November 28, 2012
Scott Cowen Q&A on Tulane's Big East move
Was there any need for discussion on your (Tulane's part) when the offer was made?
"No. It turned out to be for them, once they began to understand, they knew of our stature as an academic institution, but when they began to understand our footprints, they really understood what happened after Katrina, so what they looked at and what we presented them was, for the decade before Katrina, we won more conference championships than any other school in Conference USA. They saw that we had had a history of winning conference championships. As a matter of fact, a couple of our bowl teams in the late 1990s and in 2002, we competed against several teams that are in the Big East and won. It showed that we clearly can compete at that level, and then of course they were very impressed with commitment we've made to athletics in just the last three years with the facilities and the new coaching staffs."
Was there any concern for you about travel and the big footprint you talk about increasing expenses, or will there be a return on that?
"Yeah, it will increase travel expenses. We determined that it's a reasonable amount, plus we anticipate increased revenues from the TV contracts, from attendance at games and likely other distributions that will be higher because we're in the Big East. We think whatever the incremental cost is will be more than offset by incremental revenues."
You've been a part of this shifting landscape. Where's it all going?
"What's going to happen is there's going to continue to be consolidation. We started with 11 FBS conferences. We're down to 10. I wouldn't be surprised if we got to nine or eight before it's all over, so I think there's going to be more consolidation. The conferences will grow larger, and most will probably get to 16. That's what we're going to see. There's still going to be some uncertainty in conference alignment over the next several years until it all sorts out."
Does this position you better for the future?
"Absolutely. Whatever the future holds, this puts us in a very good position. When I mentioned to you there that when you think there's an overlap of 80 percent of our alumni base and our student body to the Big East footprint, that's unbelievably impressive and important to us. We'll be getting more students from that part of the country. Recruiting for student-athletes now will be much more feasible in those parts of the country now that we're part of the Big East."
Did you have any idea over a week ago that this could happen?
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial