I don’t know what types of rumors are more fun, conference expansion, the coaching carousel, NBA Draft, or transfers, but we’ve got them all this offseason. The latest and greatest actually manages to combine two. After Gary Parrish posted an email from the Duquesne president outlining why the school fired Ron Everhart it has come to some people’s attention that there is an interesting line near the end.
Here’s the text in question (emphasis mine):
While not a regular contender for leadership in our conference, Duquesne is no longer the doormat. The A10 conference itself is on the verge of a major improvement with the addition of new high quality university programs. All of this amounts to an exciting professional opportunity for a new coach.
Yup, “new high quality university programs.” The plural is what’s most important here, because it sounds like Butler is a done deal. (Depending on who you believe.) Who else could be heading to the Atlantic 10 and what kind of shakeup would that entail?
It sounds like the conference ripe for poaching is the Colonial Athletic Association. The poor CAA just signed a contract with NBC Sports Network and already there are rumors flying about schools leaving. Richmond head coach Chris Mooney, who is a Princeton grad and a smart guy, floated the idea yesterday that he’d like to see George Mason and VCU join the Atlantic 10. Of course he would. The Richmond-VCU rivalry would instantly become one of the hottest properties in the league.
That would turn the Atlantic 10 into a 16-team college basketball league. Not only that. It’d be one that could rival many BCS conferences in terms of quality. It’d be a basketball superpower.
Notice I said “basketball” there. That’s what’s most interesting about the rumors related to the A-10. We’ve reached an inflection point in the expansion process it seems. Whereas before administrators were attempting to find a home for their Division I Bowl Subdivision football teams, they’ve now moved on and are starting to find the right fit both geographically and competitively for the remainder of their athletic programs.
You know what’s the most interesting part of all this? Say the A-10 does take Butler, George Mason and VCU. How does this look for a couple of divisions:
Who says “No” to that? I can’t think of anyone that would have a huge gripe. Aren’t rumors fun?