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Sixteen years ago, this web site posted a small item to honor the origins of Memorial Day. It has proved popular each year, and in an era where our attention is once again focused on protecting our nation, this note is presented in honor of those whose sacrifices we remember this weekend.
In 1876, Georgetown University adopted the colors blue and gray to honor
its former students who had fought and perished in the Civil War. To this day, over 350 students and alumni have died in the service of their country, as well as faculty, chaplains, and Georgetown-trained members of the U.S. diplomatic corps.
Eight years earlier in 1868, not far from the University, a proclamation was read by Gen. John Logan, the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic for a day of remembrance for those who had died on the battle fields. This proclamation is said to be the origin of Memorial Day.
This weekend, please take a brief moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by men and women from whose courage has helped ensure the countless blessings we now enjoy, and those blessings we seek to secure for the future:
American University coach Mike Brennan has added former Georgetown staff member Scott Greenman to his staff as an assistant coach.
Greenman served three years on John Thompson III's staff, the last two as Georgetown's director of basketball operations (DBO), a non-recruiting position focused on the department's day to day operations.
"I worked with Scott for three seasons at Georgetown and I know he has what it takes to be a great coach," said Brennan. "He has a tremendous knowledge of the game, and his experience at Princeton, Georgetown and playing professionally overseas has given him with great insight and perspective he will be able to share with our student-athletes."
Press coverage for the Big East spring meetings has been minimal, but the Providence Journal has a recap of the issues discussed. Among the topics:
- New Commissioner? No commissioner was selected and the league will rely on a committee from the schools presidents in the interim.
- Big East Tip-Off? "The league will sponsor an 18-game, round-robin schedule and Fox is said to excited about a potential Tip-Off day/night where all 10 schools would play," writes the Journal.
- Big East Tournament: "While nothing is scheduled yet, [PC athletic director Bob] Driscoll said the plan is to run the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden beginning with a Wednesday-night doubleheader and then a quarterfinal round on Thursday, semis Friday and the championship game Saturday night. He says he realizes the 10 schools need to “market and promote the tournament better than we ever have but that’s because before we never even had to sell tickets. It just always sold out.”
The tournament issue figures to be a hot topic throughout the 2013-14 season. Although Madison Square Garden did not bid in the next round of ACC tournament sites through 2021, ESPN was quick to suggest the ACC move the tournament to MSG and throw the Big East out. Columnist Mark Blaudschun reported Wednesday that the MSG-Big East contract (renewed through 2026) contract has minimum attendance clauses but did not elaborate.
A number of sources have noted that the ACC membership might see MSG or Brooklyn's Barclays Center as a future option, but would be unlikely to commit to annual appearances in New York at the expense of its traditional tournament site of Greensboro (which has hosted the ACC tournament 24 times since 1967) and periodic appearances in Charlotte (12) and Atlanta (6).
ACC mischief notwithstanding, the World's Most Famous Arena has another concern: the New York city planning commission, which wants Madison Square Garden to vacate its 7 Ave. location to redevelop Pennsylvania Station, which was famously torn down in 1963 to make way for the fourth incarnation of the Garden. With the original lease for the Garden expiring, Capital New York reports the New York city planning commission denied MSG a perpetual lease in favor of a 15 year lease on the property.
"We are extremely disappointed in today’s vote, especially because MSG meets all of the requirements for the permit," said a Garden release. "We hoped and expected that City Planning, which currently issues virtually all special permits without term limits, would base its decision on the merits of the permit application. Instead, the Garden – a key driver of the city’s economy that supports thousands of jobs, and which is currently investing nearly $1 billion of its own money in its arena – is effectively being held hostage by a decision by public officials 50 years ago to demolish the original Penn Station."
"I have Knicks and Rangers seats, you know, I love the Garden,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the New York Daily News. “But it is over one of the big mass transit centers in the city. And for the city to have the flexibility down the road of doing something, I think that's important and I think giving them 15 years, it isn't like tomorrow. It isn't like they're investing their money and never going to get it back.”
For all the criticism that the departing Big East football schools chose a perfunctory name in the American Athletic Conference, other names failed to pass muster, according to the UCF Rivals.com site.
Among the other names registered by the league in advance of a final vote were the United Athletic Conference, Big Cities Conference, American Metro Conference, and Metropolitan Collegiate Conference. The latter name was redolent of the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, the formal name of the old Metro 7 Conference (1975-1995) to which AAC schools like Cincinnati, Memphis, and Tulane were charter members, along with Louisville, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Saint Louis.
The Metro, which later included the likes of Virginia Tech, South Florida, and South Carolina, was strong in basketball but never adopted a football conference, and was merged with the Great Midwest Conference into what later became Conference USA.
From GUHoyas.com, news of a successful response to a challenge drive to spur annual gifts from former letter winners across various Georgetown sports. From a $25,000 challenge from three alumni, over $257,000 was raised over the past two months to support the Annual Fund for Georgetown Athletics through Hoyas Unlimited.
"These contributions help ensure that Georgetown athletes will continue to receive the best academic experience coupled with the opportunity to compete at a high level of Division I intercollegiate athletics," said athletic director Lee Reed.
The Washington Wizards moved to the third pick of next month's NBA draft, leading to initial speculation that former Georgetown forward Otto Porter, currently third on many pre-draft boards, could be the Wizards' pick.
The Wizards (nee Bullets) were among the NBA's winningest franchises in the 1970's but have endured three decades of faulty draft picks and poor finishes, having won one playoff series since the 1981-82 season and placing in the NBA draft lottery five consecutive seasons and 17 times overall. Last season, Washington selected 6-5 guard Bradley Beal with the third overall pick.
Since 1976, four Georgetown alumni have been drafted by the franchise:
Recruiting today's high school prospects is often a long and arduous process. Not so in 1977, recalls former Georgetown guard Eric Floyd (C'82) in this link to the Gaston (NC) Gazette.
"Clarence (Big House) Gaines from Winston-Salem State called coach Thompson and told him he needed to sign me,” said Floyd during his induction to the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame. “[Coach Thompson] flies from D.C. to Gastonia, comes to watch me play a pick-up game at Erwin Center for about 20 minutes. He said, ‘I've seen enough' and asked me to visit Georgetown and I signed on that visit.”
"Basketball has allowed me to travel the world,” said Floyd. “I've lived in San Francisco, D.C., Brazil, Paris… but this place remains dear to me. It's special.
I'm blessed and I'm honored to be from Gastonia. So tonight I want to thank Gastonia for looking out for my growth. This city wouldn't let me fail."
Big East conference meetings are underway today, and the Omaha World Herald has a preview of some of the major issues on the agenda, given that the conference opens July 1 and has neither hired a commissioner nor staff to date.
"We'll discuss the coaches' recommendations on scheduling, conference tournaments, the hiring of officials,” said Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen. “We might be able to get through some of the sports fairly quickly, but with others, there will be a lot to be discussed.”
Also on the docket: the men's basketball tournament. After last week's unconfirmed report that the Atlantic Coast Conference might consider poaching the Big East's location at Madison Square Garden, the Big East will be taking a look at ticketing for the event. Schools such as Syracuse and Connecticut accounted for as much as half the ticket sales in recent years, so a major ticket effort among the 10 schools is essential moving forward.
“It's not like we've been sitting still," Rasmussen said. "We've had a lot of conference calls. We've done a lot of the groundwork, but in some ways, you feel like you're in neutral. We just haven't had an opportunity to come together and make some decisions."
The off-season also affords time to do some updates over at the Basketball History pages. Changes and corrections are, of course, welcome, but to help us maintain an accurate site, we've also posted a list of missing items which some of our readers might be able to help with, from scans of old programs to information on former players. Visit this "wanted page" for an update on what is being sought.
It's a quiet time on the basketball front at Georgetown, but a reminder that this there are five weeks remaining in the 2013 membership drive for the Hoya Hoop Club. The Hoop Club mission statement reads as follows:
- "Provide financial support to the Georgetown University Men's Basketball Program in order to assist the Program in being a top-tier Division I basketball program;
- "Provide a conduit through which the Program can interface with Georgetown alumni and other supporters of the Program in a manner that provides for a free and regular exchange of views and information;"
- "Provide events, programs, and services through which members of the Club can interact with one another;
- "Provide a sounding board, give counsel, and advise the athletic director and coaching staff on the perception of the Program among its fan base;
- "Increase the size of the Program's fan base, particularly among Georgetown alumni (both in the Washington, D. C. area and across the country);
- "Create the best possible "home court" advantage while upholding the ideals of good sportsmanship;"
- "Foster a continuation of the Georgetown tradition of scholar athletes."
If you've made a gift in FY2013, thank you. If you have yet to do so, or you made a pledge that still has a balance outstanding, take note of the three easy ways listed on GUHoyas.com to make a gift--online, by e-mail, or by phone. Please consider a year-end gift to give Georgetown Basketball an even more powerful support network within the University community next season.
As always, prior stories over this past week or the last 15+ years of coverage can be found at the News Archive pages, including recaps of all prior games over the season. It's a good way to keep up to date if you've visit the site less frequently. To further search this site or the Basketball History pages, enter your query below.
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