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USF AD says Big East is strong


Mama_Bull

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USF AD says Big East is strong

Doug Woolard says conference will be fine going forward

By ALAN DELL - adell@bradenton.com Buzz up!

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Did the Big 12 save the Big East?

A lot of people might think so, but Doug Woolard is not one of them. The USF athletic director believes the Big East Conference can stand on its own, and doubters shouldn’t be so quick to throw the league into the scrap heap.

Woolard is not one those who subscribes to the theory that the Big East dodged a bullet recently when it looked as if college football was headed for a dramatic change that would have altered its landscape.

He feels things have settled down, at least for the time being, and if there is another upheaval USF and the rest of the Big East teams will be ready to deal with it as they did earlier this month.

They are going to be pro-active and not passive, which is not a bad idea when the life of your conference is at stake.

Woolard said the Big East was prepared to enter into talks with Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor last month when it looked as if the Big 12 might fold with its teams bolting for the Big Ten and Pac-10 leaving those four schools available.

He was at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club with many of the USF coaches Friday as part of the Bulls tour, which takes them across the state on a goodwill/fund raising venture.

“If we added those teams, we could’ve made it work,†Woolard said. “We would’ve split up into divisions and geographically there would not have been any problems. There wasn’t a need to do this, but we were ready.â€

The Big 12 stayed intact minus two teams and talk of conference expansion has been put on the back burner though the Big Ten (which now has 12 teams) says it will use the next year to study the idea of adding more teams.

The Big Ten’s stance has gotten some people in USF’s league nervous because Rutgers and Pittsburgh are the two Big East schools most often mentioned as leaving for the Big Ten and the feeling is West Virginia would then want to then bolt.

Woolard is not sure Rutgers would be so quick to leave.

“What I have said is that the Big East has been not only good for USF, but for every team in the league,†Woolard said. “Remember the Big East went through this five years ago when it certainly was an unsettled time and we got through it. There was skepticism because people wondered if a 16-team league (for basketball) would work, but it did. And the football turned out good.â€

The biggest complaint in the Big East comes from the football coaches who want a ninth team so they can have four home and four away games. There have been talks about adding a ninth school just for football, and UCF has been mentioned, but Woolard doesn’t see that happening in the foreseeable future.

“ESPN values both the basketball and football in this conference,†Woolard said. “The league feels if there is somebody out there that is an automatic and would bring us instant recognition we would go for it. We would have to cross that path if it happened, but right now it appears things have slowed down and there might be stability.

“I think this league has been good for everyone in it. We manage to do alright with eight football teams. Most of us play six or seven home games in a season and having that year when you play only three conference games at home hasn’t been that bad.â€

This week things couldn’t have gotten much better for USF athletics with Dominique Jones becoming the first Bull to get selected in the first round of the NBA draft.

USF head basketball coach Stan Heath looked like a guy who just made it to the NCAA Final Four, which maybe he did in a round-about way with Jones going to Dallas after being selected 25th by Memphis.

“I am proud of him. He is a like a second son to me,†Heath said. “It’s huge for our program because every kid who wants to be a pro is watching that (NBA Draft), and we got free exposure in a big way, so it’s going to help with recruiting. There are others who are going to see Dominique Jones and say that is a path they can follow.

Read more: http://www.bradenton.com/2010/06/26/2391530/usf-ad-says-big-east-is-strong.html#ixzz0rvlxgQDg

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hurrah

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How about play hard ball with Notre Dame you either join for football or take all your other sports and leave.

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I think they'd leave.

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How about play hard ball with Notre Dame you either join for football or take all your other sports and leave.

Why? How is Notre Dame's presence in all sports but football hurting the Big East more than any of the other non-football members?

Notre Dame will never join the Big East for football, so when you say "give an ultimatum to Notre Dame," what you actually are saying is "kick Notre Dame out of the Big East." Why?

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kick nd out

wollrd sounds foolish

big east is weak

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Guest nybullsfan

disclaimer: I hate nd. but....

I don't have data, but I would bet $ to donuts that we (and most other be teams) sell more tix to notre dame basketball, baseball, soccer, etc than any other big east opponent.

not to mention tv appearances against the irish.

even without football nd is a net positive for the league.

'scuse me while I go wash out my mouth....

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