Everybody Isn’t Happy As Tourney Gets Ready

Updated: April 19, 2006





He is considered

one of the most influential African Americans

in Sports today

Craig Littlepage

But this week he is in the middle of a mini-firestorm as Chairman of the 10 member NCAA Selection Committee that announced on Sunday the 65 teams that have qualified for this year’s Basketball Tournament.

At the center of this Brouhaha and unprecedented is that during the live broadcast of the selections CBS announcers Jim Nance and Bill Parker openly criticized some of the selections and the fact certain colleges were left out.

The Complaints ESPN summarized as follows ….

1) Cincinnati’s omission despite a strong strength of schedule ranking and a relatively high RPI.

2) At-large selections of Air Force and Utah State, 2 teams with lower RPIs than schools such as Michigan and Missouri State — left out of the field.

3) Seedings that gave Tennessee a No. 2 seed, higher than either Southeastern Conference regular-season champion LSU or tournament champ Florida, and had George Washington dealt an eight seed in the Atlanta Regional despite having the best record in the field at 26-2.

With 334 Division I teams in the college basketball universe, and many schools and especially alumni defining success as making the Tournament, and only a little more than 15% being selected Controversy is built into the selection process.

What is making it Different

this year

Is its more public nature and the fact that NCAA and CBS which is paying the NCAA Billions$$ for multi-year rights are clearly partners in this Venture. This little dust up will soon be forgotten as play gets underway.

More important to us

All this has brought more attention to Craig Littlepage and he deserves it. Littlepage has had quite a Career. Currently in his 5th year as the University of Virginia’s Athletic Director. He is the first African American athletic director in Atlantic Coast Conference history, Another good news bad news story.

Littlepage was the Black Coaches Association ” Athletic Administrator of the Year ” for 2003. In 2003 and 2004 Sports Illustrated named him one of the most influential Blacks in Sports. Black Enterprise Magazine did the same in 2005.

At Virginia Littlepage publicly proclaimed his #1 goal realistically over a 10 year period of 100% graduation rate for all UV student athletes which spans 25 varsity sports. Along with that winning 12 national championships and 70 Conference titles. He is not one to shrink from Challenge.

Maybe most of all

With all his successes and admirers and his excellent ability to make Virginia alumni happy which means writing checks for the athletic programs benefit, Littlepage gives Lie to the Slam African Americans in Senior Positions have a Problem motivating college administrators and alumni to Spend.

The fact is Craig Littlepage with a world of experiences and a lengthy list of leadership positions in college sports in his 50s could make an excellent Choice to become the first Black President of the NCAA once Myles Brand steps down.

He’s got our Vote

he’s earned it

This little Brouhaha

is Nothing

Let the Tournament begin !