So much is being written this week about the NCAA’s money grab to expand the NCAA Tournament, we thought it would be helpful to collate some of the better quotes from articles around the MSM and blogosphere for your perusal. Pretty much everybody agrees on two key points: it’s all about money, and it sucks. Discuss.
Gary Parrish, CBS Sports.com
I realize money drives college athletics, and if the NCAA granted me that, I could shrug my shoulders and move on. Obviously, I’ll watch the regular season and NCAA tournament no matter what. But Thursday’s message about creating more opportunities was insincere and, frankly, insulting because expansion isn’t about creating more opportunities. It’s about creating more revenue. Anybody who tells you otherwise is insincere at best, lying at worst. And if my choices are to hear a lie or total silence, I’ll take Greg Shaheen sitting on a stage staring straight ahead, mouth closed, not a word, awkward as it may be.
Dano O’Neil, ESPN.com
To be exact, 2,505 words were uttered in the opening address by Greg Shaheen, the NCAA’s vice president for basketball and business strategies. Yes, I counted. And for the record, there were 1,666 words in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Abe Lincoln needed just 268 words to define the importance of the Civil War in his Gettysburg Address. Which is a long-winded way of saying, this was a spin that Baryshnikov would envy. By either next season or 2014, the 96-team bracket is coming to a centerfold near you. So before making the official announcement to destroy what many consider to be the perfect postseason, the NCAA needs you to understand why 96 teams is good for you — even if the folks in charge sound an awful lot like a mom trying to shove Brussels sprouts down a toddler’s throat.
Tommy Craggs, Deadspin
In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like sportswriter John Feinstein, who badgered a hapless NCAA VP yesterday over tournament expansion and thereby became a hero to anti-expansionists for all the wrong reasons. The NCAA’s press conference yesterday amounted to little more than a Tupperware demonstration of the locked-in freshness and burping seal of a 96-team tournament
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