I suppose Big East (soon to be America 12) commissioner Mike Aresco‘s big plan is to get as much money as humanly possible — as quickly as possible.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have agreed to give the (soon to be) America 12 a cool $2.5 million in exchange for an opportunity to leave for the ACC as soon as the season is over. The semantics of the matter is that the Irish could have waited 27 months to exit with no fee, but opted to get out of the abomination that the America 12 is going to become as fast as they could.
For one, I do not blame Notre Dame for paying their way out of a horrible situation. The America 12 is going to boast a lineup of sub-par programs next year and the Irish don’t have time for that. All it took was a couple of million of dollars — that the Irish use to blow their noise — to get out of Dodge before Dodge looks like a Ford Pinto.
As for the America 12, although they get some quick money, this proves to be another example of Aresco’s inability to have a long-term outlook. Sure, the Irish were only going to be there for another year or two, but the $2.5 million you scooped up isn’t nearly equal to the amount of credibility the conference just lost.
Aresco has been replacing traditional powers with ho-hum programs since conference realignment got underway. Instead of opting for a more well-thought-out plan, Aresco continues to let “name” programs go, and routinely grabs the first school available to replace them.
So while Notre Dame is going to the ACC for a lot more money, better exposure, and tons of credibility — the America 12 will continue to tread the line of slightly above horrible to irrelevant.