Tag:Rutgers
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:50 pm
 

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Officials from what’s left of the Big East’s dwindling football membership had another conference call on Tuesday morning and there remains no specific timetable on adding UCF, but “appears an invitation is forthcoming” for the Knights, the league’s No. 1 target.

The presidents, chancellors and athletic directors continued to discuss potential expansion candidates. Among those mentioned were UCF, Air Force, Navy, Temple, Houston, SMU and Boise State, a league source told CBSSports.com.

While Commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement Monday the league would consider a model with 12 football members, part of Tuesday’s call was discussing the possibility of splitting the football and basketball conference into divisions, once the football side is replenished.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are being considered as football members only, while UCF, Temple, Houston and SMU are at the top of the list as all-sports members so it’s unknown right now how large the basketball membership could grow.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported one proposed alignment discussed at Tuesday’s meeting consisted of Rutgers, UConn, South Florida, UCF, Temple and Navy in an East Division with West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati, Air Force, SMU and Houston in a West Division.

However, there remains the very real possibility Louisville and West Virginia may not be in the league and bound for the Big 12 if Missouri leaves for the SEC or the Big 12 expands to 12 teams.

What make Temple, SMU and Houston attractive to the Big East, one source said, is their respective television markets. Philadelphia (Temple) is the nation’s No. 4 market, Dallas (SMU) is No. 5 and Houston is No. 10.

Beyond Navy, Air Force and UCF, a league source said “no one team is definitely next” as an expansion candidate.

There also appears to be conflicting opinions on pursuing Boise State. Some league members support adding Boise State because of the Broncos’ recent success, which would help the league with its future BCS status. However, others believe Boise State, located nearly 700 miles west of Air Force and nearly 2,200 miles from Tampa/USF, is simply too far to consider.

Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a statement Monday that the Broncos “are looking forward to their inaugural season” in the Mountain West Conference and he “has great confidence in the future direction of the Mountain West.”

“While we are certainly flattered to be mentioned in connection with other conferences and we hold those leagues in high regard, our current focus is on continuing to build the outstanding athletic programs that have helped make Boise State a popular and compelling national brand," Kustra said.

“The landscape of college athletics is exceptionally fluid, and we are continuing to monitor the situation. We are confident that Boise State will be well positioned for future success, and we will evaluate our status with the best interests of the entire university in mind. Boise State’s athletic achievements, academic and research successes, popularity, and vision for future growth make the university an extremely valuable conference partner.”

A league source also told CBSSports.com that Army is no longer being considered as a candidate by the Big East. “They’ve been honest with us and that they’re not interested because of the challenges they had previously in Conference USA,” the source said.

Army was in C-USA from 1998-2004. The Cadets were 9-41 in C-USA play and finished last in the league five of the seven seasons.

Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:33 am
 

Big East will be aggressive in expansion

Before the Big East’s meeting of the league’s presidents and athletic directors in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, someone noticed a familiar face in the hotel: Henry Kissinger.

“Someone joked, he should come up here,” Big East commissioner John Marinatto told CBSSports.com.

However, the former Secretary of State wasn’t needed on Tuesday night – three days after the sudden announcement that Pittsburgh and Syracuse would depart the Big East –when the presidents and athletic directors of the seven remaining Big East football-playing schools gathered.

The league “will be aggressive” in replacing Pittsburgh and Syracuse and the Big East will continue talks with Navy and Air Force as football-only members, an official in the meeting told CBSSports.com. On Tuesday, CBSSports.com reported that Big East was in the final stages of adding Navy as a football-only member before Pitt and Syracuse abruptly left for the ACC. Air Force also was expected to come on board.

Marinatto would not discuss specific expansion candidates, but said “there’s no urgency to expand. We don’t need to make a quick decision. We need to make the right decision.”

Another official that attended the meeting said the league’s members made a commitment to work and stay together.

“It went well,” the official said. “I think those schools that thought they were going somewhere now realize they have no where to go.”

There have been multiple reports than UConn and Rutgers are interested in the ACC. The Newark-Star Ledger also reported Rutgers “had discussions” with the Big Ten. West Virginia also hoped to go to the ACC or SEC, but both leagues indicated they were not interested in the Mountaineers, CBSSports.com reported.

“Part of the purpose of the meeting was getting everyone’s commitment,” Marinatto said. “At some point, you have to take people at their word.”

The presidents and athletic directors from Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, TCU and West Virginia attended the meeting. Marinatto said the membership discussed increasing the withdrawal fee from $5 million.

“I don’t know if there’s a price you can put on for breaking your word and lying,” Marinatto said. “That’s priceless. I don’t know high enough of a figure to charge for being disloyal or untruthful.”

Marinatto also reiterated that the league plans to make Pitt and Syracuse honor the league’s by-laws, which require 27-month notice to withdraw from the league.

“They are with us until June 30, 2014,” Marinatto said. “I think our membership is firm on that. There is no intention of granting [an early] release.”

Marinatto said he was “hurt and disappointed” about Pitt and Syracuse’s decision to leave the league, especially since both schools kept their dealings with the ACC secret until announcing their departure.

“I don’t want to use words that go over the edge,” Marinatto said. “Let’s just say I was very disappointed.”

Representatives from the Big East’s non-football member schools – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova – were not in attendance. The athletic directors of those schools, with exception of Notre Dame, held a one-hour conference call on Monday morning.

“Everyone was frustrated with the way it [Pitt and Syracuse] went down and the fact no one had any idea Syracuse and Pitt were bailing,” said an official from a Big East’s non-football member school.

That individual added that it appears some of the “basketball schools are willing to leave.”

Marinatto, however, said that he held a conference call with the presidents of the non-football members on Monday.

“I went around the horn and asked each one if they were in support of keeping the conference together,” Marinatto said. “Unanimously they said they support what the football schools want us to do.”

Following the football-member schools meeting, the Big East issued a statement:

“Our membership met this evening and we are committed as a conference to recruit top level BCS caliber institutions with strong athletic and academic histories and traditions. We have been approached by a number of such institutions and will pursue all of our options to make the Big East Conference stronger than it has ever been in both basketball and football.”

Rutgers president Richard McCormick would not comment to the Newark-Star Ledger Tuesday night, but said he felt “very good” about the league’s future. “Certainly from our standpoint.”

The president’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2.


Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:07 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 12:57 am
 

ACC commissioner refutes Texas to ACC report

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Atlantic Coast Commissioner John Swofford shot down a report Monday night that his league was considering adding Texas, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers.

“I need to read more to see what we’re doing,” Swofford said laughing. “That’s news to me.”

Orangebloods.com quoted a source Monday night that the ACC, trying to fend off a potential raid by the SEC – who might take Virginia Tech – would look to add Texas along with Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers for a 16-team league. Swofford spoke to reporters from CBSSports.com, SI.com and the New York Post at halftime of the Miami-Maryland game.

“I think we see a lot of things that are written, blogged and speculated about right now,” Swofford said. “We’re not at a point at doing anything from a conference standpoint other than a lot of discussion, analysis and seeing what the landscape may hold moving forward. That’s way beyond any type of discussion we’ve had.”

The ACC’s current media rights deal is split evenly among all members. If, hypothetically the ACC added Texas, the Longhorns would bring their Longhorn Network and earn more than the other ACC members.

Swofford said equal revenue sharing among ACC members “has been a very strong principle of our league since the middle ‘80s.”

“I was AD in this league when we went to that fundamental principle and it’s been a very strong one ever since then,” Swofford said. “I think that it’s one that has a lot to do with the stability of conferences, just fundamentally.”

Swofford also was asked about the, uh, colorful helmets Maryland debuted on Monday night.

“They’re unique,” Swofford said. “And I think they’re appropriate for the state of Maryland with the flag and wearing the state colors for a state university.”


Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:06 pm
 

LeGrand joins Rutgers radio network

When I spoke with Rutgers senior Eric LeGrand last month, the former Scarlet Knights defensive tackle said he planned on attending all of RU's home games this season.

That plan remains in place, but now LeGrand will be attending Rutgers' home games in a different role - as an analyst for the Rutgers Football Radio Network.

LeGrand will be on the broadcast for a segment during the pre-game show, at halftime and on the post-game show for every game this season. LeGrand will attend the home games and will call in for his segments for Rutgers' road games.

"I think it's really cool," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "He's going to do post (game), pre (game) and halftime. So we're going to get our 'E-Rock' report."

LeGrand wants to be a sports broadcaster after graduation. During the Scarlet-White spring game, LeGrand spent the third quarter calling the action for RVision, the official broadband network of Rutgers Athletics.

The Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics also has announced the establishment of the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to support Eric LeGrand and his family. LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury Oct. 16, 2010 vs. Army and was paralyzed.

However, LeGrand told me his goal is not only to walk again, but run onto the field at High Point Solutions Stadium.

"I can't wait to run out the tunnel with 'my' team," LeGrand told CBSSports.com. "I can't control it, I have to play the waiting game and pray to God every night, every day. He's blessed me so far. I have to believe He will continue to do so."

Contributions to the LeGrand fund are not tax deductible and can be made by sending a check payable to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to:

“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund”
PNC Wealth Management
Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor
One Palmer Square Suite 201
Princeton, NJ 08542


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 3, 2011 9:18 am
 

Big East move should help keep Patterson at TCU

NEWPORT, R.I. – Besides all the obvious benefits of TCU’s move to the Big East – money, better BCS bowl access, money, more television exposure, money and money – another plus for the Horned Frogs is it could make it easier to keep Gary Patterson in Fort Worth.

Patterson has been mentioned as a candidate for multiple openings in past years, but has remained at TCU. He begins his 12th season with the Horned Frogs on Sept. 2 against Baylor. The Horned Frogs are playing their final season in the Mountain West before moving to the Big East next season.

“Gary has an opportunity to create his own shadow,” TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “You can go somewhere else and you’re following some one else’s footsteps.

“You go to Alabama, it’s still Bear Bryant. You go to Texas, it’s still Darrell Royal. You go to Arkansas, it’s Frank Broyles. It’s still Woody Hayes at Ohio [State] and Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Gary is that figure for us. He is our iconic figure.”

The Horned Frogs are in the process of $105 million expansion and renovation of Amon Carter Stadium. It’s scheduled to be completed for the 2012 season. That’s only one piece of the puzzle, Del Conte said.

“The one thing we have to continue to do is invest in facilities, invest in staff and invest in our program,” Del Conte said. “But Gary’s created that iconic figure for us. That’s something to be said.

“The grass isn’t always greener. That whole field is riddled with people who thought it was greener and they’re now skeletons littered in the weeds.”

The Horned Frogs first game in the renovated Carter Stadium in 2012 will be against Grambling on Sept. 8. TCU’s first season as a Big East member also will include home games against Oklahoma, Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida and West Virginia and road games at Pittsburgh, UConn, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Even though the Horned Frogs aren’t members of the Big East yet, Del Conte has an opinion on the league's expansion.

“Whatever we do, you have to have significant value to the mosaic that is already there,” Del Conte said. “If not, keep the league at what it’s at. Nine, 10, 12 [teams] – I have no dog in that race. Our forefathers do. My opinion is you have to add significant value and preserve the Big East’s tradition and history in basketball and what Dave Gavitt created way back in the day.”

Del Conte said he’s confident a Big East team will be playing for a national championship – in football – in the very near future and referenced near misses by Cincinnati in 2009 (if Texas doesn’t edge Nebraska in the Big 12 title game) and West Virginia in 2007 (if the Mountaineers defeat Pitt in regular season finale).

“There will be a Big East team playing in the national championship game soon enough,” Del Conte said. “There will be.”

Posted on: July 11, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Biggest winners after major infractions

In part III of CBSSports.com’s series on cheating in college football, I found out that the majority of schools that have committed major violations in the past 25 years actually have had a better record after the infractions.

So much for penalizing the guilty.

Anyway, in my report, I listed the 10 schools that have been hurt the most by the infractions since 1987.

Here’s a look at the 10 schools that fared the best after getting nailed by the NCAA. And if I’m California, I start committing some violations immediately. Because the last two times Cal committed major infractions the Golden Bears improved drastically over the next five years.

OK, so maybe it’s not that simple. But after Cal’s 1988 infractions, they won 18 more games in the next five years than the previous five seasons. The 2002 violations brought a five-year improvement of 27 wins – more than five per season compared to the previous five seasons.

Well, maybe, it had something to do with Cal’s coaching changes. Bruce Snyder replaced Joe Kapp in 1987 and Jeff Tedford replaced Tom Holmoe in 2002.

In the chart below, the year designates the year of the infraction. The improvement in wins is the number for the five seasons after compared to the five seasons before the violation.

Year School Improvement in wins

2002 California +27
2003 Rutgers +22
2001 USC +20
1988 California +18
1990 Florida +17
1997 UTEP +13
1997 Georgia +11
1996 Miss. State +9
1993 Auburn +8
1987 Texas Tech +8



Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Presenting NCAA's most frequent cheaters club

As our series on college football’s cheaters continues today, I looked at the most frequent cheaters – at least in terms of major infractions – since SMU received the Death Penalty in 1987.

It’s a neck-and-neck race between Alabama and Texas Tech, with three major infractions each.

There are also a dozen teams – Cal, Colorado, Florida International, Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, USC and Washington – with two infractions each

Here are the remaining 42 teams with one major infraction each: Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Auburn, Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisiana Lafayette, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, UTEP, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington State and Wisconsin.

In all 56 of the 120 FBS programs have committed a major infraction in the past 25 years, including nearly two-thirds of the automatic qualifying BCS programs.

By the way, I loved a response on Twitter from @FGrimes1 – listed as Forrest Grimes – defending Texas Tech’s three major infractions. He wrote: “Most of Techs major infractions came around the same time, way to make Tech look like a contuinously dirty program a--hole."

For Mr. Grimes’ information, Tech’s violations were not at the same time – but spaced more than 10 years apart in 1987, 1998 and on Jan. 7, 2011 – during Grimes’ current semester as a journalism major at Tech

While our two-week series is looking at whether schools can win without cheating, I think it’s important to recognize the 23 AQ BCS programs that have not committed a major infraction since 1987 … so far.

ACC–Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest.
Big East–UConn, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia.
Big Ten–Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue.
Big 12–Iowa State, Missouri.
Pac-12–Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA.
SEC–LSU, Vanderbilt


Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 8:51 am
 

Rutgers snares 5th highest per year stadium deal

High Point Solution Stadium. Not exactly the most tradition rich name in college sports, but, hey, it is the newest. Tuesday, Rutgers announced a 10-year naming rights deal with High Points Solution worth $6.5 million.

The initial reaction on my Twitter feed to a corporation naming a college stadium was "Ugh." But if you haven't figured out by now how vital big bucks are in college football these days, then it's time for you to take off your leather helmet and put it in storage.

Remember a time when bowl games were actually named after fruits and not dot.com businesses or car muffler stores? Yeah, me neither. Now it's a rarity if a bowl game isn't named after a corporation. Years from now, the same - unfortunately - will be said about college football stadiums.

Anyway, Rutgers' deal is the fifth-highest per year amount for a college stadium named after a corporation/business. This list does not include stadiums named after individuals who may have contributed several gazillion dollars (i.e. Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium). This list also does not include college teams that play in NFL stadiums, such as Pittsburgh's Heinz Field or South Florida's Raymond James Stadium.

Here are the 11 college stadiums named after corporations and I'm sure this list will double within the next five years. For what it's worth the breakdown of corporation named college stadiums by conference: Big East (3), ACC (2), Sun Belt (2), Big Ten (1), Big 12 (1), C-USA (1) and MAC (1). (1).

School (Year) Stadium Name; Terms

Minnesota (2005) TCF Bank Stadium; 25 years, $35 million
Per year average: $1.4 million

UCF (2006) Bright House Networks Stadium; 15 yrs, $15 million
Per year average: $1 million

Maryland (2006) Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium; 25 years, $20 million
Per year average: $800,000

Texas Tech (2006) Jones AT&T Stadium; 25 years, $20 million
Per year average: $800,000

Rutgers (2011) High Point Solutions Stadium; 10 years, $6.5 million
Per year average: $650,000

Louisville (1998) Papa John's Cardinal Stadium; 10 years, $5 million
Per year average: $500,000

Louisville (2004) Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium; 33 years, $15 million
Per year average: $454,000

Akron (2009) InfoCision Stadium; 20 years, $10 million
Per year average: $500,000

Troy (2003) Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium; 20 yrs, $5 million
Per year average: $250,000

Syracuse (1980) Carrier Dome; Indefinite, $2.75 million
Per year average: n/a

Wake Forest (2007) BB&T Field; 10 years, undisclosed
Per year average: n/a

Western Kentucky (2007) Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium; unknown, $5 million
Per year average: n/a



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com