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   Welcome to TSLMail #85 - Friday, June 27, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

Shed No Tears for the Big East
by Kevin Cuddihy

Editor's Note: A number of TSL Pass subscribers asked us to make this article by Kevin Cuddihy, which appeared in TSL Pass this week, free so that non-subscribers could read it. We agreed to include it in this week's TSLMail.  Enjoy. -- Will

Shed no tears for the Big East, for Virginia Tech was never accepted there anyway. Everyone asking how the Hokies would be accepted in the ACC -- I'd wager better than they have been in the Big East.

Have people forgotten how shabbily VT has been treated by the Big East? How many insults and barbs they've been hit with by their own conference mates?? And people think the Hokies OWE them something? Perhaps if Tech hadn't been shafted once. Perhaps if Tech hadn't been denied conference sharing for the last few years. Perhaps if Tech hadn't been required to pay an astronomical entrance fee. Those who claim the ACC is all about money need to realize that the Big East is all about money, too. It was, "How much money can we get outta VT?"

They screwed VT over the first time Tech should have been invited. They put the Hokies at a fundamental disadvantage the second time. And now -- now, when Virginia Tech is in a position of power, when THEY need something from TECH, the Hokies are supposed to turn protector of the Big East?

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Tech has gone to the Big East for favors in the past, and look how they were treated. They looked to their football comrades to bring them into the conference in 1994, and they were left out in the cold when the four fulltime members broke ranks, turned their backs on a plan to leave for an eight-team all-sports conference unless all four football-only schools were let in, and screwed over VT and Temple. Then, after Tech responded to that slap in the face with three BCS bids in five years, VT went to them again for full admittance into the league. This after a time when they did more than any other school to fill the coffers with football money.

According to past TSL articles, this is how Virginia Tech was thanked: "Sure, but only if you bend over!" The Hokies were told they would pay $2.5 million dollars as an entry fee, spread out over 10 years. And they were told they would not be able to share in basketball revenue for the first five years in the conference. That's $1.3 million a year Virginia Tech doesn't get, or $6.5 million total. A $9 million anchor around VT's neck.

And if you're thinking "Well, at least they finally wanted us," think again. Remember how Les Robinson claimed Mike Tranghese went to the ACC in 1998 to try to get them to take a few Big East football schools? Remember Tranghese's explanation for the meeting? He said he was exploring a merger, a merger of all Big East football schools and all ACC schools for FOOTBALL ONLY under the ACC name, so the Big East could focus on basketball. Read that again. All the Big East football schools, VT included, would play football in a mega-ACC.

But wait a second. At that time, VT was in the Big East for football only, in the Atlantic 10 for the rest of their sports. If that plan, the plan Tranghese admits he was pushing, had gone through ... there is absolutely no way the Hokies would have been invited in the Big East for all sports. Why would they, when VT didn't have football buoying them? Mike Tranghese was pushing a deal that would have left Virginia Tech out in the cold for their other sports, languishing in the Atlantic 10.

Then, in 2000, the 10-1 Hokies, with everyone's superstar Mike Vick at the helm, were in the mix for the Fiesta Bowl. Oregon State went to the PAC 10 commissioner and asked for him to plead their case. He did, loudly and often, and OSU got the Fiesta Bowl bid instead of VT. Where was the Big East commissioner then? What did he do on VT's behalf? Absolutely nothing. A multi-million dollar kick in the groin because VT's commish wouldn't speak out on their behalf as OSU's would, and OSU got a bowl they probably didn't deserve (though they did whip Notre Dame).

When would Tranghese finally speak out about bowls? The next year, when VT was on the receiving end of getting a Gator Bowl bid they probably didn't deserve. Tranghese made sure that didn't happen again. So he is quick to work against VT within its own conference, but not on VT's behalf against other conferences.

And last, a more recent episode that shows how quickly the Big East responds to the requests of others. Pittsburgh and Syracuse complained about their football schedules, explaining how unfair it was that they had Miami and VT at home the same year and asking to split up the two Big East powers. "Sure," said the Big East, "we'll do what we can." They then proceeded to rework the schedules. And what about VT's unbalanced schedule, where they have UVa at home in the same year they have four Big East schools at home, creating an ugly 3/5 split? No dice, no luck, no change. No favors for Virginia Tech.

Some say that the Hokies owe the Big East because it's due to them and only them that Virginia Tech is where they are today. I don't think so. Yes, VT used the Big East to pull themselves up in football, but VT did that. If you think it was all the Big East, where's Rutgers today? Where's Temple? The Hokies started THE SAME AS THEM. Have those other teams built themselves up to where VT is? Nope. THE HOKIES did the work. Yes, they were able to take advantage of their entry into the Big East, but this rise is all Virginia Tech's own perspiration and hard work.

The next favor the Big East does for Virginia Tech will be the first since letting them in the conference in 1990. This is the bunch the Hokies owe their loyalty to? This is the bunch they should abandon their natural home of the ACC for? Sorry, I just don't see it.

There's an old saying: There is no honor among thieves. All I see from the Big East is a lot of time Virginia Tech was on the receiving end of a bunch of thefts. VT owes the Big East nothing.

This Week in Recruiting
by Chris Horne

Chris Horne has been on vacation this week. "This Week in Recruiting" will return next week.

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Fear Not, Hokies
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 6/27/03, 12:10 am
Thursday afternoon, the Miami Hurricanes held a press conference and proved without a doubt that they are ready for ACC membership. In fine ACC teleconference fashion, the Canes announced ... nothing.
in TSL Pass

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been
by Jim Alderson, 6/26/03, 1:25 pm
In a move that sent residents of the nether regions scurrying about to obtain snow shovels and ice melt, the Conference Realignment Season of 2003 has ended with the Atlantic Coast Conference voting to extend membership to Virginia Tech and Miami. It is finally over, both this long and sometimes excruciating expansion saga of 2003, and the even longer and frustrating quest by Virginia Tech to join the ACC.
in TSL Pass

ACC Extends Invitations to Miami, Virginia Tech
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 6/26/03, 12:05 am
Wednesday evening, after a whirlwind site visit to Virginia Tech, the Atlantic Coast Conference extended official invitations to the Hokies and the Miami Hurricanes.
in News and Notes

Reports: Hokies, Canes to Get ACC Bids
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 6/25/03, 1:25 am
In a completely unexpected twist to the ACC expansion saga, multiple television and newspaper outlets are reporting that Miami and Virginia Tech will receive invitations to the ACC, resulting in an 11-team league.
in News and Notes

Inside the Numbers: How VT Stacks Up Against the ACC
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 6/24/03, 2:45 pm
Despite this latest football-driven expansion effort, the ACC prides itself on being a conference that cares about more than just football. They care about academics, graduation rates, opportunities for women in athletics, and overall quality of their athletic programs, among other things. Given all that, how does VT stack up to the rest of the ACC in those areas?
in TSL Pass

Shed No Tears for the Big East
by Kevin Cuddihy, 6/24/03, 12:20 am
Shed no tears for the Big East, for Virginia Tech was never accepted there anyway. Everyone asking how the Hokies would be accepted in the ACC -- I'd wager better than they have been in the Big East.
in TSL Pass

Expansion Drags On
by Jim Alderson, 6/23/03, 10:25 am
That ACC invitation hasnít gotten into the mail just yet. The twists and turns of the unforgettable 2003 Conference Realignment season produced wild euphoria among some Hokies and Roanoke media types as the prospects of Techís fifty-year quest to join the Atlantic Coast Conference seemed about to finally produce a successful conclusion.
in TSL Pass

 
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