Disrupt Big East!
Well, there goes the neighborhood. The public University of Connecticut (UConn) is in talks to rejoin the Big East Conference (BE). @DigSportsDesk reported Friday night, 21Jun19, that UConn is in talks to return to the Big East, for the 2020-21 school year. On Saturday, 22Jun19, writers @PeteThamel and @DanaONeil picked up on the rumor/story and scuttlebutt has it that the move will be confirmed this week.
Quiet as it’s kept the Holyland of Hoops message board had been talking in reference to this move over the last several days in 2 different threads and cited the UConn message board (the Boneyard) chatter on Friday night regarding reliable posters on the site, including one Chief00.
Chief00 said: “The report is true – basketball is heading to Big East. Chief has been holding back on publicizing this news but here it is.”
The Chief has spoken…now its official!
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As one who placed great value on the Big East Presidents’ going all private in the revised Big East iteration, a move such as admission of a public school to the mix, imo, greatly alters what has been a excellent reconfiguration to date.
As a conference of private schools, the BE had reduced government reporting, less intrusión by the media, and were hardly bothered by incessant FOIA requests. The conference is highly proactive in dealing with the press and has excellent Public Relations offices already, but had the luxury of being highly selective in their disclosures. Opening up a public/private conference partnership returns the BE to the mayhem of older iterations of itself and the crush of information seekers of all walks.
It seems at 1st blush that many on our member sites and on HLOH welcome this potential move by UConn returning to the BE and are happy to have them return to the fold. Whether this is primarily from old, long-time BE fans and notions of “old time sakes” or newbies as well who seek increased conference value, most appear receptive of the move. I question the motivations of these folks.
I for one, am reluctant to relinquish being a private school conference and grudgingly let go of the privacy benefits the Big East has accrued. I am inclined to advise the Big East to stay private and look elsewhere for expansión: Private schools such as Gonzaga and St Louis and future ACC private school castoffs (as the rift widens in that conference) are perfect fits. Let Uconn sink. They are the American Athletic Conferences’ albatross. We don’t need another conferences’ problem child. UConn would be a disruption to good order and discipline.
Furthermore, UConn brings little to the table in their return. Yes, they have a sterling history these last 20 years or so, but little else. The men’s basketball team has fallen greatly over these last 6 years.
Coach Ollie’s championship in 2014 seems decades removed, even if only 5 years ago. The last 2 seasons have been dismal for UConn, both on and off the court. Their record is abysmal, attendance has fallen off a cliff, recruiting is down, and their fanbase has abandoned ship.
Money has and continues to flood down the drain in attempts to prop up their weak football program, and UConn subsidies are a drain on Connecticut’s financial coffers. A return to the BE will help their basketball programs, but do little to stem the football hemorrhaging. They are the AAC’s and state of Connecticut’s problem – the Big East should not get involved.