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Is ESPN the main force behind realignment in the NCAA?

Gene DeFilippo backpedaled quickly — an old quarterback executing one more scramble — after suggesting last month that one of the most stunning shifts in the recent wave of realignment in college sports had been scripted by ESPN.

The Boston College athletics director apologized, saying he'd misspoken when he told The Boston Globe that the cable television titan "told us what to do" before the Atlantic Coast Conference chose Pittsburgh and Syracuse as new members, plundering the neighboring Big East.

His retreat did little to quell conspiracy theories. Questions continue to bubble about whether ESPN — the 32-year-old network that has become a defining force in sports and the culture around them — has been a key behind-the-scenes player at a time of high-profile realignment in college sports. Fueled largely by schools seeking more money and security in their conference arrangements, the scramble has touched at least a half-dozen leagues and threatened several traditional rivalries.

For all that ESPN has lent to the growth of major-college athletics — through on-air exposure and with rights-fees payouts that schools have fed into stadium improvements, luxurious locker rooms and huge contracts for top coaches — there's an undercurrent of concern about the influence of the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports.

It's not just that its tentacles are everywhere: They're everywhere at once.

As a TV rights holder, ESPN is a business partner to a wide array of conferences and schools (its total college outlay will average more than $700 million annually by next year).

And as a leading broadcast, print and online news outlet, ESPN also reports the news it's often a party to making.

"We've created … I was going to say a blurry line, but I don't think there is any line anymore as to who's in charge," says Andy Geiger, a former athletics director at Ohio State University.

"We're doing business with an entertainment company whose only way of surviving involves the number of eyeballs watching the screen," he says. "That is the driving force in what I see as all the decisions being made."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/story/2011-10-27/is-espn-the-force-behind-college-conference-realignment/51019966/1?csp=hf
  • Paul
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 6,726
ESPN should just make their own football conference
Originally posted by Paul:
ESPN should just make their own football conference

They already have one, it's called the SEC.
Originally posted by Paul:
ESPN should just make their own football conference

Yeah, name it Cheater Land, have Miami, Ohio State and USC among them in it.
The only thing to blame for all of the conference realignment in the NCAA is the BCS. If there was a playoff system, none of this nonsense would be happening.
Originally posted by OregonDuckNiner:
Originally posted by Paul:
ESPN should just make their own football conference

They already have one, it's called the SEC.

lol seriously.

Every year they have 2 good teams, a bunch of trash teams, and plethora of undeserved hype.
Originally posted by OregonDuckNiner:
Originally posted by Paul:
ESPN should just make their own football conference

They already have one, it's called the SEC.

Doesn't CBS have the SEC on lock down. ESPN is giving the SEC all this hype this week, but the game will be on CBS
Dan Patrick was talking about this on his show as well and he has no doubt that ESPN is putting a lot of these pieces in motion.
f**k ESPN.
Originally posted by TheG0RE49er:
Dan Patrick was talking about this on his show as well and he has no doubt that ESPN is putting a lot of these pieces in motion.

dan patrick sucks
Originally posted by OregonDuckNiner:
Originally posted by Paul:
ESPN should just make their own football conference

They already have one, it's called the UT and big 12.

fixed
Originally posted by DonnieDarko:
Originally posted by TheG0RE49er:
Dan Patrick was talking about this on his show as well and he has no doubt that ESPN is putting a lot of these pieces in motion.

dan patrick sucks

cool story...
The automatic BCS bid is one reason. Also there is more revenue by attaching yourself to a prominent conference. These are the main reasons.
  • Jcool
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 13,739
Big 10 schools get 20+ million a year just from there network. Its not ESPN trying to make realignment happen, it schools wanting more money and a chance to play for a National Title.
Originally posted by AB83Rules:
Yeah, name it Cheater Land, have Miami, Ohio State and USC among them in it.

You must mean the University the South Carolina, right?

Otherwise, exercise a slight bit of objectivity and actually go do a little research about sanctions that have been slapped on the University of Southern California. Read also about how little actual evidence the NCAA had that the school even knew about Reggie Bush's violations. Then read about how all the schools that are in trouble now won't see but a small fraction of the punishment that USC is taking with no further protest.

Along the way you can also explain to me how Bush's actual "violations" helped USC win even one the many games it won.