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ECU celebrates after Vintavious Cooper (21) scores a touchdown against Houston Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflctor)

ECU celebrates after Vintavious Cooper (21) scores a touchdown against Houston Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflctor)

Editorial: Celebrate Big East membership

5 Comments | Leave a Comment

The addition of East Carolina University to the Big East Conference for football should be a dream come true, one long overdue, for Pirate fans were it not for some outstanding questions it poses. While the university can be delighted to have a home for its most prominent revenue sport, the health of that conference and the potential disruption caused to the school’s 18 other athletic programs are cause for concern.

That should not act as a wet blanket thrown on a celebratory occasion since this move was long sought after and fans should share the confidence of Chancellor Steve Ballard and Athletic Director Terry Holland that this is the proper course for Pirate sports. But the answers to those outstanding questions will have lasting ramifications for the school and all should be interested in seeing them resolved with due diligence.

When the wheel of realignment spun again this month, fortune favored the gold (and purple) and Tuesday brought the announcement that the Big East Conference would add Tulane University in all sports and the Pirates for football. The move comes a little more than a year after East Carolina officials publicly applied for membership in that conference.

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No, I did not miss the point

Alone--the BCS was being modified so that the Big East will be demoted and in the future will share a BCS slot with three other conferences including C-USA. Exactly how it will be determined as to which conference gets to send a champion to a BCS bowel is not clear to me, but what is clear is that the Big East Conference has become C-USA. Whether or not a financial gain comes will be determined when the next round of TV contracts are negotiated. Will ESPN et al., be willing to pay the same differential for a diluted Big East Conference? You will still probably have to search for CBS News Sports or ESPN South #4 for the ECU-Tulane game. And will this change result in anyone showing up for games held at UAB or Tulane? You could hear a pin drop during ECU's game at the Superdome. Will ABC want to broadcast any games with UAB in a totally empty Iron Bowel? There were more people in the stands for Conley-Rose football game. And a final point, only abut 30 schools take in more money for their football programs than they spend. ECU is not one of them.


You appear to have a lot of "what ifs" that are unprovable in your retort. I suggest that you do some research and see who is on the Big East board. Granted Tulane is in second place in the Superdome with the "Who dat" Saints. However, larger coverage means larger crowds. I recall when the Superdome was almost empty in the early days of the Saints also. Keep trying.


The only way Tulane will get bodies into the seats at the Superdome is if they play a SEC school. Nobody cares if ECU, Cincinnati or UCF shows up. And look at the attendance figures for UCF, the largest student body in Florida with a winning football team and a stadium that is often mostly empty. They all stay home and watch the big boys on TV. The concentration of money into a shrinking club of schools and the outrageous salaries for coaches is a whole other subject. Not a what if, the Big East schools are all ready being relegated to sitting on the outside looking in with envy at the insider club.

What Big East?

ECU was eager to join when Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Louisville were in the Big East. Those schools will be gone and replaced by C-USA teams. Basically, ECU will end up playing almost the same schedule. Kind of like hearing about a party where all the cool kids are, but by the time you show up all your nerdy friends are the only ones there.

I recall

This same response was given when the Soutwest Conference went under and the Big 12 was formed. It was a false argument then just as this comment is now. Regardless of personal feelings, there are tiers of conferences. The Big East remains in the top tier. Conference USA is in the second tier. It is true that many CUSA teams have moved up to that top tier and also true that we will continue to play each other, but the difference is that we will now be watched nationally broadcasted as the top tier of conferences. Instead of local broadcasts, we will now be found on ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX along with the SEC, ACC, Big10(14), PAC12, and Big12. We will not have to go searching regional or local channels hoping to see the game. As usual, profbam, you miss the point.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart