BEast Catholic schools unity could bring $$$

What’s the next move for the Big East Catholic schools who are weighing the options of breaking completely away from the conference?

Several sources say it is a complicated process with numerous details that must be worked out.

But if they do decide to leave as a group, they will not have to pay an exit fee. A rule that was put in place almost a decade ago when the Big East lost Virginia Tech, Miami and then Boston  College to the ACC, stipulates that should the football or basketball segments of the league want to break away as a group no exit fees will be imposed. Schools leaving the Big  East on an individual basis have had to pay between $5 and $17 million.

With the seven Catholic schools talking about leaving the Big East as a group, the no exit fee clause would apply.

In addition, the Catholic schools would most likely be able to retain the Big East name as a conference if they leave as a group and the Big East  football officially dissolves. If that happens they would also be likely to retain the automatic NCAA tournament bid given to the Big East since they would be a group of schools who have established a long history of competition against each other. But with all the other elements and commitments from its new members, dissolving the league would be a complicated and difficult process.

And this “new” group would most likely still  control the financially valuable units the NCAA gives to  conference schools who perform well in the NCAA tournament.

Everyone involved concedes it is a complicated process, involving not only configuration, but revenue distribution.

After meeting as a group with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco on Sunday in New York, the Catholic schools fee the next move will be up to Aresco as he tries to finalize a new television contract.

In their meeting on Sunday, the Catholic schools talked of having a 6 month time limit on resolving all significant  issues. The time-limit is based on the addition of a six more schools in football on July 1, which would then give the football schools a majority on voting issues.

As part of that movement, the Big East announced its home and home sites for next year’s 12-team 20 division football schedule on Tuesday. The dates will be announced at a later date.

If the Catholic schools do break away on their own, they will need at least 1 and possible a total of 3 to 5 new members. Speculation on those schools is already rampant. The key element in that move, however, is to have the inventory of a new league in place so television fees can be determined.

That is also a complicated process, which could also  slow the movement of schools want to break away from the Big East. Aresco is counting on that indecision to allow him time to put together a deal in football and basketball which will  keep both sides content.

© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.

  15 comments for “BEast Catholic schools unity could bring $$$

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  3. Bob
    December 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    The Big East bylaws contain no such provisions. They have no special provisions for anyone leaving – original members, or not.

    • Mark
      December 16, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Hey sparky. How about those exit fees? Haven’t heard from you on that one. What a shock.

  4. Brandon
    December 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Couple of things,

    1. the NCAA credits, the Catholic basketball schools wouldn’t get them. If they broke off and disolved the BE, the credits per NCAA rules go back to the schools that earned them. IE, Pitt, Cuse, Cinny, WVU, UConn, etc.

    2. The BE by-laws were made public in the WVU case, read it, the “rule” you say was put in isn’t there. There was an offer made to the FB members in 2010 to spilt with no fees, but the basketball schools would keep the name. But, that wasn’t taken at the time, now that option isn’t a slam dunk, case closed for the basketball members now.

    3. They will need to tread carefully here about splitting or killing the league. 9 schools have publicly jion the BE and many are join officially in 6 months time, 2 a year later and 1 the after. 8 have already starting paying exist fees and some may have already paid the entrance fee and all have signed the membership contracts. Disolving the league after extending invitations to other schools to join and aproving their additions could and IMO would open them up to law suits for defrauding the new schools, misrepresentation, and breach of contracts.

  5. John Bragg
    December 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    So then why is there no reference to this sort of thing in the bylaws?

    • Mark
      December 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Don’t know. But I talked to the guy who wrote the change in the rules.

  6. Michael Medlin
    December 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Has anybody noticed that if the A-10 and BE catholic schools merged together that they would have 8 FCS teams that play football? They could attempt to sell their FCS content along with BBall…or form a regional network. It wouldnt make it on to basic cable but could make a decent amount of money with the high number of alumni.

  7. Dennis
    December 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    UConn and San Diego State will never play a game against one another as members of the Big East…not sure what the name of thew ocnferece will be but the BIg East Conference is dead.

  8. Parker
    December 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm


    I appreciate your coverage of the Big East.

    Regarding the hoop schools leaving as a group, is there at least a notice provision even if there is no exit fee? 27-month notice provision like the others?

    If there is a notice provision, then the dissolution of the Big East is iffy. The hoop schools don’t have the votes now. And new members join in July.


    • Mark
      December 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Not sure how it will all work out if it comes down to that. it is complicated in so many areas

  9. Guy
    December 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    This is a marriage of two sides with separate goals and interests. Check mate for the Catholic schools.

    i think Aresco needs to work on behalf of the basketball schools – much more upside for him.

    The erector set football/basketball conference needs to take it’s rightful place in history. An all around good stepping stone for those who were smart enough and strong enough to take advantage of a crazy idea.

    Congrats to Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville. Cincy and UConn are trying to ride their bikes out of the neighborhood as fast as they can before the old streets go full Detroit.



  10. December 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Mark: Here is a link to the Big East bylaws –

    Pulled from the WVU lawsuit filings. So they are current as of that point.

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