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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Tranghese sounds like “beaten man”


The Big East meetings apparently did nothing to clear up the current rumblings in college athletics.

Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese and the league’s athletic directors have been meeting on Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The mood in the Big East is of gloom.

Tranghese addressed the media Monday afternoon.

“This is a crisis and I don't hide from that fact," Tranghese said. "This would be the most disastrous blow to athletics in my lifetime."

There was word on Monday from several media outlets that Miami might accept the ACC’s invitation sometime during the day. That didn’t happen, so the Big East fight continues.

Everybody has their own solution, their own “new” leagues, their own dreams of what college athletics will look like in a couple of years. My thoughts are simple, and probably never to be a factor.

I think the NCAA should step in and come up with some sort of system, by which you either are a Division I football program, or you aren’t! I know that this sounds too easy and makes too much sense. It is a pipe dream, but at this point what else is there?

The NCAA should mandate that the “super-conferences” include everyone. Each conference would then be free to make its own television deals for revenue.

That being said and should the ACC expand, a Big East/Conference USA combination could build a twelve-team league. As I stated, the NCAA would make this a BCS league. The only difference between the ACC and our “made-up” new league would be in television money.

The ACC would get more money, because at this time, their television contract would warrant more income.

Give the Big East/C-USA some time, and with a BCS slot, that television money will come.

We often compare East Carolina and Virginia Tech when discussing the disparities between non-BCS and BCS leagues.

Look at how those two programs have faired in the 1990’s. Tech has played for a national championship. They have recruited better athletes. They are a national championship contender because they are in a BCS league.

That’s what scares the Hokies faithful so much. They have seen first hand how the Big East has allowed their program to rise to a stature among the nation’s best.

Or, compare East Carolina with North Carolina State. How many of you were in attendance in 1999, when the Pirates were obviously the better program when they thumped the Wolfpack in Greenville?

Kicking off the 2003 season, now it’s N.C. State that starts the year in the Top 10.

Conference USA gave East Carolina a temporary home. This program has known for years that the time to peak would be before the new negotiations for the BCS kicked off, setting the agenda for 2006 and beyond.

Tranghese apparently doesn’t like my idea of letting everyone in.

"Look at the other leagues. You've got 12-12-11-10-9, and we have eight teams," he said. "We've played in the championship game of the BCS three times in the last four years, and should've been there in four in a row. As for a championship game, ask the coaches in the Big 12 or the SEC if they like having that championship game."

However, he also knows more then anyone how much money is driving the process.

I don’t know if it’s prayer, or back room arm-twisting or a combination of both. But East Carolina HAS to be proactive as this thing continues.

And it will continue. Heck, it’s only just begun!

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02/23/2007 01:26:34 AM

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