Villanova decision coming on BCS aspirations

Villanova University is expected to make an announcement Tuesday on whether the school will upgrade the football program from Div. 1-AA to Division 1, join the Big East football schools, and to compete for BCS honors.

The Sporting News cites a source indicating that the Board of Trustees will approve the move but there are some significant concerns still on the table.

VU officials, though, would need to expand a significant fundraising endeavor to make the move work. School leaders have been quoted as saying they will need at least $30 million to upgrade facilities, especially its stadium that is not currently ready for major college football.

“From an administrative perspective, the major concern is financial, especially given the economic climate we’re in,” Villanova booster club president Art Condodina told phillynews.com. “If you make that big of an investment, are you going to be able to fulfill the back end of it?”

The good news for University of Louisville football fans is that approval, with the inclusion of TCU in 2012, would clearly shift the balance of power in the league to 10 football schools to seven non-football schools. The estimated timetable is 2015 for Villanova to make the switch.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

6 thoughts on “Villanova decision coming on BCS aspirations

  • April 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm
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    Hope Villanova makes the move!

  • April 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm
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    Not me! I hope we add Houston, ECU and Memphis.

  • April 10, 2011 at 11:06 am
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    Bring in the ECU Pirates.

  • April 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm
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    If Villanova can’t at least build or rent out a stadium as small as UC’s (35K), then they have no business moving up to FBS, let alone BCS football. Playing home games in an 18,500 seat MLS stadium would be embarrassing for every league save possibly the WAC, MAC, and Sunbelt. The Big East is a BCS conference and supposedly one of the six major conferences in football. There is absolutely nothing big-time, major, or even mid-major about playing games in a soccer stadium that seats less than 118 of 120 stadiums in FBS. Consider the fact that both WKU and EKU have bigger stadiums than Nova will have. Even under the best possible circumstances, Villanova would be the lowest BCS team in terms of attendance in the entire NCAA (lower than Duke and even Wake).

    If Nova is invested in football and actually desires to have a BCS level team (not just for the sake of protecting basketball), then they should be required to prove themselves to the football side of the conference. Build a state of the art football facility or rent one of adequate size (35K minimum) and construct a football training facility. If they succeed in that goal, they should be accepted as a probationary member for a period of 6 years and be required to average 25K per season (Temple failed to do this). We’ve already had one Philadelphia football embarrassment, the league doesn’t need to be saddled with another (especially one that can’t be removed once it is accepted).

    I think the delaying has proven that the resources and desire to build a true BCS level FBS program simply don’t exist at Nova. They don’t have the fanbase, facilities, or commitment needed to support a top flight program and the move stinks of ulterior motives (“We need to protect basketball”) rather than a commitment to actually be a BCS quality program. Hopefully, the football school presidents will come to their senses and tell Nova that PPL Park is simply not an adequate solution and that without proper facilities, the vote will be for no admission

    • April 11, 2011 at 8:57 am
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      Dead on assessment on why Villanova should not be added. Could not have been said better. Their addition to football will only weaken the Big East. Have no idea why the Big East is even considering this.

  • April 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm
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    I agree, UofL07, that the notion of protecting basketball doesn’t make much sense. Protecting it from what? Football? Basketball should be fine whatever they decide about football. If they don’t announce some grandiose plans Tuesday, Villanova will have created even more friction, not only between the football and non-football schools but possibly between the football schools as well.

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