Feb. 4, 2012
The Evolution of the Big East
Coach JT III has often said that the Big East consists of unlike institutions. No two schools exemplify this more than Georgetown and USF. Having already travelled to Tampa, Florida to see the Hoyas play the USF Bulls has made this very obvious to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for the University of South Florida. In fact I am worried more about their ascension in the college basketball world than any other program, I remember staying at the Embassy Suites just a few blocks from their basketball arena. It was the 20005-6 season when we had defeated #1 ranked Duke. USF would pull off the upset that afternoon much to my dismay. A few years ago Bulls pulled off an upset in the Verizon Center. I have met their associate athletic director at the Big East tournament and greatly admire the school’s optimism. They are one of the largest universities in the United States based on the size of their undergraduate student body. They are an up and coming university with many great academic programs, and an already successful DI football program. If you walk their sprawling Florida campus you will be impressed. However, my impression was there was no sense of history, and legacy that I could see on campus? Do not get me wrong, their students had a great sense of pride for the school and their basketball team. However, it was very different from the Georgetown campus.
As the evolution and rumors about the future of the Big East continue, I no longer lose any sleep. Do not get me wrong, I still am not thrilled to lose two of our rivals: Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. When I visited the Steel City last year I could not help but be saddened by their eventual move to the ACC. However, the new schools like the University of Central Florida and their passion for joining the Big East gives me great hope for tomorrow when I think about the future of the Big East basketball conference. After all, it was not long ago when Georgetown played in the ECAC and was not part of a true conference. As I prepare to head to Verizon Center now for the USF game and await next weekend’s Georgetown Hall of Fame ceremony I am excited about a new future for the Big East Conference. Hopefully it will be a “Blue & Gray” future when the HoyaNation enters the Verizon Center, Madison Square Garden, and other arenas around the country for the NCAA tournament with hope for tomorrow. Please arrive early at the Verizon Center. Bleed Blue & Wear Gray. Let’s make some noise for the new players who will wear the Blue and Gray in the tradition of Ewing, Mourning, and Mutombo. They will carry on the tradition of Georgetown and need our support! The Syracuse Orange, Pitt Panthers and others will move on, but so will the Big East and Georgetown! When you see our players take the court, and feel the Spirit of Georgetown that fills the arena there will be no more worries, and one thing will be apparent: We are Georgetown!
Dr. Thomas A. Wong
Hoya Hoop Club Vice President--Communications
Proud Member of Generation Ewing