LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Move to Big East football imperative


The recent round of conference shakeups has made one thing clear: Football dictates the college sports landscape. Conferences will make decisions based upon their football brand. Therefore, the status quo of playing FCS Football puts Villanova at risk of being left out of the Big East altogether, thereby de-emphasizing our national brand. The negative effects of this decision extend far beyond the playing field.

In 1979, Holy Cross rejected an invitation to join the Big East. At that time, Holy Cross’ academic and athletic programs were held in higher regard than that of Boston College and Villanova. Since declining the invitation, Holy Cross’ athletic programs have suffered, along with its national reputation.

BC and Villanova emphasized athletics and chose to join the Big East. Due in large part to the attention derived from their athletic programs, these schools have been able to draw from more diverse and competitive applicant pools. Both schools now have vibrant campuses and increasingly invested Alumni. Twenty-five years ago, many thought Villanova and BC would never catch up to Holy Cross. Along with sound academic strategy, all it took were a few Bowl Games and Final Fours.

Major college football adds an intangible factor that cannot be measured in dollars. Over time, this investment will pay for itself by bringing alumni back and improving academic competitiveness as a result of national recognition. In contrast, a decision to place our athletic programs at risk would be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Villanova has a duty to uphold the degrees of its past, present and future. The status quo is risky at best; the opportunity to join the Big East is risky at worst. Villanova has grown due in part to big-time athletics. Now is not the time to remove that from its strategic vision. The University must make the move to the Big East.

                        -Christopher Bellotti ’09, Robert Dormish ’09, Alessandro Roco ’09, Walter Smith-Randolph ’09