Archive For The “Boston University” Category
By all accounts what happened at UAB was extraordinary.
Last November, football at AUB was essentially abolished by the University of Alabama’s Board of Trustees and confirmed by president Ray Watts. The decision was made secretly, in the middle of the season, with an entire press release written up – but since it didn’t “look good”, Watts kept up with the fiction that there still was a decision to be made.
After the season concluded, Watts announced the termination of the program, saying that “was not about finances… but planning for excellence in the future for everything we do.”
You probably know the rest of the story. It was immediately apparent to all (but apparently not Watts, or the CarrSports Consultants who were commissioned the data to help make that decision) that UAB’s termination of football would almost certainly cost them membership in Conference USA, which was one of several factors that helped set ablaze students, alumni, and most importantly important boosters and community sponsors who mobilized immediately to save football (and bowling and women’s rifle, the two other programs that were cut in the same move).
#FreeUAB was a hashtag that never really went away from December 2014 to June 1st, 2015, when the Alabama Board of Trustees and Watts stunningly reversed their decision, saying that they would be reinstating football and remain members of Conference USA.
So much at UAB echoes what happened at other schools that shuttered their football programs, too, but nowhere does it echo more strongly than what happened at Boston University in October of 1997.
It makes me wish Twitter, and some variation of a #FreeBU hashtag, existed back then.
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When you see this picture of Loyola University headgear, do you think football, or lacrosse?
If you’re a rabid college football fan, you’re forgiven if you think of this as a possible concept football helmet for a member of the Patriot League, Loyola (MD), though it’s actually a lacrosse helmet, of course.
This last week I started to take a look at the financial details of the schools of the Patriot League, and some of the other schools in the Northeast that sponsor FCS football.
Yet one nagging question kept reappearing in my mind.
Why am I looking around for Patriot League expansion candidates to aid in the League’s football conference when two of the best possible additions in the league for football are already full-sports members?
One had a decidedly modest football history that didn’t make that much of a dent on the college football consciousness. The other had a rich football history buried by a president that was an ideological zealot. Neither sponsor the sport today.
But both have the facilities, the money, and the conference to do it. You can make a very good case that they should be the eighth and ninth football-playing members of the League.
(Photo Credit: Lehigh Valley Live)
Over the years, the schools of the Patriot League have had a reputation as being slow, contemplative, and not exactly proactive when it comes to matters of expansion or conference movements.
A recent blog post from an odd source, however, shows how untrue this reputation is, at least in regards to the swirling winds around collegiate realignment the past few years.
From the Shades of 48 blog, comes detailed freedom-of-information act information from William and Mary that exposes quite a bit about the process that goes on when a school and a conference are mulling over a potential move.
It also shows how seriously William and Mary thought about leaving the CAA and joining the Patriot League. In all sports.
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It is July 1st, and around the world of college athletics, a lot of conferences are saying goodbye, and hello.
The Big East said goodbye to a whole lot of its founding members, and renamed itself the American Athletic Conference. Those members moved on to their new offices, where they will call themselves… the Big East.
The CAA say goodbye to Georgia State, Old Dominion and VCU. And they say hello to Albany (in football only), Stony Brook (in football only), the College of Charleston (with no football) and Elon.
The SoCon say goodbye to College of Charleston, Appalachian State, Elon and Georgia Southern, and say hello to one new member, Mercer and hello again to two old members, East Tennessee State and VMI.
The Patriot League, though, is not saying goodbye at all. They’re saying hello to their two newest members: Loyola (MD) and Boston University.
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In football, there is BYU, Notre Dame, Army and Navy, the last independents in an FBS world of conferences and the payouts they generate for their members.
In men’s lacrosse, there is Johns Hopkins, High Point, Marquette and Mercer – not exactly the same cavalcade of stars as in bowl football.
But one of those four, Johns Hopkins, the nine-time NCAA champions of the modern era, are superstars of the lacrosse world. Founded in 1883, they are one of the founding fathers of the sport of lacrosse and have been involved in its play essentially since the founding of the university in 1876.
What the people say around this 130 year old lacrosse program matters – and they’ve said that finally, after 130 years of competing as an independent, they are finally joining a conference in men’s lacrosse.
“In a letter to the Johns Hopkins community on Friday, May 17, President Ronald J. Daniels announced that he has accepted the recommendation of a special committee that the Blue Jay men’s lacrosse program seek conference affiliation,” the official release booms, effectively declaring the end of an era.
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