What’s next for the Big East?
by Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
A review of the issues and questions facing the former Big East and future Big East, now that the breakup of the league is official:
Q: So what happened today with the Big East?
A: Though it had been publicly discussed for more than a week, a formal split between the non-football, “Catholic 7″ schools and the rest of the league was finalized and announced. On July 1, a group consisting of Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, St. John’s, DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence will be on their own. They will be called the “Big East” and play their conference basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. They will add members, eventually getting up to 12 schools, but the immediate plan of action is unclear. Things like naming a commissioner and setting up a league office and staff are at the top of the agenda. Also, finalizing a television deal – likely with Fox Sports – should happen in the near future. Butler and Xavier seem likely to be added for next season, and if the Big East wants a 10th school right away, Creighton seems to have significant momentum. Others that would eventually be considered include Dayton, Richmond and St. Louis.
Q: And what about Notre Dame?
A: The Fighting Irish will likely join the ACC in basketball next season, but it’s up to them to negotiate an early exit fee with the football group since the league’s bylaws stipulate a 27-month waiting period. But with the Catholic 7 negotiating an immediate withdrawal, it seems likely Notre Dame and the football group will come to some sort of agreement to allow the Fighting Irish to leave early as well. For the ACC, scheduling models with 14 or 15 teams are not significantly different or difficult to manage, so it doesn’t make a huge difference. But obviously, it probably benefits all parties to go ahead and make the jump now.
Q: What’s next for the football group?
A: The leftover members will have three key issues going forward: Choosing a name, divvying up the exit fee money and considering expansion to 12. All three are tricky, to an … [For more on Q&A: What's next for what was and will be the Big East?, click here.]