Monday, February 8, 2010

Washington Post column - ' NCAA tournament expansion would make cents, but not sense'

Here is this week's column from The Washington Post --------

If there is one thing you can absolutely count on from the NCAA, it is an almost unique form of slippery deceit. No one involved in its decision-making ever tells an outright lie. They also never tell an outright truth.

Everything is always being studied. Ask the NCAA its position on March coming after February and you will be told the issue is being studied. This is an organization that spent hours and hours last summer debating the merits of allowing member schools to feed bagels to their athletes. (Not surprisingly, the proposal came from the ACC because, heck, things are going so well in football and basketball, why not spend time on the bagel issue?)

In its infinite wisdom the NCAA came down in favor of bagels -- but against cream cheese to go with the bagels.


Click here for the rest of the column:  NCAA tournament expansion would make cents, but not sense


diane Harris said...

John, Thank you for being the honest, "tell-it-like-it-is" voice of college basketball. You are the best.

Anthony Warren said...

John - we disagree on the need for a college football tournament, but I wholeheartedly agree with you about the blatant inconsistency and hypocrisy of the NCAA with respect to the welfare of the student athlete in regards to postseason play.

Gunnar said...

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News (he covers Stanford) has some quotes from the new PAC-10 Comissioner, Larry Scott, on this issue from today.

There was someone who thought 4 NFL pre-season games were a good idea, and 32 owners that have been going along with it for 25+ years. How do you go back to 64 teams, if it doesn't work?

Dave said...

Gunnar – great link from the San Jose Mercury News…lots of good nuggets in there.

Scott is right on the expansion, never going back theory. Once it’s done, it’s done for good. As for the disbursement of the money, I don’t see why the revenue sharing would be different than it is today, though I don’t know exactly how it works. I just know that every school and their sister wants D1 status in basketball to get a piece of that NCAA Tournament pie.

Its amazing that it’s not making more news, but it sounds like they are looking at expansion, but he’s keeping it arms length from the school president’s….smart. Seeing as how the PAC10 travels in pairs, in order to keep that system and not revamp everything, BYU/Utah has always been the ‘easiest.’ And he said he’d look at it for media rights (money) purposes, but the PAC10 president’s currently won’t even go outside their typical Thursday and Sat/Sun playing days for basketball. The schools are so widespread, its not like other conferences.

It would be interesting to hear John’s take on Scott, seeing as how his last job he was the president of the WTA…..

Also, agree with John on the tournament expansion idea. It’s just stupid.

Anonymous said...

Great column John.

What these idiots at the NCAA can't see is the forest through the trees. I can see a number of issues the NCAA is taking for granted:
1)They think the tournament is special just because it's the tournament. They haven't thought about WHY it's special. It's special because it's HARD to get into. If you make it easy to get in, it won't be as special. You are absolutely right John, Selection Sunday will no longer be as meaningful or important.
2) Are fans of the 8th place ACC (or whoever) team really going to travel and pay $60 a ticket (or more) to watch them play an opening round game against the 9th place team from the Big 12, just for the right to get beat up by a #1 seed the next weekend? Really?
3) Are people really going to clamor to watch that same game on TV? I love the tourney. It's my favorite sporting event of the year. I take the Thurs & Fri of the opening round off of work every year to watch every game. Even I won't care about that game.
4) They will be punishing the top teams. I'm a Villanova grad. Let's see Nova gets a #1 seed and plays in the Big East Championship Game. They are going to have up to 13 days off between games?? Are you serious? You would be punishing the teams that get higher seeds with that kind of layoff. Its perfect how it is - 3-5 days off depending on how you perform in your conference tourney (for the big boys).
5) Where are you going to put the extra weekend? Are we going to push everything back a week so the Final Four is the 2nd week of April? Do we move the conference tourneys up a week? The sports schedule in March\April is so perfect right now. The Final Four is the same weekend that baseball starts, then the next weekend is the Masters, then the Stanley Cup playoffs start. They're gonna screw that up. Does the NCAA really want to go head to head with the Masters?? Do they think Augusta is going to move off of that weekend for them??
6) I know they say they don't think about this, but I think the popularity of brackets and pools may actually take a dip if they do this. The extra teams will intimidate people who only follow the sport 3 weeks a year. And how will you fit a bracket with 96 teams on it onto one piece of paper? Even if the NCAA won't acknowledge it, the brackets and gambling account for so much of the popularity, and I believe this expansion could hurt that - at least with people who aren't already invested in the sport throughout the season.