The NCAA apparently wasn’t fond of the creation of the College Basketball Invitational tournament a couple years ago and, according to the CBI, has been actively
threatening persuading teams to not play in it if they do not get into the NCAA tournament or even the NIT (which the NCAA owns as well). Rick Giles, president of the company that owns the CBI, had this to say to Fox Sports 26 in Houston:
“In fact in year one when we came in for selection weekend, I had cease and desist letters (from the NCAA) sitting on my desk, fax machine and e-mail.”
“They’ve also in a very subtle, and behind the scenes way, discouraged teams from participating in the CBI,” Giles said. “They’ve certainly discouraged them from choosing the CBI over the NIT, but have also suggested to teams it would be better if they did not play in the CBI even if they were not invited to the NIT, which is mind-boggling of course.”
“Teams have told us they were told not to play, teams particularly in the BIG 12 and the SEC,” Giles said. “Selected schools from both of those conferences told us in both years that they wouldn’t play even if they were not invited to the NIT.”
Despite these claims, Giles says his company is not going to sue them…yet.
“Suing the NCAA can be a very waring process,” Giles said. “So we would prefer not to have to do that. However, if they do anything that did threaten our existence, then we would consider that.”
Wait…didn’t he say the NCAA has been actively telling teams not to play in the CBI…or else? Isn’t that trying to threaten their existence? What gives there? I can understand saying that suing the NCAA is kinda foolhardy because they are monolith with unlimited funds that would bankrupt them from legal fees before the trial even finished, but if you’re gonna make this kind of claim, you might want to not destroy your argument after you made it.
In any case, I can see why the NCAA might feel threatened by another tournament stealing teams away from the NIT. Sure, no one really cares about the NIT except the schools that play in it, but it does pull in some cash from the games and television rights. There should, however, be enough teams to play in all the tournaments though. Schools that couldn’t get into either the NCAA or NIT now have a chance to prolong their season, giving those lesser teams just as much court time to play the game they love as the big boys, while providing those schools some extra cash from the games at the same time (since the games are played on home courts instead of neutral sites).
Simply put, if teams want to play they should be able to play. Its the most obvious argument I think I have made on this site and I’ve made a lot of em. The NCAA should think more about the kids and the schools than protecting all the money they make from the unpaid athletes on the court. Well, that argument could be used for a lot of things the NCAA does.