New Big East reminiscent of old Big East
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
It may be time to retire the moniker ‘Catholic 7.’ Not only are those seven schools — plus newly added Butler, Xavier and Creighton — calling themselves the new Big East already, but they’re taking the Big East’s history with them, too.
“As part of our separation agreement, we negotiated that the basketball records will remain the property of the basketball schools,” Providence president Fr. Brian Shanley said on a teleconference Wednesday. “The Big East will just keep going on, being the inheritor if you will, of the traditions and the records of the conference.”
That includes the postseason tournament site, Madison Square Garden; the Big East will remain there at least through 2026. While there is a great deal of continuity from the old Big East to this new conference, there is one slight change (besides membership).
“We’ll have the conference headquarters here in New York,” Georgetown president John DeGioia said, a departure from the conference’s longtime home, Providence, R.I.
All of the conference offices and staff members may not work in New York, but the presidents feel that, for symbolic reasons linked to the league’s partnership with Fox, the headquarters needs to be in that city.
In the coming weeks and months, plenty of remaining details will be worked out. The new Big East will need to hire a commissioner, figure out which non-basketball sports the league will sponsor and come up with plans for travel and scheduling.
So far, the only scheduling detail that’s certain is that teams will play an 18-game conference slate next season. That number would potentially change were the league to add more members down the line.
Each school will then complement its league schedule with non-conference foes, like normal, which means it will be up to individual institutions whether or not they want to continue traditional rivalries.
New Big East school presidents are confident and hopeful they can schedule some of their former colleagues; Georgetown and Syracuse have both expressed interest in continuing that series in the future.
Xavier, a longtime member of the Atlantic 10 conference, said it will take a look at its rivalry with Dayton.
“Whatever rivalries we’d like … [For more on New Big East rather reminiscent of old Big East, click here.]