The Big East TV contract, or lack there of..the possible departure of the basketball schools..And you thought this was over.


On second thought. Run that by me again. What ever made me think this was a good idea? Sometimes it even takes the real geniuses in the sports world time to get it right. ESPN president John Skipper thinks maybe his network put too much emphasis on Tim Tebow when he was acquired by the Jets last summer. Ya think?! 24/7, all Tebow all the time, with anchors, reporters and camera crews camped out at the Jets training facility in Cortland, New York to document every Tebow sighting might have been slight overkill? Skipper told Sports Business Journal this week that he told his guys, after the fact, “We didn’t handle this very well.”. ESPN wasn’t the only network to get too wrapped up in the Jets self promoting, all Tebow all the time hype. NBC jumped all over the December 23rd Jets-Chargers game for it’s Sunday night feature. 14 weeks into the season they’ve had a change of heart and will go with the 49ers and Seahawks. The Jets and Chargers will move to CBS at 1:00. When it comes to being too late in getting the message nobody beats the geniuses in the Big East. Talk about sometimes a great notion. Over the weekend officials from the seven non football schools met in New York with one agenda item. The possibility of breaking away from the football schools and forming their own basketball only league. Reportedly Big East commissioner Mike Aresco was in attendance as Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Villanova, DePaul and Marquette discussed the possibility of adding schools like Butler, Xavier, VCU, Saint Louis, Dayton, George Mason and Creighton and seeking their own basketball television contract. The impetus for the meeting was the erosion of Big East football, caused by the continued inclusion of those basketball only schools, to the point where CBS reports the next Big East television contract could be worth as little as $60 million, about 40 million less than Big East officials were hoping for, which in itself would have been a comedown from the previous contract. The shares for the basketball only schools would then become so negligible they feel it might be worth their financial while to go out on their own and make their own basketball deal. An interesting development for a league that as much as a dozen years ago was warned that continued resistence to ejecting the basketball only schools could lead to the erosion of it’s football product and the longer the action was delayed the more serious the potential damage to it’s BCS status. In the end the suggestion of the split still doesn’t come from Big East officials, it comes from the schools themselves, because they can no longer survive a fall from grace that has seen Big East football decline from full BCS status back to a level with the MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA, something that could have been avoided a decade ago with a move only being considered today. And these are the so called geniuses of the sports world, not like the rest of us, who don’t know what we’re talking about. On behalf of the rest of us, who didn’t know what we were talking about a decade ago, let me say it’s comforting to know even the geniuses can be a day late and a dollar short, multiplied by millions. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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