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The Last Picture Show - the Finale

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The Last Picture Show - the Finale

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Around Big East

General - the ACC battle

The University of Miami yesterday announced it will join the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2004-05 school year, ending a lengthy expansion process that Miami President Donna Shalala called "bizarre, strange and goofy" during a news conference.
"Ready or not," Shalala said she told Clemson President Jim Barker in a telephone call yesterday, "here we come."
Miami Accepts ACC's Invitation to Join

What a mess. The ACC struggles, cajoles, wrestles, retracts, begs, bullies and waves bye-bye to its reputation as Southern gentlemen.
Call the ACC names, but this move was right

Two months of backbiting, threats and ridiculous news conferences. Three weeks filled with lawsuits, duplicity, conspicuous silence by the NCAA, and lectures on ethics by politicians.
Judging by reactions to the idea of Miami jumping from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the outrage now that the Hurricanes have elected to do just that, the eventual result could very well mean the end of college athletics as we know it.
Student-athletes again the victims of collegiate greed

The mighty Hurricanes made it official Monday. They are blowing out of the Big East to join with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia Tech is coming along with them, if anyone outside Blacksburg cares. It will take a while to gauge the fallout from the historic end to an hysterical process. But this much seems clear:
ACC now a major player in football, too

Thanks for keeping us entertained.
Thanks for making us laugh.
Thanks for being the biggest bunch of bumbling, buffoonish boobs we've seen in these parts since the Devil Rays last took infield.
What a sad day it is in sports. Regrettably, the ACC (Atlantic Coast Clowns) has finished its pie-in-the-face, slip-on-a-banana-peel slapstick routine better known as conference expansion. In short, it has been the most comedic college carnival act since Bob Minnix's internal investigation at Florida State or the Gators' last attempt at getting off a punt.
Miami's addition is just punch line to ACC joke

So, who will the ACC pursue as a 12th team now that Virginia Tech and Miami have accepted invitations?
Maybe there won't be one.
"At least as it stands right now, 11 is not the stopping-off point on the way to 12," Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage said Monday
Littlepage: It's 11 for now

The Hurricane watch is over.
After a seven-week courtship, wrangling among college presidents and athletic directors up and down the East coast, and a lawsuit with rotating plaintiffs and defendants, the University of Miami announced Monday it is defecting from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Hurricanes will begin ACC play in the 2004-05 season.
UM's decision -- along with that of co-defector Virginia Tech -- drastically alters the balance of power among the conferences, dealing a major blow to the Big East and strengthening the ACC's football presence. UM officials cited financial, academic, athletic and geographic reasons for the switch.
Decision is made: UM will move to ACC

University of Miami president Donna Shalala called it ''a bizarre, strange, goofy process'' that led UM -- finally -- to Monday's campus news conference. She was kind to not add ''litigious,'' ''infuriating'' and ``tedious.''
So we'll evenly split the reaction here to the expected announcement that the Hurricanes' heavyweight athletic program has officially forsaken the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning with the 2004-05 season:
Canes' decision was wise, brave, forward-looking -- and lengthy

Even though the Big East offered Miami (Fla.) more money during the next five years to remain in its league, the university announced Monday it would join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning with the 2004-05 season.
Hurricanes announce acceptance of ACC invite

On a day Miami president Donna Shalala was supposed to end the suspense - was supposed to end what she herself said had been a "bizarre, strange, and goofy process'' - the drama merely continued.
Sure, Shalala, surprising no one, did announce her school was leaving the Big East and joining Virginia Tech as the ACC's newest members. But the rest of the Big East promised no end to a two-month long tale of acrimony, confusion, and general mayhem.
"The Big East as we know it today will exist for one more year. After that, we don't know what it's going to look like,'' Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel said, an hour after Shalala acknowledged a sweeter financial offer from the Big East was trumped by the promise of a brighter future in the ACC.

Loyalty and money weren't enough to keep Miami from bolting the Big East. The Hurricanes believe their future is more secure in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ending a seven-week courtship, Miami accepted the ACC's invitation Monday, rejecting a better financial offer from the Big East to stay put.
"Ready or not, here we come," Miami president Donna Shalala told Clemson president James Barker.
Miami ACC-epts invitation

Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese doesn't fault Miami and Virginia Tech for defecting, instead directing his scorn at the Atlantic Coast Conference for "blind-siding" his league by grabbing its top two football schools.
"We've been through this for two months, and I think those of us that are involved have had enough of it," Tranghese said during a conference call Monday after Miami announced it would leave for the ACC.
"I think the public is disgusted with us all, to be honest with you," he said. "We're educational groups and we're held to a higher standard than most people, and I think people have looked at us not in a very good way. ... And that includes me."
Big East anxious to move forward

The news coming out of Miami on Monday really wasn't news at all.
Despite all the counteroffers, updated proposals and sweetheart deals from the Big East, Miami's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference was done almost two months ago.
Crouthamel says, 'I was speechless'

Big East Conference commissioner Mike Tranghese is confident the league will retain its place at the Bowl Championship Series table until the current contract expires following the 2005 season.
He said the first order of business for the league, in the wake of Miami's decision to join Virginia Tech as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004-05, will be to decide whether to continue their "hybrid" existence. The Big East has schools that play football and basketball and schools that don't play football and Notre Dame.
Big East focuses on staying in BCS

Now that the latest and, presumably, the final phase of the Atlantic Coast Conference/Big East greed war has concluded with Miami going to the ACC, the Big East in ruins and Pitt and West Virginia facing years of second-rate football, there is only one thing left for us to do.
Take a long, hot shower.
Really, is there anyone associated with this whole sordid saga who doesn't make you feel dirty and sleazy?
No one comes away clean in ACC/Big East war

The Big East's search for new teams, new markets and a new direction officially began yesterday, shortly after Miami announced its decision to leave the league and join the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Big East seeking new teams, direction following departure of Miami, Va. Tech

Few, if any, worked harder than Mike Tranghese and Jim Weaver to preserve the Big East. Their private efforts were tireless, their public statements impassioned if a mite imprudent.
That's what made Wednesday morning so difficult for Weaver. As Virginia Tech's athletic director, he had to inform Tranghese, the Big East commissioner, that the Hokies were joining the ACC.
But any awkwardness soon vanished as Tranghese cut to the quick.
A landmark time for Virginia sports

With Miami joining Virginia Tech yesterday in defecting from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese is left to pick up the pieces of his fractured league.
Big East football is in a seriously weakened state. The loss of its two most powerful programs could jeopardize its seat at the Bowl Championship Series table when new contract talks begin after the 2005 season.
New-look Big East seeks direction

Miami is headed for the ACC.
And now a word from the best college president ever to lie twice to the intercollegiate business partners she first deceived, then abandoned:
"It has been a bizarre, strange and goofy process," Miami president Donna Shalala said yesterday. "But it has allowed us the opportunity to have the distance to decide who we are, where we are and where we want to go."
It will never rival "Give me liberty or give me death," but then Donna and Patrick Henry play in very different leagues when it comes to saying what they mean.
Changing partners in a dance of deceit

I'm a Big East kind of guy, having grown up following St. John's in my hometown and Georgetown in my adopted hometown. I have family in Syracuse, where I've attended reunions and nearly attended college. I used to spend some weekends at my cousin's home in Philadelphia.
You might expect someone with that background to be heartbroken by Miami's decision to accept the ACC's invitation. You'd be wrong, although I am surprised by the indifference I feel about the Big East's predicament.
Big East back to its roots as basketball powerhouse

The second Donna Shalala joined the club, all 5 feet of her, the big boys of the Big East did not stand a chance. She had already won a championship for George Steinbrenner, challenged President Clinton's moral authority, directed traffic in a tornado, scared off three thieves, and lived in a mud shack in Iran.
Did anyone really think Mike Tranghese was going to change her mind?
Mighty little Shalala dunks Big East's big boys

Disappointed but not bitter, Syracuse University officials said it was time to forget about their failed courtship with the ACC and plan for the future of the Big East without Miami and Virginia Tech.
"Now it is time for us to move on. And we will move on and we will move forward," Syracuse Chancellor Kenneth Shaw said Monday.
"The conference has successfully faced challenges in the past," said Shaw, who was visiting a daughter in Illinois and spoke with reporters on a teleconference call.
Disappointed Syracuse now aims to rebuild Big East

While West Virginia president David Hardesty discussed an expansion plan for the Big East, several Mountaineer football players lamented the loss of the league's two most successful programs to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Miami accepted an invitation to join the ACC on Monday, joining Virginia Tech as football powerhouses bolting from the Big East and leaving the league with a large void. Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese said that in two years, conferences belonging to the Bowl Championship Series must have a minimum of eight teams.
West Virginia president says Big East must expand by '05

half-expect to find him out on a ledge, with Newton firemen down below, holding a big net and pleading with him not to do anything rash.
''Why is that?'' inquires Tom O'Brien, the head football coach at Boston College.
Well, I just kinda thought that this business about Miami leaving the Big East might have shaken him up some, since all the experts are saying it means the death of the Big East as a serious player in major college football.
A coach stays in his stance

Miami never belonged to the Big East.
Here's when Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese absolutely knew Miami was going to dump him: About five minutes after their arranged marriage became official Oct. 10, 1990.
That's right. Nearly 13 years ago. Did you really think it was love at first sight between the Hurricanes and Tranghese, a hard-core college hoop fan who immersed himself for most of his young professional life in the rich history of the Providence basketball team? While his trusted friend, Dave Gavitt, is credited with the creation of the Big East, be advised his boy wonder, Tranghese, was at his side from its inception to the moment Gavitt handed him the reins as his successor.
This marriage could never be saved

Weeks of speculation, teleconferencing, proposals, counterproposals, and crossed fingers came down to a nod. The University of Miami, the southernmost big-time college athletic program on the East Coast, yesterday accepted an invitation to join the southern-based Atlantic Coast Conference, leaving the northern-based Big East and taking its coveted football program in the process.
Coupled with Virginia Tech's decision to accept the ACC's invitation last week, the loss of the Big East's top football programs shifted the balance of power in East Coast college football to the ACC and the Southeastern Conference, and it prompted uncertainty in the North.
Hurricanes' move to ACC is a blow to the Big East

The Lawsuit

Less than an hour after Miami officially accepted an invitation to join the ACC, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Big East schools would seek to recover not only losses in ticket sales and broadcasting fees, but also the cash value of diminished recruiting power and scarred relationships with donors.
Four Big East football schools are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit against the Atlantic Coast Conference and Miami, Blumenthal said Monday.
Lawsuit against ACC, Miami moves forward

What is Next?

• A news conference tonight in Greensboro, N.C., will formally introduce Miami and Virginia Tech as the 10th and 11th members.
• As long as the league is sitting at 11 teams, there will be speculation it eventually will try to go to 12. As long as Notre Dame is a football independent, there will be speculation the Irish eventually will move. But more immediately, the ACC will push, probably starting later this month, for changes in NCAA regulations that will allow leagues with fewer than 12 teams to split into divisions and have a football championship game. There are indications that other leagues would support this legislation, allowing them to eventually hold a title game if they desire to, without needing to expand to 12.
What's next for the ...

With the announced departures of two Big East schools -- Virginia Tech last week and Miami yesterday -- to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East now must step up its plans to reconfigure. But how fast?
''We've got to move forward,'' Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese said yesterday. ''But we have to go through a process, and it may not make sense to bring someone in right away. The key thing is not how fast we move but how we move.''
How fast, and how far?

Sometimes a simple statement captures a situation.
ESPN officials, asked to discuss the TV prospects for the Big East following the defections of Miami and Virginia Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference, instead decided to issue a formal statement that explains how the leagues' TV futures will play out.
''We have long-term deals in place with each conference and look forward to constructive dialogue with both partners given the new landscape,'' was the ESPN position on what promises to continue to be a situation in flux.
ESPN is tuned in to change





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