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Big East, ACC now brothers in (greedy) arms

It is a few days later now and still silence. No grandstanding. No moral outrage.

Ah, the sounds of hypocrisy.

A more cynical fellow might ask today the whereabouts of Richard Blumenthal who, given the same circumstances seven years ago, was shooting lawsuits from a confetti gun. Or the blatherers in the media and the message boards. Turns out the words of the prophets must be written on the subway walls and tenement halls. And certainly not the newspapers and websites, here in the sounds of silence.

Here in 2010, apparently, it is permissible for the Big East Conference to pillage the Mountain West's marquee football program, otherwise known as Texas Christian. It's athletic Darwinism. Survival.

Seven years ago, though, the Atlantic Coast Conference was a cavalcade of pirates - dirty, nasty, dishonest - when its expansion plans included Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

Blumenthal's lawsuit, a complete farce, accused the ACC, Miami and BC of "predatory conduct" and "conspiratorial actions."

Turns out that one quick dose of hypocrisy can turn one conference's "conspiratorial actions" into another's "survival."

Seriously. The Big East just did what it accused the ACC of doing. And nary a peep has been uttered.

My guess is that the Big East and its apologists will attempt to draw a distinction where there is no difference. They will point to "dishonesty" and "secrecy" as elements of the crime. Is that true? All in the eye of the beholder. The result, however, is the same: The Big East went after TCU for the same reasons the ACC went after BC, Miami and Virginia Tech.

Except that somehow, the Big East's whims are justified. All the exercises in competitive indignation have ceased in the name of, "Well, how else are we going to keep or BCS slot?"

If this doesn't underscore the absurdity of Blumenthal's lawsuit and all the misplaced righteousness from seven years ago, all that's left is a neon sign and a billboard in Times Square. The ACC did what it needed to do in 2003. Just as the Big East in 2010. Perhaps neither action would satisfy Miss Manners. But this is about survival, a place at the BCS table and a $14 million bowl game. Sayeth Gordon Gekko: Greed is good.

Maybe now The Big East and its minions can stop the woe-is-us act.

I could regurgitate the same arguments the Big East folks made seven years ago about "natural rivalries" and how the erstwhile Big East schools didn't have much in common with the ACC. I could also suggest that, you know, whenever Seton Hall and TCU play in women's soccer, you can just throw out the records. But why would I ever want to do that?

If I did that, I'd be saying the same things we heard around here seven years ago.

Except that … lost my head … it's justified this time around.

I can't stand it.

The Big East should be commended for getting TCU. There's not just an eighth football program, but a darn good one. It adds to the league's cachet. Maybe a TCU-West Virginia football game has no tradition. But if both teams are 7-1 in November, people will tune in to ABC on Saturday night to watch.

The Big East just added some legitimacy. That's huge. Until this year, Big East football had been every bit as good (or as bad) as the ACC, even after the ACC's expansion. But ACC football has something the Big East doesn't: Programs that resonate. Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson. There's history and tradition there, dormant as it might be in some places. That helped the ACC land a $1.86 billion television deal with ESPN last summer that more than doubled each school's TV revenues to roughly $13 million per year. Think BC, Miami and Virginia Tech miss the Big East?

I'm not sure the Big East has schools with similar appeal yet. But TCU is a start.

See? Greed isn't such a bad thing. Now the ACC and Big East have something in common.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.


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