This all might seem like a losing proposition for BC with our smaller fanbase and smaller revenue streams, but I actually see a role for us. If the Big 5 really close ranks and only play each other, I think it will create a lot more parity. The bigger programs won't be able to pad win totals with cupcakes. That leads to more pressure to win and more coaching turnover. If we can play close to our historical norm, I think we will be much more stable and have our occasional runs of greatness.
Reader Rog raised a question about hockey. The majority of hockey schools are not part of the Big 5. If BC and the hockey Big Ten pay, it might make college hockey awfully lopsided. But hockey is not the priority. It will be football first and then what can they do with March Madness.
The Big 5 doesn't provide lifetime membership, so there is always the chance that BC ends up out of the picture down the road. I will take that chance though since this move removes one more layer of hypocrisy.
I was glad to see nothing in the decision mentioned game rules, which still must be uniform across all NCAA division (I think). I had worried that with autonomy, ESPN would quickly pressure the Power 5 to adopt NFL-like time rules (the clock doesn't stop on a first down, ect) to insert more TV timeouts without lengthening the time it takes to complete a game.
Not a good direction but reflective of the incompetence of the NCAA in recent years. Presents an excellent opportunity for schools with serious academic aspirations to form a new Ivy League type conference. Schools like BC, Vandy, Duke, Northwestern, Wake, etc. need to chart their own course. In the end, the prestige of such affiliations will benefit each school and its alums far more than fighting an escalating arms race in semi professional athletics.
Ultimately there will be no conferences and every school be on its own. Historical regional alliances will still rule the schedule but no formal body like the SEC will exist.
At some point lawyers for the needier schools and probably the Supreme Court, seriously, will have to make a decision about what is happening here. The Big 5 seems a lot like a monopoly now. This is still amateur sports technically . . . ie this is where the Supreme Court comes into play.
Don't worry about Hockey. Hockey East locked arms with Notre Dame and NBC sports. It is not going anywhere.
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