We talk to Ezra Edelman, the director of a recently released ESPN “30 for 30” documentary about the rise and fall of the Big East Conference. Edelman’s documentary describes the meteoric rise in the early 1980s of the Big East Conference, with its many colorful coaches and talented players.
The conference’s popularity coincided with the beginnings of ESPN, which was the first channel to transmit one conference’s games to a national audience. Particularly divisive were the Georgetown Hoyas, led by one of the few African-American coaches of the era, and known for having extremely talented, tough, primarily-black rosters. But in the end, greed and the addition of football-oriented teams to the conference, led to the Big East’s downfall.