The Twittersphere got all, well, atwitter last night after Kentucky Sports Radio dropped this nugget.
Put this in the "rumor to file away in case it happens category." Usually reliable source tells me Memphis will join the Big East on Tuesday
Ah yes the regional radio station scoop. It's worked out so well for us so far this year. Of course, we bite because it sounds interesting and interesting is good. Though considering no other major outlet has confirmed or added on to this in any way, shape or form...well, draw your own conclusions.
With Big East Media Day approaching, it's irrelevant how true this rumor is, really. The more important point is that topics such as this will be just about all anyone is interested in talking about.
Like expansion. Like conference strength. And most of all, like the encroaching Big Ten reach of doom.
The Big East has moved...silently through that issue. But it won't have a choice tomorrow. Commish Marinatto continues to say all the things the Big East is considering. He's considering a new TV Network:
"When you look at marketplaces and population base, ours is stronger than the Big Ten’s," he said. "We have the assets to do that. It is one of the things we’ve been studying the last four to five months. It’s one of our options. There are a variety of things when the time comes."
And he's considering expansion:
"We talk about it all the time," Marinatto said. "We understand the unbalanced schedule is a challenge for everybody. We know that ideally there should be nine members."
But consideration is all we've heard about so far. So while the Memphis rumor might simply be just that...a rumor, don't blame Big East fans for getting a little excited. Even if the move doesn't really solve any major problems and only served to turn Big East basketball into more of a war of attrition, it would be movement. Tangible evidence that the Big East is acting proactively to prevent its demise.
Both Syracuse coaches have shared their feelings on the matter (and will continue to be asked about it until the matter is solved). The less-tenured Doug Marrone does the smart thing for him...he tries not to worry about it. Though it is interesting to note that HCDM admits the Big Ten rumors may have led to some recruiting losses.
"I think early on, we had lost some players in recruiting to another conference (Big Ten)," he said, not specifically naming the league, the players or the school. "Normally, you feel you should get those players.
"I think that because of all the talk and publicity they (Big Ten) were getting in the papers all of the time, I think that helped some of those schools in that conference and I think it gave them some pretty good awareness, or notoriety. And I think they took advantage of it, which they should," he said.
On the flip side is the long-tenured Jim Boeheim. As (arguably) the most iconic, currently-employed member of the Big East, he's all about making a stand for the conference he helped build.
"Everybody would like to see [Syracuse in the Big East]," he said Thursday before the third annual Jim Boeheim Golf Classic at the Shenandoah Golf Club, which supports the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation. "Everybody would like to see that. Everybody is familiar with it. The fans would rather have it that way."
"Boston College basketball moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference, and they hit rock bottom and fired their coach," he said. "They have to start all over again. You weigh all these circumstances - you can't just look at the money - and you have to weigh all these things. It would be more of an adjustment than you think, recruiting different areas. It raises a lot of questions."
Jimmy's right that the fans would rather have it that way. It's just that, while the Big East sits around considering things, fans recognize that it might not be the smart way for much longer.