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4 responses to “Nova to the Big East in Football?”

  1. Bob bruno

    good article bob, i’m with u i’m a die-hard nova bball and football fan. Chat with me sometime to talk about it. I’m finally back home… long road

  2. Brian

    Villanova isn’t in a dramatically different position from UConn circa 1997 (when they made the decision to move up). In fact, Villanova has a MUCH better football program that UConn had at that time.

    While attendance is low compared to FBS schools, it actually isn’t very far off from the FCS average. Only about 500-per-game short.

    As for the endowment… it’s irrelevant. Endowment funds are usually earmarked and reserved (by donors) to one program or another. Notre Dame has a $5billion endowment, but if you think that that money is available for football, you are kidding yourself. Maybe a small portion of it, but not much. I went to grad school at a university with a massive endowment, and I can tell you that the funds were all locked down.

    Not every school in FBS or the BCS has a billion dollar endowment. I won’t lie, a lot of the private schools do, but what about: Miami ($538mil), BYU ($589mil), Syracuse ($674mil), Wake Forest ($886mil)… I’d start naming state schools with tiny endowments as well, but that’s clearly a special case.

    As a corollary: What came first, the chicken or the egg? The endowment or the football program? The answer is, of course, that the football programs at Notre Dame and BC have done wonders for their endowments.

    The fact that only two catholic schools play FBS football is a red herring. Most FBS schools make money from football (even though they lose money on athletics generally). Meanwhile, almost every athletics department without football bleeds money at the D1 level.

    Finally: as a reality check… Notre Dame, Villanova, Georgetown, Depaul, Seton Hall, St. Johns, Marquette, and Providence would not constitute a power conference. That line-up is barely better than the WCC. When ESPN stops paying each of those schools over $2million per year for basketball (and they will, because the TV rights for THAT Big East are less valuable) you will see a serious strain on the inflated basketball budgets that keep Villanova, Georgetown and (most-of-all) Marquette afloat.

  3. CMD

    Solid article Bob. You addressed many of the issues.

    Everyone knows the State University of Connecticut known as UConn recieved two seperate BILLION dollar initiatives (Uconn2000=$1Billion + 21stCentury UConn=$1.3B) from their State Legislature since 1995 which paid for upgrades all over the campus including the funds to upgrade Football program and facilities.
    As a small Private school, Villanova is in a dramatically inferior position to UConn. The Pennsylvania legislature isn’t giving Nova a new 40,000 seat Stadium to use and they sure aren’t granting them enormous sums of money to pay for much of the upgrade. As the State University, UConn has greater community support and 3X the enrollment of Villanova.

    Wheather you believe Endowment funds are going to be used or not (and the proponents of a move better pray they are available or they got even more $$ issues), Villanova alumni support is not very good. 82% do not give to the school and now you are asking this base of supporters to earmark funds toward the football upgrade and away from educational earmarks or the overall general fund endowment. In the present economy, I doubt the Trustees are in a mood to start gambling with the financial stability of the University over some “Field of Dreams” business plan to upgrade Football. All the shallow promises in the world of increased $$ giving and larger attendance numbers don’t erase the long history of Villanovans NOT supporting the Football Program.

    And in 2014 or 2015 which is the earliest Villanova could join BE Football, who will be left among those football schools…many who were falling over themselves last summer to become the next member of Big 10 or blowing kisses at ACC? Nova spends enormous amounts of money to get all gussied up and when they get to the party, some of the teams are gone already for greener pastures and Nova is left prostituting itself to try and get in another League despite having inferior facilities, poor fan support, minimal interest from the community and trying to figure out how to get a 10th year of eligibility out of Matt Szczur & Chris Whitney just so they may compete on the field.

    The value of adding Villanova to any TV contract that the Big East negotiates is almost negligible. No one is paying for the rights to broadcast a football team that has limited recruiting ability, weak facilities and who rents a small soccer stadium that they can’t even fill up. Villanova has minimal support for football in the Philadelphia community so the Big East won’t even have a market to sell. Any intern at ESPN knows you don’t pay for market that can’t be delivered.

  4. TCU to Join Big East « Bob Long's Sports Blog

    […] Where does the Big East move from here?  With 17 schools for basketball, and 9 schools for football, an addition of at least 1 more school is likely.  The Big East desires at least 10 football schools so that it can lobby to the NCAA, just as the Big XII did, for a conference championship game, even though traditional NCAA regulations require 12 teams for a conference championship game.  Candidates for the 10th football spot include Conference USA teams like UCF, Memphis, and Houston, among others.  Another possible addition for football is Villanova, which is already a basketball school in the Big East with a football program at the FCS level.  The offer was made to Villanova to move the football program to the Big East at the beginning of this season.  The potential move by Villanova is currently being reviewed by the VU Athletic Department, and is being led by Athletic Director Vince Necastro.  The decision will be made by early Spring 2011, according to President Father Donohue.  I have been strongly against the potential move from the FCS to the FBS, for many reasons (See my Letter to the VU Athletic Director and the President, http://bobsportsblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/nova-to-the-big-east-in-football/). […]

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