Tim Graham writes that UB should have taken note the way UConn entered Division I by not plunging in as UB did.
If Tim Graham had looked into this more, he would have seen that you can't compare the way both schools went about entering Division I football.
UConn has been a member of the Big East since the conference started in the mid '70s. The conference was formed, like so many at that time, mainly as a basketball conference. There are many teams that play D-I basketball but do not participate in D-I football. Such is the case with Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's, and, yes, UConn -- up to this past year. Some had D-III football and some no football at all.
UConn could enter D-I football at their leisure, if they wanted to at all. Some Big East schools still don't have a true D-I football program.
On the contrary, the MAC has been around since the early '50s. In order to be a full D-I member of the conference, you must participate in at least the following six D-I sports: Football, women's volleyball, men and women's basketball, baseball and softball.
The conference gave UB a few extra years before the football, softball, and baseball teams had to play a conference schedule. The 2000-01 academic year will be the first year UB will be a full participant in MAC play. The school did not have a choice as to when it had to field a football team, such as UConn did.
So UB did not leap in, as Graham states, they were pulled in. Certainly they are in over their heads in football and probably basketball, but if you look at the other sports, they have not been doing too bad. They now participate in many more MAC sports in addition to the required six.
You don't join the MAC and decide if and when you want to field a football team, like the Big East gives it members. It is interesting that Notre Dame is in the Big East for everything but football. I can't see the MAC allowing a member school to play D-I football and not have a conference schedule.
NED C. DiPASQUALE