Can a Catholic hoops conference save college sports?

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Seton Hall Pirates forward Brandon Mobley (2) looks to pass against Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Kadeem Jack (22) during their game Feb. 12, 2013 at Rutgers Athletic Center. Photo by Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger

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(RNS) Could a new all-Catholic basketball conference help college athletics -- and even the Catholic Church?

  • MM

    You’ve got it backwards. The Catholic 7 are keeping the Big East name, and the leftover schools will be called the American Athletic Conference.

  • Dane

    David, some more fact checking: three of these schools (Butler, Georgetown, Villanova) actually have football teams. Oner of these, Villanova, won the 2009 national championship at the FCS level.

  • Wendy Gustofson

    Dane, David doesn’t deny the schools have football teams, he correctly points out the fact that the these college teams do not command the television revenue that other schools do.

  • David Gibson

    MM, you are indeed correct — my mistake. I inverted the proposal. I’ll correct it asap. Thanks.

    Dane, as Wendy said, yes, those three schools have football programs but they are not major programs that are driving the programs either of their schools or the conference. That’s why I phrased the paragraph the way I did.

  • Jim

    Two things: you slip in a needless juxtaposition of the teams not having money-making football programs with growing “ethical concerns.” Seriously? It turns out that several of these schools have football after all. But they are upholding ethics because they don’t play FBS? And are we to suppose that Marquette, which abandoned football in the 1970s because they sucked, did so instead for ethical reasons which have only emerged in the last five years?

    Second, in the wake of your banal observation that religion is not a protection from a lack of fairness, you imply that Grinnell is a religious institution. It is not. They are a private school, religiously unaffiliated, and they have a Christian player. (Lots of teams do–recall Siva’s initial comments after winning the other night.) Parsing a student-athlete’s postgame comments in the context of a serious discussion of society and religion is rather foolish-looking.

  • BCCampion

    An old Jesuit at Boston College once described BC’s involvement with the cesspool of big-time sports thusly: “In ethical terms, football and basketball are things with which Boston College should not have any involvement but which she does as well as they can be done.” Gotta love the casuistry.

  • D Paul

    As a SLU grad and Navy vet, you have to say “it’s worth a shot”.

  • Alice

    Can we hope that playoffs are not conducted on Sundays? Especially not during the Tridium or Easter Sunday?

  • CyFaninPA

    Overall, an excellent article. Thank you. However, the first line is incorrect (“March Madness ended with an exhilarating April flourish on Monday (April 8)”)
    That is when the men’s tournament ended. The NCAA women’s tournament concluded April 9. The women’s Final Four in New Orleans was thrilling to watch, with absolutely outstanding athleticism. NCAA women’s basketball has mostly avoided the corruption found too often in the NCAA men’s game.

  • David Gibson

    Amen CyFaninPA — You are right on all counts. Brava.