Friday, March 29, 2013
Big East mailblog
By Andrea Adelson
Happy holidays to all our readers out there!
Dan in Philly writes: Do you think it would have made more sense to hold off on announcing East Carolina & Tulane until after the Old Big East had a new conference name? It would have been free advertising for the new name on all the sports feeds instead of being called the "Old Big East."
Andrea Adelson: I don't think there was any need to wait on making that announcement when it had pretty much been a foregone conclusion. I think the league will get plenty of free advertising when it (finally) announces its new name.
Michael in Louisville writes: This is what took so long (re: Clint Hurtt taking leave). Read it and you will have a better understanding that this was far from being a no brainer easy decision. Especially considering that it could well put U of L in a position of legal liability if it were to have damaged Hurtt's defense, or his ability to earn a livelihood for his family in the future. You cannot throw the guy under the bus based on allegations alone, from an individual with severe credibility problems (convicted Ponzi scheme felon). Now that the formal letters of allegations are out, they at least have the cover of saying it is so he can focus on his defense. It makes a huge difference than suspending him while an investigation was still ongoing.
Adelson: Thank you for your perspective, Michael. As I mentioned in the post, I believe the decision to give him time off now was a no-brainer because of the severity of the allegations. I agree there are major questions about the way the investigation was conducted and the man who has made these allegations. But Hurtt has been charged two times with unethical conduct, and these are not allegations to be taken lightly. Louisville wanted time for the investigation to play out. I get that. But at the very least, they should have put him on leave once he received his notice. Just my opinion on the matter.
Phillip Virden in Lake City, Colo., writes: Hi Andrea, Is there any talk between the "other" NCAA conferences...Mountain West, Conference USA, WAC, "Big Country", Sun Belt, etc. to create a coalition to counter the overblown programs of the SEC, Big 12, PAC 12, etc?
Adelson: No recent talk, Phillip. There had been some discussions last year about a MWC-Conference USA alliance of some sort but all of that has fallen by the wayside because of recent realignment. I am not exactly sure what a coalition would do to counter the other conferences. That coalition is not going to get more TV dollars.
Rob in Big ? Forever writes: Andrea, In your opinion, does Temple maybe regret leaving the MAC in football and the A-10 in basketball? Maybe it would have been one of the schools asked to join the new Big East in all sports but football? I know Villanova may have lobbied against bringing them in, but I didn't see Temple pushing to exclude Nova from joining the Big East in football back when that was being talked about. The MAC is becoming a stronger football conference and has much more stability and a long-term scheduling partnership with the B1G. And even next year's A-10 is no pushover in basketball. Just seems to me that Temple went all in at the wrong time and when expansion ends, they will be one of the biggest losers of all.
Adelson: At this point, the biggest loser of all is UConn. Now as for Temple, remember the Owls were not part of the league when Villanova was being asked to join for football. I still think Temple is happy with this decision. Though the MAC has had some good football of late, this soon-to-be-renamed conference still will be regarded as better than the MAC. And the money should be better, too. Obviously, the basketball part of it is not going to be what the Owls thought, but it's not as if anybody had any idea this was all going to happen at the time.
Doug in Tampa writes: A.A writing to get your take on USF and their recent scheduling of OOC games, Towson, Western Carolina, Elon, Stony Brook. HORRIBLE to say the least. When do we start calling for (athletic director Doug) Woolard's head? (He did give Skip (Holtz) the raise and extension that we now have to pay for for years). Love to hear him explain these decisions next time you get to speak with him. Doesn't he realize SOS is more important now than ever?
Adelson: OK, before you jump off the deep end, Doug, remember that USF does play Michigan State and Miami this year, and also has the Spartans, Florida and NC State down for future games. Are these recent additions disappointing? Well on the surface it may seem that way. But Stony Brook, for instance, is scheduled for the same year as Michigan State in 2017. If USF adds two more high-quality nonconference opponents to that year's schedule, then Stony Brook is acceptable. I don't have a problem if schools have one of these games per year on the schedule. They just can't have four per year on the schedule. I understand your frustration with Woolard, but far be it from me to say he needs to go.
Robert in Buffalo writes: Can Rutgers be a surprise team again in the Big East? Their opening game with Fresno State will be a BIG challenge!
Adelson: I think Rutgers is on upset alert right out of the gate, Robert. But as for your first question, I am not sure I would put that label on Rutgers. This is a team that won a share of the league title last year and is regarded as a top 4 team in the conference headed into the 2013 season. I reserve surprise designations for teams that had losing records the previous season.