With fading hopes of keeping his conference intact, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese sounded more and more like Howard Beale. A Miami move from the Big East to the ACC would amount to "the most disastrous blow to intercollegiate athletics in my lifetime," Mr. Tranghese said.
As the ACC tried to pry away perennial football powerhouse Miami, basketball champion Syracuse, and Boston College from the Big East, Mr. Tranghese took aim even at University of Miami president Donna Shalala. "At the end of the day, President Shalala is going to have to look at the financial obligations, have to look at integrity issues," Mr. Tranghese said. "And then she's going to have to factor in the irreparable harm that's going to be caused to members of my league."
Mr. Tranghese said he believes financially, Miami could do as well in the Big East as it could in the ACC. Miami officials said the school would investigate all angles before making a decision. "This is a crisis-make no mistake about it," Mr. Tranghese said. "We don't hide from that fact. At the end of the day, the University of Miami is going to make a decision, and that decision is going to drive the wagon."