VCU Is Going and Mason Has a Spin Problem
Just when we started to believe that the CAA might somehow survive this summer intact, news broke that VCU is on its way to the Atlantic 10 in 2013. That figures. We write a post about the CAA weathering the storm, and then the boat starts rocking almost immediately. In this latest report, CBS Sports’ Brett McMurphy states that the announcement that VCU is leaving will be made on Tuesday, May 15. We’ve been down this road before, only to have reported announcement dates come and pass without as much as a peep. For whatever reason people seem to be taking this latest report as truth. Maybe it’s because we haven’t had any half-hearted or rushed denials from the CAA or VCU since the report broke. And we still have yet to see how ODU’s flirtation with C-USA plays out. Never a dull moment in the CAA.
When the original VCU to the A10 rumors broke, it seemed like a no-brainer to us. However, the longer things dragged on without the Rams leaving, the more we thought they’d stay. With the addition of Butler and now VCU, the A10 could have dramatically improved as a hoops league. Of course any conference is just one move away from being raided. With the rumor machine working over-drive on potential ACC and Big East changes, several A10 programs could be in the crosshairs in the near future. The CAA is anything but stable lately though, so apparently VCU believes the risk exceeds the reward. Financially, it’s certainly no sure thing. As Mike Litos explained, the financial upside to VCU’s leap to the A10 depends almost entirely on the Rams’ getting NCAA tournament bids. And as countless others have pointed out already, VCU won’t have home court advantage in the A10 tourney like they’ve had for the CAA tourney.
That’s all well and good. However, the real tasty nugget in McMurphy’s report as far as we’re concerned, was this little bit about George Mason’s decision to stick with the CAA.
On Friday, George Mason, which along with VCU and Butler had discussions with the Atlantic 10, announced it was staying in the CAA. However, sources told CBSSports.com at the present time the Atlantic 10 was looking to add only one more school and VCU got the nod over Mason.
Well now. That’s certainly a different spin than the one that Mason put on the news last Friday. As fans of a JMU hoops program that can’t sniff CAA Saturday tourney play lately, let alone draw interest from other leagues, we’re in no position to mock Mason. If we were more petty however, we might point out that Mason’s “decision” to remain in the CAA was not a decision at all. When Mason AD Tom O’Connor said “We felt it was in our best interests to stay,” he really meant it. Because they had no offers to go anywhere else. It would be a little bit like the producers of the forthcoming cinematic travesty Battleship, announcing that they had “decided” to remove the picture from Oscar consideration. Or if I announced that I’d “decided” not to sleep with Kate Upton. Or if Nickleback “decided” not to headline Coachella. Of course since we’re not that petty, we won’t point that out. But maybe you will.