Catching up with Layden / NU to Big East with Frank

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Catching up with Layden / NU to Big East with Frank

Postby msm29 » Sat May 09, 2020 6:19 pm

Our Jerry Sullivan checked in on Frank Layden to see if he'd watched the Michael Jordan documentary.

Nope:

https://www.niagara-gazette.com/sports/ ... 4bc8b.html
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Re: Catching up with Layden

Postby le » Mon May 11, 2020 8:57 pm

Great article Mike. This story is loaded with interesting NU basketball history along with anecdotal MJ reports.

It’s astonishing to think of. On the same Niagara basketball team, under Taps Gallagher, there were three guys who went on to be successful coaches in the NBA: Costello, Layden and Brown.
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Re: Catching up with Layden

Postby jhart » Mon May 11, 2020 9:39 pm

And each total first class men!
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Re: Catching up with Layden

Postby le » Tue May 12, 2020 9:42 am

OK, I'm going to re-open this smelly can of worms once again cause I"m bored shitless.

Frank L left Niagara after the 1976 season. The Big East was mainly organized by PC's AD Dave Gavitt in 1979. Do many of the senior alums believe Frank would have have led Niagara to the promised land against long odds ? Did he really have the "magic" to get this done ? Did Frank ever offer any speculation in later years as to what he would've done during the "Gavitt discussions."

Also, Bonnies joined the A10 in 1979. NU accepted membership in the MAAC in 1980. I was at NU at the time, but my memory is very clouded with beer, philo courses and women (mainly nurses). Did we have the insight to pursue membership in the A10 when SBU was seeking admission ? Or did we blow this opp as well ?

Comments would be greatly appreciated .
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Re: Catching up with Layden / Big East with Frank, A10 ?

Postby MICKEY » Tue May 12, 2020 10:26 am

In conversations I have had with Frank he has said two things. One he was a close friend of Dave Gavitt and the other was we had two large facilities, the Aud and the Conventiion Center which was what the Big East wanted. He felt had he stayed we would have had a shot at membership. I don’t think we entered the MAAC as early as 1980 and the A-10 or Eastern 8 or what ever was never in the cards. Simply said, it was just never meant to be!
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Re: Catching up with Layden / Big East with Frank, A10 ?

Postby ppittin » Tue May 12, 2020 10:37 am

I graduated in 1969 and was in Alpha Kappa Psi---professional business fraternity. During my junior year Coach Layden was invited to speak at one of our dinners. I remember the night and his talk very well. He spoke of the future of college basketball and the future was in forming/joining leagues. Frank was way ahead of his time!! He said that NU was in a perfect spot to be in a league with many of the teams we were already playing. A league that would include the Little Three plus SU plus all the Philly schools we were already scheduling. I believe we would have done very well if someone (read administration) had listened to Coach Layden. Also during that time there were many discussions about a facility downtown..."a Facility built by Calvin". In my opinion, we had a perfect storm and blew it. We had Calvin and his legacy, a coach with a vision and some support downtown for a facility. Coach Layden should have started (and became commissioner) of a new league....
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Re: Catching up with Layden / Big East with Frank, A10 ?

Postby le » Tue May 12, 2020 11:07 am

So it was 50/50 a jump ball of sorts if Frank had stayed ? I mean honestly, Seton Hall wasn't a power house by any means at the time and was offered membership. I tend to agree with Frank's assessment based upon his ongoing relationship with with Dave Gavitt at the time. When I was at NU in the mid to late 70's, we played BC, Hall, PC, UConn, SU, Nova and Holy Cross whom subsequently turned down membership in the BE. The cards seemed to be aligned in our favor with all of Frank's contacts at these schools.

Does anybody know why we didn't apply for membership in the A10 when Bonnies did ? Money?
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Re: Catching up with Layden / Big East with Frank, A10 ?

Postby efkay2u » Tue May 12, 2020 12:02 pm

I don't know if we applied to the conference that morphed into the Atlantic 10. Yes, I believe it originally was the Eastern 8 and I remember watching a ST Bona Old Dominion Game. (I had never heard of ODU prior to that).

We didn't join the MAAC until I believe 1988/89? . From my recollection the ECAC placed Niagara and Canisius into the ECAC North with the New England Hockey schools plus Colgate. The New York teams that were left behind were grouped the ECAC Metro which later became the Northeast Conference. I believe Niagara just sat around on the sidelines. Canaisius was still reeling fro their Larry Fogel scandal and they were actually pondering the future of their program as a D i team. (I posted an article about their scandal in the Posting about the AUD) . The A-10 would have been a perfect match for NU.

Under Father Slattery besides the construction of Dunleavy Hall and rebuilding Clet Hall there was little investment or plans for the future of Niagara and we paid greatly for it in the subsequent years , IMHO.
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Re: Catching up with Layden / Big East with Frank, A10 ?

Postby le » Tue May 12, 2020 2:11 pm

I’m sorry the MAAC was formed in 1980. NU joined the NAC - North Atlantic in the early 80’s with CC, Siena, BU, Northeastern , Hartford and I think Maine , NH etc.
NAC:

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/co ... /1989.html
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Re: Catching up with Layden / Big East with Frank, A10 ?

Postby le » Tue May 12, 2020 2:52 pm

Man, I'm getting old. I always thought the ECAC-North was called the NAC- North Atlantic. According to sports reference.com, NU joined the ECAC-NORTH in 1979, which changed names to the NAC in 1988. NU subsequently joined the MAAC for the 89-90 season. The NAC eventually morphed into the AEAST Conference.

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/niagara/

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/co ... /1992.html
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