Basketball, Columnists, Sports

The Empty Net: Hope and change

So, another season of Boston University basketball opens up Friday night.

This one, however, will possess a tainted air, as the Terriers have been banned from America East postseason play — the America East tournament.

Of course this is disappointing for fans in the short term.  Disappointment, of course, leads to frustration, sometimes anger.

We create villains in our mind — those responsible for our disappointment are evil! “BU ruined the basketball season! America East is a bunch of jerks!”

But there are no villains here.

I understand and have no problem with the decision by BU to move to the Patriot League, as well as America East’s decision to ban BU from winning its conference title this season.

You are BU. Things went fine with America East. You guys had some good times and got along for a while, but you’ve grown apart — you need a change.

You were working in a mailroom in Toledo and you’ve just been offered a management position in New York.

You’re not turning that down, and you shouldn’t. Bolt! Go! Make a better life for yourself.

And make no apologies for doing it. It’s not personal. It’s life.

You are America East. You were dating the hottest girl at your school and she just dumped you … but she still wants you to take her to prom.

You don’t want to take her! She just dumped you! You’re only human.

So, you let her keep some of her things in your locker for a little while, you wave at her in the halls and you take your lumps like an adult — but you’re not letting her lean on your shoulder during the slow dance.

Hey, you’d be the nicest guy around if you did, but how could I expect that from you?

You’ve got at least some pride.  Don’t you?

America East doesn’t want their conference champion to be a team who’s skipping town the next day. That’s bad for the conference (and it makes them look like a bunch of buffoons).

There are consequences, good and bad, for every decision we make.  Every one.

You eat a donut — tastes damn good, but you just got a little chunkier.

You take that great internship you landed — you’re on track for that job you want someday, but you’re going to be broke and tired for the near future.

You move conferences — the future got a lot brighter, but this season might not be one to remember.

I transferred to BU, a far superior school to my prior one.

My last semester at my original university, I had to fill out a ton of paperwork, spend hours on the phone and in meetings, and deal with a lot of extra stress.

Saying goodbye to good friends was hard.

People say, “transferring sucks,” but they’re wrong.

The process of transferring sucks — the paperwork, the stress, the goodbyes — but transferring (if you’re moving to a better place for you) is great.

My reward?

I go to a fantastic school (a lot of BU students seem to not appreciate how good of a school BU is, but it’s a damn good school) — recently ranked seventh in the country at preparing students for the job market by The New York Times.

I live in Boston. I can’t imagine a better city to live in if you’re a college student.

I still have my old friends, but I have new ones too.  There are more than 600,000 people in this city and 30,000 students at BU alone — a lot of potential buds out there.

I really liked my old school. I enjoyed the time I had there. I grew so much. I’m so glad I have those experiences and people in my life.

A lot of people go there, stay there, graduate, live great lives and have no regrets because they did what was right for them.

But, I’m glad I moved on.

I made the right move for me.  People understood that.  They supported me.

BU is making the right move for them. For us.

The Patriot League is a better conference — academically and athletically.

The Patriot League gives us better opportunities moving forward.

There are consequences — our basketball team probably won’t play in the NCAA tournament this year.

It stinks for the players, the coaches and fans. I feel and wholeheartedly understand their disappointment, but BU had to make the move that was right for them.

So, this season is bittersweet.

I feel your pain, Terrier players — especially you seniors. I really do.

But, you’ve still got a lot to play for.

Darryl Partin was drafted into the D-League last week. Why can’t you be?

You’re pissed off at America East, and so are the fans. Why not stick it to them?

They can keep you out of the conference tournament, but they can’t keep you from winning games — beating up on the conference.

And I know it’s a long shot, but they can’t keep you out of the NCAA tournament either.

I respect those who don’t fear change, who aren’t afraid to make big decisions — big moves.

I respect those who can stare down some bad news and not roll over.

That’s why I’ll be rooting for BU basketball as hard as ever this season.

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