Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

Just when I was getting ready to start writing on the comparative occurrence of economic depressions/recessions/panics in the 19th and 20th centuries, I get a news flash IM that the ACC, unable to pull off its 'Operation:Chop Job' on the Big East, had decided to finally invite VT to join as well, after only a month ago telling VT to go to Hades, grinning and mocking VT as they did it. So, of course, the rest of my night is blown following the details on various sports message boards.

For those who may not know, this involves US collegiate Football (of the NFL, not Premier League, variety), specifically two conferences/leagues of schools, one attempting to eliminate the financial and sports viability of the other by taking 3 of its members (including the strongest ones in both Football and Basketball, though this expansion is Football driven).

So the U of Miami of the Big East (BE) plots for 18 months behind their league brethren's backs with the ACC, and orchestrates it so that if the ACC wants Miami (and they do), the price was Boston College and Syracuse.

THe ACC is currently, with one exception, a very compact conference centered in North Carolina. Aside from FSU and GT, all of the schools are close to each other, are from a similar region & subculture. BC is in Boston, of course, and Syracuse college is practically on the border of Canada in New York. Miami, of course, is at the southernmost tip of the Atlantic coast.

The ACC doesn't like this, but they need Miami to boost their TV contract (which was certainly to be revised downward given the ACC is the lowest rated BCS conference on TV), and due to NCAA rules need 12 teams to have an extra "conference championship" game (which, in theory, yields big bucks on its own from TV rights and tickets).

So Miami cackled with glee as the plot was revealed, leaving VT out to dry in the remnant BE. For historical reasons, a lot of the NC schools also cackled with glee, because VT has tried to get into the ACC since its founding over 50 years ago. However, VT has a lot of alumni in the Va State Legislature, and shutting out one of the Big Two state universities from collegiate athletics would seriously hurt big portions of the Virginia economy (college football is very important, especially if you're more than halfway decent at it, as VT is).

So, while UVA (the other big VA football school, and a member of the ACC) in general has no particular love for VT, the VA state government leaned on them heavily and made it politically impossible for them to vote yes on expansion that didn't include VT. But UVA couldn't block expansion itself (it takes 3 votes to block in the current ACC structure), so the plan went on, and it looked like a lock that Miami's plot would succeed.

The problem for the remnants was that Miami, 2 years ago, said up and down to everyone they met in the BE, that they were here to stay, not planning on leaving, gonna make it work, etc (which, as it turns out, they were saying even during the negotiations to bolt to the ACC...). VT and the University of Connecticut both went ahead with major expensive athletic additions because of this promise (because if Miami did leave, the financial future of the BE would be severely curtailed; hence promising to stay was a promise that BE cash flow would remain at the current status quo for the foreseeable future). So Miami leaving with two other BE teams would cripple the conference and leave UConn and VT holding the bag. So they sued (along with the other three BE members left behind). Now, when the presidents of Duke and UNC finally took out a map and realized they were expanding to the northern and southern tips of the US and the travel costs dawned on them, they got cold feet and said "no", joining UVA's no. THe ACC's got a situation where they have a lawsuit that was going to cost the ACC thousands of dollars (in just legal fees), as well as give them bad PR, and they couldn't get the deal done ANYWAY. No extra cash, negative hit to the reputation, and extra expense fighting the lawsuit.

The ACC then came up with the divide and conquer strategy- UVA is easier to flip than Duke or UNC (since UVA desperately wants to say yes ACC expansion, but has the Governor's pistol aside its head dictating terms), so the compromise (which makes no financial or operational sense) is to invite VT to come along, too. UVA can say yes now, stopping the block.

So now VT, who's been at the forefront denouncing this skulduggery and the 2nd major principal in the lawsuit against the ACC, is in a position where it will likely see the Governor's pistol up against IT's head making it drop out of the lawsuit and join the ACC (since political capital has been expended defending VT and advocating for VT's inclusion in the expansion), doing the very thing it had condemned Miami and the others of doing- destroying the BE.

Bah! What a big mess. I'd like VT to be in the ACC, but they gave us the finger a month ago when they could have invited us instead of BC or Syracuse- and the irony is that they could have had expansion over and done with had they taken us originally, no lawsuit, no mess, no fuss. But arrogance in North Carolina prevented that, and so now they have to take 13 teams instead of 12 just to save face. And as a result, VT has to generate bad blood with its cohorts in the lawsuit, leaving several Universities high and dry in the athletic arena, because of politics.

I suppose a moral of the story is that when the legislature gets involved, bad things happen (of course, had the governor not put the gun up to UVA's head, they'd've voted yes for VT-less expansion in a heartbeat). I wonder if the price of entry, in 'civil society' terms (bad feelings & shattered relationships) is worth the gain of being in the conference we've always wanted to be in? The ACC, absent government coercion, doesn't want VT, even though it makes all the sense in the world to have us (instead of BC or Syracuse). Government has intervened, overturned the decision of individuals, and mandated an outcome, which as usual is less than optimal given the circumstances.

Of course, this is all just a long excuse for why I didn't post last night. (heh...)

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Sure, blame it on me.

Sure, blame it on me. ;)

Blame it on bias, but I'm not quite as ashamed at VTs actions as you. The lawsuit was about fraud - lack of fiduiciary responsibility from Shalala and pledging a future with the Big East while secretly planning a future with the ACC. The rest of the irreparable harm nonsense was just that - nonsense.

VT is in reactionary mode. They did not choose to be a part of any of this. They took no part in the alleged fraud. If the ACC offers, there is no hypocrisy in accepting.

I'm not ashamed at VT's

I'm not ashamed at VT's actions per se, I'm ashamed that VT's actions are going to end up screwing over one of our university's oldest friends in the athletic arena (WVU) in the process.

Of course, there is the fact that VT, in self preservation mode, lobbied hard to get the state legislature to put the screws on UVA, so after a fashion VT *is* responsible for what's going on. And it is clear that UVA did not want to vote no, but was coerced into it by government pressure.

VT didn't engage in the fradulent dealings as UM did, that is true, and VT's actions were merely reactions to protect interest. But there is still the nasty bit about the state intervention.

What did VT have to do with

What did VT have to do with state intervention? Nothing in any *public* statements reveals that. It could be that the mass email campaign from fans and political pressure from hokie alumni in the state Congress was what resulted in the intervention.

wahoowa! its that damn

wahoowa!

its that damn liberal governor virginia has. I think most UVa alumni like myself did not want VT in the ACC because it hurts our in-state recruiting.

anyway, maybe this is the year we will finally beat those castrated turkeys in football!

anyway, maybe this is the

anyway, maybe this is the year we will finally beat those castrated turkeys in football!

You know we can ban you right? After all, this is private property.