Conference realignment? Blame someone else and pass the checks

Pat Forde
Yahoo! Sports

A brief, semi-fictional history of hysteria in college athletics:



From: Chancellor Harvey Perlman
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: June 6, 2010.

Fellow Cornhuskers:

I wanted to let you know that Nebraska is formally preparing to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten. There is more money to be earned in that conference, thanks to the Big Ten Network, and we can't tolerate any league-office favoritism that doesn't favor us. If anyone asks you about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame the ransacking of tradition and loss of rivalries on power-hungry Texas. And if anyone brings up our slip in prestige over the past 10 years – thank you, Bill Callahan – blame that on the Longhorns, too.

Keep those checks coming.

Harvey



From: Chancellor Phillip DiStefano
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: June 10, 2010

To all friends of Colorado athletics:

Nebraska's impending move to the Big Ten has dangerously destabilized the Big 12 Conference, which gives us the excuse to get out as well and follow our muse to the Pac-12. Let's face it, we fit better with Cal-Berkeley and Oregon than with Iowa State and Oklahoma State, and nobody will really miss us anyway. But on the off chance anyone asks you about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame it on the Cornhuskers and Texas for not getting along and ruining everything – including our program. We'll be respectable again someday, I promise.

Please see the attachment about our new fund-raising drive.

Phillip



From: Chancellor Victor Boschini
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Nov. 30, 2010

Fellow Frogs:

I am thrilled to tell you that we are rejoining the big time – we are heading to the Big East in 2012. Ever since the demise of the Southwest Conference, we have been looking for a league that gives us a legitimate chance to play for the national title, and now we've got it. The fit is not ideal geographically, but it is competitively – we can dominate from the first season we're in it. It's not like we have to beat Texas and Oklahoma to win the league.

If anyone asks you about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame Utah and BYU for devaluing the Mountain West by leaving.

Basketball will need a major upgrade to compete in the Big East. Keep that in mind when our athletic development office calls.

Victor



From: President Judy Genshaft
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Dec. 1, 2010.

I want to inform you key supporters of USF that we are doing everything in our power to block UCF from admission into the Big East. With TCU added as the ninth football member, some are pushing for UCF to be No. 10. Not on our watch. Our annoying neighbors from Orlando will not gain equal conference footing with us – not now, not ever. In order to keep us ahead of UCF in athletics, please write a check today in support of the Bulls.

Judy



From: Chancellor Mark Nordenberg
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Sept. 16, 2011

Greetings, fellow Panthers.

I know this is going to come as a shock, but we're pulling up stakes and leaving the league we fought to save, the Big East, for the Atlantic Coast Conference. I'm not sure how we pulled it off – let's face it, outside of men's basketball, we're not very good at anything – but we did. If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame the dangerously destabilized landscape of college athletics – and John Marinatto, too. And if West Virginia cannot understand, feel sorry for them.

Let's face it, the Big East is in trouble. The ACC is rock solid – nobody would ever leave that league.

In the meantime, our fundraising department will be in touch. Please take their calls.

Mark


[Dan Wetzel: Big 12/SEC bowl further separates haves, Have-nots]




From: Chancellor Nancy Cantor
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Sept. 16, 2011

I want to inform you great friends of Syracuse University that we are leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference. I'm not sure why, but Mark Nordenberg and Pittsburgh needed a partner in this end run and we're it. ACC football is almost as bad as Big East football, so we should fit right in. As for basketball: We'll work on Coach Boeheim's attitude and he'll come around. Those trips to Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament were fun and all, but it's a very easy commute to Greensboro, N.C. Honest.

If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame the dangerously destabilized landscape of college athletics – and John Marinatto, too. And if you want to spread some blame to Notre Dame for never joining us in football, that's OK, too.

We are going to a much more stable conference. The ACC is rock solid. Please see attached donor form.

Nancy



From: President R. Bowen Loftin
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Sept. 25, 2011

Howdy, Aggies!

I am pleased to tell you that our Emancipation Day has come at last – we are free from the tyranny of Texas and headed to the Southeastern Conference in 2012. Nebraska and Colorado dangerously destabilized the Big 12 by leaving, which gives us the excuse to finally get away from the oppressive, greedy, dishonest, arrogant, four-time-national-champion Longhorns who tell Aggie jokes and think Austin is heaven and – oh, you get the point.

If anyone asks you about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame Texas for the end of our rivalry. I know some of you have questioned our ability to compete in the SEC, but our trustees assure me that if we simply keep changing coaches every four or five years, we'll eventually hire a good one who will restore us to glory. If not, blame the Longhorns for that, too.

Now more than ever, we need facilities that are better than Texas'. So get your checkbooks out and give, give, give.

Bowen



From: Chancellor Victor Boschini
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Oct. 6, 2011

Fellow Frogs:

Please disregard the email of Nov. 30, 2010. We're getting out of the burning building that is the Big East before we even set foot in it. Big 12, here we come.

If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. They won't remember that it's been less than a year since our last 100-year decision. Just roll with it.

Victor


[Related: Boise State gives Big East a standard-bearer]




From: President James Ramsey
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Oct. 20, 2011

I want all friends of Louisville athletics to know that we are very close to having a deal done to join the Big 12. With the Big East blowing up, we have to look at our options, and this is the best one for us. I'll be in touch.

In the meantime, we're still working to pay off expansion of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Hint, hint.

James



From: President James Clements
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Oct. 25, 2011

Fellow Mountaineers, we have pulled a coup. We successfully outflanked Louisville to land the 10th spot in the Big 12 and will be leaving the Big East just as soon as our lawyers figure out how to get us out of our contractual obligations. If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame Pitt and Syracuse for starting the charge to the Big East life boats. And, of course, you can blame John Marinatto, too.

I know many of you fans enjoyed the proximity of the Backyard Brawl relationship with Pitt and the manageable drives to Cincinnati and Louisville for games – but really, who doesn't have Ames, Stillwater and Lubbock on their college-town Bucket List?

Joining the Big 12 by 2012 will cost a fortune in exit fees. Please keep that in mind.

James



From: President James Ramsey
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Oct. 26, 2011

Louisville fans, don't believe everything you hear. Our hopes of getting into the Big 12 are not dead yet. Alum Mitch McConnell is playing the Senatorial "buddy card" with Oklahoma president David Boren, and he's putting the brakes on the West Virginia train. Keep the faith, and keep that wallet handy.

James



From: President James Ramsey
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Oct. 28, 2011

OK, we lost that round to those couch-burning hillbillies from Morgantown. I have no idea how – but we're not through yet. Athletic director Tom Jurich will get us in the Big 12 yet, just watch. Please return the attached pledge form.

James



From: Chancellor Brady Deaton
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Nov. 5, 2011

Well, it's been an eventful time at ol' Mizzou. I know we screwed up the move to the Big Ten, and after that we had to do the low-belly crawl back to the Big 12 and make a sincere pledge of long-term loyalty to the league. But guess what? The Southeastern Conference just called, and they'll take us as a sidekick to Texas A&M! So forget all that loyalty talk and start practicing your southern accents. We're outta here.

If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame everyone who has left for dangerously destabilizing the Big 12 and leaving us with little choice. Then blame Kansas for being sore realignment losers and refusing to schedule us anymore. And if any of you kept my 2010 email outlining the talking points of why the Big Ten was the perfect cultural, academic and geographic fit for Missouri, please delete that immediately.

I know some of you have expressed concern about our ability to compete in the SEC, but think of it this way: We'll be rich, even if we're not anywhere near as successful as we've been in the Big 12. Now until those SEC revenue checks start flowing in, please donate to our ambitious campaign to upgrade all our sports programs.

Brady



From: Presidents and Chancellors of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist and Central Florida universities
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni

Because of a combination of herd mentality, panic and peer pressure, we're all joining the Big East. If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame the Mountain West/Conference USA (circle one) for not making enough TV bucks and the dangerously destabilized landscape of college athletics.

Don't bother looking at the map and trying to make sense of it. Just please buy season tickets and give generously to the school.



From: President Judy Genshaft
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: Dec. 7, 2011

Please disregard the email of Dec. 1, 2010, and welcome our friends from UCF to the Big East. It will be great to have a "travel partner" in the league. I believe that's the correct phrase.

Judy



From: President James Ramsey
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: March 30, 2012

To our loyal Louisville fans:

We've got this Big 12 thing all but sewn up – expect an announcement this summer. The league is open to expansion again, and where else are they going to find a quality athletic program to add? Nobody's leaving the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC or ACC. We're a cinch. Stay tuned and stay generous!

James


[Dan Wetzel: Florida State trustee lights fuse on Big 12 move]




From: Trustee Andy Haggart
To: Select donors, boosters and alumni
Date: May 12, 2012

Fellow Seminoles, I'm writing to you in place of our president, Eric Barron, to explain why we need to leave the ACC for the Big Boy Football of the Big 12. Mostly, we need to do it for the chance to tell those sanctimonious basketball prepwads on Tobacco Road to stuff it. And also for the TV revenue, although my math may be a little fuzzy on how all that works.

If anyone asks about the move, say it's a 100-year decision based on what's best for our institution. Then blame it on the dangerously destabilized landscape in college athletics. I know it's only been 20 years since our last 100-year decision, but times change and TV contracts change and John Swofford wears Carolina-blue underwear to the office. I know it.

I also know the Big 12 would welcome a football power of our magnitude anytime. We've been annually overrated for about a decade now, but all we need is a foothold in Texas for recruiting and we'll be back to winning 11 games a year, every year. Soon enough, Oklahoma will be scared of us instead of beating us up.

Pick a football school – any football school – to come with us. Miami can be our travel partner – just don't mention that NCAA mushroom cloud still looming over Coral Gables. Or we could take Clemson – the Tigers were good once upon a time. Maybe even Virginia Tech – if Big 12 teams are dumb enough to endure travel to Morgantown, they'd endure getting to Blacksburg, too.

This will be the last move Florida State ever has to make. After this, everything will calm down. I promise.

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