Big East 7 Catholic Schools Can Dissolve League

Submitted by Soulfire21 on December 13th, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Interesting read on ESPN early this morning.  Apparently, it would "be an upset" if the 7 catholic non-FBS schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova) stay in the league.  Fine, we knew that.

What is interesting is that the Big East can dissolve by a 2/3 majority vote, and because of the defections/attrition/general craziness, there are 10 schools that could vote:  the seven catholic non-football schools, Cincinnati, UConn, and South Florida.

The schools may not only leave the league, but they could dissolve the league entirely.

It's unknown if they would attempt to dissolve the league or leave the league as a group. The league can be dissolved by vote of the league members by a two-thirds majority, according to Big East by-laws. With all of the Big East's recent defections, there are only 10 members (the seven non-FBS schools, plus Cincinnati, UConn and South Florida) that can vote on the league dissolving.

A source told ESPN on Wednesday, Temple, as a football-only member, has voting rights, but can't vote on dissolution of the league. With Temple unable to vote, that gives the seven basketball schools enough votes to dissolve the league.

Full article here.



December 13th, 2012 at 1:14 AM ^

What the hell is goin on if this goes down what will happen to uconn, usf, and cincy? what happens to the 8 schools they added from all over the place? what happens to the teams that moved to fill those teams place in CUSA? Im soooo confused Why cant things go back to 2003


December 13th, 2012 at 1:31 AM ^

Yes and no. The ACC was, and still is, a house of cards. Remember May, when we all expected FSU and Clemson to leave? There was almost certainly smoke to that, which is why it's still coming up. Somebody had to make the first move.

It seems highly probable that before all is said and done that the ACC will lose 6 more members. We wanted to get in on that action early (probably a long game geared toward landing UNC or ND), so we made sure we moved in first. 

San Diego Mick

December 13th, 2012 at 2:46 AM ^

Is ND getting hosed with their BS move to the ACC, playing 5 annual games with ACC members and cutting our rivalry conveniently after we have to play in South Bend.


Eff you ND, I hope you circle the drain in a bad, bad way....should have joined the B1G a long time ago, but you thought you were too cool, yeah right.


December 13th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

Notre Dame effectively killed the Big East themselves. They convinced them to pass on a big TV deal from ESPN in favor of one from NBC when their ESPN deal expired, then they bolted and the NBC offer never materialized.

Now ESPN is slowly killing the Big East by lowballing them and then offering the Catholic 7 a better deal away from the football schools.  


December 13th, 2012 at 9:26 AM ^

What about Virginia?  Very good academics, public, flagship, prominence in the NYC / DC / East Coast corridor, good football recruiting state, good athletics (outside of football).  I'd be very happy with the additions of Virginia and UNC, but would've been happiest had Delaney forgone his NYC idiocy and gotten any  of (in order of preference) UVa, UNC, ND, VT, GT, Pittsburgh, or Maryland.  Adding any four of those schools would certainly have been enough to "push the NYC cable-carriers over the edge" on the BTN issue.  Moreover, everyone states what a player Fox (or whoever owns YES/BTN) in the NYC area is, why not just blackmail the NYC carriers to take BTN without adding Rutgers?  You don't want BTN... you don't get the Yankees. 

I hate Rutgers.  Truly an embarrassing addition to the Big Ten.



December 13th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

Villanova did win an FCS title a couple years ago, so they're not that bad, but sure as heck wouldn't be anywhere near bowl-worthy competition in FBS. Also: Their stadium seats only 12,000.

Georgetown? They have the smallest D-I football stadium in the country (seats 2,500!) and football has been an afterthought there for a long while (last year was the Hoyas first season finishing above .500 in who knows how long). Also: They don't give away football scholarships as members of the Patriot League. So there's that too.


December 13th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

Also, if you've noticed, the schools that have been adding big-time football are those universities which need the exposure to establish themselves as "real schools".  Not that universities without football are lesser in quality as a general rule, but that to be known nationally, a school needs a way to get their name out there.  Honestly, that is one of the main reasons I support a university having sports and one that is pushed to the side so that the "student-athletic" mantra can be shoved down our throats.  Think how much more well known say, Kent State is nationally vs. Kenyon College or Dennison.  Or Rice vs. University of Washington in St. Louis.  Or Eastern Michigan vs. Wayne State.

Georgetown and Villanova are already nationally recognized as top academic schools and have traditional success in basketball to get their name out there (notably, it is much easier for a small school to gain prominence nationally in basketball not only because of lower costs, but because it is much easier to "hide" 10-15 student athletes who are not... academic stars.... than it is to hide 75-80 in a school which has classes of ~1,000-2,000 students). 

There is no real incentive for Georgetown to add football.  How could they benefit?  Bring in better students?  No, if anything, to remain competetive their standards would have to drop slightly.  To add to the endowment?  Possibly, but I'd wager that Georgetown is doing quite well for themselves.  To be more well-known?  I'd think not. 

More likely than not, the football program could serve as a detriment to the schools name.  Does the University of Miami's football program add to your view of the school?  Of course not, if anything, it has been a black eye on the university as a whole.  Using Miami as an example, city schools typically have trouble drawing in fans, both due to poor stadium planning and competing with NFL teams.  Moreover, it seems to me that players at city schools typically run into more legal trouble, be it because the police aren't catering to the school or because they have more opportunity to get out from the eyes of the athletic department.  Look at the University of Pittsburgh and Miami, both have trouble drawing fans and have player discipline issues.  I would guess that Georgetown would face similar issues.



December 13th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

 Not sure how much credence I give to your examples, Herm. Washington-St. Louis has an excellent academic reputation, as does Wayne State along with increased notoriety; much better than the schools you used as comparisons. Both include upper-mid medical schools and law schools. You can also cite renown and prestigious urban-area schools without D1 football to disprove your examples, including John Hopkins, Thomas Jefferson, Univ of Chicago, Depaul, William & Mary, NYU. Or any of the numerous urban programs that do very well for themselves in an city setting including; USC, Washington, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, and Cal-Berkeley is very urban, right next to Oakland.


December 13th, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

athletically.  The schools you named are more niche than mainstream.  You are dealing with as many people under 30 as you are over it.  Do you think many people outside of the midwest have ever heard of Wayne State?  I live in Virginia and I have yet to meet anyone who knows that UD is an actual school.  W&M is nowhere near an urban area btw.  I think you bring up good exceptions, but you seem to be basing you disagreement on the exception rather than the rule.  Generally speaking, I would agree with Herm.


December 13th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

 You know people that don’t think Depaul is an actual school? Seriously? What do they do during basketball season? I really find that hard to believe.

 If it is solely athletic notoriety that’s to be justified, isn’t that argument rather redundant? Of course athletic notoriety is higher at schools with more popular or higher echelon athletics. Just like musical notoriety is greater at school with better music programs, or medical schools, or business programs. (Dartmouth is a lousy football team, but they have some pretty killer academics.) Yet, I believe a school’s notoriety and acumen isn’t solely tied to what division they participate in football. Anyone in a HR or other hiring position knows the value of a specific institution’s degree in his or her field. I submit to you that someone holding a degree from Washington-STL, Wayne State, Depaul, TJU, UnivChi or JohnsHopkins will garner greater prestige at hiring time than the other div 1 programs mentioned, including most of the MAC, ConfUSA, and many others in most areas of study. (Of course, none come close in agriculture, horticulture, or packaging to MSU.  /s)


Yes, I listed W&M in error as an urban, and meant it as a smaller, academically prestigious institution. (Wife went there.) However, Washington-STL is also in a more suburban area of ST Louis, much like UCLA in Westwood.)


December 13th, 2012 at 1:24 AM ^

Whew.  Talk about your potential earthquakes.  I wonder how Temple has voting rights for everything but league dissolution.  A weird setup.  I wonder also what the "multiple legal entanglements" are that complicate things.

I know who's going DO IT DO IT DO IT right now, though: CUSA.  They stand to lose no fewer than six of their current members, and have seven replacements lined up, most of which are not as appealing as the potential losses.  Now they can pitch themselves as a landing spot for the three potentially orphaned Big East football schools.  That would make a monstrously-sized 22-team league if they let all the replacements in and the Big East departers also stayed.  I wouldn't put it past 'em to say "that's cool."


December 13th, 2012 at 1:25 AM ^

There have been persistent rumors throughout the day that ESPN is pressuring the ACC to add two teams in a preemptive move (ie. UConn and Cincy) to secure the amount of content the conference can provide them. UConn and Cincy have allegedly committed to voting to dissolve the Big East if the ACC is willing to invite them.

I'd imagine the new BEast schools would simply form a new conference (except Boise and SDSU, who are welcome in the MTW).sucks to be South Florida, the only Big East football school that won't be thrown a power 5 preserver (until the ACC loses ~6 schools and they and Temple inevitably join).


December 13th, 2012 at 1:56 AM ^

South Florida can bite it.  The only reason they're Big East in the first place is because the conference wanted to maintain a Florida presence after Miami left.  There's little else to recommend them as a program deserving of a life preserver.

If those rumors are true, the ACC ought to fight back at ESPN and say "we'll add those schools only if you give us enough money to be competitive with the Big Ten."  If that money isn't forthcoming there's no reason to do that.


December 13th, 2012 at 2:10 AM ^

The problem is, the ACC has no leverage. There's nothing better waiting for them if they tell ESPN to fuck off, ESPN will just help facilitate the defections to their other TV partners and then void the ACC's deal when they don't have enough teams to provide the agreed amount of content. 

Unless a Festivus miracle occurs and some ADs hearts grow three sizes, at some point the ACC will be raided again. For two members at the very least, though that would probably lead to 4 more eventually joining them. And as we've all seen, nobody just accepts a defection. Cincinnati and UConn are probably safe in the warming glow of an Orange Bowl tie in and $24 million annually regardless of what the ACC says to ESPN.  


December 13th, 2012 at 2:24 AM ^

I just don't see this adding up, though.  ESPN knows full well the dynamics behind this.  They didn't exactly miss the fact that Maryland left for more money in the Big Ten.  They know if they don't provide enough money, the ACC will break up.  And if UConn and Cincy are so important to ESPN, surely they can get their content cheaper if they were in Conference USA or some bastardized ex-Big East hangout.

The answer to that is clearly that UConn and Cincy provide valuable content....if attached to the ACC.  It's not Cincy and UConn per se that are valuable, it's the idea of a yearly UConn-UNC basketball matchup, yes?  So in that case, what incentive would ESPN have to see the ACC broken up?  I don't think it's plausible that ESPN would be taken by surprise to see the ACC fall apart if they cheaped out on their offer. 

So to really get on board with the rumors plus the conclusion you're proposing, I feel like the rumors are asking us to believe that ESPN is actively working to break up the ACC.  The ACC's leverage is that if ESPN lowballs them, the conference falls apart and UConn and Cincy are once again adrift - so why would ESPN pressure the conference to take UConn and Cincy and then not pay them accordingly?


December 13th, 2012 at 4:14 AM ^

The conference is falling apart one way or another because ESPN isn't going to pay B1G rates for what the ACC provides. ESPN is trying to get the ACC to shore itself up to justify what they are spending, which is still much more than any of the group of 5 conferences make. It's not about UConn and Cincy per se, except that they're the only "attractive" options left for anyone to take. 

The idea is that we all know the ACC's current 14 team alignment will not last. I don't think either of us are under that illusion though you've been quite vocal about how badly you want it to. ESPN would like to see the ACC preemptively replace two potential defections for the sake of their own content. It's not really complex.  


December 13th, 2012 at 7:37 AM ^

The ACC isn't getting Big10 money or anything close to it. That isn't happening. ESPN has the leverage not the ACC.  If the Catholic 7 leave the Big East they would also be forfitting any exit fees they would have received from Rutgers and Louisville, which is significant. 


December 13th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

It may not be complex, but it still doesn't add up.  If the ACC is doomed to lose six schools as you claim, then again: ESPN has no leverage on the ACC, because the ACC is made up of its member schools.  And the ones whose opinions count are the ones who you believe will take off, so what leverage does ESPN have on them?  If ESPN says "take it or leave it" then they'll be just fine with leaving it.  It takes a three-quarters vote to expand the league, which means four schools can block it with a no vote, and if ESPN says "add these schools" and those schools dilute the payments, they'll say no.

If ESPN is trying to protect their content, then ESPN has a stake in the ACC and by definition, that gives the ACC some amount of leverage.  That's only logical.


December 13th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

 The ACC will always be on shaky ground now as they got caught napping when the music started without a strong dance partner. They now find themselves the “fifth wheel” or solo single friend at a couple’s party.

 At one time several years ago, I seriously thought the Big12 would be the next to go “boom”. However, they pulled off the greatest coup pairing up with SEC in the SEC-Big12 game. That ensures their survival and firmly established them as “one of the 4 pre-superconferences”. ACC will now always be on the outside looking in; subject to break-up talk and continued departures until “super-conference equilibrium” is met.


December 13th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

Yes, and as soon as that money pushes conferences into something roughly resembling someone's idea of equilibrium, it will push the conferences right back out again.  For example, I see no reason why, if the Big Ten were to add two more teams to make 16 (which is where so many people assume everything will settle) they wouldn't add two more after that to make 18, if it were monetarily advantageous.


December 13th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

Where exactly is the ACC going to go for a TV deal other than the ESPN? Fox already has the Pac12 and Big12.  CBS has the SEC.  The ACC has way more to lose than ESPN does.  If the ACC doesn't add any of those schools and those schools end up in the Big12 or some other conference where does the ACC go when they lose more schools to the Big10, SEC, and the Big12, because everyone knows that is going to happen.

turd ferguson

December 13th, 2012 at 1:26 AM ^

I remember when the conference realignment stuff first came up, there was talk about how ADs and conference commissioners around the country were trying to predict how the dominoes would fall the rest of the way.  I can't imagine that any of them predicted the specifics all that well.  This stuff continues to blow my mind.


December 13th, 2012 at 1:27 AM ^

I love USF because they are my "home team" down here, but they shouldn't be in a major conference for basketball or football.  They have mid-major resources and are trying to compete with the "big boys."  

Sometimes, a school has to stop blaming coaches and players and face the reality that they aren't a "destination school" for athletes.


December 13th, 2012 at 1:28 AM ^

Bug Ten might flirt with the idea of adding Uconn. Excellent basketball and academic school. Would continue the eastward expansion. Football program isnt a great fit tho...

turd ferguson

December 13th, 2012 at 1:31 AM ^

Remember that this is about television sets to the Big Ten.  What would UConn bring that Rutgers & Maryland won't?

If we keep growing, I'd imagine that it'll be to new markets.  Georgia Tech (Atlanta), BC (Boston), the North Carolina schools, etc. would make more sense from that perspective.


December 13th, 2012 at 1:35 AM ^

I still say we take UVA before either of those. The conference bylaws demand the league be contiguous and while those can be easily altered, I don't think taking two second rate schools is worth it nor would they help to land UNC (the only bball school worth having and the biggest prize anyone could score from this round)


December 13th, 2012 at 1:58 AM ^

For whatever reason, BC hates the idea of being in the same conference as UConn.  You can be sure that when FSU and Clemson were pushing for Louisville over UConn, BC was right there with 'em.  Possibly because right now they're the only power-conference school in New England and want to keep it that way.