Regardless of how the current athletic conference realignment game turns out, the public has been treated to an up-close exhibition of double talk, greed, ego and hypocrisy, as well as a lack of integrity and the farce of “academic integrity.”
All of the players in this exercise are pointing fingers about who is to blame for the upheaval of college athletic conferences, but it is clear university presidents had the power to put a stop to the embarrassing sideshow.
Athletic departments are thought to be a part of a university. Chancellors and presidents are thought to be in charge of these institutions, along with their respective boards of regents, curators or trustees. This being the case, doesn’t it seem reasonable that chancellors and presidents — if they have the backbone and conviction — could tell their athletic directors, boosters and television networks that their schools had no intention of jumping ship to join another conference or that they did not want to expand their conference by adding other schools?
The chancellors and presidents of the Pac-12 Conference effectively played such a role Tuesday night when they said they were not interested in increasing the size of that conference.
It’s interesting that all of the expansion talk has centered on football and dollars, nothing about improving the academic or research excellence of the conferences. What is the primary mission of a university: a better football team or a stronger academic program?
What are the priorities of the chancellors involved in the current conference realignment mess?