The original plan for Villanova wasn't one we were fully fond of. The Big East invited Villanova to join the conference as an FBS football member, and back in early September, Villanova confirmed it's interest in making the move. Of course, our initial reaction was "SAY YES!" - because football is where the money is in college sports and it seemed like a no-brainer.
But Villanova had to do it's due diligence on the matter, and as painful as the last 7 months have been while NOBODY from the administration will say anything and while we dig and claw for information, it was the responsible thing to do. And you know what? All signs of Villanova football joining the Big East point to yes!
So why is it that Villanova had to delay their official vote on the football move? Because apparently, the the communication not only amongst the conference members, but between Villanova and the Big East was so astoundingly horrible that at the 11th hour it was discovered that Villanova's plan wasn't up to the expectations of the conference members.
On the surface, the Big East looks to have screwed the pooch pretty bad on this one - but we're not letting oursevles off the hook either. We'll break it down after The Jump.
To the Big East Conference - REALLY?!
Let's call a spade a spade. You should be embarrassed at what transpired on Sunday. You're spinning this story like Sunday's conference call was the first time you heard people were uncomfortable with Villanova using PPL Park. Let's say that this is true. HOW ARE YOU ONLY FINDING THIS OUT NOW?!
It's been a solid 5-6 months that PPL Park has pretty much been the only viable option for Villanova since Franklin Field is controlled by Penn and Lincoln Financial is still in a contract with Temple. So you're telling me that once you found out Villanova was going to vote yes (which by the way, has been out there in back-channels for well over 2 weeks now), you finally decided to ask if everyone was okay with this?!
Everyone who was involved in this process from the conference's perspective, you should be ashamed of yourself.
To Villanova's administration - You're not free of blame either.
I can defend you needing time to investigate this move. We're a small school, and this is a move that no matter what we decided, is going to alter our future dramatically. But after TCU almost immediately accepted an invitation to join the Big East in November, and the Big East came out in January and said they weren't going to wait for you, there should have been a bit more urgency.
More importantly though, how could you let this happen? And how are you still sitting on your hands? The Big East screwed you, a member of their conference. I mean, really screwed you. You were prepared to join them on Tuesday.
Now they're telling you that even though EVERYONE knew what your plans for the stadium, your timeline, etc. for months, they're telling you to do better at the last possible minute. How are you not going public? Spread some egg o their face. They're the bad guys here, but we're coming off like the whipping boy, because we're sitting here and taking it.
To John Marinatto - Earn your paycheck!
You're the leader of the conference. By all accounts, you're in favor of Villanova joining for football. This is all on you. You let Rutgers and Pitt make a power move at the last possible minute. Time for you to broker this deal. I've never had much faith in you as a leader, but you can prove me wrong here.
Villanova is ready and waiting to sign on the dotted line and re-shape the Big East for years to come. You want them, they want you. MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Make no mistake - this should scare everyone.
This is a backstabbing from the Big East in every sense of the word. It appears Villanova was lied to from the outset. We were told that all we had to do was say 'yes.' That wasn't the case - apparently it was 'say yes' and then we'll let you know.
And let's remember that we voted yes to inviting TCU in to all sports. They're crap in basketball with no signs of improvement. So if we don't join for football, how do they help us? Not at all is the answer. So we're a team player, and now the same schools we decided to help out are jamming a sharp object into us.
This spells trouble not only for Villanova, but for all the basketball-only schools. Be afraid, be very afraid if this thing doesn't work out for Villanova.
Hopefully though, it all will.