If you've wandered your way onto this blog, first off, hello. Neither Jesus nor I have been in Boston for almost a year now. One of us isn't even in the country, but we still keep tabs on our favorite student athletes and our favorite university we attended.
That brings me to point two - if you're reading this I'm sure you by now know that the America East Conference has banned BU from competing in the conference tournaments because BU has decided to take their talents to the Patriot League. Unusual? Maybe. Within their rights? I think so. Seems like it's the sexy thing to do in college athletics - switch conferences, defy well-established relationships between local schools, and move elsewhere, even if it means more travel, less familiar foes, and some slight confusion amongst all parties.
I'm not going to get into BU's decision to switch conferences - that's the decision of the school and there are obviously factors I do not nor need to know about.
What I am going to get into is the decision of the conference to disallow BU from competing in conference tournaments. You won't find the America East saying this anywhere on their website. I certainly understand that the conference is pissed at BU. They're rightfully salty when the school that has unfairly dominated the conference for years is packing.
I would understand if the higher-ups in the conference decided that BU can't win the Commissioner's Cup for best overall conference performance in their last year. However, the decision to ban BU from partaking in conference tournaments is erroneous. All BU teams will be allowed to compete in regular season, but then not in the tournament that matters.
This all hurts the athletes and fans, and really who else? Want to punish BU for their decision? Don't punish the students who had absolutely no say in the switch? Fine BU (Lord knows they have enough money), don't pay them whatever they would be owed if they won the conference, or the Commissioner's Cup. Not allowing the student athletes defend their confernece titles or win more - that's just not fair.
BU has done just about all the school can, I think. Superhuman AD Mike Lynch put an appeal on the front page of GoTerriers.com. The student athletes threw their Hail Mary today, but I think it will all be for naught. The America East will hold the decision of administrators above student athletes heads, and I just don't think that's fair.
As (at one time) an outspoken student fan who really has gotten to know this small conference pretty intimately, I'm even more disappointed in the decision to ban BU than I am at BU leaving. I hate it when Mommy and Daddy fight. Seems like this one will end even worse than usual.
It will also be my last season as the America East Fantasy Basketball Commissioner.
Sidenote: If I were a BU athlete (HA!) entering this season, knowing I wasn't going to be allowed to compete in the conference tournament I'm not happy and probably not giving it my all. Hell, I'm probably not afraid to injure someone!
Now, I am not an athlete, and clearly, the BU athletes are better people than me so that wouldn't happen, but what the hell is their incentive now? Especially if you're playing in your senior year? Things to ponder at night. Or just transfer.