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SBD/Issue 163/Collegiate SportsPrint All
Tranghese Trying To
Keep Big East Intact
Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese at the Big East Conference's spring meetings this weekend "continued his silence" on the ACC's proposed expansion plan, "which threatens to take Boston College, Miami and Syracuse" from the Big East, according to Angela Watts of the Washington Post, who notes Tranghese is scheduled to speak publicly today. While Tranghese "assuredly laid a counteroffer on the table," for the league's eight football-playing schools, none of the ADs "offered even a hint as to what Tranghese proposed, be it separation from the conference's six basketball-only schools, expansion or the redistribution of revenue." Univ. of Pittsburgh Exec Vice Chancellor Jerry Cochran said, "Nothing is going to be decided this week; nothing is going to be decided next week. I don't believe it will drag on forever and I would hope over the course of time between now and the end of next month we'll have a better sense of where we stand" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/19). In Newark, Tom Luicci reports that "Miami didn't make a single demand during yesterday's meeting. And [Miami AD Paul] Dee seemed more than willing to listen to what his colleagues had to say after spending the past week-plus being courted by the ACC" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/19). Dee said Saturday that he would "set no solid timeline for a decision" (AP, 5/18).
MOON OVER MIAMI: In Ft. Lauderdale, Omar Kelly writes that Miami's goal is to leave the meetings Wednesday with the Big East's "best offer so that UM president Donna Shalala can further evaluate the pros and cons of a conference switch to the ACC" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 5/19). Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo "maintained that no decision had been made by any of the schools," but did "concede that Miami was the catalyst and seemed to express every indication of accepting the ACC's offer." DeFilippo: "I have to look out for what's good for Boston College, and in this case, that's being with Miami." (Mark Blaudschun, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/18). The SUN-SENTINEL's Kelly reported that at one point Saturday morning, the conference ADs "met informally ... without their counterparts from Miami, Syracuse and Boston College" (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/18). Pittsburgh football coach Walt Harris said that every Big East football coach — including those from Miami, BC and Syracuse — "is in favor of staying in the conference" (Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 5/19).
NOTES: Watts notes that "the school holding the trump card could be Syracuse." According to sources, AD Jake Crouthamel and basketball coach Jim Boeheim "have each expressed, at best, a disinterest in jumping ship" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/19). On Sunday, Crouthamel "slipped out a back door to avoid the four-dozen reporters" waiting outside (Ed Bouchette, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 5/19).