Aresco trying to hold Big East together
by Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco spent Thursday morning on a conference call with the presidents of the league’s non-football schools, exploring all avenues to hold the conference together, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
That person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the talks were supposed to remain confidential.
The league’s seven private Catholic schools, which do not sponsor Football Bowl Subdivision teams, have been exploring in recent days the possibility of striking out on their own or dissolving the conference. The legal entanglements of that decision are so complicated, however, that Aresco has been trying to slow the train and work out a deal to keep the league together.
A high-ranking official at a school moving to the Big East in 2013 told USA TODAY Sports that the football schools are under the impression that a breakup is imminent, but there is no immediate clear path forward if that happens. The official also spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the talks.
The Big East is supposed to add Houston, SMU, Central Florida, Memphis, Tulane and Temple in all sports beginning in 2013, as well as Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members. Navy and East Carolina are supposed to join the league in 2014 as football-only members.
The mish-mash of schools and all-sports additions have left the basketball side feeling powerless and unstable, especially in light of the recent defections by Rutgers and Louisville to the Big Ten and ACC, respectively. Last year, Pittsburgh and Syracuse agreed to join the ACC, and Notre Dame is moving its non-football sports to that league. With those defections, and new members not set to join until July 1, 2013, the basketball schools have enough … [For more on Aresco attempting to hold Big East Conference together, click here.]