I swear, some time soon I will get to the actual games. Maybe even talk about ND before Saturday. Yet I can’t turn away from Conference Expansiopocolypse stuff. I’m just too invested.
The Big East football programs had a little get together at a hotel in NYC. Henry Kissinger happened to be in the same hotel. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Speaking of stuff you can’t make up. This was the full text of the Big East Conference statement after the meeting.
Our membership met this evening and we are committed as a conference to recruit top level BCS caliber institutions with strong athletic and academic histories and traditions. We have been approached by a number of such institutions and will pursue all of our options to make the BIG EAST Conference stronger than it has ever been in both basketball and football.
What a reaffirming and warm statement. But…
Curiously absent from the league statement is the specific wording that all of the schools were committed to the league.
Not really. (By the way, check out the story just for the punchdrunk picture of Marinatto. I want some photoshopped submissions based on that picture. Please!)
This was a meeting of all seven school presidents and ADs. Well, not quite. UConn has no AD, and their President had other commitments outside of conference survival. UConn Pres. Susan Herbst just issued a statement on Facebook.
“The past several days have magnified the period of instability that exists today in the world of college athletics. I want to say thank you to all of our loyal supporters and fans of UConn and our athletic programs for their patience during this time.
“Please know that we will always do what is in the best interests for the University of Connecticut.
“We remain committed to our ideals and principals in intercollegiate athletics and will continue to achieve excellence academically and athletically.”
Two words missing completely from this statement: “Big” and “East.” Everyone feeling the commitment? No? Not a surprise.
One official in the Big East who requested anonymity said that was not an accurate assessment of the sentiment in the room. The official said league schools are committed to recruiting more schools but did not make any pledge to remaining in the league until it’s clear what the league will look like.
The official also said about four or five of the Big East schools are committed to keeping the league together, but the other two or three need to know where the league is headed before a firm commitment is made.
Yeah. That seems to be the right POV.
About that direction, status quo is a big part of it.
Marinatto also said, “We had a conference call with nonfootball playing members yesterday and all of them unanimously supported their football brethren in order to move the conference forward with the same structure it’s been.”
That’s right, “same structure.” No split. That would be bad for Providence. Teams are bailing for the exit and they aren’t going to change anything. On the Banks (Rutgers) as you would expect is taking this news in a calm, measured manner.
How about those future members?
…the Big East was in the final stages of acquiring Navy as a football-only member.
No official invitation was extended by the league, but both parties had extensive discussions about Navy joining the league in football only and it very well could have happened in the next couple of weeks, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com. Besides Navy, the Big East also was targeting Air Force and league sources felt confident both schools would have been Big East members, perhaps within the next year – that is until Pitt and Syracuse announced they were leaving for the ACC.
Navy and Air Force as football only members? Because football only members worked so well back in the 90s. It didn’t breed hostility and other divisions at all. Speaking of the 90s (oh, you know it is coming):
There has been “mutual interest” between the Big East football conference and Temple, “maybe more intense recently,” a source said Tuesday just before officials from schools that play Big East football met in New York.
Oh, it gets better. ECU as usual wants to know it’s available and willing (as usual).
[NY Times Reporter, Pete] Thamel tweeted that the East Carolina has applied for the Big East and is not shy about it. ECU noted that it “copied about 50 people on the e-mail.”
Maybe Marinatto wasn’t joking when he suggested that the Big East might play their tournament in Greensboro someday.
With WVU shut out of both the SEC and ACC at this time, the only other Big East football team with a possible out is Louisville. The Big 12 is surviving for another day. Maybe up to 5 years. They will likely go after BYU first, but failing that Louisville is still a possibility. Card Chronicle sets out the simple choice.
As far as Louisville is concerned, it appears there are now just two options: 1) A slightly weakened Big East or 2) A pretty strong (in both sports) Big 12.
Neither is a great option, but at least they might have a choice.
Finally, Nunes Magician (Syracuse) is a little tired of the talk of backstabbing and betrayal for leaving the Big East. Points out the reality.