Catholic vs Public: An Overblown Issue

Every year, whether its the football or basketball this issue arises and it drives me crazy every time.

For whatever reason this debate always centers on Catholic or Private schools recruiting players to win championships and Public schools are at a huge disadvantage. To be honest, this works both ways. Public schools have continuity via its feeder systems while most Catholic schools really learn to play as a team their Freshman year of High School. And to be even more serious, there are Public school out there that recruits as well.

As a 30 year old man with zero kids at the moment, say I have a kid that is an absolute stud, what would be so wrong about my motivation to send my kid to a school where he has the greatest shot of gaining an athletic scholarship to play football/basketball in college. And at the same time, acquire a first class education that will ensure he’ll qualify for college as well.

I’ve been seeing absurd idea’s thrown around like placing Catholic/Private schools one class ahead of where they should be. How is this fair to a school like Geibel-who can hardly compete at the Class A level. Placing them in a conference with Jeannette, Washington, and GCC would be absolutely crazy. Same with placing Serra Catholic in a league with Keystone Oaks, South Fayette, and Steel Valley, when they can’t compete with Fort Cherry, and Char Houston let alone Clairton and Brentwood.

Now I completely understand Serra is 4 years removed from a WPIAL Title in Football but remember they wasn’t some powerhouse before that WPIAL Title run. So did they somehow learn how to “cheat”-as some put it, and suddenly forgot how to or did they have a great coach that put things together for them? And judging Coach Bowen’s track record at different schools, I’m going with the latter.

People that think Catholic schools have some big time advantage needs to get over themselves. Look at the Previous WPIAL & PIAA Champions and their dominated by Public Schools. When was the last time Bishop Canevin or North Catholic win a WPIAL Title at any level? I’ll answer that for you, Canevin’s last title was in 2A in 1990. Reason why I mentioned those 2 are because they seem to jump between Class A and 2A the most and most people say Class A schools are the schools that have the largest disadvantage. Other than Serra Catholic, Quigley Catholic is the only Private with a Class A title and this was the late 70’s. (PS: Its duly noted that Seton LaSelle and Greensburg Central both own championships the past 10 years in 2A.)

So why do people get so up and arms about this issue?

Switching gears to another heated debate, I must say what happened at Cal U this past weekend with Woodland Hills vs Peters Township is disturbing. Personally I don’t know what was said on the court, but that doesn’t mean a kid should go across the court and suckerpunch another kid. I have to applaud Monessen for the way they handled their situation at Brentwood HS.

I personally believe that Shakim Alonzo should be punished by the school and not by the police. 10 days from school, and detention the rest of the school year is enough punishment as far as I’m concerned.

It was a rather sad and unfortunate incident where nobody is a winner. I truly hope we don’t see anymore situations like this in the future.


Realignment Shakeup: A New Conference Emerges and Its Ramifications

Its been crazy to see the twists and turns of realignment. Geography has appeared to been thrown out the window, and we’ve even seen scheduling agreements like the Pac 12 and Big 10’s come into being. And on top of this, we’ve seen 2 conferences go past the 12 teams standard for a Conference Championship Game.

All of this leads us to the most current move, the MWC-CUSA merger.

The 2 leagues, after losing teams to the Pac 12, Big East, and Independence, decides it was better to merger rather than back fill with MAC, Sun Belt, or WAC schools.

This does make total sense because the Presidents, Chancellors, and Athletic Directors, of each school in the MWC and CUSA felt this is the best route to keep up with the other 6 conferences in creating a league that spans from North Carolina to Hawaii.

Where things get interesting is that this new conference plans to have anywhere between 18 and 24 schools, and plans to have a possibly have a pod divisional format and a 4 team playoff as a result of the pods.

For this playoff to happen the conference will more than likely attempt to acquire a waiver from the NCAA to have a 14 week season.(I have seen difference ways to achieve a playoff but I think this is the easiest way)

Now in this world of making the most money, you can take this to the bank, conferences like the SEC, and ACC will be watching this new leagues pod format and possible playoff format very closely.

Just think about a 4 team playoff in the SEC real quick… Imagine how big of a deal it would be to see LSU vs South Carolina and Alabama vs Georgia and the winners would then meet in Atlanta for the SEC Title Game this past season.

And for this scenario to happen the money must be right. But then again adding teams to get to 16 adds inventory for the Networks and the 4 team playoff will add 2 more games that will generate very high ratings.

Also not saying the green flag on this race to 16 will drop tomorrow either. I think we could see the path get paved in that direction during the next round of Bowl Realignment and TV Deals.

I wish this new conference the best of luck, but don’t be surprised if you’re opening a whole new can of worms that will bite you in the real 5, 10, or 15 years from now when the next round of shakeups happen.

In other news, WVU will indeed joined the Big XII on July 1st of this year, and the Big East is willing to negotiate with Pitt and Syracuse on an earlier exit date for both schools. Its looking like 1 of these 2 scenarios will take place for the Big East this upcoming fall; either Boise State or another school will enter the Big East early, or we could see home and homes throughout the Big East with 1 school scrambling to find another OOC game. Will be interesting to see this go down in the coming days/weeks.

WVU Heads to Big XII, Leaves Pitt’s Schedule in Shambles

There’s a lot to be upset about right now if you’re Steve Pederson.

Last Summer the BE Football schools was told to get rid of an OOC Game-in Pitt’s case, a home game against Central Florida- to make room for Texas Christian University. Texas Christian eventually moved to the Big XII and allowed to leave for the 2012 season also.

And now this; WVU is paying 11M while the Big XII is paying 9M so that WVU enter the Big XII on July 1, 2012.

West Virginia leaving costs Pitt yet another home game, and even more lost revenue via TV and the gate.

Right now there are some games out there that are available but there are zero guarantees that they will be home games. Plus replacing TCU and/or WVU with a Maine, and/or Duquesne is, as we said in the Navy, UNSAT.

So now what Big East, you just cost Pitt & the other Big East schools Millions by just letting TCU and WVU leave early. The only school out of the Big East prospects that makes up for the loss is Boise State. Use that 20M to bring them in early, even leave a phat tip for the MWC & WAC if you want.

I’ve heard the rumors and seen some quotes that Pitt & Syrause may just end up in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which actually cures some of our scheduling woes. Personally I almost think its too late in the game to file suit ourselves for damages.

I guess we’ll see in the coming days/weeks if the precedent is set by the 20M settlement/buyout by WVU and Pitt ultimately pays 20M to leave. But at the same time Pederson hinted that Pitt won’t pay more than 5M to leave.

Right now, I’m going to pop my popcorn and watch this drama unfold.

EDIT: there is a lot of smoke that Boise State may replace WVU on the Big East Schedule. If this is fact or not that remains to be seen.