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Pitino: Catholic 7 ‘deserves’ Big East name
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 28, 2013 @ 8:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has endorsed the Big East Conference selling its 34-year-old name to the new college basketball league that will be created by the defection of the seven Catholic universities, and he added that their departure from the Big East is long overdue.
“I think they should (get the name),” Pitino told USA TODAY Sports in a telephone interview Thursday. “I think without question, the Catholic 7 deserves the Big East name. They should have, in my estimation, broken away from the football schools three years ago. I think they waited way too long. They should have been fed up a long time ago.
“You have some of the great, great traditions in college basketball. They should have gotten together, made their strong basketball league, sell their own deal and they should be the Big East. They should be playing in Madison Square Garden.”
Pitino later added, “Football is running our country right now.”
What becomes of the name of the Big East conference is just one issue that needs to be resolved over the next several months as the Catholic 7 — Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall and St. John’s — move to creating their own league.
Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame (except in football) have decided to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. Rutgers decided to move to the Big Ten. West Virginia is playing its first season in the Big 12 this year.
Southern Methodist will be among the schools to join the Big East next season. First-year Mustangs coach Larry Brown acknowledged an unclear future for what remains of the Big East.
“All I know is next year I am pretty confident we will be in a great Big East,” Brown said. “I don’t know where the future lies. So our goal is to be competitive next year and then be a partner people will want because of our football program and our basketball program and our academics and location. …
“I just hate where college athletics is going. When you are talking about the best interest of the student-athlete, and you’re at Maryland … [For more on Pitino: Catholic 7 'deserves' Big East name, click here.]
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