The question now is, simply, how?
The presidents of the seven schools conducted a teleconference with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco on Thursday morning. The presidents are expected to issue a statement on their schools’ future in the next 24 to 48 hours.
According to the report from USA Today, the basketball schools have two options. The first is that they can leave as a group, and while that would prevent them from having to pay any exit fees, it would forfeit their share of the exit fees from the schools that have already left the conference, the NCAA tournament win-shares and their right to the Big East “brand”.
The other option?
Well, that’s where things could get crazy:
The Catholic schools could vote to dissolve the league. With seven votes out of 10 being cast (Connecticut, South Florida and Cincinnati are the others), the Catholic schools would have the two-thirds majority to pass that measure.
Once that is done, the outstanding bills of the league would be paid and the assets would then be divided among the 10 members. But everything else disappears including the current agreements in place with football and basketball, naming rights for each conference and the issue of spots in the new football system of playoffs and bowl games and the NCAA tournament spot that is guaranteed to the Big East tournament champion.
(UPDATE: Well, maybe not:
Big East hoops schools can't dissolve league, sources told @espn. Can leave as group w/out paying exit fees, but must wait 27 months—
Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 14, 2012
I can’t keep up.)
If you’re a lawyer, you might want to try and get yourself connected with whatever firm the Big East and the Catholic 7 schools hire.
Because regardless of how this plays out, the legal fees generated while the schools fight over who gets what money will be enormous.
I should have gone to law school.