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  1. ...but some are more equal than others... Based on the proposed NBC Sports contract, ESPN can terminate the contract with the unnamed 10 if 2 conference members leave. The contract even breaks them into groups...a group A consisting of Cincinnati, UConn, cougar high, and Temple http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/9071683/big-east-media-rights-deal-terminated-two-more-school-exits-according-sources poor ponies
  2. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9000502/catholic-7-schools-keep-big-east-name-new-league-next-season-according-sources
  3. Mike Aresco's five months on the job as Big East commissioner has been anything but routine. The former CBS Sports executive vice president of programming has seen Notre Dame, Rutgers, Louisville, Boise State and San Diego State make plans to leave his conference since he took the job. He has seen the "Catholic 7" basketball schools break off in an effort to form their own conference, while he has added Tulane and East Carolina, the latter currently set to enter as a football-only member. There is also the matter of negotiating a new television deal. With moving days taking part across the blogs this week, we caught up with Aresco to talk about incoming 2013 members Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU, as well as several other topics facing the Big East. Obviously there's a lot out there right now about the TV deal. Where do you guys stand with that, and do you need a 12th school immediately to move forward with any further TV negotiations or deal? Mike Aresco: I think we are getting closer. The TV doesn't really depend on whether we add another team or teams. I think our position has been that we're not interested in numbers just for numbers' sake. We don't need to be 14 or 16 teams or any of that. We just want to make sure we have the right teams and the right mix athletically, academically. And right now, as you know, we're at 10 with Navy going to join in '15. And Louisville/Rutgers -- if they leave after next year, we're not sure yet -- but if they leave after next year we would replace them and have 10 and we would also have Navy coming in obviously a year later. At this point we would definitely look at a 12th, because you'd want even divisions if you ultimately go to a championship game, which I think is our goal. We don't absolutely have to do that, but we think that that's what we would want to do. You can play unbalanced divisions, but it's not a great idea. It just isn't. So I think in that sense we would look at perhaps adding another team -- you know the usual suspects, you've heard those. And I don't know when we would make that decision. We've got some meetings coming up, we call it our group of 11 schools, and we could make a preliminary decision as to whether we want to expand, in probably the next several weeks, and then determine just what we want to do. And then if we did expand, that team. But in terms of our football, I think everybody's fine playing as a 10-team league until we get Navy in. If we feel the need to expand, great. But you mention some of the teams, I think our conference is really built on some programs that have had success and that really have a lot of potential. We look at SMU, and June Jones has done well there, but I think their best years are still ahead of them. Houston a couple years ago, obviously a tremendous season with Kevin Sumlin. Again, they need to sustain that. Same thing, USF has had years when they've been highly ranked and had good seasons. And UCF, you've seen what UCF has done, very strong program with good facilities. I think what we're looking to do is with our group from the North, Cincinnati, [Tommy] Tuberville there now. UConn. Temple, Al Golden left a program that was definitely rebuilt, and they have to sustain that. And eventually Navy, East Carolina with a great fanbase. It's a good group of schools that frankly need to probably develop a storyline, now that we're going to be together. The schools haven't played together before. But I think they're all spending money, they're all trying to improve. Many of them are in big markets. I didn't mention Memphis -- they're spending a lot on their programs, and I didn't mention Tulane, they'll stay until 2014. Houston, building a new stadium. So I think it's a story of growth. That's what we're looking for, we're trying to grow. We think we can compete. Our goal is to be competing with the five conferences that are perceived as the five power conferences. As you know, we were one of the six, we're still one of the six BCS conferences, but we know that we have to fight and try to be, again, a challenger, to challenge those other five. And that's why I think TV and exposure and marketing and promotion are really important. I think we've got some good brands, some good schools, but there's a lot of untapped potential there. Read more: http://espn.go.com/blog/bigeast/post/_/id/42365/qa-with-big-east-commissioner-mike-aresco
  4. http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/TU/article.aspx?subjectid=94&articleid=20130120_94_B1_CUTLIN401120
  5. "Go West, Big East!" Never made sense, did it? So let us all hope the Big East comes to its senses now that Boise State and San Diego State are staying where they belong, in a geographically friendly conference home for all their sports. Their agreement to join the Big East was never practical. It was never convenient. It was not done to expand the Big East footprint from East to West, no matter that starry-eyed -- or was it bleary-eyed? -- talk of staggered Saturday start times from noon to 10 p.m. ET. It was done as a last-ditch effort to stay nationally relevant with the biggest program outside the power conferences joining up (Boise State) and a travel partner to come along for the ride. From the moment they agreed to join the Big East as football-only members, folks wondered how long this disjointed marriage would last. Now we have an answer. They did not even make it to their first football season together. And in the end, that is good for the Big East. What this league must do is re-focus its efforts and try to become a regionalized brand again, with Texas as its western-most boundary. Look, the Big East has already lost its battle to have a seat at the big boy table in the future playoff structure. It will not get the same TV dollars as the other big conferences. So it should come to terms with what it is -- and that is a league that has an opportunity to play its way into the national spotlight with a lineup it can help cultivate. Read more: http://espn.go.com/blog/bigeast/post/_/id/41643/big-east-must-refocus-priorities
  6. Not blessed with either great geography or a top television market, Tulsa has been on the outside looking in during much of the ongoing realignment saga. But as our own Bill Haisten reported in Wednesday's paper (read the full story here) that could change soon. It appears the Hurricane may be on the verge of accepting a Big East invitation. An invitation was thought to be coming TU's way if San Diego State opted out of its deal with the Big East and returned to the Mountain West Conference. According to reports by CBSSports.com and ESPN, the Aztecs made the decision to stay in the Mountain West on Wednesday (read the full story here). For Tulsa, a move to the Big East -- completely in self defense -- makes the best of a bad situation. Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/blogs/sportspost.aspx?Big_East_move_is_best_of_a_bad_situation_for_TU/50-18586
  7. read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/16/San-Diego-State-staying-in-Mountain-West-Big-East/
  8. After a decade of turmoil during which it was consumed as much by internal tensions as by the outside forces that were tearing it apart, the Big East Conference is down to its last, best chance. Now that the league's seven non-football schools have decided to bolt and its clumsy East Coast/West Coast ploy has begun to unravel, will the Big East finally be able to coalesce around a common purpose for the future? The answer comes down to the makeup of the future membership roster. Success will be achievable if the conference reconstitutes itself in a geographically logical fashion with like-minded schools having football at the core of their athletic engines. Attractive television markets must be part of the equation. So far, the jury is still out on whether that is the course the league will pursue. During its most recent tumult, the Big East's unwieldy gestures at defining its new brand left plenty of room for doubt about whether it has arrived at a solid plan for, first, achieving real stability, and, second, positioning itself for prosperity. The so-called Catholic Seven were part and parcel with the all-sports schools in the convoluted western expansion strategy that envisioned the perpetuation of a discredited conference structure handicapped by divergent interests and wracked by intrigue and mutual suspicion. It should be apparent to those with open eyes that the awkward pursuit of football-only associations with a few Mountain West schools was little more than a desperate Hail Mary to try to sustain the unsustainable. It was a reflexive attempt to prop up the same philosophy that long kept the Big East frozen in a virtually defenseless posture as raiders ransacked it. Fortunately, all is not lost yet. Read more: http://bonesville.net/Articles/DannyWhitford/12-13/011413_Whitford.htm
  9. As the Mountain West continues to talk with San Diego State about rejoining the conference, the Big East is prepared to move on with or without the Aztecs. San Diego State will attend the Big East's meeting of athletic directors and presidents Friday in Dallas to "hear what is envisioned there," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said. After talking with some Big East folks on the matter, there doesn't seem to be some big sales pitch prepared to keep San Diego State, which was scheduled to join the Big East on July 1 until Boise State opted to return to the MWC on Dec. 31. If the Aztecs want in, they can stay, and the Big East would like to have them. Otherwise, losing SDSU is not going to break the conference's future, according to two Big East sources. After taking several shots in 2012 -- the departure of Louisville, Rutgers and the seven Catholic basketball schools among the greatest hits list -- the Big East is eager to find out "who we are" at the Dallas meeting. “Feels like the schools we have are ready to put the past behind and move forward as a group," one Big East source said. In 2014, the league is replacing Louisville and Rutgers with Tulane and East Carolina. Navy joins for football in 2015. Losing SDSU could prompt the Big East to drop plans of a Western footprint. The membership for 2014 as it stands: Cincinnati, South Florida, UConn, Central Florida, Temple, Memphis, SMU, Houston, East Carolina, Tulane. Read more: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/jeremy-fowler/21539405/san-diego-state-meeting-with-big-east-mountain-west-talks-ongoing
  10. SMU president R. Gerald Turner said the Mustangs remain committed to the Big East. They officially become members in July. But over the last few months, the Big East has lost Notre Dame, Rutgers and Louisville, as well as the league’s seven non-FBS schools, which are forming their own conference. And the Big East’s negotiations for a television deal continue to drag on. Expectations of significantly lower conference payouts than expected have contributed to some of the exits. More Big East defections — if that’s possible — and expansion elsewhere could force SMU to reconsider. The Mustangs have been mentioned as potential candidates for the Mountain West. With its numbers in flux, the Big East must work on its divisional makeup. If San Diego State decides to honor its commitment, the Big East’s most likely move could be continued westward expansion. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/smu-mustangs/20130110-amid-defections-and-uncertain-tv-deal-big-east-meets-is-smu-still-committed.ece
  11. Decisions, decisions. San Diego State suddenly finds itself back in the market for a sports conference, barely a year after announcing it would leave the Mountain West next summer for the Big East in football and Big West in everything else. Technically, nothing has changed; SDSU is still leaving the Mountain West after the current academic year. In reality, everything has. Boise State, its western partner in the jump to the Big East, announced it is staying in the Mountain West, and even SDSU athletic director Jim Sterk after months of steadfastly, even stubbornly, saying his school was committed to the Big East conceded in a statement that the news represents a significant change in conference alignment. So now what? Stay in the Mountain West? Or go it alone into uncharted territory? Neither choice is particularly enticing, at least compared to what could have been. Understand that SDSU is a state institution that is largely funded by taxpayer dollars and that wants to play big-time NCAA Division I football. Now mix in a biting recession and some of the nations most stringent gender equity guidelines, meaning what limited financial resources are available cant be poured into football and mens basketball while ignoring the 16 other teams on campus. SDSUs athletic department needs money to thrive or even just survive, and the Big East offered it. All things being equal, SDSU never would have left the Mountain West. But all things havent been equal. SDSU, according to school officials, received about $1.4 million last year in Mountain West television revenue and is projected to get $600,000 this year. Conservative estimates for a new football TV contract in the Big East were $6.4 million per year. To Sterk and SDSU President Elliot Hirshman, it was a no-brainer. If there is a tragic element to recent developments, it is that neither option facing SDSU likely offers the same revenue potential. And that could have profound repercussions across the athletic department from assistant coaches in Olympic sports, to football funding, to a new practice facility for the Top 25 mens basketball team. But its the boat they find themselves in. Heres a look at some factors in deciding which way to paddle. Read more: http://www.nctimes.com/sports/college/aztecs/sdsu-breaking-down-mountain-west-vs-big-east/article_37c52d73-37f4-5b92-bf85-0d289cad7e3b.html?comment_form=true
  12. 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 schoolsProvidence, Seton Hall, DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova and St. Johns 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. Read more: http://ajerseyguy.com/?p=4700
  13. Q. What’s your level of confidence that the Big East will remain a viable conference? A. We’re obviously confident. We have 13 very good schools that play football and basketball or football only. East Carolina, in all likelihood, will end up playing basketball as well as football in this configuration. We have Navy, Boise State and San Diego State set to play football only. And we have some significant basketball brands in Connecticut, Cincinnati, Memphis, Temple, South Florida, with Larry Brown at SMU and Houston with historically a terrific program. We think we have a lot to build on in basketball and have always positioned ourselves as having football with significant growth potential. Q. Officials at Tulane and East Carolina have said they remain enthusiastic about joining the Big East despite the basketball schools’ departure. Are Boise State and San Diego State equally committed? A. Obviously they are farther away but have been committed to the model, very much so. We’re going to move forward now and work on TV. I asked as commissioner, ‘Do we want to stay together and make this model work?’ And the response has been yes, and they have been very firm. Realignment is the world we live in now. We know the winds are buffeting everyone, so one hesitates to make predictions. But our group has been firm. We feel we have a very good league. We’ve got some real assets in this league, although we probably have to let people know. When you go through what we’ve gone through, it’s not easy to get the narrative in the place you like it. Q. Presumably you envision further expansion? A. We certainly have room, as a 13-team league with Navy coming in in 2014, to add a 14th team. My guess is we’d look west. There are western schools that have asked to join us. I don’t know if we would be a 14- or 16-team conference. Our goal is to hold together. We know realignment may not stop, but you can’t not forge the future because various shoes might drop in realignment. So looking out west — we have a western presence, and it would fit in with our Texas presence. And there are western bowl games that would have an interest in us. Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/big-east-commissioner-mike-aresco-we-feel-we-have-a-very-good-league/2012/12/19/2fb80652-4a1e-11e2-820e-17eefac2f939_story.html
  14. Utter confusion, chaos and uncertainty reside in the Big East. Fans of the seven Catholic, non-FBS basketball schools -- Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence, St. John's and DePaul -- aren't the only ones sitting idle with anticipation, wondering and worrying where they will wind up as the realignment dominoes continue to fall. "We have no clue what's going to happen," said one Big East head coach. "And there's nothing we can do about it." "The landscape is changing," another told CBSSports.com. "And nobody has the answer." Big East commissioner Mike Aresco met with the presidents and athletic directors this past Sunday to get the pulse of the key decision-makers moving forward. Poor Aresco. The former CBS television executive walked into a difficult situation when he was hired this past August, because there's just no way that Dave Gavitt or even Mike Tranghese would have ever had the league in this situation -- where there's speculation (and that's all it is) that Big East schools are contemplating a move to the Atlantic 10. "Gavitt would be rolling over in his grave right now if he knew what was going on," one coach said. Read more: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/21379753/big-east-in-a-state-of-perplexity-with-possible-breakaway
  15. Big East primary TV rights deal might be worth only $60 million-$80 million per year, multiple sources have told CBSSpports.com. It is believed that the league went into negotiations estimating its rights' worth as significantly higher than $100 million per year. It is no secret that the league's existence might hinge on that value of that TV deal. It is known that Houston has a provision in its pending deal with the Big East that it can get out of its agreement without penalty if certain revenue projections aren't achieved. Each incoming Big East member has negotiated its own deal regarding conference withdrawl, sources told CBSSports.com For example, Boise State can reduce its buyout to leave the Big East if there is a drop of 25 percent in current aggregate total revenue. Also, Boise State can have that fee reduced if less than 70 percent of the new TV contract goes to football. Houston, San Diego State, Boise State and SMU, among others, enter the Big East on July 1. Commissioner Mike Aresco said TV negotiations are ongoing and put no date on their completion. The league recently moved quickly to add Tulane and East Carolina after losing Rutgers and Louisville. That gives the league 15 football-playing schools when Navy joins in 2015. Using the figures described above, that would mean the average payout per school of $4 million-$5.3 million per year. read more: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/21292915/big-east-deal-could-be-worth-as-little-as-60-million-per-year
  16. Finally, the Big East -- the true essence of the league, not the ramshackle Ellis Island it has currently become -- is doing something. After years of having their fate decided for them, the seven Catholic basketball-playing schools gathered with commissioner Mike Aresco in New York on Sunday to discuss their options, according to published reports confirmed and detailed by ESPN's Andy Katz and Brett McMurphy. No decisions, votes or decisive actions were taken, but at least the seven universities -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova -- that represent Dave Gavitt's original hoops-oriented vision are working to determine their future instead of having it dictated to them. There's no doubt the options aren't great. The Catholic schools could band together, perhaps dissolve the league and forge out on their own, partnering maybe down the road with other like-minded, basketball-first institutions in the hopes of luring TV revenue. That sounds a lot better than it likely will be, at least fiscally. If current reports are true that a new deal might net $60 to $80 million, that's an average payout to the non-FBS football schools of between $1.1 to 1.4 million a year. The Atlantic 10's television deal split with ESPN, NBC and CBS nets each school about $350,000. Read more: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8735643/did-big-east-core-catholic-basketball-schools-wake-college-basketball
  17. Rutgers University will not be leaving the Big East quietly. On the same day last month the state university announced it was joining the Big Ten Conference, Rutgers’ lawyers were filing a lawsuit accusing the Big East of breach of contract. The suit — which offers a glimpse of the turmoil inside the unraveling Big East — says Rutgers should not have to pay the league’s $10 million exit fee or wait 27 months to leave the Big East because conference officials failed to apply those exit rules to other departing schools. "The Big East has elected not to enforce the bylaws, including the 27 months notice provision and payment of withdrawal fees, consistently and uniformly to the detriment of the remaining members of the Big East," the lawsuit said. Rutgers also accused the Big East of holding back millions of dollars owed to the university. Conference officials never gave Rutgers its share of $39 million in exit fees other schools have paid for leaving the league, according to the lawsuit. The Big East also owes Rutgers $1.3 million the university says it lost when it had to cancel a home football game against Texas Christian University when that school bailed on an agreement to join the league. Rutgers wants all of the money it’s owed — plus interest, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Superior Court in New Brunswick. Big East officials did not respond to requests for comment on the suit today. A Rutgers spokesman declined to comment. Read more: http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2012/12/rutgers_suit_against_big_east.html
  18. interesting: JFowlerCBS From what I've gathered, Big East isn't looking to C-USA for its next member. read more: http://csnbbs.com/showthread.php?tid=603377
  19. When the Big East was formed in 1979, the western-most school among the seven members was Syracuse. When the league expanded a couple of years later, it went way west — adding Pittsburgh (and also Villanova). That gave the league nine members, just three of which — Syracuse, Boston College and Pittsburgh — played in college football’s top division. As it turned out, it was the perfect basketball conference: built on major TV markets and Hall of Fame coaches. By 1985, the conference had won two national titles and had been represented in the Final Four five times, with three schools — Georgetown, St. John’s and eventual champion Villanova — in the 1985 semifinals. Two years later, two more schools — Syracuse and Providence — reached the Final Four. Two years after that, it was Seton Hall. A year later, Connecticut emerged as a power and just missed the Final Four. Then came football — and chaos. Wednesday’s announcement that Louisville will leave the Big East for the ACC in two years makes one thing crystal clear: It is time for the real Big East schools to return to their roots. It is time for the league’s basketball schools to abandon the pretense that they can be part of a football conference and go back to the brilliant concept the late Dave Gavitt brought about more than 30 years ago. read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/big-east-needs-to-return-to-basketball-roots-rather-than-chase-football-crumbs/2012/11/28/9de56016-3975-11e2-8a97-363b0f9a0ab3_story.html
  20. The Big East? Problems, problems, problems. New Big East commissioner Mike Aresco is in the middle of shark invested waters with only a rubber raft and a few fragile paddles as protection. Aresco is maintaining the good fight of a nation-wide conference covering 4 time zones,. But who is going to watch? That is not Aresco’s biggest concern, Keeping the core group of Big East basketball schools together is the problem. And it is growing. The Catholic schools, led by Georgetown and Marquette, kept quiet as a concession to the football money being funneled in each year. But they counted on Big East basketball maintaining its high-profile with schools such as Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Louisville UConn and Notre Dame as the anchors. Now all be gone. Oops. It might take just one Catholic school to walk out the door and the others will follow to form an 8 or 10 school all basketball, Catholic League, which will leave a group of bewildered group of BCS wannabees in a Conference usa ,not USA ,configuration. If that happens, Big East football can officially close shop. And the next giant step towards what looks more and more like a 4 or at most five league Super Conference of 14 to 16 teams will have been taken. http://ajerseyguy.com/?p=3604
  21. Reaction III: I tweeted this early last week, but it’s worth repeating here: The Big East’s decision to retain Bevilacqua is important not only for that conference but for all of major college sports. He gives the conference as good a chance as any consultant to land a TV rights deal that will satisfy its members (both continuing and new partners) and provide desperately-needed stability. The last thing we need is a Big East implosion and a new round of realignment that could adversely affect student athletes across all sports. Reaction IV: So what kind of deal are we talking about for the BE? It turned down an offer from ESPN last year that was reportedly worth $11 million per school, which looked like a monumentally bad decision in the wake of the subsequent Pitt/Syracuse/WVU departures. But my realignment sources believe the conference will, in fact, sign a comparable deal in the next few months, for three reasons: 1) The additions of Boise State and San Diego State are appealing to the networks because the conference now has access to all four times zones 2) Comcast, which owns NBC and was outbid for the Pac-12 rights, is eager to add to its college football inventory, and 3) The Big East is the only conference with its rights currently up for bid. I expect an ESPN/Comcast partnership, with ESPN handling Big East basketball — those two entities have grown up together — and NBC taking the lead on Big East football. Read more: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/08/20/actionreaction-big-east-tv-deal-my-ap-ballot-stanfords-qb-situation-gotta-love-kiffin-and-mora/
  22. “We’ve had many conversations with Boise State and many conversations with others that want to make sure Boise State has their sports situated in a place where they really want their sports to be,” Big East Interim Commissioner Joe Bailey told the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday. “As to what is going to happen, I can’t comment because a) I don’t know and I won’t guess.” Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/28/2171353/big-east-boss-no-guess-on-bsus.html#storylink=cpy
  23. http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-24/sports/31826862_1_big-east-football-coaches-league-schedules-spring-meetings Looks like any expansion would occur in the West.
  24. Interesting take on Marinatto and the Big East's fall from grace. Evidently, Judy Genshaft the AD at South Florida was stubbornly blocking Central Florida which led to instability within the league (sound familiar). Marinatto was able to land a 1.4 billion dollar ESPN contract which the Big East unbelievably passed on and after that the floodgates opened up. The irony of this of course for North Texas is this instability led to SMU's move to the Big East which opened up an opportunity for us to join C-USA. read more: http://www.cbssports.../story/18985030
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