I’m not going to get into what I actually think of this move by the money-hungry NCAA because my blood pressure needs to stay at acceptable levels. Every time I hear about this move it makes me question the entire NCAA as a whole.
But despite any negative feelings from sports writers, fans, coaches or anyone else, expansion is going to happen. The question now is whether it will happen next year or in 2014 when the current TV contract is up. My money is on next year. The NCAA wants to make more cash as soon as it can. This is one sure fire way to do it. Nevermind that the regular season would become more pointless than it already has become or that 32 teams would actually get a first round bye in the tournament. None of that matters. Just money.
Let me say that I’m not surprised by this. Businesses make changes to make more money all the time. I guess I foolishly allowed myself that the NCAA might not be exactly like every other business. Maybe the NCAA was just a little bit different. A little more concerned with the integrity of competition and the sport itself. Wrong.
ESPN’s Dana O’Neil had a good column on the prospect of expansion this morning.
The NCAA made its annual state-of-the-game presentation as the Final Four festivities kicked off across the street from its headquarters. In the process, it unveiled the concoction the evil scientists have been working on over at the lab.
All the bubble battles in the weeks leading up to the tourney? Likely just seeding battles in the future.
No one said a 96-team NCAA tournament was coming for sure.
But they sure used an awful lot of words to explain how hypothetically such a tourney might look.
To be exact, 2,505 words were uttered in the opening address by Greg Shaheen, the NCAA’s vice president for basketball and business strategies.
Yes, I counted.