Big East, Catholic 7 continue “exit” talks

The Big East is now in Phase II of its plans for the immediate future. With the television deal with ESPN for basketball and football almost official (it still has to be approved by the Big East Presidents) Big East commissioner Mike Aresco is now focusing on the break up with the Catholic 7 group of schools (Seton Hall, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, Providence, St. John’s, and DePaul) who are leaving the conference.

No official date has been announced, but July of 2014 still seems the most reasonable departure date for not only the Catholic 7, but for Notre Dame, Louisville  and Rutgers, who also have announced their departure for the ACC and the Big Ten.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco feels the two sides are close to having an initial arrangement–which will mean the departure date. Some factions among the Catholic 7 are still lobbying for a departure by this July, but that still seems unlikely, given the amount of money which the Catholic 7 would either give up or have to pay out for an early exit, as well as the sheer logistics of forming a conference and getting it up to speed in a few months.

The two sides are holding meetings on a regular basis and the word used among Big East officials is “close, very close” to having some sort of announcement.

Aresco wants to move forward with his new look league, presumably with the  Big East name. It will be a trimmed down, more cohesive group. consisting of 10 teams in football for next season and either 11 or 12 teams in football and basketball by the start of the 2014 season.

The Catholic 7 plan will be to announce a departure date and then immediately add at least three teams to the conference–with Xavier, Butler and either Richmond, Dayton, Saint Louis or Creighton as the 10th team, with the eventual possibility that five of the six eventually being  part of the group.

The other issue now seriously being discussed is the matter of money. With NCAA basketball units, departure fees and other money in a general reserve fund, the Big  East will have more than $60 million available for distribution to its members.

How and when this is done is now being discussed on a regular basis,  with still no clear-cut plan being approved.

© 2013, Mark. All rights reserved.

  13 comments for “Big East, Catholic 7 continue “exit” talks

  1. boyee
    February 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Missouri and Kansas should be the Big Ten’s next 2 adds. Especially due to Mizzou’s rivalries with Illinois and Kansas.

    • Chris Columbo
      February 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Wasn’t implying Big Ten would add U Conn or Cincy. Rather they will add two from somewhere like the Big 12 or ACC which would open up spots for U Conn Cincy in those conferences. I think Big Ten will probably add Oklahoma and Kansas. But they could go for an ACC program like Georgia Tech. In any event Big East needs to get their deal done sooner rather than later as the Big Ten is on the prowl.

    • Joker
      February 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

      The idea that the B1G will go into low market Kansas and Oklahoma defies belief. One of the reasons the Pac-10 turned down the B12 candidates is because it wanted nothing to do with Oklahoma.

      • SJGMoney
        February 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

        Wrong. They were willing to take Ok and Ok State but only if historical rival Texas came with them. And Texas was not going to share the Longhorn Network money with anybody so that killed the deal

  2. boyee
    February 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    The Big Ten will never add Cincinnati due to academics. Even UConn would be a stretch due to no AAU and weak football.

  3. ESPN
    February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    C. Columbo – the Big East teams had already voted down the ESPN contract prior to Aresco’s hiring – I think the counter bid from the Big East to ESPN last May (300million) was a formality and expected to be declined by ESPN with the intention of opening up bidding – I believe Aresco when he arrived already had his marching orders from the conference presidents to open it up the bidding and then everything fell apart – I dont its accurate to put it on him – going foward I agree and have at it – but the past is what he inherited due to the Presidents prior decsions

  4. Joker
    February 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    There is also considerably more than $60 million in credits and exit fees. Credits alone were $68m at the start of this season. Unless the exit fees have already been distributed, the pot should be bigger (maybe they are referring to fees from Rutgers, Ville, Notre Dame which haven’t been collected).

    This week has also been a good week for Big East football in the sense that all the NFL and ESPN guys are gushing over the showing by the four UConn kids, and people like Kiper, McShay and Mariucci are urging people to rethink UConn football as more formidable than given credit for. This isn’t the first time UConn sent that many to the combine as they did it in the Beatty, Butler, Donald Brown and Cody Brown year as well. That’s the fourth most players of all NCAA teams.

  5. Chris Columbo
    February 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    There are likely some heated discussions going on right now between the all the parties. It is now Wednesday and the approval of the TV contract with ESPN has not been approved which indicates to me that there are still many open issues on the separation. Would be good for all the schools if they could have it all ironed out prior to the Big East tournament. That way everyone could build off the positive publicity of the tournament and the successful year the Big East basketball teams are having. Mr. Aresco needs to push to make this happen now. If he doesn’t move quickly he will again be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Aresco has a chance for an extended positive news cycle, with not only the basketball tournament but also the build up to what is shaping up to be a decent 2013 football season with Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati still in the conference, He really needs to put everything else in the past. Also I would point out, he had a window of opportunity when he first came in to close a deal with ESPN and he let it go to market and look what he ended up with. Don’t make the same mistake again. Both U Conn and Cincincinnati have one foot out the door. If the Big Ten acts again, that will free up two spots some where for each of them to bail. Get the deal done while you can Mr. Aresco.

  6. js
    February 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Do the football members or the basketball schools receive the exit fees and tournament credits. How about new members? I think there has been some confusion on this topic.

    Is there a deadline for the president’s to approve the TV deal?

  7. js
    February 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Do the football members or the basketball schools receive the exit fees and tournament credits. How about new members? I think there has been some confusion on this topic.

    Is there a deadline for the president’s to approve the TV deal?

  8. Dave
    February 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Heard anything about Big East talks of selling the name to the C7 in exchange for a multi-year scheduling agreement?

  9. Chris Columbo
    February 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Xavier and Butler are strong additions will be interesting to see who else they add. It will give a view to their thought process.Would like to see them hold the size at 10 teams so they can have a double round robin structure. That would give the conference rivalries some time to really jell. Money will drive the break up date equation with Big East. In any event, there are a lot of dollars in the till to make everyone happy on some level. The NCAA units from this year alone are going to be enormous. Although, it will be interesting to see what happens to Notre Dame. They really want to get out by July 2014 but are stuck till July 2015 and don’t have any real bargaining position,unless they pay, which is unusual for them. I would suspect they are trying to “buy” there way out by agreeing to future non conference scheduling

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