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October 12, 2011

Big East Infighting Continues

Filed under: Big East,Conference,Money — Chas @ 9:23 pm

I feel a little conflicted. As a Pitt guy, I know it is in Pitt’s best interest to get out of the Big East and to the ACC ASAP. Unfortunately, it increasingly appears that the only way that can happen is for the Big East to die, and die soon.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no sympathy for the Big East itself. Nor is this about the basketball schools. My conflicted feelings are for the football programs that will beleft behind. The ones that have no where to go or will have to wait and sweat a while. The ones that are just there waiting for the Sword of Damocles hanging over their head to fall and strike them down

We have been sweating this out for years. When the Big East was raided in 2003, it has been a countdown for when the end would come. It has lasted longer than expected. The conference Pitt is heading to is different from expected in 2003, but Pitt is moving on. Meanwhile, the Big East fault lines are being laid bare.

For yet another day, the Big East tried to have a meeting to discuss getting new members and other issues. And for yet another day, nothing came of it.

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Need to get to the Utah game and some more basketball stuff, but too many tabs related to the expansiopocolypse that need clearing.

While the college sporting world waits on the decision of Mizzou, Boston College’s AD Gene DeFilippo felt like popping off a bit about how influential he was in the ACC realignment committee. The comments that got all the attention were the ones pertaining to how he and BC were the reason UConn didn’t get an invite, but Pitt did along with Syracuse.

While Syracuse presented no problem, UConn did — to BC, which was still fuming over what it perceived to be vitriolic comments made when BC was finally invited to join the ACC and started competing in 2005. UConn and Pittsburgh filed a lawsuit against BC, and Calhoun made comments about never playing BC again.

DeFilippo does not deny that BC opposed the inclusion of UConn.

“We didn’t want them in,’’ he said. “It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team.’’

The other was the role of a certain Mouse Monopoly in the decision on who to invite for expansion.

BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo, who was part of the 12-member ACC expansion committee, adamantly denied that the move was dictated by basketball interests, but he did concede that the effects of it may boost that sport more than football.

“It had nothing to do with basketball,’’ said DeFilippo. “It was football money which drove expansion. It was football money and securing our future.’’

The overwhelming force behind the move, DeFilippo insisted, was television money.

The ACC just signed a new deal with ESPN that will increase the revenue for each school to approximately $13 million. With the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, said DeFilippo, another significant increase will come.

“We always keep our television partners close to us,’’ he said. “You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV – ESPN – is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.’’

The UNC blog, Carolina March points out this creates a conflict in the narrative of the actual story. The story starts with a premise that the ACC expansion move was dictated in no small part because of basketball driven jealousy of all the attention the Big East gets. That, of course, would favor UConn over Pitt. Especially when you factor in the women’s basketball side of things as well.

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Luke Winn Likes Pitt Early

Filed under: Basketball,Power Rankings — Chas @ 12:09 am

I’m not saying the Sports Illustrated writer is picking Pitt to win it all — or even the Big East. Just a pleasant surprise to see that he ranked Pitt’s frontcourt (#15) and backcourt (#10) in his top-16 squads. These days, Pitt get’s ranked but the players tend to be overlooked. Nice for the kids to get a little respect.

Big East Basketball Media Day in a week. Just a memo to the Occupy Wall Street folk, it is Coach Jamie Dixon, not JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dixon. Let him be.

In related news, I will be attending Big East Media Day, in NYC. More details coming, but suffice to say that I cannot wait.

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