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Thread: Does Gonzaga opt out of WCC Tourney

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    Default Does Gonzaga opt out of WCC Tourney

    https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/30764814

    There was a more in depth discussion on ESPN last night. They talked about how some teams i.e Gonzaga would be foolish to play in the WCC Tourney. The NCAA would then take the auto bid away from the conference and the teams would be evaluated as AT-LARGE teams.

    What think you?
    Last edited by SageOfZagville; 02-03-2021 at 09:39 AM. Reason: spelling

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    If I was in charge, which I am clearly not, I wouldn't want to play in that tournament if I could find other options to keep us sharp. I would be surprised if they did have that tournament anyway, but I haven't heard otherwise.

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    How can you have a conference tournament without fans? Makes no sense, I can't believe Orleans management would want the tournament under these conditions.

    Has the league office had anything to say? The cynic in me says that Ms. Nevarez is burning up the phones, selling herself as the next Pac 12 commissioner, instead of doing her day job.

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    Financial implications are certainly at play: The conference has a contract with the Orleans, and I'm sure the Orleans wants the conference to perform (pay for use of arena) whether there are fans present or not. Maybe the conference gets a break, or invokes a force majeure clause, but one way or the other, the conference is probably going to lose money on the Orleans deal. Then there are contracts with networks. What happens if Gonzaga, or the conference, preemptively pulls the plug on the tournament? Depends on the terms of agreements, but the conference is almost certainly not going to receive revenue -- no broadcasts, no revenue. If this were a year in which the conference were positioned to receive multiple NCAA tournament bids, and if the old NCAA tournament revenue-sharing regime were still in place, canceling the WCC tournament would be no-brainer: The risk to NCAA tournament-bound WCC teams, and risk the lucrative NCAA revenue, wouldn't be worth whatever minimal financial benefit the conference would receive by conducting the WCC tourney. But since we're looking at a one bid conference without a WCC tourney, the best hope for more revenue is an upset in the WCC tournament championship game. So I think the Commissioner is under immense pressure to make the tournament happen in Las Vegas. The television revenue will help offset the Orleans losses, and there is the hope of a long shot upset resulting in two bids -- you can imagine that every other school in the conference is agitating to make Las Vegas happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeninsulaDog View Post
    Financial implications are certainly at play: The conference has a contract with the Orleans, and I'm sure the Orleans wants the conference to perform (pay for use of arena) whether there are fans present or not. Maybe the conference gets a break, or invokes a force majeure clause, but one way or the other, the conference is probably going to lose money on the Orleans deal. Then there are contracts with networks. What happens if Gonzaga, or the conference, preemptively pulls the plug on the tournament? Depends on the terms of agreements, but the conference is almost certainly not going to receive revenue -- no broadcasts, no revenue. If this were a year in which the conference were positioned to receive multiple NCAA tournament bids, and if the old NCAA tournament revenue-sharing regime were still in place, canceling the WCC tournament would be no-brainer: The risk to NCAA tournament-bound WCC teams, and risk the lucrative NCAA revenue, wouldn't be worth whatever minimal financial benefit the conference would receive by conducting the WCC tourney. But since we're looking at a one bid conference without a WCC tourney, the best hope for more revenue is an upset in the WCC tournament championship game. So I think the Commissioner is under immense pressure to make the tournament happen in Las Vegas. The television revenue will help offset the Orleans losses, and there is the hope of a long shot upset resulting in two bids -- you can imagine that every other school in the conference is agitating to make Las Vegas happen.
    All very good points.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeninsulaDog View Post
    Financial implications are certainly at play: The conference has a contract with the Orleans, and I'm sure the Orleans wants the conference to perform (pay for use of arena) whether there are fans present or not. Maybe the conference gets a break, or invokes a force majeure clause, but one way or the other, the conference is probably going to lose money on the Orleans deal. Then there are contracts with networks. What happens if Gonzaga, or the conference, preemptively pulls the plug on the tournament? Depends on the terms of agreements, but the conference is almost certainly not going to receive revenue -- no broadcasts, no revenue. If this were a year in which the conference were positioned to receive multiple NCAA tournament bids, and if the old NCAA tournament revenue-sharing regime were still in place, canceling the WCC tournament would be no-brainer: The risk to NCAA tournament-bound WCC teams, and risk the lucrative NCAA revenue, wouldn't be worth whatever minimal financial benefit the conference would receive by conducting the WCC tourney. But since we're looking at a one bid conference without a WCC tourney, the best hope for more revenue is an upset in the WCC tournament championship game. So I think the Commissioner is under immense pressure to make the tournament happen in Las Vegas. The television revenue will help offset the Orleans losses, and there is the hope of a long shot upset resulting in two bids -- you can imagine that every other school in the conference is agitating to make Las Vegas happen.
    The thing is, if the presumed favorite opts out, the NCAA is under no obligation to take the winner. All teams would be evaluated as at large berths. That is what I'm hearing. This tourney might be boring.

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    Opting out isn't an option really.
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    A couple of big factors play into this.

    1) If BYU fails to secure a win verse GU, will they still have a shot at an at large bid?
    2) If BYU does not have a shot at an at large bid, do they make demands to play in a conference tournament to be given the chance to qualify? I think they have some legal arguments here considering the money involved.

    In fact, the whole idea of qualifying for the tournament at the NCAA level might have serious legal implications that have not been encountered before. There are large amounts of money involved with historical precedence about to be broken. There is at least one institution out there somewhere that is going to raise a legal stink about being left out with no chance to qualify based upon past precedence set in conference tournament qualification. Have there been legal contracts prepared that account for a pandemic? I'm not even sure if there is conference to conference standardization with respect to revenue sharing, contractual obligations, etc.
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    Opting out would actually violate the terms of being IN the WCC... so I suspect there would be legal and financial issues involved with "opting out". Which is basically why it isn't on the table.

    Now, the WCC can cancel or what have you... but it is extremely unlikely that GU would unilaterally opt out on its own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Opting out isn't an option really.
    I can understand teams that choose to opt out who's conference tournaments are closer to the start of the NCAA tournament. But the WCC tournament has enough of a break that the same time pressures that apply to other top schools who's tournaments are less than a week from their first games in Indianapolis don't really apply to Gonzaga. And more importantly, the Zags will not want to have gone multiple weeks without playing before starting the first round of the tourney.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickMick View Post
    In fact, the whole idea of qualifying for the tournament at the NCAA level might have serious legal implications that have not been encountered before. There are large amounts of money involved with historical precedence about to be broken. There is at least one institution out there somewhere that is going to raise a legal stink about being left out with no chance to qualify based upon past precedence set in conference tournament qualification. Have there been legal contracts prepared that account for a pandemic? I'm not even sure if there is conference to conference standardization with respect to revenue sharing, contractual obligations, etc.
    Conferences have until Feb 26 this year to inform the NCAA of how they will be choosing their automatic qualifier. So at this point all the conferences have wiggle room to choose an AQ other than through the conference tournament process. And within the conferences, I imagine most conference bylaws allow some way for the institutions to vote and make that choice in a way that would protect the conference from legal challenges from within.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigblahla View Post
    Any other year I say play, this year hell no. the only thing available in Vegas for GU is the chance to become Covid active and get held out of the Dance. The reality is they will probably play but if it were my choice my reply would be Hell No!
    I've heard a lot of folks saying this... my big question is how is playing a couple games in Vegas significantly different from playing away games during conference play?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kdaleb View Post
    I've heard a lot of folks saying this... my big question is how is playing a couple games in Vegas significantly different from playing away games during conference play?
    For one, you're around several teams, not just 1. Add in staff etc and other people in the area that we can't control.
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    No on opting out, but let the teams 'work from home'. The games could be virtual and held as a low cost pay-per-view.
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    I think opting out would be unnecessary for us and bad for the conference financially. We'll only play 2 games and our tournament concludes more than a week before the NCAA Tournament begins if I'm not mistaken. Shouldn't that be enough time to take care of any Covid issues beforehand if they occur?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razorzag99 View Post
    I think opting out would be unnecessary for us and bad for the conference financially. We'll only play 2 games and our tournament concludes more than a week before the NCAA Tournament begins if I'm not mistaken. Shouldn't that be enough time to take care of any Covid issues beforehand if they occur?

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    I am pretty sure any Covid case requires 14 days to be eligible for Indianapolis travel. If there is any concern on traveling to (not much issue) or staying in Vegas (not sure the risk), it makes sense to be on the safe side as March Madness is worth significantly more than any Vegas games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Vulture View Post
    I am pretty sure any Covid case requires 14 days to be eligible for Indianapolis travel. If there is any concern on traveling to (not much issue) or staying in Vegas (not sure the risk), it makes sense to be on the safe side as March Madness is worth significantly more than any Vegas games.
    My position then would be to move the conference tourney up a week to allow 14 days between the final game and the start of the NCAA tournament. We would lose out on 2 regular season conference games, but if it's not to USF, St. Mary's, or BYU, I don't see it as a big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Vulture View Post
    If I was in charge, which I am clearly not, I wouldn't want to play in that tournament if I could find other options to keep us sharp. I would be surprised if they did have that tournament anyway, but I haven't heard otherwise.
    What options would those be? As we saw this week there aren't other options. It looks like they are going to enter the tournament with their last real test a distant memory while the likes of Baylor and Iowa will be battle tested against their superior conference opponents.

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    There is a lot more time to plan at this point and there are several conferences that will be done by that time. It wouldn't be a marquee name but it could be a tune up game. In any case, the operative word was "IF" in my statement.

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    Gonzaga has contractual obligations with the WCC. Could the Zags opt out w/o permission of the WCC? Of course, but the NCAA gives the tournament money to the WCC and not Gonzaga. If Gonzaga chooses to opt out without the blessing of the WCC, the WCC could choose to not share any money with Gonzaga, they could even toss Gonzaga out of the WCC, in ALL sports.

    So Gonzaga is NOT going to opt out w/o the WCC permission...in my opinion.

    The WCC may choose to not have the tournament, making the question moot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willandi View Post
    Gonzaga has contractual obligations with the WCC. Could the Zags opt out w/o permission of the WCC? Of course, but the NCAA gives the tournament money to the WCC and not Gonzaga. If Gonzaga chooses to opt out without the blessing of the WCC, the WCC could choose to not share any money with Gonzaga, they could even toss Gonzaga out of the WCC, in ALL sports.

    So Gonzaga is NOT going to opt out w/o the WCC permission...in my opinion.

    The WCC may choose to not have the tournament, making the question moot.
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    I guess I am an old fiddle dud,.....my catholic and Jesuit upbringing taught me that the 7th commandment requires us to honor contracts we enter into on our own free will. But hey in todays society that is probably frowned upon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoopaholic View Post
    I guess I am an old fiddle dud,.....my catholic and Jesuit upbringing taught me that the 7th commandment requires us to honor contracts we enter into on our own free will. But hey in todays society that is probably frowned upon
    Amen!
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    Hmm, opting not to play in some basketball games in order to protect an opportunity to play in other basketball games that make the conference more money is not stealing.

    FWIW, I'm not arguing that they should opt out, but I definitely think it's fair that they bring a discussion to the conference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scrooner View Post
    Hmm, opting not to play in some basketball games in order to protect an opportunity to play in other basketball games that make the conference more money is not stealing.

    FWIW, I'm not arguing that they should opt out, but I definitely think it's fair that they bring a discussion to the conference.
    Perhaps not, but not fulfilling ones contract is. If the WCC wants to allow the Zags to skip a possible tournament, that can be negotiated between the two parties...but the WCC already gave Gonzaga a lot of extras.
    It might also mean that the Zags are the only WCC team in the tourney, so the Zags would then be cutting into the money as well.
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