Big East will discusss future in Dallas meeting

The Big East will make a serious push to keeping San Diego State as a member in football and it will also focus on adding Tulsa as member in all sports according to sources familiar with the overall planning the conference is making to restructure its future.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco will meet with Big East Presidents and Athletic Directors at an airport hotel in Dallas on Friday to discuss the overall strategy.

The most pressing issue will be the configuration of the football league for next season. The original plan had been a 12-team two division conference with the addition of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU, Memphis and Central Florida as new members joining Cincinnati, South Florida,  Temple, Louisville, Rutgers and Connecticut.

Those plans had to be changed, however, when the 7 Catholic non FBS Big East schools—Providence, Seton Hall, DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s decided– to break off to form their ow league and Boise State backed out of the deal and decided to remain in the Mountain West.

With only 11 teams in football, the plans for a championship game (12 teams are required) were put on  hold and Aresco also had to make plans to find replacements for Louisville and Rutgers who made deals to join the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten.

All of these changes have created an atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty that Aresco has had to deal with, while also negotiating new television contracts in football and basketball.

“It has been challenging to say the least,” said Aresco on Wednesday as he made his plans for the meeting in Dallas on Friday. “But we’re going to work our way through this and come up with a good  league that will work for our members.”

Aresco would not discuss specifics, other than to say the meeting in Dallas would include “every aspect of what we are trying to do.”

The first issue will bet settle the football make up of the league for 2013. The Big East is fairly confident in can keep Louisville and Rutgers for one more season and then replace them with Tulane and East Carolina in 2014 and add Navy in football in 2015.

He has been constantly working on keeping San Diego State as part of the new group, using the argument that the Big East/ Big West (for other sports) is a more financially lucrative package for San Diego State than as a full member of the Mountain West.

The Big East expects a final decision by San Diego State in the next few weeks. San Diego State officials are expected to be in Dallas for Friday’s meetings.

With Boise State gone, Aresco is looking for another “western” based team, with Air Force and BYU the obvious main targets, but  Tulsa has emerged as another contender as an all sports member.

Aresco might have to do some selling since Tulsa reportedly was luke warm to the idea when first approached by the Big East earlier last fall. The Big East then switched its focus to Tulane, which will join the conference as a full member in 2014.

© 2013, Mark. All rights reserved.

  26 comments for “Big East will discusss future in Dallas meeting

  1. Bob from Account Temps
    January 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm


    I think that they would. Here’s why. If they can dissolve the conference, then the C7+2 get to take $10 mil? $20 mil? I don’t even know how much, in NCAA MBB credits with them.

    Kind of a no brainer.

  2. Chris Columbo
    January 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    To Bob From Account Temps. Yes the c7 have voting rights. If the league is being dissolved it would make collection of the remaining exit fees questionable. Although then the C7 could buy the name from the dissolving entity for a small price. The most recent copy of the Big East By Laws has a lot of good detail ans is worth studying.. The question is would the c7 take in two schools with FBS football programs that have an urge to go with the ACC etc The C7 is in a strong position right now but they can make it a win win if they are careful and considered in their approach.

    • fin
      January 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Again, this is unclear. If you call the BE, their PR guy will tell you the rules have changed since the WV lawsuit and that they are not public information.

      The BE has been quite specific that dissolving the conference takes 2 football votes along with the basketball votes. The rules on record do not support that and yet the BE is still in existance and the BB schools are on a schedule to leave.

      Logic suggests there is a piece of the puzzle we cannot see.

      The old rules are quite clear that once a school turns in thier notice to leave, they are no longer voting members. The BB BE has an exit date which does imply they have turned in this notice.

      Perhaps Mark can get a copy of the “new bylaws” from a source at Louisville….

  3. Chris Columbo
    January 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The surviving Big East is on the best possible path that they can be on post all the departures. Mr. Aresco did a solid job of marshalling the parties , and prior to the Maryland Rutgers move actually had momentum building. Unfortuantely the chain reaction of Louisville leaving and Cinncy UConn crying to leave forced the C7 hands. The one thing Aresco is weak on is communication, that is important in a situation like this and to that extent, the Boise State departure is probably in part due to him. Although my sense, is the conference would be better off being a Texas East Coast type conference. Tulsa would be a decent addition in that regard. This new conference, what ever it is named, will need 3-5 years to gain some momentum and establish themselves as stable. The basketball piece will be sound on day one and the football piece will find it is place with the emergence of a few top 25 teams. Things look ugly today for sure, but over time I think they will be better than people think. Although clearly worse than what the Big East was. The Big East has themselves to blame by being greedy and not taking the deal they had on the table from ESPN. That would have given plenty of stability and kept most if not all the players in the league still.

  4. Bob from Account Temps
    January 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Do the C-7 still have voting rights?

    I ask because I’m hearing a rumor that the MWC is going to invite UConn & Cincy for football only. This allows them to put their other sports with the Catholic 7.

    But more than that, it allows the C-7 (now C-9) the votes to:

    1. Eliminate exit fees (including for SDSU, UH & SMU)

    2. Take the BE name without compensation, and

    3. Dissolve the BE — and thereby take with them $10 mil?, $15 mil?, $20 mil? — I don’t know how many million dollars — in MBB credits. (If the conference dissolves, the money goes directly to the schools.)

    That rumor can’t be true, however, unless the C-7 still have voting rights. If they do, then the addition of two more votes gives them the majority that they need to do this. If they don’t, then the rumor is a joke.


    • fin
      January 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Mark might be able to find out, but the information is not public knowledge. I have called around. The BE is being very tight lipped, but they are saying that the BE rules that are out there vis the WV lawsuit are not the latest rules.

      It seems entirely possible that the implosion clause would have been written out with the notice given by the Catholic 7. If you note the language used by the BE management it seems to imply the Catholic schools gave notice and are no longer voting members.

      Now what is interesting is if the rules haven’t changed and 2 of the 3 football schools leave (UConn, USF, Cinnci) for the ACC, could they implode the conference on the way out the door as there is no longer a basketball side to get agreements from?

      To me that is the big concern, but if the rules have not been re-written, the argument to make is that as there are no voting members on the BB BE side any more, there cannot be the a FB/BB consensus to dissolve the conference.

  5. Guy
    January 11, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Mike should add Southern Miss, UTEP, Rice UAB and Marshall.

    The BIG East. CUSA redux more like it.

  6. james
    January 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    southern miss is a much better choice over Tulsa – Tulsa has the smallest enrollment of any divison 1 school with some success in football and some in basketball but Southern Miss is in the heart of sec country picking up many great athletes and besides last year has gone to a bowl
    game for 10 staight years and had a winning year for 18 straight playing just about every team in the new big east – check the recoord

  7. Greg
    January 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Also, has there been any more talk about adding ECU as a full member?

  8. Greg
    January 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    If the MWC bent over backwards to keep Boise State by giving them a disproportionate share of the revenue, then wouldn’t UNLV, Nevada, and Fresno State want to take a leap with the Big East? It seems like the Big East pot would be sweeter for these schools, right?

    • January 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      MWC has far better football schools. The remains of the BE will be Cincinnati, and a LOT of CUSA teams that aren’t really that good. BE has terrible bowl contracts, and a TV contract yet to be determined. MWC could entire BYU to come in at some point. Boise is not getting anything like a Texas Longhorn Network kind of TV deal with the MWC. Why would teams in Nevada and California want to travel with all their sports to Texas and the Eastern time zone? It’s a traveling nightmare.

      • Greg
        January 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm

        I do agree with you on the travel-situation, but if Fresno State, UNLV, and Nevada rounded out a western league with San Diego State, SMU, Houston, Memphis, and Tulane… I think it could be do-able. You’d have 16 total teams, 8 in each division, and an agreement to sparsely play cross-divisional games. I think the BE could pitch a deal to those 3 schools that could get them to bite.

        However, I disagree that the MWC has far better football schools. With the exception of Boise State, the MWC and CUSA have been pretty close to an even draw. Additionally, CUSA was 2-0 against the MWC in bowl games just this year (Rice beat Air Force, and SMU walloped Fresno State). Those two games weren’t even close, and SMU and Rice were 6-6! Colorado State, New Mexico, and UNLV have been just as terrible as Memphis and Tulane in recent years. New Mexico has arguably been the worst team in the country over two of the last three seasons. Wyoming, Utah State, and Hawaii are certainly not better teams that UCF, ECU, SMU, or Houston have been over the last five years. Check the Sagarin Ratings.

        As for the bowl contracts, I think that will change for the BE. CUSA has a lot of bowl contracts because current CUSA membership is in bowl cities. Adding schools in Dallas, Houston, Florida, Memphis, New Orleans, and San Diego will only increase the Big East bowl lineup.

  9. Greg2600
    January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I really think San Diego St. are INSANE not to go back to the MWC. Any financial gain for moving to the BE is nullified both by big travel costs and the pitiful nature of the Big West conference. Big West basketball is a joke. I could see if they were going to the WAC. MWC has good BB and pretty good football. Not only that, but they have to realize that the next realignment move by a big conference will see Cincinnati, UConn, and So. Fla. looking to move AGAIN. SDSU has a decent FB team and a very good MBB team, and would be foolish not to stay in the MWC!

    • Curious
      January 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      What if the BE included SDSU in Basketball and Football – would you still feeel the same way ?

      • January 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm

        Yes. The short term gains are not worth the risk. The Big Ten is going to raid for two more teams within the next couple years. UConn, Cincy, SFLA are not going to stay there forever.

        • Dennis
          January 11, 2013 at 12:20 am

          SDSU actually saves about $200K in travel costs on their overall atrheltic budget by playing BE football and BW olympic sports. The have set up OOC hoops games with Kanasas and Syracuse and the remaining BE schools would be willing to play SDSU in hoops as part of a deal to increase their RPI (i.e. Temple, UConn, Cincy, Memphis). It is not a slam dunk that SDSU goes back to the MWC. That league is a pain in the ass as far as travel goes. From San Diego you are travelling all over the west and Rockie Mountains. The teams complain about the travel, altitude and other issues in the MWC.

          I think they can keep SDSU and if they add either Air Force or BYU in football they will be OK, IMHO>

  10. MAM
    January 10, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Guy, you must be having delusions of grandeur. Im sure your post makes you feel better but don’t delude yourself that it has any meaning in the real world. First of all you are dead wrong. Aresco has done a terrific job of guiding the BE through the train wreck that it has gone through in the past year. and I’m sure he will show up at the meeting Friday. Think your comments are on the agenda? Get a grip.

    • RudyMass
      January 11, 2013 at 8:17 am

      MAM, without being argumentative, define “terrific job.” The heart and soul of the Big East is its men’s basketball product, and that is officially history. Regional rivalries and any semblance of a solid Olympics sports league are gone, in a quest for football TV dollars. Now we are meant to believe he is doing his job by courting Tulane, Tulsa and Southern Miss? Count me out.

  11. Big Shot Bob
    January 10, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Shore up the EAST, adding UMASS will help both basketball, football and media coverage in the Northeast. The Big East lost its way. Don’t do it again. It was amusing watching the Texas fans ho humming their home game against WVU, with thousands of empty seats. No passion,two entirely different regions with little in common. Have a nice flight home WVU. Local rivals make better sense. Temple, UCONN, Cincy are schools who believe in academics, not Wednesday flights home from San Diego and Tulsa and Tulane.

  12. Guy
    January 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Mike Aresco is a total failure in regards to being a commissioner.

    Mr. Aresco, if you’re reading this blog i would like to encourage you to step down. Save face, go be a consultant or sell your services as a wildly successful commissioner to the Catholic 7.

    I applaud you taking a risk, but you failed.

    Good day sir.

    • FunkinGoNutts
      January 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      You know those movies where the driver gets shot, the car starts wheeling around out of control and the buckled in passenger tries to reach over and keep from crashing? That passenger is Aresco. How can you possible blame him for the dumpster fire he stepped into? Your comment is one of the most idiotic posts I’ve ever read.

      • Guy
        January 11, 2013 at 1:18 am

        You haven’t been on the internet long enough.

        Aresco is the idiot who jumped into moving car with a dead passenger. He should’ve stayed at CBS, he would be offering the new Big East $500k per school right now.

  13. January 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Southern Miss would be a better option than Tulsa and should be considered as well because SDSU is leaving.
    South West: SMU, Houston, Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa, Southern Miss
    North East: UConn, Temple. Cincinnati, ECU, USF, UCF

    • MAM
      January 10, 2013 at 11:02 am

      I like your proposal. Of course it is mainly a reorganization of C-USA, but without some of the dead wood. It hits many of the population centers of the Eastern half of the country. Moreover, it drops the insanity of stretching the conference all the way to the West Coast. Let the BE be “the East” and let the MW be “the West”. Two regional conferences. And on balance if you use an objective rating system such as Sagarin, the BE is stronger than the MW. The BE has a darn good shot at reaching parity with the ACC. This would certainly wreaked ESPN’s strategy of a mythical “Big Five”.

      • MAM
        January 10, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Plus, with UCONN, Temple, Cincy, Memphis, Tulsa and a resurgent Houston, the has the makings of a pretty decent basketball conference. Heck, set up a challeng series with the defecting Catholic 7. It would let the air out of their sense of self importance.

    • Greg
      January 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      I hope for Southern Miss too. They have a lot of tradition, and a very long-standing rivalry with Tulane and ECU. Aside from last season, they’ve been one of college football’s most consistently good programs.

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