Mark Emmert comments a warning?

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
11:00
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If you are a Big East fan, then you have to be worried about the comments NCAA president Mark Emmert made about a future playoff and realignment.

During a stop at the Big 12 spring meetings in Kansas City, Mo., Emmert said he would not be surprised if another round of league shuffling happened after the new BCS system is worked out this month.

"If there's going to be significant movement by FBS institutions over the course of the summer," Emmert said, "it will be driven by that."

Addressing the growing gulf between the haves and have-nots, Emmert said, "When you go back and look at history, the financial differences have always been there, but some universities have huge competitive advantages through history and geography and decisions they've made over decades that are in some ways insurmountable. It just reinforces some of those inherent advantages that some universities have had for a century."

And finally, on the TV rights that have spawned all the realignment, Emmert said, "If you were an economist you'd call it a market shakedown around the media rights."

There are a few things troubling about his comments.

1. The NCAA always has been and always will be powerless to stop realignment, and it seems as if Emmert has a ho-hum attitude about it. Same with the growing gulf between the haves and have-nots. Why exactly is it good for the game if less than half the schools on the FBS level are allowed to be in the "top tier" simply because they got into the "right" conference? I thought collegiate sports was about affording opportunities to all athletes to compete on an equal playing field. The NCAA sure has a great way of policing student-athletes. But stewards of the game? That does not fall within their purview.

2. More movement because of the BCS is obviously bad news for the Big East. If there is any movement before September, the potential is there to throw the entire league into chaos before its critical TV negotiations begin. I am not sure how much more this league can take.

3. If there is more movement and the Big East is left wobbly, but still standing, a four-team playoff might not even help the league. Especially if a strength of schedule component is added in to determining the four teams. The Big East would be like the Mountain West. Good teams might remain. But they might not be not good enough to get into the Top 4, because they "do not play a hard enough schedule" or "refuse to play the big boys" or "are no match for a one-loss team from the SEC/Big Ten/Big 12/Pac-12." Sound familiar, Boise State?

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