Rumor Mill: Are Cincinnati and UConn going to start their own league?

When eight-year olds don’t get to go play in some other kid’s fort, they just pout and then go off and build their own fort and say that other kids aren’t allowed.

In the Big East — or what was the Big East, at least — if conference commissioners don’t get the type of cash they want, they just pout and then go off and start their own leagues.

The seven basketball-only schools in the conference recently voted unanimously to break off from the conference after the talent within the league was diluted by the likes of Tulane and East Carolina. Mike Aresco, the Big East commissioner, brought in the schools in question in order to expand the reach of the conference into a major television market. However, Tulane’s basketball team was not seen as competitive enough for the so-called ‘Catholic 7’.

[Related >> In-depth report on the departure of the ‘Catholic 7’]

So off went DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova to build their own fort.

Only three members of the Big East remain, and two of them, UConn and Cincinnati, are pouting over the fact that the basketball schools aren’t letting them play. So what do to?

Go off and build yet another fort of their own, of course.

According to the Sporting News, there have been talks of creating a cross-continent, all-sports league featuring these two schools and several others that have been left out in the cold by conference realignment.

Sources close to the discussions told Sporting News on Friday that one possibility to give the Bearcats and Huskies a home, which is at the early stages of discussion, would be a cross-continent all-sports league involving disenfranchised members of the Big East as well as the most prominent members of the Mountain West.

The proposed entrants would be UConn, Cincinnati, South Florida, Memphis, Temple, Boise State, San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico and possibly BYU or Central Florida. Such a league would include football programs that are comparable and competitive, as well as extraordinary basketball featuring eight teams that reached the NCAA Tournament last season. NBC Sports Network is likely to be approached to gauge its interest in such a property.

While such a league would actually be very exciting in terms of basketball and would be an improving football power, there is one question that begs to be asked.

Isn’t this exactly the same thing the Big East was trying to do in the first place, minus Tulane and East Carolina?

Why would the basketball-only schools break away if such a proposal was a good idea?

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