The realignments of college conferences are far reaching, and every school in the nation seems to be involved in the merry-go-round with no one wanting to be left out of the money that is being made from television deals. The latest news involves the seven non-FBS schools of the Big East, Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova. These schools also happen to be the core Catholic schools of the conference and many have been a part of the conference since its inception.
Sources said the seven schools, meeting with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco on Sunday, discussed a number of options but most importantly wanted to have “lots of dialogue to better understand the best course of action for the future.” Another source said no decision was made on what future action to take but the schools could ultimately make a choice to split from the Big East’s football members. The question is do these schools have the power to actually pull that off? No one has yet to confirm if whether the Big East basketball-only schools have the power to dissolve the league, and retain all the assets and brand name.
The seven schools are concerned about the additions of full members Memphis, Temple, Tulane, Central Florida, SMU and Houston, and football-only member East Carolina over the next two years to replace the five schools already departing . “The basketball schools are not thrilled with Tulane and what they will do to the league’s RPI,” said a league source from a football-playing member. “They were not all that excited with that addition.”
For years now there have been rumors that the basketball schools of the Big East wanted to split and now the added turmoil of the stream of defections has boiled up these conversations. Schools are now making decisions based on money and the ability, in their opinion, to survive. The coming weeks could determine how long the Big East survives as a viable conference.