Originally written on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 8/16/12

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 15: Jerry Porter #84 of the Oakland Raiders catches a Rich Gannon pass for a touchdown as Chad Scott #30 fails to stop him during their NFL game on September 15, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 30-17. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Okay, football stuff coming later. First a bunch of links to touch on some other topics.

The daily bomb threats on Pitt’s campus last spring should not re-occur. The FBI has their man (sort of). It’s as weird as possible.

A 64-year-old, wheelchair-using Scottish man from Dublin, who already has served a prison sentence for emailing hoax bomb threats, was indicted Wednesday as the person responsible for emailing a series of 40 false bomb threats targeting the University of Pittsburgh during the spring semester.

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh also charged the suspect, Adam Stuart Busby, with sending emailed bomb threats to federal courthouses in Pittsburgh, Erie and Johnstown and with threatening U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.

Speaking at a news conference announcing the indictments, Mr. Hickton said Interpol had been alerted to the federal warrant charging Mr. Busby, who currently is in custody in Dublin on a Scottish warrant for similar crimes there. He would not speculate on any timetable for extraditing Mr. Busby from Ireland to face prosecution.

According to The Irish Times, Mr. Busby has multiple sclerosis and is a leader of the Scottish National Liberation Army, which seeks independence for his homeland. He recently was released from prison on a 2010 conviction in Ireland for emailing two false bomb threats in 2006 to Heathrow Airport in London. Those threats, which cited specific international flights, claimed to be from the Scottish National Liberation Army, according to the Times.

Since last month Mr. Busby has been held in custody in Dublin on a European Union warrant seeking his extradition to Scotland for additional charges of sending false threats, according to Irish media outlets. He is charged with making hoax threats in 2010, mostly by email to media organizations, that threatened then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a noxious substance, and claimed buildings would be bombed and that the English water supply would be contaminated, Irish news media reported.

The FBI wouldn’t give a reason for why he targeted Pitt for the bomb threats (Editor note: I know this is somehow related to you, McClearn).

 

A couple of assholes in Ohio who decided to insert themselves into the matter by claiming to have hacked Pitt’s website also face indictments.

The Big East has a new commissioner. It’s actually something of an inspired choice. Mike Aresco, a CBS Sports VP. Not a basketball guy. Not a football guy. A TV guy. Yes, he has a degree from UConn, so technically he could be seen as a football school guy. Yet, his time at UConn was when it was basketball only. Again, this was actually a good move. Especially with the big TV negotiations coming up.

He held his press conference yesterday. Talked up the conference — how strange is that — and had only one line that was amusingly impossible.

“But I want the schools that left to regret leaving.”

Uhhhhh, yeah. Good luck with everything else, but that part just isn’t happening.

No. Really, I want the Big East to get a good deal. Pitt is leaving the dysfunction of split interests. It doesn’t mean I want the individual (football) schools to suffer more problems. Here’s a really good read on the upcoming TV negotiations for the Big East and the multiple interests surrounding it rooting for and against what the Big East will get.

In other TV money news, a look at the Nielson’s suggest that ACC Commissioner John Swofford may not have done the best job possible for TV deals (and that the Pac-12 struck gold).

Here are the average football viewership totals by conference according to Nielsen:
1. SEC – 4,447,000
2. Big Ten – 3,267,000
3. ACC – 2,650,000
4. Big 12 – 2,347,000
5. Pac-12 – 2,108,000
6. Big East – 1,884,000

Here are the average basketball viewership totals by conference according to Nielsen:
1. Big Ten – 1,496,000
2. ACC – 1,247,000
3. SEC – 1,222,000
4. Big 12 – 1,069,000
5. Big East – 1,049,000
6. Pac-12 – 783,000

Some takeaways from those figures:

B. The ACC has an undervalued TV contract – The flip side of the Big Ten and SEC analysis above is that while the ACC’s basketball viewership strength isn’t unexpected, the much maligned football side actually has strong TV numbers. If you take a step back for a moment, it makes sense. Florida State and Miami continue to be great national TV draws (even when they’re down) and schools such as Virginia Tech bring in large state markets.

Now, in some fairness to the ACC. They got the TV contract at the beginning of the explosion in rights fees. So, there was a timing problem. And even with the look-in brought on by the expansion, they couldn’t go back to the open market. Still, the disparity can’t entirely be blamed on that. For those at FSU, Clemson (and even VT) who feel like they should be getting more money in another conference, this is red meat.

Chad Scott offers some thoughts on how the ACC can work to create more revenue streams.

Meanwhile the academic/athletic scandal at UNC keeps chugging along. Now evidence shows that the malfeasance dates back to 2001 (at least) with the accidental leaking of Julius Peppers’ transcript. Don’t worry, UNC is charging hard to investigate… how Julius Peppers’ transcript ended up on their own website.

The fact that the NCAA’s own rules keep them sidelined because UNC says so, makes the NCAA look useless — again.

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