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Keeping the score from home

You know the score; we all do. So does the men’s basketball team.

The Big East is coming, and for all its worth, it may not be all that pretty.

Though in all likelihood, it won’t be the worst season in school history — that was the 1987-88 season, when the team went 6-21 — but it certainly won’t be easy for the team, either.

And you can’t help but feel sorry for them.

They’re loveable guys. They have a player with a new, street-ball style of playing. And McCullum deserves credit for all he has done in two years. Seth Greenberg deserted his nation and fled to the boring state of Virginia. McCullum busted his backside, got the recruits he wanted and replaced his valued trio of Terrence Leather, Brian Swift and Marlyn Bryant.

He knew the score as well, and he upped his ante.

It’s been hard enough already, so why make it harder on him and these loveable losers of the Big East?

You know what’s coming. It’s been talked about at the proverbial water cooler: moving home games for the men’s — maybe even the women’s — basketball team from the Sun Dome to the St. Pete Times Forum when they play teams like UConn, West Virginia, Georgetown or St. John’s.

The last basketball game held there was when the Harlem Globetrotters faced off against those other loveable losers, the New York Nationals.Imagine that score.

Yet the athletic department would rather have the team look like the Nationals, letting the UConn Globetrotters do turkey dances around McCullum’s precious recruits.

There is only one benefit here: money.

The season may look bleak, but let’s not make it look bleaker by playing in front of an arena of empty seats matching the entire seating capacity of the Sun Dome.

The fans have already sounded off. They want home-field advantage. They want the score to be even.

Take that away and what does the team have? Slim chances? A horrendous score?

Their chances may be few and far between in 2006 when the conference schedule opens up, but why make it harder? More exposure? ESPN likes the Forum better?

The school has been working hard to fix up the Sun Dome. A little paint over there, some carpet up front, fixing the seats, sweeping the old dirt under the rug — whatever it takes to make the place respectable. Commendable, given that the structure’s older than most of the people attending games.

All that just to throw it all away because the score seems lopsided, because it just had to be a good idea to get a major sport off campus and downtown where — believe it or not — there is actually less parking.The team won’t be bad forever.

No one can actually see McCullum standing for it. His recruits certainly don’t, and deep down, you know it’ll be different eventually.

Those who get suffocated by the big boys come up for air eventually, though they have to fight for it.

History is being made and it needs to be made on campus.

When you take away the value of campus life and make it difficult for the students to attend games, you know where that leaves you?

With an unforgettable score.

USF 42,590, Students 0.