TCU appears on the verge of ending its Big East affiliation before it began and going to the Big 12 instead, and it's safe to say its struggling basketball program wasn't much of a factor in that decision-making process. But while the news has Louisville's Rick Pitino disappointed and Kansas State's Frank Martin loving it, perhaps TCU should be reminded that realignment decisions have real consequences for its basketball players, too.
Consider that it was only April when the school announced the signing of Ryan Rhoomes, a 6-foot-9 forward from Middleton, N.Y., who made his decision to come to TCU in part because the school was joining the Big East.
"Since he is from New York, our move to the Big East Conference really helped to create an attractive opportunity for Ryan," coach Jim Christian said then in a statement.
Said Rhoomes: "I picked TCU because I saw an opportunity to come in, play early and help the program. I also wanted to play in the Big East, and I thought it would be good to play in the Mountain West for one season as a freshman, get with the program and go from there."
Rhoomes is currently dealing with eligibility issues and not listed on the team's roster, but it should be noted that only six months after signing up to play for what he believed to be a future Big East School, TCU might soon be breaking that promise.
Of course, Christian is not the one at fault here. He doesn't control realignment scenarios no more than even a more powerful name like Pitino does. But now Christian will have to explain to recruits a new direction for the school and what it means for them.
If TCU chose to go to the Big 12, it would be a decision made with the best interest of it's Rose Bowl-winning football program in mind. And even though basketball isn't at the forefront of those discussions, administrators should know that a potential change of heart also changes things for recruits and players who might have signed up for something different.