Conference expansion is coming, whether Villanova is ready or not.
Father Peter Donahue, the university president, recently shared a list of considerations with a Philadelphia blogger about many issues involved in considering whether to join the Big East as a ninth football member.
Quite complex, moving up from Football Championship Subdivision to Football Bowl Subdivision status. Getting an academic community to agree on anything is a major challenge. Convincing alumni and other benefactors to fork over additional millions even more so.
Impacted by a decision to move up:
- Present strategic plan
- Academic programming and the ratio of athletic spending to academic spending
- Positive or negative effect on national exposure
- Effect on the basketball program
- The need to upgrade playing and practice facilities
- Financial issues:
- Endowment in comparison to many who participate in the FBS
- The increased cost of salaries and personnel
- The necessary upgrade of womenâ€™s sports due to Title IX requirements
- Potential expenditures and revenues
The process of developing a strategic plan requires months. Attempting to insert a major football program in that plan is like starting all over, likely requiring the sacrifice of other long-standing and cherished university Â goals and aspirations for a long while.
Then there’s the Philadelphia community with all of its competing interests in sports, academia, philanthropic resources, as well as political considerations.
Arriving at a consensus on a football upgrade by spring will be nothing short of miraculous.