|Cowboys Stadium, for now, will remain only a college basketball site for one event: the 2014 Final Four. (Getty Images)|
For all his smarts, ambition and outside-the-box ideas, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis should also get credit for pulling back when pragmatics and popular opinion drift against him.
Less than a month after an unprecedented idea was floated by Hollis to have Cowboys Stadium host four games at once -- yes, that's right: four games under one roof, all playing simultaneously -- Hollis has folded and been forced to toss the concept aside.
Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press is reporting Hollis is done pushing the idea for the 2013-14 season. The idea was to hold the games Nov. 11 as part of a huge spectacle to pay homage to our nation's Armed Forces. We're all for honoring the troops in so many kinds of ways, but this one seemed like a reach and would be done in exchange for putting on major college hoops in an AAU-style display.
Some considered it the definition of gimmickry, while others worried about actual logistics; that playing four games at once would cause stop-and-go irregularities between games due to shot-clock horns and substitutions. Plus, what would the TV angles look like? TV, in fact, was the decider in this not coming to fruition.
More from the Free Press:
The biggest issue was the inability to find a TV network willing to broadcast four games at once on different channels.
ESPN, CBS and Turner networks were approached, but there were concerns about “diluting exposure and tying down four networks,” Hollis said, at a time of year in which college basketball does not typically receive high ratings....
The TV issue and other questions about how to split things financially ultimately killed the idea.
“I'm disappointed it's not taking place,” Hollis said, “and I also understand the input provided by all the different parties involved.”
Hollis told the Free Press the problematic setup of the games wasn't so problematic anymore, and in fact the seven cloaked schools working in concert with participation only got more eager as the weeks drew on.
Perhaps, but this brainchild is best nipped in the bud. College hoops needs more inter-conference matchups against good teams in on-campus sites rather than sterile, airy environments. Plus, I gotta say, I find it unlikely TV was the primary stimulus in having this carnival killed. The Cowboys Stadium extravaganza would've been worth undertaking for many a wide-eyed television suit. You're telling me games on boats is doable but another awkward stadium adaptation was too much? Doubtful.
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