Originally posted on Bush League Chronicle  |  Last updated 3/16/13
Cincinnati men's basketball coach Mick Cronin isn't happy about the conference realignment situation. Cronin made that perfectly clear in a column written by Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post on Thursday.The 41-year-old certainly has plenty of reasons to gripe about the inevitable destruction of the current Big East Conference, though. The departure of West Virginia to the Big 12 this season began a series of dominoes within the Big East that have left the Bearcats in an unenviable situation.Pittsburgh and Syracuse are set to jump ship and move to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year, while Notre Dame and Louisville are on their way to the ACC in the future, as well. Additionally, the "Catholic 7" schools are spurning the Big East for greener pastures by creating their own separate league. This ultimately leaves Cincinnati and Connecticut to play in a weakened conference.Naturally, Cronin is very displeased with how the whole thing has transpired.“The whole thing is tragic,” Cronin said. “Nobody cares about student-athletes. All anybody cares about is money. Everybody in the NCAA, everybody in college administration, they talk about academics and student-athletes. If people cared about student-athletes, West Virginia wouldn’t be in the Big 12 with 10 teams flying 800 miles to their closest home game. That’s really conducive to studying. The whole thing is a hypocrisy . . . “The economy has trickled down . . . so everybody’s just, ‘Well, let’s change leagues because we can solve our money problems.’ And people that suffer are the student-athletes. They’re the ones that suffer. And the fans, because, obviously, what made college sports so special is really tradition. The fact that we’re sitting here, and this is the last Big East tournament is beyond ridiculous. . . . It’s only gone for one reason: money.”Football revenue has been noted as the main factor driving this drastic change in the college sports landscape. One of the greatest casualties of the movement is undoubtedly the death of one of the most exciting spectacles in sports: the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden.Cronin's sentiments on the matter is likely shared by many in the sporting world. But for Cincinnati's case, the predicament hits home just a little more.
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