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June 22, 2010

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.

Whether the Big East Commish meets this grisly end, remains to be seen. The rumored expansion to take in UCF and maybe Memphis was not exactly met with happiness.

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.





Why is it that people think they have the right to criticize their employer or otherwise disregard their orders? Between Bobby G and the fired Pirates’ Pierogi, maybe the lesson we learn this week is that you should just shut up and do what you’re told…. Just grumble about it and drink whiskey later like I do.

Comment by Bryan 06.22.10 @ 10:28 am

Pitt ranked no. 16 in EA Sports NCAA 11.

Comment by Freebird 06.22.10 @ 11:21 am

Link for this ^^?

Comment by Pedro Salgado 06.22.10 @ 12:25 pm

Here’s the link Freebird referenced:

link to boards.ign.com

Important to know because I believe that EASports ranking is going to be a new part of the BCS formula. (if Kirk Herbstedt get’s a vote, anything is possible)

Comment by Bryan 06.22.10 @ 1:02 pm

So BigEast football is left to stagger around until someone comes along and takes it apart. All because of the Georgetown’s, St. John’s, Providence’s & Seton Hall’s & Villanova’s. Depaul & Marquette don’t have the same clout since they came in recently. I don’t get these BigEast football schools, letting the Bball only teams direct the future of this league where football is king and chief moneymaker. I think Pitt, Cuse, WVU, UConn and the rest need to splinter off. This accomplishes two things, at least, 1) able to add more football members at their discretion 2) won’t have to share the revenue with the bball only schools. The bball only schools might still want to continue the bball games against the football schools for 2 reasons 1) who else are they gonna play 2)I’m sure Georgetown, St. Johns & Nova would not want to lose their rivalry games against Cuse & UConn, not to mention PITT, WVU & L’Ville.
In that scenario the Football teams can’t lose by splintering off.

Comment by carolinapanther 06.22.10 @ 6:27 pm

Perhaps one of the reasons, that BigEast football isn’t getting higher TV revenue from the networks is that Providence isn’t pushing for it. For more TV revenue for football gives the football schools more clout and maybe Providence doesn’t want that.
Food for thought.

Comment by carolinapanther 06.22.10 @ 6:31 pm

Here is some data from the 1st night of the Greentree Summer league (excerpted from Trib-Review):

Pitt’s Dante Taylor had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Panthers teammate Travon Woodall added 15 points for UPMC.

Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs, the Panthers’ leading scorer a year ago, had 17 points and Duquesne guard Sean Johnson added 15, and SPK Law beat PGT Inc., 69-59, behind Pitt’s Brad Wanamker, with 17 points.

Incoming Pitt freshman J.J. Moore, just declared eligible to play for Pitt on Monday, scored 13 points for SPK Law. Moore is the eighth-ranked small forward recruit in the country according to Scout.com after averaging 27.0 points per game last season at South Kent (Conn.) Prep.

Guard Cameron Wright, who also just arrived on the Pitt campus from Cleveland Benedictine High School, led PGT Inc. with 16 points.

Pitt big man Gary McGhee posted a double-double for PGT Inc. with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

FWIW, incoming Duquesne frosh TJ McConnell had 20 pts playing against Woodall.

Comment by wbb 06.22.10 @ 7:59 pm

another excerpt.. this from ESPN.com detailing weight room training in college fb:

Epley, albeit in an indirect way, begat men like Buddy Morris, the self-proclaimed head coach of “physical preparation” at the University of Pittsburgh ever since the Panthers had script Pitt on their helmets. After being “thrown the keys” to Pitt’s strength program by then-coach Jackie Sherrill after his graduation from Pitt in 1980, Morris applied his strict disciplinarian personality, infectious enthusiasm and blue-collar, steel-town work ethic to his job, dubbing the Panthers’ facilities the “Pitt Iron Works.”

In the opinion of Morris, one of the most respected strength coaches in the business and an icon revered by former players, the thinking of old-school coaches and the myths concerning strength and conditioning could not have been more wrong. The weight room — not the film room, not the recruiting trail and not the huddle — was where preparation takes place and where championships were really won.

“If you look at the calendar year, 65 to 67 percent of your time is spent on preparation,” Morris said, “and only about 3 to 5 percent on actual game time, the rest being other responsibilities, so if you don’t enjoy the process, you’re in the wrong sport.”

Morris, like Epley decades ago, is on to something. Examples of both sustained and mini-dynasties in college football that have roots in strength training lore abound.

Comment by wbb 06.22.10 @ 8:14 pm

Any truth to the story about Big East schools don’t have to pay a penalty after the end of June or July, if they decide to leave the conference?? Some article I glanced at today, for real, or just internet junk?? Anyone??

Comment by Dan 06.22.10 @ 11:29 pm

Guess I should give more info, but, I’m exhausted. Anyhow, it goes, they signed an agreement 5 years ago, to do away with the penalties, and the 5 years is up July 2010. Don’t know if the beginning or end of July. Probably nothing, but, if true, could also be why Delaney said, we may add again, and add again….Hey, I’m tired of the expansion talk too, ready for football, but, I saw it, didn’t dig any deeper, anyone know anything about this??

Comment by Dan 06.22.10 @ 11:32 pm

Moore was intriguing last night. He’s skinny, a legit 6?4? and he’s got a soft shot. Could develop into a nice scorer. He’ll get seriously banged around in the BE, though, until he gets stronger. Still, looked like the potential was there…….certainly more potential than your normal Dixon recruit.

Wright…..maybe 6?3?, built better, handled the ball nicely and seemed pretty smart on the court. No shot yet, but looks like he could be a nice addition in future years. He had McGhee on his team and I liked the fact that he was smart enought to set up pick and roll situations so he could get McGhee the ball going to the hoop.

TJ McConnell ate up Woodall last night. Shook him a couple times where I don’t even think “Tra” knew what went past him. It was interesting — I’m not sure what McConnell could do in a BE game, but there’s no doubt he has a better floor game than anyone Pitt has. He had a bunch of steals purely because he was a couple steps ahead of the action……..anticipating…….and he’s lot quicker than you expect. But he’s still pretty small…..

Gil Brown shot 3 for 19. Enough said. The Slovenian league is beckoning.

Taylor looks in a little better shape. No dramatic difference; best we can hope for there is that he turns into a good big man. There’s no giant upside.

Zanna has some more heft to him; looks like they’ve had him on the weights. He’ll be ready to play by the time he graduates.

I’ll probably go up one more time to get another look. So far, freshmen look promising but the vets are really uninspiring.

Comment by hugh green 06.23.10 @ 7:47 am

Boy … The Gonzo story just keeps getting juicier … I still get night sweats when I remember the strong push Pitt got from adidas to hire Gonzo when Ben ran west. That would have been a total disaster!

Comment by Hollow Panther 06.23.10 @ 9:07 am

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