There simply may not be anymore room for a school that chooses to pour resources into basketball, as opposed to the massive moneymaker that is college football.
The Big East, following several defections of its football-oriented schools, may have reached a tipping point with the move of Rutgers to the Big Ten. Either UConn or Louisville is now expected to jump ship to the ACC, rocking the core of the Big East’s basketball competitiveness.
[In-depth >> Rutgers makes it official, follows Maryland into the Big Ten]
Thus, the remaining schools may not have any remaining financial incentive to stick together as a league.
Representatives of some of those [remaining] seven schools said this week that the tipping point would be reached if either Connecticut or Louisville heads to another league. Such a loss would be infinitely more important to the basketball schools than Rutgers leaving, because it would further erode an already badly damaged basketball core.
Losing a UConn or Louisville would also give the basketball schools the opportunity to engineer an unprecedented power play and vote to dissolve the league. According to the Big East’s bylaws, the conference can be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of all members. The seven basketball schools, which include Providence College, would own that voting advantage over three all-sports members (Cincinnati, South Florida and either UConn or Louisville). That voting edge would disappear in July, when new members Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU come onboard.
The Big East has been decimated with the defections of West Virginia, Syracuse and Pitt, among others. Two schools supposed to be joining the conference, Boise State and San Diego State, are considering a return to the Mountain West Conference.
The only answer might just be a basketball-only conference spanning the entire country, thus financially protecting the Big East’s non-football schools.
Quotes from NBC Sports were used in this report
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