SBD/December 7, 2012/Colleges

Cowboys Stadium Could Host Four Simultaneous Games Next Year To Start CBB Season

Michigan State is the only school confirmed for potential Cowboys Stadium event
The '13-14 college basketball season could begin on Veterans Day weekend with "four games taking place simultaneously at Cowboys Stadium, site of the 2014 Final Four," according to Seth Davis of SI.com. Details are not finalized, but the games would "begin 15 minutes apart and be held side by side (by side by side) in the giant facility." The purpose is to "simulate the madness that takes place during the first week of the NCAA tournament." Michigan State AD Mark Hollis, who created the concept, said, "We're going to squeeze everything into a three-hour time period. We're talking with eight institutions right now that have a very high interest and have that weekend open, and we're going to partner with the 12 (military) bases that are around Dallas, so we can make it a celebration for the guys at Fort Hood and others." Davis noted Hollis did not "get into which schools would be playing, except to confirm that Michigan State would be one of them." Having "developed a deep passion for athletic events that honor and include the military, Hollis, who also arranged for Michigan State to play UConn at Ramstein Air Base in Germany last month, said that he's hoping to continue setting up these games 'at some other unique locations down the line'" (SI.com, 12/6).

DREAMING BIG: Hollis said that the project "revolved around three primary goals: Doing something positive in North Texas to launch the season that will end there, doing something positive for NCAA basketball and doing something to recognize and honor members of the armed forces." He added that he is "evaluating the financial feasibility and TV potential, including looking at the difficulties related to broadcasting four games at once at the same venue" (USA TODAY, 12/7). In Detroit, Joe Rexrode notes the "hope is for a crowd of about 60,000 -- 30,000 troops and 30,000 paid customers" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/7). Hollis: "I just had a vision after looking down on the venue ... everything is big in Texas. But by no means is it a done deal. Is it possible? Yes" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/7).

NOT SO FAST
: NBCSPORTS.com's Rob Dauster wrote the idea "is a bit too much." Nevermind the "fact that whistles on court one will make players stop on court two," and "forget that a substitution buzzer on court three could confuse a player on court four who thought he still had five seconds left on the shot clock." Dauster: "We don’t need to dilute the product on the floor just to get some publicity when there is already plenty of attention being paid to the good, quality basketball being played at the beginning of the year" (NBCSPORTS.com, 12/6). The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said, “This is nothing more than glorified AAU summer basketball! ... I can’t wait until the first ball bounces from one court to the other and (they) have to stop the game to pick it up and throw it back.” The Miami Herald’s Israel Gutierrez said, “I don’t know how pleasant it’s going to be for the fans trying to watch everything at once.” ESPN’s J.A. Adande said, “I’m not concerned about four balls bouncing at once. I’m concerned about four whistles going off at once. That could be the issue, but I’m never going to vote against more basketball” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 12/6). 
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