Just when cometh the Fourth of July?

Just when cometh the Fourth of July?


Guaranteeing ACC expansion

Charlotte Sportswriter Gregg Doyel believes that the recent suit against the ACC might prevent them from expanding at all. Apparently some in the ACC believe that the lawsuit might have shaken up things enough to unhinge the alliance that had voted for expansion.

Don't bet on it.

My gut feel is that the ACC will vote to bring in all three. Perhaps unanimously.


Now they have have to. Now they can't vote against it. They can't vote against it because it would leave BC without any options.

I mean just think about it. If ACC expansion doesn't happen do you really expect that life in the Big East would just go on "as normal", as if none of this had happened?

No way.

What happens is that the league splits up.

Miami would (at least for a while) have to go it alone. They could do that and survive. Syracuse would be welcomed back to a smaller Big East. In fact, they'd be welcomed back with open arms.

But none of that works for Boston College. A "no" vote for expansion leaves Boston College without a league and Boston College doesn't survive without a league. Big East fans have no love for BC and nothing would make them happier than to see the Eagles left out in the cold. However, the folks in the ACC certainly understand at this point that a "no" vote would be a death sentence for Boston College athletics. The ACC just can't do that to Boston College. If they did it would end their expansion dreams forever. No one would ever trust the ACC again.

The ACC has to add the three teams they have been courting. Now that the lawsuit has polarized the league there's just no way around it.


The long hot summer

However, the lawsuit might slow down the expansion. Miami Athletic director Paul Dee who, at least in the early stages of this controversy, tried to portray himself as undecided on the move, sported a different look after the lawsuit was announced. CBS Sportsline noted:

Miami athletic director Paul Dee said the school's plans haven't changed, despite the lawsuit filed Friday accusing Miami, Boston College and the ACC of concocting a scheme to destroy the Big East through the departure of the two schools.

"Derail's not the term, maybe tapping on the brakes," Dee said Saturday. "The train's not off the track but it's slowing down.

"We're not going to force anything. It could take a long time to happen."

But that statement itself makes one wonder.

Dee appears now to be fully commited to the move. Just when did that happen? I have to wonder at what point Dee went from "considering the options" to what looks like clear plans to join the ACC. In fact, when you look at this whole history of this you have to wonder about a lot of things. For instance, shortly after the proposed expansion of the ACC was announced, Boston College's Gene Defilipo stated:

"We have to protect ourselves, I don't think we have a choice."

At the time I thought that statement was an incredibly amateurish thing for the athletic director of a major university to blurt out. After all he was talking about the future of the athletic department of a potential BCS school. Millions of dollars in revenue are involved. Usually negotiations of any type have to be done with a caution and reserve that hides from "the other side" any hint of weakness in one's bargaining position. Most certainly you would expect such caution when talking about the future of a major university. The statement, "I don't think we have any choice", violated that most elementary rule of bargaining. Defilippo's statement seemed incomprehensible.

Why on earth would he say such a thing?

The lawsuit filed by the Big East puts another spin on statements like that of Defilippo and those made by Paul Dee. The lawsuit seems to say that Defilippo and Dee knew all along that they were headed to the ACC because they had negotiated it all in advance. There was no reason, the argument would go, for Defilipo to show a poker face since the negotiations were already finished. It was a done deal.

Is this true?

Clearly Rutgers, WVU, Va Tech, UConn and Pitt all suspect it is. If the litigation continues Defilippo and Dee will have to answer under oath questions as to when the negotiations really began.

If they began this May then, well, "no harm, no foul".

If it is discovered that negotiations began long ago ..... well, forget about the fourth of July.

Fireworks are coming and it won't just be on the fourth.

These fireworks will be going all summer long.


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