Monday, September 19, 2011

All Along The Watchtower: A Big East Epitaph

“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief

After Texas A&M left the Big XII, we should have seen these things coming. I don't know if there was any stopping what was to come though. Syracuse (the joker) and Pitt (the thief) probably knew that they would have to get out of the conference when they realized that they weren't going to get a much better TV deal (or  even an equivalent deal) than the one that Pitt (along with Rutgers) led the charge to decline. Pitt's chancellor and basketball coach playing such an active role in securing TCU's admission into the Big East while they were actively pursuing another conference has to go down as one of the most morally bankrupt moves in the history of college sports.

Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”

It's time to acknowledge that this is about money. While the NCAA, coaches, athletic directors and the presidents of universities line their pockets with millions of dollars of television money, scholarship athletes (who are often underprivileged) receive nothing more than that scholarship despite their likenesses being used to generate millions of dollars for their schools. At this point, it's worth it to wonder what all of this bullshit is worth. Maybe the European model is more desirable. Maybe academics need to be the true emphasis and kids who are gifted in their sports should be groomed to play sports in an academy structure.

“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke

Thus said Pitt when they decided several months ago to obstruct Villanova's bid to join the conference, and when they strung TCU along and then left them at the altar.

But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

Until we hear some sort of good news about the future of Villanova athletics, or if we hear that Rutgers has been wiped off the face of the earth, the sun is going down and we shouldn't be feeling very good.

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too

The football schools, football coaches and athletic directors are driving this expansion without regards to any of the other athletes in sports with better GPAs, fewer scandals and less money are forced to go along for the ride. Don't forget though, schools still make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the STUDENT ATHLETES (according to the NCAA).

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

The wildcat isn't growling very loudly, it's  more like a whimper. No riders are approaching, just  two riding away; one is a morally bankrupt land grant school in Western Pennsylvania and a private school in Upstate New York that runs its basketball program like it's a work release center. Yes, the wind is howling and one must wonder if it is going to drown out the growl of the Villanova Wildcat for good. If they are left out in the cold, Villanova could be relegated to St. Joe's (PA) status in almost all facets, and that is what fans should be most afraid of.

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