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SBD/December 20, 2012/Colleges
Big East Reportedly In Talks With Fresno State, UNLV; Aresco Confirms Looking West
Published December 20, 2012
FROM THE DESK OF THE COMMISH: In DC, Liz Clarke reports Aresco in a Q&A yesterday “voiced confidence the Big East will remain a viable league, partly by expanding west of the Mississippi.” Aresco said of further Big East expansion, “We certainly have room, as a 13-team league with Navy coming in 2014, to add a 14th team. My guess is we’d look west. There are western schools that have asked to join us. I don’t know if we would be a 14- or 16-team conference. Our goal is to hold together.” Aresco said of possibly changing the conference name, “Obviously the Big East name is important. Obviously the basketball group would want to form its own conference and keep an automatic qualifying for the NCAA tournament; our group obviously wants to do the same. We’ll have to see where the name fits in with that.” He said of the possibility the seven departing schools could leave in June '14, one year earlier than Big East rules allow, “After the 2014 season, if teams did want to leave early, our group would at least entertain that at some point. Both groups might feel it benefits them; or it might not” (WASHINGTON POST, 12/20).
BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL: UConn President Susan Herbst yesterday posted to the school's official athletics website a letter to fans and supporters on the topic of conference realignment. The letter read in part, “There is more change to come that will reshape the landscape yet again. I assure you that the Big East presidents are both unified and optimistic, working to strengthen the conference in imaginative ways that will see us through to a bright future for our students, coaches, and fans. Commissioner Mike Aresco is an outstanding leader at an extraordinarily complex time, and our university partners represent powerful, high-quality institutions that we are proud to join with in this conference” (UConn). In Chicago, Rick Morrissey writes the new conference represents an opportunity for DePaul to "reclaim their identity." There is “a chance the new conference will become just another league.” But travel “will be easier, expenses should be lower and the new conference figures to get a good TV contract.” Recruiting “should be more concentrated, another positive" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/20).