Sorry for going beyond the usual weekend shutdown. Daughter’s birthday, family, the usual. Never even cracked open the laptop after a quick look-around and e-mails on Saturday morning.
So, just going to get some stuff out of the browser tabs.
Let’s start with that which everyone is sick of hearing. The Big 12 survival and Big East stuff.
The one question I (and many others had) over the Big 12 was what would happen if the Big 10/12 finished its expansion evaluations and did come back for Missouri? Apparently Mizzou would have to say no for at least 10 years.
According to Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins, at least 10 years and likely much longer.
“We all signed an agreement that we’d be here 10 years and if some things happen — and I think they will happen, I prefer not go into it until it does — if some other things happen, it could be longer,” Perkins said. “Right now my understanding is it’s 10 years.”
This being the Big 12/10/Texas conference guess what?
Here’s what Beebe said: As part of their plans for continuing the Big 12 with impending defections, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State and Missouri agreed to 10-year commitments as a sign to other schools that might have considered joining or remaining in the league. The 10-year commitment now only applies to those five and may not be even applicable given the change in circumstances.
Essentially the league stays together until Texas decides it wants to go. Presumably Texas A&M could do the same.
While Missouri gets more money — as does the rest of the conference with its survival, it is hard not to see Mizzou as being a big loser out of the chaos. Despite their protests to the contrary. Essentially they have locked themselves into the Big 12 and further under the thumb of Texas — one of the key issues that irritated them and had them wanting out of the conference.
Texas politics. Nothing like claiming to love small government and letting people be — until it is time to meddle.
The head of the Big 12 insists there are no plans to add Texas teams to the conference, but Renu Khator, chancellor and president of the University of Houston, apparently didn’t get the message.
She’s still pushing for membership in the Big 12 or another high-powered athletic league, saying the school deserves a spot because of its rising academic ambitions.
“Sometimes you get defined by the company you keep,” Khator said. “You compare your progress against the schools in your league. Being associated with the highest group is always a good thing.”
The effort picked up speed last week when 26 area legislators made the case in a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, other state leaders, Big 12 executives and the presidents of the Big 12 schools.
If you want a reason why this will never happen, just look over to Texas. They had to contend with the Texas Tech problem that essentially forced them to take Tech with them if they had left for the Big 12. Baylor, despite being a private school, made enough of a stir in expansion to at least come under consideration. Does anyone think that Texas would risk letting Houston — a public institution — into the Big 12? And then have to contend with still more state politics and interference if they tried to move?
On the Big East side, things may be peaceful for now, but hardly safer. Heck, Louisville has now come up as a possible school the Big 12/10 might look towards if they do expand back to 12. Not to worry, Louisville is preaching its love and loyalty to the Big East.
The fact is, that there aren’t good options for the Big East. I’ve seen suggestions that the Big East at least shed schools like DePaul and add just UCF. That would be tolerable to me, but it would never happen.
The basketball schools would never agree to booting out any of their members because they would lose the ability to exert equal influence. They would be down to only 7 members (including ND) and the football schools would have a clear majority.
The whole reason the Big East was reconfigured in 2003 to this 16 team hybrid was to keep a balance between both sides. There was never any reason beyond the issue of balance of the competing interests for adding DePaul and Marquette in the first place (no offense to Marquette who has been a fine program in the Big East, but geographically… come on).
Speaking of far-fetched but fun to think about. How about the idea of an alliance of the Big 12/10 and Big East. Complete with a conference championship showdown since neither conference has enough members to stage a championship game. Doubt it would happen, but it might not be the worst thing for the two commissioners to meet and discuss ways to strengthen the ties to the conferences. Especially if Texas ever does bolt with a bunch of the other members.
In other stuff, there is this great story on how former Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez just never understood his place as a basketball coach. Seton Hall has provided an answer and counterclaim to Gonzalez’s lawsuit for money based on his unsigned extension.
Seton Hall fired Bobby Gonzalez six days after an expletive-laced tirade directed at a university dean during a phone conversation March 11, according to court documents obtained by SNY.tv.
After Pat Hobbs, dean of the Seton Hall School of Law and overseer of the men’s basketball program, telephoned Gonzalez to inquire about the coach’s profanity-laced tirade directed at a Bergen Record reporter and alleged threat toward that reporter, Gonzalez screamed into the phone.
“Nobody’s gonna tell me how to run my motherf—ing program. Not you, not Monsignor, not Joe Quinlan. This is my f—ing program. My f—ing program,” Gonzalez screamed, according to the counterclaim filed Tuesday by Seton Hall in response to Gonzalez’s April lawsuit.
Dean Hobbs hung up on Gonzalez, the document states, and the coach was fired March 17.
“Predictably, Coach Gonzalez’s termination for cause followed shortly thereafter – he was fired effective immediately on March 17, 2010, and his termination was memorialized in the Termination Letter two days later, on March 19, 2010 – as does this action for compensatory and punitive damages to redress the harm wrought by his flagrant and appalling disregard for his contractual obligations to Seton Hall,” the counterclaim reads.
Gonzalez had beaten AD Quinlan in public opinion and with Seton Hall higher-ups, and tried to push around Hobbs. He completely misread Hobbs’ power and influence.
Granted, by letting this all get out in the open, it isn’t what Seton Hall wants for its own image. This, however, will be much worse for Gonzalez. It is no longer a “death penalty” for a former coach to sue his school for money. Happening more and more. It will kill Gonzalez’s chances, though, the more his behavior is put on display. He simply doesn’t win or recruit nearly enough to get away with the behavior.