Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart became the first Big East coach to openly talk about the league disbanding when he gave this video interview to WTAP in Parkersburg, W.Va., on Thursday.
The quotes first appeared on Brian Bennett’s ESPN.com blog.
There has been much talk about the Big 10 expanding and possibly raiding the Big East for Rutgers or another school. Stewart seemed to indicate that was inevitable and said the SEC and ACC will “do the same.”
“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s disheartening as well. … The Big Ten could … they’ll pick a couple of our teams. However, the SEC and the ACC will also do the same, so that’s exciting. I don’t know where we’re going to land. We could land, whatever, in one of maybe three conferences, the ACC, the SEC, maybe the Big Ten.
“But right now, we’re still Big East and we need to keep that focus. And that’s the disheartening thing, when you break up a Big East contingency like we had. We had a lot of fun, a lot of rivals, and I hate to see that end. But there are exciting times on the horizon with new conferences. We’ll be in one of them; which one I don’t know, I really don’t. But that’s down the road a couple of years, I do believe.”
Asked by the host how such a shift would impact recruiting, he answered:
“We talked about it today [in] a recruiting meeting,” Stewart said. “Let’s say the SEC invites us in. Well, that gives us a certain prestige. Then you say, where are we geographically compared to them? Now would the ACC be better? Well, geographically it might be, but clout-wise would it be? If the Big Ten would says, hey, come on in, that’s an East-West travel. Probably the ACC would be the best travel league. But, really, football-wise, the ACC, SEC, Big Ten … any will be good. I just hate to see the Big East disband.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.