Syracuse finally announced today the school would indeed be moving to the ACC in 2013. In other news, it may be warm outside this month and Fab Melo could’ve taken his studies more seriously. This always seemed like a no-brainer until the Big East began waffling a few months back.
“Yeah, we know what we said before,” you could imagine Joe Bailey saying as he pawed at the dirt in front of him. “But we were kinda thinking it over, and maybe you should stay for an extra year…”
This was always about the jilted Big East looking to recoup some more cash, since the conference is starting to look a lot like the Island of Misfit Schools. That venerable Big East tourney at MSG is gonna feel just like the old days when Houston battles UCF for a chance at Memphis in the quarterfinals.
Syracuse was staring at a 27-month window and $5M payout to jump from the conference. But for a mere $2.5 more, we can cut that wait time in half. Voila! And it cuts through cans too!
“Yeah, I don’t know if we can let you out of this deal… unless of course you’d be willing to pay a little more…”
We all know this was untenable. West Virginia cried and groused and finally pushed its way out immediately. Pitt levied a lawsuit. Syracuse (for the most part) kept its mouth shut, and tried to play nice. It looked like the road was paved for an amicable split, but when The Electrician John Marinatto was dumped the Big East tried to play hardball again.
What would have been the end result? Two lame duck years in a conference that you want to exit? A bonus round of conference resentment from the other schools left behind? Another two Media Days in each sport distracted from the athletes? Letting this guillotine hang over everyone’s head until 2014 would have been short-sighted.
Darryl Gross said the right things. “Both sides thought the deal was truly reasonable, and it was done in a most collegial way. We’re excited that we were able to negotiate and that sophisticated minds came into play and we were able to get it done.”
But let’s face it, the only thing the Big East can salvage is a few extra bucks. SU ponied up because it’ll recoup that soon in the new ACC TV deal. $7.5M to depart for a more stable and properly run conference in a calendar year? Money well spent.