Morning Five: 01.29.13 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on January 29th, 2013
- Yesterday we linked to a post that listed the ratings for every college basketball this season and pointed out that games only tend to get big numbers when they draw two marquee programs. We will be adding one more of those games the next two seasons as North Carolina and Kentucky have renewed the rivalry after not playing this season. The new contract calls for a home-and-home with the Tar Heels hosting the Wildcats on December 14, 2013 and the Tar Heels traveling to Rupp in the 2014-15 season. We would have preferred to see a longer contract, but will take this for now especially with all of the uncertainty that teams must be having with the changing landscape of their conferences and their schedules.
- Speaking of conference realignment the Big East has come out with its intent to look for a 12th team to add to the conference as well as its plan to retain its name. Our Big East microsite posted an excellent recap of the proposed measures by the conference yesterday so we will leave a lot of the details to them, but this move should not be much of a surprise as it allows for the conference to have all of its teams playing conference games on the same day as well as allowing for two equal divisions making a football conference championship game possible. As for retaining its name we understand the brand recognition that the Big East conference has, but any sports fan will still know immediately that the new conference is a shell of its former self.
- The Big East can try to protect itself by adding a 12th member and keeping its name, but the Big 12 and ACC look like they are relying on a different tactic: forming an alliance. At this point the talks are only in the preliminary stages and from what is being reported the interest is primarily coming from Big 12. While the column by Dennis Dodd focuses on football and that is probably where most of the “friends with benefits” (Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s words) action will happen. We are guessing that we may have some weekends of college football that are not unlike the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but we will be interested to see if we can get some additional interconference match-ups of this even if they are not formal events like the aforementioned challenges.
- If you thought that Saturday night was ugly for North Carolina, things could get a lot worse if the NCAA decides to investigate their ongoing academic scandal. A recent addendum to the investigation into the scandal has led John Infante to change his mind and say that the NCAA should investigate UNC and should act quickly. As Infante points out the key issue here is the report of unauthorized grade changes, which the NCAA has punished before in the past. Even the most ardent UNC supporters are going to have a tough time defending them in this situation.
- Since money seems to drive everything in college sports (and the world), we found the article by Sports Business Journal analyzing the financial situation at Tennessee particularly interesting. We knew that many programs are not profitable, but the fact that Tennessee, one of the premier athletic programs in country, is doing so poorly is startling. If you have any interest in business or economics the numbers in the article are fascinating, but we will point out this passage:
[T]he Vols find themselves mired in more than $200 million of debt, the most in the SEC, with reserves of just $1.95 million, the least in the conference. The athletic department spends a startling $21 million a year on debt payments, $13.5 million of which comes from the school’s stressed $99.5 million athletic budget and the rest from donations.
You don’t have to have an accounting background to know that those are horrific numbers. The rest of the article goes through how Tennessee is trying to transform itself into a sustainable entity, but we still cannot get over the fact that they are in such bad financial straits even with free labor.