Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sources: Big East expected to split

Sources: Big East expected to split
Published on CBSSports.com | shared via feedly
The Big East's seven non-FBS football-playing members have decided to separate from the league's football-playing members and would like to announce the decision within a week barring an unexpected change of plans, multiple sources within the conference told CBSSports.com on Thursday.
The NY Post reported that the split would be announced later Thursday.
But a source told CBSSports.com that no announcement is expected that soon.

This all comes after ESPN.com reported late Wednesday that the Big East's nonfootball-playing members -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova -- were "leaning" toward separating. USA Today subsequently reported that Big East commissioner Mike Aresco is "exploring all avenues to hold the conference together" but added an "official at a school moving to the Big East in 2013 [said] the football schools are under the impression that a breakup is imminent."
Original story.

The Big East has tried valiantly desperately to stay relevant since the wheels of conference realignment first started turning two years ago. The strength of the conference has always been basketball, but football revenue is driving the realignment train and the Big East just doesn't have the product, the facilities or the budgets to compete with the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 or SEC.

The basketball schools listed above are just fine playing in a basketball conference. With the basketball elite leaving to perhaps form a new conference, out goes one of the drawing points for multi-sport schools who had planned to join.

With access to the BCS now in serious jeopardy (even though AQ status goes away after 2013), the conference's bowl tie ins should go into a state of flux as well. Aside from the BCS bid, the conference has relationships with a collection of mostly lower tier bowls that probably cost the schools a lot more  than they're worth.

It's not a good day for Commissioner Aresco.

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