Gene's Big East ESPN comment is snowballing
Mark Blaudschun wrote another love letter to the Big East this weekend. His premise -- that the ACC's expansion was all about basketball -- was pretty flimsy. So flimsy that Gene had no problem going on record to refute it. The only problem was that in refuting one theory, Gene sparked an entirely different controversy. Here is the quote:
"We always keep our television partners close to us," he said. “You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV - ESPN - is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball."
The "ESPN told us what to do" line has sent conspiracy theorists over the edge. Everyone knows ESPN is the bully and power behind college sports, but very few will say it. Now Gene has. In addition to the Big East fans and administrators going nuts, he's also pissed off other schools within the ACC. Of course no one at ESPN Headquarters is too happy with him either.
The people loving it though are the media. CBS, Deadspin, The New York Times, The Daily News, The Big Lead, and Business Journals have jumped on the story. I expect a few more news outlets will join the story soon. ESPN is obviously silent.
Unless this becomes a legal issue -- and you never know when UConn is involved -- I don't see this creating any real pain for BC, Gene, the ACC or ESPN. But he has made himself a target of criticism and ridicule again. BC doesn't need that and he doesn't need that. If our losses keep piling up, look for many to take glee in his failings. I guess my only hope from this is that more checks are put in place to balance out Gene's power regarding the direction of our athletic department.