I’m not just saying this because I’m a bitter Colts fan, but leave it to a Steel Town sportswriter to be a total freaking idiot. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook recently took issue with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick calling out Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg and athletic director Steve Pederson for jumping ship to the ACC after years of masquerading as Big East loyalists.
“Offensive and preposterous don’t even begin to describe Swarbrick’s remarks,” Cook said, concluding his emoting, over-the-top diatribe with the less-than-eloquent, “I want to gag. Like Notre Dame is so pure. What garbage.”
Mr. Cook’s remarks aside, I vote we have an honest conversation about the Big East. It has always been a Frankenstein creation living on borrowed time. The conference currently comprises 16 teams in basketball, of which only nine teams have Division I-A football teams, one of which isn’t part of the conference, but in just football. Of the remaining seven teams, two are Div I-AA and five don’t even have football programs. This doesn’t count the two all-sports schools set to leave the conference in 27 months, the three all-sports schools who left the conference eight years ago, the one all-sports school set to join the conference next year, the other all-sports school rumored to be wanting in, the two military academies rumored to be on a future invite list, but in just football, or the two schools rumored to be considering following Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC.
Anyone manage to follow that? Hell, I’m guessing when Notre Dame first suggested, “We’d like to join, but the problem is we want to join in every sport but football,” the Big East probably said something to the effect of, “You call that a problem?”
Swarbrick “ripped the Pitt hierarchy” because they flat-out lied to the Big East. Where’s the hypocrisy in that? Has Notre Dame lied to the Big East? The school set its conditions for admission into the conference, and its members agreed to those conditions. The end. The Big East isn’t dying because of Notre Dame’s ambivalence; the schools that put the conference on life support from day one are Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence and Depaul.
You want lies, Mr. Cook? You want hypocrisy? Okay then, try these on for size:
“This is a case that involves broken commitments, secret dealings, breaches of fiduciary responsibility, the misappropriations of conference opportunities and predatory attempts to eliminate competition.” – Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg on a joint lawsuit filed by Pitt, UConn, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Rutgers and brought against the ACC and its two newest members, Boston College and Miami, formerly of the Big East (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 1, 2003)
“We were flattered by the ACC’s interest in us. We’re grateful to receive the invitation to join this very special conference and feel privileged to be moving forward in your company.” – Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg (ACC teleconference call, Sept. 18, 2011)
“All of our energy and focus at this time needs to be on building a stronger Big East.” – Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg (Post-Gazette, July 1, 2003)
“The Big East has been Pitt’s conference home for nearly 30 years. It has been a good home that we will leave with many fond memories and many strong friendships.” – Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg (ACC teleconference call, Sept. 18, 2011)
On a personal note, is there any chance you’ll ever stop the muckraking, Mr. Cook? It’s no secret you’ve relished bashing Catholic schools over the years. Find a new drum to beat, you jackass.