schools would be too unified for PSU to stop it (i.e., at least 8 votes among the other 10 for all other candidates for membership)?

As a fan of limited government and not wild about them interfering in higher education, my natural instincts are to recoil. Of course, the Pitt alum/fan in me is screaming, “By any and all means necessary!”

This may be a no-brainer. Still worth asking.

I to am a big fan of limited government, however in this situation I really want the PSU game back, and I also like how the media loves the Big 11. I think by being in this league we could get more of that. Im not trying to hype of our beloved Panthers, but they have too much football tradition to be left out. Not only that, we also have more national titles thatn PSU, more Rose bowl apperances and more NFL impact prospects.

If there is any way I can send a supportive letter etc. to the Big Ten or to the state of Pennsylvania anyone let me know. I feel Pitt is a special place academically, and major atheltically. They desever better national credit than what the national guys give em in both sports, at times.

Again if anyone knows where I can send a supportive letter to pitt joining let me know!

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Lou 05.21.10 @ 11:16 am

i’d love to see pitt in the big 10 and playing the nitwits every year again. Am starting to worry a bit that pitt will get hung out to dry in a gutted BE. hopefully pitt’s pros (geography, football tradition, great hoops program, facilities and the AAU designation) outweigh its major con – Pitt doesn’t add any additional media eyeballs w/ big 10 network already available in pittsburgh.

Comment by wilk 05.21.10 @ 11:40 am

Fan of limited government? If state tax dollars are going to Penn State, and the state legislature, which presumably represents the interests of the people, feels that including Pitt in the Big Ten expansion is important, why shouldn’t pressure be exerted on PSU? If Pitt is left out of the expansion, and it is clear that being left in the remainder of the Big East will significantly harm Pitt, the state would be remiss if it didn’t attempt to protect its interest.

While Pitt isn’t technically a state university, the state is still a large supporter of both it and Penn State. Shouldn’t the state be able to demand that, in exchange for its financial support that PSU vote in a way which will protect the state’s other investment, i.e. Pitt?

This isn’t a case of micromanagement of the universities by the State. This IS a no-brainer.

Comment by William Strunk Jr. 05.21.10 @ 11:55 am

That’s true.

If the state’s pumping dollars into these schools, they should have a say in these things.

There’s really nothing unfair or tyrannical about that.

I do, however, think that there are better things for the state to worry about than football.

I’m really just praying that the Big 10 goes the “ginourmous super conference” route here and goes to 16 teams.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my Dad 05.21.10 @ 12:44 pm

There is no question that the politicians will get involved with this expansion. The degree to which they get involved will depend on how many teams go from the BE, and how close the vote looks. In 2003, when the ACC went after Miami, BC, and Syracuse, the consensus was that the BE was going to go under. With it would go whatever TV revenue it was generating. Basically, the Gov of VA told UVA that if they contributed to the financial demise of the VT athletic programs, and the state of VA needed to contribute more because of it, then that “more” was going to come from funds that would otherwise have been sent to the UVA. It was a perfectly legitimate thing to do. Both PSU and Pitt take large sums of money from the state of PA. If PSU actively works against Pitts inclusion in the Big 10, then the Gov of PA should have no problem decreaseing PSU’s state funding and increasing Pitts by a corresponding amount. Of coures, I hope this never becomes necessary, because when it all said and done, I hope Pitt is kicking VT’s tail year after year again as a member of the ACC! The ACC is it for Pitt. Its a better fit, with far more interesting matchups in FB and especially in BB. I’m just a fan…I don’t care what the Big 10 is paying these days, I don’t care if we ever play PSU again (and I grew up with that rivalry). If we can get by on the $4 – $5M the BE currently pays out to each school, we can certainly survie on the $11 – $12M the ACC will be paying out. As long as we continue to play WVU every year we have our blood match.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.21.10 @ 12:58 pm

There are too many PSU fans in the legislature and not enough Pitt fans to make this happen by force. As PSU fans, the last thing they want is a Pitt program that will compete with them for recruits (as well as dollars). Even PSU fans that remember the great rivalry, and hate Pitt to this day, will favor Pitt being left out of expansion precisely BECAUSE of the expected demise of the Big East – they hate Pitt that much. There is no way any threat to de-fund PSU in some way will make it through the legislature.

Ed Rendell is a New York native and Philadelphian, so he could care less (and he’s out of office in 7 months).
As for the next governor, the two fighting for the spot are hardly good candidates to fight for Pitt, despite being from Pittsburgh; Dan Onorato went Pitt law school, but that will likely be trumped by his undergrad degree from …you guessed it, Penn State; Tom Corbett went to Lebanon Valley for undergrad and St. Mary’s (of San Antonio, TX) for law school [Tom’s not known as a deep thinker…]. Corbett is probably going to win, so we need to get Elsie Hillman and the rest of his sugar-mommas and sugar-daddies to lobby for Pitt!

Comment by Patrick 05.21.10 @ 2:14 pm

I don’t think the legislature in PA has the clout to pressure Penn State. They haven’t even been able to make the two teams play. What is Marinatto doing? Waiting for Tagliabue to tell him what the next step is? I too am becoming concerned that Pit will be left out (didn’t Delany say as much?) and the BE is paralyzed – still.

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.21.10 @ 2:14 pm

The legislature forcing the teams to play each other would be interference with the running of the schools. Insisting that Penn State vote in a way that would prevent harm to another Pennsylvania institution is quite another.

If left to its own devices, it’s in Penn State’s interest to harm Pitt. Universities are no different than corporations and Pitt is direct competition to Penn State – for dollars and students. That’s why I think the legislature may need to force PSU to do the right thing. It really shouldn’t be a matter of legislators being Penn State fans, it’s in the Commonwealth’s interest to have both schools excel.

Comment by William Strunk Jr. 05.21.10 @ 2:35 pm

Am I the only alumnus who does not want to be included in the new Big10? I feel the only similarities we have with those schools is the AAU title, and many other schools outside the Big10 have that as well.

If the Big10 ends up taking just one school, even if it’s a Big East member, the conference will survive. If they take 3 or 5 teams and multiple teams come from the Big East, the ACC will follow suit and pick up 2 or 4 teams, and Pitt will be included in that list for sure.

Personally, I hope it’s just Nebraska added and that is that. I do not like the Big10 brand of athletics and I am fine walking away from all that money to try and keep the Big East. We’ve gotten by this long without them. And if we are forced to move on from a non-football Big East the ACC is right there waiting.

Comment by NickW 05.21.10 @ 3:25 pm

everone is a fan of limited government… until they need them. Without the feds

– there would be no national security or national currency (the initial recognition of federal interference)
– there would still be no steroid policy in MLB (most recent
– there woould still be no civil rights in at least a handful of states.

I am by no means a socialist or communist (Or whatever trhe apt term is) and would normally prefer less government .. but I am also a realist. But nonetheless, I seriously would hope that Pitt’s inclusion in B10 expansion will not require political intervention.

Comment by wbb 05.21.10 @ 4:14 pm

NickW, I would actually prefer Pitt becoming part of the ACC instead of the B10, but Chas made a compelling argument a few days ago that, with their new TV deal, the ACC will not look to expand (unless they are raided by the SEC)

Comment by wbb 05.21.10 @ 4:20 pm

The only problem with this is that for the past 10 or 15 years, Pitt has been shifting further and further away from a state school and more toward a private university. I have even heard whisperings that we could become private in the next 10-20 years.

Virginia’s situation was different because they have no professional football team (unless you count the redskins). PA has 2 NFL teams and its residents are not diehard college football fans. People in Philly by and large don’t live and die by pitt or psu athletics unless they went to one of the schools. It would be a HUGE surprise to me if anyone in PA legislature made so much as a peep about this.

Comment by PantherProto 05.21.10 @ 4:32 pm

Nick, Obviously you are not the ONLY one that would prefer that the University of Pittsburgh remain out of the much ballyhooed Big Eleven. The only lure offer is the revenue from their TV network. Between the ACC, the SEC and the Big East a credible football AND basketball conference should be able to be coppled together. And if that were to be the case, it seems to me the Big Eleven Network would lose out in profitability. That being said, my Panther roots force me to bellow, “I don’t want to be beholden to the Nits for anything. They are still just an agricultural college in my book”. George from Columbus

Comment by rev. george mehaffey 05.21.10 @ 4:53 pm

Pitt and Penn State DO get state funds, but not as much as you’d think. There’s a reason the US news and World report lists them both as “state-related.”

Comment by slingstone 05.21.10 @ 5:17 pm

Believe me, they will peep…They may not stand in a public square and denounce the Big 10, but the wheels will be turning. Its not about Pitt vs PSU and who you are a fan of or not. Its about the ecomomic impact caused to the University and the city of Pittsburgh by the loss of its affiliation with a BCS conference (in the case of several teams being plucked from the Big East, with Pitt not being one of them, and whats left of the Big East FB conference loses its BCS status). Pitt can’t fill the stadium now, what happens if we are in the MAC? Ever walk around the downtown area when we have a good size crowd? The restaurants and bars are crowded, the Casino is jumping, parking garages are full. We often stay in the Springhill Suites beside the baseball stadium for night games, and it is always full. I don’t know what the total economic impact to the city is from all this foot traffic associated with Pitt football games. I would bet that combined with the lost revenue to the University from losing its BCS status (TV money), it is enough to stir more than a few members of the state legislature into action. But, I’ll say it again, I hope none of this is necessary. I hope that the Big 10 keeps enjoying its current “King of all Conferences” run. Arrogantly standing behind podiums from time to time letting the college football world know that it will bestow its fate upon them at its discretion. Only to be upstaged by the ACC announcing that it is going to 16 teams and adding Pitt, WVU, Syracuse and UCONN. Wait, that could not happen…The ACC would not conduct secret meetings on expansion knowing that the result could destroy another BCS conference, would they? The ACC is it for Pitt!!!

Comment by HbgFrank 05.21.10 @ 5:17 pm

wbb, I believe that you are a Federalist, as in Federalist #51. While James Madison was addressing separation of powers in this document, he did pen a famous passage that caputures your point: “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Comment by HbgFrank 05.21.10 @ 5:25 pm

HbgF, all I know is that Wall St reform just passed, something that wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance of passing just a year ago. Good or bad? .. maybe just another necessary evil (or in other words … “uh, what Madison wrote”)

Comment by wbb 05.21.10 @ 5:56 pm

The Va / Va Tech scenario also applies to Texas / Texas AM , Texas can’t go anywhere without AM .Harrisburg needs to get involved because of the economic impact to Pa. My son is employed by one of the Pittsburgh hotels and he says they really count on those Pitt home games to fill rooms, just as much as Steeler’s games.Significant economic impact to downtown Pittsburgh. Also are state legislators owe it to our high school football players to make sure their is more than one university playing major division 1 football providing scholarships and a better chance to make it to Pro football from Pa. As an example Mick Williams played football at Class A Monessen , he easily could have been a rough gem that settled for a MAC conference or Cal U of Pa and never would have gotten a tryout in the NFL if a second major division 1 college program had not been locally available.
What can Harrisburg do ? Turn up the heat on PSU make it perfectly clear their state allocation will always be at least $22M (B10 share)less than Pitt’s.

Comment by Marty 05.21.10 @ 5:56 pm

Never thought I’d see James Madison quoted on Pitt sports blog…federalism, limited government, angels, Wow! Deep! But I’m afraid that if our fate depends on help from Harrisburg, then we are doomed. The state legislature here has very little interest in anything west of Breezewood. If there is any doubt, ask former ‘burgh mayor Murphy who got zero help from the state when he was trying to resolove the city’s financial troubles. Or county exec Onoroto, who had to impose a county-wide drink tax when H’brg refused to open any other options to resolve the county’s budget. H’brg couldn’t even make one football game happen. But enough politics.

Pitt has enjoyed a renaissance both academically and athletically under the direction of Dr. Nordenberg, and lately Steve Peterson. The university is stronger in both areas than it has been since the 60’s when it became state-related. I trust that these guys are tuned in and will make sure Pitt gets the best outcome possible.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself…

Comment by Dock71 05.21.10 @ 8:41 pm

Ed Rendell would never put himself in the middle of this. The dude couldn’t care less about the left part of the state. He would’ve hung the Pens out to dry if he had his way. He would do the same thing to the Buccos if they weren’t hanging themselves. If his beloved Phillies were in a similar situation, he would’ve stepped right in. As for anything Pittsburgh-way?…not a chance.


Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 05.21.10 @ 8:52 pm

The Pennsylvania Legislature isn’t interested in bailing out Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. It is interested in getting re-elected.

I think Paterno would actually like to see Pitt in the Big 10. Paterno won’t schedule Pitt as a nonconference game because Paterno learned his lesson well from the Ohio State Suck-Eyes, which is to schedule creampuffs at home in the early part of the season and guarantee your team with a winning streak at the start. However, Paterno has no pull in the Big 10. OSU and Michigan run that conference and the rest of them are along for the ride.

Just my opinion but I don’t want Onorato to get elected. Onorato and $pendell are buddies and they both screwed up the Isle of Capri casino proposal that would have provided the Penguins with a new arena at little taxpayer cost. Frankly, I despise OnoRATo, but that is my viewpoint.

I grew up with the rivalry, too. Although I grew up in Ohio and heard about how great the Boring Bowl (OSU – Michigan) was, in most of the 1970s Pitt-PSU was the superior game.

We all have to remember that nobody knows how this will play out. Delaney will likely offer Notre Dame another opportunity. I hope they take it, but who knows?

If Notre Dame refuses, then what? Texas will play Delaney like a fiddle. Texas will not join a conference where they are not the most powerful school, and OSU & Michigan run the Big 10.

Then , who does Delaney get? Nebraska? Missouri? The Big 12 can replace them with some combination of Colorado State, TCU, SMU and Houston.

Rutgers? Take ’em. Please! Rutgers was as bad as Temple not so long ago. Temple actually has a competitive football team in the MAC.

One way or another, Pitt must leave the Big East as it is presently constituted. The basketball only schools have dragged down the football schools.

If the Big 10 offers a bid to Pitt, then Pitt should accept it.

If there is some type of ACC-Big East football school merger, then so be it, and I think this is the most likely thing to happen, the ACC contract notwithstanding. Why? The SEC will not stand idly by. The SEC could easly grab Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Florida State and one other ACC school and be the true superpower conference.

If the worst case scenario occurs, then Pitt, UConn, WVU, either Syracuse or Rutgers (the one who doesn’t go to the Big 10), USF, Cincinnati and Louisville form a conference. Add Temple if their football has improved enough. Throw in East Carolina, Central Florida and Houston. It will be a clear notch above CUSA as presently constituted. Sign a contract with Versus because they want to grow their sports coverage and demand the Big East’s BCS bid. If the other schools say no, then bring an antitrust lawsuit in federal court. Bring in the MAC, the WAC and any other conference shut out if need be. My guess is the other conferences will relent. If not, then nail them all for antitrust violations – which I think they are guilty of now anyways – for treble damages.

I just want to see the Pitt situation resolved and solidified. I would love for Pitt to establish a Division I hockey program. If Bobby Morris can do it, then so can Pitt.

Comment by Penguins Fan 05.21.10 @ 9:33 pm

Is anybody actually a fan of unlimited government? I mean, isn’t that like saying, “I support the American family” or “I like boobies?”

But I digress. Yes, political pressure should be brought to bear, but like everyone else, I question its effectiveness given PSU’s clout and its inability to get the rivalry started.

Comment by Lee in Altoona 05.22.10 @ 7:02 am

HbgFrank(and others committed to sane government without tyranny): Thank you, a brilliant piece of research on James Madison. As Ben Franklin responded to an inquiry by a lady as to the direction the colonies were taking:” a Republic madam, if we can keep it'”(The Romans didn’t) The discourse in those days seems to have been more enlightening. Today’s verbal exchanges appears to be about TV contracts. Pitt will be fine. Let it just remember not to sell its soul and forsake its noble heritage. George in Columbus where Big Eleven contracts rule the roost.

Comment by rev. george mehaffey 05.22.10 @ 8:15 am

Penguins fan:

Pitt alum here in Big 12 country (Manhattan, Kansas). The best move for the Big 12 if they lose Mizzou and Nebraska is to get Arkansas and Louisville.

Arkansas has never been the samesince joining the SEC and would love to get back the Texas link. Not to mention the Big 12 title game will soon always be at JerryWorld (a Razorback grad). Louisville? An absolute no brainer. Better for football for sure and adds a great market for the conference footprint.

Comment by Dan 05.22.10 @ 9:17 am

I think I’d rather sell my soul and be playing Michigan, OSU and PSU, and yes, even Illinois and Northwestern, than keeping it, and be playing Memphis, E.Car and Temple…..

Comment by Dan 05.22.10 @ 9:27 am

You’re closer to the situation than I am, but I don’t think there’s any chance Arkansas gets off the SEC gravy train just pal around with old SWC buddies. There were reasons that conference blew up.

Comment by slingstone 05.22.10 @ 9:57 am

The comparison of the State Legislature mandating PSU play Pitt every year is not a one for one comparison with the potential of the Legislature seeking to influence Big 10 expansion. Pitt playing PSU is an economic wash for PA. The game will be played in Pittsburgh or State College. To be honest, as PSU will always point out, its a loss for them. PSU generates about $10M in revenue per home game. If they have to drop a home game against the Costal Carolina’s of the world every other year to make room for a road game at Pitt, they will loose $10M or so every other year to play Pitt. Frankly, I don’t think the Legislature has any business spending an ounce of time on who plays who in college FB. The expansion issue is different deal all together. The loss of Pitts affiliation with a BCS Conference would have a permanent negative economic impact on both the University and the City of Pittsburgh. This will kick the lobbyists for the UofP, hotels, restaurants, parking, casino, etc, into action in Harrisburg. The memebers of the State House and Senate will respond. I don’t know if they will have any effect, but they will certainly bring pressure on PSU to support Pitts inclusion in the expansion. I don’t think they atuomatically threaten PSUs funding. I could only see that happening IF the powers at PSU actively work to exclude Pitt from the expansion.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.22.10 @ 11:11 am

ON expansion in general, the best case scenario is for the Big 10 to expand by 1, which I don’t see happening. I’m betting on 16 teams. When that happens, is there anyone out there that thinks the SEC is going to sit back and play K Mart to the Big 10s Walmart? No, their commisioner has already stated they will not do so. They will be plucking 4 BCS teams from somewhere. And the dominoes fall. One angle for the Big 10 to consider regarding the reach of their BTN is this: If Pitt would wind up in the ACC or dare I say SEC or Big 12, and one of those conferences launches its own network, now the BTN no longer has “all of PA” covered by PSU. Even better, what if the ACC, SEC or Big 12 decided to stick it to “Big 10” country and take Pitt, WVU, Cinci, and Louville and then put their new Network on in Ohio and Western PA! It would be interesting to see which channel had better ratings in Western PA. The point is, if the Big 10 goes to 16 teams, they may very well include Pitt to protect their PA market by locking out any other conference that Pitt might join.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.22.10 @ 11:29 am

Lee, I like boobies.

Comment by Todd Gack 05.22.10 @ 11:31 am

I believe in limited government too, so I answer with a resounding NO!

Comment by ME2001 05.22.10 @ 12:17 pm

Government employs lots of boobs, doesn’t it?

Back to topic, the next time a PA legislator’s relative needs an organ transplant at UPMC, he/she should be reminded of Pitt’s clout.

Comment by steve 05.22.10 @ 1:12 pm

Frank I like your thinking about the threat Pitt could be to the B10 if they allow another conference to expand taking the Panthers. Giving the B10 network competition in Pa ,Eastern Ohio the whole Eastern US.

Comment by Marty 05.22.10 @ 2:53 pm

HbgFrank, the jewel for any conference is Metro NYC. The ACC was short sited in not making this their number one priority seven years ago. They wanted Syracuse, but got turned down. Boston College looked good on paper, but does not bring the ACC a major part of the Northeast market.

The NYC market is Rutgers. Rutgers would have to receive an offer they can’t turn down, because the State has more pressing issues at present. (NO MONEY!)

If Rutgers makes a move, I would love them to have more fore-site than Boston College and insist on having additional like Northeast schools in the conference.

However, I don’t see a 14 or 16 football team conference working very well. Look at the Big East BB!

I’m not a Big Ten fan for Pitt. Pitt is an Eastern School! We might get lost in the Big Ten. I don’t see PSU written about much in the Metro NYC papers.

Of course, I would like to play PSU every year as well as WV, Syracuse, ND, Rutgers, and maybe Navy. I would even throw in Temple,and Army. I like and see where South Florida expands the Big East market. (Isn’t going South on the Big Tens wish list?

Pitt, at least for now, is the big fish of that group and the Big East It is good to be at the top of the food chain!

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 05.22.10 @ 2:59 pm

We just need to hurry up and get the acc to add Pitt, wvu, Syracuse, and uconn. Pretty strong football and one heck of a bball conference

Comment by Tony Cancilla 05.22.10 @ 5:58 pm

The home games scheduling argument for why Penn State ended the series is nonsense. It’s easy to have a long term out-of-conference deal with balanced home games and Penn State refused to continue the series as it had been played since ’66. Georgia. Out-of-conference rival every year and an additional competitive BCS program, plus one FCS school and one Sun Belt school. Penn State sacrificed the rivalry for a more variety in their schedule.

Comment by slingstone 05.22.10 @ 7:15 pm

I have to say that all the ideas people kick around are interesting to read and think about.

I don’t think legislative pressure will work on PSU. They can claim to support Pitt in the Big 10 – and for all any of us know they do – but if a minority of other Big 10 college presidents don’t want Pitt then it won’t happen regardless of how PSU votes – and Graham Spainer will do what Paterno wants in any case.

I said it before. The SEC isn’t stupid. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma. and Oklahoma State fit in well with the rest of the SEC. The SEC can start their own network and they will wipe up the floor with the Big 10.

The Big 12 should be quaking in their boots right now. They are as likely – if not more so – to disintegrate than the Big East.

Regardless of the outcome of all of this, Pitt needs to be in a conference that is not controlled by private colleges that do not field a Division 1 football team.

Comment by Penguins Fan 05.22.10 @ 7:38 pm

Count me as another Pitt fan that wants nothing to do with the Big 10/11, regardless of the positive impact due to the ridiculous research consortium. That’s the big attraction to the Big 10 for any school outside of the much smaller TV revenue.

Comment by Frank 05.22.10 @ 11:40 pm

This on the PG Pitt page is extremely annoying:

“Can the Panthers stop Tony Pike?”

Paul, please give it the hook.

Comment by steve 05.23.10 @ 1:38 pm

Excuse me, I AM IN A STATE OF SHOCK, HAVING JUST READ Mr. Michael Sanserino’s column in today’s PG. The editorial is lengthy and enlightening. It WILL contribute to the “discussion” gaining acceleration in regard to the possibility of Big Ten expansion. One of the quotes cited by Mr. Sanserino is attributed to Jake Crouthamel, who was the Syracuse A.D. from 1978 to 2005, as follows:” In addition to lucrative TV deals with ESPN/ABC and CBS (the Big Ten) is the only conference with its own TV network. The conference owns 51% of the network, News Corp owns the rest”. What? You mean the News Corp of Rupert Murdock’s stable of media outlets? You mean the Rupert Murdock who recently bought the Wall St. Journal and is rumored to be trying to acquire the N.Y. Times? You mean the Australian wizard of the financial world who is the kingpin of Fox News” Are you saying that the Big Ten Network which is swallowing is in league with that Rupert Murdock? That news adds another aspect to the discussion in my opinion. It is also interesting to read the quote of Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin fame, who purported ly said (according to Mr. Sanserino, “I think someone has to buy their way into the league”. I offer an AMEN to the quote of the former Syracuse A.D. who opined “Sportsmanship in this exercise is gone. Its all about money”. Really!! This is one Pitt alum who would rather stay with the Big East than swim with the crocs in the river of no return. George from Columbus

Comment by rev. george mehaffey 05.23.10 @ 1:39 pm

Well this won’t go down until the November elections roll through. We know that Rendell only cares about Philly sports, so that’s not even worth the effort. It’s something to prod the candidates for governor about and something interesting to see an answer for. If Onaratodingdong was smart he would protect his local economy by forcing the issue. I’m not sure how the Rep. candidate would answer, but hopefully anything tying more funding to the state would be something worth using political muscle on.

Comment by Brian 05.25.10 @ 2:33 pm

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