Cohen Takes College Sports to House Floor

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., made a speech on House floor Thursday to pitch the idea of University of Memphis joining the Big East Conference. The Commercial Appeal says Cohen had one minute — and no timeouts — to play the role of Rick Pitino.
On Wednesday Pitino, the University of Louisville basketball coach, campaigned for the Big East Conference to consider inviting former Conference USA rival Memphis. Cohen, a Memphian and longtime fan of Tiger athletics, picked up the conference realignment ball Thursday and took his best shots.
During a brief plea on the House floor, Cohen said he wanted to encourage ”all the Big East presidents to consider the University of Memphis for membership.”
”Memphis is a major city, home of Federal Express and International Paper and other major companies. We don’t have a professional football team in Memphis so if we get in the Big East, in essence, you are our professional football team and the city would rally around it, unlike in Dallas and Houston where they have professional (football) teams.”
Cohen referenced Pitino’s suggestion to invite Memphis during his talk, the speech coming as the Big East considers adding Boise State, Central Florida, SMU, Houston, Air Force and Navy to offset the departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU.

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