After suggesting a mouth-watering way to help kick off the 2013-14 college basketball season in style next fall, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press on Thursday that his eight-team event in Arlington, Texas is no longer a possibility.
Hollis initially proposed the idea to have four courts set up at Cowboys Stadium, with four separate games scheduled to tip off roughly 15 minutes apart. Along with mirroring the rapid-fire format of the NCAA Tournament, Hollis' idea would have helped inject a significant amount of excitement to a sport that suffers from the lack of a true opening night or weekend. But after failing to lock down a television deal, Hollis was forced to put his undeniably brilliant plan on the back burner for the time being.
"It’s off," Hollis said. "I’m disappointed it’s not taking place, and I also understand the input provided by all the different parties involved."
Due to the fact that college basketball draws such a minimal share of television viewers early in the season, networks like ESPN, CBS and Turner each made the business-minded decision to avoid turning Hollis' concept into reality. Even though Hollis had already drew the interest of seven other schools, broadcasting the event on four separate channels ultimately proved to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a deal. It is unfortunate that college hoops fans won't be treated to a March Madness-style opener next fall, but Hollis' determination could easily make a similar idea come to fruition in coming years.