Slow day basketball wise so here are a few things I have been thinking about.
What is the reason college teams decide to become division 1? Is it the prestige? Money to be made? Publicity to increase enrollment? Opportunity to impress alumni and other donors? I ask because I just do not get it? Especially as I look through box scores.
Just saw NJIT, a recent D1 entry lost again last night in front of 130 fans. Yes 130 fans in downtown Newark. I just hope this was not one of the games they were scheduled to play at the new 18,000 seat plus Prudential Center. Why would this school, a school with a great academic reputation, decide to take on D1 basketball when they were just decent as a D2 school? Of course they receive guarantees for away loses and must receive calls daily from schools wishing to schedule them next season. After all, they seem like a sure fire W. With scholarships, insurance, sneakers and equipment (No one could possibly be sponsoring them), coaching salaries, and travel, they must be seriously in the red.
How about Coppin State from Maryland? They won last night at home in front of 289 people. Where are you Fang Mitchell? Anyone remember when he had them doing so well?
Than there is Todd Boozeman at Morgan State. Todd was black listed from college basketball for doing what many high D1 programs do all the time when he was at Cal. Took years to get another job as he watched guys who were notorious cheaters get job after job. Don't make me list names please. But we all know the real deal. Well Todd is the Head Coach at Morgan and he has them in 1st place in the MEAC. A spot hey never experienced, even under Butch Beard, the ex Knick. They drew over 3,000 last night at home in their gym that in recent years always drew around 400 people.
On the other end of the spectrum there are teams like Villanova. They are in a slump at this time but still are money makers based on years of developing a fan base. They sell tickets and make money. Even if they lost every game the rest of the season, they are a successful business.
Not many coaches lose jobs when you are making money and attracting fans. Yes College sports, especially football and basketball, are Big Business! Coaches make more than some CEO's so you know it is big business.
Now why do I bring all this up? I do so because I really feel we will see some changes in Division 1 basketball in the very near future. We will see the NCAA downsize division 1 basketball! There will be a D1 and a D1AA, similar to football. Teams such as NJIT, many MEAC Teams, lower conferences, etc. will be in D1AA. This was talked about in the past but it did not happen because the Historic Black Colleges would have sued, and it did not seem right. But when you see teams losing every game, losing huge amounts of money, and being non-competitive, it sends a message. Besides, as much as I love basketball, if I was President of NJIT (wishful thinking lol), I would seriously start meetings on going back to D2, or even D3. They are an excellent academic institution and I would love to see how this basketball has impacted their application numbers and credentials? Maybe no one cares or is even watching.
Fire Jay Wright? Yes and 100 universities will be on line to hire him. College fans are fickle to say the least. This guy is a winner and will have Villanova in the thick of it sooner than later. As I have said, the talent is good but far from great. Watch them closely.
St. Johns is really losing some market share in the NYC Metro area. No one is thinking SJU any longer. They are going against Iona, and Fordham for players. In the past, with the exception of the Valvano years, those NY area schools took what SJU did not want. Pretty soon we might see kids choosing LIU and FDU over SJU. I still say if Norm decides to leave, Jim O' Brian would be a great choice. Forget the BS that happened at Ohio State. Trust me thats kid stuff compared to many programs we watch on TV weekly.
If I see Michigan on TV again this season I will throw up. What's the deal with that? Does someone at Michigan have pictures of the ESPN and CBS honchos in bed together?
Is it me or is the Big 10 one of the best, but most boring conferences in the entire country? Who is doing the marketing? Show of hands of who gets excited to see Purdue against Minnesota? I am waiting! I thought so!
Prime Time Shoot Out this weekend. Lots to say about this event tomorrow. Not what you expect!