Ever since November, the plan has been for Grand Canyon University to move up to Division I athletics.
Having accepted an invitation to join the WAC, the growing school would become the fourth university in the state to achieve such status, though first to do so in the same market as one of the other three.
Enter Arizona State University.
Much has been made recently of school president Michael Crow’s objection to GCU’s entrance into Division I, to the point where he has asked the Pac-12 to protest the move due to the school being a for-profit university.
“He is a hypocrite,” ESPN NCAA hoops analyst Jay Bilas said of Crow on Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “Really, what’s happening is they don’t want to compete.”
Bilas pointed the monopoly ASU has had in the Valley, and believes the school’s president has little interest in sharing or competing.
“Grand Canyon University is a threat,” Bilas said. “They’re an NCAA member, they were admitted in good standing, everybody knew they were for-profit and now they’re going Division I, and now all of a sudden there’s a problem?”
Bilas said the idea that there is a difference between shareholders and boosters is “really absurd,” and added the idea that the schools share different standards is wrong and counterproductive.
“Let’s pretend for a second that if every institution in the NCAA structure admitted students and educated them to the standard they educate their normal student,” he said, noting that the premise means there are no differences for athletes or any other student. “We’d still complain that ‘our standards are higher than yours and it’s so difficult; how can we be expected to compete with you because you admit the lesser student than we do so you have a better chance to win,’ which implies that in order to win you have to have idiots.”
The way Bilas sees it, that mentality is “so stupid” and doesn’t get why schools look to tear each other down for no reason.
“If Arizona State doesn’t want to play Grand Canyon, don’t play them,” he said. “But you know what? You may have to play them in the NCAA Tournament.
“You’re free not to play them, but if you want to say now they don’t belong in Division I when they’ve satisfied the criteria for getting in, then you’re a hypocrite.”