John Reagan, Georgetown fan, creator of Hoyasaxa.com: “[Former Big East commissioner] Dave Gavitt once said, ‘The Big East is not simply a league of convenience but one of commitment.’ Thanks to the TV networks, that is no longer the case. ESPN built up the Big East, and they helped tear it down. Rivalries are now disposable because of money — the same money that leads Maryland to drop 60 years of games with Duke for the likes of Minnesota and Purdue, or for West Virginia to fly 1,500 miles for a midweek game with Texas Tech instead of a bus trip to Pitt.
“Tomorrow’s conferences are all built on convenience, because there will be no long-term commitments. The mercantile nature of college sports is shredding rivalries for the sake of shifting television rights and for college presidents not to be caught standing when the game of NCAA musical chairs comes to a stop.”
Othella Harrington, Georgetown center, 1992-96; current assistant coach: “It has been an honor and privilege just to have been part of those games. It’s a shame. I’m saddened that they won’t be playing each other on a yearly basis. Now, will they play each other down the line? That’s above my pay grade. No one wants to see great rivalries come to an end.”
Wilbon: “The end of this series, the end of Georgetown-Syracuse, the end of the Big East as we knew it is heinous. . . .
“College sports is important largely for a specific reason: tradition. You know, pro sports people come and go. College sports aren’t about the players. They’re about the coaches, the uniforms, the fans, the buildings they play in, the tournament, the rivalries — that’s what they’ve been selling. These schools and these conferences sold that. They sold it for 75 years and now they want to act like it doesn’t exist. Well, it doesn’t exist any more because they killed it.”
Tirico: “You hate to be the old guy in the corner in the barbershop and say, ‘Things were better when I was a kid,’ but they’re not going to find better in whatever conferences they go to — Catholic 7 or Syracuse in the ACC — they’re not going to find a better rivalry. The history, the legacy — takes 25 years to replace that, and we don’t have time for that in this watered down time of basketball. You may find more lucrative places to land as a conference. You may find better basketball-fits with other institutions. But I don’t think you’re going to find a better rivalry than Syracuse-Georgetown.”