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Wednesday October 1 2014
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No End in Sight

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The notion that the NCAA is an organization concerned with the business of higher learning… OK, you got me, I can’t go any farther. I have done some research and… again, you got me.

I have simply used common sense and I’ve come to the conclusion that the NCAA is interested in one thing and one thing alone: Benjamin Franklin.

Not the diplomat, the one hundred dollar bill, with total disregard of the looming fiscal cliff. It is hard for me, a guy with a Communication degree, to buy anything but the obvious. To quote P-Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean Puffy Combs, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”

Conference realignment is clearly about academics, right? If you if think that’s true, there are multiple bridges in Brooklyn for sale. Who’s kidding who here?

Old school Big East fans are all kinds of hot and bothered with the Catholic schools looking out for their own basketball interest. Who could blame them, they have been getting run over for football since the ACC pillaged the conference for Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami.

Football schools are aligning themselves with one another for the biggest payoff, but when basketball schools, like the disgruntled Catholic Big East schools do it, critics make jokes. The irony is, these seven schools will likely get the last laugh.

Contrary to popular belief, the NCAA isn’t entirely clueless. The seven schools are Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Villanova, St. John’s, Providence, and Seton Hall, which all coincidently are located in very large metropolitan media markets. The Big Ten expansion is based around market size: Philadelphia, New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago aren’t exactly small potatoes and the NCAA will do all they can to join the party. After all it’s a giant money grab for all those involved.

Granted, the seven schools won’t be able to make it on their own, but they will certainly draw interest from schools like Xavier and Butler. Add those two, and the Big Ten just got company as the best hoops conference in the country.

As for the NCAA, they will be all over these historically great basketball programs. March Madness wouldn’t be the same without them. Long story short, the NCAA sees this as another new revenue source. 
   
It will be very interesting to see what the big wigs at Fox, ESPN or CBS would pay for just those seven schools. Notre Dame set a new precedent, joining the ACC for all sports with a partial football membership. Having just a basketball conference is intriguing element, perhaps adding schools where football is essentially an afterthought. Duke, Kansas and Kentucky come to mind.

Sure the Big 12 and SEC football TV deals are huge, but operating a perennial loser has to be more expensive. The era of full membership conferences has to be winding down, realistically it isn’t sustainable.

Keep in mind the Maryland administrators were honest. Finances were the primary reason behind their departure of the ACC for the Big Ten.

Many hate what the Big Ten has done, but perhaps it’s just a glimpse into the future. Possibly each and every conference will have their own television networks. Maybe places like Madison Square Garden will host double and triple headers more frequently.  And the end result is selling the product, adding larger corporate partners, and building a larger more profitable brand.

This may seem far-fetched, but the numbers don’t lie and the TV executives aren’t exactly concerned with women’s softball. Maybe the best example of an existing model would be Division 1 hockey; it’s the only sport that holds the conferences and tournament intact.

Suddenly a pay per view college sporting event seems like a real possibility and the fans will pay.

Conference realignment is both sad and exciting, losing great events like the “Backyard Brawl,” while molding a new landscape and revenue streams for the institutions themselves. Made for TV match ups will be on every weekend.

The changes, mergers, and jointures are far from over, with no end in sight. It is only a matter of time before football and basketball only conferences. In the meantime, institutions are just trying to ensure sustainability for both the long and the short term.

Domestic violence is awful. That’s something most of us can agree on, in black and white terms. Right? Wrong. Domestic violence, like so many problematic subjects, has shades of gray.
Editor's DeskFeature One
Two undefeated Interstate Conference powers, the Mount Pleasant Vikings (4-0) and the Little Prexies of Wash High (4-0), meet Friday night in a game that will most likely decide the outcome of the conference.
Feature TwoHSCOGOS2014
With both teams coming out off of blowout losses at home, Uniontown (0-4) travels to Elizabeth Forward (2-2) this Friday night, as both teams look to bounce back.
Feature ThreeHSUSS2014
The Steelers traditional powerhouse defense has set a yearly standard for fans and pundits for decades. But an aging Pittsburgh defense has had a rocky time the last couple of seasons.
Feature FourPure Steel
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Twenty-two WPIAL football teams will have new coaches pacing the sidelines this season, including a few that will be featured in the CoGo's Feature Matchup this season.
Custom 1HSCOGOS2014
Several of the most coveted recruits throughout the WPIAL have already made their college decisions, most notably Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin. Others, like Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, are still being recruited.
Custom 2High SchoolKeystone Recruiting
Bill Cherpak misses the way it used to be. Back in the 80’s, when the current Thomas Jefferson High School coach was a player at Steel Valley, the recruiting process wasn’t publicized. It was low-key compared to the present.
Custom 3High SchoolKeystone Recruiting
The Mon-Valley has put plenty of athletes on Division 1 football teams over the years, including several who made it to the NFL. There are a few Mon-Valley natives playing D-1 ball this season.
Custom 4HSUSS2014