Even though the seven Big East Catholic non-football playing schools have agreed to leave the conference and form their own league, they have yet figured out a way to make the move. And there are also financial considerations that must be addressed.
With that as a backdrop, several sources say it will at least be the fall of 2014 and perhaps even as late as the fall of 2015 before the schools will be able to break away completely.
The Catholic schools–DePaul, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, Georgetown, and Villanova– are also working on finding a way to immediately disperse the exit fee money from schools that have already left or committed to leaving, a total which is reportedly in excess of $20 million which is currently in the pool. That would serve as a start up money for a new conference.
To make such a move a simple vote among the 10 remaining schools with full voting rights–the 7 Catholic schools and Cincinnati, South Florida and Connecticut–is required.
Once the main money issue is taken care of, the Catholic schools must work on finding two or three more teams to round out there conference. Schools such as Xavier, Dayton, St Louis, Creighton and even Gonzaga have been mentioned.
The Catholic schools then must address of acquiring the Big East brand name to take with them. That will also cost some money, which can be paid to the football schools from the exit fee money that has just been divided.
With a name and start-up cash, the Catholic schools can then go about building a conference structure. They need a leader and the first and only call they should make to be their first commissioner is Dan Gavitt, the son of Big East founder Dave Gavitt.
Dan Gavitt is six months into his new job at the NCAA as VP of men’s basketball championships,
It is a great job. But being commissioner of a league his father founded would be a better job. Even if Gavitt waits for a few years and doesn’t start until the league actually starts, it should be a deal that is made.
In the interim, the new Big East should consider former Big East executive Tom McElroy, who has maintained his ties with all of those schools as a consultant. McElroy knows the people and knows the terrain.
With all of that in place, the Big East can be revived and revitalized as a basketball league.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.