BC Bolts Sinking Ship

As predicted here a few weeks ago the other shoe fell for the Big East Conference on Sunday. Boston College accepted a formal invitation to become the 12th member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. <br><br> The move came as no surprise after word filtered down from the NCAA's ivory tower that the NCAA had informally rejected the Atlantic Coast Conference's bid to stage a football championship game with 11 teams, essentially ruling out a lucrative title game in 2004.

The ACC filed a waiver in July asking that leagues with 10 teams be allowed to play conference title games. A final vote by the NCAA's management council, a 49-member group with representatives from all the Division I-A conferences has been expected to come in April.

The buzz is that the championship committee was overwhelmingly against waiving the current rule.

At the time I predicted that the ACC would come after another team and it did. Boston College is following current Big East teams Miami and Virginia Tech in the exodus to the ACC.

Reaction from around the Big East was predictable.

"We are disappointed with the ACC's continued attack on the Big East Conference and in Boston College's decision to turn its back on its fellow members of the Big East," Pitt athletic director Jeff Long said.

"This is especially disappointing given the fact that Boston College had re-pledged its loyalty to the conference just a short time ago. Given this pledge, and the very public and very embarrassing rejection they received earlier from the ACC, it is somewhat surprising that they have decided to depart."

Syracuse athletics director Jake Crouthamel issued a statement saying, "Three months ago, the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors of the six remaining Big East football schools sat face to face and pledged their loyalty to one another and to the Big East. I guess handshakes don't mean much anymore."

Long and Crouthamel shouldn't be surprised. When the NCAA decided not to allow the ACC to stage a football championship game with 11 members it was open season again on the Big East.

The Big East when they got the pledges of loyalty three months ago shouldn't have just accepted everybody's pledge. They should have raised the stakes making it so painful financially for a member to leave - that no one would consider it, by not doing so Commissioner Mike Tranghese and the Big East were asleep at the wheel again.

The other culprit in this mess remains the NCAA, which has consistently refused to get involved, and its inaction has damaged a lot of schools.

As I stated in the past, the number of teams required to stage a football championship game is an arbitrary point. If a conference can convince a TV network to give it money for a championship game - that is all well and good in my opinion and more power to that conference.

The NCAA is supposed to have the best interests of all its members in mind. When the 12-team rule was not rescinded, that sparked more cannibalism by conferences such as the ACC, and the trickle down effect will ultimately hurt other conferences and other schools. But when you are the all powerful - that's a joke son - NCAA the needs of the few appear to outweigh the needs of the many.

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