Don't wish too hard for what you want because you may get it
11/19/2012 12:09:00 PM
If you believe the reports, Rutgers is headed to the Big Ten with a decision being announced this holiday week. But Scarlet Knight Nation will need more than a well-said prayer at the Thanksgiving dinner table to make this work. Simply put, it's a bad move for RU. The Scarlet Knights, who already are buried in the Big East in basketball, now will be buried well past our lifetimes in both basketball AND football in the Big Ten. You know the old saying "Don't wish too hard for what you want because you may get it." That fits this scenario. Whatever prestige Rutgers will get from joining the land grant institution-laden Big Ten will be outweighed by the overwhelming problem of how to pay for this move. And I'm not even talking about the $10 million exit fee from the Big East that RU will have to pay. How does Athletic Director Tim Pernetti plan to fund the quantum leap in the sports budget that he'll have to come up with to even be in remotely in touch with the financial giants like Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska? How will he be able to finance the softball team's trip to the hinterlands of the Midwest because we're not just talking about football and basketball. We're talking about making this work financially for the Scarlet Knights' non-revenue sports that the school and alumni speaks so fondly of. Also, how will the Scarlet faithful themselves be able to afford treks out to Iowa City, Minneapolis, Bloomington, Lincoln, Iowa City and Madison. And, on top of that, wait till RU fans have to make their way up to MetLife Stadium two or three times a year because the current 52,500 seat High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway is too small for the gridiron giants of the Big Ten. And make no mistake, that's already being floated within Big Ten circles. Then there's the issue of the dilapidated 8,000 seat RAC which is woefully short of Big Ten standards, not to mention the like of a state-of-the-art training facility which is the norm these days for members of major conferences. It's not too farfetched to think of a scenario where the Scarlet Knights may be shipped up to the Izod Center for any number of Big Ten games each season. And, for those of you who want to tell me that the Big East is a better basketball conference than the Big Ten, forget it. I'll match up Indiana (#1 in the US right now), Michigan State, Ohio State and even Michigan with anyone at the top of the Big East. BOTTOM LINE: If this conference shift happens...and even if Rutgers finds a way to get financially solvent... get ready for years of cellar-dwelling in the Big Ten...and Scarlet Knight fans know all too well how that storyline gets tiresome in a hurry.