Big East basketball schools get what they wanted: the destruction of the conference
At yesterday's meeting, potential candidates such as Boise State, Central Florida and Temple were discussed, but no consensus could be agreed upon which teams to invite first, or at all.
The basketball factions were adamant about not adding anyone, while the football faction argued that if the Big East is going to survive as a BCS conference, whose champion gained automatic entry to a BCS bowl it is imperative for Boise State, with its high national ranking was a necessity for survival.
According to sources familiar with the process, but not authorized to talk about any negotiations, the Big East is focusing on two areas, with SMU, Central Florida ,Navy and Temple as the primary schools being looked at. Air Force is also being considered, but that seems more remote of a possibility
#RFootball Schedule Update: Homecoming vs. Navy will be an ESPN3.com exclusive broadcast. Kickoff time is yet to be determined.— Jason Baum (@JasonBaumRU) October 3, 2011
Rutgers athletics spokesman Jason Baum announced earlier that Rutgers/Navy will be an ESPN 3 exclusive next week, the third such game this season thus far. Rutgers actually probably doesn't mind all that much not having local TV for this game, which could help attendance, but it's still not at all fair. ESPN 3 claims a lot of Rutgers games, and it's for a very specific reason. Cablevision is the cable provider for a good portion of New Jersey (and the rest of the NYC market), including New Brunswick and Piscataway. Cablevision refuses to add ESPN 3, so as leverage, ESPN makes live Rutgers games ESPN 3 exclusives so that fans can not view them on regional sports networks such as SNY, who certainly would much rather have RU/'Navy than Cincinnati/Louisville that week. ESPN 3 is a fun enough service, but this routine is quickly wearing thin. Even Knicks and Ranger fans hate the Dolans, but if this may be the one course of action that could make people actually take their side of a change. ESPN needs to give it a rest, and let their product actually sink or swim on the merits. Of course, this is also another reason why the Big East conference is terrible, as these hostile acts are only even possible because Mike Tranghese was a terrible commissioner who hated Big East football with a burning passion, and thus left himself exposed to sign a terrible television contract.
"It's now a dog-eat-dog world in college athletics," he said, "and everyone is acting in their own self-interest. It's not about fit or academics or rivalries. It's about football and money, period."
Tranghese said "you can't cast stones" at Pitt or Syracuse because every football school in the Big East "didn't feel secure." He said that through the final years of his tenure in the commissioner's chair, he grew tired of the "belly-aching" from football schools that longed for bigger TV dollars and bowl contracts.
"They simply weren't winning enough games and kept pointing the finger at us to get them more money," he said. "The best way to solve their own problems was to win games, but the Big East hasn't been good enough in football. It was an incredible burden."