December 11, 2012

Does anyone remember the start of the millennium? When C-USA was really good at basketball? Memphis, Louisville, Cinci, Marquette — heck even DePaul was tough — and some of those battles in the C-USA Tournament? No? Yes? Maybe? This?

Any bells?

There really were some great games. Huge drama.

Now? Not so much. Outside of those in the respective fan bases that remember those days, and some big college basketball wonks. Think Louisville or Cinci gets much respect for claiming C-USA Championships these days? Not when everyone looks at the present — and future — C-USA and see the level of competition.

That’s where the Big East appeared to already be headed, but now the Big East Basketball schools are thinking about accelerating the process.

In what could be the first step towards the collapse of the Big East football/basketball structure, officials of the 7 non-football playing Big East basketball schools held a meeting in New York on Sunday to discuss breaking off on their own. According to sources familiar with the talks, the conference included not only athletic directors, but Presidents  and Big East commissioner Mike Aresco as well.

A time frame of six months was set up  to make a decision whether to break off on their own or continue to stay within the frame work of a conference whose configuration has changed steadily over the last several months. That time frame may be predicated on the nature of a new television football/basketball contract the Big East is currently trying to put together.

Why such a short time-frame to make a decision? Because that is about how long their window is to control the Big East as far as dissolving it rather than dealing with exit fees (probably).

At issue is whether the Big East basketball-only schools have the power to dissolve the league, and retain all the assets and brand name. A source with knowledge of the situation said that until July 1, the seven have the majority votes and the necessary three-fourths to have controlling power. There are only three remaining football members — Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida.

But a number of sources couldn’t confirm whether Temple, which is a football-only member this season, has a controlling vote. One Big East source said Temple has a vote on football issues but wasn’t sure whether the Owls could use that vote for membership. If the Owls could, Temple likely would be the fourth vote preventing any dissolving of the league.

That has to be fun for Cinci and UConn. Trying to hold the conference together while simultaneously begging to get out of it. It does make some sense for the Big East Basketball schools to examine their options — however dim the odds are of them being able to make a decision within six months.

Hilariously (or sadly) the tipping point was not that the early estimates for the TV contract were coming in far, far lower than anyone expected.

Last week, reported the Big East’s media rights deal is expected to bring between $60 million and $80 million, which would actually provide the basketball schools less revenue than the current deal. Based on those figures, the basketball schools would earn only $1.06 million (based on the $60 million estimate) or $1.41 million (based on the $80 million estimate). They currently annually receive $1.5 million from the league’s media rights deal.

No, the tipping point was letting Tulane in the conference.

“The basketball schools are not thrilled with Tulane and what they will do to the league’s RPI,” said a league source from a football-playing member. “They were not all that excited with that addition.”

The source added that “the basketball schools would have fallen off the ledge if we would have added East Carolina as a full member and what that would have done to the basketball league.”

Which in a microcosm explains the problem with the Big East basketball schools and the conference. They had problems with adding Tulane, but didn’t scuttle. They didn’t delay it while they had their questions answered. Instead they grumbled, voted yes, and realized they screwed up after the fact.

At least Pitt and some of the other football schools had the sense to stop the Villanova plan to move up to 1-A football before voting for it.

I really don’t want to see the Big East destroyed. I’m glad Pitt is out. Yet destroying the conference also means destroying a lot of the history of which Pitt was a part.

Selfishly, it means the accomplishment of that first Big East Tournament Championship in 2003 and the one in 2008 get diminished. Not to mention the achievement of being in the Championship game seven times in an eight year stretch. Just as NIT titles of the past are now considered minor because of the NIT of the present.

People don’t look at those achievements with the knowledge of who was in the conference. They just look at how the conference presently looks. That’s why the C-USA titles from the 90s and early 2000s hardly have the same cache. At least, not without some “30 for 30” documentary in 2025.

Its a small thing. And yes, Pitt leaving for the ACC plays a significant role in why those Big East titles will looks smaller in the future. So Pitt is no victim of this. Just one more bit of collateral damage in the expansiopocolypse

I’m amused that DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, and St John’s are worried that Tulane will hurt their RPI…….

Comment by ej 12.11.12 @ 8:59 am

Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. The basketball schools got exactly what they deserve and might have even wished for…….Irrelevance.

Comment by Lee 12.11.12 @ 9:37 am

I disagree with the premise of this. I don’t think the history of the Big East will be forgotten because it’s either dissolved or if/when it turns into an inferior basketball league. Conference USA was a top 5 basketball conference for what? 6 years? The Big East has been the best conference in the country for a decade and a top-tier conference for 25+ years. It’s not really fair to compare half a decade of success by Cincy, Memphis and Louisville to what might have been the best conference ever. I think history will look much more kindly on the Big East and it’s history than Conf-USA and theirs.

Comment by Pat 12.11.12 @ 10:18 am

They’ll write books and teach courses in business schools of all the lessons (not) learned from John Marinatto’s fiddlin’ while the Big East burned, responding too slow to fast-moving economics issues, ignoring all the warning signs caused by hiring a hoops-only guy to run a football + hoops league, the hideous mistake of bringing in more hoops-only schools to backfill when Miami, BC & VA TEch left, etc. etc.

The funny thing is, they can’t say they weren’t warned. 3-4 years ago I wrote the league a letter, suggesting they bring in the Texas & Florida schools that are now coming (too late for TCU, which left before it arrived). They should have added these schools when the first defection happened, instead of DePaul & Marquette.

Had they even acted back then, Pitt and ‘Cuse wouldn’t have left in disgust at the league forsaking football, which means WVU and Louisville would still be there.

What a mistake! In hindsight…

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 12.11.12 @ 11:06 am

Actually, on second thought: what a daisy-chain SERIES of mistakes! In hindsight…

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 12.11.12 @ 11:16 am

There’s a name for hoops-only leagues: mid-majors. Hard to beleive, that’s where the Big East’s Gang of Seven are heading.

I even have a name to suggest for them: Small Catholic HOops-Only League; acronym: SCHOOL.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 12.11.12 @ 11:22 am

The Big East destroyed itself, thank God Pitt is gone to the ACC. The ACC hopefully took some notes in watching this destruction so it doesn’t happen to them, and it is also a blessing that the Big 14 took Rutgers they are a conf killer it is so hard to believe they are in the Big 14. The doormats of all sports is not in the same league as Pitt, can’t wait till next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Steve h 12.11.12 @ 11:46 am

Maybe Duquesne can join the merry band of Catholic schools and be part of whatever named new conference. A league of Catholic city schools in major markets throughout the East and Midwest could be very attractive.

Comment by TX Panther 12.11.12 @ 12:07 pm

While there is alot about the Big East I won’t miss, I will miss Big East basketball. The ACC is going to be great, but the BE was as well. Will never forget Ronald Ramon making that buzzer-beater to beat the Hoopies a few years back. Doesn’t get much more satisfying than that.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 12.11.12 @ 12:09 pm

Imma, I don’t think it’s even hindsight. the whole world knew that the league was significantly diminished when the U, VT, and BC left. That was eight years ago. There have been some good Big East teams over that stretch and even some years where I would say the competition overall was better in the BE than in either the ACC or Big 10. But the league structure was clearly not sustainable. As you say, bold moves were required on the football side and were not made. This is what being the best basketball conference in the land gets you…a dissolved conference and a boatload of nostalgia. Someday I’ll be able to tell my grand kids about those epic Big East tournaments. I think the ACC leaders are too savvy to succumb to a similar fate….I think.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.11.12 @ 12:12 pm

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Joe Paterno knew the Big East model was a mess in the 1980s. If we would have followed his suggestion for an eastern all sports conference, we could have avoided a lot of the churn of the last decade for Pitt sports.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.11.12 @ 12:42 pm

The big east BB schools that want to leave are
haveing a delusion most of them are not relvent
in BB any more most have had loseing records for the past few years.

it was the football schools that had the good bb
records in the last few years Lville pitt the orange u conn.

they may keep the name but they are a waterdowned
big east if they go on there own they dont bring mutch to the table just past glory

infact memphis and temple and cincnati help them to be a stronger leage once agein the BB power lies in the football schools with out them what do you have that is good besides george town
at least at this time.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 1:05 pm

HBgFrank–Unfortunately, Paterno and PSU were greedy and would not agree to the equal revenue sharing required to make that idea happen. Had it happened, somehow, without the revenue sharing it would have the same problems the Big 12 is having with Texas today. So, unfortunately, he is only entitled to partial credit.

Comment by pitt1972 12.11.12 @ 1:24 pm

Paterno was a major cause of the problem. Penn State didn’t belong in the Big Ten, but their joining started the demise of the Big East. By not playing Pitt, as their historical rival, was one reason for Pitt’s “lost football decades”

Paterno was an evil vindictive man. He deserved what his reputation has become.

Of course an all sport Eastern league was the way to go. TV market size alone would have kept it strong. If Paterno had agreed to come back to a new Big East, chances are Miami would not have been interested in the ACC. BC would never have left either.

The ACC would have been the league running for its life.

The Basketball only schools could have also thrived in strong modified Big East. A football only school, such as Navy, would also have a home.

I’m sure Providence didn’t help, but Paterno could have turned the direction of the conference if he cared about Eastern football.

I’m still not sure what Paterno started is over yet. The Big Ten has greatly strengthened its postion in the East.

The ACC is sweating a bit now.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.11.12 @ 1:33 pm

Just Curious-if there is no more Big East, what happens to the “penalty money” that Pitt, Syracuse and WVU must pay? The way things are going the Big East makes more money by having teams leave than they will get for their tv contract!!!

Comment by Bruce F 12.11.12 @ 1:40 pm

I’ve probably been to about 15 Big East Tournaments in my lifetime. This is so fucking sad. I’m going to get my BE buddies together and we’re playing hookie for a week to go to the funeral. We’ve got a few Cuse guys, a Nova, a UCONN, a bunch of Rutgers, a couple Seton Hall guys and a St. John’s guy. Should be a good time.

I lived in North Carolina for a few years and made it out to the ACC Tourney in Greensboro a couple times. Totally different atmosphere. Not even close to the BE.

I really hope that Swofford moves the tournament to MSG. It needs to be there. And it needs to be there annually. That’s what made the BE tournament awesome. It was in MSG every year.

Comment by Chris 12.11.12 @ 1:42 pm

they voted Tulane in with BB knowing Tulane will hurt the RPI but they did not want Temple BB who would help the RPI? (OK, that whining biatch Jay Wright said temple would hurt his recruiting so they all listened and voted no but still…). F the big east and jay! Villanova was creeping up on my most hated list under ND, ped U, hoopies.

In general, with expansionapolyse, rev sharing, espn leverage, etc….the NCAA seems to have lost control when it comes to college athletics as the chaos and decisions popping up become more ridiculous everyday. if Ped U was penalized for losing institutional control with football, isn’t the NCAA exhibiting the same lack of control with respect to football and hoops? I was glad to see Ped u penalized but now I am realizing that the NCAA leaders are a bunch of hypocrits and have lost all control of athletics because of money. I am looking forward to the eventual congressional hearings.

Comment by pittfan92 12.11.12 @ 1:55 pm

Chris..I couldn’t agree more..the ‘New’ Big East needs to be booted from MSG and hopefully the ACC moves in for at least a few times or maybe every year. I would think, even though ACC is rooted in south, that if they had the chance to play every year at MSG they would do it. The below line in the ESPN article makes it sounds like MSG is ready to make a move if it has to.

“Meanwhile, a source with knowledge of the Big East’s deal with Madison Square Garden told that MSG is “covered” and can get out of the contract if the league continues to change its membership.”

Comment by milobloom 12.11.12 @ 2:11 pm

Basketball schools should bolt take
the Big East brand and add to the
membership as discussed. As a result
The legacy
of the league will be sustained.

Comment by JR 12.11.12 @ 2:27 pm

in 2013 temple is in big east in all sports
football and BB .

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 2:36 pm

ok if the bb schools leave do the football schools form a new conference they will still have 12 or 13 teams .
and if they dont have to splet the tv mony with BB schools then each school gets what 8 million each .
or do they go indepent or what i dont think the TV PEOPLE CARE IF THE 12 TEAMS CALL THEM SELVE

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 2:45 pm

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optonal.” I stole the quote from somewhere so steal it from me, but it is still true.
Imma Man is on to something. It may not be a business class, but leadership classes should study Marinatto as the sports world reincarnation of General McClellan.
I wondered who owns the intelectual property of the Big East and now lawyers will decide.
G’Town, St. John’s, Nova (the biggest loser in all of this), SHall, Providence (biggest carpetbagger in all of this), DePaul and Marquette should merge with Xavier, Duquesne, St. Joe’s, La Salle, Dayton and form the Roman Catholic League (in distinguishing from the Catholic Church of England).
Pun intended, it would be a helluva league.
But the Big East did not anticipate change; it reacted. It reacted like a deer reacts to a bullet in its brain.

Comment by sfpitt 12.11.12 @ 3:01 pm

BUT the 12 football schools that are left dont need the BB schools.
if they stick together they can sell the new conference to TV what ever name they want to call them seleves wont make a difference.
and they will have just as good BB as the catholics

look at the line up that would be left u conn cincy temple memphis

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 3:19 pm

Paterno’s holier than thou attitude made people resent any idea he presented at the time and Penn St basketball is actually enjoying its zenith since then.They are pathetic. I can’t wait to kick them around the football feild in 16 and think that contract ought to require them to play us in hoops so we can drub them there too.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.11.12 @ 3:59 pm

Meanwhile….Lunardi has his first bracketology chart out and has Pitt an 8 seed.

Should have a 7 seed with Pitt being at #27 in the polls. He has 7 ACC teams making it…

Comment by Jackagain 12.11.12 @ 4:32 pm

I think Pitt makes it as a 5 seed.

Comment by TX Panther 12.11.12 @ 4:36 pm

Unfortunately if the BigEast brand is no more, it will be remembered in a few years as much as the conf. where L-Ville, Cincy, Memphis all started in.

That would be the Metro Conference.

Which also had Florida State, Georgia Tech, Va Tech, South Carolina, Tulane and Southern Miss.

It was really a great basketball conference much like the BIgEast. And it was basketball only.
The Metro merged into C-USA in 1995.

Pitt ppl will find this interesting in 1990, Raycom Sports conducted a study of forming a Super Conference.

The Metro Conference also had studies into a new “Super conference” in 1990. The study was conducted by Raycom Sports. It would have consisted of teams as seen in the table below. At the time the Metro Conference was a non football conference though. The original study plan also included Penn State.[1]
North Division South Division
Boston College East Carolina
Cincinnati Florida State
Pittsburgh Louisville
Rutgers Memphis
Syracuse Miami
Temple South Carolina
Virginia Tech Southern Mississippi
West Virginia Tulane

Well, the best laid plans……..

History repeats, even in sports !

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 4:38 pm

Paterno was a major cause of the problem. Penn State didn’t belong in the Big Ten, but their joining started the demise of the Big East. By not playing Pitt, as their historical rival, was one reason for Pitt’s “lost football decades”

Paterno was an evil vindictive man. He deserved what his reputation has become.
Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.11.12 @ 1:33 pm

Agree Old Pitt Grad,
Paterno was an evil vindictive man. What he said he wanted and loved was Eastern Football. In the end he was the main person responsible for it’s destruction. As former Lambert Trophy (Eastern Football Supremacy) winners PITT & Syracuse will be playing in a southern league. As will Boston College. Ped State in the Midwest. West Virginia even farther out west in the Great Plains & Texas.

There will be no more Eastern Football. All because of one evil man, who evilness went as far as allowing children to be raped in his athletic buildings, shower rooms, be taken on Bowl trips with his team and pedophile friend/coach and even paraded around like some pet dog/geisha boy at team dinners on these Bowl Trips.

That’s about as EVIL as one person can be.

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 4:50 pm

EMel no one has answered my post so i put it to you to answer.

why do the 12 football teams care what the 7 BB schools do.

they are not needed if the football schools stay together they will get the TV contract it is all abought football it is just more money for them
the name of the conference does not make a difference.

call them selves the american conference who cares the tv people want games and a 12 team conference is all they need.

as long as the football teams stick together the 7 BB schools can pound salt.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 5:05 pm


The 12 football schools probably don’t care. However they aren’t calling the shots. lol

Big Daddy Sugar Bucks is (ESPN).
If BIgDaddy wants them all together to continue the one big dysfunctional BigLeast family, it will continue. While the bball schools think they have some clout, BigDaddy in the end will call the shots.

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 5:15 pm

Frank…for one, I think they’ll lose their automatic BSC bowl bids if they do that. Which could be a moot point because they’ll most likely lose it anyway next time it comes up.

Also, ESPN runs things and they like to fill the year with BB games. They’re aren’t that many college football games for TV. It’s basically a 3 month season…..5 months for BB.

Comment by Jackagain 12.11.12 @ 5:18 pm

I don’t think UConn and Cincy, who are both solid basketball programs, want to be disassociated with the Catholic basketball programs. Although they both UConn and Cincy are looking to get out of the Big East, neither are assured of landing anywhere else. Basketball recruiting would definitely take a hit at these two schools if the likes of Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s and Marquette break away from the football schools. If Pitt was still there, I am pretty sure they would also be trying to keep the basketball schools united with the football schools also.

Comment by Floyd 12.11.12 @ 5:29 pm


The BigEast if it continues for football will be part of the “Gang of 5”. They will have to have the highest ranked team of 5 lesser conferences to get a bid to a Big Bowl (previously a BCS bowl).

The Gang of 5 consists of the BigEast, MAC, Mountain West, SunBelt and C-USA.

For instance this year, Northern Illinois of the MAC would have got the bid, since they’re the highest rated of anybody in the Gang of 5.

And quite coincidentally as if this is some sort of dry run for the Gang of 5 …….they’re going to the Orange Bowl. lol

Funny how that worked out !

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 5:31 pm

Speaking of Northern Illinois.

I’m sure Florida State is absolutely thrilled to be playing them in the Orange Bowl. haha

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 5:46 pm

JACKAGAN The foot ball schools would have as good BB even better than the 7 bb schools.

they would have temple u conn cincy and memphis
thoes schools are as good as any of the BB schools in BB .

look at the record of the BB schools in the past 2 years only 3 of them have been any good.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 5:47 pm

The NCAA might as well get it over with and change their name to what it properly should be: ESPN.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.11.12 @ 6:24 pm

Temple bb is not what it once was, when Cheney was there. And before him the great Harry “Chief”

They aren’t exactly in the same class as UConn, UC & Memphis.

And the others that play football would be Houston, SMU, UCF, Boise State, Tulane, East Carolina and SDSU. Not exactly basketball powerhouses. Well SDSU is ok now, not much history in the past though.

Probably missed a few (hard to keep track, lol).

I don’t think ESPN would be drooling to televise this conf’s basketball games. Do you ?

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 7:23 pm

no but it would be as good as most bb leage EMel most bb leages are only good at the top.
in the big 10 you have maybe 3 good bb schools the rest of the leage is bottom drewlers same with the sec 3 really good schools then what and of the 7 bb schools how many good schools in the past couple of years 3 maybe .

so any leage that has 4 good schools would be the same as the outhers the ACC will be different it will have what 6 really good bb schools out of what 14 .

they are all most all the same except the ACC . and like i said it is the football that pays.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 8:06 pm

I think the ACC gave in to easily to ND. ACC needs to tell ND that 5 games ok for 3 years then they must decide to leave or go all in. If ND says yes then PSU begins thinking. Then ACC is solid.

Sounds like now the ACC is in the old BE chair.

Comment by frank MD 12.11.12 @ 8:14 pm

Emel, as much as I dislike the Big 10, it has several good to very good basketball programs. Off the top of my head, you have Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, Illinois and Wisconsin (although they are having a down year they are usually a solid program). The Big 10 has morphed into a basketball conference in recent years in my opinion. I think your description of the Big 10 actually applies more to its football product which is way overrated.

Comment by Floyd 12.11.12 @ 8:18 pm

oops. I meant to direct my last post to Frankcan not Emel. Sorry about that Emel.

Comment by Floyd 12.11.12 @ 8:27 pm

you are right Floyd they do have 6 and the ACC will have 8 really good schools but even though i did not count them as i should have my point is still a good point most leages have may be 4 schools that are good in basketball.

so the 7 bb schools that want to leave the big east how many of them have been good in the last couple of years not that many.

so the football schools that are in the big east would still have good BB Memphis sdsu u conn houston and cinci all most half of the 12 teams would be good in bb

my point was that most leages are only good at the top weather it be 4 teams or6 there would not be that mutch difference and it is football that pays the bills.

the whole point was let the 7 basketball schools leave if they want to .

as long as the 12 football schools stay together they dont need the bb schools.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.11.12 @ 8:46 pm

Duquesne beats WVU 60-56.

Comment by alcofan 12.11.12 @ 9:06 pm

Duquesne beats WVU. How does that help the Big 12?

Comment by xfmrman 12.11.12 @ 9:07 pm

Emel…ESPN execs are always drooling 😉

Comment by Jackagain 12.11.12 @ 9:09 pm

The hoopies just lost to Duquesne…4-4 now.

Comment by Jackagain 12.11.12 @ 9:26 pm

lol over Erin Andrews

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 9:31 pm

Much as we dislike it, there are several of the 7 who have a bb brand. And they ALL bb history on their side.

Georgetown and Villimanilli for sure.

And St. John’s is in NYC so it has a certain cache. Since they play some games at MSG and have a great basketball history. Joe Lapchick & Louie.

Marquette also has a brand since it has won a National Championship and has been to the Final 4 with D. Wade. And had the great one, Al McGuire which transformed Marquette into a brand.

Even Providence has been to 2 Final Fours and Seton Hall played in the National Championship game around 1990. DePaul was great under Ray Meyer back in the 1980’s and has a lot of history, being the #1 team thru out 1980 & 1981

So all of them have tasted the heights of college basketball and all of them have lots of history.

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 9:42 pm

Thuggy Bear picked a bad week to go on “the wagon”


the dukes lol

Comment by Emel 12.11.12 @ 9:45 pm

I went to the Duquesne game against the illiterates.
Huggins looks like a pregnant pumpkin.
WVU can’t hit the side of a barn from 10 feet out.
Ferry completely out coached the great pumpkin.
It is going to be a long year in Morganhole. Those flights back from the prairie are not going to be fun.

Comment by SFPitt 12.11.12 @ 10:03 pm

Glad PITT is off to the ACC but it is truly a sad day for the BIG EAST. There was nothing and will never be anything like the old BIG EAST of the 1980’s. Basketball was KING.
RIP Big East.

Comment by Pitt Fan In Atlanta 12.11.12 @ 10:20 pm

Emel you are spot on in discussing the basketball brand of the Big East Catholic schools. I know most of us disliked the configuration of the Big East with the baskeball only schools, but the Big East brand was built on basketball and the basketball only schools were instrumental especially in the early years of the Big East. I know alot of you are probably too young, but as good as the Big East was in the past decade I think it was better in the early to late eighties. I remember when the Big East had 3 teams in the final four. The pivotal teams back then were Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova and Syracuse (three basketball only schools). Pitt also had some very good teams. The Pitt team led by Charles Smith, Jerome Lane, Demetrious Gore and Curtis Aiken would have handled any of the good Pitt teams of recent years.

Comment by Floyd 12.11.12 @ 10:32 pm

lol VilliManilli

Comment by panther94 12.11.12 @ 10:54 pm

Saw something interesting on ESPN tonight, during some sportscenter thing.

Had a chart up on the college football coaching carousel. About 20 teams, who they lost, who they’re getting etc. etc. etc.


Comment by Dan 12.11.12 @ 11:49 pm

@Dan, I’ll drink to that. Any word on who Wisconsin is pursuing?

Comment by panther94 12.11.12 @ 11:56 pm

Actually, they did mention Wisconsin, but, by the time I got in the room, the guy was saying,

“so those couple guys will not be on Wisconsins radar”. LOL

I did hear them say, Tennessee seems to be the big winner with the guy from Cincy.

Also, had Petrion on, taking the job at W.Kentucky.

He’s very sad, apologized to everyone, and said he’s a “changed man”. LMAO.

The AD was pretty forthright. We got him to continue our progress upwards, and to help get some recruits.

As for his past, the guy actually said, “he has sold me at the present, I guess time will tell”. LOL

Comment by Dan 12.12.12 @ 12:21 am

Hopefully the demise of the Big East opens the door for an ACC championship in the Garden. Nothing beats NYC for venue.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 12.12.12 @ 1:13 am

Couldn’t happen to a better conference. Big East was conttived from the very beginning.

If memory serves me correct, it’s not Paterno but a bit of Pitt arrogance that lead to the formation of the Big East in lieu of a true EASTERN All SPORTS CONFERENCE that would have included Penn State and Pitt.

Pitt Admin looked down their noses at Penn State Basketball. They wanted everything their way with an everything-but-basketball conference with Penn State, while still taking advantage of the opportunity being presented to place Pitt basketball in a separate elite Big East conference with the other premier New York-centric eastern BB programs.

It wasn’t really Paterno trying to undermine anything Pitt was tryinig to do. In reality he was just trying to do what he thought best for Penn State by attempting to use football as a trump card in an attempt to give instant rise to the status of Penn State basketball.

That’s the way I remember it.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.12.12 @ 7:08 am

By the way Barry Alvarez is on the record saying that he has a specific current Head Coach who he immediately reached out to once Bielema confirmed he was leaving for Arkansas.

And his top choices from his wish list are all current Head Coaches who he believes capable of continuing the same type of run-oriented Offense which has been the tradition at Wisconsin.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.12.12 @ 7:14 am

@Pitt of Dreams.

Concerning BigEast admission of Ped State in early 80’s for basketball(it was only a bb conf at this time). There was a vote taken and they didn’t get the needed votes for admission.
Pitt voted for their admission. They needed 6 of 8 votes, they got 5. Here’s the info:

The Big East was founded in 1979 when Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown, and Syracuse invited Seton Hall, Connecticut, Holy Cross, Rutgers, and Boston College to form a conference primarily focused on basketball, with Rutgers and Holy Cross declining to join.[4] Villanova joined a year later in 1980[5] and Pittsburgh joined in 1982.[6]

In 1982, Penn State applied for membership, but was rejected, with only five schools in favor (Penn State needed six out of eight). It was long rumored that Syracuse cast the deciding vote against Penn State, but Mike Tranghese confirmed that this was not the case and that Syracuse had, in fact, voted for Penn State’s inclusion.[7]

I am not that happy that BigEast basketball might be ending. As it definitely helped propel PITT to national relevance. Although we had a couple years of excellence in the late 80’s, we’ve never had sustained success in basketball until the last 11 years.

Now whether that was the conf. or investing Hundreds of Millions on The Pete is subject to debate. IMO had we not built the Pete, we don’t have the 10 year run to the NCAA’s.

Comment by Emel 12.12.12 @ 1:30 pm

I think a big reason for Pitt’s success over the past decade has been the Howland/Dixon system which was implemented. Their system relies less on superb talent and more on team chemistry with a focus on defense. This style combined with solid coaching and the right type of players has allowed Pitt to be consistently competitive with teams that had better talent. No doubt building the Pete was a factor also as the fans have created a home court advantage which didn’t exist at the Field House.

Comment by Floyd 12.12.12 @ 2:21 pm

I thought thr Field House was equally effective in creating a home court advantage,but because it was such a dump it made it hard to recruit.still it was hard to beat Pitt there.Many times the Big East made us play top games at the Civic Arena which negated our advantage though.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.12 @ 5:41 pm

i wouldn’t be so quick to criticize bball only schools… how about VCU? Butler? in addition to nova, georgetown, etc. from BE.

Comment by nw pa pitt fan 12.12.12 @ 7:16 pm

The Fieldhouse was a great atmosphere. A dump much like Pitt stadium but a more intimate setting. That damn track kept fans too far away. I always loved the fights in the stands that would break out at Pitt stadium however. Didn’t ever see that at the Fieldhouse.

Comment by TX Panther 12.13.12 @ 11:32 am

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