Mar 24, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim (left) reacts in the first half of the finals in the east region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Ohio State Buckeyes at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE
Fellow ACC schools,
Technically, we're not the new guys in town. We're not in even town yet. But we've got plans to come to your town where, at that point, we'll be one of the new guys in town. When that happens, you can pour beer on our heads or put Icy Hot in our jockstraps or take our third tier television broadcasting rights or whatever it is you do to initiate new ACC schools.
As the new guy, we understand that you might not want to hear what we have to say. However, given the current situation, we thought it might be worth your time if you could just hear us out for a few minutes.
See, everything you're going through right now? We've been through it. We've spent the last decade listening to how our conference is dead in the water. How the people in charge don't know what they're doing. How our elite programs are always a phone call away from leaving town, decimating our overall value and the financial windfall that comes with it.
We listen to all of that and watched our conference leaders do next-to-nothing to change it for so long that we finally said 'enough is enough' and, well, here we are.
And so, as we watch the inevitable evolution of college athletics begin to happen while the ACC teeters between being a part of it or becoming Big East II, the Syracuse Orange wanted to provide you with a little advice that we wish so many of our Big East brethren had followed but chose not to. They trudged forward, business as usual, and now San Diego State is in the same conference as South Florida. We don't want this for you, for obvious and selfish reasons. So, please, heed this warning...
Seriously. F*** tradition. F*** tradition right in its f***ing face. Your annual rivalry game? Your traditional scheduling? Your traditional game locations? Your traditional number of schools or the traditional area in which they're located?
F. *. *. *. T. H. E. M.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Well, that's easy for you to say, Mr. Northeast. You don't have Southern football roots. You don't truly understand Duke-North Carolina. You don't know what it's like in Greensboro in March."
Maybe. More likely I do get it. Syracuse, despite everything you've seen and heard, has great traditions. Ernie Davis. The 1959 National Champion football team. Coach Mac, Don MacPherson & Donovan McNabb. Syracuse vs. Georgetown. Syracuse vs. UConn. The Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden. Four Final Fours and a National Title in basketball. A founding member of the conference that dominated college basketball for the better part of two decades.
If we were concerned with tradition, with maintaining our rivalries and putting history ahead of profit, then we'd still be in the Big East hanging out with Georgetown and UConn, using words like "integrity" and "partnership" and "the right way to play."
And we'd be absolutely f***ed.
So by all means, feel free to follow in those steps.
Does it make more financial and branding sense to move to the ACC Basketball Tournament from Greensboro to New York City as a way to stake your claim on the No. 1 media market in the country and give the Big East one more shot to the kidneys? THEN F***ING DO IT.
Does it make sense to invite schools like UConn and Rutgers in order to shore up NYC and the Eastern seaboard? I know I keep hearing about Louisville to the Big 12 but has anyone checked to see if they want to join the ACC? That's a whole lot of basketball schools they'd love to play and they bring a pretty decent football team to boot. Would it help in some way to bring on more schools outside the traditional southern East Coast region that has made up the ACC for so long? THEN F***ING DO IT.
Tradition would have stopped the Pac-10 from expanding and becoming a power player again.
Tradition would have stopped Nebraska from going to the Big Ten where they got paaaaaaaid.
Tradition would have stopped West Virginia from leaving the dying Big East for the reborn Big 12.
Tradition is what killed the Big East.
Tradition is why we have a dumb bowl system and we're about to have a dumb playoff system run by dumb people who want to maintain dumb traditions.
Tradition can be a wonderful thing. But right now, college football is not about tradition. It's about realizing that tradition is holding us all back. Those who have made that realization are flourishing. Those who refuse are dying.
Let me put it this way...you may find yourselves coming to a decision about a particular thing. One on hand, the smart financial decision takes you one direction. On the other hand, the traditional way of doing things takes you in the other direction.
Here's what you do...TAKE THE FIRST F***ING ROAD AND WORRY ABOUT YOUR STUPID F***ING TRADITIONS LATER.
"Yeah but we always play that game on the 3rd Saturday of that month. It's tradition. It's how it's always been done." Great. Fantastic. Good for you. Guess what? No one gives a f***. Especially if protecting the date of a game is the kind of thing that keeps the rest of us from maintaining our status.
You wanna complain about how college sports is a business now? Cool story, bro. Go stand over there and complain while the rest of us try to save our collective asses in 2012 instead of pretending it's still 1985.
Of course, there's a chance all of this could blow over and we'll all move forward, happy-go-lucky with our money AND our traditions. But you and I know better. If it doesn't happen this year, it will happen eventually. All those 12-team conferences will start looking for 13th and 14th members. The ranks of the big conferences will close in around one another as they try to preserve their claim on all that money. And if it means six becomes five and five becomes four in order to protect the pie, so be it. Majority rules.
And if I'm going to end up in the minority, it sure as hell better not be because someone was worried about protecting their f***ing traditions. Cause if you end up on the outside looking in when all of this is over...guess what...now you don't have any.