Sunday, September 18, 2011

Herbst on Conference Expansion

UConn president Susan Herbst's statement on conference expansion and realignment:

"Conference expansion and realignment has been a subject of public speculation for the last several months and will continue to be so in the future, for years most likely. It is not close to being over, so we need to have some patience. There have been new rumors every day regarding schools and conferences, and now Pittsburgh and Syracuse are leaving the BIG EAST, which is a jolt, but not a huge surprise.

"UConn is a proud charter member of the BIG EAST and we have taken a lead role in the league’s success over the years. However, it is my responsibility as President that we stay in constant communication and be actively involved in discussions with our counterparts from around the country to ensure the successful long-term future of our university’s athletic program. The truth is that our teams will play competitive athletics at the highest level of excellence, wherever things land, and our central goals will be academic success and compliance, always.

"To my mind, the conference realignments and incessant national gossip is distracting many presidents and athletic directors from the real conversations we should be having, about academics, the distorting role of money in sports and what it means to support student-athletes. I hope all settles soon, and we can change the national focus away from profiteering and back to student-athletes, where it belongs.”

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