Cue the New York skyline. Look on the side of one skyscraper. There's Patrick Ewing. On another, there's John Thompson. Look, there's Lou Carnesecca. Remember Louie?
Hey, isn't that Doug McDermott?
Creighton has a new promotional video for its move to the Big East. It was previewed recently at the Jaybacker basketball booster golf outing.
The message was unmistakable. Billy Bluejay is moving uptown. To Gotham City. To the land that Dave Gavitt, Jim Boeheim and Rollie Massimino made famous, once upon a winter.
Well, not exactly.
This is 2013, not 1985. The Big East no longer dominates the conversation. Some of the originals have left. Madison Square Garden is still around. But so are Butler, Xavier and, of course, CU.
The Big East is reshaping its image, reloading for the future. It doesn't have a leader. It doesn't have a rule book. It doesn't really know what it's going to be yet.
And with the new, improved ACC now trumpeting itself as the giant in college hoops, it may be a long time before the Big East returns to that mantle.
A.D. Bruce Rasmussen and an entourage of Creighton athletic officials just returned from the Big East meetings in Florida. Their heads are spinning. It's exciting. It's confusing. They are trying to find a team hotel in New York for less than $400 a room. Good luck with that.
This is the honeymoon part, the fun part. So it's hard to know if a shoe is going to drop at some point.
Could the new Big East turn into the old Big 12?
Well, former Big 12 Commish Dan Beebe is helping the Big East presidents sort things out. But he's only temporary. Still, there are things that look vaguely familiar.
There are reports by East Coast media outlets that Georgetown is running the show. That the presidents haven't found a commissioner yet because they want one they can push around. They don't want a Gavitt or Mike Tranghese, larger than life leadership.
Could this league turn into a situation where a few old guard Big East schools run the show and everyone else does as told?
Don't count on it. The Big East looks like an entirely different animal than the one that chased away Nebraska.
There may not be Big East guidelines or a front office yet. But the culture is set. And it's unanimous.
Academic rules? They're all in favor. Tourney at the Garden? Yes. You'd be crazy to go anywhere else. In fact, if you're Butler, Xavier or CU, you can't wait.
And look at this: They've already thrown the new guy a bone. The first Big East volleyball tourney will be in Omaha, though Rasmussen said the venue hasn't been decided.
As for Georgetown making like Texas, Rasmussen said, “At this point, I don't think that's entering into it. It could happen. But I didn't see it at the meetings.”
It will be interesting to see how revenues are split, when that is decided. But with 10 schools, all with the same goals and agenda, it's hard to see too many conflicts.
And if the Bluejays get a smaller slice, if they go from the top of the class in the Missouri Valley to the back of the room in the Big East, what's the big deal?
Rasmussen has seen it before.
“When I first became athletic director at Creighton (1994), we were seen as the weak sister in the Valley,” Rasmussen said. “We were just coming off the Rick Johnson era. We were not fully funding scholarships across the board. We were just starting volleyball. We had soccer, but the Valley didn't care about soccer.
“I think you earn that place. It's not something that's given to you. We'll have to earn it in the Big East like we did in the Valley.”
Rasmussen said CU is going from the top three in the Valley in staff, operating budget and scholarships to the bottom three in the Big East. He said the school will have to “raise our commitment” more than ever.
Let the recruitment begin. For players. For dollars. Rasmussen said basketball season tickets were raised only 2 percent, when people would have paid most anything to attend games next season. They do that out of loyalty.
“And because of that loyalty, they give us money in other ways,” Rasmussen said.
The cost of doing Creighton basketball is going up. But look at the payoff. Rasmussen said Fox Sports is talking all sorts of exposure, from Midnight Madness shows to an opening day marathon to Big Monday and national TV games on every night, including Friday.
It will be a new Big East, with Gus Johnson's voice pumping life into the games. It may be run by the presidents. It may be influenced by Georgetown lawyers. Nobody knows where it's going or how it will get there.
What Creighton knows is that the excellent adventure is about to begin, and this might be the longest honeymoon in history.
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