Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n Next stop, Nashville?
That’s what I’m hearing.
Conference USA’s contract with The Star in Frisco will conclude with the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
That means C-USA officials have to renegotiate a new contract with The Star in Frisco — based near Dallas, Texas – or find a new site for the league’s basketball tournaments.
After four years of playing basketball in an NFL practice facility with games resembling AAU tournaments, sparse attendance, little media coverage and expensive travel costs, the solution seems simple.
Since The Star in Frisco has become a bit tarnished, it’s time for C-USA to find another locale for its basketball tournaments.
The best potential sites appear to be Nashville and Charlotte.
Don’t be surprised if Nashville gets the nod with the C-USA tournaments being played in the Curb Event Center. That would be a welcome relief from Frisco. Many more fans could afford to attend the tournaments and it would attract noticeably more media coverage.
Nashville would be a very good choice.
n Who is that masked man?
Well, I know who it isn’t.
It’s not Mike D’Antoni.
The former Marshall University basketball great and current head coach of the NBA Houston Rockets recently told ESPN he would refuse to wear a protective COVID-19 mask during the upcoming NBA playoffs unless all the NBA coaches had to wear them.
D’Antoni, who is 69, objected to only the older coaches – such as Alvin Gentry, Gregg Popovich and himself – being singled out.
“I am sure they want to keep everyone safe,” D’Antoni was quoted by ESPN, “but to start singling people out with more risk, I would hope they wouldn’t want to get into that.”
Good stance, Mike.
n Want to hear about the newest sport Conference USA reportedly is going to offer?
It’s women’s beach volleyball.
I’m not joking.
While many FBS Group of Five leagues are eliminating sports due to the financial crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic, C-USA is adding one.
The reason is fairly obvious. It’s all about Title IX legislation, which balances the number of scholarships male and female athletes receive. Due to the large number of male athletes involved in football, leagues always are trying to balance the scholarships with women’s sports.
This is another example.
Yet, it’s still rather surprising and a little amusing.
This news was first reported by David Hall of The Virginian-Pilot, which led to some research by you know who.
The first problem that jumps to mind is only four of C-USA’s 14 members offer women’s beach volleyball. The list includes Florida Atlantic, FIU, Southern Miss and UAB.
Can anybody imagine Marshall with a women’s beach volleyball team? Or Western Kentucky? How about Middle Tennessee, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA or UTEP?
It certainly doesn’t seem likely.
Except for one surprising fact. Guess who does have women’s beach volleyball? None other than nearby Morehead State along with Eastern Kentucky.
Morehead State has 18 players on its roster and EKU’s schedule included matches against UT-Chattanooga, Tennessee-Martin and Austin Peay.
Well, what do you know?
Just got sand kicked in my face.
Other recommendations, according to The Virginian-Pilot, include visiting bands not traveling to league road games, if approved by C-USA presidents.
Also, league women’s basketball games must start no earlier than noon or later than 2 p.m. on Saturdays, if the visiting team can leave that evening. Along the same lines, weekend men’s and women’s soccer games will not start after 2 p.m. And roster sizes for cross country, indoor and outdoor track and swimming and diving will be reduced.
I’m still trying to get the beach volleyball sand out of my shoes.