I’ll Buy The Windex…

There has been a rightful gnashing of the teeth in CAAland over the past 18 hours. ESPN, using logic I’m not sure ever existed, found a way to take the CAAs best team and send it to Dayton to take on Wright State, a team 40 spots below it in the RPI and a team unlikely to finish in the top 100 RPI.

Before we go further, let’s be clear: Northeastern got screwed.

(And as a side note, I’m unsure about VCU getting to fly to Nevada for a game two days after the Rams entertain Delaware. Nice geographical pairing. Was Chaminade not available?)

Nevada may be another team who doesn’t finish in the top 100 of the RPI. But I digress…

While I realize it means little in the Grand Scheme–and I absolutely believe this is exactly what the Grand Schemers want and hope for, some chatter–I am officially demanding some transparency in how these things play out.

I don’t understand the need to hide the process. If there’s nothing inherently backwards or disingenuous about it, then there’s no need to hide behind speculation and straight-from-the-playbook press quotes.

Open it up. At least then you don’t have coaches, ADs, and conferences speculating and complaining. If they understand what happened, questions are quelled. Queries of ethics cannot be made because motives and decisions are seen, not speculated.

The secret nature of these things is counterproductive and eats away a valuable but forgotten trait: credibility.

Here’s how the next few days will play out: we’re going to ask about Northeastern and we’re going to get the same boring quotes. We will scream at the echoes of unfair and find every reason that the people making the decisions are “taking care of their brothers.”

We will continue to question motive and reason because even though common sense is losing out in this world, it still strikes a chord with us. And because we continue to question and not receive a satisfactory answer, the credibility of those involved begins to diminish.

The problem: nobody knows, and those that know aren’t telling.

Here’s the issue–I believe they are all thinking in terms of the old world, before the  advancement of technology and folks like me could ask questions and report and reach the masses. In the 1980s these things could be secretive and not be questioned because there was no alternative. The Legions of Me had no outlet to ask questions on a national scale, nor a way to get this information distributed. Now, we do.

Hiding information reeks of duplicity. The questions will continue to come. The credibility will continue to suffer.

Folks like ESPN and situations like this demand the need to embrace this new order and open it up. All I’m asking is a couple very good reasons why it has to be such a secret. Not a made up reason, a real one.

It seems a waste to me. A waste of everyone’s time, and a waste of credibility. I’ve never hidden the fact that I cover the CAA but have season tickets to VCU games and have had those tickets as long as I can remember. It is an important data point for you. My credibility covering the entire CAA is important, and you should know this.

We are approximately six weeks from this exact scenario playing out on a much grander scale. You know what I’m talking about, too. Those guys are going to get into a room for four days and make the selections to the NCAA tournament.

The questions will arise again–who is in, who is out, who was taken care of, who is deserving. There will be conference breakdowns and bubbles burst and every scenario of back room dealings discussed.

Why does it have to be this way? I would think that by opening it up, you win on every front.

And this whole media replication of the selection process, the mock selection, is one of the greatest PR moves in the history of the world. It is the absolute pinnacle of what I am discussing this morning.

The NCAA tells us it is for greater insight into what the committee does every March. I find that laughable. It’s a dodge, created to allow leniency in a process the NCAA refuses to acknowledge exists. We learn nothing nothing other than Andy Katz agreeing that it is difficult. (And I say this with friends that will be participating.)

I haven’t forgotten what the committee did to Hofstra and Pecora in 2006, nor have I forgotten what they did to Drexel and Bruiser in 2007. That cannot be replicated with a February exercise. This is the point that is missed: we’re not stupid and we’re not gullible, at least not en masse. Not anymore.

Let me put it in a way corporate people will understand: How much advertising money could be made on a three-day, CSPAN-ish telecast of the NCAA Selection Committee doing their business? Add its official sponsor.

Plus, if we get transparency into the process, we have nothing to complain about.

Don’t ask me to ask the questions about Northeastern because I’m not going to do it. It’s pointless because we’re not going to be told anything, nor will we ever know what is really behind it all.

It’s a waste of my time and of your time and I’m not doing it. I give you credit for being smarter.

And I have the perfect sponsor for the NCAA Selection Process: the Sham Wow.

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~ by mglitos on February 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “I’ll Buy The Windex…”

  1. ESPN’s really stuck it to the CAA recently.

    First they shytcan Whelliston while keeping hacksters like Katz and Lunardi on staff.

    Then they lube up AG and VCU and PoorBill and Nor’easter for the Buster while Northern Iowa gets the best chance to improve on a 14 seed by playing Siena.

    I’m not going to try to make excuses or look for explanations, because no one’s going to tell the truth.

    The best thing the CAA can do is to have our top teams represent well on Buster Saturday and send a message.

  2. Hey, Michael. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. As an English teacher, I really appreciated this entry and this line in particular: “This is the point that is missed: we’re not stupid and we’re not gullible, at least not en masse. Not anymore.” Great tone. 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    Michelle Beach (aka Mrs. Defiantly Dutch)

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