IN THE AREA of conference realignment, West Virginia University is sitting in a precarious position. Fans are searching for every bit of news, hoping their school finds a spot in a power conference.
(The latest rumor was SEC officials took a straw vote that came out in favor of the Mountaineers. "I don't know if that's true or not," said WVU athletic director Oliver Luck. "I can't confirm or deny it. I haven't talked to anyone about it.")
Anyway, in the midst of it all is a man who will be seriously affected by West Virginia's ultimate landing: basketball coach Bob Huggins. Strangely, his strong voice has been silent in regard to the subject.
On Tuesday, though, Huggins was on the road recruiting during this contact period and took a few moments during a layoff in Atlanta to speak to the subject.
"The truth is, no one knows what's going on," Huggins said. "There was that rumor about the SEC straw vote, but nobody at our university knows anything about it."
Huggins, however, continues to recruit despite the uncertainty. Do the recruits ask about WVU's position and the Big East?
"They all ask," he said. "I tell them to remember that Pitt and Syracuse are bound to our league for two, and maybe three, more years. So it doesn't really affect the kids we're recruiting."
Huggins said he believes the Mountaineers can still find a suitable home.
"I think the ACC is a possibility," he said. "I think staying where we are is a possibility. I think the Big 12 is a possibility. I think the SEC is a possibility. Or a variation thereof.
"We're not out of the discussion of anything, contrary to what some people would have you believe. The only thing we're out of is being invited to the Big Ten. All others are possibilities."
Huggins correctly pointed out that "not a lot happened that everybody thought," like Rutgers and Connecticut to the ACC. (Yet.) He said, however, none of this is surprising.
"I honestly thought at some point in time it would go this way, to power or super conferences," said the coach. "It started with Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami [to the ACC].
"The problem with all this is, quite frankly, you run out of [schools] to add. That's because it's all football-driven. One hundred percent football-driven. The reason is, the schools keep the football money. Zero is given to the NCAA. We basically fund the NCAA."
By "we" he means college basketball, and he's correct. According to the NCAA itself, "rights fees have accounted for about 85 percent of all NCAA revenue. In 2009-10, the media agreements constituted 86 percent of NCAA revenue."
In other words, the NCAA basketball tournament media agreements. The Wall Street Journal has reported the tournament is second only to the Super Bowl in terms of advertising sales for a postseason event.