It’s not a done deal yet, but it could be sooner rather than later and it will create–at least for a day–a college basketball atmosphere in Boston that occurs only rarely.
According to sources at Boston College, BC officials are working along with other Massachusetts schools to create a college basketball day in Boston next season with a triple header at the Garden involving six Massachusetts schools–Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, UMass and Holy Cross.
The concept is to schedule the triple header each year as an early season tip-off and have the schools play each other on a rotating basis each year.
In an a region, where sellouts in college basketball games are rare, any kind of innovative scheduling is being considered.
BC, which is having trouble drawing more than a few thousand fans to Conte Forum on any given day or night, is also considering reconfiguring the seating arrangements for students to come closer to the floor, which would create a more intimate, if not hostile setting for visiting teams.
If the new Big East Catholic basketball league is smart they will do the following things. Go to 10 teams–Xavier, Dayton and Butler and stop for the time being. They can think about going to 12 teams later and pick from Creighton, Saint Louis, Richmond, VCU and George Mason.
The old Big East should go to Philadelphia and lock up The Palestra as the site for their conference tournament. Yes, it is small and yes it is old. But Philadelphia is a great college basketball city and it would sell out, especially if you had a semifinal round of UConn, Cincinnati, Temple and Memphis. If they want to move the conference tournament around in a few years they can consider it, but I would start small and in a city where the interest in college basketball is strong.
In terms of leadership, the conference should hire former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese as a consultant to take them through their transition and then pick a commissioner from either NCAA vice President Dan Gavitt, former Big East official Tom McElroy or Texas Director of Women’s Athletics Chris Plonsky, who has a history with a Big East and knows all the ins and outs of television contracts. Whether she would come remains questionable–she had no interest last summer when the Big East was looking for a replacement for John Marinatto, but this league would be more like the original Big East which might interest Plonsky.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.