Big East Conference and Catholic Schools’ Union May Be Headed for Divorce Court

Debby Wong-USA Today Sports Images

Finally fed up with the chaos fueled by football-focused programs, the seven Big East Conference Catholic schools met privately with commissioner Mike Aresco.  And they weren’t happy.  Who can blame them?

The Big East is a mess and these schools, who stand to lose the most, have had the least amount of influence.  That is, until now.

According to a report on ESPN.com sources said representatives from Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova, all Catholic schools, wanted to get a better idea of the state of their union.

As reported here, the non-FBS schools have a small window in which they could possibly dissolve the league and create their own conference.

However, according to several sources, as reported by Rant Sports’ Paul Seaver, a split from the league is unlikely.

But why not?  These Catholic schools have been faithful members of the league, standing by while some football schools jumped ship at the first flash of cash.  Others publicly pursued relationships with conferences they considered more suitable suitors.

It’s embarrassing, humiliating.

Enough with the pretense, these schools seem to be saying.  They want assurances that the upheaval in the Big East household is coming to an end. Or else.  That’s right, time to lawyer up.

Perhaps fearing they couldn’t go it alone, the Catholic schools remained quite quiet about how football was dictating the future of the league.

Silent no more, they are presenting a united front.  The fact that the Catholic schools arranged a meeting together demonstrates how serious they are about this alliance.  This has to be unsettling to football only schools scheduled to join the Big East.  Last week CBSSports.com reported that some incoming schools like Houston and Boise State have already negotiated reduced exit fees if “certain financial goals are not met.”

Wow, that’s like negotiating your divorce settlement before the wedding date.  Smart move.  With the Big East’s recent difficulties maintaining relationships, it’s best to get a pre-nup.

Meanwhile the Catholic schools have served notice.  As a group, no longer are they content with playing the dutiful wife while the league pursues new, supposedly more attractive mates.  They’ve grown sick of broken promises about how things are gonna get better.

If things don’t change.  They want out and the next time they call a meeting, the commish might be sitting across from their lawyers.

Merlisa blogs about Georgetown and Big East basketball: Follow her on Twitter: merlisa 

 

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