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Scheduling Issues

There is an interesting thread on the board about the men's and women's
schedule, and scheduling conflicts between the two teams. We took a
closer look at it and broke it down some on the table to your right.
Here's what the colors mean:

MEN WOMEN
DATE OPP H/A TIME OPP H/A TIME
11/25 Portland H 8:00 P.M. Duke Classic H 2:00 P.M.
12/02 Clemson H 8:00 P.M. LaTech A 3:30 P.M.
12/08 Michigan H 2:00 P.M. at Georgetown A TBA

12/16

NC A&T H 3:30 P.M. UNCG H 8:00 P.M.
1/2 Davidson A 7:30 P.M. Maryland H 7:00 P.M.
1/6 FSU A 6:30 P.M. WFU H 2:00 P.M.
1/10 GT H 9:00 P.M. Clemson A 7:00 P.M.
1/13 NCSU A 8:00 P.M. NCSU A 6:00 P.M.
1/24 BC A 9:00 P.M. UNC H 7:00 P.M.
1/27 UVA H 1:00 P.M. FSU A 2:00 P.M.
1/31 UNC A 9:00 P.M. GT H 7:00 P.M.
2/3 Clemson A 8:00 P.M. MD A 12::00 P.M.
2/7 FSU H 7:00 P.M. WFU A 7:00 P.M.
2/21 WFU A 9:00 P.M. FSU H 7:00 P.M.
2./24 SJU H 4:00 P.M. UNC A 4:00
  • Gray: no conflict. People can get to both games with no problem.
  • Yellow: scheduled by the conference
  • Red: TV Game
  • White: no particular scheduling issue is obvious.

If we're not mistaken, the conference games are all scheduled by the ACC,
and the schools don't have any input into that. We're pretty sure that's
right, because every year someone bitches about what they got, which would
suggest they have no role in it.

Six of the men/women conflicts result from the ACC scheduling folks. In
fairness to them, they have to consider issues like that the ESA is a
multi-use arena, which is probably why the men and women are on the same day:
by contract, NCSU gets only so many days a year in the arena. That is
true for all the other arenas, where various events like concerts might be
scheduled, or school functions of one sort or another, but it's a
particular problem for State, and that means about 25 or 26 particular
problems for the schedulers.

There are some games which Duke has more control. For instance,
Portland and the Duke Classic: the games are at home, on the same day, and
well-spaced.

The Clemson/Louisiana Tech conflict falls on whoever put together the
women's schedule, since the ACC picked that day for the men to play Clemson,
and the men's team has no choice in the matter.

The next issue is television. Now, some games Duke has more say-so
over, like Davidson and A&T in particular. Those are regional
games, and since Duke has become pretty much the premier program nationally,
their pull counts more. If Duke isn't in these games, there is no TV,
period. So put those two in a different stack, because Duke probably has
more control over those than the rest of the non-con TV games. Since
both games are at home on 12/16, the "conflict" is inconsequential.

As for the Davidson game, Duke could conceivably have muscled that date,
but with the longest conference road trip just four days later, it wouldn't
make much sense. They would probably leave on the 5th. Scheduling it any
tighter could be tough academically and physically. A trip to Charlotte sounds
trivial, but it's still a road trip, and if it's by bus, that's 6 hours of
travel. That's a lot.

That leaves three TV games to consider.

  • Michigan/CBS
  • Boston College/ESPN
  • St. John's/CBS
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These spots are premiere games, particularly the CBS games, even though
Michigan is still down and Duke doesn't want to play them anymore since Amaker
is there. Still, in the case of Michigan, it seems that the date with
Georgetown could have been negotiated more easily. BC is scheduled
against a conference game, and so is St. John's. Both are scheduled the same
day as UNC as a matter of fact, and the St. John's game goes head-to-head with
the women's game.

Our point is pretty simple: first of all, scheduling is not at all easy to
do. In fact, it's damn hard, particularly when you are scheduling a
conference. You have to factor in multi-use arenas, exam breaks,
being fair in travel planning, and arena conflicts. Secondly, you have to
factor in television. For the men that is particularly difficult, since every
game is televised somewhere. Out of these games, we see six that might
have been scheduled differently, either by the men's or women's teams, to give
both teams a chance to be in the spotlight. All of the games for the men are
televised, presenting a new conflict -- not to mention the other team's
scheduling needs.

We hate the fact that some people who are fans of both teams are feeling a
need to choose on some days. That's terrible, and certainly in no one's best
interest, least of all the humble folk who just love Duke. But there is
a cold reality for Duke which is true for possibly only Wake Forest among ACC
schools: the basketball program -- the men's -- is responsible for
everyone else.

It's a small school, though with some mullah of course,
but the state provides no cash for the Duke athletic department. It has to
raise what it can, how it can, and the meal ticket is men's basketball.
The tournament money, the TV money, and the money donated by people who want
to see the team play -- this money basically funds every other team Duke
fields. If there is a conflict, it should surprise no one that
money, as it always does, gets the last word.