As presidents and athletics directors met Tuesday to discuss the future of the Big East, TCU head football coach Gary Patterson made two things clear: He opposes the idea of playing in a super conference, and he does not like the message that money-driven realignment moves send his players.
Patterson’s comments came Tuesday as the Big East administrators convened in New York City to deal with the defections of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University to the Atlantic Coast Conference. That move would leave the Big East with seven football-playing members, and Rutgers and the University of Connecticut sought bids elsewhere.
Patterson said he did not like the idea of having to play in a larger, more expanded conference—something that could happen should the Big East break apart and the remaining teams seek other options.
“I’ve been in a 16-team conference in the WAC,” Patterson said at his weekly press luncheon. “And to be honest with you, I didn’t really like it too much. I think that’s too big.”
Patterson also questioned the motives behind what has been driving the recent conference expansion and realignment talks and whether or not they are setting a good example for his players.
At what point, Patterson asked, does the decision-making become driven by money instead of what is best for the college athlete?
“How much is enough?” Patterson asked. “We’re trying every day to teach kids to do the right things…and don’t do it for financial reasons, and everything they read is that we do [the] opposite.” .”
Despite the recent conference shake-ups, Patterson said he was confident that TCU will not be too negatively affected.
“I think TCU will be fine,” Patterson said. “I don’t see us as any less of a commodity than we were last year when we were taken the first time. We’ll move on in what we have to do.”
Patterson said he had shared this sentiment with his team.
“I just told them I think we’re going to end up well,” Patterson said. “Before this is all said and done we’re going to be in a good position.”
Calls to the chancellor’s office to confirm TCU’s attendance at the New York City meeting were directed to the athletic department, where they were transferred to a university official and then not answered.
However, according to a USAToday.com report Tuesday afternoon, TCU representatives were scheduled to attend the meeting.
Plus, Patterson hinted that TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte was in New York Tuesday to attend the meeting.
Reports of the meeting had not surfaced before the press conference, but Patterson mentioned the trip while answering an unrelated question.
““My guy’s in New York.” ,” Patterson said. I don’t have much time for it [realignment].
Hopefully somebody will be smart about all of this and understand what’s good for college football.”