During the press conference announcing that TCU will join the Big East, Athletic Director Chris Del Conte reluctantly sneaked in a few words about how the switch will impact the school’s 17 other athletic programs.
He said conferences are aligned on TV markets nowadays – not geography. That’s why Texas was under consideration for a spot in the Pac-10.
(When Texas declined, the Pac-10 took Utah from the Mountain West Conference. Combined with BYU’s departure, Del Conte implied that the conference wasn’t as strong as it once was.)
At the podium, Del Conte reminded attendees and viewers that the Big East offers a great recruiting point for students and non-football athletes, too. Academically, the school gains national exposure, particularly on the East Coast. Athletically, Texas basketball and other non-football recruits will come to think of TCU as a local avenue to compete with traditional sports powerhouses thousands of miles away.
Unless, of course you’re looking at Del Conte’s US map. He dubiously answered questions of lengthened travel costs by claiming that the new alignment will only add 100 miles of travel in many instances.
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