Mick Cronin had just played his last game as a member of the Big East.
With the Catholic 7 splintering off this summer and Syracuse and Pitt making their escape to the ACC, the Bearcats — along with UConn and South Florida — and found themselves stuck in realignment purgatory, teaming up with powerhouse programs like Houston, SMU and Central Florida to form a reimagining of the old Conference USA, the league that Cincinnati bolted from back in 2005 when they joined the Big East.
And, as you might expect, Cronin is none-too-pleased about it. He used his press conference after the loss to sound off.
“The fact that we’re sitting here and this is the last Big East tournament is beyond ridiculous,” Cronin said. “This is the greatest tradition in college athletics, this tournament, at one site for over 30-something years.”
“The whole thing is tragic. Nobody cares about student athletes. All anybody cares about is money. Everybody in the NCAA, in college administration, they talk about academics and student athletes. If people cared about student athletes, West Virginia wouldn’t be in the Big 12 with 10 teams flying 800 miles to their closest home game. That’s really conducive to studying. The whole thing is a hypocrisy. … The money has ruined it. If I was a fan, I’d be very disenchanted.”
I agree. And if you agree, than you should go and read this column from Sally Jenkins as well. It’s perfection.
But here’s the problem: We’ve known this. We’ve known this for a long, long time. At this point, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that college sports has become nothing but a business where everyone’s getting paid except for the people providing the entertainment. You should do the same, because it’s only going to get worse as the Big Ten and SEC start to raid the ACC of their trademark programs.
It’s all about the money. It’s always been about the money. At the end of the day, everything in this life is about the money.
They gotta get paid. That’s just the way it is.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.