Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's wrong with Genshaft blocking UCF entry into Big East?

USF president Judy Genshaft has denied reports that she is spearheading a movement to block Central Florida’s entry into the Big East Conference.

Before anyone gets into whether it’s true or not a better question is whether she should be praised or maligned.

It’s no secret USF cannot get into the ACC because FSU and Miami are adamantly opposed and Florida would never push for the Bulls to become a member of the SEC.

To make matters worse, with the demise of the Big East a possibility, USF is not being talked about an addition to any other BCS conference though the ACC and SEC would seem the most logical because of the geography.

So is Genshaft just protecting her school? It seems you can make a good argument for that especially with college presidents just looking after me, me and not considering the collateral damage they are causing in the conference realignment frenzy.

Several newspapers, including New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger and the Boston Globe have accused Genshaft of blocking the University of Central Florida’s entry into the Big East Conference.

Genshaft called the allegations false and said she is not stopping any university from coming into the Big East. She said when a school from the same state as a current Big East member wants to join those schools are usually silent.

The Big East football membership is in trouble with recent announcements by Syracuse and Pittsburgh they are leaving the conference for the ACC. Due to contractual obligations they might not be able to leave until after the 2013 football season.

In the meantime, Big East officials are looking at inviting other schools. Navy and the Air Force Academy at the top of their list.

Those statements that are out in the press are not true. That is not the case,” Genshaft said.

“I am not stopping any university from coming in. What is happening is the league, or the conference, now is looking at schools and they have looked very much at schools that are not in any of the states that are represented by the Big East schools right now. The ones that they’re looking at right now, they do not sit in any state that the Big East schools currently are inn,” she said.

The presidents of the Big East member schools will discuss the future of the conference at a meeting this weekend, UConn President Susan Herbst said Wednesday.

"Big East presidents have been engaged in frequent communication by phone or in person," she said. "We're committed together to make the Big East work, to make it stronger in spite of the announcement that Syracuse and Pittsburgh will leave to go to the ACC.”

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