I have been avoiding this topic since it happened. We all feel the same way, especially if you’re a Bearcats fan. Following the Bearcats 62-43 loss at the hands of the Georgetown Hoyas an already hot Mick Cronin decided to vent in his post game presser. The following quotes were pulled from that:
The whole thing is tragic,” Cronin said. “Nobody cares about student-athletes. All anybody cares about is money. Everybody in the NCAA, everybody in college administration, they talk about academics and student-athletes. If people cared about student-athletes, West Virginia wouldn’t be in the Big 12 with 10 teams flying 800 miles to their closest home game. That’s really conducive to studying. The whole thing is a hypocrisy . . .
“The economy has trickled down . . . so everybody’s just, ‘Well, let’s change leagues because we can solve our money problems.’ And people that suffer are the student-athletes. They’re the ones that suffer. And the fans, because, obviously, what made college sports so special is really tradition. The fact that we’re sitting here, and this is the last Big East tournament is beyond ridiculous. . . . It’s only gone for one reason: money.”
“And the people that suffer are the student-athletes. They’re the ones that suffer. And the fans…The fact that we’re sitting here and this is the last Big East tournament is ridiculous. This is the greatest tradition in college athletics, this tournament at one site for over 30-something years.
“It’s only gone for one reason, money. But other people sit around and say it’s about student-athletes and the student-athlete experience. Last year when we were told we had to bus home from Nashville and lose an hour and get home at 6:30 in the morning and yet we had to miss class and be on time for that press conference for the Sweet 16. I’m sure everybody was worried about my guys’ academics right then… I will take offense to anybody talking about coaches because every coach I know got started making peanuts.
Cronin was absolutely right in everything that he said. Greed and money has taken over college sports, no longer is it about the athletes but rather how much money your program and subsequently school can make.
The Big East used to be the greatest basketball conference in the country. Tonight that ends. The Big East as we know it, the one we grew up watching, the one I have watched for the past four years at UC cease to exist when the buzzer sounds at Madison Square Garden tonight.
Mick Cronin has been a fan of the Big East as well as a coach in the league for the last 7 years. His comments came out of anger and sadness. Anger the Big East dies, sadness the future of Cincinnati athletics is cloudy. Any columnist or site that has commented on Cronin being out of line or hypocritical obviously doesn’t realize the dire state college sports are in.
Cincinnati will compete in the “American 12″ next season, more than likely the favorites to win the conference. Mick Cronin will be happy once Cincinnati is in the ACC.