Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco today announced that after several weeks of cordial and professional discussions, a definitive agreement has been reached that will enable a mutually-beneficial separation of some of the league’s current members and allow an orderly formation of a new conference by the seven basketball schools. The separation will become effective on July 1, 2013 and the new league will retain the rights to the Big East name.
The agreement, which remains subject to formal Board approval, contemplates continued cooperation and playing opportunities between the conferences.
“I am pleased that this agreement has been reached,” said Aresco. “With the long-term well-being of our outstanding institutions and their student-athletes of paramount importance, each group worked through a number of complex issues in an orderly, comprehensive and amicable manner marked by mutual respect. We part ways as friends and colleagues and look forward to the success of both conferences.”
The Presidents of the seven basketball universities released the following statement regarding their formal separation: “We are grateful to Commissioner Michael Aresco for spearheading an agreement that truly represents the best path forward for each of our great institutions and the thousands of student-athletes who compete for our schools annually. It is a great credit to Mike, our colleagues, and all involved that we were able to work through a host of highly complex and time-sensitive issues in such a short period of time. We are pleased that we reached this amicable and mutually-beneficial separation by approaching each issue with a spirit of cooperation and shared respect.”
The new Big East is expected to add Butler, Xavier and Creighton to bring it to 10 schools for next season, when it will launch its new TV deal with Fox.
Aresco said no name has been chosen for the new league, although the America 12 was reported. The new league will only have 10 members next year, however.
“We have not chosen a new conference name at this time and there are no favorites,” he said. “We are going through a thoughtful evaluation of potential names for our conference, and will select a name in a timely manner through a comprehensive and deliberate process that involves our presidents and athletic directors as well as constituents from inside and outside the conference. We are excited about the prospect of re-branding and look forward to working with our institutions and our fans as we engage in this process.”
HERE’S HOW IT BREAKS DOWN:
CATHOLIC 7/NEW BIG EAST BASKETBALL 2013-14 (10 teams)
AMERICA 12 2013-14 (10 teams)
BIG EAST 2014-15
AMERICA 12 2014-15
**The New Big East may add Dayton and/or St. Louis in 2014-15.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.