Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim recently discussed conference realignment and the world of collegiate athletics in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio.
Boeheim, the long-time Orange leader who is always candid in his comments with the media, doesn’t appear to be a big fan of conference realignment. His thoughts, of course, stem from the recent decisions by Southern California and UCLA to bolt the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten Conference.
And those recent developments come after Oklahoma and Texas elected to depart the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference, with a lot of speculation that the Big Ten and the SEC will ultimately dominate every other league out there, including the Atlantic Coast Conference.
For now, though, the ACC isn’t going anywhere, because, as Jim Boeheim and many others have pointed out, conference realignment is about football and television contracts.
Syracuse basketball boss Jim Boeheim says football runs the show in college athletics.
Excerpts of Boeheim’s recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio were provided in an article from Matt Howe on the 247Sports Web site.
Interestingly and unsurprisingly, Jim Boeheim said in the interview that college basketball coaches discuss how the formation of super conferences could be prevented.
"Per Howe’s story, Boeheim said in part, “We talk about it and we are unanimous in what we think should be done, and then the football schools do what they want to do. And they don’t listen to anyone else when it comes to that. You just have to understand that football runs everything because of the money, it’s obvious. But UCLA’s soccer team is going to be playing at Rutgers? In our (league) we just have a little short plane trip for all of our flights, it’s an hour, but they’re going cross country. Maybe they’ve decided that they just won’t play that much or they’ll come and play three games at once and then go back and say, ‘Well that’s what we’re doing.’ Because it doesn’t matter whether they’re happy, it’s football.”"
Jim Boeheim is 100 percent right. Football, unfortunately, dictates everything. I get that geography isn’t necessarily a huge factor in conference realignment movements these days.
However, I’ve seen a ton of media reports noting the concern of student-athletes in collegiate Olympic sports (i.e., not big revenue producers like football and men’s basketball) having to be on super long flights, and certainly not in the same “comfort” level as college football and even basketball players.
While I agree with Boeheim’s sentiments, I honestly don’t know what college basketball coaches can do to stop or even slow down further conference realignment.
It’s football, football, football. And football TV contracts, football TV contracts, football TV contracts.
Everything else is secondary, including college basketball. But, hey, as long as March Madness continues to roll along each spring, I’m not entirely unhappy with what’s going on these days in college sports.