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Big East Conference realignment -- the definition of incompetence

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The ACC approved the addition of Louisville Tuesday, a day after the Big East added Tulane and ECU. The latest move in conference realignment reveals the incompetence in those running college athletics.


Incompetence is a word that shouldn't be tossed around lightly. A lot should happen before a person targets one person or an entity with the adjective state of the word.

With that said, almost exactly two years after the Big East Conference decided to invite the TCU Horned Frogs into the league, I feel extremely confident in using incompetent to describe the Big East's latest round of conference realignment.

On Tuesday, the league that once was a powerhouse in the men's college hoops world, um, about nine months ago, and was prepping for a rebound season in football - something that almost happened but didn't - officially went off the deep end by adding Tulane University and East Carolina University.

[Realignment crushes Big East Tournament value]

In the process, it lost another strong member (the University of Louisville) Wednesday morning to the Atlantic Coast Conference, which now can claim it has three programs in the top six of the latest college basketball rankings, and has current members, like the University of Connecticut and University of Cincinnati, trying anyway possible to get out.

The funny thing, last September when Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh decided to make the move to the ACC they were given the death stare and mocked for months about the greedy and disloyal moves they were making.

Now, the Louisville Cardinals fan base - maybe the biggest bully of the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers - is celebrating like it won the National Championship in both men's basketball and football.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Huskies and Cincinnati Bearcats, who both made strong last-minute pushes to join the ACC (actually, Cincy made a last-minute push while UConn has been clamoring for an invite since last fall), is left with its tail between its legs, walking back to a conference that's on fire. After the smoke clears and the rebuilding process is finished the Big East will be, sadly, Conference USA.

Don't believe me? Check out the C-USA's men's hoops standings from 2002-03. That's right, eight of the 14 programs are now in the Big East. And, that's not counting Louisville and TCU.

Starting in 2014, Madison Square Garden will host a Big East Tournament with the Tulane Green Wave, Houston Cougars, Memphis Tigers, SMU Mustangs, Central Florida Knights AND NOT Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia and Louisville. And who knows, maybe by '14, UConn and Georgetown will be gone, too.

If this doesn't concern college sports fans about where athletics IS and is about to head, I don't know what will.

Clearly, these moves - and lets not forget about Rutgers University and the University of Maryland either - were done with pocket books in mind and not the fans or student body.

This bring me back to my initial point: incompetence.

Sure, claiming Tulane is "committed to excellence in athletics," which Big East commissioner Mike Aresco did Tuesday, is a bit silly; But the biggest issue I have with the Big East, which mainly goes all the way back to former commissioner John Marinatto, is its incompetence to adjust to the times and fixing issues by looking at a TV market grid instead of creating a product that universities and its athletic programs want to fight for and be a part of.

Instead, those men and women who run these organizations and schools decided TV money, which would go mainly in their wallets, is what was best for the institutions and athletic programs they watch over.

And that my friends, is the true definition of incompetence.