Where I eat your soul
Anyone who has followed my writing knows how important the Big East is to me. My father used to take me to Madison Square Garden as a child to watch the St. John’s Red Storm play their biggest games. I always enjoyed the depth and competitiveness of the league, even the cellar-dwellers were fairly interesting(Looking at you DePaul). But conference realignment is all the rage these days and nobody has been more effected than the Big East.
With key powerhouse programs departing, while the Big East is adding something called the Tulane Green Wave, the “Catholic Seven” are none to pleased. Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova: are all basketball only schools and are meeting to discuss their future. They also are the only mainstays from the Big East as we knew it just a few years ago. Well, they are not happy and are thinking of using their majority vote to dissolve the Big East.
However, it’s way more complicated than just ending the Big East all together. If they were to dissolve the conference the Catholic Seven would have no start-up money for a new conference as they would forfeit all NCAA Tournament earnings. A source(apparently told ESPN, full credit for source to them) close to the situation said the following:
“The basketball schools are not thrilled with Tulane and what they will do to the league’s RPI. They were not all that excited with that addition. The basketball schools would have fallen off the ledge if we would have added East Carolina as a full member and what that would have done to the basketball league.”
But wait, there’s more. The much heralded deal commissioner Mike Aresco signed with MSG to keep playing conference tournament games there is in jeopardy. MSG management was smart enough to have a clause put in the contract, so if the Big East continues to diminish, they can get out of the deal.
I’ve stood up for Aresco on several occasions(most of my Big East stuff is on Rant Sports) but he needs to act quickly. The Catholic Seven have the majority vote until July 1st and while many think it’s unimaginable that they’d dissolve the Big East, I just don’t think you can predict universities anymore. The loss of football money would ultimately be the only reason the seven schools try to remain with the newly constructed Big East. Alas, there’s nothing saying they can’t take their ball, go home, and try to do better themselves.
I don’t personally care what would happen to the football-only members of the conference. None of them were actually a part of the Big East as I knew it growing up. It’s just become so strange where university presidents who preach amateur status and the like are so openly treating realignment like a business. Who can blame them(I can), with realignment comes huge risks of how much money these schools can make. And now with the realignment, will come the death(in one form or another) of the Big East as anyone knew it.
But hey big time sports is a big time business. The NCAA, universities, and conferences all have to do what they can to maximize profit.
So, why aren’t the kids getting paid again?