No, ESPN did not tell the ACC what teams to take
Oct 10, 2011
Never change, Gene DeFilippo.
The Boston College athletic director has a tendency to say too much, whether it's mocking former football coach Tom O'Brien for not being a party animal or spouting off like a scorned lover when Jeff Jagodzinski flirted with the NFL. So when the Boston Globe got DeFilippo on the record to discuss the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, you just knew the foot-in-mouth factor was going to be high.
From the jump, DeFilippo veers off the basketball strengthening talking points provided by commissioner John Swofford. Saying it had "nothing to do with basketball“ and everything to do with securing territory and maximizing football money, DeFilippo was blunt about the ACC having the World Wide Leader in mind.
“We always keep our television partners close to us,’’ he said. “You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV - ESPN - is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.’’
The awkward phrasing in the article has caused a few, mainly Big East focused media, to take the quote literally. As if George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN, called Swofford and instructed him to take certain teams for the ACC.
DeFilippo is only stating the obvious about expansion. ESPN has influence in the sense the network is handing out the huge television cash. If anything, DeFilippo slapping down the basketball honks who wanted to make the move about restoring the conference's prestige, that Duke really had something to do with the selection of the teams.
From Boston College's point of view, they had the most to gain from Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC. The Eagles now have regional rivals and travel partners. It also shuts out Connecticut, which causes DeFilippo to practically cackled with delight.
“We didn’t want them in,’’ he said. “It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team.’’
Uh, Gene, there's only one team in New England. They're called the Boston Red Sox.
Most Recent Comments
RE: No, ESPN did not tell the ACC what teams to take
Why are there two posts in a row about the same story?? Good job Ovies, usually you only copy stuff from message boards to write about but now you're "borrowing" from your own website??? Weird.- Posted by heelgrad24
Two posts in a row? Are you referring to Ken Medlin's blogpost? I don't think he has anything to do with Joe Ovies' website (assuming Joe has one).
RE: No, ESPN did not tell the ACC what teams to takeWhy are there two posts in a row about the same story?? Good job Ovies, usually you only copy stuff from message boards to write about but now you're "borrowing" from your own website??? Weird.
RE: No, ESPN did not tell the ACC what teams to takeThats a clever last line, but if youre forgetting that wizard in Foxboro, youre forgetting a lot.
RE: No, ESPN did not tell the ACC what teams to takeI'm now a big fan of BC and Pitt. They both had a hand in blocking UConn out and reducing them to C-USA conference status.
This also validates what Pitino was saying, that the ACC went after Pitt and Cuse because some ACC basketball coaches weren't happy with the ACC becoming one of the weakest major basketball leagues. This will be part of Coach K's legacy - getting ACC basketball back up to the top.
RE: No, ESPN did not tell the ACC what teams to takeI'm inclined to think this was personal between DeFilippo and UConn. When BC left for the ACC, He was included personally (along with John Swofford) in UConn's suit against BC. I'm sure there are still hard feelings.
That being said, I expect that eventually cooler heads will prevail. And unless the ACC can somehow snag both Notre Dame and Penn State, UConn would seem to be the best option on the table for the league. One issue might be at what point Syracuse and Pitt get a vote on membership issues. Right now, it takes the votes of nine schools to add a new member, meaning three schools (including BC) could vote no and it would still happen.
If Pitt and Syracuse get a vote, it takes 11 votes. If there were already three schools opposed, either one of the new members could essentially blackball the Huskies. But I don't think there are three schools against. I think switching to Pitt was just the path of least resistance at the moment, and the other ACC schools figured they could just bring UConn in in round two. This gives DeFilippo a stage to take some small measure of revenge against UConn before the inevitable conclusion.
There are a lot of folks in the league that think a Duke-UConn rivalry in basketball is a good thing.