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Big East's non-football members meet, discuss possible breakaway

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  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    The meeting was first reported by Mark Blaudschun.

    "SI.com's Pete Thamel is reporting that Big East commissioner Mike Aresco attended.

    This development comes less than a week after CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd reported that the Big East's next TV deal could be worth as little as $60 million annually, meaning the league's seven non-football members -- Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova and DePaul -- will make a fraction of what they figured to make before Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Louisville announced within the past 15 months that they're leaving the Big East. Considering TV revenue has long been viewed as the only tangible reason for the non-football members to remain affiliated with the football-playing members, last week's report combined with the possibility of additional changes has the non-football members now exploring other options. One possibility, a source said, is the non-football members forming a basketball-only league and perhaps inviting other relevant basketball schools without FBS-level football programs to join them -- schools like Butler, VCU, Xavier, Saint Louis, Dayton, George Mason and Creighton.

    How much TV revenue could a league like that generate?

    The answer is unclear.

    But it probably wouldn't be significantly less than the roughly $1 million per year Dodd's report suggests the non-football members might get from the deal Aresco is currently trying to negotiate, and, just as important, a new basketball-only league wouldn't force schools like Georgetown and Marquette to water-down their schedules and blow their budgets playing against and traveling to schools like Tulane and Houston. In the end, that's what the non-football members must decide -- whether a few hundred-thousand dollars per year from a TV contract is worth them remaining part of a league they no longer recognize. A source said a decision, one way or another, is expected before July 1, i.e., the date Memphis, Houston, U

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    (continued)
    UCF and SMU are scheduled to join the Big East as all-sports members."
    From CBS sports.

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    They are looking to take the "Big East" name with them too David Glenn says.

  • Ken D. Dec 11, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Timing is critical in that regard. Currently, there are 7 non-football schools in the Big East. There are three all-sports members left (UConn, Cincy and South Florida), and several schools that will soon become voting members. Temple's status regarding voting on membership issues is unclear, but critical.

    Without Temple, the 7 non-football schools would have the two thirds majority they would need to dissolve the conference and negotiate some arrangement in which the Big East brand, and its claim to NCAA basketball revenue distributions, would survive. With dissolution, the unhappy basketball schools would not be subject to any exit fees (nor would the football schools).

    But if Temple is allowed to vote, the unhappy seven fall short of the 67% they need to dissolve. And once the new football members get on board, those seven are screwed. Also reported in the past few hours is a strong indication that Boise is unlikely to follow through on joining, which would surely leave San Diego State unwilling to come aboard. That would leave the league with ten football members, eight of which came from CUSA.

    If Boise does withdraw, and bidding networks evaluate the possibility of UConn and Cincy going to the ACC (not a given, to be sure, but negotiating leverage for the networks) even that $60MM number is likely to drop sharply.

    The seven Catholic schools can do the math. I would be very surprised at this point if they don't move to dissolve the Big East and sue to retain the Big East brand name for themselves.

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    This is exactly what we talked about happening a while back. Kind of sad that it looks likely to happen now that ECU finally gained their long awaited entrance. I would say that it will definitely happen because of the money involved. Oh well.

  • Ken D. Dec 11, 2012
    Sports Legend

    If the league were to dissolve before July 1, that would create more than a little havoc with the 2013 schedule. The BE has already announced its sked for next season based on having 12 teams, including Boise, SDSU and Houston (all of which have legal outs if the TV contract falls short of specified goals) as well as Rutgers. There could be a lot of scrambling for opponents in the next few months.

    Another question is: if the BE formally dissolves, what is the status of the schools slated to join but not yet formally in? I doubt there is anything binding on anybody at that point. I wouldn't automatically assume that the ten remaining football schools (excluding Boise and SDSU) would think that configuration is the best they can do.

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    From what I have read if the BE formally dissolves then there would be nothing that would make the agreements that have been made with the future members binding in any way.
    It is also of note that (before people start suggesting this) the schools in question could not join another conference "en masse" because due to some NCAA rules they would be starting a new conference. This disolution also means that the those teams would forfeit the accumulated NCAA tournament revenues to this point. I have not really figured out what exactly that means but it is somewhat like this:
    Teams do not get paid every year based on one years performance (you get more money the further you go in the tournament).
    The conference gets paid an average of something like five years worth of NCAA average finishes.
    The same way that these schools voting for dissolution would nullify their exit fee it would also nullify some part or all of these earnings because there is no conference to pay. It is extremely complicated and we cannot really see the contracts ourselves and this info is gleaned from various sites.

  • Ken D. Dec 11, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    That would suggest that the best strategy for the U7 (unhappy 7 schools) is to negotiate an arrangement where everybody else but them leaves the BE in exchange for retaining their rights to future tournament revenue distributions and no exit fees.

  • Coach C Dec 11, 2012
    Veteran

    If this happens? They would be the second best basketball conference behind the ACC

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    -Ken D
    Right. Current speculation runs that if they dissolved the league and left and then reestablished themselves as a bball only conference they would instantly lose about 500K per team. Then they would add some of those A10 basketball teams and form a new conference. This would also cost some money for administraion and other costs (do not know what exactly those would amount to). The only real benifits would be a possible increased future revenue because of the added teams. The main thing that they mention is that they are dead set against the "dilution" of the Big East brand, the increased costs of travel, and would welcome the better competition. Also, they would not be at the mercy of the football teams. In their thinking, the football teams could vote to add 4 or 5 more teams and add them in basketball also further diluting their brand and revenues.
    It was also stated that the reason that ECU was not admitted for all sports is that the Big East refused the idea saying that the Big East BB only schools would not accept this.

  • Ken D. Dec 11, 2012
    Sports Legend

    I have been unable to find anything definitive explaining the "8 year continuity" rule governing the recognition of FBS football conferences.

    I can't imagine that this rule would prevent schools from deciding to form a new conference, unless there is currently a moratorium on the number of conferences. But as of next season, the WAC will no longer exist, leaving only 10 FBS conferences and 124 schools.

    One thing is for sure. Bylaws notwithstanding, if Notre Dame were to get 7 other schools to join them in a new conference, nobody would stop them.

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    I did not mean there were definite rules against forming a new conference just that when you dissolve one you lose a certain amount of the revenue from the dissolved conference and would have to start the new one from scratch. Since you would then have to wait an uncertain amount of time on the tournament revenue you would have to extend yourself substantially for a good while to build the new conference. I am sure how large the costs would be but I can guess that they would be very substantial.

    I saw it mentioned somewhere about the whole joining the A10 thing could not be done with the A10 still remaining the A10...and that article has since been amended and changed so I assume that you are correct there.

  • hovis Dec 11, 2012
    All Star

    Holy heck...as of today, if all the current teams stay together and the other teams actually come in they project the BE to get...60 mil a year???? That is like 1 to 1.4 mil a year paid to each team. Awful.

  • Ken D. Dec 11, 2012
    Sports Legend

    PTI just discussed the BE's U7 and Mike Wilbon added a nice twist. He suggested that Duke should join them! Somewhere in the many realignment threads I posited a scenario in which the ACC got raided by the B1G, SEC and Big XII with both Wake and Duke getting left without a home. I suggested that if that were to happen, they would hook up with the U7 to form a fantastic, and relatively small, basketball conference. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

  • lazydawg58 Dec 11, 2012
    Pro

    But what of ECU? Could we possibly see something that makes geogrphic, competitive and economic sence? Maybe an all sports conference made up of, ECU, UCF, USF, Southern Miss., Marshall, UAB, UNCC, Old Dominion, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State.

  • hovis Dec 12, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    That suggestion makes sense to me if it all falls apart. I wonder if those teams could use the BE name? It really does not change a lot except less income (maybe) and the loss of the prestige that the basketball side of the conference added to the overall view of the BE if the football teams still call themselves the Big East.

    Should be noted that these teams would benefit greatly from assuming the BE name because of the expenses of starting a new conference.

  • Ken D. Dec 12, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    If you think about it, that isn't much different than ECU could have had by electing to be in the FCS instead of the FBS. While I might think that's a good idea, I think it would be met with strong resistance by that segment of Pirate fans (and a large segment at that) whose self image for ECU is that of a national football power.

  • Ken D. Dec 12, 2012
    Sports Legend

    I sometimes wonder if part of the problem with conference realignment, driven by football and ESPN, isn't that the notion of an all-sports conference may have become an anachronism. Even within such conferences, exceptions are made. ECU, Boise, San Diego State, Navy - all slated to be football only members of the Big East. Notre Dame just the opposite - first with the BE, now with the ACC.

    What would be so wrong with having football only conferences, and men's basketball only conferences? Why make all your other sports play against opponents that make no sense, and travel ridiculous distances to do it? Why not just recognize that those two revenue sports are fundamentally different from all the others, and act accordingly?

    For that matter, why not just have a single 64 team football only league that has a single contract with ESPN, and which divides TV and bowl revenues equally among all its members? Just because we've always done it one way doesn't mean we can't change.

  • hovis Dec 12, 2012
    All Star

    As this concerns recruiting, it would be nice if this hurried up and happened or did not happen. It is hard to recruit when people can recruit against you by saying things that make the conference look unstable. The lies told on the recruiting trail are hilarious and more often that not total bs. People recruiting against you will say anything to dissuade players from going to your school. It does not matter if they are based in fact or not. I can see recruiters in living rooms right now saying "I don't think that they will even have a conference. When they dissolve the BE, Cusa has said that they will not take them back since they have replaced them." It does not matter how untrue it is, people recruiting against you WILL say it if it gives them an advantage. If it takes you more than one sentence to refute it they will be left with doubts. This is a hard decision for many players and often comes down to things as small as these.

  • hovis Dec 12, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    This is mostly what I have suggested in the past as their end goal. When they get the 64 teams in the four major conferences, the "conferences" will really just be the "divisions" that you see in the NFL.

    As to why they don't just do the 64 thing this ties back into the discussion that we had before. This is the reason that they will do their contracts directly with ESPN and leave out the NCAA altogether once they get themselves positioned like they want. Then they can do all the things that you are talking about.

  • hovis Dec 13, 2012
    All Star

    Just heard that the seven schools held a conference call this morning with Aresco and informed him of their intention of leaving. I just realized that this means ECU will have no problem getting all sports into whatever this conference becomes.

  • davenportj Dec 13, 2012
    Pro

    If the U7 schools break/disolve they would not be able to keep the name Big East as the Conference is no more. If they were to form a new Coference as basketball only they would need more than 7 schools. I know that they had the BE name to begin with but I don't think they can keep it

  • tcoutouzis Dec 13, 2012
    Sports Legend

    The word on the street from this afternoon is that the seven will be announcing their breakaway as of tomorrow and taking the Big East name.

    They are working on a new name for the conference. I gave Terry a new conference name when CUSA and the MWC were thinking of merging. He sent it to Banowski and the MWC commissioner and copied me on it. I think I am going to resubmit it for this new one.

  • tcoutouzis Dec 13, 2012
    Sports Legend

    Depending on what happens, this is why we could move up to play in 2013 as a full member

  • hovis Dec 13, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    The only reason that those seven teams would "blow up" the conference is if the exit fee was forced on them. If an agreement is made then the name does not have to be lost.
    I see above me that it said that the bball schools are keeping the BE name. How could that happen? That is the equivalent of kicking out the football schools. Why would they agree to that? Not doubting your word, just wondering how that could be possible.

  • Ken D. Dec 13, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    They might agree to that if they are being paid to agree to it. If the alternative is for everybody to walk away from the residual payout the BE is due for past tournament performance, that could be expensive.

    I'm sure the basketball schools can find enough new partners to get their numbers above seven pretty fast

  • hovis Dec 13, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    Ecu would still be getting hosed because they are not yet a member so I presume they would get no cut of that theoretical deal. Lord have mercy, they may really have to name it conference USA V2.1. What have they gained? Very little.

  • tcoutouzis Dec 14, 2012
    Sports Legend

    We are going to be part of the new conference per a response I got back from Terry Holland. There are some schools pushing for a 16 team conference with no crossover games unless you are playing for the conference title. I understand that we will be an all sports member of this new conference when the dust settles.

  • Ken D. Dec 14, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    From ECU's point of view, a seven game league schedule has some advantages. It allows for heavier scheduling against local non-conference rivals, including some of the stronger regional FCS teams like Richmond, ASU and William&Mary. Picture three ACC opponents, one of the FCS schools, Old Dominion and Charlotte on the schedule every year. For the Pirates, given their geography, that's about as good as you could hope to get.

  • lazydawg58 Dec 15, 2012
    Pro

    In the 16 team two division conference that TH spoke of, what are the schools that are expected to join?

  • Ken D. Dec 15, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    And what are the chances that all of the remaining football schools stay? It's not far fetched to think that the ACC could still take UConn as a sixteenth all sports member and Navy as a football only member.

    As for a 16 team conference in which there are no crossover games in the regular season, what's the point of that? Why not just have two eight team conferences that agree to have their champions meet in a bowl game?

    If you lose UConn and Navy, and if Boise and San Diego back out as expected, you are down to 9 schools: Temple, ECU, Cincinnati, USF, UCF, Memphis, Tulane, Houston and SMU. Why not just leave it at that?

  • SpartanDude Dec 17, 2012
    Veteran

    Wow, this really sucks for ECU. The pirates can't catch a break regarding conference alignments. Just when they think they get into a big time conference, that conference is on the verge of disintegrating. I wonder if the remaining BE football schools can cobble together a conference worth anything or if it all goes kaput and they have to find alternatives to the Big East.

  • Ken D. Dec 17, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    We don't know yet whether this will affect ECU much. But I doubt anybody at ECU thought they were "getting into a big time conference". It was quite clear that they were getting back to where they started, which is essentially CUSA. And I expect it was very humbling for some Pirates to discover where they ranked in terms of attractiveness in that league. The Big East took 9 other CUSA schools before agreeing to take ECU, and even then they weren't deemed good enough for anything but football. That's gotta sting.

  • tcoutouzis Dec 18, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    We are going to be okay guys. They are forming a new conference of which we will be part of. The discussions have already begun and they are moving fast.

  • tcoutouzis Dec 18, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Hey Lazydawg - This was one of the options that is popular and was presented, but I am not for sure that they are going to 16 yet, we will see.

    East - ECU, USF, UC, UConn, UCF, Navy, Memphis, Temple

    West - Boise St., SDSU, Houston, Tulane, SMU, Fresno St, BYU, UNLV

    This has been a suggestion that is very popular amongst the people.

  • Ken D. Dec 18, 2012
    Sports Legend

    If the plan is to have a 16 team league, with no crossover scheduling in the regular season, what is the point? Why not just separate conferences. But if you have separate conferences which negotiate TV and bowl deals together to improve their leverage and appeal, then why stop at 16? Why not three 8 team leagues that pool their strength?

    Put Boise, SDSU, UNLV and Fresno in the WAC, along with New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii and San Jose State.

    The Mountain West can have Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming, Utah State, BYU, SMU, Houston and Tulane.

    The Big East stays as you described it.

    At the end of the regular season, the three conference champions, plus the highest ranked non-champion at large, and play two games, with the winners to advance to a nice bowl game somewhere in the middle of the country. If one of these teams is ranked high enough to break into one of the major bowls, substitute the second place team from their conference for the "semifinal".

    In effect, what you would wind up with would be pretty close to the proposed merger of CUSA and MWC that almost happened several months ago. What you would be adding are the remnants of the Big East. What you would be subtracting are Marshall, Southern Miss, UAB, Rice, Tulsa and UTEP.

    The 24 schools can share all the bowl and TV money equally.

  • tcoutouzis Dec 19, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    That is a simple answer Ken. Money.

  • tcoutouzis Dec 19, 2012
    Sports Legend

    It looks like Aresco is pushing the 16 team model as I layed out above. He has just contacted Fresno St and UNLV

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/21425151/big-east-contacts-fresno-state-and-unlv-about-joining-in-football

  • tcoutouzis Dec 20, 2012
    Sports Legend

    It looks like we are in for all sports in this new "conference america."

    Here is the link

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/big-east-commissioner-mike-aresco-we-feel-we-have-a-very-good-league/2012/12/19/2fb80652-4a1e-11e2-820e-17eefac2f939_story.html

  • hovis Dec 20, 2012
    All Star

    View quoted thread

    Just saw that too.

  • Ken D. Dec 20, 2012
    Sports Legend

    Aresco is still trying desperately to hold onto Boise and San Diego State. You have to admire his chutzpah if nothing else. His problem is that if those two schools go back to the MWC, they become the de facto #6 conference, with the best chance of securing a major bowl berth, and not Conference America.

  • lazydawg58 Dec 22, 2012
    Pro

    It looks like BSU and SDSU aren't coming. I think it is time for the nBE to consider becoming the best east of the Mississippi conference it can be. I really believe that the B1G and SEC are through expanding, thus the B12 is as well. The ACC will hold at 14.5 and as a result UCONN and Cinc. have no better option than to make the nBE the best they can be. A tweleve team two division seems practical but not being able to bring in Western schools limits the options and downgrades the value considerably. Houston and SMU will probably go MWC now so raiding the CUSA again seems to be the only route to go. So we are looking at: UCONN, Temple, Cinc., USF, ECU, UCF, Memphis, Tulane and Navy. We tap USM, UAB, and Old Dominion? Do we consider Charlotte or Marshall? Charlotte and OD are bigger markets (how did that stratagy work out) but are moving up from FCS or scratch.

  • lazydawg58 Dec 22, 2012
    Pro

    Northeast Division: UCONN, Temple, Cincinni, Navy, OD, ECU, (Marshall)
    Southeast Division: USF, UCF, Memphis, Tulane, USM, UAB, (Charlotte)

    Play everyone in your division and 3 in the other division each year. If they go to the 14 team version play 2 in the other division each year. Everyone plays everyone every two or three years and we have a conference championship game on the home field of the top team, not at a neutral site.

    In Basketball and other sports Navy is out so no divisions. This would be a fairly stong BB conference with Temple, UCONN, Cinc., Memphis, OD and possibly Charlotte. It should help ECU BB recruiting. In baseball ECU would maybe be the strongest team? I don't know how good the Florida schools are.

  • Ken D. Dec 22, 2012
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    I couldn't agree more about just being the best east of the Mississippi conference you can be. Your starting point consists of nine schools, including Navy, which is in for football only. Why not stop there? Nine teams gives you a balanced four home, four away schedule in football, while 8 in basketball gives you a solid 14 game true round robin schedule and a compact tournament field that includes every school.

    To me, the time to consider other schools will come if the ACC takes UConn and Navy, which I consider a realistic possibility.

  • Ken D. Dec 22, 2012
    Sports Legend

    BTW, if Boise and SDSU go back to the MWC, that would bring them to 12 schools. I'm not sure they'll want to add more. They still remember the days of a 16 team WAC conference that proved so unwieldy the MWC was formed. I'm not sure the power conferences aren't going to encounter the same problems.

  • lazydawg58 Dec 22, 2012
    Pro

    View quoted thread


    If the MWC doesn't take SMU and Houston the nBE would be at 11. With that number wouldn't it be wise to add one more? If so while I'd like to see S. Miss. get in, it might be wise to take Tulsa. Then with two divisions you have, Southwest: Houston, SMU, Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF., Eastern: USF, Cinci, ECU, UCONN, Temple, Navy. Eight conference games and a championship game gives everyone four OOC games. If UCONN and Cinci. get the call up you could hold at 10 or add two. But I still kind of hope it ends up an east of the Miss. conference with 12 to 14 teams.

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L. Pouille6 6    
B. Paire3 2    
(8) F. Fognini6 7    
A. Bedene4 5    
(1) R. Nadal6 6    
(5) P. Cuevas3 2    
(4) A. Seppi     
S. Bolelli     
 
Suisse Open Gstaad (ATP)
Quarterfinals
(2) F. Lopez77 6    
(8) S. Giraldo64 4    
(3) D. Thiem6 3 6   
(7) P. Carreno Bu4 6 2   
(4) P. Andujar6 4 1   
(5) T. Bellucci3 6 6   
(1) D. Goffin67 6 77   
(6) J. Sousa79 4 61   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Jul. 31
Brasil Tennis Cup (WTA)
Semifinals
(4) T. Pereira6 7    
A. Sevastova3 5    
(3) A. Beck710 4 6   
(5) B. Mattek-San68 6 3   
 
Baku Cup (WTA)
Quarterfinals
(2) K. Knapp6 77    
A. Panova2 64    
M. Gasparyan6 6    
E. Rodina3 2    
D. Vekic3 2    
P. Tig6 6    
(1) A. Pavlyuchen6 6    
K. Flipkens1 3