USF should accept rivalry, end blocking rumors
Published: Sunday, October 2, 2011
Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2011 16:10
Here we go again with this Bull crap.
The rumor mill has started up with reports that the University of South Florida is, again, trying to block UCF from becoming a Big East conference member.
Like last year, the plot unfolds with the Big East looking to expand, USF being scared to add UCF as a fellow conference member and a local columnist calling for the state to get involved.
But the sequel, much like Back to the Future Part II, is just slightly more ridiculous than the first showing.
Sounds heavy, Doc. But there is no weight to these reports of Bull blockage. Most of them are hearsay, denial and speculation.
Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi, citing a report in the Newark Star-Ledger that USF was blocking a UCF membership, wrote a column asking for Gov. Rick Scott and State Speaker of the House Dean Cannon to get involved.
Sound familiar? It should, since he did the same thing during the last round of conference expansion hysteria.
And again, people are buying into the ridiculous conspiracy theory that USF actually has a say in how the Big East decides to expand.
The Big East will expand and it will look in the direction of a service academy such as Air Force and Navy first before looking at secondary options UCF and East Carolina University, as reported by multiple outlets including the St. Petersburg Times and ESPN.
USF President Judy Genshaft denied reports that USF is blocking UCF when asked about it by State Sen. Jack Latvala (R-St. Petersburg), according to the Orlando Sentinel.
I believe her, too.
I think she has voiced her opposition to UCF's involvement in the Big East, but even she knows her university is at the bottom of the conference totem pole.
As much as some would like, Scott is not going to get involved either. One may say he has other things to worry about besides two mid-level, sorry, "up-and-coming" universities quietly bickering across the Interstate 4.
Complaints aimed at USF should not be about what they are doing, but what they won't do.
USF cannot successfully stop their I-4 sharing, fellow tax-payer-funded school from joining, but if it lobbied for the Knights to join the Big East, it would certainly help UCF.
Schools have done it before. Florida State and Virginia lobbied to get fellow statesmen Miami and Virginia Tech to join the ACC, respectively. USF can make a strong a case, economically, to add UCF.
USF needs to stop being scared of UCF and welcome the challenge.
Welcome a rivalry.
Both the Knights and the Bulls lack true rivalries. ECU is hardly territorial and, as much as USF would like to believe, there is no rivalry with the University of Miami.
So I tell Genshaft, not Scott or Cannon, not President Barack Obama or Gandhi.
Genshaft: Don't have a cow. Stop this Bull crap and do the Knight thing.