Shaw and Crouthamel: Big East will survive

Though the Big East will take a hit initially from the defections of Virginia Tech, Miami and, most recently, Boston College, the Big East will still be a BCS competitor, Syracuse Chancellor Buzz Shaw said Monday.

"We're going to ride out this storm," Shaw said. "We're going to bring in new schools and new rivalries will be created."

Shaw's statements came just a day after Boston College announced it was leaving the Big East in favor of the ACC.

"We're going to see this through," Shaw said. "There's no doubt that there will be financial damages. But it's not irreparable."

What may be irreparable is the relationship between Syracuse and Boston College officials. Three months ago, the presidents and athletic directors of the six schools remaining in the Big East met to discuss plans to revamp the Big East, Syracuse Director of Athletics Jake Crouthamel said. During the meeting, the six schools pledged to remain loyal to the Big East.

That all changed Sunday morning around noon when Crouthamel got the news that BC had made its decision official.

"I'm disappointed with the actions of Boston College," Crouthamel said.

"We had a double agent among us," Shaw said.

Five months ago, when reports first surfaced that the ACC was courting Miami, Syracuse and BC, Syracuse seemed ready to jump to the ACC pending a move from Miami. Instead, Virginia Tech was extended an invitation, not Syracuse.

Crouthamel was "personally offended," by the ACC's actions.

"They wanted to eliminate competition to open up another slot of the BCS," Crouthamel said. "The whole process stinks."

The defections will have affects not only on the financial level, but recruiting as well with the possibility to compete for a national championship in question.

Still, Syracuse football head coach Paul Pasqualoni remained confident in his ability to recruit.

"We're still going to be a BCS team for another three years," Pasqualoni said. "We still have a great program and a great education. What else do they need?"

Pasqualoni, whose team will host Boston College this Saturday, downplayed the added motivation because of BC's defection.

"The one thing I know about players, is you can give them the best fight talk before the game, but when they cross that line on the field, they revert back to they way they practiced," Pasqualoni said. "What happened will have no bearing on the game."

Shaw agreed.

"It's going to be a game between to college teams," Shaw said.

The chancellor didn't rule out the possibility that Syracuse may move to a different conference. There have been rumors that the Big 10, who currently has 11 teams (12 is the minimum number to conduct a conference football playoff game as currently required by NCAA regulations), may be interested in Syracuse.

"We're going to keep our options open," Shaw said.

But more than likely, Syracuse will stay put in the Big East and the conference will attempt to recruit three other schools.

Though Pasqualoni doesn't have the power to recruit schools, the two schools he did mention were Cincinnati and Louisville.

"They're great schools," he said.

"We made a commitment to the Big East," Shaw said. "We're going to make the Big East work. We're going to have a conference that's going to be strong."

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