Earlier this month, Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis floated the idea of playing four NCAA basketball games in Cowboys Stadium. At the same time.
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The idea may not have been as far-fetched as it sounds, Hollis having previously organized a game on the aircraft carrier that took Osama bin Laden's body to sea, but it still seemed somewhat absurd. Setting aside the obvious but probably surmountable logistical challenges, there's the basic fact that this isn't a third grade rec league but big-money college basketball.
That seems to be what ultimately torpedoed the idea. The Detroit Free-Press reported yesterday (h/t CBS Sports) afternoon that Hollis had decided to call the game off:.
The biggest issue was the inability to find a TV network willing to broadcast four games at once on different channels.
ESPN, CBS and Turner networks were approached, but there were concerns about "diluting exposure and tying down four networks," Hollis said, at a time of year in which college basketball does not typically receive high ratings.
The logistics of the games themselves had been worked out, and Hollis said Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Anderson -- daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones -- was "phenomenal" in trying to make it all work.
Hollis also said the head coaches of the other seven, undisclosed schools were enthusiastic about the event. He said he even got calls from other high-profile coaches interested in it.
But the TV issue and other questions about how to split things financially ultimately killed the idea.
Hollis expressed disappointment that the spectacle was being called off, since it meant that some 30,000 military personnel wouldn't get to go to Arlington on Veterans Day to watch four basketball games at once. Helping vets was what the idea was all about, by the way. It had nothing to do with money or ego.