Yep, that's the news out of Boston today, with a Globe report that the ACC's last move was motivated by basketball above all else, and the only reason UConn didn't get the call was because of Boston College. I'll quote liberally here because I don't want to give myself a brain aneurysm.
Enough was enough, and a master plan was devised to bring ACC basketball back to the top. The only real target was the Big East, for geographical and competitive reasons.
The first target was Syracuse, which had been on the original ACC expansion list eight years ago. The Orangemen, like BC, were disappointed when they didn't make the final cut, passed over for Virginia Tech and Miami.
Under coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse was clearly one of the elite basketball teams in the country and would boost the ACC's stature in that sport.
The second target was Connecticut, which was part of the Northeast footprint the ACC wanted, and was coming off the daily double of a BCS bid in football and a championship in men's basketball (the third for Jim Calhoun).
In addition, the women's basketball program under Geno Auriemma had established itself as the most dominant in the sport over the past 15 years.
With growing instability in the Big East, both schools were bound to accept any offers.
While Syracuse presented no problem, UConn did - to BC, which was still fuming over what it perceived to be vitriolic comments made when BC was finally invited to join the ACC and started competing in 2005. UConn and Pittsburgh filed a lawsuit against BC, and Calhoun made comments about never playing BC again.
DeFilippo does not deny that BC opposed the inclusion of UConn.
"We didn't want them in,'' he said. "It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team.''
You know why it was a matter of turf? Because BC is terrible. They are a rotting, fetid corpse of a by-gone era, where the northeast mattered in football and it didn't matter if your alumni didn't go to games and your city ignored you. They're an anachronism. They're Villanova with less football success and a bigger stadium. They won't play us because we're better than them and the don't want anyone to know that we've surpassed them. Again, the Globe:
Although BC and UConn are the only FBS schools in New England, BC officials were reluctant to give UConn any more credence. Membership in the ACC would do that.
UConn had already reached milestones that BC had not - including national championships in men's and women's basketball and a BCS bid in football. And there was the lawsuit.
Duke and North Carolina, who have thrived as rivals and neighbors, didn't quite understand the passion behind BC's argument, but Pittsburgh seemed like a reasonable alternative. Under Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh had established itself as a national power in men's basketball, so the Tobacco Road contingent didn't argue. Calls were made and invitations were accepted.
You know what BC is good at? Hockey. You know why? I don't, but I'm willing to bet it has something to do with the fact that UConn doesn't allow scholarships for it. Let's just take a sample of the fall sports (no need to back in time and peek at UConn's 23-0 record against BC from 1988-2000). Hi there Men's Soccer, I see you beat Boston College 2-0 this year. How you doing Women's Soccer? Did you enjoy your 2-1 victory over BC? I bet you liked it at least as much as Field Hockey enjoyed blanking the Eagles 4-0. Hell, I'll even throw in cross country, where UConn won first place at the New England Championships. I'd mention Volleyball, but we didn't play BC in that, and our only common opponent was Virginia, who we both beat 3-1, so congrats BC, I guess you tied us there. The only thing UConn hasn't beat BC in is a lawsuit, and that's because they paid to make it go away.
Oh, hell, let's go with one more quote:
It also demonstrated the growing influence of Boston College, if not as an athletic power, then as a strong character in a passion play of intrigue, negotiations, and power moves - one of which was to successfully block Connecticut's potential membership in the ACC.
Key phrase: "if not as an athletic power." By virtue of the fact that they were traitors before it was cool, BC can block UConn from moving to the Big East, but they're not going to be able to do it forever. People in the ACC want UConn, and if another round of conference expansion comes, there won't be a lot of options other than us. I get why BC is blocking us. No one wants to be the Washington St. of the east coast, but that's where BC is headed if UConn gets into the ACC. That invitation may never come, but if it does the Eagles are in trouble, because there are clearly times when your ability to stab someone in the back on a conference call really matters, but a football or basketball game isn't one of them.