The editorial spin coming out of the UConn camp now borders on the absurd.
"The BC-UConn clash is just a reminder of what nearly everyone already knows: Big-time college sports are consumed by hunger for TV revenue, and it appears unlikely anything will change. BC's athletic director, Gene DeFilippo, said as much when he told the Boston Globe this week that "football money" was driving the decision-making.
"We won't forget that they are student athletes,'' Herbst gamely told members of the MetroHartford Alliance gathered at The Bushnell. "That seems to have gotten lost with all the discussion about the conference and football."
Lost is right. Just as UConn and the NCAA are in the middle of a campaign to convince the world that "student athletes" and graduation rates really do matter to big-time men's basketball and football, the athletic director at Boston College says it's all about money and control of Division I football in New England. When even the Jesuits are playing this game, that's truly depressing.
"It's awful,'' Herbst said when I asked her what kind of damage an episode like this does."
I don't have to explicitly spell out to you what the Courant's Rick Green is implying here, but instead present you with a simple analogy.
UConn : Student-Athletes, Graduation Rates :: Boston College : Money, Market Share
Positioning UConn and new president Susan Herbst as the voice of reason in a sea of money-grubbing, college athletic program whores rings hollow when you consider:
1) Boston College's academic reputation (and consistently high APR scores and graduation rates of its student athletes)
2) UConn administrators are practically falling over themselves trying to get an ACC invite, chasing the very same dollars that come with the ACC's higher TV rights contract with ESPN.
But in case this wasn't clear after you read Green's pro-UConn, anti-BC's article, I have compiled the average multi-year APR score for each of Boston College's and UConn's athletics programs below. Of the 25 sports where both Boston College and UConn field varsity programs (which excludes BC's men's fencing, men's skiing and women's skiing programs, which have all averaged a perfect 1000 score), the average multi-year APR score from 2004-2010 was higher for UConn in just two of those sports -- women's ice hockey and men's golf. Good on ya, Huskies.
For the other 23 sports, BC consistently maintains a higher APR in each of those sports over the time period. Clearly those Jesuits in Chestnut Hill only care about money and market share, and can't be bothered to put the "student-athlete" first.
|Men's Track, Indoor||989.7||938.0||51.7|
|Men's Cross Country||987.3||936.8||50.5|
|Men's Track, Outdoor||997.7||950.0||47.7|
|Women's Cross Country||991.5||959.2||32.3|
|Women's Track, Indoor||992.8||963.7||29.2|
|Women's Track, Outdoor||992.8||964.0||28.8|
|Men's Ice Hockey||979.2||962.7||16.5|
|Women's Ice Hockey||982.7||986.7||(4.0)|