For the second week running, the news featured another star recruit that got away. This time it was Cory Joseph breaking the hearts of Nova fans by committing to Texas. However, there was other important news this week , some of which could have a profound effect on Nova's basketball program.
Last December while we were savoring our first FCS football championship, VUHoops posed the question, "should Nova jump to Big East football?" Of the 454 VUHoops readers who voted in our poll, 54% favored making the jump. As a follow-up on Brian's post earlier this week, The New York Daily News reports that "the Big Ten is preparing to grow from 11 to 16 teams and could take three to five teams from the Big East. If it does, it could leave the Big East on life support. If Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt bolt for the Big Ten, Big East football could be dead as early as the start of the 2012 season. It could leave Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut, West Virginia and South Florida scrambling to merge with the best teams from Conference USA to form their own hybrid league. In one fell swoop, the Big East could turn into a refugee camp for the remaining seven non-football power members: Villanova, St.John's, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, DePaul and Marquette."
Continuing with the football theme, The Bleacher Report says “The FCS has brought football fans some great gifts in the past many years. From Joe Flacco, to Boise State, to Jim Tressel, the FCS is a great setup man for the FBS and sometimes even the NFL. But the best thing that the FCS does for both FBS members and FCS members is developing quality programs that can compete in the FBS, the likes of Boise State and Louisiana Tech."
"Now that its been few years since the FCS has been poached, many schools are ripe for the picking. First UConn was brought up to FBS, now its Villanova’s turn. The 2009 FCS National Championship game was validation that they are ready to be a football member of the Big East. The FCS NC was just the cherry on top of Villanova’s extensive resume. Since resuming football in 1985 after a five-year hiatus and joining the FCS, Nova has made 7 appearances in the FCS tournament. As a private university they may not need a stadium upgrade to join the FBS. However, they may do it on their own accord since they sell out most of their home games. "
Following up on a story reported earlier this week by VUHoops.com, The Hartford Courant reports that former Villanova star and current boys basketball coach at Cromwell High School, John Pinone, pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy and tax charges in U.S. District Court in New Haven. According to the grand jury indictment, Pinone was a co-owner of the Civic Pub, a bar in Storrs. From 2003-2005, it is alleged that Pinone obtained cash from the operations of the bar that he failed to report on his income tax returns."
Lacross Magazine reports that “in a wildly entertaining back-and-forth lacrosse game, Lehigh shocked No. 9 Villanova by a score of 15-14 in double overtime at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Freshman Dante Fantoni capped off a four-goal performance with his score at the 1:24 mark of the second OT to lift Lehigh to a dramatic victory over the Wildcats."
The Grand Fork Herald reports that “the NCAA is on the verge of expanding the men’s basketball tournament from 65 to 68 teams beginning next year and announced a new, $10.8 billion broadcasting deal with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting today that will allow every game to be shown live for the first time."
The Daily Targum reports that former Villanova assistant basketball coach, Fred Hill’s stint as Rutgers head basketball coach “lasted 1,484 days after his hiring, 33 days after hearing he would return for a fifth season and 18 days after entering a verbal confrontation with a Pittsburgh baseball coach. [Last week] the Fred Hill Jr. era officially came to an end. Hill resigned from his position as Rutgers head men’s basketball coach after almost two weeks of investigation into his behavior and negotiations surrounding his dismissal. Under Hill, Rutgers endured four losing seasons (47-77) and the transfer of 12 players — including prized recruits Greg Echenique and Mike Rosario. " Phillyburbs.com reports that “that former 76ers coach Eddie Jordan has contacted Rutgers about its vacant men's basketball coaching position.”
The New York Post reports that "Jeff Van Gundy Avery Johnson remain as candidates among former NBA head coaches being considered for the New Jersey Nets coaching job. Among NBA assistants, Houston's Elston Turner and Boston's Tom Thibodeau may be considered. Villanova's Jay Wright is [the leading] collegiate possibility."