Monday, September 19, 2011

With conference realignment, just be honest with us

I'm not as angry about conference realignment as some folks are.

Yes, it sucks that some of the best traditions in the collegiate ranks -- the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry, the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry, the Big East Tournament, possibly the NCAA Tournament -- will vanish in the coming years, but I'm less pissed off than I am accepting of our fate. We've known that the end game of the shifting of the tectonic plates would be four superconferences for almost two years now. If we can make it through without losing the NCAA Tournament to the secession of those four conferences, than I think that everyone -- even the folks at the Baylor's and the Villanova's and the Louisville's of the world -- can say that this round of realignment wasn't too bad.

What does piss me off, however -- and where I agree with both Dodd and Doyel, the scribes of the two articles linked above -- is the constant lies and efforts to save face by claiming that these changes were precipitated by anything other than money.

The latest comes from Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor: "I would say that our concerns are really forward looking with respect to the ACC. The issues for us is that we have increasingly strong Olympic sports across the board, women sports -- the ACC is a wonderful match for that for us. And we really are obviously very excited about that."

Get the fuggoutta here. Seriously. Get the fuggout.

Olympic Sports? Women's sports?

Nancy -- can I call you Nancy? -- you don't care about the success of the Olympic Sports or your women's teams. Nothing about your move to the ACC has anything to do with how well your women's volleyball team will do taking mid-week trips to Miami and Tallahassee, or how well your shotputters stack up against the rosters of North Carolina and Duke. Nancy, we know this. And we don't believe the garbage you are spewing. Just be honest with us. We can handle Syracuse making a move for more money and status because its something we all would have done.*

(*For anyone that disagrees with that last statement, let me ask you a question: do you drive a Prius? Why not? Would you be willing to take public transportation or ride a bike to work? Again, why not? Is it a status thing? A comfort thing? Living further away from work, driving distance, saves you some money? If you do drive a pick-up or a mercedes, than you aren't doing your part to try and stave off global warming, which is a much bigger deal than anything that could possibly happen in college sports. But you criticize schools for choosing comfort and status when switching conferences while ignoring the greater good of college sports? Sounds hypocritical to me.)

Its mind-boggling to me that Cantor can claim that non-revenue sports are what drove this decision. Syracuse is one of the few schools where the basketball program is actually more profitable than the football program. According to a study done by the website The Business of College Sports, the Syracuse basketball team generated $18,309,470 in revenue with a profit of $10,223,094. That ranks them as the 41st most profitable team -- including football and basketball -- in the country and the sixth highest basketball program. I guess it pays to play in a place that can hold 34,000 people and be the most popular sports team in New York once you get outside of Westchester.

The Syracuse football program, on the other hand, generated just $3,851,951 in profits -- less than Penn State's basketball team -- in 2009-2010.

Digest that for a second. Syracuse basketball is the sixth most profitable program in the sport. They are (were?) a founding member of the best basketball conference in the country. Their iconic, bespectacled and balding head coach and his infamous battles with John Thompson Jr's Hoya Paranoia teams is the stuff of legend, a rivalry that helped build the foundation of what the Big East became.

And all of that is getting tossed to the curb with the decision to move to the ACC.

I'm not telling you this to ridicule Syracuse for their choice. Like I said, its a decision that few of us will be able to criticize without being hypocritical.

What I'm trying to say is that the decision to move to the ACC is being done without regard for the Syracuse basketball program, its history, its tradition and its rivalries. If the people making these decisions are ignoring the cost on their school's -- and their region's -- most popular sports teams to chase more profit from football, what makes you think that the fate of a single non-revenue sport had any influence whatsoever?

What realignment has taught us is that people, in the end, just don't care enough about college basketball.

But Cantor expects us to believe they care enough about Women's Golf to set the demise of the Big East in motion?

Get the fuggoutta here, Nancy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not ANOTHER global-warming Kool-Aid drinker!