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Big East Linkage: June 1

Big East Linkage is a news roundup feature on BECB. Feel free to send us any relevant links, stories or posts you think might be interesting to readers at bigeastcoastbias at gmail dot com.

Sun Rising on the Big East: Break out your sunglasses! Eric Crawford of the Courier-Journal writes about Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich's optimism about the future of the Big East. Jurich still thinks the conference should look to add Villanova as a football member. However, he is not pushing to go to 12 teams. Jurich also disagrees with UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun that the football and basketball teams will split.

Almost Mr. Irrelevant: The Smoking Musket profiles former NT Chris Nield, who was picked in the penultimate position in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The perspective in the article is from the eyes of head coach Mike Shanahan and the media. Spoiler: it's positive news.

Criminal Mischief: That's what Syracuse center Fab Melo was arraigned for. Melo pleaded not guilty to "damaging a piece of a female SU student's car." A restraining order has been placed on Melo by the student as well. He is due back in court on June 14.

Recruitin': On The Banks has all the latest on the Scarlet Knights football recruiting. Linebacker Steven Longa is on board. The potential recruits still looking at Rutgers along with a watchlist are also discussed.

Switching Positions: Brandon Lindsey has moved from the defensive line to linebacker for Pitt. Cardiac Hill has some quotes on how he's handling the change. There's a juicy one about the change from Wannstedt to Graham: "With Coach Wannstedt, he told us not to get into trouble and to behave. But with Coach Graham, it isn't an option at all." Imagine that.

The State of the Program: Card Chronicle tries to figure out where the Louisville basketball program ranks nationally in recent years. There is a handy graph at the bottom of the article if you aren't that interested in words and explanations.

Rumor Mongering: U of L Card Game has a source that says quarterback DaMarcus Smith is "likely" on the Louisville campus. The Cardinals started summer conditioning at 6 a.m. this morning.

Rivalry Renewed: This is a very Louisville heavy post, but this is the last thing, we promise. The Cardinals have renewed their basketball rivalry with Memphis. The teams last met in the Conference USA Championship Game in 2005. Louisville won that contest 75-74 and holds as 51-34 lead in the series. The teams will meet again December 17.

Shifting Schedules: Syracuse's home opener against Wake Forest on September 3 has been moved up to Thursday, September 1.

A Seat at the Table: South Florida president Judy Genshaft will be one of three university presidents on the NCAA Bowl Licensing Task Force. For the past year Genshaft has been the chair of the NCAA board of directors.

Leavitt Speaks!: Former South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt did an interview with the Tampa Bay Tribune  that was published today. He was hurt by being fired but did have this to say about the program:

In the end, they’re moving forward. It’s a great program. They’ll do well. I’m very proud of that. We built the program right, we built it on rock and a great foundation. All I want for them to do is win the Big East and go to a BCS bowl. And I think they’ll have a great shot this year coming up. They’re loaded with talent. I really think they’ll put it on Notre Dame and I think they’ll run through it. I think they’ll do well. Those players, every one of those starters and probably every one of those backups our staff recruited, so I know them very well and they’re great guys, they’re very talented. I just hope for the best for them, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I love those guys, and players mean a great deal to me, and I know that they’ll do very well.