October 12th, 2011 01:30 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Tags: ACC, Big East, Boston Globe, ESPN
Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo set off a firestorm when he stated earlier this week that television — and in particular ESPN — had told the ACC what to do in terms of conference expansion. The ACC nabbed Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East, or course, which is also currently an ESPN partner (though that league had recently elected to take its contract out for bid).
DeFilippo is now backtracking. No surprise there. The following statement from the AD appeared in today’s Boston Globe:
“I would like to apologize for any negative effects caused by my recent interview with a Boston Globe reporter.
I spoke inappropriately and erroneously regarding ESPN’s role in conference expansion.”
He also apologized for some comments he made about former Big East rival Connecticut, a school BC fought to keep out of the ACC in this wave of expansion.
Here’s the thing: DeFilippo might have really misspoke. He could’ve been trying to say that television networks like ESPN are leading the way on expansion with their money. Instead, it came out as though ESPN had literally told the ACC’s commissioner and presidents to go forth and attack the Big East.
Yeah, it’s possible he just bungled his message. But no one’s going to believe that.
DeFilippo let the cat — real or imagined — out of the proverbial bag with his initial statement. And that statement could come back to haunt ESPN or the ACC should anyone in the Big East decide to file a lawsuit against one, the other, or both.
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