And where there is money, there are other issues.
"One last item that I have found troubling within the entire realignment situation is the lack of transparency and honesty from university administrators and conference commissioners," DeSchriver said. "To see schools such as West Virginia and Pittsburgh pledge their allegiance to the Big East and then leave the conference within days is very troubling. A lot of these people have been far from honest in their statements on realignment and I find this quite troubling. These people are still part of a higher education system, which is supposed to teach moral and ethical behavior to its students. It seems as if some of these people are not practicing what their institutions preach to their students."
The First Exodus
It was a messy raid by the ACC. On April 16, 2003, Tranghese was not happy, saying that the ACC had approached Miami, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College as the league sought to expand to 12 teams. Tranghese said the ACC was trying to intimidate Big East teams, telling them their league was falling apart, and to come to safer ground.
"I am totally comfortable with the way our league conducts its business," said ACC commissioner John Swofford at the time. "And I feel like the relationship between the schools in the ACC and the Big East is good, which is why I find the comments from the Big East office on this issue unfortunate."
On June 24, 2003, the ACC by a 7-2 vote extended invitations to Miami and Virginia Tech. BC and Syracuse got shut out. Lawsuits were filed in Connecticut.
ACC Comes Calling Again
Before the BC-UConn football game Sept. 13, 2003, Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo was asked about hard feelings left over from the courtship of the Eagles that did not yield an ACC invitation. He said it was time to move on.
"Enough has been said, enough has been written," DeFilippo told The Courant. "It's past history. We are very, very happy and proud members of the Big East, and we're looking forward to helping to be a part of making this conference the very, very best it can be.''
On Oct. 12, 2003, one month later, BC officials needed less than four hours to accept an invitation to join the ACC, the first charter member to defect from the Big East.
Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel said he was "personally offended by the actions of the ACC" and "disappointed" in Boston College..
On Oct. 14, another lawsuit was filed by four Big East football schools (UConn, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Rutgers) alleging that Boston College and DeFilippo engaged in a "secret scheme'' with Miami and the ACC, "undertaken with the full knowledge and intent of severely weakening, if not destroying," the Big East.
Then-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed the lawsuit in Superior Court in Rockville. BC, DeFilippo, Swofford and three ACC officers were added to the list of defendants, which already included Miami.
The suit, in hindsight, caused a major rift between BC and UConn. The suit ultimately was settled out of court with Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers and UConn each getting $1 million.
ACC, A Third Time
The defection of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC officially came on Sept. 18, 2011. The coast-to-coast realignment of conferences was moving at a dizzying rate, basically a freight train out of control.
"We're very comfortable with this 14," Swofford said at the time. "The only thing I would add to that is we are not philosophically opposed to 16. But for now we're very pleased with this 14. We think it's an excellent group."
Said Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor: "For Syracuse, this opportunity provides long-term conference stability in what is an uncertain, evolving, and rapidly shifting national landscape."
A landscape that once again had mowed down UConn and the Big East.
"Once Pitt and Syracuse left, I knew it was all over," Tranghese said.