Big East boss lashes out at ACC-Miami slow dance
By The Associated Press
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) If Miami leaves the Big
East, it would be the "most disastrous blow to intercollegiate athletics in
my lifetime," conference commissioner Mike Tranghese said Monday.
In an impassioned news conference during which he conceded his league was in
crisis, Tranghese denounced the Atlantic Coast Conference's scheme to add
Big East schools Miami, Boston College and Syracuse to its current nine-team
He questioned the ACC's claim that a move would be financially beneficial to
the Hurricanes. He challenged the integrity of Miami essentially calling
on school president Donna Shalala to live up to an implicit agreement made
when the school joined the conference 13 years ago.
"At the end of the day, President Shalala is going to have to look at the
issues we've talked about, have to look at financial obligations, have to
look at integrity issues," Tranghese said. "And then she's going to have to
factor in the irreparable harm that's going to be caused to members of my
"Aside from that, and this will sound self-serving, this will be the most
disastrous blow to intercollegiate athletics in my lifetime. It's wrong."
Tranghese implored Miami and the other two schools to appreciate the history
of a conference that began in 1979, helped revive college basketball on the
East Coast and became a powerhouse in several sports.
He called on Shalala and Miami athletic director Paul Dee to closely examine
the financial packages before they make a decision that could essentially
break up the conference and create what he believes would be a harmful
Athletic directors at Boston College and Syracuse both admitted Miami's
decision would have a major effect on theirs.
"Certainly Miami is the lead dog," Boston College athletic director Gene
DeFilippo said. "Because of their football program that's the case and
always has been."
Tranghese said his conference's accomplishments shouldn't be so quickly
The league has placed three teams in the national football title game in the
last four years. Syracuse just won the men's basketball title and Big East
members Connecticut and Notre Dame have won the last four women's basketball
"And I've got to come here and talk about this," Tranghese said. "My people
are fighting for their lives. Are they frustrated? Are they angry? Of
course. Those are obvious emotions."
Officials from the ACC were not immediately available to comment.
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02/23/2007 10:36:28 AM