Arizona Daily Wildcat
Despite UA Athletic Director Jim Livengood's efforts, the Pacific10 Conference is one step closer to reinstating a postseason tournament for men and women's basketball programs.
In an advisory council vote last Tuesday, the Pac-10 athletic directors voted 8-2 to send an official proposal to the Oct. 23 meeting between each school's presidents and chancellors. The two descending votes were cast by Livengood and Stanford's Athletic Director Ted Leland.
"There is no sense in having a tournament in our conference," Livengood said. "We will have already gone through two rounds of playing each other and doing it all over again seems meaningless."
Much to the dismay of Livengood and many Wildcat fans, the vote count isn't likely to change, and the conference will resume the postseason competition it hasn't seen since 1990.
If the school presidents and chancellors stand by the decisions made by their athletic directors, the Pac-10 tournament would begin in the 2001-2002 season and take place each week preceding the NCAA tournament. The eight concurring votes are just enough to pass the initiative.
"There is not one logical reason that anyone can come up with for having a tournament other than for the money," associate head coach Jim Rosborough said. "It is the single biggest sham in college basketball now, that's my view."
Proponents of the tournament believe that the Pac-10's participation in "Championship Week" would boost bubble teams' chances of entering the NCAA Tournament.
"Arizona has tended to have good success in the conference season, which should be enough for the (NCAA) tournament selection committee," Livengood said. "
In addition, the Pac-10 schools are pretty far apart and have gone through a rigorous travel schedule. Throwing another week of games into the mix won't really help any of the teams."
The men's competition would be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles while the women's tournament would rotate throughout the campus sites.
Livengood said that he's already begun discussing the issue with UA President Peter Likins, who will cast Arizona's vote on Oct. 23.
If the proposal passes, which is most likely, the Pac-10 would leave the Ivy League as the lone remaining conference without a postseason tournament.
"I am totally and completely opposed to this," Rosborough said. "It is a terrible, terrible idea."