“Division 1-Basketball-Not What It Seems to Be”
I guess we should say “congrats” for all the hard work long time UCSD Athletic Director Earl Edwards did, in laying the ground work to take his 23-sports athletic program into Division 1-status.
Congrats to the students for passing the bill to help co-fund scholarships for its athletic teams.
Congrats also to all the Olympic sports programs at UCSD for the success on the field, and the opportunities given its student-athletes.
But where does this exciting news, the Tritons heading to the Big West Conference, actually lead?
Basketball will now carry the banner for the academic institution with the beautiful campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
But how will UCSD compete in the 10-team Big West basketball arena?.
It’s nice to say you are lining up to play known programs like Long Beach State, Fullerton, Cal-Irvine, who in their past decades, have gotten invites to the NCAA tourney.
It’s great to say you will match talents and academics with respected schools like UCSB.
It’s nice to have road trips for athletes to Hawaii too.
And of course there will be some regional ties with Riverside-Bakersfield and the likes.
For the Big West Conference, this has meaning too, for they will now be at 11-schools going forward., with Cal State Bakersfield joining the Tritons as conference expansion members.
But please tell me how UCSD will compete for athletes when you consider the academic requirements to get on campus in LaJolla.
The Beach…Fullerton…UCI all take Division 1-bouncebacks. They also take JUCO transfers. Many of them would never meet the qualifications to get into an Ivy League atmosphere that UCSD has.
The opening night rosters of the key basketball powers in the conference showed Fullerton with players from Toronto, China, Slovenia, Czechoslovakia, and 5-transfers on the roster.
Long Beach State has 6-transfers, including 3-JUCOs and 3-Division 1-bouncebacks.
Cal Irvine has 1-major college transfer.
The Tritons should have pursued a conference with similar academic standing, the West Coast Conference, a consortium of strong academic schools, with classy athletic histories and priorities..
At least they’d be on even ground with the standards at USD…Gonzaga …Pepperdine and Loyola….and other WCC schools..
It sounds great to say “Big West Conference”….but will it be great to say, Tritons (3-28) in Division 1-basketball?
I wish I could say “‘be careful what you wish for”…and I don’t want to throw cold water on all the great work UCSD’s leaders have done.
This will be very hard, and they will have to work very hard to convince me they can compete with all these other schools…in the real sport that counts in the conference-basketball.
Big West basketball schools want guys who can score 21-points a game. UCSD want’s guys with 3.8-GPAs. I just don’t know how they will mesh together.
You think Division 1-you think March Madness, and Duke-North Carolina and tradition. You know what San Diego State has become, and how hard it was to flip the Aztecs into something special.
Division 1-basketball is not what you think….especially when you don’t win….especially when you are UCSD and your mailing address will be Big West Conference.