Georgetown coach shrugs off Big East changes
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that college football has been the force behind wave after wave of conference realignment.
So what does a basketball school do during all this? Sit around and wait?
Georgetown men’s basketball coach John Thompson III sat down with USA TODAY Sports on Thursday and explained how he has approached all the changes to the Big East Conference and college athletics nationwide.
“We don’t have big-time football,” Thompson said. “The dollars associated with big-time football are driving this ship. We know there are a lot of discussions, a lot of tables we will not sit at.
“There’s nothing we can do to control that. There’s nothing we can do to place ourselves in certain discussions. It’s nothing to be frustrated about.”
So instead, Thompson has simply done what he’s always done: focused on recruiting and what his team can do to improve. “As Georgetown, we have to be good regardless of who’s in our conference,” he said. “As long as we’re good and in a position to compete for the title, we’ll be fine.”
The Hoyas remain in the Big East, one of the conferences hit hardest by all the realignment. Notre Dame is the latest to defect, and the Fighting Irish will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference along with Syracuse and Pittsburgh. West Virginia already has bolted to the Big 12. To replace them, the Big East will add Memphis, Temple, Southern Methodist, Houston and Central Florida. The timing of the moves vary by school, but either next season or at least by 2014, these moves will have all taken place.
The Big East has taken heat for the big-name departures, and most fans and critics were quick to point out that the nation’s premier basketball league is losing some of its most successful programs. Is the ACC going to become the nation’s best conference? Or is it too soon to take that claim from the Big East?
“We went from being unquestionably the best basketball conference to now arguably the best basketball conference,” Thompson said. “If you look at the programs that are coming in, I think that they can easily replace some … [For more on Georgetown coach shrugs off Big East changes, click here.]