With the reports that came out on Thursday it seemed as if the splitting of the Big East Conference would be both quick and amicable. The seven schools previously dubbed the “Catholic 7” would get to leave at the end of the current academic year, and they would get the rights to the name as well.
But with the conference presidents meeting in Atlanta this weekend there’s a lot of work to be done in the move towards the creation of two separate leagues. That means the reports of a split being agreed to on Thursday were premature.
According to Mark Blaudschun the Big East presidents have yet to agree on anything, be it the financial terms of such a move or how to make the actual logistics work in time for the “new” Big East to cash in on a television deal proposed by Fox Sports.
People went into the meeting in Atlanta on Friday morning with an attitude of maybe we can do this, maybe we won’t–at least right away. Let’s look at the dollar figures, which are in the millions of dollars range.
All of this will eventually be worked out. The Catholic 7 will leave in July. They will take the Big East name.
But….it might cost them more than they thought. And the word amicable is rapidly fading from the use of descriptions regarding the talks.
The devil is in the details as they say, and there are lots of details that must be worked out on both sides.
Blaudschun’s report follows one from CSNPhilly.com on Thursday night in which Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw denied that any agreement had been made between the two “entities.”
When asked to respond, Bradshaw said he had “no comment” because “no decisions have been made.” He referred to Thursday’s multiple reports as “rumors” and said he had “no idea where [they] came from.”
Fox Sports, which needs new inventory for the new all-sports channel that it’s creating (formerly the Speed Channel), helped grease the skids for a split with presidents of the seven schools all too willing to go along with given how much more money they stand to make.
On Thursday afternoon many, myself included, were of the belief that the Big East split could be unlike other moves in conference realignment, with administrators avoiding the catty behavior and lawsuits that can occur more often than not.
That could still happen, but given the amount of money at stake there’s the possibility (hell, likelihood) that some lawyers will be the ones who end up cashing in as well.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.