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VCU to the A10 in 2013, was apparently chosen over George Mason

George Mason Basketball: VCU to the A10 in 2013, was apparently chosen over George Mason

Monday, May 14, 2012

VCU to the A10 in 2013, was apparently chosen over George Mason

Well if you are still sulking over George Mason's decision to stay in the CAA you're day just got worse. VCU is going to the Atlantic 10 in 2013 and CBS is suggesting that they were chosen over George Mason:
"On Friday, George Mason, which along with VCU and Butler had discussions with the Atlantic 10, announced it was staying in the CAA. However, sources told at the present time the Atlantic 10 was looking to add only one more school and VCU got the nod over Mason."
If true, it's a total dagger for George Mason basketball. George Mason is in a better TV market and has had similar post season success when compared to VCU. No question VCU is the hotter team right now but what about the long run? So did Mason pass up the A10 or were they just not picked like the fat kid in gym class? 

With VCU leaving, the CAA could be in serious trouble. What's keeping ODU around now?


Anonymous Ed Aymar said...

I couldn't disagree more, although it is a slap to the face that VCU was chosen over MASON. Look, we weren't going to beat VCU with Shaka Smart in Richmond for the CAA championship. We couldn't do it with Larranaga, and we're not going to do it with Hewitt. Shaka's too good, and he was going to be much more than a thorn in our side. And he shows no interest in leaving.

But now the conference is ours. No one has home court advantage in Richmond, and we can dominate the CAA and make multiple NCAA appearances.

I would have loved to go to the A10 for a lot of reasons, but one of the big reasons was to avoid dumpy Richmond (I wouldn't worry about playing VCU or Shaka on a neutral site). The conference just got weaker, no question, but we became stronger.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Ken Frager said...

I don't see why VCU leaving is such a crushing blow for Mason. They are easily replaceable, if they leave. If you look at the teams who have left the CAA since it originally formed, show me where they have had better success in other leagues...ever! The originals, in case you have forgotten, were Mason, ODU, ECU, JMU, UNC-W, Navy, Richmond and American University. More success out of the CAA? I think not.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Olivia Valentine said...

So? This means that since we have such a kick ass team, we can make more appearances and get more notice. :) Congrats to VCU question that they're an amazing team with a great coach. 

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Brian Oh said...

Is making the tourney as a 15 seed help us or hurt us. There are plenty of low-major teams that make the tourney year in and year out with the auto-bid but that doesnt bring in the recruits. Lets see here, a recruit wants to stay in the area and can choose from VCU, ODU, GMU, GW, Tech, Maryland, etc. Why come to mason when you can play in higher level of competition and more coverage? We are screwed in the short term.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

The A10 choosing VCU over Mason seems the most plausible to me. They probably never wanted three, they only wanted two and now have that with VCU and Butler.

As for Mason, I don't think this is terrible at all. We have no excuse to not run shop in this conference. Having a back and forth with Andy Glockner of SI on Twitter and he raised a good point. Mason could follow the Memphis/Gonzaga model of dominating a conference, and making up for the weak conference by upping the challenges of our non-conference schedule.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Rick Jank said...

If it came down to the A-10's choice as to which team would join them, it’s surely no surprise that they let a team that stepped up and paid its coach, improved its facilities and stoked its rabid fan base over a team that let its coach leave, didn’t do squat to improve its facilities, and seems indifferent to a commuter fan base that needs all the help it can get.Here’s my conspiracy theory: Mertens told Coach L in advance that he was leaving, that the new president is not athletics friendly, and that there will be continued deterioration of the athletic program. Coach L did the wise thing and left, and Mason brought in a coach who would do well enough in recruiting to keep the team competitive, or to keep the team looking competitive, while the rest of the program degrades. And now there is room to degrade it down, seeing as the other big fish will leave the pond for better conferences, and Mason can allow the program to sink down to the level of Hofstra and Drexel and remain "competitive."The only good thing is we can finally bid adieu to the VCU Invitational.

Here’s my conspiracy theory: Mertens told Coach L in advance that he was leaving, that the new president is not athletics friendly, and that there will be continued deterioration of the athletic program. Coach L did the wise thing and left, and Mason brought in a coach who would do well enough in recruiting to keep the team competitive, or to keep the team looking competitive, while the rest of the program degrades. And now there is room to degrade it down, seeing as the other big fish will leave the pond for better conferences, and Mason can allow the program to sink down to the level of Hofstra and Drexel and remain "competitive."

The only good thing is we can finally bid adieu to the VCU Invitational.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous ProfBball said...

I'm not convinced that the new prez is anti-athletics.  True he has no experience, but no one knew who would be prez when Coach L. left. Look, no CAA team can compete with an ACC team and a coach who wants to move to Florida. It's bad luck on our part.  

I do think that the school is being financially conservative and in this economic climate, not committing too many resources to athletics is probably a good idea.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous suorangeman said...

Where are folks getting that "the new president is not athletics friendly"?  I fully understand that he's coming from a school that did not have an athletics program.  However, I understand that Dr. C is pragmatic and will ask the *correct* questions regarding athletics.  My take is that this stuff is new to him, but I have no sense that he is anti-sports.  Besides, I'd rather him focus on Mason as a whole for now instead of insisting that he answer every athletic program question i. mmediately.  Let the man set up his administration before we start labelling him before he even starts.

If anything, TOC and staff must present their facts, thoughts, and ideas to Dr. C rather that Dr. C having to come up with his own agenda as it pertains to athletics.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous username0101 said...

Look, this is bad news.  There's just no way to find positives here.  If this is true, and there aren't any immediate plans for Mason other than tout "we were a founding member of the awesome CAA", this is a complete disaster.  Mason lost the musical chairs game.  badly. 

For those of you that grew up in the Nova area, you already know the reputation Mason has.  It's just simply not a top choice for highschool kids.  UVa has better academics.  VT has football.  JMU has better parties.  Don't even get me started with Maryland (ACC sports) and Gtown.  

When Mason went to the Final 4, it FINALLY gave me something to be proud of.  Perhaps Mason can finally rid itself of the "commuter school" image and build some momentum here.  Ask any GMU alum to describe the first time they felt a true sense of school spirit and connectivity to their school.  It was the final 4.  

Then you see Coach L leave, you see obvious favor of academic/infrastructure improvement rather than spend the cash beefing up basketball ops.  It's absolutely maddening to see Mason officials fuck this up. I'm not saying focusing on academics is a bad idea.  Hell, make my degree more valuable.  Go for it.  But it's clear where their priorities are, and often makes me question whether the administration is actually in touch with the study body at ALL.

For those of you that think Mason can emulate the "Memphis model", you're high.  You don't understand the mechanics of college basketball.  For those of you that don't see why this is a huge deal, you're insane.  VCU, as much as I hate them, was a great rival. VCU is "easily replaceable"? lol.  Give me 1 school that pays their final-4 coach 1.4mm/year and sells out 8k seat arenas every night that's even remotely willing to join the CAA?  

ODU (who's gone), was a great rival.  Think the Patriot Center is going to sell out when your best ticket is GMU vs Drexel on NBC Sports Network?  It's called building excitement.  It's spending the money to create an electric atmosphere that will draw better recruits and better students.  It's strengthening your program and national image. Do you think anyone in the world cares about, say, Western Kentucky vs University of Louisiana at Monroe?  Ever?  No, they don't.  I don't care who dominates the SunBelt every year because the SunBelt is terrible.  The CAA just joined that bunch.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Mark Schumaker said...

While this is disappointing, I agree with C.Hirsch that we should take this opportunity to play a better out of conference schedule. 

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Simply saying someone is high for thinking Mason can emulate the Memphis model is a terrible argument.

Also, decrying the CAA as doomed before ODU has even officially left, or seeing what teams replace VCU and ODU if they leave is stupid.

VCU wasn't a big deal as recently as ten years ago. You have no idea what teams will step up and improve their profile. ODU, honestly is only a big deal to people in this area, they have no national cachet.

The CAA has a new television deal that could be enticing to schools to join the conference. This idea that ODU and VCU are irreplaceable juggernauts is absurd.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Bentley said...

You don't get it. With VCU and ODU departing, the CAA now falls to the bottom tier mid-major.  Big South level.  So now if Mason does win the CAA title, fine, but with an incredibly weak conference, the schedule quality suffers, the RPI sinks.  Now the CAA winner is a 15 or 16 seed, just like it was in the 80s/90s.  This is a HUGE step backwards for the CAA and Mason.

The only good news is the BCS schools may be willing to schedule CAA teams again as Christmas time tune ups.  So maybe UNC will have us back again for a waxing in a year or two.

BTW, kiss Hewitt goodbye.  Assuming he has a decent year, think he is staying long term in a bottom feeding conference?  (the answer is no in case you are thinking about it).  He came to Mason to boost his profile; not have it damaged be being a bottom tier conference.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Also, hate to break it to you, but no one outside of this area really ever cared about Mason vs. VCU or Mason vs. ODU. Mason vs. VCU only got attention this season because of Wright's shot. We weren't going to be on ESPN anymore anyways, even if VCU and ODU were to stay in the conference.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Bentley said...

and how exactly do you schedule a better out of conference
schedule?  You couldn't pull it when the CAA was a top tier mid, they
won't pull it now other than to be tune ups to BCS schools.  We can all
try and spin this in great ways, but the reality is the CAA is now on par with
the Big South.  So Radford is about the level of OOC teams we will pull.  And the CAA tournament champ will be a consistent
15 seed, just was it was before VCU and ODU came into the CAA.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Chris Paleczka said...

Does anyone know if the tournament will remain in Richmond after VCU leaves?

With that said, it's a great move for VCU to join the A-10 and it's a smart choice to pick them over GMU considering their recent success and the amount of $ they spend on their program. (As much as I would've loved to see GMU be that team). It's hard to predict how the CAA will turn out with a heavy hitter leaving the league. Even if GMU becomes the top dog in the league, year after year, the overall strength of the conference goes down. A #14 or #15 seed in the tournament will almost always be 1 and done. This is a huge blow to Mason nation. With ODU will be leaving for C-USA the league sinks to the bottom of the barrel. 

I agree with a lot of the comments that "user0101" made below. VCU can't be replaced. ODU can't be replaced. Recruiting will become tougher with the league losing prowess. I grew up in NOVA, went to GMU and nothing can replace our final 4 birth as the greatest story of feeling our school spirit. The odds of that happening again in my lifetime are slim to none.

The CAA is now looking at a 9 team conference. The possible additions of Stony Brook, New Hampshire and Maine are nothing to brag about. Other schools on the CAA radar: Georgia Southern, Appalachian St. (long shot), Western Carolina, Coastal Carolina, Hartford, Boston U. or Albany. America East, be ready to get raided by the CAA. 

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

All of you are right, things never change in college basketball. Butler was always amazing and everyone saw it coming that they would make 2 championship games.

Remember when VCU was a household name four years ago and everyone knew them?

Remember when the CAA was always going to be a one bid league? Sucks that it never changed.

Yep, Mason 15 seed forever, FML.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous username0101 said...

For starters ,I said "IF".  Clearly I'm speculating based on the rumors.  My argument exists ONLY if ODU and VCU jump ship, which it looks like they will do very soon.  That's the entire point of the parent post.

Otherwise, you're making my point here.  The CAA was barely recognizable on a national level WITH odu and vcu.  Without those teams, we fall even deeper into obscurity.  Jumping ship to the A10 is a golden opportunity to raise the profile of the entire school.

Yes, obviously it's impossible to predict which teams will step up in VCU's absence.  But are you willing to wait another 5-10 years to find out?  Are you cool with another 5-10 years of obscurity in the CAA?

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Rick Jank said...

I agree that dominating the CAA the way Memphis or Gonzaga did their conferences is not out of the question. But the odds that we become a Gonzaga East are a bit far-fetched, I’d say. Like it or not, our road to success just got harder with the VCU departure (and ODU on the way). Sure, getting a Davidson into the conference (and keeping ODU at least for now) would help. But the CAA was just getting some brand recognition – and yes, espn still tends to overlook us, and will do so even more now that we have the NBC deal. You’d have to be blind to say we haven’t built up the conference in the last few years. At least we became a perennial consideration for multibids, even if we didn’t get one (like last season where Drexel got Snub of the Year honors).We have to face the facts that VCU was the figurehead of the conference, albeit a late-blooming thing. They have a colorful coach and a unique way of playing that gives them their own brand recognition. They used the F4 run to become media darlings much better than we did, and now they’re gone, and now our measuring stick just got cut in half. Regardless of what we have left in the conference, whoever makes the tourney will need to make a splash, otherwise we will indeed sink fast.
We have to face the facts that VCU was the figurehead of the conference, albeit a late-blooming thing. They have a colorful coach and a unique way of playing that gives them their own brand recognition. They used the F4 run to become media darlings much better than we did, and now they’re gone, and now our measuring stick just got cut in half. Regardless of what we have left in the conference, whoever makes the tourney will need to make a splash, otherwise we will indeed sink fast.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Richmond had a sweet 16 run last year and a got Justin harper drafted. VCU is not easily replaceable. We lose a huge rival in them. Rivalry games put fans in the seats. With them gone, and possibly ODU, attendance drops, the school makes less money off the program and starts to care even less about athletics than they already do. Losing VCU is a big blow to the conference and to George Mason.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Wish we had a great coach who acted like he cared about anything other than recruiting, like actual coaching.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Benjamin Bradley said...

Remember when Richmond left the CAA?- They left in 2001 and in the past 11 years, they made the tournament only 3 times, with a tournament record of 2-3 since they left the CAA.  There only two wins were in 2011 when they made it to Sweet 16- When they were part of the CAA they made the tournament 6 times.  And won 6 games during those 6 appearances.Remember when Navy left the CAA?- Since they joined the Patriot League they have made the tournament only 3 times (in the past 20 years) and have never won a tournament game while part of the Patriot league.- During their time with the CAA, they made the tournament 3 times as well, but their record was 4-3 during those appearances... including one run to the Elite 8.Remember when American University left the CAA?- They left in 2001 to join the Patriot League and have made two appearances in the tournament and lost the opening game each time.  Now to be fair in my reporting, they didn't even make the tournament when they were with the Colonial.Remember when ECU left the CAA?- They left in 2001 to join Conference USA. And since joining CUSA, they have never made the tournament.- While ECU was with the CAA they did make the tournament once back in 93.Since 1993, there have been 8 different regular season champions.5 times (VCU & UNCW)4 times (GMU & ODU)2 times (JMU)Once (Drexel, Richmond, W&M)

3:19 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

You make some good points. I doubt the A-10 would have wanted an odd number of teams so just taking VCU makes them even out. And it's undoubtedly VCU's recent success that made them look like a better choice. They had a far better year than we did. I like what you're saying about the Memphis model too, I've been saying for years CAA schools don't schedule any strong out of conference opponents, Mason being very guilty about that, and it would be great to see that change.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Overall, my thoughts are this. In the short term, it's bad and good. Losing a big rival will affect attendance at games. Next season will feel very strange. We'll have a weird CAA tournament. It will still be in Richmond, but VCU won't be able to compete, and neither will Georgia State, possibly ODU, and possibly Towson and UNC Wilimington if those players don't get their grades up. Leaving 7 teams to compete for an NCAA bid. So next year we will have a good shot at that if we can take down Drexel. Honestly I see Drexel winning that but who knows. 

In the long term, it's really hard to say if this move will be the smart choice. We'll see how VCU does in the A-10. We'll see how long Shaka sticks around. We'll see if the Big East will pick up all the best A-10 teams as they start to fall apart. VCU is under a lot of pressure to perform, and if they don't play well they could have the same thing happen to them that is happening to Mason now, getting stuck in a conference with all the best competition leaving. We'll see who the CAA adds. We'll see how long Hewitt stays before he is fired or moves somewhere else. We'll see how our school's new president deals with athletics. 

Basically, there are soooooo many questions to be answered. Everything feels very strange right now, but i'm not ready to write this off as a bad move just yet. 

3:37 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Historically yes, teams that have left the conference have not faired well. None of those teams were ever as hot as VCU has been recently though. None of those teams put as much money into their program or paid their coach as much as VCU has done. We'll see what happens. 

3:42 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

All I can think right now is how exciting of a move it would have been, and how it could potentially have sparked so much interest in George Mason. Playing on tv more, keeping a rivalry with VCU, maybe another rivalry with GW and/or Richmond, playing in the brand new Barclays Arena, playing in a better much more respected conference that got FOUR teams into the tournament last year. No way the CAA gets more than one next year. All of this excitement EXCITES people and brings more fans to games, which is what it's all about right??? Making the school more money. I also can't help but think what could have happened if we had a better year, by instead bringing in a coach who knows what he's doing. 

3:51 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Since 2000, the Colonial Athletic Association has received only four NCAA tournament at-large bids. (and two were last year). By comparison, the Atlantic 10 had three at-large NCAA bids just this season and has had 20 NCAA at-large bids since 2000."

3:58 PM  
Anonymous shane said...

Bentley,  you are right on with what you are saying.  Ed, sorry to say, you don't get it.  We will eventually not get the recruits, the coaches, the attendance, the national exposure.  If we lose ODU, VCU we are done.  It will be the '80's all over again when I went to Mason.  Well, that was a great 6 years that we failed miserably to capitalize on.  VCU gets the last laugh!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

the conference is far from ours. Drexel is the best team clearly. We become stronger in our conference yes, but our conference becomes weaker.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

I get what you're saying...VCU is the best outta the bunch you listed but Mason is better than ODU and GW, and tech has a new coach so we'll see how they do, meanwhile Maryland had a terrible year

4:52 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Whatever man Mason is a way better school than JMU, yeah Tech has football but Mason is passing them academically. 

4:55 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

They won't admit it, but lots of teams really don't want to come play in the Patriot Center. They know we have an outstanding record there over the past few years.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

This whole experience should be a vaulable lesson for schools on what to do and what not to do after your sports team has a great season (i.e. a final four run).

what to do: VCU - give your coach a big salary increase to show him that you are impressed by his success, and are willing to pay big money to keep him there and make him feel valued at your school. Also put more money into athletics in general, showing you care about your teams being successful and helping bring in more young talented athletes who are attracted to your caring consideration for sports. Current athletes morale is raised. After continued success you get an invite from a better conference that got FOUR teams into the NCAA tournament last year, and one that gets more media coverage and overall respect than your previous conference did. Attendance increases due to excitement. Your school brings in more money.

what not to do: George Mason - give your coach a small salary increase, that says hey thanks that was cool what you did, good job buddy! The coach feels slighted, over a few more years becomes frustrated that it seems this school really doesn't value athletics all that much. Coach leaves. Your team gets stuck in a one-bid conference while all your rivals leave for better opportunities because they VALUE their sports teams and realize how good athletics can do wonderful things for a school's image. Your AD announces your team doesn't feel like leaving, embarrassed because your school most likely wasn't even offered a spot in the better conference anyway. Fans are bitter, and lose interest with no rivalries anymore. Attendance sputters. Your school loses money.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous taylormade703 said...

My initial thoughts:

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and in all caps YES!!!   As a Mason grad and fan there is NOTHING not to like about not having to play VCU and not having to play VCU in the Richmond Tournament.  Let's be honest, VCU whooped us this year, and as long as they have Shaka that would continue. 

5:47 PM  
Anonymous taylormade703 said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes and all caps YES!!!  I'm not going to miss playing VCU in the Richmond Tournament on the "neutral court."  I'm not going to miss their band director.  I'm not going to miss that "War" fight song of theirs.  I am going to miss absolutely ZERO about VCU.  Spare me the RPI and SOS, yada, yada, yada, the fact is we don't have to deal with VCU anymore!

5:51 PM  
Anonymous username0101 said...

What would you rather have: conference tourney at Madison Square Garden, or Richmond Coliseum?  Would you rather pay to see Xavier, VCU, Butler, St Louis, and Richmond -or- Drexel, Hofstra, Northeastern, JMU, and UNCW?  More national media coverage or less?  A 1-bid league or a 3-bid league? Multi-million dollar basketball budgets, or small-time programs?
It's a no-brainer.  Mason would have jumped on the opportunity in a second had the A10 not taken VCU.  Anyone who suggests the move to the A10 has anything to do with wanting to stay in the CAA, or "is a great idea because it means we'll dominate the conference" is absolutely insane.  If you think the new A10 is even REMOTELY similar to Richmond, Navy, ECU, etc, leaving for their respective conferences, you're just wrong.  Completely different circumstances.  Not to mention this isn't about actually MAKING the tournament.  

Mason will likely win the CAA 40-50% of the time now, without VCU and ODU.  Guess what?  UNC Ashville, Western Kentucky, etc, they make the tourney pretty often.  Doesn't mean shit.  What matters is the improvement of the program/school/image/national exposure.  You're not getting that in the new CAA.  

7:53 PM  
Anonymous dsnjd1 said...

Interesting question. Richmond still remains the most geograpically logical. The CAA still cannot sell-out the "Big Arenas" like MCI Center...leaving the CAA to secondary less popular venues like Baltimore (The old Civic Center in Baltimore, whatever its called now, and the Showplace Area in Maryland). With the "Industrial and Normal School for Women in Harrisonburg" and ODU (I think they are staying) and William & Mary remaining in the league, all with nice size arenas on campus arenas (well, all but the "School for Women", which is on the small side, plus its in "Bum Fuck") for such a tournament, might we not see a return to in less urban on campus sites (The traffic would be horrific, but I seem to remember seeing Mason v. Navy in the CAA final in the mid eighties at the Patriot Center, with David Robinson playing for Navy, I think, drawing about 7000 for the Final.) You are going to see some new teams it would appear....Coastal Carolina to start.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

This is bad news. There is no bright side. The school doesn't support the team with dollars; so why should the alumni? I wonder if we'll lose any of our commits. If we do, it will be the straw that broke the camel's back. I for one am canceling my season tickets as of today. 

9:10 PM  
Anonymous gmualum said...

VCU moving to the A-10 is not even a done deal, at least as of yet.  The news of VCU leaving was based on reports by sources... we all know how reliable that has been (note the sarcasm).  Unless the announcement comes from the horse's mouth... aka official announcement from VCU, it is not a done deal.  read article below.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous James Hubbard said...

Deep breaths, everyone.  Bad air out, good air in. Isn't that better?

Now it really comes down to butts in seats. Like it or not, Mason does not fill the Patriot Center even with very good teams. You can complain that it's unfair, that the media ignore the Patriots and all the rest, but if you are part of Mason management you have to recognize that the fan base is not there.  Spending the $1-2 million more needed to compete in the A-10 was never a real possibility. In any case, Mason was always likely to be just cannon fodder in the A-10 for a long time (just ask Fordham fans about how that feels). And a losing team was no more likely to fill the arena even if Xavier and company showed up to play.

Be happy that Mason has managed to be competitive with limited resources.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

We couldn't even sell out a home game against VCU with first place in the league on the line. Get out of here with they put butts in the seats. JMU draws bigger than VCU or ODU do at Patriot Center.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Rick Jank said...

First of all, if Mason regularly filled the Patriot Center for basketball games, we would be far and away the leader in attendance in the CAA.  As it stands, Mason's attendance is third best in the CAA, and its numbers would fit right in the middle of the pack in comparison with other A10 schools.  Plus, one would expect a bump in attendance for A10 play.
As for the comparison with Fordham and the statement that we would be "cannon fodder" for A10 teams, that's just plain WRONG.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

Thing is we never really play "very good teams" who would you be referring to with that? And do you ever think that the fan base isn't there BECAUSE OF how Mason management handles things? It's a problem with the men in charge, who don't really care about athletics. You can't say that the move to the A-10 wouldn't give a huge boost to the fanbase, and I can't say that it can, but i certainly feel the excitement could have had that effect. But yes, spending the extra money to compete was never a real possibility, since this school would rather put that money elsewhere, 100% of the time.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

With VCU and ODU possibly leaving, and Georgia State gone too..I can only see them moving the venue further north, seeing as those 3 teams are in the southern half of the CAA. UNCW, W&M, and JMU might not like that but I don't know how much say those schools would get. Hopefully it isn't moved to Baltimore, honestly I think it'll stay in Richmond for the time being, where it's been held every year since 1990.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Chris Paleczka said...

So shying away from great competition is good? I don't think so. See where GMU's RPI will stand when they no longer play VCU/ODU. It's going to drop like a rock with no chances at an at-large bid without winning the tournament. Even if they win the tournament, they'll be a #15 or #14 seed at best. One and done. 

Playing great competition year after year brings in more talent and more fans.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Chris Paleczka said...

It's all but signed, sealed and delivered. 

1:56 PM  
Anonymous taylormade703 said...

Please tell us how losing to VCu by 20-30 each time we play them next year actually helps us? VCu has all its main pieces back excluding burgess. We lost more of our team than they did. There is no reason to think we could even come close to hanging with them next year. Hate to be mr. Realistic here, but how does losing to VCu help Mason?

3:41 PM  
Anonymous BP99 said...

the ODU game attendance from last year: 9840
JMU: 8014

so you're wrong

VCU was less than both, probably due to people having better things to do on Valentine's Day

5:36 PM  
Anonymous MasonFan2006 said...

Of those, only Richmond went to a better conference, and they have had some success. American University has won their conference tournament a few times, but then got waxed in the NCAAs because they were a 15 seed. Those teams all left for weaker conferences. VCU is clearly going to a stronger conference.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous MasonFan2006 said...

I am not a fan of staying in the CAA, but I definitely agree that scheduling is also a problem. Winning games in early season tournaments would help also. Mason buried themselves with losses to Florida Atlantic and Florida INternational. One of those losses robbed them of playing Va. Tech, possibly winning there and then going to Madison Square Garden for the preseason NIT tournament. Instead, they got to play Monmouth and Albany. Playing UVA is a step in the right direction.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous MasonFan2006 said...

If these are the caliber of teams to come to the CAA, then I am even more disappointed than I was before. This is like me saying "No, I don't want to join a lwa fir. I'd rather work at Burger King."

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Bentley said...

Wow.  So by your logic - big east basketball should be excited that Syracuse is leaving for the ACC?  Do you think Georgetown is happy they are stuck in a conference diminishing in quality?  Maybe if Alabama and LSU left the SEC Auburn would celebrate too?

What a screwed up way of thinking. This is what earns this school the nickname of George Mason Community College.
I have never seen anything like this, from an epic national sports changing moment (2006 Final Four) to whimpering out the back door after chasing their marquee coach to away to Miami.  Come on, doesn't anyone else get mad that the phrase "who will be this year's George Mason" has now been replaced with VCU?
It's fine if this school doesn't want a football team, it actuall makes no sense to try and field a team, but if you are handed a diamond (basketball), don't try and turn it back into coal.  I really am not excited about returning to the days of 500 people at a game on a Saturday night.  Or winning the CAA and getting a 14 seed (1999, 2001) or 15 seed again (1989).  didn't people enjoy the milestone of 2011 an being in the home whites for a tournament game???

12:15 AM  
Anonymous taylormade703 said...

No, BEATING great competition does that.  Getting beat down by schools that have made the financial commitment to their program does nothing for us.  No recruit says "gee, I want to play for the school that got beat by 30 by VCU!"  If I thought we could beat VCU consistently then by all means, but I was at the game at VCU and at the CAAT.  Truth is, we weren't in their league last year.  We wouldn't be next year.  I'd rather enjoy a season and take our chances as a 14/15 seed, than get trounced and not make any postseason at all.

4:53 AM  
Anonymous taylormade703 said...

Apples and oranges.  Georgetown has made a commitment to its basketball program.  Auburn has made a commitment to their football program.  If we made a commitment to our basketball program, if we had a practice facility, if we had an actual video screen in our arena, then yes, by all means.  In a perfect world we'd be in the ACC competeting night in and night out.

Just being realistic.

4:59 AM  
Anonymous taylormade703 said...

Is this the part where I say we should have invested in Larranaga?  Oh, I fogot, he "took the money". 

5:01 AM  
Anonymous CAARULES said...

You would be a fool to get seaon tix's next season....especially if ODU leaves the CAA. Mason's athletic budget belongs in the Patriot league, not CAA and especially the A-10. I was so proud of our University when we went to the Final 4 in 06. Who was there when we raised the Final 4 banner the next season? How cool was that? Well, it's over....

Shaka (Kahn) Smart is NOT leaving VCU anytime soon. He and his wife like it there...just like Tommy Amaker with Harvard....he's not leaving. The people posting, we'll never beat VCU as long as Shaka is the coach. I say BS! Why can't Mason hire a good coach...sorry Hewitt, but you're no Jimmy L (thanks for letting him go TOC). Doesn't competition make you better? Who wants to be in a league with Bill and Mary, Jimmy Madison, Towson, Hofstra, etc? They SUCK!!

How does VCU (State School) have the budget to leave CAA and Mason (State School) doesn't? Does VCU alumni give that much more $$$ than Mason's alumni?

This move is perfect for Wally Alligator Tom O'Connor. Why? Because Mason now should win the CAA tourny every year if ODU leaves. We'll be one and done, but TOC and the athletic dept/school will make some $$$ for making the big dance.

Unless the CAA adds some stellar hoops schools to replace GSU/VCU and probably ODU and the mindset at Mason changes regarding sports and the basketball's over. Save your $$$ and go see the Capitals or Wizards play in the winter. 

10:29 AM  

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