Cronin laments football's role in realignment


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Cincinnati basketball coach Mick Cronin said Saturday the announcement that seven Big East schools that don't play major college football are separating from the conference wasn't a total shock.

"I don't blame them," Cronin said Saturday. "My take is it's a shame that football, one sport, has dictated all this. The money that one sport is swinging around is swaying universities to make decisions. Don't tell me that people care about student-athletes.

"It's all ridiculous. Let's call it what it is. I've thought about this long and hard and I've waited to say this. If it's all about money and money grabbing, the players need to get paid."

The announcement about the move came from the presidents of Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence. Cronin made his comments after No. 11 Cincinnati beat Marshall 72-56 later Saturday.

With all the attention paid to football in recent conference realignments, Cronin said sports such as volleyball, soccer and tennis get "lost in the shuffle."

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