It’s funny. In the off season, I need distractions from things and I’m strangely not attracted to the recruiting sagas of all the big boys. Things that intrigue me are conference re-alignment and, strangely, what I think may be the beginning of the end of the NCAA as we know it.
First, let’s look at the fun one: Conference re-alignment. It would seem that the B1G is not sitting on its hands waiting around for other chips to fall. In an effort to establish a strong foothold in the south, Mr. SEC is reporting (HT: Frank the Tank) that the B1G has made offers to Virginia and Georgia Tech. I personally would have rather seen an offer go out to Florida State, and there’s a rumor flying that that has happened as well, leaving the B1G in an “odd” number situation again (17) if everyone would accept. What does that add up to?
One of two things: Jim Delaney is probably pushing his alma mater, the University of North Carolina hard to make a decision to join the B1G. I can see the wheels in Jim’s head spinning away knowing that if the Maryland – ACC lawsuit is settled out of court for a reduced exit fee, well, other schools being offered B1G riches are going to line up and take the handout. Virgina (per Frank the Tank – FTT) makes sense as that ties up Washington DC and the surrounding market. Georgia Tech and FSU would put a FIRM foothold in the HEART of the SEC. Yep, it all makes sense.
But why UNC? Why not the Domers as the MMQ has stated all along? That’s the real “football” prize in all of this….Isn’t it? Isn’t that what this is all about? Football dominance?
Well, maybe, maybe not. I’m starting to think that there’s a method to Delaney’s madness that is pure genius. Wile E. Coyote genius…..think about it: The Big East used to have one of the largest basketball contracts in the history of televised basketball and with 16 teams, they also received more bids to the NCAA Tournament than all other conferences combined. With those bids comes NCAA credits for each team you put in the tourney. Hence, the more BASKETBALL teams you have, the more NCAA Tourney money you get. Granted, it doesn’t compare to Football money or even come close to the BCS pay-outs, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. In addition, the BTN gets MORE LIVE CONTENT. Right now, the BTN’s highest ratings are from December through March, meaning that it’s prime time basketball is being viewed by a lot of people. And networks have a funny way of figuring out the logical. IF I had more games to televise, that would be good. And if I had MORE QUALITY TEAMS and SCHOOLS playing those games (Vrigina, G-Tech, and UNC) that would be even better! Not to mention that I would be in more households up and down the East Coast.
In addition: The NCAA Tournament is coming up for re-bid in a couple of years. There’s still the rumor and more than likely, FACT, that the NCAA is going to have to expand to 96 teams. And my guess is that when those expansion games get played (16 games on Monday and Tuesday), there ISN’T going to be one network (CBS) that will be able to carry them all on the Monday/Tuesday play in the way it’s carried now – unless CBS just decides to take all of its programming off the entire week of the NCAA tourney. So, there will be a bidding war to get those play in games by competing networks. One network in Bristol, Connecticut comes to mind…But so does the BTN network.
Why would the BTN spend good money bidding on games that more than likely WON’T have a B1G team playing on a Monday or Tuesday? Media rights. Think about it: If the BTN were to win say, 4 or 8 of the 16 play in games, there’s suddenly cable operators all over the country that are going to demand having the BTN available. And that puts even more money in Jim’s pocket than getting the ever elusive Domers….
Jim Delaney…Genius. It’s Good To Be The King….
On another not so fun note, it you haven’t been keeping abreast of the NCAA – Miami fiasco, well, it’s been something to behold. On one hand, you have Mark Emmert – Hypocrite and False Front Man that is trying to have his cake and eat it too. Julie Roe Lach got canned on Monday after Emmert learned that she had authorized payment to NevinShapiro’s lawyer for information about what went down during the years in question. Nevin Shapiro was the master mind behind the huge real estate Ponzi scheme that netted him all the money that he was able to throw at Miami that also got him a striper pole in his VIP suite at Miami football games. When you get to the heart of it, I started wondering how this wasn’t crossing a line somehow…The whole thing seemed a little sleazy, even if you were trying to get to the truth of the matter. But still, to suggest that Julie was acting “On her own” and paying an attorney for information from the same booster that paid all the Miami kids…Didn’t something click somewhere for someone? And to suggest that Emmert didn’t have a clue about it…well, let’s just say it doesn’t pass the ole’ MMQ sniff test. Add to that the rule that all head coaches are responsible for anything their assistant coaching staff does (illegally) but somehow the same rule doesn’t apply to Emmert and the NCAA? Well, once again, it just goes to show you…It’s Good To Be The King…
On the other hand, you have the president of Miami, has more or less gone on the attack and made Miami out to be the victim in a bungled, drawn out investigation that may or may not ever get settled by the NCAA. And if the NCAA tries to hand down more severe penalties, well, she’s made it publicly known that the “allegations” of strippers, prostitutes, drugs, and parties cannot be proven by the NCAA….Even though everybody else in the WORLD has seen the evidence and knows it exists. Photos, receipts, etc…I think there’s even a couple of G-strings somewhere hidden in Shapiro’s lawyers’ desks….
In the end, Miami has given up several scholarships, paid retribution and denied themselves the opportunity to play in the ACC championship and two bowl games in 2013 and 2014. While that’s a lot, I’m not sure given the preponderance of evidence in this case that it’ll be enough for the penalty division of the NCAA…until they are found to be involved in something they shouldn’t be. But, even then, Emmert will come out smelling like a rose…Why?
Because….. It’s Good To Be The King!