The Kinder Garden - Big East Special

The reporters sit in hallways and vestibules outside the meeting rooms where the fate of the Big East Conference is being decided.

As the doors open, media members leap to their feet and crowd around athletic directors and coaches as they depart (or attmept to). Microphones aimed, notepads poised, they wait for something, anything, from the men who, for the most part, are attempting to save the league. And they get....squat.

Not that I'm ridiculing the media trying to do their jobs. Far from it. They are doing their best to get just a scrap of information or an indication of a lean, one way or another, from one of the schools being courted.

I've just come to the conclusion that after a Florida State administrator blabbed prematurely about what may or may not have been an "official" vote by the ACC to expand, there's just not going to be much worth reporting from the Big East meetings this week.

Sure, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese fired out again aggressively on Monday afternoon, but a careful examination of his words can pretty much boil down to the following.

1) We want to keep the Big East intact.

2) We think the ACC's figures are hooey.

Not exactly earth-shattering, right? Well, I didn't expect much, and I figure that many of you out there didn't either.

Negotiations at this level, just like the negotiations that merged AOL and Time Warner, are conducted in secrecy. Talking heads may make a few statements, but all the real work is being done behind the scenes. In secret. And none of us are going to find out about it until it's decided behind those closed doors.

Things are getting so bad in Ponte Vedra that some media outlets actually interview representatives of other media outlets. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because getting yet another view on the situation can provide at least a momentary diversion. However, if there were any real news to be gathered, you can be sure that competing media outlets wouldn't be talking to each other about a rumored Big East counter raid on Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech or the possibility that Notre Dame might be listening to Big East overtures. Instead, they'd be fighting for every news nugget.

So, as much as I hate to say it, settle back, Mountaineer fans. The real deadline is June 30, when any conference defectors would be forced to either wait another year our double their penalty for getting out of the Big East. My guess is that we'll be closer to that date than to Memorial Day before any big decision comes down.

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