Dick Harmon: Super conferences a bad idea for college sports
ACC-bound Pitt's chancellor Mark Nordenberg was once part of a lawsuit against the ACC for trying to annex Miami, Boston College and Syracuse.
"This is a case that involves broken commitments, secret dealings, breaches of fiduciary responsibility, the misappropriation of conference opportunities and predatory attempts to eliminate competition," said Nordenberg.
And now? What is it now when Big East brothers like Louisville, UConn and others find out about Pitt and Syracuse leaving their league basically via media reports?
"If conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, we would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. "Everybody knows why we are doing this — football and money.
"It's interesting because 30 years ago schools made X amount of money. Twenty years ago, they made 2X. Ten years ago, they made 6X. And you know what? They're going end up breaking even, just like they did 30 years ago. At the end of the day, there's a school with a billion-dollar budget and they're talking about making an extra $4 million. What does that really mean when your school's budget is a billion dollars? It's just what has happened. People feel like they have to get these mega conferences. Whether they're right or wrong, we won't know for a while."
The irony of all this is the NCAA. It's a blind bat in a wind tunnel. It's as useless as teats on a statue of Hercules.
It is practically irrelevant in managing college sports except for slapping hands and sanctioning cheaters. When it comes to administrating the bigger picture, taking control of the landscape, it is impotent and silent.
Instead, we have university regents, who are political appointees with backgrounds as lawyers, CEOs of hamburger companies or furniture stores, directing major universities to jump ship or stay.
These are the folks who will decide to create super conferences.
The NCAA is governed by presidents of universities. They are the executive board. So far they've yielded all authority to the BCS as to how a football championship will be conducted.
Now the NCAA is idle and silent as conferences eat one another alive, altering college sports in a potentially harmful way due to selfishness, the "me, me, me" approach where common honor and commitment mean nothing. In expansion debates, the NCAA offers no leadership, no direction, only useless titles and ineffectual ineptitude.
This is an age of giant bruised egos, bank accounts and hissy fits.
This is college football circa 2012.
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