Big East Catholic schools: Please shut up

The 7 Big East Catholic schools announced on Saturday that they were leaving the conference, with a departure date of June 30, 2015.

The Big East responded with a short statement, acknowledging the decision by Providence, St. John’s, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, Villanova and Georgetown.

This couldn’t wait for 48 hours?

It couldn’t have been put on hold until Monday?.

On a day when police were removing the bodies of 26 people, including 20 children from an elementary school in Newtown, Ct, which is very much in the geographical footprint of the conference St. John’s and friends are leaving,  I could give a hoot about why the Big East Catholic schools  decided to leave.

It wasn’t a mystery. The tweet world has known about it for 72 hours.

But it couldn’t wait. They had to have a conference call on Saturday, when that could have been postponed.

They didn’t.

If they had left it with a pair of statements  and an explanation that Saturday was not a day to discuss it, I would have even accepted that.

Yes, they played games, because money had been paid, arrangements had been made which affected lots of people.

The games went on with moments of silence at lots of places

But this wasn’t a game. This could have waited for 48 hours..

But for the Catholic schools it wasn’t enough. A teleconference was set up for late Saturday afternoon, with St. John’s President Rev. Donald Harrington serving as the lead voice.


This is a world gone crazy with a need to know what happened and why it happened now. Media wise it has gone viral in so many wrong ways.

A  Connecticut paper posted a story about how its reporter was the first person to inform the father of the mass killer that his son and his ex-wife had been died. The story was displayed like a badge of honor.

Great reporting? How about human decency in telling the man  that part of his family had been wiped out and leave it at that?

This is a time when the New York Post proudly published a front page picture of man who was about to be pulverized by a subway train.

The motto of tabloid journalism is “If it bleeds, it leads (the paper)”.

Life will go on. It always does, no matter how tragic the events that take place. But sometime you have to wonder if human decency still exists.

It is fine to talk about other things in passing in the toy department of the world which is what sports originally was labeled.

I have done that earlier with just idle thoughts.

But in terms of hard news and teleconferences talking about stuff like conference realignment and who will play who in 2014, that could have waited.

As much as former UConn coach Jim Calhoun has been criticized for some of the things he has said and done, no one should have a problem with how Calhoun handled things on Friday as he was preparing to give a speech at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Just before Calhoun gave his speech, he was informed of what happened in Newtown. Calhoun immediately switched subjects and talked about  children and how fragile things are in this life.

Make no mistake, the reason for St. John’s and the other schools departure is of immense interest since it is a move which basically tears apart what was one of the greatest leagues in college basketball ever since it was created in 1979.

I will write about, it analyze it and critique it.

But not today.

© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.

  24 comments for “Big East Catholic schools: Please shut up

  1. December 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Hello i the hour it is groovy website a the entirety of naturally engaging sensitivity

  2. Bob
    December 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Mark, you are absolutely right, but I would ignore the comments. You are bringing yourself down. Anyone that finds fault with your opinion on this clearly does not have kids or his/her priorities straight. Of course, that is only my opinion, though I am a hardcore sports fan and parent. I do not care who agrees with me. You shouldn’t either.

  3. MaroonNGold
    December 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm


    By your logic, all non-essential news in the world should have been stayed.

    Yet you single out only CATHOLIC schools news.

    Why is that?

  4. Chris Columbo
    December 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    You are forgetting there are between the 7 schools involved there are probably 10,000 student athletes,and their families and those that are employed in the athletic department that have been living in a state of suspended animation for several weeks now as the media shamelessly wrote articles about the Big East’s demise. So what these schools were doing were being true to their own constituency which also need their own bit of closure to something that is very meaningful to their own daily lives. In no way did it minimize what happened in Newton.

    There are many perspectives to life.

  5. HS
    December 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Absolutely no class by these supposed “Catholic” schools and their leaders. It is apparent that all they are interested in is maximizing their money from college athletics. Despicable behavior on their part. Shame on them!

  6. Keith
    December 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    You would think the Catholic’s, with their recent history of child abuse, would have stayed as far away intefering with this as possible. I guess they still don’t have a clue.

  7. Andrew
    December 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

    You can call people idiots, but you censor my comment for calling you a teenage girl for your overuse of CAPS. Lost a reader.

    • Mark
      December 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      works for me

  8. Adam
    December 16, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thank you for writing this, Mark. I am a resident of Connecticut, a UConn alum and avid supporter of all UConn athletics who, prior to 9:30am on Friday, was completely distraught over the thought of UConn being left behind in the conference realignment musical chairs. But once news hit of the tragedy in Newtown, a place where there are hoards of UConn supporters (including some of the victims), the time for the Catholic schools to lay blame at UConn’s (and Cincinnati/USF) doorsteps for their uncertainty where they MIGHT end up, was completely inappropriate and completely unCatholic. Let our state grieve appropriately. Believe it or not, there are more important things in life than sports (and that comes from an AVID sports fan). May God bless Newtown.

  9. Zoocougar
    December 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Thank you. I don’t know what the Catholic Schools were thinking. This move was years overdue but they couldn’t wait a few days to make this announcement?

    They have terrible judgement and no class.

    • SpazWastedMySeason
      December 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

      I ll give the Catholic schools a pass on this. It wasn’t until about 3 o’clock until I heard the complete details of this horrific event. What time did the teleconference occur? Also, Mark, maybe you should look in the mirror. You’re posting a blog on the same day as this tragic event but thats OK. Somehow teleconferences aren’t OK? Should all of the Catholic hoops games been cancelled too?

      • Mark
        December 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

        Did you read what I wrote. I said games were different and I explained why. I said a statement could have been made and I could have lived with that. And yes I am blogging and I explained what I was doing and why I was doing it. And these are Priests who are supposed to provide comfort. PLEASE. ALL I SAID WAS THAT IT COULD HAVE WAITED A DAY OR TWO.

        • SpazWastedMySeason
          December 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

          So money was involved and that makes the basketball games legit. Money is the deciding factor here. OK.

          If this tragic event occurred at a Catholic school then I’d agree with you but there is zero correlation between this and the Catholic church. Again, they may not have known the scope of this tragedy until later in the day.

          Your moral police act is pretty weak in my book.

          • Mark
            December 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

            their meeting was SATURDAY. Their teleconference was Saturday AFTERNOON. By then everyone knew how bad it was.

  10. Joe Crum
    December 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    So you bash the Catholics for making a simple announcement. Then turn it around to lavish your man love on Calhoun. Despicable.

    • Mark
      December 16, 2012 at 12:12 am


      • Joe Crum
        December 16, 2012 at 9:43 am

        Says the moron that just named Mike Rice “Jersey Guy of the Week”.

        • Mark
          December 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

          AGAIN YOU ARE A IDIOT. I also made Charlie Weiss of the week and explained that being Jersey guy of the week wasn’t always a good thing. But you ignored that point. you weren’t born, you were hatched

          • CAG
            December 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

            The irony is too delicious not to point out: “YOU ARE A IDIOT”

          • Mark
            December 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

            Good I mistyped and forgot the N. Let me correct it. YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

          • Joe Crum
            December 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

            The Catholic Universities held their previously scheduled teleconference and you tell them to shut up (and offend Catholics in the process). Then you prop up good buddy Jim who coached UConn to three NCAA titles as a member of the Big East and who’s former school (read hoops team) just got cast adrift by these very same Catholic Universities. Coincedence? No. Transparent? Yes.

  11. Rex
    December 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Good article. That was absolutely inappropriate of the Catholic schools.

  12. johnny
    December 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Is the world supposed to stop? Don’t get me wrong, this is a horrific tragedy, but if the world stopped every time there was a tragedy then it would not be spinning at all by this point of the human race. It is possible to continue on with life and also be respectful of those who are affected by tragedies.

    I do agree with the now sensationalism of news reporting.

    • Mark
      December 16, 2012 at 12:14 am


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