Remaining Big East Teams Growing Anxious Over Lack Of TV Deal
Schools remaining in the Big East are “getting anxious about the lack of a television deal for the 2013-14 basketball season,” according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com. UConn had “expected it would hear about the details of the deal by the New Year,” but that was “put off once the Catholic 7 decided to bolt earlier in the month (possibly as early as 2014, although they'd love to get out by 2013).” UConn AD Warde Manuel said that the school “needs to know what kind of revenue it would receive next year from television, a must for all of the remaining schools.” Katz writes, “Meanwhile, don't expect the remaining Big East schools to allow Boise State to cut its own rights deal to keep home television profits” (ESPN.com, 12/31). Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson said that he has “spoken with Boise State about staying in the Mountain West instead of its planned departure to the Big East, dangling the potential windfall of a reworked television contract." Thompson added that he "has not spoken" with San Diego State. Thompson noted, “It’s not by any particular design that we haven’t talked to San Diego State. Maybe it’s a cat and mouse kind of deal. Boise State has been more active in this. … I would have no issue talking with San Diego State if something were to develop.” In San Diego, Mark Zeigler notes SDSU AD Jim Sterk has “steadfastly remained committed to the Big East in football and Big West in most other sports, men’s basketball most prominent among them.” Ziegler: "Nothing figures to happen until two numbers are known: the value of a new Big East TV contract with its depleted membership, and the value of a Mountain West TV contract now that the conference can sell its second-tier rights. And that might not happen for several months” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/31).
END OF AN ERA: In Omaha, Tom Shatel conducted a Q&A with outgoing Nebraska AD Tom Osborne, who will retire on Tuesday. Osborne, on what college football could be like in five and 10 years, said, “I suspect that we're going to see four or five 16-team conferences, that are major schools. There will be some type of modified playoff system. We may stay with a four-team format for a while, but there will always be pressure to go beyond that.” He added, “I am concerned about the amounts of money involved. There are various federal laws that allow you to regulate a lot of things, such as salaries, and we do see professional teams with salary caps. We may see something like that at some level.” Osborne: “But the thing that continues to be disturbing to me is when you look at all of the money that has been generated and you still have resistance to providing a $2,000 stipend to the people who are really drawing the crowds. I don't believe in players trying to be salaried, but I think something like the cost-of-attendance stipend is reasonable and shouldn't be tied to family income or need-based” (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 12/30).