Rants From The Palouse: The Spring Break Edition

On Sunday, March 16th, a ESPN “30 for 30” documentary ran that discussed the rise and fall of the originally Big East conference. The Big East was founded in 1979 as a basketball conference and it rapidly rose to national fame, and by 1989 was one of the most financially successful athletic conferences in the country. By 2013, the conference had imploded and disintegrated with its member schools scattering to other conferences.

The conferences disintegrated mostly do to the ridiculous amount of money that is involved in college football. That’s why Syracuse, one of the founding members of the conference, and Pittsburgh bolted for the ACC; that’s what led to the Orange to leaving behind rival Georgetown, and that’s why my freshmen year of college was filled with teams rapidly relocating between conferences.

From Jan. 2010 to Dec. 2011, college athletics were in complete chaos because of the fact that schools were bolting from one conference to the others.

This juggling benefited many conferences — for example the Pac-12, thanks Colorado and Utah — and gutted several others — hello WAC!

The conference realignment was nothing but a money grab, and to argue differently would be foolish. Schools saw traditional rivalries tossed aside in the search of dollar bills…and that was made perfectly clear in “Requiem for the Big East“. When Syracuse bolted from to the ACC, it ended their traditional rivalry with Georgetown.

That move also ended the original Big East.

It is incredibly frustrating to see how much money influences “amateur” athletics, and I say this as a student at a school that has benefited from the conference realignment. College athletics are becoming the pawn of the TV corporations and it is making it harder for student athletes to try to be the students that the NCAA requires they be.


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